Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation

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Ninja Turtles:
The Next Mutation
Ninja Turtles, The Next Mutation.png
Genre Action
Science fantasy
Based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by Kevin Eastman
Peter Laird
Starring Michael Dobson
Kirby Morrow
Jason Gray-Stanford
Matt Hill
Stephen Mendel
Lalainia Lindbjerg
Saffron Henderson
Theme music composer Jeremy Sweet
Composer(s) Jeremy Sweet
Shuki Levy
Kussa Mahchi
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Haim Saban
Lance H. Robbins
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Saban Entertainment
Mirage Studios
Distributor Saban Brands
MarVista Entertainment
Original network Fox (Fox Kids)
Original release September 12, 1997 – March 20, 1998

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is an American live-action television series produced by Saban Entertainment, which ran on the Fox Kids network from 1997 to 1998 based on the fictional superhero team.[1] As of September 16, 2011, the series is distributed by Saban Brands, as Saban regained the rights to the show from Disney.[2][3][4]

The series introduced many new elements to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, including a female mutant turtle called Venus (named after the famous statue) and new central antagonists, an army of humanoid dragons known as "The Rank" led by the vicious Dragonlord.

The series was touted (in some of the promotional material) as a continuation of the 1987 TV series, but the series instead loosely followed the continuity of the 1990s live-action film trilogy. The Turtles lived in the same abandoned train station featured in the second and third films, Shredder's face is clawed as it was in the original film, and Splinter's ear is slashed as it was in the original film. However, the films and the series display differing styles, Shredder is alive (and no longer Super Shredder), and April O'Neil and Casey Jones are absent. In a departure from other TMNT continuities, Leonardo states in the second episode that the Turtles are not blood-related, while other media explicitly present the Turtles as biological siblings.

Other notable differences were found in the Turtles' weapons; Leonardo carries one double-bladed ninjatō instead of two katana (though he was shown to own two in a few episodes), Donatello has a metal staff instead of a wooden staff, Raphael's twin sai could combine to make a staff; and Michaelangelo's signature weapon was a pair of tonfa (his weapon of choice in other media, nunchucks, are outlawed in several places). Further, the name of the series was amended in several European countries to Hero Turtles: The Next Mutation under various censorship rulings, as with most output of the franchise. The series was partly based on a never released fourth film in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: The New Mutation.[5][6]

The series was shot in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.[7]



  • Leonardo (performed by Gabe Khouth, voiced by Michael Dobson) – During the course of the series, Leo has sought new ways to learn how to combat enemies such as the Rank and Simon Bonesteel.
  • Raphael (performed by Mitchell A. Lee Yuen, voiced by Matt Hill) – Raph appears to see Bonesteel as his personal enemy, having an entire episode with him.
  • Michelangelo (performed by Jarred Blancard, voiced by Kirby Morrow) – The self-proclaimed "Prince of All Media" runs a pirate radio show from the Turtles' jeep.
  • Donatello (performed by Richard Yee, voiced by Jason Gray-Stanford) – A fan of the somewhat insane Dr. Quease, Donnie has tried working with him on a way to send the enemies from the Rank back into the Enchanted Mirror.
  • Venus de Milo (performed by Nicole Parker, voiced by Lalainia Lindbjerg) – A fifth Turtle. She was in the jar the others were in, and doused with ooze. However, she ended up in Chinatown, where Chung found her. She was raised as a shinobi, a mystical version of a ninja. She often gets sayings mixed up, no matter how much her new family attempts to help.


  • Splinter (performed by Fiona Scott, voiced by Stephen Mendel) – Splinter is usually not involved with the Turtles' antics, often imparting advice or yelling at them about the noise of their vehicles. He will often play chess at night with his blind human friend Andre.
  • Chung I (portrayed by Tseng Chang, voiced by Dale Wilson) – An old friend of Splinter's and Venus' foster father. He trained Venus as a Shinobi, but was killed by the Dragon Lord after the latter used Chung as a conduit to allow his forces to escape their prison dimension and reach the Realm of Dreams. He was also a foe of the vampire Vam Mi, having stolen her heart after defeating her. This later led her to seek revenge on Venus.
  • Andre (portrayed by Len Gibson) – A blind man, whom Splinter often plays chess with in the park. During "The Guest" he is evicted from his apartment and given refuge with the Turtles. However, he constantly (much to their frustration) grabbed and messed with everything, nearly injuring them.
  • Bongo – the giant gorilla is hiding in the same house. Raphael and Bonesteel are forced to temporarily work together to escape the predicament in one piece, after which Raphael befriends the escaped gorilla.


  • Foot Clan – The Foot of this series appear a lot more clumsy and less intelligent (due to comic relief values), much to Shredder's irritation. The Foot Clan is implied to have battled the Turtles constantly for many years, as the Turtles are now 18 years old. When Splinter falls ill, the full fury of the Foot Clan is unleashed upon the Turtles' lair, which has recently been discovered by them. The sheer numbers of the expanding Foot clan easily overwhelm the Turtles in combat and Shredder then prepares to finish them off, vowing to destroy their leader as well. However, Venus de Milo uses her Shinobi magic, drives Shredder insane by calling the true Oroku Saki to the surface to take control, thereby destroying the Shredder, seemingly forever. Afterwards the Foot disbands.
    • Shredder (portrayed by Patrick Pon, voiced by Doug Parker) – The Shredder appeared in the five–part episode "East Meets West" when he and the Foot Ninjas discovered the Turtles' hideaway. When Venus de Milo came into view, she uses her shinobi abilities to defeat the Shredder, presumably for good and the Foot was disbanded. In the episode "Enemy Of My Enemy", his alias of Oroku Saki was later found on the streets when Dragon Lord's soldiers attack him in order to obtain a ninja amulet called the Golden Shuriken. After Dragon Lord's forces were busy fighting the Turtles, Oroku Saki was defeated and later seen in a deserted alley with the amulet in his possession where he has appeared to have unlocked the power of the ninja amulet and laughs maniacally.
  • Rank – The Rank is a group of evil dragons that were trapped in an enchanted glass until they escaped.
    • Dragon Lord (performed by Gerald Wong, voiced by Christopher Gaze) – Leader of the Rank and the King of all Dragons. He and his forces were trapped in an enchanted glass years ago and have now escaped. Dragon Lord was the first evil dragon, and his charisma lead to other dragons joining him, and thus the banishing of his entire race.
    • Wick (performed by Adam Behr and Bill Terezakis, voiced by Lee Tockar) – A small dragon who is Dragon Lord's sidekick. He once drank a power potion he created by accident, temporarily gaining a deep, echoing, English voice along with new powers.
    • Rank Lieutenant (portrayed by Andrew Kavadas) – The head of Dragon Lord's army. He is distinguished from the other by his violet hood.
    • Good Dragon – Member of the Rank who has a heart of gold as seen in his titular episode. He saved Venus from an attack from the Lieutenant, ultimately decided to exile himself back into the enchanted glass until Dragon Lord is defeated or he amasses an army of good dragons to rebel against him. His final quote before re–entering the enchanted glass was "either way, I'll be back".
  • Dr. Cornelius Quease (portrayed by Simon Webb) – A world–renowned scientist and expert on mutation and other fields. Donatello is a big fan of his and once worked with him on a device that could have re–imprisoned the dragons. He attempts to create various weapons to defeat the turtles. However, Dragon Lord's ego and desire to consume the turtles usually causes them to backfire. He is also quite insane, and an egomaniac. The Dragon Lord refers to him as a "master of the new magic". After joining the Dragon Lord, Quease adds a yellow labcoat to his outfit along with his red gloves and blue work outfit. Dr. Quease wears the three basic colors.
  • Silver (portrayed by Garry Chalk) – The last of the Yetis. Instead of living on top of the mountain, he makes his life by going into the crime business and starting a gang of humans who think of him as the smartest boss around. He can't spell, but is otherwise more sophisticated than his moronic henchmen. For some reason, he was able to find out an old man would win the lottery and broke into his home before he found out himself. He was the least featured of the villains throughout the show.
    • Monkey Thief Mick (portrayed by Michael Dobson) – One of Silver's henchmen.
    • Monkey Thief Dick (portrayed by Ronnie Way) – One of Silver's henchmen.
    • Monkey Thief Clarence (portrayed by John Tench) – One of Silver's henchmen.
  • Simon Bonesteel (portrayed by Scott McNeil) – A deranged big game hunter who specializes in hunting endangered animals. He has collected things off of endangered animals like elephant ivories, baby seal pelts, dolphin hides, and mountain gorilla skulls. He considers the Ninja Turtles endangered species as well since there are only five of them as he quotes "I have found a species that will make [all others] seem downright plentiful". Bonesteel possesses a paranoid, anti–social personality and is known to give his weapons female names; he even talks to his weapons, and can be tricked with enough word play. Bonesteel is revealed to have made his home on the roof of an abandoned building. As the series progressed, Bonesteel grew craftier where he logged all the Turtles habits and set traps for them. One such instance is when he attempted to capture Mikey at a pizzeria; another is when the Turtles' instincts have them go out to play frisbee during a full moon. However, Leo also began learning about hunting to counter the traps. In the four–part episode "Unchain My Heart", Simon Bonesteel is also known for hunting supernatural creatures when it came to Vam–Mi and her vampire henchmen; he twice tries forging alliance with them, succeeding with capture and threat of sunlight.
  • Heavy Duke (portrayed by Travis MacDonald) – Leader of the Unknowables Street Gang who ruled the 8th Street neighborhood. In a sense of comedy when they steal a boombox, the owner earned their anger by asking who they were. The joke being well... maybe that's why no–one's heard of you. Upon hearing that Mikey was holding a rave in their neighborhood, Heavy Duke decided to crash it and steal the Animal Rights donatation. Adding onto the comedy, his group constantly got in Bonesteel's way of capturing the Turtles. Tricked by Bonesteel, Heavy Duke attempted to capture the Turtles for the cash the hunter promised would come for them. He, and Bonesteel ended up becoming human pinatas, humiliated in front of the crowd.
  • Vampires – Human–shaped creatures which steal the very essence of life. Since this was a children's program, the word "blood" couldn't be used. Instead, the word "plasma" was used.
    • Vam–Mi (portrayed by Kira Clavell, voiced by Saffron Henderson) – A 10,000–year–old female vampire from China. She was previously defeated by Chung I who tore out her heart plunging her into a long sleep. Her henchmen Bing and Chi Chu used a magic potion to awaken her. However, it was a blunder on Chi Chu's part out of missing her since unless Vam–Mi's heart was returned within 96 hours, she would turn into sludge and never be awoken again. The Turtles used Vam–Mi's link to her heart to lure her into a trap where they reduced her to dust with sunlight after she was teleported to her heart by the Elemental Vampire. Chi Chu and Bing collected the ashes.
      • Bing (portrayed by Justin Soon, voiced by Colin Musback) – A male vampire and one of Vam–Mi's henchmen. His appears to be the age of a child. According to himself, he is near 2000. Bing's voice is deep.
      • Chi Chu (portrayed by Lauren Attadia, voiced by Sherry Thorson) – A female vampire and one of Vam–Mi's henchmen. She appears to be the age of a child. Chi Chu and Bing once stayed at the condemned hotel that serves as their base back when it first open. Her voice is high pitched.


Power Rangers crossover[edit]

Outside of The Next Mutation, the Turtles also guest-starred alongside the Power Rangers in Power Rangers in Space. The end of the episode "Save Our Ship" leads directly into "Shell Shocked," where the Turtles are summoned and brainwashed by Astronema to fight the Rangers. Her control over them is later broken, and they team up with the Space Rangers to battle Astronema's forces. Before returning to New York, the Turtles have one request from the Rangers: space surfing on the Galaxy Gliders.

Venus de Milo[edit]

The show's most notable contribution to the Turtles mythos was a fifth mutant turtle, a female named Venus de Milo (initially named Mei Pieh Chi), who was skilled in the mystical arts of the shinobi and wears a light blue mask that was braided in the back, giving the appearance of a ponytail. She was also shown to have a lack of knowledge of modern culture and sayings. Venus was portrayed by Nicole Parker and voiced by Lalainia Lindbjerg.

Venus de Milo only appeared in The Next Mutation. In a 2007 interview, director Kevin Munroe elaborated on the instructions Peter Laird gave to him for TMNT. Munroe admitted that among those rules was, "there’s absolutely no mention of Venus de Milo, the female Turtle. You can’t even joke about that with Peter. It’s just one of those things that he hates with a passion."[8][9]


The show was cancelled in the summer of 1998. The cancellation of the show marked the first time that the Turtles were off TV screens for a protracted period since the animated series debuted in 1987. A new animated series would eventually begin airing in 2003.

The ratings were not strong enough for Fox to want to continue spending money producing the show. Since they did not own the Ninja Turtles, they did not profit from airing it as much as they would by airing a series that they owned the rights to.

Home video[edit]

The five-part pilot episodes were released in a heavily edited VHS compilation shortly following the series premiere.

The complete series of the "Hero Turtles" version was released on DVD in the UK by Jetix Films. The series in divided between two volumes, containing three discs each. Volume 1 was released in July 2007 and Volume 2 was released in February 2008. Some foreign territories have released the full-length form of episodes in their native languages, including Germany, France, Israel, Poland and Italy. Shout! Factory released the first volume of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation on DVD on September 4, 2012.[10] On December 4, 2012 Shout! Factory released the second volume on DVD.[11]

The series is currently available for streaming on Netflix and LoveFilm.


VHS name Ep No. Release Date Additional Information
East Meets West episode 1-5 highlights 1998[12]
Unchain My Heart 4 1999[12] UK and Australia
All in the Family 3 1998[12] UK only


Region 1[edit]

Title Ep No. Release Date Additional Information
Volume One 13 4 September 2012[13] Episodes 1-13
Volume Two 13+2 4 December 2012[14] Episodes 14-26, plus the two Power Rangers in Space crossover episodes: "Save Our Ship" & "Shell Shocked"
East Meets West 7 4 March 2014[15] Episodes 1-7
Turtle Power! 6+2 5 August 2014[16] Episodes 21-26, plus the two Power Rangers in Space crossover episodes: "Save Our Ship" & "Shell Shocked"

Region 2[edit]

Title Ep No. Release Date Additional Information
Volume One 8 2 August 2004[17] Region 2
Volume One, Version Two 5 October 2004[17] Region 2
Volume Two 3 21 March 2005[17] Region 2
Volume Two 15 11 February 2008[17] Region 2

Region 4[edit]

Title Ep No. Additional Information
East Meets West 7 Episodes 1-7
Mutant Reflections 7 Episodes 8-14
The Good Dragon 6 Episodes 15-20
Brothers 6 Episodes 21-26

Broadcast history[edit]

In the United States of America, the show first aired from 1997 to 1998 on Friday afternoons on Fox Kids at 4:30 p.m.[18]

The show was aired in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two from 1998 to 1999.[19]

The show was aired in the United Kingdom on Fox Kids UK from 1997 to 2003 and Kix! from 2012 to 2013.

The show was aired in Australia on Network Ten on 1998 to 2001 and Fox Kids Australia from 1999 to 2000.

The show was aired in India on Star Plus' Fox Kids block from 2003 to 2004 and Nickelodeon Sonic in 2013.

The show was aired in Bulgaria on bTV in the mid-2000s. The edited "Hero Turtles" version was aired.

On January 12, 2013, the United States broadcast rights to Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation were held by Hub Network, which aired the show on Saturday afternoons in 2013.


  1. ^ "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles On TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Programming Catalog: Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation". MarVista Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Cynopsis: Kids! 09/19/11". Cynopsis. September 19, 2011. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ Pickard, Michael (September 16, 2011). "MarVista picks up live Turtles". C21Media. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation on IMDb
  6. ^ [1] Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Ian Edwards (7 April 1997). "BC Scene: Follow-up to Live Bait means Dirty storyline for Sweeney". Playback. Retrieved 16 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Director Kevin Munroe on TMNT". April 9, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
  9. ^ "TMNT: The Rennaissance [sic] Reptiles Return". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  10. ^ Lambert, David (June 8, 2012). "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation – Saban's Live-Action Show Comes to DVD from Shout! Factory". Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lambert, David (September 7, 2012). "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation – Shout! Finishes the Live-Action '97 Series on DVD this December". Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Classic TMNT VHS Tapes". Ninjaturtles. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. 4 September 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Volume 2". TV Shows on DVD. 4 December 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - East Meets West". TV Shows on DVD. 4 March 2014. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Turtle Power". TV Shows on DVD. 5 August 2014. Archived from the original on 23 October 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Classic TMNT VHS Tapes". Ninjaturtles. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Allstetter, Rob (August 1997). "The Turtles Get a Gal". Wizard (72). p. 120. 
  19. ^ RTÉ Guide: 10–16. December 1998.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]