|“Night of the Dark Turtle”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode|
|Original airdate||October 30, 1993|
|Written by||David Wise|
"Night of the Dark Turtle" is an episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.
While Michelangelo makes pizza sauce, the others watch a news report in which April covers the Natural History Museum's hyper-realistic dinosaurs. Donatello argues that he doesn't need to work himself as hard as the other three do because he uses his brains, but Leonardo argues that technology is no substitute for ninja skill. Indignant, Donatello declares that he could take on Shredder alone if he needed to, much to Raphael's derision.
Just then, the early warning system sounds its alarm. According to Donatello's readings, The city has experienced a major vibration emanating from the Earth. Naturally, everyone suspects Shredder and Krang, so they set out to investigate immediately.
Donatello's readings lead them to a government research lab, where only moments ago Shredder received a Micro Blaster from one of the resident scientists. The blaster is supposedly the mightiest (and smallest) weapon known to man, able to obliterate a building with one blast. Rocksteady and Bebop, of course, immediately damage it.
The Turtles stumble across Shredder trying to repair the blaster, and Donatello attempts to prove his ability to defeat Shredder one-on-one. He accidentally activates some deadly lasers instead, and Shredder slams Donatello into an electrified machine, which electrocutes him for several seconds, before he falls unconscious. While Shredder escapes the security guards (without his Micro Blaster), the Turtles also retreat back to the lair with a semi-conscious Donatello.
When Donatello emerges from his coma he is not quite the same - his voice is deeper and he's much more aggressive and angry, ranting about how Shredder is the cause of everything bad that has happened to them. The other Turtles are deeply concerned by this. After retreating to his lab, Donatello decides that he needs a new, fear-inducing look to fight crime, and creates the identity of the Dark Turtle, a Batman-esque crime fighter. When the others try to stop him, he flings a smoke bomb at them and vanishes.
Donatello/Dark Turtle scours the mean streets of the city in search of the Shredder, who is now in cahoots with a local mobster by the name of Wolf Jackson. The other Turtles attempt to drag him back, but he easily eludes them, and Splinter summons them back to the lair before they can try again. His early-warning system has detected the Triceratons, and all three set out to battle the newly-arrived aliens. Unfortunately, the Triceratons are too powerful for them.
Meanwhile, Donatello finds out who Shredder is working with from an ordinary street hoodlum, and quickly deals with Rocksteady and Bebop when he finds them. He eventually makes his way to Wolf Jackson, and threatens the man into telling him where Shredder is.
The Turtles make another attempt to stop the Triceratons with the Turtle Van, but to no avail. The Triceratons are opening a Star Gate large enough to transport the entire Earth across the galaxy to the Triceraton Homeworld, where it will be stripped clean of all its resources and its population enslaved. There is only one hour left before doomsday, but Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are helpless without Donatello and his brains. The three decide that they have to find him and bring him to his senses, so that he can come up with a clever plan to save them all.
Donatello turns up at the lab where it all began, where Shredder is fixing the blaster again. Not only does Donatello easily hold his own against Shredder, he ends up dangling the villain over a large generator, and nearly kills him before the other Turtles can intervene. But Michelangelo accidentally knocks Donatello off a catwalk, and he's briefly electrocuted again.
Shredder, Rocksteady and Bebop escape the "psycho" Turtle, just before Donatello regains consciousness. He cannot remember anything he's done in the last day, and is confused to find himself wearing a comic book character costume.
Donatello takes charge of the Micro Blaster, and decides that they need to convince the Triceratons to leave Earth alone for good. They figure out that Triceratons don't attack planets where reptiles are the dominant species, and head straight for the Natural History Museum.
Back where the Triceratons are, suddenly a large number of animatronic dinosaurs lurch down the street, crushing their equipment and trashing their vehicles. Donatello dons the disguise of the Dark Turtle again, referring to the dinosaurs as his "loyal minions" and declaring that he is the ruler of the entire planet. He uses the Micro-Blaster to make it seem as though he has superpowers, blowing up the Star Gate generator seemingly with his eyes.
Terrified of a seemingly superior reptile, the Triceratons retreat back onto their ships and fly away. The other Turtles compliment him on his quick thinking, but are also relieved that he's finally gone back to normal.
But at the lair, they overhear a sinister voice demanding "that Shredder," and body-tackle Donatello when they find him tearing pieces out of a machine. It turns out that he's searching for an electric cheese shredder instead.
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- Shredder (James Avery)
- Krang (Pat Fraley)
- Rocksteady (Cam Clarke)
- Bebop (Barry Gordon)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Wallet Thief (Peter Renaday)
- Security Guard (Townsend Coleman)
- Wolf Jaxon (Jess Harnell)
- Wolf Jaxon's Goon (Rob Paulsen)
- Captain Zorax (Jess Harnell)
- Turtle Van
- Star Cruisers
Home media releases
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Convicts from Dimension X
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
- When Donatello picks up the copy of the Midknight Avenger comic book, the H on the title is missing.
- After the turtles enter the government research lab and Leonardo says that they haven't seen any sign of Shredder, Donatello's mouth starts moving before Leonardo has finished speaking, and no words come out, either.
- Upon finding Shredder in the government research lab, the two doors behind the turtles are open despite them only opening one of them when they enter the room.
- The Triceratons appear for the first time in the 1987 series. They refer to themselves as the Triceraton Empire.
- An action figure resembling the Dark Turtle, called Super Don, was produced by Playmates Toys in 1993.
- Donatello looks a lot like Batman when he wears his suit. As a probable in-joke, Leonardo says "He's gone totally bats" at one point, which Michelangelo worries is trademark infringement.