04 June, 2014

A Quick Guide to the UK Hero Turtles VHS Tapes

In 2009 the lengthily titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Original Series – 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was released on DVD in the UK (I guess “Seasons 1 and 2” wasn't fancy enough). When the first TMNT TV show originally aired in the UK it had been edited, most obviously with the use of the (slightly) different title: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. Whilst the DVD set featured the episodes uncut for the first time, it was not the first time the show had received a home video release.  In the 1990’s Abbey Home Entertainment (mostly using the Tempo Video label) released a number of VHS tapes of the “Hero” version. Typically two episodes per tape, they covered a large chunk of the first three seasons with some episodes from the fourth as well.

The episodes were not always as aired. The tapes tended to have just the one intro sequence and set of closing credits but more interestingly a look at the BBFC site reveals that some of the episodes received further edits. It seems that the distributor wanted a U certificate (Universal – Suitable for All) for the tapes but in order to receive this from the BBFC sometimes cuts were required. Unless off-air recordings surface to compare, no further details are available, but any episodes that received further cuts are noted in the list below.

There are twenty two tapes in all and their placement in the list is based on a rough episode order. In some cases episodes saw multiple releases. In total forty-four episodes and one special saw a VHS release in the UK.

VHS01How It All Began
Cat No. 99032

Episode:
[SP] How It All Began To obtain a U certificate cuts of 32 seconds were required.

Notes:
A 50-minute special that begins as a clip-show summarising some of the events of the first season before filling out the runtime with abridged versions of season two episodes [6] Return of the Shredder, [7] The Incredible Shrinking Turtles, [8] It Came from Beneath the Sewers and [9] The Mean Machines.
The footage covering the first season is taken from another clip-show episode: Blast from the Past from the third season.


VHS02The Case of the Killer Pizzas
Cat No. 99012

Episodes:
[11] The Case of the Killer Pizzas To obtain a U certificate cuts of 3 seconds were required.
[12] Enter the Fly To obtain a U certificate cuts of 3 seconds were required.







VHS03
Invasion of the Punk Frogs
Cat No. 99022

Episodes:
[13] Invasion of the Punk Frogs
[15] New York’s Shiniest To obtain a U certificate cuts of 2 seconds were required.







VHS04Return of the Technodrome
Cat No. 99042

Episodes:
[18] Return of the Technodrome To obtain a U certificate cuts of 33 seconds were required.
[17] The Catwoman from Channel Six







VHS05Attack of the 50-Foot Irma
Cat No. 99132

Episodes:
[21] Attack of the 50-Foot Irma
[20] Turtles on Trial To obtain a U certificate cuts of 8 seconds were required.








VHS06Green With Jealousy
Cat No. 99112

Episodes:
[39] Green with Jealousy
[23] Sky Turtles
[22] The Maltese Hamster

Notes:
Part of the “Tempo Special Edition range [that] features an extra long running time”. In this case that means “AN AWESOME EXTRA ADVENTURE FREE!”


VHS07The Fifth Turtle
Cat No. 99052

Episodes:
[26] The Fifth Turtle
[27] Enter the Rat King








VHS08Attack of Big Macc
Cat No. 99062

Episodes:
[30] Attack of Big Macc
[28] Turtles at the Earth’s Core








VHS09April Fool
Cat No. 99092

Episodes:
[29] April Fool
[35] Turtles, Turtles Everywhere








VHS1020,000 Leaks Under the Sea
Cat No. EUKV 2010

Episode:
[32] 20,000 Leaks Under the Sea









VHS11The Very Best of the Turtles
Cat No. NVT 12946

Episodes:
[6] Return of the Shredder To obtain a U certificate cuts of 13 seconds were required.
[32] 20,000 Leaks Under the Sea
[33] Take Me to Your Leader
[34] The Four Musketurtles

Notes:
Includes the previously released 20,000 Leaks Under the Sea. An abridged version of Return of the Shredder was previously included as part of the How It All Began special.

VHS12Cowabunga Shredhead
Cat No. 99102

Episodes:
[36] Cowabunga Shredhead
[38] Camera Bugged To obtain a U certificate cuts of 3 seconds were required.







VHS13Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers
Cat No. 94602

Episode:
[37] Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers









VHS14Corporate Raiders from Dimension X
Cat No. 99122

Episodes:
[43] Corporate Raiders from Dimension X
[61] Shredderville








VHS15Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady
Cat No. 99192

Episodes:
[45] Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady
[46] Beware the Lotus







VHS16 The Biggest Ever Video
Cat No. 96462

Episodes:
[51] The Case of the Hot Kimono
[47] Blast from the Past To obtain a U certificate cuts of 2 seconds were required.
[48] Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp
[50] Usagi Yojimbo
[52] Usagi Come Home To obtain a U certificate cuts of 2 seconds were required.
[34] The Four Musketurtles
[33] Take Me to Your Leader
[32] 20,000 Leaks Under the Sea
[6] Return of the Shredder To obtain a U certificate cuts of 13 seconds were required.

Notes:
Includes five previously unreleased episodes followed by the complete contents of the Very Best of the Turtles tape (so a third release for 20,000 Leaks Under the Sea) but with the episode order reversed.

VHS17The Biggest Ever Saturday Morning Heroes
Cat No. 96782

Episode:
[63] The Big Rip Off

Notes:
Tape of episodes from various shows, including one Hero Turtles episode.






VHS18The Biggest Ever Saturday Morning Picture Show
Cat No. 96612

Episodes:
[64] The Big Break In
[65] The Big Blow Out

Notes:
Tape of episodes from various shows, including two Hero Turtles episodes.





VHS19Sewer Heroes Series: Raphael Meets His Match
Cat No. 99182

Episodes:
[82] Raphael Meets His Match
[80] Raphael Knocks ‘em Dead To obtain a U certificate cuts of 5 seconds were required.







VHS20Sewer Heroes Series: Leonardo Lightens Up
Cat No. 99152

Episodes:
[84] Leonardo Lightens Up
[98] Leonardo versus Tempestra








VHS21Sewer Heroes Series: Donatello’s Degree
Cat No. 99162

Episodes:
[96] Donatello’s Degree
[88] Donatello Makes Time








VHS22Sewer Heroes Series: Michaelangelo Meets Bugman
Cat No. 99172

Episodes:
[92] Michaelangelo Meets Bugman
[94] What’s Michaelangelo Good For?

Notes:
Although it IS the episode on the tape, there’s no BBFC record for Michaelangelo Meets Bugman. It seems the similarly-named Michaelangelo Meets Bugman Again was mistakenly submitted in its place. Whoops.



Finally here are two “Hero Turtles” opening sequences for your viewing pleasure:

Seasons 1-3

Season 4


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