Distinctly different from the grim, violent, and dark MIRAGE
comics from which the Turtles originated, this version of the franchise has remained the longest running, and most memorable, version of all.
Four turtles fall into the sewers and are befriended by Hamato Yoshi
, a Japanese ninja master framed and disgraced in his home soil of Japan, forcing him to flee to America, and live in the sewers. One day he notices a strange green glow which transforms the four turtles into human-like creatures. Hamato also mutates , taking on the form of a rat. Renaming himself Splinter, he teaches the Turtles the skills of the ninja arts as they team up with Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil
to battle against Yoshi's nemesis Shredder
, who has his sights on conquering Earth. Shredder is assisted by the resources of Krang
, an alien warlord from Dimension X
The series lasted ten seasons, an unprecedented number for an animated series at the time (the record has since been broken by The Simpsons). In the U.K, TMNT was broadcast under the name "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" due to fears that the "ninja" part of the logo was too extreme a word to use on British television at the time.
In the final seasons in an attempt to improve the ratings, the TMNT battled alien warlord Lord Dregg
and his Technogangsters
for the safety of the human race, whilst battling strange and dangerous mutation powers they had attained.