|“Turtles at the Earth's Core”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode|
|Original airdate||October 6, 1989|
|Written by||Michael Reaves|
Turtles at the Earth's Core is a season 3 episode of the 1987-1996 series.
Donatello is trying to figure out a module-arrival pattern that would show them where the Technodrome is located. April urges them to let their brains rest by helping her decide where to vacation (Splinter suggests Florida), but is interrupted by a sudden earthquake.
The Turtles surface to see what may have happened, and are shocked to see a diplodocus walking down the street. They try to herd the beast with limited success, and Michelangelo accidentally falls into a vast hole in the middle of a park. They decide to investigate further.
The answer involves a "lost world" under the Earth's crust, where dinosaurs still live and thrive in underground forests. The diplodocus was sent up by Rocksteady and Bebop on Shredder's orders, although he's irate that they didn't send something more dangerous. Krang orders him to get the giant crystal that allows the lost world to flourish, which they can use to repower the Technodrome. However, antigravity technology doesn't work near the crystal, which makes it difficult to get to.
The Turtles fly their blimp down into the lost world, only to immediately end up grounded by a pteranodon and menaced by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Fortunately they're found by a diplodocus, whom they dub "Dippy," and which allows them to ride him. They also find several modules waiting in a field, proving Shredder's presence there.
At this time, Shredder, Rocksteady, Bebop and a number of Foot Soldiers are heading for the crystal on foot. However, they soon find that it's more difficult than expected to actually reach the crystal.
Krang has his own plans, sending a small army of Foot Soldiers to build a small mobile fortress for him to ride inside. The Foot Soldiers are instead sent to attack the Turtles, but Dippy easily disposes of them, though he accidentally and briefly bucks the Turtles and April into a tar pit.
Shredder's minions eventually manage to grab the crystal, but he drops it when the Turtles distract him. He melts the ground around Dippy's feet, creating a river of lava that they barely manage to escape. And without the crystal's power, Dippy and the other dinosaurs begin to grow weaker.
An irritable Krang is repairing the crystal when Dippy starts banging on the fortress' hull. He summons several other dinosaurs to attack the fortress, and they eventually tear open one of the hatches. The Turtles rush inside, and a small parade of the dinos follow them just as the crystal is finally repaired.
Raphael electrocutes Krang's body as Rocksteady and Bebop are taken out by a Stegosaurus' tail. Different people in both sides grab and pass the crystal among them until the Turtles and dinosaurs successfully escape with it. An enraged Krang starts burrowing the fortress back to the Technodrome.
With the crystal back in place, Donatello patches the Turtle blimp and they say their goodbyes to Dippy. The Turtles advise her to come there for her vacation, just before she's carried off by a pteranodon, forcing the Turtles to chase her on Dippy's back.
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Shredder (James Avery)
- Bebop (Barry Gordon)
- Rocksteady (Cam Clarke)
- Krang (Pat Fraley)
Home media releases
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles at the Earth's Core
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 3
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics
- The Tyrannosaurus Rex that threatens the Turtles and April has upper limbs with three fingers, as it was believed until that very same year of 1989 when a fossil of this species was found with its upper limbs relatively complete, which revealed that it had two fingers and not three. This mistake would persist within popular consciousness for some time nevertheless.
- When the Turtles are confronted by Foot Soldiers on their way to intercept Krang and Shredder, Raphael refers to them as "Rock Soldiers".
- When Shredder speaks to Krang on his comlink, Peter Renaday slips in to provide one line of his dialogue.
- Krang berates Shredder for his petty bickering... which happened before the comlink was activated. Was Krang somehow listening in, or does he assume Shredder is always doing that?
- Raphael mentions that they have to break into Krang's fortress, but the Turtles hadn't seen it yet.
- Donatello mentions that the lost world has "gorgeous tropical sunsets," but a continent under the earth's crust wouldn't have the ability to see the sun.
Shredder: You incompetent imbeciles! Instead of that silly Diplodocus, why didn't you send up something fierce to deal with the Turtles-- like, a... Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Leonardo: Turtles fight with honor!