Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation

"Next Mutation" redirects here. For the Space Quest game, see Space Quest V: The Next Mutation.
Ninja Turtles:
The Next Mutation
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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published by Mirage Studios.[1] As of September 16, 2011, the series is currently distributed by Saban Brands, as Saban has recently 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 1990's 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 (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) 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 countries to Hero Turtles: The Next Mutation under various censorship rulings, as with most output of the franchise. The series is partly based on a fourth film originally to be released in 1994-95, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV : The New Mutation.[5][6]






Power Rangers crossover

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

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), 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."[7][8]


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.

There appears to be some debate over what led to the cancellation of the show. While some say that the ratings were lower than the network wished for the show, others say the ratings were on target, but production costs for the show were too high. There is also thought that Fox canceled NT:TNM for another show entirely, but as yet, there has been no confirmation as to what the true reasoning behind the show's abrupt end truly is.

Home video

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.[9] On December 4, 2012 Shout! Factory released the second volume on DVD.[10]

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[11]
Unchain My Heart ? 1999[11] Australia only
All in the Family 3 1998[11] UK only


Region 2

Title Ep No. Release Date Additional Information
Volume One 8 2 August 2004[12] Region 2
Volume One, Version Two 5 October 2004[12] Region 2
Volume Two 3 21 March 2005[12] Region 2
Volume Two 15 11 February 2008[12] Region 2

Region 1

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 4

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

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.[17]

The show was aired in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two from 1998 to 1999.[18]

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

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

The show was aired in India on Fox Kids (India) Star Plus from 2005 to 2006.

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. 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 at the Internet Movie Database
  6. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "Director Kevin Munroe on TMNT". April 9, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
  8. "TMNT: The Rennaissance [sic] Reptiles Return". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  9. Lambert, David (June 8, 2012). "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation – Saban's Live-Action Show Comes to DVD from Shout! Factory". Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  10. Lambert, David (September 7, 2012). "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation – Shout! Finishes the Live-Action '97 Series on DVD this December". Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  11. 1 2 3 "Classic TMNT VHS Tapes". Ninjaturtles. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "Classic TMNT VHS Tapes". Ninjaturtles. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  13. "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  14. "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Volume 2". TV Shows on DVD. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  15. "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - East Meets West". TV Shows on DVD. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  16. "Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation - Turtle Power". TV Shows on DVD. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  17. Allstetter, Rob (August 1997). "The Turtles Get a Gal". Wizard (72). p. 120.
  18. RTÉ Guide: 10–16. December 1998. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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