Animato! Katseps guide...the Next Generation

From: chance <>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 23:04:36 -0800

(Again, for newcomers, if you missed the earlier parts and want them, just e-mail
 me and I'll send 'em over. Reprinted with permission).


Airdates: November 20/21, 1993
Written by Glenn Leopold

Cicada-like aliens (with pointed, kat-like ears!) take over MASA Space Center,
turning scienties Harley Street (Robert Ridgely) and others into literally bug-eyed
slaves as part of their plan for world conquest. It's up to the SWAT Kats to
thwart the invasion -- and T-Bone must fight his phobic fear of insects every step
of the way. This self-conscious tribute to 1950's sci-fi thrillers is moderately
enjoyable, but it's undone by the aliens' lack of personality -- compared with
the flamboyant Mutilor (from the second season's "When Strikes Mutilor"),
the giant bugs aren't very memorable. The best things about this episode are
Callie Briggs' brief fight scene with Dr. Street (one of her best heroic moments)
and the unusually large role given to Ann Gora (who discovers the alien plot in
the first place) B

In-Jokes: 1. "The Ci-Kat-a" reuses locations from two earlier SWAT Kats
adventures when the alien leader feeds on energy at Megakat Nuclear Plant
("The Wrath of Dark Kat"), then creates a nest for its new brood in the
penthouse of Megakat Tower ("Destructive Nature"). When Callie sees the
nest she exclaims, "Not again! This building must be cursed!" MASA Space
Center had also appeared briefly in "Destructive Nature".

2. Speaking of "Destructive Nature", Mr. Young has a silent cameo here. He
and Mayor Manx fare even worse than in the earlier episode, getting covered
with alien bug slime at the climax of the action.

(ed. note: I personally really liked this one, and Mark's point about the bugs
having no personality compared to "Mutilor" seems a bit like comparing
"Godzilla" to "Alien". "Alien", like "Ci-Kat-a", was simply extraterrestrial,
nasty, and *here*!)


Airdates: November 27/28
Written by Glenn Leopold

Insane comedian Lenny Ringtail, whose mind snapped when he was turned
down by "The David Litterbin Show", lets himself be possessed by the
vengeful ghost (yes, another one) of a medieval court jester who suffered
a similar rejection hundreds of years ago. The result is Madkat (Roddy
McDowall), a wisecracking, shapeshifting harlequin who uses his magical
powers to kidnap "the king, queen, knight and jester" (AKA Mayor Manx,
Deputy Mayor Briggs, Commander Feral and David Litterbin) one by one,
then vanish into thin air before the SWAT Kats can stop him. Madkat's
Beetlejuice-like stunts make for some wonderfully surreal action sequences,
but he just isn't a memorable character -- and for a comedian, he's not very
funny, either. McDowall does a good job as Madkat, but an actor with
more of an off-the-wall sense of humour (Dan Castellaneta? Mickey Dolenz?
Matt Frewer?) could have given the character the Joker-like personality
he needed. And unlike his inspiration, David Litterbin (John Byner) comes
across as surly instead of amusingly sarcastic. B

Appearances: Lt. Steel, who somehow avoided getting fired after his
irresponsible actions in "The Wrath of Dark Kat", assumes control of
the Enfgorcers when Madkat captures Commander Feral.

Trivia: When "Enter the Madkat" aired during the first season, it ran
with the wrong closing credits (from "Metal Urgency"), so guest voice actors
McDowall, Byner, and James Hong initially received no recognition for their
work. The credits were corrected during the second season.

(ed. note: The credits were changed after a phone call to H-B from the author
 of all this; Mark Lungo [hence his mentioning it!]. Roddy McDowall was
 likely cast as Madkat due to his work as Jervis Tetch (sp?) "The Mad Hatter"
 on BTAS. Initially, the concept for "Madkat" was a series of sketches and
 colour models presented to the eps writer, Glenn Leopold, with the instructions
 that it should become a story. Glenn said something similar to "okay - what's
 the backstory?", and the Bros. were said to simply have looked at eachother -
 having not thought it out that far [they're artists, after all]. Leopold came
 up with the backstory for the character, and thus the ep was born. I found
 the device of the "king, queen, knight, jester" bit to be one of the most
 original things I'd ever seen in Sat-AM production, and it more than made
 up for whatever Mark perceived as this eps shortcomings [IMO]).


Airdates: December 4/5, 1993
Written by Glenn Leopold

SWAT Kats concludes its first season with the supervillain teamup many fans
had been waiting for, as Dark Kat, Dr. Viper, and The Metallikats form "an
invincible alliance of evil" with only one goal: "Destroy the SWAT Kats!".
Can the SWAT Kats (and Manx, Briggs and Feral) take on four villains at
once? And how long can these greedy, selfish evildoers cooperate before
they start stabbing each other in the back? This episode has a lot to recommend
it besides the Teamup -- the pacing is just right, Mook's animation is great, Feral
gives on of his best performances, and the end of the second act is a powerful
emotional moment. Only some inconsistent writing in the third act (Dark Kat
gives three contradictory orders within two minutes, and gives away his desire to
betray his partners with two "slips of the tongue" to boot) keeps this from getting
an "A+". A

(ed. note: [One more of these and I'll have to legally change my name to "ed"] I
 think Mark's statement about Dark Kat's "contradictory" orders in the third
 act is simply Dark Kat being duplicitious as opposed to "inconsistent". Rather than
 "giving away his desire to betray his partners", he's simply doing some rather
 clumsy foreshadowing - still believing that the allies he's about to betray are as
 thick as he thinks they are. Didn't work out that way, huh?)

(That's it for today - two more parts and we're done. Sadly, the last two parts
 are the easiest - as the second season only had 10 of the scheduled 13 eps
 completed. Less to type, but less to watch - it ain't a fair trade).

Oh yeah, while we're here. The President of H-B, Fred Seibert, was talking to
a WBA friend about setting up a lunch date in the near future. He said something
to the effect that their conversation would likely end up being rather "limited" due to
the gag order in place concerning the " merger thing currently happening". Looks
 like there might finally be some movement in the TWC/H-B thing after all. I've
asked my WBA friend to put "the dreaded cancellation question" to Fred, and I'll
 post a form of the answer should one be forthcoming.

(Buzz never got back to me...hmmm.)

SwatKats fans: Series' creators holding free Draw for Original Art! Send a
postcard (or even an empty envelope) with your name and return address to:
SWATKATS DRAW, 15460 Sherman Way #1-310, Van Nuys CA,
USA 91406. (Draw closes Dec. 1st, 1995. BIGSIG copyright Ricky Foltz)

Received on Wed Nov 22 1995 - 02:19:24 PST

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