|Original Airdate||October 7, 1985|
|Previous Episode||Return to Thundera|
|Next Episode||The Astral Prison|
|All Episodes||Episode Guide|
While out swimming, WilyKit is apparently devoured by a huge, green, amphibious monster. The monster is a robot, Herky, belonging to Doctor Dometone, latest in a long line of guardians of the Great Oceanic Plug. The Plug prevents the seas from pouring into Third Earth's molten core, extinguishing the fires, heralding an Ice Age and destroying all life. Far from threatening WilyKit, Doctor Dometone has traveled to the Cats' Lair to ask the ThunderCats for help: Scrape, a salvage expert from Blue Plunder, is trying to pull the plug in order to drain the ocean and retrieve rocks from the ocean floor. The rocks are needed to fuel his planet. It seems that Doctor Dometone's mission may be too late, for Scrape's giant Electric Eel has already broken into the Plug's protective dome, and scared Doctor Dometone's staff off, before he, Lion-O and the ThunderKittens arrive in Herky. Herky overcomes the Electric Eel, but Scrape escapes with WilyKat, locking himself into the Plug's dome and proceeding with his plan to drain the ocean. Lion-O summons the ThunderCats and Panthro seals off the dome with a compressed air bubble. Scrape is sucked out of the dome and escorted to the Grey Prison Planet by Officer Mandora. WilyKat is rescued and a communications line is set up between the Plug and the Lair to ensure the safety of Third Earth.
Dr. Dometone teaches the ThunderCats that we live in balance with the forces of nature. Sometimes the balance of nature is precarious and fragile, and it requires our intervention to maintain its equilibrium. The interventions, however, must be taken with great care, for any interference into the ecological system has the potential to set off a chain of consequences.
When we encounter something new or unfamiliar or decide to take some action without full knowledge of what we are dealing with, we risk making a mistake and doing harm rather than good. WilyKat's impulse to blast Herky before understanding what he was illustrates the point. And the lesson is especially important for society in dealing with the environmental system, whose components, whether physical, chemical, or biological, interact with a complexity that must be understood and respected. It is an important lesson as well for individuals, for our interaction with the environment must also be based on respect and care, lest we contribute to upsetting the balance of nature by impulsive actions.
On a seemingly peaceful day, WilyKit and WilyKat decide to go for a swim in the ocean. The twins are enjoying themselves when suddenly a gigantic frog-like robot emerges and swallows WilyKit whole. The robot then turns its attention on WilyKat but the young ThunderCat quickly jumps onto a nearby Unicorn and rides off straight to Cats Lair. At the lair, he narrates the whole thing to Lion-O and the two head back to the forest. When they do come across the frog robot, they are relieved to see that WilyKit is safe and sound and that the robot, named Hercules by its creator, is in fact operated by and belongs to Dr. Dometone, a friendly Third Earth scientist who was on his way to meet the ThunderCats.
Back at the lair, the doctor reveals that he happens to be the director and principal guardian of the Great Oceanic Plug, a massive structure that resides on and was invented to seal a huge fissure that had developed on the ocean floor. It was created to prevent the waters of the ocean from draining into the core of Third Earth, putting out its fire. However, the Plug was in danger of being destroyed by Scrape, a blue-skinned alien and salvage expert hailing from the planet Blue Plunder. Travelling from his planet to Third Earth in his giant Electric Eel spaceship, Scrape wants to drain all the oceans of Third Earth in order to obtain a common rock that is used as the main source of fuel on his planet.
Without morals or a conscience, Scrape has no qualms about using every means possible to obtain the rock, even if it means killing all the marine life of Third Earth. His initial attack destroyed Samson, another giant robotic frog that was guarding the Plug. Now with only Hercules and a handful of crew, Dr. Dometone is hopelessly outmatched and thus begs the ThunderCats for their help. The feline heroes agree and while Lion-O, WilyKit, and WilyKat leave with Dr. Dometone inside "Herky", the other ThunderCats remain to build an emergency rig.
Meanwhile at the Great Oceanic Plug, Dr. Dometone's crew have depleted all of their food supplies. Not knowing when the doctor will return with new supplies, one of the crewman leaves the station in a small propulsion sub. Unfortunately, Scrape who had been lying in wait nearby, attacks the sub with his Giant Electric Eel. He then turns his attention to the plug and slams his eel right into it. At that moment, Dr. Dometone and the three ThunderCats arrive at the scene and Lion-O and WilyKat, armed with neutralizing grounding cable, leave Hercules in Shark Suits. Scrape, having noticed Hercules' arrival, lunges straight at the robot, coiling the eel tightly around it. However, before he can electrocute it, Lion-O casts the grounding cable on the eel, neutralizing its charge and disabling it.
Not one to give up easily, Scrape leaves the eel in the propulsion sub. When WilyKat tries to stop Scrape, the blue alien nabs him. As Lion-O summons his friends using the Sword of Omens, Scrape succeeds in entering and opening the Great Oceanic Plug. Fortunately, before the waters of the ocean drain into the fissure, Panthro, Tygra and Cheetara arrive in the ThunderTank and quickly envelope the plug in a compressed air bubble, putting a stop to Scrape's evil plan. They then pull Scrape into the ThunderTank by means of a vacuum suction, intending to hand him over to Mandora to be incarcerated on the Grey Penal Planet.
- This is the first and only episode in which we see WilyKat donning a bathing suit. Surprisingly, WilyKit, who is also swimming with her brother, is wearing her usual outfit.
- Mandora and the Grey Penal Planet are mentioned in the end of the episode, not surprising as Mandora was created by writer William Overgard, who also penned this episode.
- Dr. Dometone's robot frogs, Samson and Hercules, are named after mythical characters, both renowned for possessing superhuman strength. Samson appears in the Old Testament while Hercules is a Roman mythological character.
- When Dr. Dometone is explaining his plight to the ThunderCats in the Conference Room, WilyKat's wrist-bands are absent. The same mistake is seen near the end when the ThunderCats are getting ready to have their meal.
- When Hercules starts to pursue WilyKat in the ocean, the ThunderCat is clad in a bathing suit. However, by the time they reach the forest, WilyKat is shown wearing his normal clothes.
- When WilyKit is seemingly devoured by Herky, she is bare-footed, yet when she climbs out of the robotic frog, she is clearly wearing her pink and blue boots.
WilyKat: Too big for us to handle. Let's bring up the ThunderTank and blast it.
Lion-O: No, WilyKat. We don't just go blasting things for no good reason.
WilyKat: No good reason?! But that thing swallowed WilyKit!
Lion-O: We have to find out why.
WilyKat: Why?! 'Cause it was hungry!
Dr. Dometone: They're abandoning ship! Scrape has taken over. He's won.
Lion-O: No he hasn't! We can stop him yet. You said you had a plan doctor.
Scrape: Well, blast my breeches! (laughs) They've got another of those old retread robots. We'll just have to give him a shocking end!.
WilyKat: Just think , WilyKit. When Herky first swallowed you, I wanted Lion-O to blast him to bits.
WilyKit: And you would have blasted me and Dr. Dometone to bits too.
Panthro: Scrape would have pulled the plug.
Tygra: And that would have been the end of everything.
This episode was released on the following media:
- Dr. Dometone on IMDb
- ThunderCats 1985 cartoon series on Wikipedia
- Dan Maruschak's Review of "Dr. Dometone"
- ThunderCats on ThunderCats.org