Return to Thundera
Return to Thundera Title Card.jpg
Episode 1.20
Original Airdate October 4, 1985
Writer(s) Bob Haney
Previous Episode Mongor (episode)
Next Episode Dr. Dometone (episode)
All Episodes Episode Guide

Return to Thundera is an episode from the original series of ThunderCats. Written by Bob Haney, it originally aired on October 4, 1985.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Official Summary[edit | edit source]

The Mutants create Warbot, a Plun-Darrian war robot, to destroy Cats' Lair. Unaware of this, Lion-O enters the Time Capsule's hologram and travels back in time and space to his home planet Thundera. He arrives the day before the destruction of the planet, and all is in turmoil. Lion-O is reunited with his childhood pet, Kano, who leads him to his blind father, Claud-Us. Lion-O fights off S-S-Slithe and Vultureman who menace Claud-Us for the stolen plans of the Warbot. Claud-Us gives Lion-O the plans. Claud-Us remains on Thundera and Lion-O travels back to Third Earth through the hologram to find the ThunderCats battling the Warbot. Lion-O utilizes Claud-Us' secret plans to pierce the Warbot's absorber disc, short-circuiting and destroying the monster robot.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Official Moral[edit | edit source]

Lion-O, as Lord of the ThunderCats, shows curiosity to learn of his heritage. By traveling back in the time capsule, he seeks to learn about the culture of his ancestors. It was this culture that engendered the code by which he and the other ThunderCats live and which serves as their sustaining force. Lion-O's interest and journey is rewarded with some technical knowledge and a lesson. The plans of the Warbot help him defeat the Mutants' plans to destroy the ThunderCats. And the lesson is that history can be a significant teacher. An awareness of one's heritage and the events that shaped the present can aid us in understanding and living in the present and in avoiding mistakes in building a better future.

In seeking to find out about his heritage, Lion-O is confirming his identity as a ThunderCat. One's identity is socially bestowed, socially sustained, and socially transformed. It is the process of socialization by which individuals become prepared for the roles they will play in society. Children become socialized by various agencies within society, such as the family, peer groups, the media and the school system. The beginnings of the child's appreciation of roles is achieved in his interactions with adults and peers as he perceives different roles are required in different contexts and he learns to recognize the expectations of others in his own behavior.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Story[edit | edit source]

On a dark and dreary night, the Mutants invite Mumm-Ra to their fortress, Castle Plun-Darr. Once inside, Slithe presses a few buttons on a remote control and giant doors open to reveal the massive Warbot, the most awesome invention of Plun-Darrian science. When Mumm-Ra questions its abilities, Slithe taps a few more buttons on his remote and makes the Warbot fire a shot at a sleeping Frog-Dog, turning it into a statue. Slithe assures the still skeptical Mumm-Ra that the Warbot is armed with a lot firepower and will succeed in destroying the ThunderCats. Slithe then orders the Warbot to head for Cats Lair and it trudges out.

Oblivious to the danger approaching them, the ThunderCats are examining the Time Capsule that they had retrieved from the Caveman earlier. Panthro switches on the device and the ThunderCats are amazed at the beautiful imagery of Thundera that it projects. Later, when all the ThunderCats have gone to sleep, Lion-O switches on the Time Capsule. Not realizing that he is standing right infront of the projector, the hologram inexplicably sends him back in time and space to Thundera, just one day before the destruction of the planet.

As the Warbot nears the Cats Lair, the fortress' automatic alarm goes off, waking up all the ThunderCats who assemble in the Main Control Room. The Cats are shocked upon seeing the massive robot, correctly guessing that Slithe and the Mutants are behind it. Panthro launches a number of offensive attacks on the Warbot, including Laser Beams, and fire, ice, missiles and massive chains using the Ballista, but the Warbot repels all the attacks.

Meanwhile, Lion-O, who is wandering around on Thundera, first encounters a Giant Scorpion, whom he manages to luckily escape. Then he encounters Kano, a saber-tooth cat who was his pet when he was a young boy back on Thundera. Kano leads Lion-O to his blind father, Claudus, who has been cornered by Slithe and Vultureman. The Mutant duo quickly flee the scene when Lion-O arrives and gives them a taste of the powers of the Sword of Omens. After Lion-O convinces Claudus that he really is his son, the elderly ThunderCats hands Lion-O the plans of the Plun-Darrian Warbot, the thing that the two Mutants were looking for. Despite Lion-O's pleas, Claudus refuses to leave with his son as he has to stay in order to boost the guidance system on the Flagship that will eventually take the ThunderCats to Third Earth. With a heavy heart, Lion-O bids his father goodbye and leaves.

Back in the present time on Third Earth, the Warbot is wreaking havoc on the Cats Lair. Using specialized chains with "magnetos" that adhere to stone, the Warbot rips the lair's head clean off. It then leaps onto the damaged fortress and, just like the Frogdog, turns all the ThunderCats to statues. Fortunately, help is close at hand as Lion-O returns from Thundera at that moment. Using the power of the Sword of Omens, he un-freezes his friends and then blasts the Warbot, sending it reeling back. Climbing into the Ballista, Lion-O shoots out of the lair and lands right next to the Warbot. Thanks to the plans that were given to him by Claudus, Lion-O knows the Warbot's weak spot, a tiny red disc located underneath the mechanical monster's feet. Just as the Warbot tries to pulverize Lion-O under its gigantic foot, the swift Cat stabs the Warbot's weak spot with the sword, causing the entire robot to explode.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Characters[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Vehicles[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Locations[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Despite being present in this episode, Mumm-Ra is merely a spectator and has no hand in the events that unfold. He merely watches as the Mutants try unsuccessfully to destroy the ThunderCats using their Warbot.
  • This episode marks the debut of Lion-O's father, Claudus, his pet saber-tooth cat, Kano, as well as the Royal Thunderian Guards.
  • This is one of the rare episodes in which Mumm-Ra is shown outside of his Black Pyramid while still in his mummy form.
  • While in this episode it is shown that Claudus most likely died, it is not so. The future episode The Shadowmaster reveals that just before Thundera exploded, Claudus was kidnapped and imprisoned by the Shadowmaster in the Shadow Realm where he remained for many years until Lion-O eventually frees him.
  • Even though the Warbot is destroyed in the end, it would be resurrected again by Mumm-Ra in the future episode, Mechanical Plague.
  • Even though Lion-O is transported to Thundera accidentally, no explanation is ever given as to how he returned back to Third Earth.
  • When the Warbot first approaches the Cats Lair, WilyKit and WilyKat can be seen along with the rest of the ThunderCats. However, they seem to disappear completely after that and are never shown again for the duration of the episode.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Goofs[edit | edit source]

  • Near the beginning of the episode, the dark green spots that are normally present on Slithe's back and shoulders are absent.
Return to Thundera error1.jpg

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Notable Quotes[edit | edit source]

Claudus: I lost my sight fighting your evil empire. Do you think I fear two such as you?
Slithe: You cannot see, but you can feel!

Panthro: Mountains of Thundera! Look at this, ThunderCats!
Cheetara: A giant robot.
WilyKat: Yeah, a nightmare version of that reptilian rascal Slithe!

Claudus: I thank you for your help. May my son Lion-O grow up to be as brave and noble as you, and carry on the code of Thundera.
Claudus, Lion-O: (clasping each other's wrists) Truth, justice, honor, loyalty.
Claudus: The tremors grow worse. Go, while you still can.
Lion-O: (exits and looks back at him) Farewell, Father.

Lion-O: (talking about Claudus) I should have saved him. I tried, but he wouldn't leave.
Panthro: No, Lion-O. There was nothing you could do. No one can change history. We can only learn from it.

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Media[edit | edit source]

This episode was released on the following media:

VHS[edit | edit source]

DVD[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png Episode Screenshots[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats Bullet Point.png External Links[edit | edit source]

ThunderCats 1980s - Episode Guide - Season 1
Exodus | The Unholy Alliance | Berbils | The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr | Pumm-Ra | The Terror of Hammerhand | Trouble with Time | The Tower of Traps | The Garden of Delights | Mandora - The Evil Chaser | The Ghost Warrior | The Doomgaze | Lord of the Snows | The Spaceship Beneath the Sands | The Time Capsule | The Fireballs of Plun-Darr | All That Glitters | Spitting Image | Mongor | Return to Thundera | Dr. Dometone | The Astral Prison | The Crystal Queen | Safari Joe | Snarf Takes Up The Challenge | Sixth Sense | The Thunder-Cutter | The Wolfrat | Feliner - Part I | Feliner - Part II | Mandora and the Pirates | Return of the Driller | Dimension Doom | Queen of 8 Legs | Sword in a Hole | The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin | Trial of Strength | The Demolisher | Monkian's Bargain | Tight Squeeze | The Micrits | Trial of Speed | The Rock Giant | Jackalman's Rebellion | Turmagar the Tuska | The Trial of Cunning | The Mumm-Ra Berbil | Mechanical Plague | Trapped | Trial of Mind Power | Excalibur | Secret of the Ice King | Good and Ugly | The Transfer | Divide and Conquer | Dream Master | Out of Sight | The Mountain | The Superpower Potion | Eye of the Beholder | Trial of Evil | The Trouble with ThunderKittens | Mumm-Rana | The Shifter | Fond Memories Wilykat Nav2.png
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