|The Terror of Hammerhand|
|Original Airdate||September 16, 1985|
|Writer(s)||Ron Goulart & Julian P. Gardner|
|Next Episode||Trouble with Time|
|All Episodes||Episode Guide|
The Code of Thundera is called into action as Lion-O saves a Unicorn from the evil "Berserkers" and their leader, "Hammerhand." Lion-O is assisted in his struggles by a magic ring, given to him by the Unicorn. Panthro's amphibious ThunderTank ferries them to safety and the terror of Hammerhand is crushed.
Altruism is devotion to the interests of others and is exemplified by Snarf and Lion-O's efforts to help the defenseless Unicorn against the violent Hammerhand. Their efforts are unexpectedly rewarded by the reciprocal aid given them by the Unicorn. Sometimes when we stop to help others, we end up helping ourselves.
For children, the fostering of pro-social values, like altruism, and the rejection of antisocial values, like violence, are important elements in their development towards social competence. Children should be encouraged to engage in pro-social behavior in situations that call for it, and be made aware of the reasons and the moral and social principles for the behavior.
A band of vicious viking-like pirates led by Hammerhand arrive near a beach in their massive Berserkers' Ship. Hungry from their long voyage, they cast a net on the beach and catch a baby Unicorn. Snarf, who happens to be nearby chews through the net, allowing the Unicorn to flee. Unfortunately, he himself is not fast enough and gets caught by the Berserkers.
Deep in the forest, Lion-O comes across a Unicorn caught in the prehensile branches of a Tree Monster who is trying to devour it. Lion-O quickly jumps in and frees the Unicorn form the clutches of the arboreal monster but gets the Sword of Omens snatched from him by a Giant Crow. Now the Unicorn comes to his rescue and provides him with a special ring that appears magically on its horn. As soon as Lion-O puts it on, he disappears, reappearing again on the back of the thieving crow. He then snatches the Sword back and jumps to the ground.
At that moment, the Sword of Omens glows brightly, warning Lion-O that Snarf is in danger and he runs off to his aid. Along the way, he runs into the Unicorn Keepers who tell him about their constant struggle to protect the enchanted Unicorns. Suddenly the Berserkers burst onto the scene and Lion-O and Hammerhand engage in a savage duel. Unfortunately, Lion-O is forced to give up when one of Hammerhand's crew threatens the safety of Snarf. The Berserkers leave taking the baby Unicorn with them as well.
Pursuing the Berserkers, Lion-O rows all the way to the middle of the ocean and climbs on board their ship. As he fights off the crew, Snarf looses his footing and falls into the water. The Baby Unicorn follows him as does Lion-O. The young lord uses the Sword of Omens to call his friends and Panthro and Cheetara respond, arriving at the scene swiftly in the ThunderTank. While Cheetara and Hammerhand exchange fire, Panthro creates a strong whirlpool by circling the Berserkers' ship multiple times at high speed. The strong currents thus drown the Berserkers' ship and its crew. The baby Unicorn is reunited with its mother on the beach and Lion-O returns the magical ring to her as well. The victorious ThunderCats then make for home.
- A new feature of the ThunderTank known as the "Aquatic Mode" makes its debut in this episode. This allows the tank to be driven on water just as easily as on land.
- Mumm-Ra and the Mutants don't appear in this episode. Strangely, Tygra, WilyKit and WilyKat nowhere to be seen either.
- Apart from Hammerhand, none of the other Berserkers' are identified by name.
- Originally, the main antagonist in this episode was supposed to be a big, bushy-bearded viking known as "Killgar" with Hammerhand as his second-in-command, as revealed in the initial draft of the script. This character was scrapped and Hammerhand was promoted to the main villain's role.
- The unicorns in this episode are very similar in design to those that appeared in the animated movie, The Last Unicorn (1982). Both productions were overseen by Rankin/Bass.
- The look and animation technique of this particular episode shows heavy influence of the Japanese "Anime" style, indicating that the animation was done at other outsourced studios.
- The end of the episode shows the Berserkers drowning. In the later episode Spitting Image, Mumm-Ra calls forth the spirit of Hammerhand, indicating that the Berserkers did indeed die at the end. Oddly enough, the Berserkers are shown to be living in the five-parter ThunderCats Ho! - Part I, albeit with a design change. Their new looks reflecting their respective action figures made by LJN Toys.
- Near the beginning when Hammerhand is ordering his crew to capture Snarf, his beard gets cropped into the shape of his thumb even after he moves his thumb away.
Snarf: Trouble! And no Lion-O! That boy's never around when I need him!
Hammerhand: Get the other one. He looks a bit tough, but he'll do for a snack.
Snarf: A snack? Snarf a snack? Never! (gets caught in the Berserkers' net) Drat. Snarf! I'm too tough for a snack! And stringy! You'll hate me! I'm indigestible! I'm... I'm... I'm... I'm captured, that's what I am. Oh, snarf!
Snarf: I'll have you know I'm Snarf, valiant squire to Lion-O, Lord of the Thundercats. And I am neither a pack-animal nor unnatural.
Lion-O: I will find them, and return your baby to you. I swear, by the Code of Thundera!
Unicorn Keeper: He either speaks the truth or he is a magician.
This episode was released on the following media:
- ThunderCats Vol. 6 & 7: Doomgaze and Terror of Hammerhand & Spaceship Beneath the Sands and Lord of the Snows - The Video Collection release
- The Terror of Hammerhand - (Blue cover) - The Video Collection release
- The Terror of Hammerhand on IMDb
- ThunderCats 1985 cartoon series on Wikipedia
- Dan Maruschak's Review of "The Terror of Hammerhand"
- ThunderCats on ThunderCats.org