‘’Mandora and the Pirates" is the thirty first episode of ThunderCats (original series)
While out on a routine space patrol in the Electro-charger, Mandora encounters an old space freighter which does not meet the inter-galactic standards. She boards the ship for inspection. Finding only its captain on board, she instructs him to land the ship on the Gray Prison Planet for further inspection.
Meanwhile, Lion-O and Snarf who had been monitoring Mandora from Cats Lair, recognize the old space freighter as being the Jolly Rogers, the pirate ship of the notorious Captain Cracker. They warn Mandora but Captain Cracker and his robot crew lock Mandora in the control room and begin taking control of the Gray Prison Planet, opening the cells of all the prisoners incarcerated there.
Mandora sends the Electro-charger to Lion-O via remote control and he rides it to the Gray Prison Planet. As soon he arrives there, he is attacked by the hulking Rhino, one of the convicts released by Captain Cracker. Luckily, his old acquaintance Quick Pick appears and helps him lock Rhino in one of the prison cells. They then rush off to find Mandora.
In another part of the Gray Prison Planet, Captain Cracker has Mandora tied up on top of a giant pot of boiling oil. As he begins lowering her into it, Lion-O and Quick-Pick arrive just in time to save Mandora from being boiled alive. Mandora and Quick-Pick escape but Lion-O gets caught by Captain Cracker and his cronies. They tie him up, blindfold him, and make him walk the plank into outer space. Just as Lion-O steps off the plank, Mandora and Quick-Pick catch him in the Electro-charger.
Captain Cracker sails his ship to Third Earth with the intention to attack Cats Lair. Lion-O uses the Sword of Omens to summon and warn his friends about the impending danger. The ThunderCats set off in the ThunderTank to intercept the Jolly Rogers as it lands in a nearby river. As soon as Captain Cracker and his robot companions emerge from their ship, Panthro fires a net from the ThunderTank and succeeds in capturing all of them. Mandora later arrives and takes all the prisoners back to the Gray Prison Planet.
- Captain Cracker (1st appearance)
- Polly (1st appearance)
- Quick Pick
- Rhino (1st appearance)
- See-Thu (1st appearance)
- Gray Prison Planet Guards
- In this episode, Lion-O reveals that the Sword of Omens cannot be activated in a magnetic field.
Animation Mistakes and/or Technical Glitches
Inconsistencies/Continuity Errors and/or Goofs/Oddities
- When Mandora calls for help, Lion-O tells her that he can't get to her because they have no intergalactic vehicles. However, in the previous episode the Feliner had already been invented and successfully performed intergalactic travel.
- When Lion-O was warning Mandora, Captain Cracker ripped out the microphone on the dashboard, but when Mandora sent her mayday message it was back in place.
- When the ThunderCats catch Captain Cracker and his robots in the net, Captain Cracker cries out, "You've got your foot in my good eye!" However, the robot's foot was clearly rubbing against his patched eye on the left and not his good eye on the right.
- In the pilot episode , Panthro explains that he chose Third Earth as the ThunderCats' new home because it had a breathable atmosphere. Yet in this episode the ThunderCats and other characters are shown to be able to breathe in outer space without suits or equipment.
- This episode also erroneously shows the existence of gravity in space as shown when Lion-O walks the plank and begins falling through space.
Mandora: For thousands of years, the worst, the unimaginable evil things from a hundred planets, have been locked away here! Now they're all loose!
Captain Cracker: You recognize Quickpick here? I'm told he's an old friend, a reformed man, and not popular among the other honest thieves and murderers.
Quickpick: As a trustee, I had, uh, access to all the prison keys. Fortunately, I had copies made against just such an emergency.
Captain Cracker: Well, my boy, maybe you'd like to know our next port of call. Hey? Third Earth!
Captain Cracker: That's right. Your home port. Tonight, the skull and crossbones will be flying over your Cats Lair!
Panthro: All right mates, we've made our catch. Reel them in!
Lion-O: What's going to be Captain Cracker's fate, Mandora?
Polly: Boil him in oil. Boil him in oil.
Captain Cracker: Traitor!
Captain Cracker: (to Lion-O) Go on! If you don't jump before I count 3, we're got blast you! 1... 2...
"Feliner, Part 2"
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"Return of the Driller"