The Terror of Hammerhand is the sixth episode of the original Thundercats series. It originally aired on 16 September 1985.
Snarf helps a baby Unicorn escape from being caught by a gang of pirate raiders known as the Berserkers who are led by the ruthless Hammerhand. But Snarf himself ends up being captured by them and being forced to work as a "Beast of Burden" after Hammerhand deems him too "unnatural" to eat.
Meanwhile, Lion-O encounters the mother Unicorn being attacked by a Tree Monster. Lion-O succeeds in rescuing the unicorn, but in the process loses the Sword of Omens to a Giant Crow who swipes it from his hands. To repay him for his help, the unicorn mother gives Lion-O a special ring which teleports Lion-O onto the crow's back and he is able to retrieve the sword. Upon landing back on the ground, the sword warns Lion-O that a fellow ThunderCat is in danger. He uses the sword's "Sight Beyond Sight" vision and sees Snarf's plight. He immediately rushes off to rescue his friend.
As he is making his way towards the beach, Lion-O comes across the Unicorn Keepers and their herd of unicorns. Initially the husband and wife are wary of Lion-O, but he assures them that he means them no harm and uses the sword's "Sight Beyond Sight" to show them that he rescued one of their unicorns from being devoured by the Tree Monster. At that moment, the Berserkers arrive with Snarf as their captive and attack Lion-O. A fierce battle ensues between the Lord of the ThunderCats and Hammerhand but it is cut short when one of the Berserkers threatens to harm Snarf if Lion-O continues the duel. The Berserkers then make off with Snarf and the baby Unicorn in tow.
Lion-O pursues the Berserkers to their ship and while he is battling the pirate raiders, Snarf and the baby Unicorn fall overboard. Lion-O dives in to the ocean after them and summons the other ThunderCats. Panthro and Cheetara come to his aid in the ThunderTank thanks to the tank's new "aquatic mode". Hammerhand fires laser beams from his ship at the Cats but Cheetara retaliates by firing lasers from the tank. Panthro then starts to rapidly circle the Berserkers' ship, creating a strong whirlpool which caused it to sink along with its dastardly crew. Lion-O and Snarf return the baby Unicorn back to its mother before heading back home.
Lion-O: "By stopping to help you, I ended up helping myself and my friends".
- Hammerhand (1st appearance)
- Unicorn Keepers (1st appearance)
- Unicorns (1st appearance)
- Tree Monster (1st appearance)
- Giant Crow
- Berserkers (1st appearance)
- The Terror of Hammerhand is one of the four episodes (co)written by series executive Jules Bass, using the pseudonym Julian P. Gardner.
- In this episode it's established that Lion-O is capable of summoning sight beyond sight and allowing others to look through the hilt to see. He did this for the Unicorn Guardians to show that he had in fact freed one of their unicorns.
- This is the first episode in which we see the ThunderTank's "Aquatic Mode"
- Tygra, Wilykit and Wilykat are inexplicably absent from this episode. Mumm-Ra and the Mutants also don't appear.
- While Hammerhand's crew consist of a number of Berserkers, none of their names are ever mentioned and only one has a speaking role.
- In the first draft of the script, the main villain was to be a huge, bushy bearded Berserker known as "Killgar" and Hammerhand was to be his right-hand man. However, in the final draft, Killgar was eliminated and Hammerhand was made the leader of the Berserkers.
- The unicorns shown in this episode bear a striking resemblance to those that appeared in the 1982 animated movie, The Last Unicorn. This is likely due to the fact that both projects were overseen by Rankin/Bass, who used many of the same animators on their projects.
Animation Mistakes and/or Technical Glitches
- The style of animation used in this episode is noticeably different and more "Anime" in appearance than the standard look of other ThunderCats episodes. This is probably due to animation duties being outsourced to other animation studios.
- In the beginning of the episode, after the baby unicorn escapes, as Hammerhand is speaking, his beard gets cut-off into the shape of his thumb even when his thumb is not in front of it. This happens throughout his dialogue, "Get the other one. He looks a bit tough. But he'll do for a snack".
Inconsistencies/Continuity Errors and/or Goofs/Oddities
- The Berserkers appear to have drowned at the end of this episode. This notion is further corroborated by Mumm-Ra summoning Hammerhand's spirit in the episode Spitting Image. However, the Berserkers strangely reappear alive and well in the episode ThunderCats - HO! Part 1 with a different look which is more in-line with their LJN toy counterparts.
Berserker: We caught us some mighty strange fish...
Snarf: You guys caught yourself a load of trouble, that's what you caught!
Cheetara: (After discovering Panthro has adjusted the Thundertank for water travel) Anything this kitty-car can't do?
Panthro: It's user-friendly, it is!
Snarf: All that heavy lifting gave me an appetite.
Lion-O: (laughs) Taking a nap gives you an appetite.
Snarf: Once we're in the water, we'll be safe. Except, I don't much like water.
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