EPISODE NINETY SEVEN
“Insane in the Membrane”
Written by Mathew Drdek
Original Air Date: Did not air in North America
Supervising Producer: Lloyd Goldfine
Producers: Gary Richardson, Frederick U. Fierst, Al Kahn, Norman Grossfeld, Thomas Kenney
Supervising Director: Roy Burdine
Story Editor: Lloyd Goldfine
Donatello (Sam Regal)
Leonardo (Michael Sinterniklaas)
Michelangelo (Wayne Grayson)
Raphael (John Campbell)
MAIN LOCATIONS, VEHICLES AND ACCESSORIES:
City Subway Tunnels
Stocktronics Abandoned Laboratory
Cable Car above the East River
New Battle Shell
Intro: Baxter Stockman narrates as we open in his lab at Bishop’s Area 51 headquarters. Stockman is remembering the horrible train of events that destroyed his human form. Flashing back from the days when he worked on mousers with April O’Neil to the time that he was dragged away by Hun, until we finally see his most recent incarnation: a brain floating in a tank with a holographic head broadcast above it. Cut back to present day as we see that Stockman has now created a new body for himself: except something has gone terribly wrong and he’s looking for vengeance…
Act 1: Open in a subway tunnel as the Turtles are trying to control the outbreak of mutant monsters. The Gang Green round up some giant toads and tranquilize them (use of their signature weapons could cause the outbreak to get worse). After Don has a close call with a subway train, Leo calls it a night and our heroes head for home.
Cut to Stockman’s lab at Bishop’s HQ as he works vigorously on his newly cloned body. Bishop enters to warn Stockman against using the potentially dangerous body (Baxter has used the same genetic accelerants on this body that he used to create the phony aliens that caused the mutant outbreak). The brilliant but misguided scientist ignores Bishop and proceeds with the transfer of his consciousness from his living brain into the clone body.
Once the transfer is initiated, Stockman begins to dream of his past. We see Baxter as a child in his mother’s kitchen where he’s about to conduct a disturbing experiment on a cockroach. Before the bug is subjected to Stockman’s test, Baxter’s mother comes home and gives the boy a chemistry kit that he had been asking for. We discover that Baxter has a very close relationship with his doting and proud mother. Young Stockman asks his mamma to play with him, but she has to work a double shift to pay the bills. As the woman bids her pride and joy farewell, Baxter cheerfully decides to let the bug go.
Cut to Stockman’s lab in the present where we see the mind transfer is complete and successful. Stockman is back, and in the flesh!
Act 2: Open as Stockman enjoys the freedoms and sensations of his new body as he walks with Bishop. Suddenly, the flesh in Baxter’s arm begins to ripple. Stockman is slightly unnerved and he decides to run some precautionary tests. Baxter works late into the night until he falls asleep. Once again the scientist dreams about his mother, who heaps praise upon the man and then asks him to bandage his finger. When Stockman awakens, one of his fingers shrivels and falls off, leaving a gooey stub!
Next is a montage of images as Stockman spends a week in his lab conducting tests. As time passes, Baxter ’s body continues to decompose at a frightening rate. Refusing to go back to being a brain in a jar, Stockman continues to run tests on his body and make repairs – but nothing is working and his mind is now beginning to fail. Stockman begins to ponder over the events leading up to his current horrifying situation. Baxter deduces that everything is April O’Neil’s fault, as she was the one who brought the Turtles into the picture. With that, Stockman grabs a tranquilizer gun and exits.
Cut to April’s apartment where she’s watching TV with Casey Jones. There’s a knock on the door and Casey rises to answer it – only to be met by a shattering door and a crazed Baxter Stockman bent on revenge! The mad doctor knocks out Casey Jones and then shoots April with the tranq-gun. Stockman flings O’Neil over his shoulder and exits, laughing maniacally.
Act 3: Open with in the Turtle Lair as Donatello unveils the new Battle Shell, which is now disguised as a moving van. Casey calls on the Shell Cell and informs his friends that Stockman has taken April. The Turtles pile into their new vehicle and burn rubber.
Cut to the now abandoned Stocktronics building as Baxter arrives with April. Stockman turns on the power and drops April to the floor, promising to punish her. Suddenly, Stockman goes into another hallucination where he envisions his mother on her death bed. Baxter is still very young and begs her not to leave him, but tragically the woman dies of exhaustion. Baxter cries out for his mama, which awakens April. Stockman snaps out of his dream, but he’s now hallucinating that he’s back in his lab working with April on the Mouser project. Baxter begins to give orders to April, who tries to sneak off. Suddenly, Casey and the Turtles burst in and break the spell – upon seeing the TMNT, Baxter snaps back to the present and a fight erupts. April escapes and seeks refuge in a cable car that begins a long journey across the East River.
Stockman escapes from the Turtles and chases O’Neil. The TMNT and Casey hit the streets, but there’s no sign of friend or foe. Don spots the helicopter that Stockman used to travel here and our heroes climb onboard and take off.
Meanwhile, April collapses onto the seats of the gondola and breathes a heavy sigh of relief thinking that she’s safe … but Stockman isn’t far behind, and he soon catches up by climbing hand over hand on the cable. The mad doctor reaches the gondola, rips open the roof and leaps into the car. Stockman has April trapped!
Act 4: Open as Stockman is about to grab April. Suddenly, Casey, Mike, Don, Raph and Leo arrive in the helicopter. Don mans the controls as the others slide down a rope to help April. As our heroes battle Stockman, April tries to flee by climbing up the gondola to the cable. Stockman once again escapes from the TMNT and is able to grab April and toss her down onto the roof of the cable car. The Turtles and Casey intervene again as Don drops a new rope. All of our heroes get onto the escape line, but April is last and before Donatello can get away, Baxter grabs her ankle and pulls her off. The helicopter veers off with all of the Turtles and Casey in tow, leaving April alone with Stockman!
The crazed scientist closes in on his prey and April begins to plead for her life – telling Stockman how she used to admire him for being so brilliant and full of potential. O’Neil begs her former employer to become that man again. Baxter goes into another hallucination and envisions April as his mamma. The gondola suddenly begins to lurch from all of the damage that it’s taken – the car is definitely going to fall! Stockman, still seeing April as his mother, states that it’s too dangerous for her here and that she has to get away. Don maneuvers the chopper into place and Casey (still on the rope) reaches out for April. Baxter holds her up and givers her to Jones!
With that, the gondola breaks free from the support cable and Stockman falls screaming into the East River.
As the Turtles, April, and Casey climb into the chopper they wonder if they’ve seen the last of Baxter Stockman. Leonardo states that he’s survived worse than this. Raph growls good riddance to the mad doctor and notes that all he’s ever given them is grief. Don looks over his shoulder as he pilots the helicopter and smiles, noting that Baxter gave them this cool new vehicle. Donny than ponders where he’ll be able to park the chopper as our heroes fly towards the city.
NOTE: While this episode did not air in North America, it was aired in Australia and some other countries (it’s available to North Americans on the Season 4 DVD). TMNT cartoon series producer Lloyd Goldfine sent in the following info regarding why the episode did not air on 4Kids TV in the USA or Canada:
“The final edited and mixed version of the notorious ‘Insane in the Membrane’ was deemed unsuitable for air by Fox Broadcast Standards and Practices. Apparently, in between the time the episode was written, story boarded, animated and edited (all stages approved by Fox BS&P), and the time the show was mixed for air, there was a change of personnel in the Fox BS&P offices, and no one involved in the original approvals was still employed at Fox. Upon seeing the episode, they were said to be ‘horrified’ and that there was no way they could air the episode. I’m not sure I disagree with them – had there been BS&P comments earlier in the process, we certainly would have handled the show differently. But as it was approved at every stage, we went full steam ahead. In the end, I was told it was bad judgment on my part… so there you have it.”