SWAT Kats

Dr. Viper seizes control of Megakat Tower with an army of Plantimals, and it’s up to the SWAT Kats to stop him before his Spore Pod explodes.

Animato! Summary

The 300-story Megakat Tower office building is about to open for business, but its first tenant is a most unwelcome one: Dr. Viper, who seizes the structure with his army of monstrous, acid-spitting “plantimals.”

He places a huge “spore pod” on top of the penthouse; when it explodes, it’ll cover Megakat City with spores, turning the metropolis into the “Megaswamp City” of Viper’s fantasies. Obviously, the SWAT Kats can’t allow this. While T-Bone runs interference in the Turbokat, Razor sneaks into the building and tries to stop Viper, , with the help of Callie Briggs, who happened to be in the tower when it was taken.

Like the Outer Limits classic “Demon With A Glass Hand” (which also concerns a man and a woman trapped inside an office building fighting evil attackers), this is a vibrant, briskly paced thriller that increases the tension by restricting much of the action to a confined space. This is also Dr. Viper’s best solo appearance; he’s almost funny as he continually tells his grotesquely mutated creations how “beautiful” they are. A+

Appearances: Mr. Young’s debut is in this episode. Mayor Manx tries to persuade him to house his corporate headquarters in Megakat Tower; of course, the less-than-civic-minded Viper ruins Manx’s plans.

Lance Falk: Falk was a unit head for H-B’s art department who wanted to get into writing (he’d previously done four spec scripts for Star Trek: The Next Generation). He was also one of the artists who attended the SWAT Kats development meetings. Davis Doi (who had worked with Falk on Capitol Critters) allowed him to pitch ideas for SWAT Kats , all of which Doi liked, and “Destructive Nature” became Falk’s first produced script (and the first of six SWAT Kats episodes Falk would write).

“I wanted to do a Die Hard-like thing. Originally I didn’t have Dr. Viper, I had a different villain, I called him Leiter Greenbox [a name Falk reused in “Chaos in Crystal” and “Unlikely Alloys”]. In Falk’s early outline, Greenbox creates the plantimals, who go berserk and cause an accident that turns him into a half-plant/half-kat creature, but the plot is otherwise similar to the finished episode. “Davis said, ‘We’ve already got a mad scientist , just make it Dr. Viper.’ It made more sense to me , ‘Yeah, bring the guy back.’”

After the episode aired, Falk learned that his script was open to some unusual interpretations. “Somebody told me after the show was on, ‘Man, that show was so dirty! You have this big, tall building, like this phallic symbol, and then this big thing that’s going to explode on top of it and spread seed all over the city.’ When I was writing it, it never occurred to me, but now I can’t *not* see it like that.”

Animato summary written by Mark Lungo

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