Provided by the Tremblay Bros., this is a near-finalized draft of the Series Concept (elsewhere referred to as a “show bible”), written by Night of the Dark Kat writer David Ehrman, and was used by other writers and staff as the guidelines for the show during pre-production. Some characters and plot details did not carry over into the final execution. It also reveal the origins for a number of common character ideas that previously could not be sourced. Gallery below, with transcribed text following.
THE RADICAL SQUADRON
By: David Ehrman
Imagine sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet as it rips through the canyons of a large metropolis in pursuit of the world’s vilest villains. Imagine non-stop video-game action… high tech laser weaponry… heart-stopping danger… shoot-outs at the speed of sound… daring rescues…
It’s all here in this all-cat world of SWAT KATS, where two ex-fighter pilo ts have assumed secret identities and taken to the skies in their incredible Turbokat jet. Their mission is to fight the mega-villains who plague Megakat City.
Each episode will find our heroes, Chance and Jake, challenged by one of the myriad of unique villains who inhabit this huge city populated only by cats. Whether it’s the Dark Kat, overlord of crime, or the Past Master, a time-travelling evil creature or the Metallikats, the Bonnie and Clyde of bionic felines, our heroes will find themselves in the middle of video-game-like action from the opening credits to the final crawl.
Invention and speed are the watchwords here. New gadgets and weaponry fill the frame as our heroes soar, zoom and maneuver through Megakat City, pursuing adventure and the Baddest Kats ever!
The show’s action is played out in a giant metropolis called Megakat City. About the size of California, Megakat City has endless environments: New York City-type skyscrapers, San Fernando Valley suburbs, huge Parks the size of Yosemite, squalid areas with miles of warehouses, swank high rises, Nob Hill where billionaire Kats congregate, and underground tunnels and sewers, home to the dark forces of society.
Megakat City has the diversity and expanse to encompass any story we care to tell. And, because it is so vast, our heroes can soar through it at the speed of sound without overshooting the city limits. When Chance and Jake are at one end of town and trouble breaks out at the other, they need to reach their destination post haste! In fact, the only way to patrol a city the size of Megakat City is in a supersonic jet.
CHANCE and JAKE are the world’s foremost expert fighter pilots. Nobody can maneuver a jet like they can. They are renowned crime fighters … who pose as laid back “cool” auto mechanics by day. But don’t be deceived, when mega-trouble arrives they jet off to save their world.
Chance, the leader, is a look-before-you-leap daredevil who loves danger and derring-do. The riskier the enterprise, the happier he is. Chance is our pilot. He flies the Turbokat and gets it to do things Orville and Wilbur never imagined possible!
This cuts counter to JAKE’S natural cautious bent. Jake is the co-pilot, navigator and weapon’s expert. He’s the idea man who has designed much of the special unique firepower the Turbokat carries.
They may be a unit, but there’s a macho rivalry between these two guys. They’re always trying to one-up each other … whether it’s arm wrestling or to see who can eat the hottest food. They are two competitive cats — racing each other, timing themselves on their route — trying to beat their best time. They like challenging each other. And this friendly rivalry is at the heart of their unshakable friendship.
CALICO (CALLIE) BRIGGS is the fearless strong-willed Mayor’s right hand woman. A troubleshooter who gets sent into dangerous situations so the Mayor can get first hand information without risking his neck. Though she doesn’t know the true identity of the Swat Kats, Callie has a “hot line” that can summon them when danger threatens. All she knows about the Swat Kats is that these crazed daredevils have saved Megakat City (and her, personally) more than once. But Callie’s no desk jockey. When danger threatens her beloved Megakat City, she leaps into action. And that’s something to see. She’s always screeching up to a trouble spot in her high horsepower sedan. And she’ll take on anyone — from the Mayor to Commissioner Feral to the vilest criminals — in her pursuit of Justice.
COMMISSIONER FERAL is a tough by the book police veteran. He’s a lean, scary, power hungry, para-military type who doesn’t like anyone to go around him. And Swat Kats go around… up… and over him. Feral can’t stand seeing his force look bad against these villains. He’s furious that the Swat Kats are doing his job… even though he can’t!
After the Swat Kats have saved the day, he’s not even glad that the city’s been saved. He’s mad that our heroes had to be the ones to do it. Yet, angry as he is, Feral always puts his best foot forward with the media, telling them that the situation was capably handled by the Megakat Police Force… with some minor assistance from the Swat Kats.
As for Chance and Jake, Feral has nothing good to say about his ex-pilots. He’ll never admit it was his fault that they crashed into Force Headquarters. He’s happy these two hot shots are stuck with the dirty salvage job. And if anyone ever told him these two salvage yard guys were the Swat Kats, he’d laugh in their face.
Chance and Jake met during Megakat Force training, and flew many combat missions together. They were an unlikely looking pair. Chance was big framed and burly. A fast talker. A ladies man. A maniac in the pilot’s seat. Jake was smaller. More laconic. Nervous around a pretty girl. But when it came to a fight; Jake was as agile as a panther. 0nce Chance and Jake got together in the cockpit, it was love at first flight.
Together, they were their own Radical Squadron. But they hated all the rules and regulations Feral and the Megakat Force laid on them. And Feral hated them for their independence, stubbornness and superior skills. Then once fateful day, Commander Feral cut them off when they were in pursuit of a bad guy. Feral’s reckless move clipped the tail of Chance and Jake’s jet. It crashed into Force Headquarters almost destroying it. Then Feral destroyed their careers.
Chance and Jake were off the Force — and they owed a debt to society (the totaled HQ building) which they could never repay… well, maybe in about nine lives! So Feral drummed them out of the service and forced them to pay off their debt by running the Megakat City Salvage Yard!
The two ace mechanics event u ally transformed the junk they found into amazing weapons and their one-of-a-kind jet! Now o u r heroes fight villains on their own terms — no rules, no regulations. Just us against them in a fight to the finish!
Callie is the only one who knows how to summon these vigilantes, the Swat Kats. She calls them on a special “hot line” transmitter. And the Swat Kats call her when they need information. But Callie doesn’t dream that those headline-grabbing heroes, the Swat Kats, are those gentle guys from the garage who tune up her car. If she only knew…
Above ground, the garage looks like your average grease-coated body-shop. It sits in front of a large junk yard in a sparsely populated area of the city. However, a tunnel leads underground to the Swat Kats’ real workshop. And there sits the Turbokat. Here, in this elaborate machine shop, Chance and Jake repair and improve their jet. And here is where they create the new and unique weapons the Turbokat carries. In every show we will see some surprising new twist from the jet, a new weapon unveiled. What will the Kats have thought up for this adventure?
Megakat City, because of its immense size, is home to a number of unique and wonderful villains. Heading the list is DARK KAT. This mysterious creature poses as a judge by day. But at night, he becomes the cowled DARK KAT, a Hannibal Lecter-type madman who frees prisoners only to do his evil bidding. Dark Kat as has a charisma and an aura of evil that even the most treacherous of the others does not have. Dark Kat’s goal is to unite all the criminals in Megakat City and make one grand assault - taking the place and making it his own. However, he has not bee n able to unite everyone. His attempt to mediate their disputes is a step in that direction. If he can ever get them all to work together … the power will be his! And this is one reason the others do not cooperate. They know that if Dark Kat takes over, he will rule them all. To divide, in this case, is to remain free.
THE PASTMASTER is a dead clockmaker from the Middle Ages who’s been brought back to life. He brings the beasts and creatures out of the past to wreck havoc on Megakat City. When he’s involved in some crime, one never knows what kind of monster or figure from the past one will encounter. In fact, it isn’t even certain the battle will take place in this century. The Swat Kats have Time Warped in their Turbokat into the past when fighting Time Master!
THE METALLIKATS are the bionic Bonnie and Clyde of Megakat City. Their main goal is revenge against the cats who sent them up the river. The Metallikats would be more dangerous even, if they did not fall prey to their own domestic quarrels… which usually lead to the foiling of their plans.
DR. VIPER is a crazy biologist who spilled one of his concoctions on himself and mutated. He is determined to find the antidote and return to his previous more human form. To do so, he must steal chemicals and restricted biological substances from the government. Barring his own retransformation, Viper uses the chemicals to create monsters that will, he hopes, take the city over and turn everyone into hideous creatures like himself. Misery loves company!
NIMBUS — this sorcerer is a weather warrior whose mystical magic powers allow him to control the elements. Typhoons, tornadoes, and cyclones are at his command. He can freeze the wings of the Turbokat with a sudden cold spell. But what does this creature really want? A good fight! He enjoys the challenge and sport of facing off against warriors as resourceful as himself. It’s all a game to him, though, Megakat City may be levelled as a result.
There will be other villains running through the series… and half the fun of the show will be seeing what new fantastic villain will be encountered this week! These are not simply thieves… these villains are spiritual robbers, mystical warriors who fight metaphysical battles as well as laser ones. The conflicts are of personality and character, not simply of weapons and rockets. As fast as the action might be, the conceptual struggle is just as important. Nimbus might be beaten back by our heroes, but he does not disappear. His evil spirit will survive and remain at large to be encountered another day.
The cockpit of Chance and Jake’s Turbokat is loaded with numberless weapons and gadgets. Each show will feature several new fantastic high-tech futuristic gadgets — usually designed just for the predicament Chance and Jake find themselves in.
OCTOPUS MISSILE – fired in clusters, they transform, spreading eight mechanical arms to ensnare the criminal.
CYCLOTRON – a torpedo housed under the jet that transforms into a motorcycle that can then be ridden in surface street pursuit of the criminals. The motorcycle is equipped with enough firepower to blast down barriers and leap walls if necessary.
CEMENT MACHINE GUN – fires wet cement “bullets” which when they hit a fleeing criminal, explode into sheets of hardened cement and immobilize him or her in a “cement overcoat.”
DELTA PACK – a rocket backpack, donned by our heroes which enables them to fly literally by the seat of their pants. Bungee type cords eject from the pack so Chance and Jake can plummet down on unsuspecting criminals.
GLOVATRIX – a glove which when fired, eject nets which ensnare, rather than blow up, the bad kats. X-RAY BEAMS – part of the Turbokat weapons pack, the X-Ray beam allows our heroes to see through walls and spy on unsuspecting Kats.
EJECTOR SEATS – when the Turbokat can’t go somewhere, one of our Swat Kats can “eject” from the plane in his ejector seat. It becomes a flying helicopter seat, complete with its own weapons arsenal.