Normally, catching a tiger by the tail is not a good idea, but in the case of the 1987 Rankin/Bass series TigerSharks, it’s very much encouraged! No one really knows why this group of scuba-diving salvage operators named themselves TigerSharks, but you can get to know each and every one of them with our handy-dandy character guide below (via Wikipedia).
While Warner Bros. Animation currently has the rights to the Rankin/Bass productions from the Comic Strip block of cartoons, they have yet to release the series on DVD. If you’re so inclined, you can check out this petition to bring the shows to home video!
Protectors of Water-O, the team members are:
- Mako (voiced by Peter Newman): A gifted scuba diver, he is considered the field leader of the TigerSharks. Mako is not only a good mediator, but also an excellent fighter. He transforms into a human/mako shark hybrid after jumping into the Fish Tank, which grants him incredible speed underwater. Mako also uses his forearm fins and head fin to slice through metal, which leads us to believe that his shark skin is impenetrable.
- Walro (voiced by Earl Hammond): The scientific and mechanical genius who created the Fish Tank. He acts as the advisor of the team and is very respected by his comrades; when he talks the others listen. Walro turns into a human/walrus hybrid when he uses the Fish Tank.
- Dolph (voiced by Larry Kenney): Second in command and also an experienced scuba diver. Dolph has a knack for jokes and fooling around, but he knows when to joke and when to work. Dolph turns into a human/dolphin hybrid after jumping into the Fish Tank, which makes him very maneuverable underwater.
- Octavia (voiced by Camille Bonora): Captain of the SARK, communications technician and main strategist; without her tactical skills, the TigerSharks would be much less formidable. Octavia turns into a human/octopus hybrid (with tentacles instead of hair) after she uses the Fish Tank.
- Lorca: He’s the team’s mechanic and he often helps Walro to repair or build new machines. He’s also the team’s strongest member. Lorca turns into a human/orca hybrid when he uses the Fish Tank.
- Bronc: A teenager who works as an assistant in the SARK, he is very adventurous and sometimes reckless. He turns into a human/seahorse hybrid when he uses the Fish Tank.
- Angel: Bronc’s sister. She, along with her brother Bronc, is the younger member of the team; this teenage girl also works as an assistant in the SARK and is much more serious and responsible than her brother Bronc. She turns into a human/angelfish hybrid after using the Fish Tank.
- Gupp: TigerSharks’ pet Basset Hound. While his name might imply that he turns into a guppy, his features, including flipper-shaped legs and pin teeth, are more closely related to a seal or sea lion.
The show featured two major antagonists. They are:
- T-Ray: T-Ray is a human/manta ray hybrid-type creature. He and his assistants/henchmen known as the Mantannas arrived on Water-O because their home planet had dried up. In seeking to conquer Water-O, he freed Captain Bizzarly and his crew from their iced prison on Seaberia. He is bent on conquering Waterians and destroying the TigerSharks. He and his assistants cannot survive outside the water without using water breathing apparatus.
- Mantannas – A group of fish-like creatures that work for T-Ray.
- Wall-Eye (voiced by Peter Newman) – Member of the Mantannas.
- Shad – Member of the Mantannas.
- Dredge – Member of the Mantannas.
- Carper – Member of the Mantannas.
- Weakfish – Member of the Mantannas.
- Captain Bizzarly: A pirate with aquaphobia who controlled all crime-related activities on the vast oceans of Water-O until the Waterians froze him and his crew many years ago. T-Ray freed him and his men expecting them to help him. However, Bizzarly promptly betrayed T-Ray. Bizzarly now constantly tries to get rid of the TigerSharks and regain control of the oceans of Water-O.
- Dragonstein – Captain Bizzarly’s pet dragon.
- Long John Silverfish – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.
- Mankiller – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.
- Spike Marlin – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.
- Soulmate – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.
- Lump – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.
- Grunt – Member of Captain Bizzarly’s pirate crew.