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Deadly Ransom
Season 1, Episode 05
Dr. Blight showing off suit
Air date October 13, 1990
Written by Perry Martin
Episode guide
Skumm Lord
The Conqueror

Deadly Ransom is the fifth episode in the first season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. It was written by Perry Martin.


Plot Synopsis[]

Doctor Blight, MAL and Duke Nukem manage to capture Captain Planet. They hold him for ransom in Antarctica, demanding barrels of nuclear waste in exchange for his life.

The Planeteers must work together without their powers as they hurry to rescue Captain Planet, before the effects of Nukem's radiation destroy him.

Episode Summary

The episode opens with a jet flying rapidly over a snowy landscape. Duke Nukem pilots it while reciting a radio message to Doctor Blight, saying that he is approaching her laboratory, so the secret passage needs to be opened quickly. As it opens only just in time, Nukem lands his jet in a cavernous room inside a mountain, then disembarks and informs Blight that her computer, MAL (the one in charge of opening the doors), is a menace. MAL displays disdain to Dr. Blight, asking why they should put up with this "nuclear nitwit", to which Blight replies, "MAL, baby, you be polite! Dr. Nukem's here to help us be wicked." Nukem then asks Blight why she sent for him. She explains that she's about to start her most devious experiment yet, so Captain Planet will be the guinea pig. However, she will need Nukem's help, and in exchange can offer him all of the nuclear waste he wishes to feed on. Nukem agrees, and MAL sends a message to Gaia and the Planeteers - the idea being that the Planeteers will be the "bait" in the trap for Captain Planet.

On Hope Island, Gaia issues an eco-alert, prompting the Planeteers to rush to The Crystal Chamber. On the Planet Vision screens, Gaia shows the Planeteers a strange glow emitting from Antarctica. Suddenly, Duke Nukem's face appears on the screen, prompting Gaia and the Planeteers to step back in alarm. Nukem and Blight show off a large bomb, claiming it to be a nuclear weapon. When Gaia explains to the Planeteers that a nuclear waste disaster could mean contamination for millions of years, the Planeteers hurry to stop her.

At Blight's hideout, Nukem is questioning whether or not the Planeteers really will show up. Blight is sure they will, as they have convinced the Planeteers that the bomb is real. Obviously, it is not - but that's not what the Planeteers believe. MAL shows that they are pretending to already have nuclear waste in order to gain it.

In the geo-cruiser, which is being piloted by Linka, Gi spots Dr. Blight's hideout. Nukem spots them and gleefully sparks with radioactive excitement, immediately wanting to try and shoot them down, but Blight takes over, aiming her new "freezing ray" at the geo-cruiser. The ray instantly covers it in a thick layer of ice, jamming the controls and sending the aircraft spinning out of control. Wheeler quickly melts the ice with his ring. Gi screams at Linka to pull up, but the controls are still jammed. Suchi, who is with the Planeteers on this mission, seems terrified, as do the Planeteers. Soon, however, Linka is able to pull the controls free using sheer strength, narrowly avoiding a crash landing. They all breathe a collective sigh of relief, but Blight appears on the Planet Vision monitors and tells them not to congratulate themselves just yet - they've only prolonged their "inevitable doom."

Blight orders that the nuclear waste bomb be activated, then retreats with Nukem to what she describes as a radiation-proof underground shelter.

The Planeteers race to stop the imminent explosion, but see that there is no way for them to get up to the roof where the timer switch is. Gi quickly tells Wheeler to melt some ice with his Fire power, before she sends the newly-melted water upwards, creating a spiral staircase of ice steps. The Planeteers then hurry to the rooftop and are relieved to observe that they have made it in time, and race towards the switch. On surveillence monitors, Blight and Nukem watch, commenting that the Planeteers have played right into their trap.

Blight activates a forcefield, trapping the Planeteers inside. Knowing that they are trapped, and with only a minute to go before the bomb is set to explode, the Planeteers hurry to call Captain Planet, who arrives, and after a quick joke or two ("It looks like you've got an explosive situation on your hands!") deactivates the bomb. He then destroys the forcefield holding the Planeteers prisoner. Captain Planet lands near the freed Planeteers, telling them it appears that they have all stopped yet another eco-emergency.

However, Blight has been watching and flicks a switch. The top beam of the forcefield ray falls, prompting Captain Planet to cry out in alarm and reach out to catch it. As he is distracted, however, a trapdoor slides out from beneath him, and he begins to fall into a long tunnel. As he slows his fall and begins to fly towards the top, toxic smoke sprays out from the sides of the tunnel, poisoning and weakening him. The Planeteers watch from above in horror, before the trap door slams shut again.

Captain Planet tumbles down the long tunnel, choking on the toxic smoke. He eventually lands inside a large glass enclosure, weak and disoriented. Nukem then zaps him with a dose of radiation, rendering him even more powerless than before. Captain Planet is obviously helpless and in pain. Up on the roof, the Planeteers are desperately trying to open the trap door to get inside. Suddenly, Ma-Ti notices a concealed entrance in the side of a nearby mountain. Nukem's jet flies out, and being towed behind, still in the glass case, is Captain Planet. Linka runs to the nuclear waste bomb and discovers it to be empty. The Planeteers observe that they have been tricked, so they return to Hope Island in order to gather advice from Gaia.

Back there, Blight and Nukem make contact again. When Linka demands that they let Captain Planet go, Nukem demands a lifetime supply of nuclear waste in exchange. When Wheeler broaches the subject of refusal, Nukem declares that they'll never see Captain Planet again unless their demands are met. As Captain Planet is tortured by more of Nukem's radiation and cries out in pain, Gaia tells the Planeteers there is only one thing to do - rescue him. However, Wheeler is worried, unable to see how they can save Captain Planet without their powers. Linka, in a surprisingly irrational and helpless move, declares that they only thing they can do is give Nukem the nuclear waste. Gi doesn't wish to help them pollute the Earth, but Ma-Ti claims that they will hurt Captain Planet if they don't comply. Kwame keeps everybody calm with one sentence: "Captain Planet has never let us down, and we will not let him down."

Later, the Planeteers track the location of Blight's lab by using their technology to trace her transmission signals. They are no longer in the geo-cruiser. Instead, they are in a Planeteer-style snow mobile. The sensors on the vehicle indicate that Blight is hiding inside the glacier ahead, so the Planeteers park the snow mobile and proceed on skis towards Blight's glacial hideout.

At the front door, Wheeler continues on an argument he apparently started before, saying they should barge through the front door and tackle the problem head-on. Linka disagrees, claiming that it would be better to sneak in around the back and take Blight and Nukem by surprise. Wheeler rejects this, scared that they will be too late, then begins to hack at the ice door with his ice-pick. The others soon join in.

MAL sets off alarms and alerts Blight and Nukem to the Planeteers' attempt at breaking in. Blight orders him to give them a "cold reception", and he immediately triggers an avalanche. The Planeteers flee, barely keeping ahead of the tumbling rock and snow on their skis. Luckily, they manage to leap across a gorge. The snow falls in and the avalanche stops, with the Planeteers safe on the other side.

Safe and back at the snow mobile, Wheeler and Linka fight. She blames him for setting off the alarms and alerting the eco-villains that they were there, and Wheeler blames her for being all talk and no action, and not helping him. Gaia then arrives and interrupts them. Ma-Ti states that they have let her down this time, but she argues that they haven't - they just need to stop blaming one another (thus wasting their time) and get on with saving Captain Planet by working together, which is what really matters. As Wheeler and Linka apologize to one another, Gi suggests to put their heads together and come up with a new plan to save Captain Planet, making the Planeteers high five each other's hands.

Meanwhile, Captain Planet is still being tortured by Duke Nukem. The emblem on his chest has been growing dark and flashing weakly, indicating that he is perhaps near death. However, he is adamant that the Planeteers won't give in to Nukem's evil demands. Just then, MAL interrupts, showing footage of the geo-cruiser carrying a crate of five nuclear-waste barrels. Kwame transmits a message, indicating that they are specifically contacting Blight and Nukem, with Wheeler continuing, "You win. Here's the nuclear waste you ordered." Captain Planet then furiously tries to break out of his glass capsule, but is too weak and falls to his knees, groaning.

The geo-cruiser carefully deposits the barrels in the snow. Linka's voice is heard, stating that the Planeteers have kept their side of the bargain, so now Blight needs to keep hers. Gi agrees, demanding that Captain Planet be released at once. Blight refuses, however, and orders MAL to give the Planeteers another taste of his powers. MAL gleefully obeys, activating an anti-air laser gun and shooting at the geo-cruiser. The geo-cruiser is hit, plummets towards the ground, and is destroyed in a fiery crash. Nukem finally collects the nuclear drums, jeering that the waste inside will last him for 100 years.

Meanwhile, Blight has Captain Planet strapped down to a table, telling him that she is going to discover the secret of his powers and then use them to destroy the Earth. However, before she can go ahead with any part of her plan, the Planeteers leap out of the barrels that were supposedly holding nuclear waste. Gi reveals that the geo-cruiser was operating via a remote control she had in her hand. MAL instantly disappears, stating, "Whoops! Got to go."

A furious Nukem begins firing radiation at the Planeteers, who scatter, roll, and duck to avoid his attack until Ma-Ti points out that the barrel lids are made of lead. Everybody grabs a shield and deflect Nukem's attacks back at him, forcing him back. After this, they hurry to release Captain Planet from the table he is strapped to, but he is unable to stand after absorbing so much of Nukem's radiation. Kwame and Wheeler support him as the Planeteers race for the door.

However, Nukem quickly recovers and begins to fire at them again. Gi uses her shield to protect the others as Captain Planet forces the doors open. The other Planeteers hurry through and Captain Planet weakly calls, "Hurry, Gi!" before she jams the shield between the doors, enabling him to stop his efforts. She and Captain Planet hurry outside as the doors are forced shut again.

The Planeteers lay Captain Planet out in the sun. With the sunlight and their hopeful attention, he recharges, with Nukem's toxins leaving his body. He then bursts through the wall of Blight's hideout and immediately destroys MAL by turning into water and soaking his control panels. MAL explodes, and the cavern begins to collapse. Captain Planet abandons Blight and Nukem, forcing them to flee in Nukem's jet.

Captain Planet thank the Planeteers for saving him, then tells them that with friends like them, the Earth has a chance, before he utters his famous catchphrase: "The power is yours."

Planeteer Alert[]


Captain Planet: Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is definitely a big problem.
Kwame: But if we all use less electricity, we can reduce the need for nuclear power!
Gi: Don't use a 100-watt bulb when a 60-watt will do!
Linka: Do not leave lights, the TV or radio on in an empty room.
Wheeler: Wash only full loads of laundry.
Captain Planet: Energy efficiency can help save our planet.
Planeteers: The power is yours!

Significant Moments and Facts[]

  • First appearances of Duke Nukem, Doctor Blight, and MAL.
  • Duke Nukem's "regular" sidekick, Leadsuit, does not appear in this episode.
  • Dr. Blight wears a "designer" pink radiation suit throughout the episode, due to her being in close contact with Nukem.
  • Blight refers to Nukem as "Dr. Nukem".
  • Blight and Nukem's main aim is to get the Planeteers to call Captain Planet so they can capture him. However, Blight almost kills the Planeteers before they've even neared her trap, by shooting at them with her freezer ray.
  • Blight says, "Au revoir," to the Planeteers before retreating underground with Nukem.
  • Gi is apparently unable to manipulate snow or ice unless it is melted by Wheeler first.
  • Wheeler makes a joke about Gi's ice-water staircase being a "cool move" and is told off by Linka for making jokes. When Captain Planet makes jokes just a minute later, Linka doesn't comment.
  • Captain Planet literally uses an iron fist to destroy Blight's forcefield.
  • Cap cries out "Whoa, head's up!" when the forcefield projector falls.
  • Linka suggests the only thing the Planeteers can do to save Captain Planet is to give in to Nukem.
  • The Planeteers drive a snow-mobile in this episode. It is coloured and styled in the same way as the other Planeteer vehicles, though it is never explained how they got it to Antarctica from Hope Island. They are also seen using the geo-cruiser later on, though that was apparently left back on Hope Island after they returned to seek Gaia's guidance.
  • Linka does not appear to help hammer into the ice doors of Blight's fortress - she wished to go through the back.
  • Suchi hides inside of Ma-Ti's ski jacket when the avalanche begins.
  • Gaia has to make an appearance in order to stop Wheeler and Linka bickering.
  • Ma-Ti tells Gaia they have let her down.
  • The Planeteers all high-five one another when Gi suggests coming up with a new plan.
  • The emblem on Captain Planet's chest indicates his life and energy levels.
  • The geo-cruiser is completely destroyed in this episode. MAL shoots it down and it hits the ground and bursts into flames.
  • Captain Planet's reaction to the geo-cruiser's fiery destruction (and presumably, the Planeteers' deaths), is to say: "You double-crossing creeps! You never had any intention of letting me go!" He does, however, seem very relieved when they leap out of the barrels, alive and well.
  • Ma-Ti saves Gi's life by shielding her with a lead barrel lid. It deflects Nukem's radiation.
  • Black smoke rises from Captain Planet's body as he recharges in the sun.
  • Captain Planet doesn't even try to apprehend Blight and Nukem - instead, he leaves them to escape the crumbling ruins of Blight's lab.


  • Nukem: This is Duke Nukem calling Dr. Blight! I am approaching your laboratory - get your mangy computer MAL to open that secret passage quick! Quick! I SAID QUICK!
  • Nukem: Dr. Blight, that computer of yours is a menace!
    MAL: Why must we put up with this nuclear nitwit?
    Blight: MAL, baby, you be polite! Dr. Nukem's here to help us be wicked.
  • Nukem: Keep your distance, Dr. Blight! Or you'll fry like a strip of bacon from my radioactivity.
    Blight: No problem, sweetie, this designer lead suit will shield me from your deadly rays. Do you like it? Well?
    Nukem: I'm all aglow. Now,why'd you send for me?
    Blight: I'm starting my most devious experiment, and I need your help to catch the guinea pig.
    MAL: Captain Planet!
    Nukem: What's in it for me?
    Blight: All the nuclear waste you can feed on, Duke.
    Nukem: You certainly know how to treat royalty. But Captain Planet's no fool. How are we gonna capture him?
    MAL: We'll bait the trap with Planeteers!
    Blight: I told you MAL was a genius! He's even sending a phoney message to lure them into our clutches!
  • Nukem is sending a transmission to Hope Island as Gaia and the Planeteers gather around the Planet Vision screens.
    Nukem: Hey Planeteers! Dr. Blight and Duke Nukem here! How do you like our nuclear waste bomb? With this, we can waste the planet! Ciao for now, planet punks!
    Gi: Gaia, what will happen if they succeed?
    Gaia: Once that nuclear waste poisons our Earth, it can't be cleaned up. It'll be deadly to humans and animals for millions of years.
    Wheeler: Where'd Blight and Nukem get that stuff?
    Kwame: Most radioactive waste is produced by nuclear power plants. It is so deadly it must be put in lead containers.
    Linka: Dr. Blight must have broken into a storage site and stolen it!
    Gaia: You must stop Blight and Nukem before they cause a catastrophe!
  • Nukem: Are you sure those Planeteers will fall for your scheme, Dr. Blight?
    Blight: How could they resist? We made them think that container really is full of nuclear waste!
    MAL: And by the time they figure out it isn't, Captain Planet will be our prisoner!
    Nukem: And then, dear Dukey, you will have all the real nuclear waste you crave.
    MAL: It's sheer genius to get nuclear waste by pretending you already have it! No one cheats, lies and tricks better than you do, Doctor.
    Blight: Oh, MAL, you say the sweetest things...
  • Nukem has just spotted the Planeteers flying over:
    Nukem: Let me zap 'em!
    Blight: No. Please allow me to put them on ice with my new freezer beam...
  • The Planeteers have nearly crashed, and Suchi is thrown about the cabin, caught safely by Ma-Ti.
    Ma-Ti: I told you to wear your seat belt, Suchi!
  • Kwame: Nice team work, everybody!
    Wheeler: Phew, that was a close one!
    Blight: Don't congratulate yourself yet, Planeteers. You're not safe, you've just prolonged your inevitable doom!
  • Gi: Come on Wheeler, time for team-work! First, you melt that ice with...
    Wheeler: Fire!
    Gi: And now that it is -WATER-, I'll shape it into steps, fast, before it refreezes!
    Wheeler: Cool move, Gi.
    Linka: Earth could be contaminated for millions of years, and you are making jokes!?
  • Captain Planet: Hey there, Planeteers! Looks like you've got an explosive situation on your hands...
    Wheeler: You can say that again, Cap! In ten seconds, we're history!
    Captain Planet: History? Not in my book! Ah, an easy solution! Don't mean to be flip, but how's this for a quick switch?
    Kwame: Captain Planet has deactivated the bomb!
    Planeteers: Go, Planet!
  • Captain Planet: Well Planeteers, it looks like another eco-emergency is down for the count!
    Blight: That's what you think, Captain Planet! Our deadly game is just beginning.
  • Captain Planet: What's going on? Where am I?
    Blight: Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly.
  • Linka: Planeteers, over here! (Opening the bomb) It's empty! No nuclear waste - nothing! We've been tricked!
    Wheeler: What dummies we've been! This whole thing was just a set-up to capture Captain Planet!
    Ma-Ti: And we fell for it...
    Kwame: Now what are we going to do?
  • Nukem: We have an important message for Gaia and her teenage dupes!
    Gaia: What have you done with Captain Planet?
    Blight: He's unsafe and unsound right here in my secret laboratory.
    Linka: You must release him at once!
    Blight: All in good time. But first, you must meet our ransom demands.
    Kwame: Which is?
    Nukem: Bring me a lifetime supply of nuclear waste!
    Wheeler: And what if we refuse?
    Nukem: Hahahaha! Then you'll never see Captain Planet again!
  • Gaia: There's only one thing you can do, Planeteers: Rescue Captain Planet.
    Wheeler: How are we gonna do that without our powers, Gaia?
    Gaia: There is a way...
    Linka: Oh, we will just have to give Duke Nukem the nuclear waste he demanded as ransom!
    Gi: Then we'll be helping Nukem and Dr. Blight pollute the Earth!
    Ma-Ti: But if we do not, they will hurt Captain Planet!
    Kwame: Captain Planet has never let us down - and we will not let him down.
  • Wheeler: I still say we should attack this place head-on and right now!
    Linka: Nyet! Better to sneak inside and get Blight and Nukem by surprise.
    Wheeler: But what if we're too late? (He takes out a snow-pick and hammers at Blight's front door.) We can cut through this ice!
    MAL: Intruders, intruders! Those planet pains are at it again!
    Nukem: They're trying to break into our hideout!
    MAL: Is this guy a genius or what?
    Blight: Mind your manners, MAL. And give those meddlers a cold reception.
    MAL: I always follow the doctor's orders! One avalanche coming up.
  • Linka: I told you your plan wouldn't work!
    Wheeler: At least I did something besides just talk!
    Linka: Exactly! You set off the alarm!
    Wheeler: Oh, so now it's all my fault? If I'd had some help, it would have been different!
    Kwame: Look, it's Gaia!
    Gaia: Planeteers, what's going on here?
    Ma-Ti: Gaia, I am afraid we have let you down this time.
    Gaia: No, you haven't! But you must remember, blaming each other is a waste of time. The only thing that matters is changing what's wrong. To rescue Captain Planet, you must stop blaming each other and start working together. The power is yours!
    Ma-Ti: Gaia is right! We must stop saying it is someone else's fault.
    Wheeler: Sorry, Linka.
    Linka: Me too.
    Gi: Let's put our heads together! I know we can come up with a plan to rescue Captain Planet!
  • Nukem: Your power flunkies better pay our ransom soon, Captain Planet! You won't survive much more of my product placement!
    Captain Planet: Forget it, Nukem! The Planeteers will never agree to your evil demands!
    MAL: Attention, attention, malevolent master! And you too, Duke Radish-head.
    Nukem: Watch it, computer! Your mouth's too big for your microchips!
  • Kwame: This is the Planeteers, calling Dr. Blight and Duke Nukem!
    Wheeler: You win. Here's the nuclear waste you demanded.
    Blight: Well, super-sap. It looks like you were wrong about your beloved Planeteers.
  • Linka: We kept our side of the bargain; now you keep yours!
    Gi: Release Captain Planet at once!
    Blight: No way. MAL, give those young fools another taste of your powers.
  • Captain Planet: You double-crossing creeps! You never had any intention of letting me go!
  • Captain Planet: What have you got up your evil sleeve now, Dr. Blight?
    Blight: My greatest experiment of all! I'm going to learn the secret of your power and use it to destroy the Earth!
    Captain Planet: And how do you plan to do that?
    Blight: You'll see. I'm afraid you're going to go all to pieces.
  • Nukem: That was a mistake, Planeteers! The last you'll ever make!
  • The Planeteers are deflecting Nukem's radiation.
    Kwame: Give the Duke and the doctor a dose of their own medicine.
  • Linka: Are you all right, Captain Planet?
    Captain Planet: I've absorbed too much of Duke Nukem's product placement...
    Wheeler: Don't worry, Cap, we'll get you back on your feet. Let's make like an atom and split!
  • Ma-Ti: We made it!
    Kwame: Now to re-energize Captain Planet!
    Linka: He needs to get back in touch with the powers that make him strong.
    Gi: A good, healthy dose of pure sunshine!
    Kwame: A touch of earth, air and water.
    Ma-Ti: And good friends cheering for him!
  • Blight: It's Captain Planet!
    Captain Planet: Very bright, Blight.
  • Captain Planet: Thanks for getting me out of that hot spot, Planeteers. With friends like you, the Earth has a chance. And, as always, the power is yours!