The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour is a television action/adventure show which was featured in 101 Dalmatians. It is regarded as the fifteen Dalmatian pups' favorite show, especially Patch who is the protagonist in the sequel, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure.
The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour is viewed by the fifteen puppies before their bedtime. During the screening, Patch constantly interrupts the other puppies by talking aloud, along with Lucky blocking the TV.
In the show, Thunderbolt is shown to be chasing Dirty Dawson, with the horse thief shooting at him. The thief then travels on foot as Thunderbolt searches. In some scenes, it shows Thunderbolt making a leap across a canyon before it seems like Dawson has shot Thunderbolt. However, Thunderbolt is only pretending, and as Dawson laughs about this, Thunderbolt then attacks and the two fall into a river, having the show end in a cliffhanger as the two are about to fall down a waterfall.
The program concludes with an advertisement by Kanine Krunchies.
In the show, the dynamic and brave Thunderbolt and his offbeat sidekick Lil' Lightning fight to defeat the evil Dirty Dawson.
In an episode, Dirty Dawson kidnaps a helpless boy named Tommy. It's up to Thunderbolt and Lil' Lightning to defeat him before any harm befalls Tommy. As Dawson ties Tommy to a moving train, Thunderbolt perches on a cliff. He jumps to the train, confronting Dawson. Whilst Thunderbolt battles Dawson, Lil' Lightning unties Tommy. Dawson causes Thunderbolt to stumble between the train carts, and as he's about to strike Thunderbolt, another train heads by the train carts they are on, allowing Thunderbolt to get around Dawson. Thunderbolt then tangles Dawson in his own whip, tripping him up and causing him to fall into a boxcar with a mad bull. Tommy is then rescued and Thunderbolt saves the day.
According to a cut line, the episode is called "Rowdy Rascals at Raccoon Ravine" and ranks as #17 in Patch's top episodes.
Patch also names some episodes and their stories in the film too, claiming that at the time of the film, there are 72 episodes.
- Episode 4: Bank robbers.
- Episode 13 ("Flaming Flea Circus"): Lucky mistakes Episode 18 for this episode.
- Episode 18 ("Gambling Gophers of Gunfire Gulch"): Thunderbolt needs to disguise himself and at one point, needs to fight his way from a cage.
- Episode 27: Thunderbolt battles a pair of grizzly bears.
- Episode 29: Timmy is trapped on a cliff, where Thunderbolt uses a catapult to get to him. Patch claims that one to be the best episode of season one.
- Episode 34: Cattle rustlers.
- Episode 37 ("Stagecoaches of Serpent Summit"): Stagecoach out of control.
- Episode 64: Timmy is drowning in the water tower.
Patch mentions an episode called "Double Cross at Dead Man's Ditch" which has a mine car chase, but an episode number isn't given.
Other episodes that Patch discusses have Thunderbolt helping some orphans and a water dike breaking.
Lil' Lighting attempted to usurp the show by tricking Thunderbolt into thinking they were going to recast him, and with Thunderbolt missing (trying to do something heroic in the real world to get his name in the paper), Lightning convinced the producer to rewrite the episode to star him. Filming for this was interrupted when the Dalmatians drove the double decker bus through the filming location, with Lil' Lightning later taken away by the police dogs.
A post-credits scene shows Thunderbolt with his new sidekick Patch in his TV show, The Thunderbolt Adventure Hour.
The One Hundred and One Dalmatians Diamond Edition Blu-ray features a Thunderbolt short based on early drafts of the scene, which follows the events directly from where they are seen in the animated 101 Dalmatians.
The short shows that Thunderbolt and Dawson are able to catch branches sticking from the side of the waterfall. Dawson is able to reach a ledge and as Thunderbolt's branch is about to snap, his human, the sheriff, is able to use his lasso to save him. The two pursue Dawson, but the thief uses explosives to cause an avalanche, blocking their path and allowing him to take some sacks of money from a wagon, which may be why Thunderbolt is chasing him. The sheriff thinks Dawson has escaped, but Thunderbolt climbs across the rock pile to continue the chase.