Season One, Episode 11: The Probe
Reviewed by Blackjack
Another wonderful instalment from Season One. While most of the previous episodes are just simply generic stand-alone episodes (barring the one which introduces the Vok), this one moves the plot along. The Maximal bigwigs on Cybertron know that Primal and Megatron are lost in time, so of course they send probes to search for them. Dinobot being afraid of returning to Cybertron is very believable, as is fitting with a deserter. Compared with, say, Skyfire from the original cartoon, changing sides comes with repercussions.
Of course, you never believe for a second that the Maximals would contact Cybertron successfully, since we're hardly halfway through season one. Tarantulas' new invention is also a ripoff of G1's Transfixation weapon but since Beast Wars don't go 'Weapon of the Week™' as much as the original cartoon did, I'm willing to let it slide. Besides, it fulfils its role adequately. All in all, another good instalment.
The first time we've seen Cybertron in the Beast Wars series. It's slightly different than the model used in the G1 cartoon. Noticeably, it's no longer golden, so the events in 'the Rebirth' must've been cancelled out in one way or another.
As mentioned before, the transformation lock rifle is a ripoff of the Transfixation from G1, which appeared in the episode 'The Autobot Run'. The difference is that the Transfixation is a giant battle platform thing, while Tarantulas' invention is hand-held. It's not impossible for the Predacon to look up on Decepticon super-weapons and improve them, so he might've done that to create his weapon.
Although Dinobot has warmed up to the Axalon
crew, he's not fully set in joining the larger Maximal cause for real, a concept that would be revisited in subsequent episodes.
Tigatron references the Matrix when he said, "by the Matrix, what's happening?" This is the first reference to the Matrix in the Beast Wars series.
Cheetor and Tigatron are imprisoned in the same 'hanging cage over lava pool' contraption which was first used by Terrorsaur in 'Double Jeopardy' to imprison Megatron and Rattrap.
The Kid Rhino DVD puts this episode after 'Double Jeopardy', which is an error — noticeably because Sentinel is already present before its introduction episode. Other releases corrected this.
The probe only tracks transwarp frequency, making it grossly inefficient to search for the missing Axalon
. Can't they just track where it's last sighted and work out that there's a rift there? Of course, if the operation is managed by bureaucrats, then...
Megatron already knew that at least Rattrap was able to break out of the prison. Why is he still using it?
Cheetor's eyes change from their normal green into white at one point.
I've just realised that in beast mode, Rhinox's teeth are dull and few, but when he transforms into robot mode the jaw on his chest is lined with a row of sharp teeth.