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Blackjack
2010-01-24, 02:22 PM
Since I've finished G1 seasons 3 and 4, I figured I'd use my spare time by writing up the Beast series. Sorry for not saying this beforehand, but I'm hoping this meets with approval.. :)

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Beast Wars (Part 1)
Airdate: 16 May 1996
Written by: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "Enter the Super Robot Lifeforms!"

SYNOPSIS
In deep space, a transwarp portal opens, and out of it flies two spaceships, engaged in combat. One is a Predacon ship, being pursued by a Maximal one. The Maximal commander, Optimus Primal, explained to a rather non-plussed member of his crew that their exploration vessel were the only ship in range capable of intercepting the Predacon fugitives.

Meanwhile, on the Predacon ship, one of the Predacons urges their leader, Megatron, to finish off the Maximals while their ship's shields are down. Megatron arrogantly ignores the suggestion, preferring to toy with his opponents. The Predacons open fire on the Maximal shuttle, forcing Optimus Primal to jettison the Maximals' cargo of stasis pods into orbit of the nearby planet. The Maximals then retaliate, firing the forward plasma cannons and tearing the Predacon ship's hull apart. Both ships, damaged and without engines, plummet down to the planet's surface.

The Maximals have landed on a cliff near a waterfall while the Predacons has landed on top of a shield volcano. The Predacon ship's computer informs Megatron that the course settings were accurate but the readings were inconsistent with what was to be expected. Megatron, not really pleased, decides to make do and asks the computer for the presence of energon in the planet. The computer states that the planet has it, but there is too much energon that prolonged exposure would permanently damage them. Megatron tells Tarantulas, his science officer, to scan for the local lifeforms, and that the Predacons would take the form of the most powerful lifeforms on the planet. The Predacon ship scans fossils of dinosaurs (a T-Rex, a velociraptor and a pteranodon), as well as a spider and a wasp.

Meanwhile, the Maximals are doing the same thing, scanning several life animals (a pack of cheetah, a rat, a rhinoceros and a gorilla). The Maximals — the youthful Cheetor, the snide Rattrap and the gentle Rhinox — admire their new forms and rename themselves. Optimus Primal reminds them that their beast forms are to protect them from the long-term effects of the over-abundant energon. Their robot modes would short out after a few minutes' exposure. Rhinox points out that a transwarp drive allows them to journey through both space and time, so they could be stranded at any place, any time. Optimus is concerned about the stasis pods in orbit and the fact that the Predacons outnumber them.

Back at the other crash site, the Predacon troops mill around in their new beast modes. Dinobot (the Predacon whose advice Megatron ignored earlier), is studying the Golden Disk they had stolen prior to the chase. He declares that the world they landed on cannot be Earth, accusing Megatron of incompetence. Megatron laughs this off, having Scorponok blast Dinobot away. Megatron declares that they had set off looking energon to fuel their war, and it doesn't matter which planet they land on as long as it has energon. Megatron sends his troops to seek out and destroy their enemies.

The Maximals, meanwhile, are surveying the land around them and cleaning up their base. Rattrap complains about all the trouble over the Golden Disk. Optimus Primal replies to him that the Disk is Cybertron's most highly guarded relic, as well as a guide to a major source of energon. Rattrap retorts that it isn't their job to chase criminals, sarcastically remarking on Primal's readiness to handle a command position. Optimus admonishes Rattrap, reminding him of the Great War, and saying that the Predacons won't hesitate to start a new one if they had energon. However, Rattrap still isn't convinced that they have to risk their necks.

Meanwhile, Cheetor fools around and chases two cheetahs, trying to strike a conversation with them. Optimus attemps to call him and tell him to come bacck to the ship, only to find that the energon radiation limits the range of their communications.

Cheetor speeds off with his freaked-out new playmates until they met a gigantic wasp. Cheetor realises it is a Predacon, transforms and opens fire. The Predacon, Waspinator, returns fire. Back at the Maximal ship, the other Maximals head out to back Cheetor up, with Rattrap and Optimus riding on top of Rhinox. The Maximals arrive in the nick of time as Cheetor's rifle jams, allowing Waspinator to gain the upper hand.

The Predacon forces arrive soon enough, however. Optimus Primal tries to convince Megatron to not battle, as the Maximals and Predacons have been at peace for centuries. Megatron retorts that while the Maximals may have been at peace, the Predacons were merely biding their time, and have not forgotten their goal of galactic conquest.

Cheetor opens fire on Megatron and the battle begins in earnest. In the process, Cheetor is blasted by Scorponok's missiles and ends up with his leg trapped. Optimus orders Rattrap to assist Cheetor while he provides cover fire, but Rattrap refuses to risk his life for others. The angry Maximal leader flies to Cheetor's position himself, but is hit by Predacon fire. However, Optimus still manages to free Cheetor while Rhinox forces Rattrap to help provide the pair with cover fire. The Maximals make their escape while the Predacons seek cover. Megatron orders pursuit, but he and his Predacons suffer the effects of the energon build-up and are forced to revert to beast modes.

On the way back to their base, Optimus Primal berates Rattrap for disobeying a direct order, explaining that he could have given better cover fire. Rattrap accepts grudgingly accepts Primal's words. Primal notes that there were six thieves, but they encountered only five Predacons.

Just then, Dinobot appears, blocking their way on a stone bridge to the Axalon. Dinobot states that he has left the Predacons to join the Maximals, but as leader. He challenges Optimus Primal to a one on one battle, with the winner to lead the Maximals and for the loser to be destroyed.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Megatron, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Scorponok

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
This episode marks dawn of one of the most successful transformer television series. It is also the first episode to be aired after the G1 cartoon concludes (sort of) with season four. With sales of G2 toys falling, Hasbro turned to Mainframe entertainment and refurbishes the Transformer franchise with 'Beast Wars'. To those hardcore fans this might have came as a shock — new faction names, a setting in an 'alien' world, new characters, a new Megatron, a gorilla instead of a truck, et cetera. But the series was much better than G1, with superior CGI animation and voice-acting. Now this first episode had to handle much stuff. Establishing the scenario, introducing the characters, settings, introducing new technology like transwarp as well as generally get the audience to like the series.

The first season is twice as long as the second and third seasons, and it is filled mostly with filler episodes which spotlights a character or two, with generic and sometimes throwaway G1-ish plots. But once we reach the end of season one, the main story kicks off with full force. I won't delve too deep now. So. Getting to the review. The first episode's animation still needs work. Most notably are the setting. For example, the rocks being broken into bits by a charging Rhinox and the explosions on the Maximal ship look hastily done. Some of the exposition are pretty dodgy as well, such as the Maximals actually giving themselves new names. "I'm a cheetah! No, I'm Cheetor!" This episode does a rather nice job of setting up the characters. Optimus Primal is a leader, and has the qualities of one — brave, valiant, cares for his troops and all that. Rhinox is basically the ever-calm, loyal, competent and experienced person, somewhat like Ironhide from G1, albeit less trigger-happy. Rattrap is a snide jerk. Cheetor is a brash young punk. Megatron is a mastermind of sorts. Scorponok is a loyal soldier, while Dinobot craves leadership and is big on honour. Waspinator, Tarantulas and Terrorsaur are all reduced to 'evil goons shooting at good guys' for this episode. Still, while there is a little too much name dropping and transformation calls, it is a good first episode for the Beast Wars, with stunning animation. It's not perfect, but it's damned good for a first episode.

NOTES
During the space battle scene, the Maximals and Predacons are all shown in shadow, to minimise costs of coming up with Cybertronian character models. Basically, they are their Beast bodies without any animal kibble and mechanical hands, as well as slightly different faces. Megatron, meanwhile, was shown in his full pre-Beast body. Mainframe Entertainment re-uses a modified body of a robot from ReBoot, another one of their show, with Megs' head on top.

The Maximal ship is named the Axalon, but it usually gets called as 'Maximal Base' or 'Maximal Ship in the series.

When Rhinox is fixing something outside, one of the mechanical stuff looks like the submarine seen later on in episodes of season 3.

Maximals transform from beast to robot modes by calling out their name and saying 'Maximise', while Predacons call out 'Terrorize'. They transform into beast mode by saying 'Beast Mode!' However, it has been shown numerous times in the series that they do not need to say out these Activation Codes to transform. These Activation Codes apparently indicate a transformer's faction, as Dinobot changes it when he joined the Maximals. Dinobot has the distinction of the first Beast Warrior to transform into robot mode. This episode marks the only time he transforms with the Activation Code 'Terrorize'.

The events of Beast Wars take place quite some time after the G1 cartoon. The Autobots and Decepticons' war was known as the 'Great War', and after its conclusion the Maximals and Predacons (their descendants) lived in peace. Sort of. While it's not made clear in the first few episodes, Megatron is actually disobeying the Predacon high council and acting on his own accord.

Cheetor (albeit not yet named) has the first dialogue. Coincidentally, he would have the final dialogue of Beast Wars' sequel, Beast Machines. Cheetor also fires the first shot, unprovoked, at Waspinator. The kitty also fires at Megatron unprovoked.

Throughout the "Beast Wars" two-parter episode, Scorponok's missiles have a yellow Maximal insignia on them. Originally this was supposed to indicate Maximal kills, like a bullet with your name on it. This confused some viewers into thinking that they were Maximal missiles, so the symbols were changed into Predacon symbols for all further appearances.

Waspinator fires pink optic beams during the fight with Cheetor. This was the only time he uses that power, although Dinobot would employ optic beams as a regular part in his arsenal.

Cheetor is shown alongside normal cheetahs, making him a measuring stick for other Beast Warriors. This means Rattrap, Waspinator, Tarantulas and Scorponok are giant bugs and rats, both Dinobot and Terrorsaur are a little out of scale, while Megatron is a tiny specimen of a tyrannosaur. Perhaps he scanned an infant or a smaller subspecies?

Megatron and Optimus Primal were originally intended to be the original Megatron and Optimus Prime, and the original setting was to be modern Earth. Of course, this did not come to pass.

GOOFS
For some reason, all the Maximals bar Optimus Primal are shown renaming themselves. What's up with that? Either they rename themselves according to their new alternate modes everytime they go to a foreign planet, or they're just loony. It makes one wonder, then, what their previous names were and why guys like Optimus Primal and Megatron don't change their names. Of course, the real-world reason is for kids to know who the characters are.

You cannot scan DNA from fossils, no matter what Jurassic Park says.

Scorponok is among the Predacons milling about outside the ship in their beast modes, yet he appears from within the Predacon ship to blast Dinobot a few scenes later.

When Waspinator fights Cheetor, the stripes on his legs are drawn vertically.

Cheetor and Waspinator spend a long time in robot modes, yet they did not suffer from energon build-up. The other Predacons transform only for a while and they do.

Rattrap's gun clips right through the boulder in front of him when Rhinox forces him to cover Optimus.

Dinobot's swords are very short this episode.

GOOFS

Quote, Unquote
Dinobot: "No, no, no! It's all wrong! This cannot be Earth! Megatron, you failed! Not only did you fail to destroy the Maximals when you had the chance, you failed to bring us to the right planet! We stole the Golden Disk for nothing! You idiot!"
Megatron: "Heh, I beg your pardon? What did you call me?"
Dinobot: "You heard. You are an idiot and an incompetent leader, and I am taking over. Dinobot, terrorize!"

Megatron: "Ahh, a treacherous, under-handed sneak attack. Ohoho, I like you, pussycat, yesss."

Rhinox: (on Dinobot) "This guy's got bearings of chrome steel."

Denyer
2010-01-24, 03:24 PM
Sorry for not saying this beforehand,
Not at all, it's all welcome.

Rather than try to bodge together episode guide pages myself (the time/updateability of which would be severely in question), I want to set up a wiki framework people can edit directly. I've got the basic requirements spec'd out, just need some blocks of time to kick off.

Blackjack
2010-01-25, 10:30 AM
Not at all, it's all welcome.

:) Well, it seems I'm not out of a job yet, then...

Rather than try to bodge together episode guide pages myself (the time/updateability of which would be severely in question), I want to set up a wiki framework people can edit directly. I've got the basic requirements spec'd out, just need some blocks of time to kick off.

Well, take your time... ;) Myself, I also need chunks of time to write up BW. After all, Beast Wars alone has three seasons. I'll just tackle an episode or three every week and holidays, and that would give me something to do for the year... I'm planning on reviewing Beast Machines as well as Animated (and perhaps the movies, if they're not out of bounds?) afterwards, mostly because I have DVDs/VCDs of those series.

Blackjack
2010-01-30, 12:10 PM
Beast Wars (Part 2)
Airdate: 21 April 1996
Written by: Bob Forward
Japanese title: "Beat the Destrons!"

SYNOPSIS
Dinobot challenges Optimus Primal to a one-on-one combat over the leadership of the Maximals. Primal tries to negotiate to Dinobot, welcoming the Predacon to join the ranks of the Maximals, though not as leader. Dinobot refuses these conditions, and the two battle. As the Maximals watch, as Primal knocks Dinobot onto his back. Dinobot tells Primal to finish him off, but Primal, being Maximal and all, refuses. Dinobot returns the favour by taking a cheap shot at Primal. Primal stumbles and nearly falls off the rock bridge, but Dinobot saves him, saying that it would not be an honourable victory if Optimus was defeated by slipping.

Optimus Primal and Dinobot continue their duel. The Predacons arrive, and opened fire on the two combatants. Primal pulls Dinobot from harm's way, although that leaves the two of them dangling precariously on the edge of the rock bridge. Dinobot, suffering from energon build-up, tells Primal to drop him so that the gorilla could save himself. Primal refuses. As they began to fall, Rhinox arrives and pulls them up. Seeing that all four Maximals (plus Dinobot) are on the rock bridge, the Predacons attack, blowing up the rock bridge. The Maximals make it in time across the chasm, although Rattrap needed to be saved by Primal.

As Megatron takes out his frustration on Terrorsaur, Scorponok points out that some of the Predacon missiles had blown up a mountain, revealing energon crystals inside. The Predacons head for the mountain, eager to mine the energon for themselves. The Maximals notice them, and decide to follow. In the process, Dinobot is grudgingly accepted into the Maximal ranks, although Rattrap is very unhappy with their newest recruit.

En route, they spot an odd stone circle, obviously not natural. However, before they could do anything, Terrorsaur and Waspinator arrives and strafes them. Optimus Primal transforms into robot mode and flies up, driving the two Predacons away. Dinobot joins the battle, firing with his optic lasers at the Predacons. However, he accidentally blasts a rocky ledge, nearly crushing Rhinox with it. Rattrap is convinced that Dinobot was intentionally trying to kill Rhinox, but Optimus tells him to stand down.

The Predacons arrive at the mountain, although the severe energon radiation forces them to remain in their protective beast modes. The Maximals soon arrive after the Perdacons. The two sides meet each other and clashes. Megatron bites a chunk out of Primal's leg, but he was thrown aside by the Maximal leader. Megatron tries to take out Primal with a missile, but Dinobot intercepts it, saving Optimus Primal from certain death. However, the missile detonated some of the energon crystals, causing a chain reaction to occur. Both sides evacuate the area, just in time for the energon cache to blow up.

Dinobot claims that saving Primal was the payment of a debt (Primal had saved his life earlier). The Maximal leader notes this, stating that it would be good enough for the moment, then proclaims that the Beast Wars have begun.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Megatron, Scorponok, Waspinator, Tarantulas, Terrorsaur

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
This episode plays off the plot threads from the first episode nicely, developing the Maximals' characters. The main thing which happened in this episode is Dinobot's defection from the Predacons and his subsequent integration in the Maximal army. Unlike Skyfire from the G1 cartoon, who joined the Autobots with little to no dissent from the other Autobots, Dinobot was not welcome with open hands. Rhinox and Rattrap were practically ready to blow him up after the rock bridge incident, and throughout the series Rattrap would keep bickering with Dinobot. Primal and Dinobot gets some of the better dialogues in their fight scene early on in the episode. The slight friction between Optimus and Rattrap early on in the series is evident as well, although you could see that Rattrap is getting used to the idea of Primal leading the Maximals.

Animation is mediocre, but then, this is an early episode. The battle scenes were nothing spectacular, but at least it delivers an impact, as well as physical contact, which the first part did not. The energon cache thing seems to be an overdone reuse of the plot 'Decepticons head off to an energy source', only that a mine of energon crystals would make a more interesting target for alien robots compared to, say, an oil rig. All in all, this episode is rather entertaining, and a nice introduction for the main characters. It's a shame that most of the Predacons are sidelined into brutish, dimwitted thugs.

NOTES
Megatron says 'yesss' several times in this episode, playing on from his vaudevillian self from the first episode. 'Yesss' would be later immortalized as the Predacon leader's catchphrase of sorts.

Again, this episode emphasizes that the Beast Warriors cannot handle energon radiation in their robot mode. Spending a long amount of time in their robot modes also shorts out their circuits, forcing them to revert back into beast modes.

This episode marks the first appearance of energon crystals.

This episode is also the first debut of Optimus Primal's 'Prime Jets', which makes him the only Maximal who could fly in Season One until Airazor comes along.

At several points during the episode, some animation, like transformation scenes or Tarantulas firing his machine-guns, are re-used from the first episode, albeit with different backgrounds and whatnot stapled in.

GOOFS
Again, as in the first episode, Waspinator's black stripes are at times mapped vertically instead of horizontally, although in this episode it's not so noticeable.

Scorponok tells Megatron to look at the missiles before they impacted (and revealed the energon cache). Unless Scorponok is a psychic, there was no way he could know that the mountain would have energon inside it.

Megatron bites quite a chunk out of Optimus Primal's leg in the last battle. However, this damage disappears when the Maximals retreat, as well as all subsequent scenes after that.

During close-ups of Primal and Dinobot during the end of the episode, the other Maximals disappear from the background. This is made worse by other shots showing Rhinox and Rattrap standing behind the two during long shots (as well as during their respective dialogues). The rubble from the destroyed energon cache are visible on the scene featuring Rhinox and Rattrap, but said rubble all disappears when Primal and Dinobot talks.

Blackjack
2010-01-31, 08:46 AM
The Web
Airdate: 18 September 1996
Written by: Larry DiTillio
Japanese title: "Cheetas' Crisis"

SYNOPSIS
An energetic Cheetor volunteers to test a new comm-link device which Rhinox has developed. Primal and Rhinox instructs Cheetor not to break the valuable device and to steer clear from the Predacons. The youthful Maximal speeds out of the Maximal base, eager to test the device.

After running for a while, Cheetor hears an explosion. That explosion was caused by Scorponok, who is trying to unearth a mega-cannon which fell out during the space battle. Cheetor radios Optimus and heads off to investigate, despite his orders not to. A disappointed Optimus Primal sets out of the base to find Cheetor before athe youthful Maximal does anything stupid. Cheetor, meanwhile, sneaks behind Scorponok and holds him at gunpoint. Tarantulas, however, surprises the cheetah, allowing Scorponok to fire off a salvo of missiles at Cheetor. Scorponok orders Tarantulas to assist him in moving the cannon, but the spider had disappeared from sight, telling Scorponok to move the cannon himself before other Maximals arrive.

A short while later, Optimus Primal arrives to find a heavily damaged Cheetor. The Maximal was dreaming. In his dream, Cheetor was on Cybertron, easily taking out Megatron, Terrorsaur and Waspinator. However, dream-Cheetor was faced with the nine eyes of Tarantulas mocking him from the shadows inside a tower, causing Cheetor to be afraid. In his dream, Scorponok attacks him and an image of Rattrap appears for a split second. Dream Cheetor was soon taken out by Scorponok.

The real Cheetor awakens from the dream on the Axalon, having been repaired by Rhinox. Cheetor tries to defend himself, but both Optimus Primal and Rhinox are both disappointed and angry at the cheetah for disobeying orders, breaking the commlink device, and on top of it losing the cannon to the Predacons. Primal leaves the room, and Rattrap adds to Cheetor's load by insulting the young Maximal further. Cheetor bolts out of the room in anger. Rhinox tells Rattrap that they both know what Cheetor would do, and Rattrap grudgingly agrees to go after the cheetah.

Cheetor arrives at the Predacon base, seeing Terrorsaur and Scorponok installing the mega-cannon. Cheetor tries to sneak past them. However, Tarantulas sneaks up from the ground behind him, capturing the Maximal and dragging him down into his lair. Cheetor wakes up in Tarantulas' underground lair, stuck to a spiderweb which disables his movement. Tarantulas explains that the stasis web would drain Cheetor's energy, leaving the body for Tarantulas to consume. The spider cackles at the thought of the meal.

In the Maximal war room, Optimus Primal decides to send Rattrap on a scouting mission into Predacon territory. Rhinox, however, covers up Rattrap's absence by saying that Rattrap is talking to Cheetor. Meanwhile, Rattrap has followed Cheetor's scent into Tarantulas' lair, and enters. Rattrap battles Tarantulas. Rattrap tricks Tarantulas into attacking a heat signal and gets the jump on the spider. Rattrap destroys Tarantulas' web, grabs Cheetor and gets ready to leave. Tarantulas recovers and opens fire, causing an cave-in which buries the spider alive, while the Maximals escape.

Back at the Axalon, Rattrap claims that Cheetor and him were just hanging together, saving both of them from any trouble Primal would've surely given Cheetor. When the two of them are alone, Rattrap tells Cheetor that the lie is for his own benefit. Cheetor, however, is still grateful.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Starscream (dream), Terrorsaur (dream and present), Megatron (dream), Waspinator (dream and present), Rattrap, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
Overall, there's not much in this episode which interests me. The plot jumps around on itself, while Cheetor's dream sequence is dull and banal. Basically the episode just defines that Cheetor is a brash youngster, Tarantulas is a scientist with a few bolts loose in his brain, and Rattrap is a jerk who cares for his friends. This episode also gives Scorponok's role as a loyal and dim-witted sub-commander who gets no respect from the other Predacons. This episode would be the beginning of the slew of character-centric episodes throughout the first season with generic plots. Although they're rather boring, they are a good way for the kids watching the show on Saturday mornings to identify with the characters.

Tarantulas' cannibalistic tendencies aside, the episode is rather predictable. The mega cannon which they made so much of a fuss on didn't get a disclosure. We even get a line from Dinobot saying it's essential for them to attack, but it never happens. You won't miss much if you skip this episode.

NOTES
The Beast Warriors have been stranded on the planet for at least a month, as it is the time Rhinox had to make the commlink device.

Cheetor wakes up being repaired by Rhinox instead of in the CR Chamber. This doesn't go in goofs, as presumably the chambers haven't been fixed up yet.

This episode gives the first glimpse of Beast era Cybertron through Cheetor's dream. This would be the first of Cheetor's dreams throughout the series. It seemed as if he would've had some sort of precognitive powers (the dream showed Rattrap, who would later rescue him). However, this idea was never explained and would later be dropped.

Said dream also showed a close up on a Decepticon insignia on a jet's tail wing. The Decepticon jet is obviously based on G1 Starscream, albeit in CGI. Starscream's appearance here might be foreshadowing on the air commander's appearance later in the series. Either that or the animators just liked to sneak a cameo in.

GOOFS
The Mega-cannon, which is the plot device at the first half of the episode, gets forgotten after the Predacons capture it. It's never seen again in the series.

Tarantulas' character model has nine eyes, when spiders generally have eight eyes or less. This is a small error which happens throughout the series. He could have scanned a different species of spider, but where's the fun in that?

Scorponok's robot mode eyes change between his (correct) yellow colour and a shade of red at random intervals.

After the close up on Tarantulas' monitor showing Cheetor's vital energy levels dropping, the next shots show it back to full again.

Quote, Unquote

Cheetor: "I don't have any real blood, just mech fluid!"
Tarantulas: "Oh, my filters will adjust. See, it is the act I enjoy more than the nourishment."

Tarantulas: "I hate that rat."

Sades
2010-02-02, 03:31 AM
Would you like a hand?

I've watched BW so many times it's coming out of my pores.

Blackjack
2010-02-02, 03:52 AM
Why not? The more the merrier, I say.

Blackjack
2010-02-02, 08:16 AM
Equal Measures
Airdate: 23 September 1996
Written by: Greg Johnson
Japanese title: "Operation Time Bomb Transfer!"

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal watches as a bolt of lightning reveals a cache of energon crystals hidden inside a mountain. He attempts to contact the Maximal base, but the storm outside causes prevents the Maximal leader from sending the transmission clearly.

The other Maximals, meanwhile, are installing energon monitoring devices designed by Rhinox. Cheetor, bored, playes around with a time bomb. Dinobot don't like it and was about to snatch the bomb from the youngster when it was dropped towards the hatch. Fortunately, Optimus Primal was on his way up, and he caught the bomb before it could detonate. The Maximal leader orders the mission to be aborted until the storm fades. The other Maximals are unhappy with this development.

Dinobot enters Cheetor's quarters and suggests that the speedy youngster continue the mission despite the danger posed by the storm as well as the energon. Dinobot tells Cheetor to prove that he's no longer a child, and that Cheetor is the only one who could outrun the storm. Pride takes the better of Cheetor, and he goes off to do the mission.

Outside, Cheetor plants the energon monitoring mechanisms in quick succession. However, a stray bolt of lightning causes Cheetor to accidentally plant one of the devices too close to an energon vein. He tries to remove the device, but a second lightning bolt strikes, and Cheetor finds himself teleported inside the Predacon ship, much to the surprise of an on-duty Terrorsaur.

Terrorsaur welcomes Cheetor to the Darksyde and attacks the Maximal. In the resulting scuffle, Cheetor knocks Terrorsaur into the console that the Predacon had been manning, causing the pteranodon to disappear. Scorponok and Waspinator, attracted by the commotion, arrive and attack, pursuing Cheetor around the Predacon base until the cat hides in the ventilation shafts.

Terrorsaur, meanwhile, finds himself in the Axalon, where Dinobot gives him a friendly reception. The Predacon traitor questions Terrorsaur how he arrived, and the two figure out that a combination of the survey devices, the energon veins and the stormy weather caused a teleporter link between the two bases. Terrorsaur seems to convince DInobot that the two of them could take out the Maximals and Megatron, and rule together. Dinobot seems to go along, until he suddenly drops the charade and boots Terrorsaur into a waste disposal unit, which shoots him out of the Axalon.

Meanwhile, Cheetor continues to flee from Scorponok and Terrorsaur, and manages to elude the two long enough to hack the Predacons' data files, and figures that both bases sit alongside an Energon vein, so an explosion at one base would obliterate the other one. However, as soon as he downloads the data, the Predacons corner him.

At the Axalon, Optimus confronts Dinobot, and causes the former Predacon to tell him about the link between the two bases. Dinobot convinces Optimus Primal that Cheetor would've been destroyed by now, and tells Primal to send the time bomb through the link. Primal agrees, but he insists that the timer must be set with enough time to allow the Predacons to evacuate. Neither of them know that the destruction of the Predacon base would also blow the Axalon up.

Meanwhile, Cheetor throws the data storage device through the link, which transports it into the Axalon. However, before he or the Predacons could do anything, the time bomb appears in the console, forcing Megatron to allow Cheetor time to defuse the bomb. However, there wasn't enough time, so Cheetor throws it to Terrorsaur, who flies the bomb out of the base (and gets blown up for his trouble). Cheetor jumps into the console, disappearing through the link. The Predacons try to fire at Cheetor, but their attacks destroy the console. Furthermore, Cheetor's transport through the posts shatter them, destroying the link between the two bases.

Afterwards, Rhinox and Rattrap congratulate Cheetor's efforts at preventing the Axalon from being blown up. Apparently, Cheetor didn't tell anyone that Dinobot talked him into it, but it doesn't stop the velociraptor from stalking off. Primal tells Cheetor to obey orders, and Cheetor says that he will. Until next time, anyway.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Dinobot, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Scorponok, Megatron

REVIEW
(Four cubes out of ten)
Well, how to put it? There are several good points this episode. Cheetor and Terrorsaur are no doubt the stars, with Cheetor's brashness and naiviety, as well as Terrorsaur's luckless ambitions to betray Megatron, being put up front. Dinobot's manipulation of his fellow Maximals is wonderfully done as well, and the moment where he makes it clear that he won't betray them (by booting Terrorsaur out) are wonderful moments of character. The Scorponok/Waspinator duo deserve a mention too, being very hilarious in their dialogue.

However, the plot itself is rather dodgy and pretty weird, even in Transformer standards. The energon vein is never mentioned again in any other episode, and some of the action scenes are dull, such as Cheetor's emo posturing in beast mode when Scorponok and Waspinator blast him. Still, not a bad episode, but another one which you could skip without missing anything.

NOTES
Terrorsaur greets Cheetor by welcoming him to the 'Dark Side'. While the episode script was intending for Terrorsaur to be dramatic, but some transformer fans thought that the Predacon was being literal and that the Predacon ship was named the 'Darkside'. This bit of fandom term would be canonized by Japanese game 'Beast Wars: Transmetals', as well as BotCon story 'Dawn of Future's Past'. However, to avoid trademark issues, it was parsed as 'Darksyde'. Seriously.

Scorponok's missile again has the 'Maximal kill' insignia stamped on it, although it has Predacon ones in 'the Web'.

After Cheetor escapes from the vents, the forehead crown on his head falls out on a spring. In the immediate next scene, it's back on his head. This doesn't go in goofs as it's more of a 'Looney Tunes'-esque cartoony damage, which appear occassionally in the Beast Wars.

Dinobot calls Terrorsaur 'Needlenose' before he flushes the Predacon out of the base. While this is mainly a reference to the pteranodon's long beak, it might be a veiled reference at the G1 Decepticon with the same name.

GOOFS
When Optimus Primal tosses the time bomb in his hand, it moves in an odd way, as if he was throwing it at the other direction.

The energon vein disappears after this episode. According to Cheetor, the destruction of one of the two bases would destroy the other. Explosions would happen frequently between the two bases. Even though the Quantum Explosion at the end of Season One would've neutralized said energon vein, it still doesn't explain how giant explosions which happen in both Predacon and Maximal bases (in episodes such as 'Victory' or 'Possession') doesn't destroy the other.

Quote, unquote
Terrorsaur: "Welcome to the Dark Side!" (replace with Darksyde if desired)

Cheetor: -in robot mode- "Cheetor, maximi.. did that already."

Scorponok: "He's gone into the vents! You better report this to Megatron."
Waspinator: "Me? You're second-in-command!"
Scorponok: "So make it an order!"

Terrorsaur: "Hey, what are you doing? We're partners!"
Dinobot: "In case you had not realized, Needlenose... I am not a team player."

Cheetor: "Okay, okay. I'll never do that again! Until the next time."

Denyer
2010-02-02, 06:15 PM
I'm planning on reviewing Beast Machines as well as Animated (and perhaps the movies, if they're not out of bounds?)
Anything's fair game. I think I'm going to be manually farming wikis, as I'm running into the limits of mod_rewrite for what I originally intended. Starting with the cartoon section is good, though, since there's very little legacy content worth keeping.

Sades
2010-02-03, 12:08 AM
I'll have to have a dig for VHS or DVDs- I'll probably have a go at the second season.

Blackjack
2010-02-03, 10:10 AM
@ Denyer - so the cartoon section'll get a new look sometime down the line? Awesome... :up:

@ Sades - The second season? Okay then. After all, second reviews are welcome in the site, is it not? In any case, my boxed DVD set for the second season have vanished into thin air (literally), so it'll save me the download time in YouTube.

Sades
2010-02-05, 03:31 PM
I have no idea- Not sure what you mean by second reviews, but if you're wanting to do them by yourself and are just too polite to say so, that's no problem really. I won't take offense.

Denyer
2010-02-05, 05:55 PM
We have multiple reviews on toys and comics. The 'info' bits (synopsis, notes, etc) would be more collaborative under a content management system anyway.
so the cartoon section'll get a new look sometime down the line?
It's needed nuking from orbit for years. If there are systems other people can easily use, that removes bottlenecks.

Main thing I need to research now is how to quickly transfer file ownership between PHP/FTP processes, ideally without a shell account being involved.

Blackjack
2010-02-06, 01:19 AM
I have no idea- Not sure what you mean by second reviews, but if you're wanting to do them by yourself and are just too polite to say so, that's no problem really. I won't take offense.

No, no, no... I don't mean that.. :) Like Denyer said, both comics and toys often have second reviews of the same stuff. The thing's reviewed twice, like a second opinion or something. For the comics, at least, the synopsis and character featured section are kept the same, with the separate reviews being led to another page.

Don't worry, just do the reviews if you want to. :D

Blackjack
2010-02-15, 04:18 AM
Chain of Command
Airdate: 24 September 1996
Written by: Jesse Winfield
Japanese title: Convoy Disappeared

SYNOPSIS
The Maximals are investigating energon readings under the Standing Stones, an unnatural formation of stones. Rattrap thinks it is bait, while Rhinox comments that the energon on the planet isn't natural. The Predacons attack, but in the battle, the energon crystals was hit by a laser beam, destabilising them. Megatron and Optimus both order their troops to retreat in fear of an explosion. However, instead of exploding, the crystals sent a beam into space., before running out of juice. The Maximals return to base.

Soon, an alien probe comes out of a transwarp portal and streaks towards the planet. Both sides arrive on the Standing Stones again to claim the probe. The Predacons mistake it as a stasis pod, while Rhinox recognises that this is something else. Both sides head to intercept it at the Standing Stones. However, as they face off the probe emits a beam of light which causes Optimus Primal to vanish into thin air.

Soon afterwards, Dinobot awakens in the Axalon's CR chamber. Rhinox and the others inform him that the probe has somehow dumped Dinobot, Megatron and Waspinator (those closest to the probe at that time) near their respective bases. Dinobot seizes the opportunity by saying he should take command. Rattrap, naturally, disagrees. Rhinox insists that they each take a vote. However, the vote results in a stalemate, and Dinobot tries to break the tie by force. However, before the fight could begin, they are contacted by Optimus Primal.

Apparently, Primal's body has been shunted elsewhere, but his consciousness remains active within the probe. To the dismay of Dinobot, Primal puts Rattrap in charge.

Megatron, also thinking that Optimus Primal is dead, divides his force into two — Scorponok and Waspinator head to the Standing Stones to investigate, while Tarantulas, Terrorsaur and himself head to the Maximal Base. Dinobot battles Megatron one-on-one, ignoring Rattrap's order to reset the Axalon's damaged shield circuitry. Rattrap heads out on his own and is able to restore the shields at the last moment. Dinobot manages to beat Megatron, and the Predacons retreat. Dinobot apologises to Rattrap for not following the rodent's orders, claiming that he has 'dishonoured'.

Rhinox manages to invent a device which should, in theory, extract Optimus Primal from the alien probe. The Predacons have been waiting in an ambush and attack. Rhinox's device fails, and the normally mild-mannered scientist unleashes his anger on Waspinator with his chaingun, blasting him apart. Waspinator shorts out and comes in contact with one of the stones in the formation, causing the all of the Standing Stones to glow. The alien probe opens, and Optimus Primal materialises. The battle turns in the Maximal's favour, but before the Maximals could do anything about the alien probe it disappears.

Optimus Primal praises Rattrap on his temporary performance as commander, but Rattrap is more than happy to hand the title back to Primal. The Maximals wonder what the probe's purpose was, and Rhinox ominously says that the aliens have learned their ability to reason... as well as their destructive capabilities.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Rattrap, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Megatron, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Tarantulas, Scorponok

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
Well, there's very little to find fault with in this episode. It nicely introduces the Aliens, but it's self-contained in itself, what with the bickering between Rattrap and Dinobot being the main plot after Primal's disappearance. The friction between Dinobot and Rattrap, and the former's deference later after discovering his errors, are just nice character moments. Even second-stringers like Rhinox and Scorponok get their own little moments: Rhinox expresses his pent-up frustration of having to invent the device and acting as the peacemaker by unleashing his 'Chaingun of Doom' on Waspinator, while Scorponok loses his cool near Tarantulas and Terrorsaur.

Well, the heroic leader disappearing and the troops having to manage on their own is probably reused cartoon plot #25298, but it is delivered well anyway. The fight scenes are well done, even if some stock animation is reused. Little moments like Primal reading something and Dinobot mistaking the CR chamber for a torture chamber is precious. One of the better episodes of the season.

NOTES
This is the first hint given to the Aliens, and their name would later be given in the series as the Vok. The Beast Wars is partly due to their... ah, well. Nevermind. We'll come into this later. Well, just notice that the episode which debuts the aliens has the second moon in the opening shot. Foreshadowing, perhaps?

The Standing Stones has previously been glimpsed in 'Beast Wars (Part 2)'. The Standing Stones might have been inspired by real-life rock formations like the Stonehenge, which, according to some people, were built by aliens.

This episode also features the debut of Rhinox's 'Chaingun of Doom'.

This episode is also the first time Waspinator gets blown up. This would be a running gag throughout the series after this point, with Waspinator litterally being blown up at nearly every episode afterwards.

Rhinox voted for Rattrap, while Cheetor voted for Dinobot. This could be seen when Rhinox gave Cheetor a glare when he reads a second vote for Dinobot. This voting might seem odd, since Rattrap helped Cheetor in the previous episode ('Equal Measures') while Dinobot got him into trouble. Perhaps Cheetor just wants to go into battle that much?

Rattrap references 'B Movies'.

GOOFS
Terrorsaur's upper body is distorted during the initial fight when Waspinator and him swoop to attack Optimus.

Scorponok wears a Maximal insignia on several scenes.

Dinobot's foot cuts through Megatron's head when the former delivers his flying kick thing.

Quote, Unquote

Rattrap: -to Dinobot- "Maximals don't have torture chambers! Though, you know, I could get behind that idea."

Scorponok: -panics when Megatron's under repairs- "Megatron back! Megatron back! Scorponok alone with Tarantulas and Terrorsaur. Very bad!"

Dinobot: "Haha, great system, your democracy. No mechanism to break a tie!"

Rhinox: "Make a device to extract physical molecular structure from an alien probe? Man, I've gotta be a miracle worker!"

Dinobot: "You were selfless in putting that shield back online. I ought to have followed your command I... am dishonoured."
Rattrap: -uncomfortable- "Eeeh.... next time."

Blackjack
2010-02-27, 03:41 AM
Power Surge
Airdate: 25 September 1996
Written by: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: The Aerial Mountain Explodes

SYNOPSIS
A falcon flies through the skies, over all the general area. However, it was eaten by a passing Terrorsaur. The Predacon discovers a mountain which was floating in the sky, defying gravity. Terrorsaur inspects the bizarre phenomenon, and discovers that it contains massive amount of energon crystals. Terrorsaur transforms into robot mode to take a sample, and a surge of energon flows through him, empowering his systems. Terrorsaur flies back to the Predacon base to overthrow Megatron. From a nearby cliff, Cheetor observes the Predacon.

Outside their base, Megatron shows the rest of the Predacons some newly installed autoguns. Terrorsaur chooses this moment to arrive, and announces his attempt at leadership. Megatron and Terrorsaur come to blows, but the over-energized Predacon easily defeats Megatron, sending the purple saurian tumbling down a cliff and falling apart. Terrorsaur announces to the Predacons stooges that the Maximals are the next target. However, Terrorsaur discovers that his power boost has a short fuse, and hurriedly flies back to the floating mountain to recharge.

Tarantulas, eager to steal Terrorsaur's newfound power, follows Terrorsaur. Scorponok, meanwhile, left alone, without anyone to supervise, convinces Waspinator to help him rebuild Megatron. Meanwhile, Cheetor observes all these, having followed Terrorsaur from the floating mountain. He rushes back to the Axalon and informs his comrades of the situation. Rhinox concludes that a scientific explanation for the floating mountain might be the sheer amount of energon, while Primal and Rattrap head out to destroy the island.

Terrorsaur, meanwhile, having his power-up drained, lands on the floating island, and recharge his powers. This was seen by Tarantulas, who was climbing up a strand of web to reach the island, as well as a Rattrap-carrying Optimus. To give Rattrap time to plant some explosives, Primal engages Terrorsaur in an airborne battle. Although Optimus dodges most of the blasts from Terrorsaur, a well-aimed optic beam hits him, forcing him into beast mode. However, as Terrorsaur was about to deliver the final blow, Terrorsaur's enhancements run out again, and he is forced to go for another recharge.

Meanwhile, Rattrap was ambushed by Tarantulas, and the two battle in their beast modes. Rattrap manages to blind Tarantulas with mud, and the disoriented spider falls off the edge of the island into the ground below. Terrorsaur, arriving, discovers the timed explosives Rattrap had planted and flees in panic without recharging.

The explosives detonate the energon crystal, blowing up the whole mountain. Optimus Primal flies up to carry Rattrap to safety and the duo lands on a tree. Meanwhile, a beaten-up Terrorsaur returns home to meet a Megatron, who is far from pleased to see him.

Featured Transformers: Terrorsaur, Cheetor, Megatron, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Rhinox, Rattrap, Optimus Primal

REVIEW
(Seven cubes out of ten)
Give it a seven. While you never believe for once while watching the episode that Terrorsaur would succeed past this episode, it is rather hilarious to see some of the scenes in the episode. While it's a quick recycling of the numerous Starscream plots from G1, Terrorsaur is at least better played compared to Starscream. At the very least, he tries to find a proper advantage before attempting to overthrow Megatron. Come to think of it, Screamer and Terrorsaur are very similar, aren't they? Both have red in their bodies, both have flying alternate modes, both have whiney voices, both have back-mounted wings in robot mode, both are treacherous...

This early in the series, again I must mention, each episode is standalone, with their own little G1-ish plots. But it works to net children and introduce them to transformers, before going to delve deeper into the plot of why Megatron came to the planet in the first place. But at least they learnt from their mistakes in G1 — Terrorsaur doesn't try to piss off Megatron every single episode, unlike Starscream. In fact, other than this episode and I think 'Double Jeopardy', I don't think Terrorsaur had attempted other coups. Which is a good thing... it gets old after some time. Overall, this is not a stellar episode, but it's good and funny.

NOTES
Terrorsaur eating the bird in the intro of the episode is a reference to his bio, where it states that he "ingests entire flocks of birds by flying opened mouthed through their flight pattern." The bird, it seems, uses Airazor's beast mode character model.

Cheetor points at a location in a place similarly shaped North America to indicate where the floating mountain is, giving a little foreshadowing that the planet really is Earth.

When Optimus and Rattrap flies towards the mountain, Rattrap makes a reference to the bat Optimus Primal toy, by suggesting that he choose a bat as his alt mode.

This episode marks the first appearance of the Predacons' autoguns.

Terrorsaur quotes Megatron's trademark "Yeesssss" right after he declares "Megatron is scrap!" Ah, the irony.

Optimus Primal seems to quote G1 Whirl's motto when he says "Sometimes crazy works." However, it might be a simple coincidence.

GOOFS
At one point, the 'energy surge' effect on Terrorsaur changes colour from red to blue randomly.

When Terrorsaur recharges for the second time, his body begans to flicker together with the energon.

The floating island is rotating, but Tarantulas, who's scurrying up a webline, doesn't revolve with it. In fact, the webline should've turned along with the island.

Dinobot is absent for the entire episode.

Quote, Unquote

Terrorsaur: "Megatron is scrap, yessss."

Scorponok: "I am second in command!"
Waspinator: "Well?"
Scorponok: "Well what?"
Waspinator: "If you're second in command, what is your command?"
Scorponok: -stops to think-

Optimus Primal: "Sometimes crazy works."

Terrorsaur: "Blast those Maximals! They destroyed my power source! But at least I got rid of Megatron."
Megatron: -steps out of base- "Well, well, look who's back."
Terrorsaur: "Help." -screen fades to grayscale-

starlord
2010-02-27, 04:48 AM
Dinobot shows his ambition and temper. I knew I like him the first time I saw him.

Blackjack
2010-02-27, 02:37 PM
Fallen Comrades
Airdate: 30 September 1996
Written by: Bob Forward
Japanese title: Solitary Warrior Tigatron

SYNOPSIS
A stasis pod falls from orbit around the planet, plummeting down and finally crash landing on an icy, deserted sector in the North. Instead of going immediately to obtain the stasis pod, Megatron decides to ambush the Maximals' sole flier, Optimus Primal.

Somewhere outside the Maximal base, Dinobot warns Primal against heading out alone. However, Primal is insistent on heading off to retrieve the stasis pod containing a fellow Maximal. Waspinator and Terrorsaur ambushes Primal, and damage him. However, Dinobot manages to drive them off before they could finish off Primal. In the Predacon base, Megatron continues with his plans. Realising that the Maximals would send a ground party to retrieve the stasis pod, the Maximal base would be undermanned and vulnerable to attack. Megatron sends the airborne Predacons to fetch the pod, while he leads the remaining troops to assault the Maximal base.

Meanwhile, the Maximals run towards the crash site in their beast modes, leaving the damaged Optimus Primal and Dinobot in their base to recuperate. Rhinox urges the Maximals to hurry, as if the pod is damaged the Protoform robot inside will be expired to the unstable energon of the planet. True enough, as the pod opens, the Protoform's hand reaches out and starts to short out from the energon.

However, the Maximals come across an ice bridge above a crevasse. Waspinator and Terrorsaur arrives and after a brief battle, the Predacons blow up the bridge, hindering the Maximals from getting to the pod. Rattrap radios base and informs the status to Dinobot, who in turn accesses Optimus Primal's consciousness in the CR chamber and informs the monkey. Primal suggests that they send a transmission to the pod by bouncing the signal off of something.

A short while later, Megatron, Scorponok and Tarantulas arrive on the Maximal base to witness Dinobot setting up the transmitter on top of the base. Megatron offers Dinobot a chance to return to the Predacon fold, but Dinobot replies by blasting Megs.
However, Scorponok and Tarantulas return fire, damaging Dinobot. Despite this, he still manages to activate. The Axalon's autoguns which quickly takes care of the Predacons. Megatron, seeing that their situation is disadvantaged, orders his troops to fall back and head to the pod's crash site.

With the transmitter in place, Primal is able to bounce a transmission off one of the moons and towards the stasis pods, and the transmission triggers the stasis pod's DNA scanners. The repaired Primal then steps out of the CR chamber, puts the damaged Dinobot inside and flies off.

Waspinator and Terrorsaur struggles to open the pod, and the Maximals, having taken an alternate route, arrives. Before either side could attack, however, Megatron shows up and threatens to kill two white tigers if the Maximals do not surrender the pod. Unable to risk innocent life, the Maximals are forced to watch as Megatron gloats, claiming that he will reprogram the Protoform into a Predacon. He opens the pod... to find it empty. One of the white tiger transforms and introduces himself as the Maximal Tigatron. Tigatron opens fire on the Predacons, and the arrival of Optimus Primal forces the Predacons to retreat.

Primal thanks Tigatron and welcomes him to the team. Tigatron apologises for not acting sooner, as his identity circuits were damaged in the pod's landing and he was not sure who he was until he saw the Maximals were willing to sacrifice their lives to protect others. However, Tigatron declines the Maximals' offer to go to their base, saying that he's more tiger than transformer and feels that his home is in the wild. However, he pledges loyalty to the Maximals as a scout.

?Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Megatron, Dinobot, Waspinator, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Tigatron
Notable others: Snowstalker

?REVIEW
(Five out of ten)
Well, the build-up of the episode is well done. Megatron's scheming and strategies, the tension of the Maximals as they race to the pod, and it has some comical moments like Waspinator getting flattened by a rock or Scorponok finding himself face-to-face with the autoguns. However, the latter half of the episode suffers from bad scripting. How Megatron got from the Axalon to the crash site in under one minute is a niggling question, and Tigatron's 'new toy' status means he gets to beat up any Predacon in his way.

Regardless, it's a nice debut for Tigatron, although his refusal to join the Maximals and his explanation is very dodgy. Perhaps he just didn't like them? Also, I don't like the Maximals giving up one of their own to save a couple of animals. Protecting humans, a la G1, is a different thing. While it might teach kiddies to love animals, it doesn't make sense in context of the story. Surely the Maximals are made up of sterner stuff? That scene is a little emo, to be honest. But still, a decent episode.

NOTES
This is the first episode centering on stasis pods. Well, a little talk on them. Some sources say that stasis pods, containing protoforms, are like eggs who contain blank slates which are the protoforms inside. The protoforms would be like a newborn transformer, with little or no memory. Most of the transformers birthed from stasis pods do act this way, as newly born (albeit powerful) transformers. However, in several cases, like Rampage, or Grimlock (in the IDW comics), it seems that a pre-existing transformer could be reduced into a protoform-like state and put into sleep in a stasis pod. Sort of. It's kinda fuzzy.

The Predacons plan to reprogram Maximal protoforms with shell programs to boost their forces.

First debut of Tigatron, obviously. Also, that other white tiger with Tigatron, Snowstalker, also makes its debut in the episode.

Tigatron's quote at the end of the episode, "Let the trails lead where they may—I will follow." would serve as his quote in both his Fun Publications bio as well as his Beast Wars Sourcebook bio.

This is also the first appearance for the Maximal Autoguns. Apparently you can avoid getting shot if you stand really, really still. Considering they used to blow a hole in the Darksyde, their power seems to be depleted, since they didn't do that much damage to Scorponok and Tarantulas other than launch them away from the Maximal base.

GOOFS
Waspinator gets flattened (literally) by a huge rock, complete with Looney Tunes effects. However, he doesn't spend any time in the CR Pool or being repaired, and functions normally throughout the episode. Then again, he's Waspinator...

The big one: Terrorsaur, Waspinator and the Maximal trio takes the entire episode to get to the snowly wastelands and the pod, but Megatron manages it in several shots. Optimus Primal's jets excuse him from this fact, but that doesn't change that Megatron gets from the Axalon to the crash site in the same amount of time it took for Optimus to send a signal.

After Optimus is shot down by Waspinator and Terrorsaur, his right shoulder pad is upside down.

When Scorponok shoots Dinobot off the Maximal base's roof, his scorpion legs somehow clips through his chest. This is odd considering Scorpy's scorpion legs aren't supposed to be visible in robot mode.

When Cheetor lowers his gun in surrender, it clips through his leg.

In several shots near the end of the episode, Tigatron's beast-mode legs are yellow instead of white.

Terrorsaur's map of the landmasses look absolutely nothing like Earth, prehistoric or otherwise.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: -flattened by giant rock- "Ohhhh no. Waspinator in trouble!"

Megatron: "You were a Predacon once, become one again. Turn the base over to me and the Beast Wars will be over. We Predacons will rule the galaxy and you shall be my second in command. What do you say?"
Dinobot: -pretends to consider offer- "Eat slag!"

Rattrap: "You win, you depraved wad of stinkin' slag."

TFArchive
2010-03-01, 12:57 AM
Thanks for doing reviews BlackJack, it makes me want to watch the show again to see all the cheesy stuff again.

I can't remember the last time I watched the entire series, likely when it was airing, I think my DVDs are still sealed :)

Blackjack
2010-03-05, 04:52 AM
Thanks for doing reviews BlackJack, it makes me want to watch the show again to see all the cheesy stuff again.

I can't remember the last time I watched the entire series, likely when it was airing, I think my DVDs are still sealed :)

Glad to see that you like! :)

Myself, I only managed to catch horribly dubbed episodes of Beast Wars (or was it BM? Can't remember...) when I was waaay young. And even then I didn't realize it was transformers. I've managed to get myself DVD sets of the two series and watched it all, though.

Blackjack
2010-03-12, 05:07 PM
Double Jeopardy
Airdate: 7 October 1996
Written by: Jesse Winfield
Japanese Title: "Kick of the Spider Woman"

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal and Dinobot arrive near a fallen stasis pod which had crashed on the cliff. However, the Predacons apparently had arrived there first. Waspinator manages to successfully lug the stasis pod away while the other Predacons overwhelm Primal and Dinobot. At the Maximal base, Optimus is pissed on the fact that the Maximals' frequency might be tapped, which led to their ambush. He calls Rattrap into a private meeting, telling the rat that he suspects him of feeding information to the Predacons. As a test of loyalty, Rattrap is sent on a solo mission into one of the most dangerous sectors.

At the Predacon base, Tarantulas reprograms the protoform into a new Predacon, namely Blackarachnia. Afterwards, they eavesdrop on Rattrap's radio messages, finding out that he is alone. Megatron dispatches Terrorsaur to eliminate the rodent. The aerial Predacon attacks Rattrap and the two battle. Terrorsaur gains the upper hand, and Rattrap offers his loyalty to the Predacons, even as the other Maximals listen to the conversation from their base.

As they arrive at the Predacon base, Terrorsaur introduces his new underling. The two overthrow Megatron and place him in a cage hanging above a lava pool. Terrorsaur proceeds to dump Rattrap in an adjacent cell because he doesn't trust the Maximal. However, Megatron has anticipated betrayal, and breaks free just by giving a command to the computer. Once Megatron is away, Rattrap picks the lock and escape as well.

As he sneaks through the Predacon base, Rattrap discovers a Predacon computer console with a Maximal chip in it, explaining how the Predacons were able to hack into the Maxies' frequency and anticipate their moves. Rattrap dutifully removes the chip. As he makes his way out of the base, he had to break free from both a booby trap as well as face Tarantulas. However, Rattrap manages to soundly defeat the spider.

The Maximals assault the Predacon base to retrieve Rattrap. The Predacon troops look up to Terrorsaur for leadership, causing the de facto leader to panic. His condition is worsened when Megatron pops out beside him, even deigning to follow Terrorsaur's leadership to see how well he could lead a counter-attack. Rattrap, having returned into his cage as if nothing had happened, is freed by an unsuspecting Terrorsaur to booster their troops. The rodent even scores a hit on Optimus Primal. During the battle Megatron tells Rattrap to finish off Dinobot. The rodent announces his loyalty for all by shooting Terrorsaur. The distraction allows Dinobot to slam onto Megatron, giving the Maximals the break they need to retreat. Megatron then re-assumes his position as leader, admonishing Terrorsaur's incompetence (Blackarachnia is missing, the troops are in shambles and Rattrap's broken stuff in their base). Back in the Axalon, Primal explains to the other Maximals that the betrayal was a charade to get Rattrap into the Predacon base.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Rattrap, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Scorponok, Rhinox, Cheetor, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia

REVIEW
(Three cubes out of ten)
Yet another ho-hum generic episode. Season one of Beast Wars is basically like this — you could skip any episode bar the beginning and the end of the season and still get the story. While it's good in aspects of being a cartoon, it does get monotonous after a while. Not that G1 was any better, mind. It appears I was mistaken on my review of 'Power Surge' that Terrorsaur only betrays Megatron once or twice throughout the series. Here's another example, and it's very Starscream-y. However, the little moment where Megatron lets Terrorsaur take charge to show how incompetent he is a rather nice moment.

Aside from that, the episode has no impact whatsoever. We never believe Rattrap had betrayed the Maximals, since there was no reason for us to believe to — it is like Cliffjumper suddenly waking up to hate Mirage back in G1. Considering the fact that he's not even willing to cover fire for his buddies in the first episode, it's a rather big leap for the character to suddenly go into dangerous territories for a chip that might or might not exist. Saving his fellow Maximals (like in 'the Web', for instance) is one thing, risking his neck for a probability... I just can't see Rattrap agreeing to it. Blackarachnia's debut also leaves no impact to the audience. Unlike just about everyone else in the series, Blackarachnia appears for the scene where Tarantulas activates her, does some karate kicks in the background, beats Cheetor up, and goes missing, unexplained. I mean, really. Megatron even tells Terrorsaur that Blackarachnia's gone. That's not even taking into consideration the numerous plot holes in the episode (see goofs). One of the poorer offers Season One has to give.

NOTES
This episode is the debut of Blackarachnia. She has the distinction of being the first female to appear in the Beast Wars, as well as being the first female Decepticon/Predacon. Also, this episode is the first time we've seen the Predacons reprogram a Maximal protoform with a shell program. Come to think of it, the reprogramming is much more sinister than any of the schemes the Predacons have cooked up, yet it's left in the backburner most of the times. Hmmm...

Blackarachnia's protoform uses the character model for the Cybertronian mode of Megatron seen in 'Beast Wars (Part 1)', albeit with a modified head, instead of the more fluid character model seen for the other characters later on. Since we didn't get a good look at Tigatron's protoform in his debut episode, we can assume that it's not an error but merely an early design. After all, it's not that much of a difference.

In real life, Blackarachnia's toy is a straight repaint of Tarantulas. Unlike Tigatron, whose CGI model is basically a touched-up Cheetor (of whom Tiggy is repainted from), Blackarachnia receives an all-new character model and even a new alternate mode. Tarantulas is a tarantula spider, or at least something similar, while Blackarachnia is a black widow. Some records (TFWiki? I can't remember) say that the designers visit a strip club to get inspiration for Blackarachnia's CG model. Um.... yeah. Okay.

While sneaking through the Predacons' ventilation duct, Rattrap encounters a small real-life white rat. This gives an approximation of Rattrap's scale — he's one massive rodent.

The Maximal chip has letters on it in Cybertronix, an invented font used in production of the series. They usually are scattered randomly around machinery and monitors, but some, like this, actually translate into words. In this case, 'Caution very hot'. I can't be bothered to note every single use of Cybertronix, so I'll just leave it here.

GOOFS
Why didn't Primal notify his other troops of Rattrap's charade? The rodent could really gotten himself hurt under the hands of, say, Dinobot.

Why keep the charade during the battle anyway? Rattrap could simply scurry away without shooting Primal and endangering his teammates (not to mention himself). He's gotten the chip already, so why still fight?

For the matter, why blame Rattrap? Dinobot, being a former Pred and everything, should raise more suspicion.

Why and how Blackarachnia disappears is never touched upon.

Quote, Unquote
Tarantulas: -sees Blackarachnia coming online- "Oh, be still my spinnerets."

Dinobot: "Will you still defend your friend, or will you see him for what he is? A traitor!"
Rhinox: "You're a fine one to talk."

Megatron: "A wise tyrant always designs his prisons for his own personal escape."

Tarantulas: "So, the juicy rat has been running his maze."

Blackjack
2010-03-13, 09:58 PM
A Better Mousetrap
Airdate: 8 October 1996
Written By: Chris Weber & Karen Willson
Japanese Title: "Goodbye Rattle"

SYNOPSIS
Terrorsaur, Waspinator and Blackarachnia drill a hole through the caverns beneath the Maximal base to deliver a sonic emitter that would clear a path for the Predacons to assault the Maximal base. Waspinator leaves to get something. On board the Axalon, Rhinox shows a holographic simulation of the Axalon's proposed new defences, the Sentinel, to Rattrap and Optimus Primal. However, as they see the holographic forcefield raised, Cheetor reports in, saying that he detects Waspinator flying around in Maximal territory. Optimus Primal and Tigatron (who happen to be in the local area), go and check it out.

Meanwhile, Dinobot is not impressed by Sentinel's non-lethal defences. Rattrap activates some of the defensive measures on to Dinobot to display their effectiveness. Dinobot is nonplussed and breaks free, and in his rage, lunges for Rattrap. However he misses and impales the computer console instead. This causes Sentinel to register the Maximals as intruders. The defensive mechanisms activate, forcing the Maximals to evacuate. Rattrap hides in a ventilation shaft to disable Sentinel.

Meanwhile, Tigatron and Optimus Primal find Waspinator flying around aimlessly in the skies, muttering about how he's going to rule everyone. Primal taps Waspinator's back to get his attention, and the bug flies away. The Maximal leader gives chase, but Waspinator manages to get away. The situation with Sentinel forces Primal to retreat to base, leaving Tigatron to hunt the Predacons alone. He follows Waspinator's scent into a mountain, passing through a holographic projection which hides the entrance.

Meanwhile, Rattrap works his way around the traps and whatnot around the base, with some rather unorthodox methods. Optimus Primal arrives on the base (well, outside it anyway) and gets briefed of the situation by the others.

Tigatron finds the Predacon goons underground in their excavation operation. After a brief scuffle, Tigatron grabs the Predacon device and tries to escape. Blackarachnia demands that he return the explosive, and Tigatron is happy to comply. The explosive detonates, forcing the Predacons to retreat. Tigatron gets out of the blast radius as well, but the underground cavern has collapsed. The danger averted, Tigatron heads to the Axalon.

Rattrap enters the main room. The defences try to terminate him, but he manages to push the big, red button, deactivating Sentinel. Outside, the Maximals witness the shield go out. Rhinox claims this is because Rattrap has been eliminated by the defences. The Maximals all go teary and began to say kind words for the rodent as we fade to black...

And Rattrap steps out of the hatch, alive, well and very smug.

Transformers Featured: Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Rattrap, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Tigatron, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Six cubes out of ten)
Another average episode. So far, there are no blatantly bad episodes, but there are still no particularly impressive ones. Rattrap undoubtedly steals the spotlight in this tightly-knit episode. It's a better spotlight for the rodent than 'Double Jeopardy', simply because it's more believable for the rodent to risk his life in trying to deactivate his base's haywire defences than him being a double agent sent into the Predacon base to find something that might've not existed.

While these early episodes may seem humdrum and a rehash of G1, only with a different setting and less characters, Beast Wars does manage to get a huge amount of characterisation into the works. Especially on episodes with thin plots like this. Wait, the plot sounds very similar to something but I can't place it... ah. 'The House That Wheeljack Built', from Marvel UK. That's got a very similar plot to this one. You know, maybe it's where they got the inspiration for the story.

NOTES
This is the first episode not to feature Megatron in it, although he is briefly glimpsed in the Sentinel simulation.

This is the debut of Sentinel, the Maximal base's defence system. On later episodes, we would often see the forcefield activate to keep out Predacons, although the traps in the base are more seldom seen.

Sentinel sometimes speaks in bleeps and bloops, sound effects which would later be known in Armada as Mini-Con speak.

Despite his posturing on previous episodes, Rattrap is revealed to be quite a useful guy to have on your side during a fight. He's just about the most effective soldier in Primal's employ — an excellent marksman, good at sneaking and fooling others, can handle himself in a fight and has a biting wit. What else do you want in a soldier?

Tigatron roams the wild, but is contacted by the Maximals with commlinks if he is needed.

GOOFS
Tigatron's voice actor Blu Mankuma is mis-spelled as 'Blu Mankma' in the credits.

Despite Dinobot and Rattrap making a big deal early in the episode that the defences are non-lethal, they are worried that Rattrap would die. Of course, we need our cheesy moments, don't we?

For being a non-lethal defence systems, Sentinel is pretty dangerous, what with it threatening to terminate Rattrap several times.

A carry-over goof from the previous episode — despite Blackarachnia being missing at the end of 'Double Jeopardy', she's back in the Predacon fold now with no explanation.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Waspinator sick of taking orders. Waspinator is greatest of Predacons. Waspinator ruuuuules! Heheheh."
Optimus Primal: "Looks like Waspinator's been on a sugar binge."

Rattrap: "This ain't a security grid, it's a gym just for spy-guys like me!"

Sentinel: "Resistance persists. Upgrading program."
Rattrap: "Oh man, there won't be enough left of me to fill a teaspoon."

Cheetor:" Rattrap? Gone? No way. I don't believe it."
Optimus Primal: "He was a difficult Maximal to deal with. At times, impossible. But I'll remember him with honour."
Dinobot: "I won't disgrace his memory with lies! He was a stinking, omnivorous pestilence! But still, in some perverse way I shall miss him."
Rhinox: "Sure, he smelled bad — he was a rat. But he was my best friend."

Blackjack
2010-03-19, 03:30 PM
Gorilla Warfare
Written by: Greg Johnson
Airdate: 14 October 1996
Japanese Title: "The Assassin Virus"

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal and Dinobot are out on a scientific mission to observe plants, and the two argue a bit on the importance of studying the plants. A weird plant shoots a spiky seed onto Dinobot's back in the process, much to the warrior's chagrin. Just then, Scorponok ambushes them, and manages to launch his Cyberbee drone onto Primal's chest. However, the Predacon is swiftly defeated.

Back at the base, Primal is placed in the CR chamber, while Dinobot explains that the Cyberbee is a viral carrier designed to infect Optimus' core systems, causing him to be humbled and turn a coward. Rhinox deduces that since the Cyberbee is directly connected to Optimus' core systems, removing the Cyberbee would be impossible without seriously damaging the Maximal commander, which would trigger a self-destruct sequence.

As they discuss their next move, a beserk Optimus Primal tears the CR chamber apart. Apparently, since Scorponok had designed it, the Cyberbee had caused the opposite effect of what it's designed for, causing Primal to know absolutely no fear at all, essentially making him an angry killing machine. However, in his current state Primal is a danger to himself and the Maximals, and he's still at risk from the system drain of the Cyberbee. Clutching on the last strands of sanity, he orders his troops to lock him up.

However, soon after Primal convinces Cheetor that they could use the mine against the Predacons, causing the young Maximal to release him. However, the rest of the Maximals disagree with the plan, causing the unstable Maximal leader to fly off in a rage towards the Predacon base. Dinobot suggests that they think like the old Optimus, and proposes negotiating with the Predacons for the antivirus. However, their attempt only serves to give the Predacons warning of Optimus' oncoming assault. With no other options, the four Maximals grudgingly head out to support Optimus' assault.

Primal blasts his way in, taking out Tarantulas and Waspinator in quickly and brutally. Outside, the Maximals square off against Blackarachnia and Terrorsaur, giving Cheetor a chance to run into the base and support their leader. Meanwhile, Primal makes short work of the rest of the Predacons, until he comes face-to-face with Megatron, who gives him an ultimatum: submit to Predacon rule and live, or refuse the cure and die.

Inspired by the plant's will to survive from the earlier science mission, Primal chooses a third option and rips the Cyberbee off from his chest, activating the drone's self-destruct sequence. He throws it at Megatron, where the bee attaches itself on the Predacon's back, just like what the plant did when it shot its seed on Dinobot. Unable to reach the Cyberbee, Megatron drops the antidote and runs to Scorponok for help. Cheetor arrives in time and administers the antidote to Primal. The Maximals bail out, just in time for the Cyberbee to blow up.

Primal comes to in his quarters, finding Dinobot watching over him. He says some cheesy words, saying that he's glad that the monkey is back, before exiting the quarters. Dinobot had apparently brought Primal a sample of the plant they had studies earlier.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Scorponok, Cyberbee (destroyed) Rattrap, Cheetor, Rhinox, Megatron, Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia, Tarantulas, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
The plot is basically reused plot #524, namely the heroic leader goes crazy and tries to kill someone. But the main treat would be Dinobot’s character development. Through the several episodes which had transpired between ‘Beast Wars (Part One)’ and this one, Dinobot has warmed up from being a power-hungry warrior who challenges Primal’s leadership every single moment to a competent team player. In this episode there are several moments where the ex-Predacon advises the other Maximals to follow what Primal would usually do. While not submissive like, say, Cheetor, both Rattrap and Dinobot are now better soldiers and actually listen to orders. Character development – they don’t turn into this within one episode, but rather after several episodes. And even then Dinobot would still show insubordination several times as the series goes on.

Scorponok messing up the Cyberbee programming is believable and entertaining enough, and the plot keeps recalling the introduction where Primal and Dinobot sees the alien plant. Primal beating the crap out of the Predacons is badass, although what else would be expected from the Maximal leader? Megatron is a decent enough villain, with melodramatic posturing and gambling, although he does come off as bumbling during some of the early episodes. Which is part of his charm, really… The episode is unnecessarily cheesy at some moments, but overall one of the better early episodes.

NOTES
This episode has the reference to a spark (as in the lifeforce/soul/central part/bright floating thingy of a transformer) in Transformer lore.

The title of the episode is a pun on the phrase 'guerilla warfare', which means sudden attacks carried out by an unofficial military group, usually a small one which intents to change the government.

This episode features some of the alien plants that are definitely not from Earth. These alien plants are most probably Vok creation, as seen by their penchant for plant-like weapons in ‘Other Visits’.

The first appearance of the Predacon-styled Cybertronix font could be seen in the computer screen in Scorponok’s lab. I can’t be bothered to translate it, though. You have to go to someone who’s interested for that.

The scene where Optimus Primal’s footsteps echo around the corridors, and afterwards his arm punches through a wall to brutally drag Waspinator is a reference to a similar sequence in RoboCop. Primal impaling Tarantulas on his own dart might be a reference to some movie too, but I can’t remember what exactly…

GOOFS
Although the Maximals make a huge deal out of ‘the Cyberbee’s self-destruct will destroy everything and kill Primal Oh em gee!’, Megatron and Scorponok manage to survive the explosion even though they are at ground zero. But that’s probably just Rhinox being a ham. Still, you can’t deny that the Cyberbee makes a big hole on the Predacon base.

Scorponok’s visor turns red yet again in this episode, instead of its normal yellow shade, during the scene where Primal blasts him towards a log. The timing when he fires his missiles seem a little awkward as well.

Quote, Unquote

Dinobot: "If we encounter any of Megatron's forces, you may learn that it is unwise to dally with plants."

Dinobot: "Yes, from now on I shoot my dinner salad before I eat it."

Rattrap: "As much as I'd love to see both of you scrap yourselves, save it for my birthday."

Cheetor: "It didn't work. All we did was tip them off, and they're gonna be waiting for him! You and your bright ideas!"
Dinobot: "It would appear that only Optimus can truly think like Optimus. For the rest of us we must now think on our own."

Blackjack
2010-03-22, 10:39 AM
The Probe
Airdate: 15 October 1996
Written By: Craig Miller & Marv Wolfman
Japanese Title: "New Weapon of Terror"

SYNOPSIS
The Maximal command on Cybertron launch lots of temporal probes through space-time to search for Optimus Primal's crew. One floats through the residual transwarp rift, and approaches the planet where the Beast Warriors are fighting.

Rhinox detects the probe in space, but it moves out of range before communications can be established. The Maximals calculate that the probe would pass the planet, and they could attract the probe's attention by duplicating the Axalon's transwarp signal. Dinobot is less than pleased with this newest development. The next day, the Maximals begin construction of the signal array they'll use to contact the temporal probe. Since they're in Predacon territory, Tigatron acts as their eyes and ears. The tiger shoots down a passing Waspinator, but this enables Tarantulas to sneak up on him and blast him with the 'transformation lock lens', a new invention made by the mad scientist. It traps Tigatron in beast mode, weaponless. The Maximal is quickly taken down by Tarantulas. Cheetor arrives to help out, but he, too, is defeated by Tarantulas.

The other Maximals are unaware of the attack, and Dinobot admits that he's afraid that he'll be persecuted due to his past as a Predacon. Primal assures Dinobot that it wouldn't happen. Scorponok, meanwhile, reports to Megatron on the construction of the array. The scorpion then attacks, but the Maximals take him out before he could do too much damage. Rhinox heads out to deliver a transwarp component from the Axalon.

Cheetor and Tigatron are caged inside the Predacon base, while Megatron reviews Scorponok's report on the signal array. Cheetor accidentally blurts out that the array is being made to contact a probe from Cybertron. The Predacons leave the base for a full-scale assault. Tigatron and Cheetor escape from the cages, heading to the Predacons' CR pool to escape the transformation lock.

Terrorsaur distracts Primal, Rattrap and Dinobot long enough for the other Predacons to get close. While Terrorsaur is defeated, Tarantulas uses his transformation lock rifle on Dinobot. Dinobot is defeated by Blackarachnia, who in turn is defeated by Rattrap. Tarantulas locks all the remaining Maximals into beast modes, and Megatron takes out all the Maximals bar Primal. The timely arrival of Rhinox turns the tide of battle in the Maximals' favour, sending the Predacons packing. Rhinox is in the process of entering the code that will allow the array to transmit the Axalon's transwarp signal, when Tarantulas fires at the Maximal with his gun, locking Rhinox into beast mode. Primal, the only one who has fingers in beast mode, rushes to input the code but Megatron destroys the array from afar.

Megatron nearly finishes off the Maximals, but Cheetor and Tigatron arrive, destroying Tarantulas' gun and driving the Predacons away. Megatron gloats that the war will still continue until he wins, and the Maximals cannot hope for help from Cybertron to come.

Featured Transformers Cheetor, Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Rhinox, Tigatron, Waspinator, Tarantulas, Scorponok, Megatron, Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
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.

NOTES
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.

GOOFS
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.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: -scans for the probe- "Come on, baby, come on, give it up for the rat…."

Rattrap: "What's biting your sensors, Dinoboob?"

Optimus Primal: "You're a Maximal now, and we'll see that you're treated as one."
Dinobot: "And what makes you think that I want to be?"

Blackjack
2010-03-23, 10:46 AM
Victory
Airdate: 1 November 1996
Written By: Wendy Reardon
Japanese Title: "Make A Dramatic Comeback, Destrons"

SYNOPSIS
Through a spy camera installed in the Predacon base, the Maximals watch as the Predacons scuffle amongst themselves during an experiment with energon crystals. The Predacon troops, convinced by this latest failure, turn on their leader. During the ensuing battle, the energon crystals were detonated which seemingly destroys all the Predacons. As the video feed goes offline, the Maximals watch in a mixture of joy and shock at the revelation that the Beast Wars are over. Heading to the Predacon base to investigate this matter, the Maximals find the base littered with debris as well as random Predacon body parts.

Rattrap is overjoyed at this development, while Dinobot is more somber, lamenting his former comrades. The rest of the Maximals ransack the Predacon base to find parts to repair the Axalon for the trip back to Cybertron. While the repairs are underway, Dinobot confides to Optimus Primal about his reluctance to return to Cybertron, since he might be treated as a war criminal. Dinobot requests to be left behind to tame the planet. Primal tries to convince Dinobot otherwise, but his mind is set. Dinobot wanders around the wilderness while the Maximals prepare for take-off, and find the entire Predacon crew hiding in a crevasse. Apparently they had found the spy camera before, and the whole thing was an act. Megatron plans to steal the repaired Axalon, the stasis pods in orbit and to leave the Maximals stranded on the planet. Dinobot rushes to the Axalon to warn his comrades, with the Predacons in hot pursuit behind him.

Dinobot reaches the Maximals just before the Predacons gun him down. Rhinox informs the other Maximals that the Axalon’s launch cannot be aborted, but Primal and Cheetor rushes out to help Dinobot anyway. Cheetor is able to get Dinobot out of harm’s way, but Primal is shot out of the sky by Scorponok. Before the Axalon could launch, however, Megatron boards the Maximal shuttle.

Megatron takes out Tigatron and Rattrap, but Rhinox flushes him out of the ship. During the battle, however, Megatron’s tail shield/weapon thing was jammed onto the control console, causing the Axalon to plummet back to Earth. Optimus Primal, recovered, flies up with his jet boosters and guides the Maximal ship back to its original place, Superman-style. However, the damage has been done and the Axalon could not fly again.

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Terrorsaur, Scorponok, Waspinator, Dinobot, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Tigatron

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
It’s a decent episode, with Megatron’s evil plan actually being something new. However, you never believe for a second that the Predacons are truly dead, no matter how emo Dinobot gets. It’s more of the timing of the episode, really—if it had happened somewhere later in the series, it would’ve been more believable. Also, Megatron’s so-called master plan isn’t very smart at all… if Dinobot hadn’t shown up, the Predacons would still be bickering in the crevasse and the Maximals would’ve launched anyway.

Still, Dinobot steals the spotlight with the wonderful dialogue he has with Optimus Primal as well as Rattrap. It plays directly from his fear of returning to Cybertron seen in ‘the Probe’, and he even quotes Hamlet at one point. It’s a nice touch, littering Predacon parts all over the base to make it look as if the deaths had been real. However, the conclusion is way too convenient for the show. What, a simple sword stab into the control console and the ship could never ever ever fly again? It’s rather stupid, really. Megatron had simply donated a lot of starship parts to the Maximals with his plan. Not one of the best episodes, but still recommended for Dinobot’s scenes.

NOTES
Dinobot quotes Hamlet. “Alas, Tarantulas. I knew him Cheetor…” This would not be the last time he does so.

When Scorponok shoots Optimus Primal down from the Axalon, it seems to be a reference to the scene where King Kong plummets from the building to his death. It could be coincidental, but then again…

Practically the entire sequence with Primal rescuing the Axalon is a reference to Superman. Rhinox, Rattrap and Dinobot go all “Look in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!”, although it’s not copied word-for-word. Noticeably, Primal is ‘down in the sky’ instead of ‘up in the sky’, since he flies up from the ground. Primal holding the underside of the ship as it lands is also very reminiscent of Superman, as is the music which accompanies the scene.

GOOFS
When the Predacons shoot Dinobot and he falls, he appears to be floating on the ground for some time after the camera pans to Primal.

When Dinobot is shot down, Primal is in robot mode. After the screen fades out to signal an advertisement, Primal is in beast mode. He transforms into robot mode almost immediately after said break.

When the Axalon falls out of the sky, the CG model is mirrored, so the antennas and whatnot are on the wrong side of the ship.

In the original crash, the Axalon’s rear section was torn apart, with bent fins and much of the hull plating gone. This is even shown in the computer targeting system Tigatron uses. However, when the ship takes off, the Axalon is showroom-clean, with everything in its right place. Where on the Predacon ship could they’ve obtained the fins suitable for the Axalon? And besides, every episode afterwards show the Axalon retaining the hull damage, when it is shown to be repaired this episode.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: -sees Predacons begin to bicker- “Now aren’t you glad we’ve got cable?”

Dinobot: “Alas, poor Tarantulas. I knew him, Cheetor… this is the leg that stalked so many victims. That it should come to this…”
Cheetor: “Aw, do you need a hug?”

Optimus Primal: "I understand. Nonetheless, let the records show that I advise against this action. It will eventually lead to your destruction."
Dinobot: "Eventually. Eventually can be a long time, Optimus Primal.”

Dinobot: -sees Primal and Cheetor coming to his rescue- "This is strategically unsound."

Megatron: -to Rattrap- “For now, I shall crush you like a rat in a trap!"

Dinobot: “Look, down in the sky! Is it a bird?”
Rhinox: “Maybe a plane?”
Rattrap: “No, it’s Optimus!”

Blackjack
2010-03-25, 02:07 PM
Dark Designs
Airdate: 4 November 1996
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: "Rhinox Rampages"

SYNOPSIS
In an energon vein, the Maximals meet with failure as the energon they were searching for is inaccessible. The Predacons attack them, but they are saved by Rhinox, who cause a rockslide which takes out all the Predacons. The Maximals return to base, jubilant because of their victory. Meanwhile, at the Predacon base, Megatron determines that Rhinox is one of the major threats to their war, and orders Tarantulas to capture the lumbering Maximal. The spider heads out and finds Rhinox lagging behind the other Maximals, and takes him out with a dose of cyber venom.

The Maximals realise that Rhinox had disappeared. Rattrap uses his communicator to listen through Rhinox's, and were able to eavesdrop on the events in the Predacon base where Megatron uses an evil device called the 'Transmuter' to reprogram Rhinox into a Predacon. Although the Maximals are outnumbered, Primal plans to wait for a while before the Maximals rescue Rhinox, smiling conspiratorily.

In the Predacon basae, Megatron and the reprogrammed Rhinox plots on how to destroy the Maximals. However, the computer they were using fizzles out, and Megatron sends off Rhinox to check up on Scorponok's repair of the system. The computer system's damage was actually Rhinox's doing, and when he arrives to check on Scorponok, the brainwashed Maximal topples massive crates of hardware on the Predacon. Megatron and Waspinator arrive later, without any idea of who took out Scorponok. Waspinator places Scorponok into a restoration chamber, but as he does so Rhinox slams a large piece of weight on top of Waspinator, driving him, literally, nuts, flying around the base claiming that he is Shrapnel or Wonko the Sane. Terrorsaur witnesses this, and tries to make an ally out of Rhinox for overthrowing Megatron. Rhinox refuses, and beats up the treacherous Predacon. Meanwhile, Megatron discovers that Tarantulas and Blackarachnia have been poisoned.

Meanwhile, Primal explains the plan to the rest of the Maximals: leave Rhinox in the evil state, so that the brainwashed Maximal will run over the Predacons. But just in case Megatron has an ace up his sleeve, the Maximals are ready to mount a rescue. Meanwhile, a repaired Scorponok informs Megatron of Rhinox's treachery, and the furious Predacon leader decides to kill Rhinox. Megatron, Scorponok and Terrorsaur confronts Rhinox, but the brainwashed Maximal uses Terrorsaur's attempt at treachery as well as Scorponok's blind loyalty to turn the two Predacon goons at each other. Rhinox easily takes them out, and opens fire on Megatron.

Rhinox taunts Megatron and monologues about who's the boss, without realising that he has stepped into the Transmuter. Megatron activates the machine, converting Rhinox back into his old self. The Maximals, hearing this, blast into the Predacon base to rescue Rhinox. During the battle, a stray shot from the still-crazy Waspinator blows up the Transmuter. The Maximals escape, and afterwards joke around about the Predacons' personality flaws.

Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, Dinobot, Megatron, Tarantulas, Scorponok, Waspinator, Blackarachnia

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
While the plot device is another rip-off of a G1 'Weapon of the Week', the episode is so wonderfully done. It's very hilarious, and the scripting is amazing. Primal even shows some Rodimus-esque cold-bloodedness by allowing his teammate to get brainwashed in order to rough up the Predacons some. It's a nice spotlight for Rhinox, who so far hadn't done much other than to be the stereotypical scientist or old mentor.

The situation in the Beast Wars actually gives more credence to the Predacons' 'Weapon of the Week'. Why didn't the Predacons rebuild the Transmuter and reprogram, say, Optimus Primal? Because Waspinator blew the device up and there's not enough resources to scavenge in order to rebuild it again. Also, the comedy parts of this episode, like Primal and Rhinox quoting Megatron’s “Yessss”, or Waspinator’s mad ramblings, are wonderful gags. All in all, a hilarious episode, and one of the better ones in Season One.

NOTES
The concept of Rhinox being reprogrammed into evil, only to have Rhinox being a better villain than Megatron, would be one of the major plot points in Beast Machines. Also, Rhinox gets a little repainted when he turns evil. Namely, all the brown fleshy bits turn purplish-brown, while all the gold parts turn silver.

Cheetor’s line ‘Better dead than Pred’ seems to be a reference to the anti-communist slogan ‘Better dead than red’ from the 1950s.

When Waspinator is driven bonkers by Rhinox, he references thinks that he is Shrapnel, the Insecticon from G1 continuity. He also repeats every last syllable in his sentences several times, a reference to how Shrapnel always repeats the last word in his sentences in the G1 cartoon, cartoon. He also sings the ‘More than Meets the Eye’ catchphrase. Waspinator also references Wonko the Sane, a fictional character created by Douglas Adams. Wonko the Sane is also a tribute to transformers fan Ben Yee, whose online username was Wonko the Sane at that time.

Optimus Primal and Rhinox say “Yesssss”, a joke on Megatron’s catchphrase when the Predacon leader is plotting.

The scene where Optimus Primal brandishes his swords, before Megatron lazily shoots him down, might be a reference to the fight between Indiana Jones and a Cairo swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dinobot forcing Scorponok’s face onto his spinning blade weapon might also be a reference to the death of the German engineer in that same movie.

GOOFS
The time it took for Tarantulas to lug the unconscious Rhinox back to the Predacon base must’ve been some time. Even if the other Preds helped him, it would’ve taken some time; and the other Maximals should’ve noticed it.

When the Maximals are eavesdropping near the Predacon base, Dinobot is standing (seemingly floating) above a lava stream.

Evil Rhinox blasts Megatron’s kneecaps during their battle, preventing the Predacon leader from moving too much. However, when the rest of the Maximals burst in, he has no trouble running around and battling with them.

The length of Dinobot’s spinning sword weapon varies during the final battle.

Quote, unquote
Megatron: -finds flattened Scorponok- "Idiot! What have you done?!"
Waspinator "Idiot does not respond! Idiot is comatose!"

Waspinator: "Destroy all Autobot-bot-bots!"
Megatron: "Waspinator, what are you buzzing about?"
Waspinator: "Waspinator negative-negative-negative. I am Shrapnel, Decepticon hero-o-o-o-o!"
Blackarachnia: "Shrapnel? That was a Decepticon from the great wars three centuries ago. He's wacko."
Waspinator: "Wacko? No! Wooonko! Wonko the Sane!" -punches himself-

Evil Rhinox: "Well, what do you know? I win. Reprogamming me was the worst mistake you ever made cause now that I'm a Predacon, I'm just a little too crafty for you."
Megatron: "Yes, I see this now."
Evil Rhinox: "It's called irony, sport. I take over, and you head straight for the recycling bin, yessss."
Megatron: "So it would seem. And even now, Rhinox, you're teaching me a valuable lesson."
Evil Rhinox: "Yeah? Whassat?"
Megatron: "Sometimes, Predacons gloat too much!" -activates gizmo-

Blackjack
2010-03-25, 05:22 PM
Double Dinobot
Airdate: 5 Novermber 1996
Written By: Rowby Goren
Japanese Title: "Two Dinobots"

SYNOPSIS
Megatron creates a clone of Dinobot using the Maximal's DNA. This Dinobot Clone possesses a copy of Dinobot's memories as well. However, it is unable to transform into robot mode. Terrorsaur attacks the real Dinobot, trapping him in a cave, before causing a landslide which traps Dinobot inside. Meanwhile, the clone is sent to infiltrate the Maximal Base. The clone tells Optimus Primal that there's a Predacon camp nearby and insists Primal should go investigate. Primal instead sends the fake Dinobot and Rattrap to pinpoint the camp's exact location.

As the two of them arrive at Grid Omega, Rattrap transforms in order to attack the Predacon base. Since Dinobot Clone is unable to transform, he tells Rattrap to stand down because it's a recon mission. When Rattrap crosses a tree trunk over a lava river, Dinobot Clone kicks the bridge out, causing the rodent Maximal to seemingly fall into the lava. Meanwhile, the real Dinobot manages to dig himself out of the rubble.

Dinobot Clone returns to the Axalon to find Optimus Primal alone (Cheetor and Rhinox are on their own missions). The clone fakes an injury, telling Optimus that they discovered the camp under cover of a stealth device and that Rattrap is captured by the Predacons. Primal activates Sentinel and flies off to rescue Rattrap. Alone, the clone tries to deactivate Sentinel, but without the authorization codes from Dinobot or the spark of the Maximal, the computer refuses to comply.

Primal and Cheetor meet up in Grid Omega, and meets up with Rattrap, who uses his nimble skills to escape from a lava waterfall. Rattrap informs Primal and Cheetor of Dinobot's seeming treachery.

The real Dinobot returns to the Maximal base and deactivates Sentinel. The clone, believing he was the one responsible for lowering the shield, calls Megatron to come. The two Dinobot come face-to-face, and the two mimic each other for a while before battling, Dinobot keeping in Beast Mode so as to fight honourably. The clone appears to knock Dinobot out with a cheap shot, and walks out to greet Megatron. Dinobot's eyes slowly open...

Megatron waits outside the base as Dinobot, masquerading as the clone, steps out and flatters Megatron. Apparently the Predacons intend to use Sentinel to destroy the Maximals when they return from Grid Omega. Dinobot activates Sentinel when Megatron is about to enter. Thinking that the Clone had betrayed him, Megatron is somewhat pleased when Dinobot reveals that he is not the clone. The Predacon then retreats when the other Maximals arrive.

The Maximals realise the existence of the Clone. Primal asks Dinobot what happened to it, and Dinobot nonchalantly replied that it was tasty.

Featured Transformers: Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Megatron, Scorponok, Clone 0ne (killed), Dinobot, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor, Rhinox

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
I really like this episode. Dinobot is one of my favourite characters from the Beast Wars, and undoubtedly one of the most developed in terms of character. While the little scheme of cloning Dinobot is rather reminiscent of that episode in G1 where Optimus Prime got copied, it's refreshing that we don't see the Maximals watching the two Dinobots race each other. Instead, the Clone actually succeeds in infiltrating the Maximal base.

That aside, we get to see the first casualty in Beast Wars—Clone One. It's befitting Dinobot, really, to kill the Clone, after an honourable battle. Between moments of slapstick comedy in the Beast Wars, there are moments like this when some cold-bloodedness is thrown in to make the show more mature. Also, little moments like Megatron being a ham, or Dinobot showing honour by not using his weapons are wonderful touches. And besides... I love the Frankenstein-esque creation of the clone.

NOTES
The sequence where Megatron clones Dinobot is a homage to Frankenstein. Considering Megs' penchant for melodrama, it could be on purpose—he even selected a gloomy, stormy weather! That aside, the cloning tech is a modified CR Pool.

The Dinobot Clone calls himself 'Clone One' at one point when he radios Megatron, akin to pilot fighters' designations. He's not going to be the last time Megatron cloned Dinobot. Megs has a thing for cloning Dinobot, which is why the Predacon leader acted so pleased when he realised that the clone didn't betray him. Megatron would clone Dinobot twice after this — the rabid Cyber-raptors in 'Cutting Edge' and the intelligent, homicidal Dinobot II in 'Feral Scream'.

When the Dinobots mimic each other's movements like a mirror, it's a homage to the Marx Brothers' movie, Duck Soup.

In a moment of fourth-wall-breaking, Megatron references the normal TV schedule of episodes per week when he says that his revenge would be 'Postponed until next week'. It might be a reference to those shows who say 'tune in next week for...'

Dinobot displays the Clone's hide in his quarters. It could be seen in the episodes 'Maximal No More' and 'Code of Hero'.

A reference to the 'inferno', transformer-speak for 'hell', is made here.

Sentinel recognises spark signatures, yet another reference to the life force of Transformers.

GOOFS
Does Terrorsaur think being trapped in a cave would stop Dinobot? We've seen the Beast Warriors survive more than that. But then again, it's Terrorsaur...

Why does Primal need to send Rhinox, Dinobot, Rattrap and Cheetor separately to recon Grid Omega?

If Megatron could clone transformers, why does he need to reprogram protoforms? Why not just clone a dozen Scorponoks or Dinobots?

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: (on Dinobot's seeming treachery) "I just knew I smelled a rat, and it wasn't even me!"

Dinobot: "What in the inferno are you?"
Dinobot Clone: "What you might have been, had you not betrayed Megatron."

Megatron: "Oh, you are an enchanting creature! I may just clone the rest of my troops."

Megatron: "Well. I guess my revenge must be postponed until next week!"

Rattrap: "If there was a clone, then where is he, huh?"
Dinobot: "I'm afraid he's gone for good. A shame, really. He was such a handsome creature. And... quite tasty." -flicks off piece of meat from his teeth-
Optimus Primal: -Beat- "You're disgusting."

Blackjack
2010-03-26, 11:44 AM
The Spark
Airdate: 11 November 1996
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: "Falcon Warrior Airazor"

SYNOPSIS
One of the stasis pods orbiting around the planet plummets down to the surface. Megatron dispatches Scorponok and Blackarachnia to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Rhinox happens to be around the general area, noting that the raw energon deposits in the area. He also sees the pod going down, but is unable to comm the base due to the energon radiation. He rushes to the pod's landing site. Elsewhere, Cheetor also sees the same thing, but is able to call Tigatron for backup before speeding there.

Rhinox is the first to arrive, but his robot mode is in risk of damage from the energon radiation. However, if Rhinox doesn't repair the stasis pod, the protoform will die. Meanwhile, Tigatron takes out Scorponok in the pursuit, but is taken down himself by Blackarachnia.

Cheetor arrives at the landing crater, and Rhinox tells him that Cheetor needs to donate some parts to save the protoform. Cheetor deactivates himself to allow Rhinox to take out the hardware. While in deactivation, Cheetor gets a vision of Rhinox teaching him of the concept and existence of sparks. He wakes up to see Rhinox install the hardware into the protoform. Meanhwile, Blackarachnia arrives in the battlefield, and Cheetor heads out to battle her, finally managing to defeat the Predacon. However, Terrorsaur and Waspinator arrive, and Cheetor lure them away from the stasis pod, since his robot mode couldn't take the radiation anymore.

Rhinox interfaces his own systems with the stasis pod to revive the protoform, but the feedback traps him in Beast Mode. Cheetor manages to trick Waspinator into flying into a geyser, but Terrorsaur takes out Cheetor easily, and flies towards the pod. However, the stasis pod activates and scans a bird circling overhead, and the pod opens to reveal the new Maximal falcon. Revealing her name to be Airazor, she literally blasts Terrorsaur into a dozen pieces. Later, the Maximals are introduced to Airazor in their base, with Rhinox quoting the words in Cheetor's vision about sparks coming online cryptically.

Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Rhinox, Cheetor, Tigatron, Scorponok, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Airazor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap

REVIEW
(Six out of Ten)
The fight scenes are certainly well done, as is the suspense as Cheetor battle against the Predacons to give time for the stasis pod to be repaired. This episode is also the first time Blackarachnia actually did something other than just being a wallpaper flower. The larger problem in this episode is rather Airazor herself. While a decent debut episode for the falcon Maximal, it reeks of the 'New Toy Syndrome'. Any new character introduced will be able to defeat any opponent sent in his/her way. While this is not true all the time in the Beast series (Inferno and Blackarachnia didn't win during their respective debuts) it is worth mentioning that Airazor brutalises Terrorsaur and blasts him into lots of little pieces in under a minute. She never does that again.

Personally I don't really like Airazor, not the way I like, say, Dinobot or Waspinator. She's an okay character, introduced certainly to add more flyers and a female into the Maximal ranks. However, she's just so... bland and boring. Oh, and this episode introduces sparks for real, although using Cheetor's dream to introduce them is a little corny.

NOTES
This episode is the first appearance of Airazor, although her falcon CG model had been seen several times before, most notably in 'Power Surge'. In Japan, her gender's changed into a male. That's right, because they think that little boys don't want to buy toys of girl warriors. So since Airazor isn't as... prominently female as Blackarachnia, she gets a gender-switch. This wouldn't be the first time it'll happen, either. Airazor will be changed back into a girl in the BW Metals manga (because her toy has boobs).

This episode also debuts the concept of sparks as the soul/spirit of Transformers, as mentioned before.

As a little foreshadowing to Tarantulas' secret agenda, he snickers evilly to himself when he observes the pod landing. It's a safe bet that he'll go and reprogram the pod by himself (as he tried to do with Inferno's pod) if Megatron hadn't been watching behind his shoulder.

We get a first clear look at a Protoform's body in this episode. In previous cases, we only see an arm (Tigatron) or glimpses of a modified Megatron CG model (Blackarachnia).

Oh, and Cheetor's prophetic dreams come again in this episode, with him foreseeing Rhinox's final line in the episode. Also, the sparks in Cheetor's vision is of many different kinds, although most other sparks are light blue in colour. Of course, Transmetal 2 and Techno-organic sparks, seen much later in the series (and its sequel) are differently coloured, so you might chalk it up to more of Cheetor's prophetic visions.

GOOFS
Why didn't Megatron dispatch Terrorsaur and Waspinator in the first place? They would've reached the pod before Cheetor did.

Cheetor is able to comm Tigatron, so why didn't he call for more reinforcements? For the matter, why didn't Tigatron?

Rhinox asks Cheetor what he's doing at the pod landing site, when it should've been obvious.

Vision Rhinox calls the Transformer race 'Cybertrons'. It should be either 'Cybertronians' or 'Transformers'.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: (to Scorponok) "Just as Megatron said, just as Megatron said! Don't you ever get tired of groveling to that saurian?"

Rhinox: "When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps."

Cheetor: (to BA) "By the way, how do you dance with all those skinny legs?"

Blackarachnia: "You don't know what fast is, furball."
Cheetor: "I know what ugly is, and you're it!"

Blackjack
2010-03-28, 02:09 AM
The Trigger, Part 1
Airdate: 18 November 1996
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "Flying Island Deathmatch Part 1"

SYNOPSIS
Tigatron investigates an earthquake nearby snowy peaks, and uses a Maximal outpost to file his weekly report to Rattrap. Just then, Terrorsaur and Waspinator attacks him. Rattrap, hearing the commotion through the comms console, tells Primal, who jets off to help Tigatron. Meanwhile, Tigatron is blasted off the cliff by one of Terrorsaur's missiles, sending him plummeting to the misty chasm below. The two Predacons follows the Maximal's fall to gather Tigatron's remains, but they are blasted by something from inside the clouds. Primal arrives to find the ruined watchpost, and radios base, saying that Tigatron is MIA.

Airazor, who is spying on the Predacon base, sees the Predacon fliers return to base, battered and beaten-up. They report their failure to Megatron. Terrorsaur and Waspinator say that they discovered that Tigatron had landed on a gigantic flying island concealed in the clouds. However, as they were about to fire, energy beams from a monolith blast them. Megatron dispatches Scorponok and Blackarachnia to claim the floating island for him. Airazor, not hearing the conversation, thinks that Tigatron might be still alive and reports so to her teammates. Cheetor also reports the movement of Scoponok and Blackarachnia, so Airazor flies off to trail them.

Exploring the island, Tigatron is amazed at the peaceful paradise, with pretty plants and butterflies, unlike the icy terrain around the island. However, things are more than meets the eye as deadly (yet primitive) traps are activated whenever Tigatron passes through rocks with glyphs on it.

Blackarachia and Scorponok arrive under the veiled floating island. Scorponok sends a Cyberbee to recon the island, but Tigatron plucks it out of the sky. Using Blackarachnia's web strand, the two Predacons climb up to the island. Scorponok sees Airazor trailing them and takes her out with a missile. However, the usage of weaponry prompts a response from the monolith/tower thing, which opens fire on Scorponok, narrowly missing him. Blackarachnia, meanwhile, plans to take over the island for herself.

Tigatron and the wounded Airazor regroup. Tigatron reprogramms the Cyberbee to carry a message to the Maximal base. After narrowly being blown up by Cheetor, Primal and the others receive the message from Tigatron, which explains the importance of the powerful weapons in the floating island.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Tigatron, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor, Dinobot, Airazor, Megatron, Scorponok, Blackarachnia, Cyberbee

REVIEW
(Six out of Ten)
Not a bad episode. The scene with Tigatron fighting the Predacon duo is a wee bit too long, as is the scene with Tigatron playing around the island, so the pacing's a little slow. It reeks of padding. The 'floating island' plot is rather boring and, frankly, crappy. It's just like a re-hash of 'Dinobot Island' from G1, only instead of time-traveling mammoths and cavemen, we get a deus ex machina on the island. Yet another episode related to the mysterious aliens. The aliens, or the Vok, are a wonderful concept — so much foreshadowing in season one, which is a good thing.

Still, as the first half of a two-parter, this episode doesn't deliver that well. 'The Trigger' might be overshadowed by the other more impressive and plot-heavy two-parters, like 'Other Voices or 'Nemesis'. It's true that with a little hacking off of some unnecessary parts it could be condensed into one episode, but it's still a decent, off-beat couple of episodes. It's a shame that Tigatron doesn't get much good lines, considering that he's in the screen half of the time.

NOTES
We get to see more of what Tigatron actually does. He reports his findings in the wild to the Maximals once a week through outposts, so his refusal to be a full-time Maximal is not due to laziness, at least... since letting a valuable and competent fighter laze around when he could be fighting is just daft.

First hint of a romance between Tigatron and Airazor. Unlike the Silverbolt/Blackarachnia pairing, the hippie duo doesn't have much chemistry going. There's no feel of love between the two. Fitting, really... considering in Japan, Airazor's a guy. They try to worm out of the romantic actions by making their relationship more like a big brother/little brother thing.

Rattrap answers Tigatron's call with the phrase "What's new pussycat?", a possible reference to an old comedy film of the same name.

Early in the episode, Rhinox observes that one of the moons is lighter than it should be. Remember this, kids... it's called foreshadowing!

GOOFS
When Terrorsaur blasts the watchpost tower, it takes a very long time for it to fall on Tigatron. There's at least enough time, about 30 seconds, for the Maximals to talk, and for Primal to jet off.

During the flashback sequence, when Terrorsaur transforms the shoulder cannons float above him.

Tigatron walks in beast mode and leaves footprints. He transforms and the footprints are gone.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Waspinator love victicms that are punctual!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator wants his heaaaad!"
Terrorsaur: "It's mine, bug face!"

Optimus Primal: "Good thing you didn't just blast this 'bee."
Cheetor: "Well I would've but it was carrying one of Airazor's feathers."
Rattrap: " 'Sides...he missed."
Cheetor: "Yeah. That too."
Optimus Primal: -beat- "Prime."

Blackjack
2010-03-31, 01:11 PM
The Trigger, Part 2
Airdate: 19 November 1996
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Floating Island Death Match Part 2

SYNOPSIS
Tigatron resolves to protect the Floating Island from the Predacons, who want to abuse its power. Carrying the injured Airazor on his back, he moves off to intercept the Predacons. Blackarachnia realise that the markings on rocks and trees trigger the traps, while the obelisk/monolith/tower thing must be where to control the island’s power. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal, carrying Rattrap, flies towards the island.

Primal and Rattrap tussle with Waspinator and Terrorsaur. However, Primal couldn’t fight as effectively with Rattrap on his back and is blasted by the Predacons. Rattrap blasts Terrorsaur and rides him, while Primal blows Waspinator up. They meet up with Airazor and Tigatron, who gives Primal a sit-rep. Rattrap speculates that the Floating Island, with all the traps in it, might be a test of survival for them.

Blackarachnia and Scorponok reach the tower at the center of the island. Seeing Optimus Primal and Airazor arriving, Blackarachnia taunts them into attacking her, which in turn cause the tower to blast them. Blackarachnia enters the tower while the Maximals are distracted, marveling at the alien technology inside. She gloats of her plan to use the island’s power to win the Beast Wars by herself. Scorponok tries to stop her, but Blackarachnia tricks him into falling into one of the Island’s traps, sending him plummeting down to the ground. Blackarachnia walks into the control room, which bathes her in strange energy, giving her control over the island’s power. She causes the tower to rain energy bolts on the Maximals on the island, and causes the tower to enlarge as she directs the island towards the Maximal base.

Primal orders Rhinox and the others to evacuate the Axalon. While Rattrap distracts the tower’s energy bolts to free himself from some debris which pinned him down, Tigatron enters the tower and destroys the Island’s reactor, although he regrets that this would doom the island paradise. Without the energy source, the Floating Island crashes, narrowly missing the Maximal base. The fallen tower sends a pulse of energy into the sky, which bounces off another similar tower on one of the planet’s moons, before being directed into space.

Tigatron ominously declares that the beam was a signal, telling the alien creators of how the Maximals and Predacons ruined the island paradise. As if to emphasize Tigatron’s point, a butterfly dies at his foot. The Maximals watch in space, dreading the aliens’ next move…

Featured Transformers: Tigatron, Airazor, Blackarachnia, Scorponok, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Five out of Ten)
Not terrible per se. However, the Floating Island deus ex machina is a little bland, with Blackarachnia not doing anything substantial with it other than 'blast Maximals'. This is a shame, since she could easily tear a few holes in the Axalon, which would've made for an amazing visual effect. Still, Blackarachnia and Tigatron undoubtedly steals the spotlight. Blackarachnia plays the smarter power-hungry Predacon, a stark contrast to the more Starscream-ish Terrorsaur. Tigatron is basically a Beachcomber-type character who can fight.

The suspense of the Vok coming, although it won't happen next episode, is handled nicely, with Tigatron's monologue at the end of the episode rather chilling. The 'romance' between Tigatron and Airazor, if you could call it that, is not handled well at all. It's too mushy. There are also some hilarious comedy moments in here, such as Rattrap pointing his gun at Terrorsaur's... privates, or Blackarachnia tricking Scorponok into launching a trap. Overall, an okay episode, although not up to the higher standards of the others.

NOTES
Tigatron’s pickup line for Airazor, “the lady shall ride the tiger”, is a reference to Frank Stockton’s story ‘the Lady or the Tiger’.

Blackarachnia’s line “Let there be light” quotes what God said when he creates the universe. Her line, “Just stop and aim, you idiot!” is a reference to a same line from Mystery Science Theater 3000: Space Mutiny.

Shown here is another hint of abnormality with the planet's second moon, as you could see with the second monolith tower in it. Foreshadowing yet again, people... it's a nice touch, these things. It's interconnected between numerous episodes, but not obstructive to the plot.

In a nice moment of character, Rhinox evacuates a potted plant when the Maximals go on red alert. This is very ironic (and sad as well) considering his outlook on organics in Beast Machines.

Blackarachnia’s golden parts (noticeably her helmet, her chestplate and her legs) gets turned silver when she was given power over the island.

GOOFS
Although Blackarachnia observes that the tower has a delay between blasts, when she takes control of it the tower fires barrages of energy beams non-stop.

Optimus Primal's shoulder armour is missing at one point when he's flying over the island.

What is the purpose of the Vok creating a floating island paradise with traps all over it, as well as a powerful tower which can blow stuff up? It seems a little overkill, even for an experiment. Even if they wanted to make it a test for the Beast Warriors, why even bother to make it so much of a natural paradise?

Quote, Unquote
Tigatron: "We should move. How are you feeling?"
Airazor: "Better. Still trashed... Uhrnnn. Can't fly."
Tigatron: "In that case, the lady shall ride the tiger."

Rattrap: -boards Terrorsaur- “Now fly, you featherless freak, or I’ll toast your tachyons.”

Waspinator: “Pterodactyl idiot!”

Blackjack
2010-04-02, 05:05 AM
Spider's Game
Airdate: 6 January 1997
Written By: Larry DiTilio
Japanese Title: "Inferno, The Ant Warrior From Hell"

SYNOPSIS
Another stasis pod falls out of orbit. Tarantulas detects it first at his base, and sends out a magnetic pulse which disrupts the sensors of the Maximal and Predacon bases. Tarantulas sets off towards the landing site, but Blackarachnia discovers what he's up to and insists on accompanying him.

Tigatron, being out in the wild, also sees the pod but couldn't comm the other Maximals, so he sets out to intercept the pod alone. On the way, however, he meets Airazor (who helps him bat off Waspinator). Tigatron tells Airazor to get to the fallen pod first. Meanwhile, at the crash-site, Tarantulas and Blackarachnia arrive to pick a spider alt-mode for the protoform, but Tarantulas is able to reprogram the protoform into a Predacon.

The new Predacon, Inferno, emerges from his pod, but he attacks the two spiders, and begins patrolling the stasis pod. Tarantulas deduces that Inferno's beast instincts has overridden his logic circuits, and he thinks that he's a real soldier ant defending his colony, which is the stasis pod. Tarantulas wants no damage done to the pod and prevents Blackarachnia from firing on it.

Airazor arrives at the scene, but Inferno takes her out with Blackarachnia's help. While Blackarachnia talks to Inferno to convince him that the spiders aren't his enemy, Tarantulas makes off with his real goal—the stasis pod. Inferno pursues Tarantulas, with Blackarachnia behind him. Tigatron arrives, helps Airazor up and tells her to go back to base while he chases the Predacons.

As Tarantulas gets closer to his lair, Inferno catches up and demands the 'colony' to be returned. Tarantulas manages to slow Inferno down with his web, but Scorponok arrives, telling them that Megatron wants the pod. Before any of the Predacons could respond, however, Tigatron arrives and blows the pod up. The Predacons make short work of him. Megatron arrives on the scene shortly after, and the two spiders beat it. Inferno is enraged at the colony's destruction, and Megatron, impressed, tells the new Predacon to finish off the destroyer of the colony, namely Tigatron.

However, Optimus Primal and Airazor arrive, blowing Inferno into a million pieces. Megatron tells Scorponok to restore Inferno, while the Maximals bring Tigatron back to base. Back in Tarantulas' lair, he monologues about the planet being doomed, and the pod's destruction sealed his fate with it. Blackarachnia observes this, and deduces that Tarantulas might be planning to convert the pod into an escape shuttle, but is unable to find out more from the secretive Tarantulas.

Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Scorponok, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Blackarachnia, Tigatron, Waspinator, Airazor, Inferno

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Oh, this is great. Inferno isn't the star of this episode, although the plot centers around him, and he's a wonderful and unique character. Where else, other in the context of BW, could you get a fanatically loyal troop who thinks Megatron is his 'queen'? Tarantulas, however, steals the spotlight, with Blackarachnia being a decent sidekick. Tarantulas' scheming, as well as the fact that this would tie into the overall plot of Season One, with hints of the aliens again and escaping the planet, is well done. This is a self-standing episode, yet ties heavily into the overall plot. I like that.

Blackarachnia's treacherous and female-fatale nature is shown yet again in this episode, and it seems that she's avoiding Megatron for a while after the events of 'The Trigger'. Tigatron and Airazor are not potrayed as strong as before, but it's okay since the Maximals are not shown much. After all, it's a Predacon-centric episode. And I'm a sucker for the bad guys. They're so much interesting than the good guys.

NOTES
This episode is the debut of Inferno. It's also the only Season One episode without Terrorsaur.

At one point, when Tigatron hits his head, a Looney Tunes-esque cuckoo bird sound effect is played.

Tarantulas wants to use the stasis pod as an escape pod in case the aliens come back. He apparently have been planning this for quite some time, as he seems delighted when he detected Blackarachnia's stasis pod crashing. He's probably anxious because of the Floating Island incident in the previous episode.

Tigatron's beast mode face bleeds at the end of the episode. It's kind of weird, since Cheetor said Transformers don't have blood back in 'The Web'. This might mean that the Beast Mode parts do have some sort of organic matter in it (thereby explaining the bestial instincts overtaking personalities for some transformers), or that mech fluid is red in colour.

Inferno is blown into lots of little bits, with his head still able to talk after it's decapitated. It's a curious coincidence that only the insect-mode transformers' heads could still function when they're blown off (Waspinator's head functions everytime it's blown off, and that's a lot of times) but Terrorsaur and Megatron's heads never speak during the times they were blown apart. Curiously, some insects (like cockroaches) could live for some time with their heads chopped off.

GOOFS
Inferno's Beast Mode is too big compared to his stasis pod. It's very obvious at the scene where he crawls out of it.

The pattern on Tarantulas' spider abdomen changes when he transforms after Inferno catches up with him.

When Inferno spins his abdomen-jet after he breaks free from the web, it clips through his leg.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: -on Inferno's Beast Mode- "Ew, another insect. So depressing."

Inferno: "Spiders, dare invade the colony? Inferno, terrorize!"

Tigatron: "You won't be getting any of our secrets from that pod, Predacons!"
Blackarachnia: "And you won't be getting any older, stripes."

Blackarachnia: "At least consider it. We could be a great team." -walks away- "Lunatic."
Tarantulas: "Witch."

Blackjack
2010-04-03, 06:58 AM
Call of the Wild
Airdate: 7 January 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "Revive Beast Power"

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor dreams of being swallowed by the ground while hunting antelopes, before being woken up rudely by alarms, triggered by a Predacon attack. The Maximals battle the Predacons. However, the Predacon flyers manage to make off with a piece of machinery from the Axalon's roof. Megatron and Terrorsaur makes sure Primal and the newly-arrived Airazor are in no shape to pursue them, then retreat.

Shortly after, the Maximals are licking their wounds in their base, when they suddenly experience energon build-up. Rhinox theorizes that without the rectifier coil that the Predacons stole, the Maximals would be forced to stay in Beast Mode to prevent energon build-up. The Predacons, meanwhile, are pleased with their successful mission.

Several days later, Optimus gets dreams of being a real ape, before being awakened by Rhinox, who report of Predacon activity. Rattrap, who's frustrated with his Beast Mode's short limbs, get into an argument with Optimus Primal, with their Beast personalities taking over. However, Rhinox acts as the peacemaker. After the Predacons left, the Maximals rest. However, the Maximals dream of being beasts, which overtake their personalities, causing them to wake up thinking that they are truly animals, and exit their base. With the Maximals being nothing more than animals, Megatron declares the start of the hunting season.

The only Maximals not affected are Airazor (being in the CR chamber most of the time) while Tigatron, who's used to being in Beast Mode all of the time. Tigatron goes off to stop the other Maximals before they kill themselves, while Airazor flies off to the Predacon base to steal back the rectifier coil.

In the jungle, Tigatron meets the feral Maximals one by one, and convinces them to follow him. Tigatron speaks to the dormant minds of the Maximals, explaining to them that the gap between the personalities of the two modes is a programming block, and that they have to embrace the beasts within. The Maximals then are cured and go off to attack the Predacons. The Maximals prove victorious and the Predacons retreat.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Dinobot, Megatron, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia, Airazor, Inferno, Tigatron

REVIEW
(One out of Ten)
Oh, this episode's bad. One of the worst in Beast Wars, in fact. But I suppose it's an unavoidable one, since one of the episode writers are bound to use this plot at some point or other. That doesn't excuse the utter stupidity of the Maximals in their Beast Modes, though. Tigatron's corny speech about Beast Modes and stuff... sheesh. Even Primals' short speeches in Beast Machines aren't this bad. The dream and madness sequences are really dull.

While some pieces of the dialogue are charming (and Megatron being carried like a tribal king is hilarious) it's not enough so save the crappy plot. Being Technorganic is different than staying in alternate mode for too long and going crazy, after all. It's just stupid.

NOTES
The episode title is named after Jack London's 1903 novel The Call of the Wild.

Airazor's 'she stoops to conquer' references the 1773 play She Stoops to Conquer, as well as stoop, which is the dive of a bird of prey. The Beast Wars Sourcebook would mis-quote this (stoop is replaced by swoop) as her motto.

This episode marks the only use of the missile launcher in Megatron's right hand (the T-Rex head). Normally it's just laser beams.

A similar concept to this episode would have been touched on in the unproduced Beast Wars episode "A Greater Ape", in which Optimus Primal thinks he's an ape and falls in love with a female gorilla. Thank God it's not produced.

GOOFS
How does scanning animals give you animal instincts? Being reformatted in BM has the excuse that half of the Maximals' bodies are organic, but this...

Dinobot dreams of hunting a Parasaurolophus which fits in his mouth. Even if it's a baby or something like that, it should way too big to fit in a velociraptor's mouth.

Megatron says his plan is contingent on his research of Maximal programming, and Tigatron confirms that this weakness is Maximal-specific. So why is Dinobot affected?

For that matter, why isn't Tigatron? We know he's the hippie type, and that he spends most of his time in tiger mode wandering around, but that should've caused him to succumb to the same thing as the others, no?

Quote, Unquote
Airazor: -sees Predacons attack-"Trouble with the neighbours again."

Terrorsaur: "Hunting from the air with automatic weapons, now that's a sport!"

Airazor: "She stoops to conquer!"

Rattrap: "Rat. Robot. Rat. Robot. I'm a robot and a rat! Yeah, I like it!"
Dinobot: "Hrrf. I do not see why."

Blackjack
2010-04-03, 03:45 PM
Dark Voyage
Airdate: 27 January 1997
Written By: Samuel Warren Joseph
Japanese Title: "Around and Around the Jungle"

SYNOPSIS
Rattrap, Cheetor, Dinobot and Rhinox digs around, and they find several pieces of Energon crystals. Scorponok opens fire on the energon, and one of his darts hit the unstable energon, detonating it impressively. Scorponok and Waspinator, confident that nothing could survive the explosion and giddy with success, return to base to report their victory.

However, the four Maximals have survived, but energon poisoning suffered during their explosion causes them to go blind. Rhinox calms his panicked comrades down, telling them to transform into beast modes to prevent more poisoning, and that they had to get moving, in hopes of getting back to base, or at least present a moving target to their enemies. As they enter a jungle, their lack of vision causes numerous bickering to break out (especially among Dinobot and Rattrap), with Rhinox repeatedly being a peacemaker. A large snake attacks Cheetor. Dinobot tries to help, but comically runs into a tree. Rattrap distracts the snake, and Rhinox tosses it away.

Tigatron and Optimus Primal goes off to search for the missing Maximals. Meanwhile Scorpy and Waspy gets told off by Megatron for not ensuring the Maximals' deaths, and now follow the trail of energon radiation left behind by the blind Maximals. Waspinator opens fire on the blind Maximals when they cross a log bridge over a waterfall, causing the four to drop down to the churning water below. Terrorsaur arrives, and tells them to make sure the Maximals are really dead.

The four Maximals wash up on a shore, but Rhinox tells them not to give up. As the Predacon fliers pass overhead, the Maximals bar Rhinox transform. Rhinox tells them to imagine the targeting grid from training, and then, heightening his senses in a zen-like way, Rhinox tells the other three where to aim. The firefight alerts Tigatron to where the Maximals are, and the blinded Maximals take down Terrorsaur. However, being in robot mode causes the blinded Maximals to suffer from more energon poisoning, and drop into stasis. Luckily, their rescuers arrive in time. Later, the Maximals emerge from CR chambers, repaired. Rhinox says that the experience is educational, and goes off to sniff some flowers.

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Cheetor, Dinobot, Rhinox, Scorponok, Waspinator, Megatron, Tigatron, Optimus Primal, Tarantulas, Terrorsaur

REVIEW
(Two out of Ten)
One of the worst episodes in Beast Wars. While not as stupid as 'Call of the Wild', it's still more of the 'one with nature' stuff, and the Maximals spending almost the entire episode in Beast Mode is a little boring. Still, there are some hilarious moments (like Dinobot going all flat-cake as he slams into a tree) but are not enough to save the episode from being dull. The dialogue is sub-par, although Dinobot delivers several memorable lines.

Other than the impressively animated energon explosion, every action sequence is banal and way too long. Fighting the snake, crossing the bridge, pointless bickering, Waspinator and Scorponok being total idiots... while not as low as some of the worse G1 episodes, it's still rather bad. The plot itself suffers from unoriginality, especially considering we had the Maximals stuck in their Beast Modes for two consecutive filler episodes. The only difference is that last time they were nuts, this time they had cataracts.

NOTES
The mushroom cloud explosion is a real explosion with a CGI background, which is why it's so impressive.

As previously noted, Dinobot slams into the tree and flattens, then flutters to the ground Bugs Bunny style. Also, when Rhinox flings the snake away, there's a hard thud sound effect followed by an elephant bellow.

It's worth noting that Dinobot's optics can still fire lasers although he's blind.

GOOFS
Since Cheetor is the size of a real cheetah, the snake that attacked them must be massive. Don't think any snake, extinct or otherwise, is that big.

When Optimus Primal first appears, his left arm is slightly smaller than his right.

Rhinox can smell water, although water is odourless.

After the initial explosion, the underside of Rattrap's chin is white like his glazed eyes. However, when he falls into stasis lock, it's in his usual red.

At the end of the episode, when Rattrap thanks Rhinox for saving them, his face is charred and beaten up. After the camera pans to Dinobot for a while, his face is clean as usual.

Quote, Unquote
Cheetor: "Nice find, Dino-miner. You're even better at this than Rattrap!"
Dinobot: "Mm. I'm better at everything than Rattrap."

Rhinox: "Listen to me. You've all got to calm down."
Dinobot: "Calm. Down?" -screaming- "WE CAN'T SEE!"

Dinobot: "What irony. For a warrior like me to go out blind, wet and helpless."

Rhinox: "I'm gonna go smell some flowers."

Blackjack
2010-04-09, 03:17 PM
Possession
Airdate: February 3, 1997
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: "The Immortal Starscream"

SYNOPSIS
A violent storm causes problems with the computers in both Maximal and Predacon bases. Waspinator works on a console, but a hauntingly familiar voice greets him from inside the console, and a pair of purple eyes stare at him. A burst of energy slams into Waspinator, and the other Predacons soon see Waspinator march in gallantly, proclaiming his return 'at long last' using the mysterious voice. As lightning strikes, Waspinator's silhouette shimmers into that of the legendary Starscream, revealing the possessor's identity.

Apparently, the Air Commander's spark had been tumbling through time and space for a long, long time before encountering Waspinator. He tells Megatron and the other Predacons that he had been destroyed defending Galvatron from the monster planet Unicron, but his spark survived. Starscream claims that the Maximals would be also experiencing difficulties in the storm and offers his help. Megatron allows Starscream/Waspinator into his ranks, but secretly warns Scorponok to watch their Decepticon ally.

As dawn breaks, the Maximals are making repairs to their base, when Starscream and Megatron leads the Predacons on an assault. In the ensuing battle, Starscream's superior flying skills forces even Optimus Primal to admit defeat, and the Predacons force the Maximals to abandon their base, with Dinobot getting heavily injured in the process. Megatron puts Starscream in charge of the Axalon, with Blackarachnia and Scorponok left there to watch Starscream. However, Blackarachnia reveals to Starscream that she knows that the Decepticon was lying, and knows from records that Starscream had been killed by Galvatron after he betrayed the first Megatron. However, Blackarachnia proposes an alliance with Starscream to overthrow Megatron and Optimus Primal.

Meanwhile, deep in a nearby forest, the Maximals lick their wounds, with Optimus Primal not entirely believing that Starscream had possessed Waspinator. Dinobot, being of Decepticon ancestry and having a knack for history, tells Primal that Starscream is pretty much defined as traitor. The Maximals prepare a gambit, and they return to the Maximal base, claiming that they are surrendering as long as Dinobot's 'mortal' wounds could be repaired with the ship's CR Chamber. Starscream allows Optimus and Dinobot in, but predictable as ever, locks them up without weapons. Starscream orders the leaderless Maximals to attack the Predacon base, much to Scorponok's chagrin.

Meanwhile, Optimus and Dinobot, ignored by Starscream for the time being, breaks free and attacks the Predacons, forcing them to retreat. Primal manages to defeat Starscream in an aerial battle, leaving Starscream pleading for his life, as usual. Blackarachnia shows up, and proves to be smart as she double-crosses Starscream, igniting some energon crystals underneath Starscream to exorcise his ghostly spark from Waspinator's body. Soon afterwards, Waspinator gets repaired, as Blackarachnia explains to Megatron that she 'betrayed' them to expose Starscream's true intentions. Megatron isn't fully convinced, but lets it go for now. Meanwhile, Starscream... screams as his spark tumbles back into space, swearing vengeance...

Featured Transformers: Starscream, Cheetor, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Waspinator, Megatron, Terrorsaur, Rattrap, Scorponok, Blackarachnia, Tarantulas, Unicron (flashback), Dinobot, Airazor, Tigatron

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Wonderfully done. While most Starscream cynics would spit on this episode, it can't be denied that the plot was interesting and a nice break from the routine of the previous few mediocre episodes. And even better, this episode cements Beast Wars in the G1 cartoon continuity. It follows up nicely after the events of 'Starscream's Ghost' and 'Ghost in the Machine' of Season three, and the reference to Galvatron and Unicron in TFTM is nice as well. It's charming to see that the writers of Beast Wars bothered to find out more of the Transformers' history. While there's the mild quibble of how Screamer got back into the past, it's worth noting that he might have stumbled into a warp hole or worm hole or some kind of sci-fi explanation, so it's negligible. Screamer manages not to be annoying and actually be a wonderful guest villain, not really stepping on the Predacons' toes. However, Megatron's uncharacteristic stupidity in this episode would cost it a mark. The action scenes and the Maximals outsmarting Starscream are well executed, and Blackarchnia shines as well in this episode. All in all, a decent episode.

NOTES
Starscream's first (and last) appearance in the Beast Wars series. The events referenced in this episode--Starscream's death, a battle with Unicron, Megatron being betrayed by Starscream and turned into Galvatron--are all from Transformers: the Movie. Starscream's exploits as a ghost is, as stated earlier, is a continuation of 'Starscream's Ghost' and 'Ghost in the Machine'. It's worth noting that Starscream's CGI model head uses the Nel Yomtov colour scheme of black helmet/blue face, instead of the blue helmet/black face of his cartoon model.

Starscream touchs-down in what appears to be Southwest America. Observant watchers should realize that there's more than meets the eye to this planet...

Starscream's voice is performed by Doug Parker (Terrorsaur) to stand in for the late Chris Latta. Of course, both Terrorsaur and Starscream sound almost the same, and both of them are threacherous fliers...

In a nice piece of continuity, Waspinator's Predacon insignia on his head is changed into a Decepticon one when Starscream possesses him.

Rhinox's "it's tramplin' time!" is a mis-quote of "it's clobberin' time!", Fantastic Four's the Thing's infamous catchphrase.

During Starscream's defeat, Optimus Primal quotes the Terminator's famous line from T2, when he says "Hasta la vista, Starscream". Also, as he flies away, he appears to wear the Terminator's trademark sunglasses.

On the commentary in the Madman DVD, the creators stated that the original plan was to have an Autobot ghost possess one of the characters. However, this idea is abandoned quickly, both due to Starscream being readily available, and a model of Starscream had been made for his cameo in 'the Web'. Apparently, Ben Yee provided Starscream's tech spec biographies to scriptwriter Ian Weir, which is where the 'Air Commander' stuff came from.

GOOFS
Starscream's spark has those twisted spark holders normally seen on a Protoform. All other sparks don't have it. However, it might be on purpose to illustrate that Starscream's spark is abnormal.

Early on in the episode, Megatron's T-Rex hand is on his left instead of his right.

In the flashback, Unicron's planetary ring is not connected to the planet body itself.

During the fake surrender, Primal's face is really messed up when he talks to Starscream. Fake injuries? Maybe. But that doesn't explain how the sides stretch down to his neck, and how his mouth doesn't move when he speaks.

When Starscream stands on top of the Axalon, instructing the Maximals to attack the Predacons, his right foot clips through one of the cannons.

It's a little surprising that Megatron doesn't know about Starscream's history, considering that he is a proper Predacon and Blackarachnia is a brainwashed Maximal. This would seem weirder when you consider how much Beast Megatron knows about the G1 Decepticons. The records might be sealed and all, but that never stopped Megs before.

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "Quickly, damage report!"
Waspinator: "Moderate. Waspinator in pain, but still functional."
Megatron: "Not you, imbecile. The computer."

Waspinator: "What is this? Program does not respond! Waspinator does not understand!"
Starscream: "I'll bet Waspinator seldom does! But try not to let it depress you, bugface." -rises up from computer screen-

Starscream: "Allow me to present myself: Air Commander Starscream of the Decepticon Battle Fleet."

Starscream: -to Optimus- "Good. Now, you reap the appropriate reward for your trust and good faith." -whispers to Scorponok- "Disarm him, force him to transform, and then chain him in the hold or somewhere!"

Waspinator: "Ohhhh... Waspinator has a headache in his whoooole body."

Starscream: "I'll be back! Even if it takes a thousand years, I'll be revenged of you all!"

Blackjack
2010-04-11, 05:32 AM
The Low Road
Airdate: 10 February 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "Stop the Sneezing"

SYNOPSIS
Dinobot and Rattrap bicker continuously as they weed out the vines which have grown all around the Maximal base. Rhinox detects incoming Predacons, but can't activate Sentinel because Rattrap and Dinobot are still outside. The Predacons ambush the bickering duo, and Rhinox comes out to assist them. While trying to cover his fellow Maximals (who are still arguing) Rhinox was hit by Tarantulas' device. The Predacons, however, are ultimately driven off.

Rhinox, meanwhile, has apparently been given a virus which causes him to 'spontaneously discharge energy', which basically means everytime the sick Maximal sneezes or hiccups, energy beams shoot out of him. Rattrap and Dinobot set off to find an antivirus before Rhinox destroys the base. As they trail Tarantulas, the two argue about who is to blame for Rhinox getting hit by the virus. Catching a glimpse of Tarantulas, the duo fall through a trapdoor and into an underground slide with a massive boulder behind them. But when they land on the bottom of the slide, the boulder slams onto Tarantulas. Rattrap and Dinobot drag the unconscious Predacon while they navigate through the underground tunnels to find Tarantulas' lab. In the Maximal base, Optimus notes that he paired the duo together so that they would learn to work together (or kill each other). Rhinox is kept on a life support system, but the system drains energy from the Maximal base.

Meanwhile, Megatron sends off his troops to find the AWOL Tarantulas, so that more of the virus could be developed to use on the rest of the Maximals. They arrive on Tarantulas' lab to find the spider missing, and the computer encrypted. However, Blackarachnia sees through security cameras that the two Maximals making their way through the underground tunnels. At the Maximal base, Optimus Primal leads the rest of the Maximals to assault the Predacon base and steal the antivirus. Rhinox wants to come with them, but Primal tells him to rest. Rhinox consumes the wild beans outside the Axalonto help stabilize his systems.

In Tarantulas' lair, Blackarachnia finds the antivirus, but the other Predacon stooges open fire onto the entrance, alterting Dinobot and Rattrap to the trap. Dinobot tries to use Tarantulas as a hostage, but Megatron simply blasts the spider apart. However, it serves as a distraction for Rattrap to sneak through ventilation tunnels and disarm the Predacon goons. Suddenly, an explosive sneeze courtesy of Rhinox creates an entrance for the Maximals, who pose heroically.

Rhinox turns around and lets rip a gigantic fart which is visible from space, literally blowing the entire Predacon army away. The Maximals grab the antivirus and Rhinox is healed, while Rattrap and Dinobot bicker around as usual. The unconscious Predacons, meanwhile, laments on their humiliating defeat.

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Dinobot, Rhinox, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Inferno, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Tarantulas, Scorponok, Megatron, Blackarachnia, Airazor, Tigatron

REVIEW
(Six out of Ten)
Much silliness. Unlike some of the banal filler episodes, this one actually tries to be entertaining. What they lacked in substance, they make up with humour. While the Rhinox defeating the Preds with an atomic fart is rather nonsensical, it's a funny enough joke that I'll let it pass. The off-beat tone of this episode is highlighted by the Looney-Tunes-comedy-style of 'Cartoon Physics' at several points.

The highlight of the episode would be Rattrap and Dinobot's constant bickering throughout the episode. When you consider that the two is voiced by the same voice actor, it's rather impressive. Stuff like the two knocking out Tarantulas for interrupting them, or the 'Silicon valhalla', are simply hilarious pieces of dialogue. Megatron's dialogue is well-scripted too, although he's only in the episode for a little bit. All in all, a nice break before we get to the more serious endgame of Season One.

NOTES
Dinobot's whirly-blade weapon is a great gardening tool.

Dinobot refers to 'Silicon valhalla' as an afterlife that he couldn't enter if a rodent kills him. It references the Norse mythology of the afterlife destination for noble warriors, and perhaps Silicon Valley as well.

Rattrap calls Dinobot as a 'Pre-evolved birdbrain'. Some scientific theories claim that velociraptors and dinosaurs closely related to them would evolve into birds.

While searching for the antivirus in Tarantulas' lab, Blackarachnia discovers that Tarantulas has encrypted all the data in his computers, meaning that he had hidden something. More foreshadowing! Also, for some reason, one of Waspinator's arms is in Tarantulas' lab.

As the Maximals enter Tarantulas' lab and posing heroically, Airazor is kneeling and holding Optimus' feet in a possible parody of the Star Wars theatrical poster. After the scene cuts to Rattrap and back to them, Airazor is standing normally.

Rhinox's atomic fart is clearly in Africa. More foreshadowing that the planet is really Earth (oh, you haven't figured that out?). He also uses a beer hat to drink his medicine.

GOOFS
The cracks on the boulder that hits Tarantulas seems to be too shallow.

When Rattrap and Dinobot fall through the trapdoor, Rattrap's gun is left spinning in mid-air. However, when they fall down through the hole, the gun didn't fall with them. Rattrap gains it back several scenes later, though.

?Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "I ain't letting nobody waste you down here! That's a job I'm reserving for myself!"
Dinobot: "Oh, I appreciate your concern, but let me assure you, being shot in the back by a malodorous mouse would not exactly earn me a seat in silicon valhalla!"
Rattrap: "Aww, poor baby."

Megatron: "A bargaining chip should remain in play until the game is over, yeessss."
Blackarachnia: "Why do you always talk to yourself?"
Megatron: "Ah, I simply have a penchant for intelligent conversation."

Megatron: "This is certainly the most humiliating defeat of my entire career. Yeesss...."

Blackjack
2010-04-14, 01:04 PM
Law of the Jungle
Airdate: 17 February, 1997
Written By: Mark Leiren-Young
Japanese Title: "Fare Thee Well, Tigatron"

SYNOPSIS
Inferno and Terrorsaur ambushes Cheetor and Dinobot on a mountain road. As Inferno maniacally assaults the duo, Terrorsaur is about to drop a bomb from a weapons cache on Dinobot. He misses, and the three ground-bound combatants are knocked aside. Terrorsaur is knocked out, and he orders Waspinator to attack. Waspinator is about to drop another explosive from the weapons cache onto Cheetor, but he sees a white tiger which he mistakes for Tigatron. The real McCoy is actually on a mountaintop above Waspinator, and pounces on Waspy.

Tigatron knocks Waspinator out, but Inferno resumes his assault. Tigatron opens fire on Inferno, but while he knocks the Predacon out, a stray shot hits the Predacons’ weapons cache, detonating it. It causes an avalanche which kills Tigatron’s tiger companion (Snowstalker). Later, in the dusk, Tigatron creates a grave marker on Snowstalker’s resting place. Looking at the damaged terrain and nature after the fight, Tigatron quits the Beast Wars. DInobot argues that the destruction is a part of war, but Tigatron is adamant to leave. Dinobot trails Tigatron, while Optimus Primal trails the duo.

In the night, Dinobot shows Tigatron of the brutality of nature, as a tiger kills a gazelle. Dinobot explains that the Maximals battle the Predacons for peace on Cybertron. Dinobot explains that if Megatron wins, he will spread war to other worlds, destroying them in the process. However, Tigatron still disagrees, and Dinobot loses his patience and the two nearly come to blows. Primal arrives to stop them from killing each other. Dinobot leaves, and Primal tells Tigatron that he hates the Beast Wars too, but they have a duty to protect the planet from the Predacons.

Meanwhile, the three Predacons attack Dinobot, knocking him out. Optimus Primal arrives to rescue his comrade, knocking out Terrorsaur and Waspinator. However, Inferno gets in with a cheap shot, knocking the Maximal leader out. Tigatron arrives to help because he can’t just stand still and watch as his friends are killed. Inferno’s rampant attacks burns more plants, adding to Tigatron’s anger. The Maximal beats Inferno up, and extinguishes the flames. He resolves to rejoin the Beast Wars, knowing that he could do more good as a warrior than a bystander.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Dinobot, Inferno, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Optimus Primal, Tigatron, Megatron (flashback)
Notable others: Snowstalker (killed)

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
A nice spotlight for Tigatron. He’s basically like Beachcomber, but at least he has a proper reason for leaving the war. While getting all crybaby over an animal is a little emo for him, we must take into consideration that Tigatron’s Beast Mode influences his thoughts greatly. Besides, it’s not like there are any humans to kill yet. It’s a nice tragic touch that Tigatron’s stray shot was the one which ultimately killed Snowstalker, not the Predacons. It’s also nice to see Inferno get some screentime. Inferno’s probably one of the best Transformers characters ever, and he could not exist outside the context of Beast Wars. I absolutely adore Inferno. While he’s of the same character archetype as Scorponok (dumb soldier, loyal to Megatron, has powerful weapons) he’s made much more interesting with his excellent voice actor and his tribal cries.

Tigatron himself manages not to be a dick in this episode, and Dinobot confronting him is simply well-scripted. The dialogue is amazing in this episode, and the plot is rather mature, exploring the destruction of nature and innocents during war. This episode is one of the emotional highlights, while still being entertaining. Primal’s exchange with Tigatron is a little cheesy, sure, but it gives Primal some characterization beyond the ‘I’m a good guy leader and I kick the bad guys’ asses. I love peace, goodness and all that stuff.’ Plus, the little scene with Waspinator and Terrorsaur is just precious. Reccommended.

NOTES
As foreshadowing to the endgame of Season One, Cheetor and Dinobot are on the search for more alien sites at the beginning of the episode.

Snowstalker was last seen in the episode ‘Fallen Comrades’.

Inferno calls Tigatron ‘Destroyer of the Colony’, after the events of his debut episode, where Tigatron blows up Inferno’s stasis pod/colony. This, added with the fact that Inferno is one of the causes of Snowstalker’s demise, adds fuel to their rivalry. Although it’s a shame that the duo’s hatred is never explicitly shown like Depth Charge/Rampage.

It’s particularly noticeable in this episode that Dinobot pulls his sword and rotary blade thing from his back. While there’s no apparent sheath, he could’ve stored his weapons in subspace or dimensional pockets.

GOOFS
Dinobot said that the Great Wars began three centuries ago, when it actually ended three centuries prior to the Beast Wars.

The wild tiger that Dinobot and Tigatron see is coloured completely orange with black stripes. A real tiger should have some white fur on its underbelly and other miscellaneous parts. Of course, this is because it’s a straight repaint of the Tigatron CG model.

When blasting the Predacons with his optic beams, Dinobot’s neck is abnormally long.

Quote, Unquote
Terrorsaur: -knocked into a cliff- “Do something!”
Waspinator: -buzzes around- “Terrorsawr has not given signal.”
Terrorsaur: “ATTACK, YOU IMBECILE!”
Waspinator: “Waspinator will now engage enemy.”

Tigatron: “Goodbye, Snowstalker. Let your hunting ground shelter you now.”

Tigatron: “In my lust for battle, I caused the death of an innocent.”
Dinobot: “Hah! There are no innocents. This is war!”

Dinobot: “Sentiment. The more time I spend with you Maximals, the more I wonder how you survived so long.”

Optimus Primal: “Tigatron, I hate this war as much as any of us.”
Tigatron: “All the more reason to stop it! We don’t belong here, Optimus.”
Optimus Primal: “But we are here. And as Maximals, we’ve got a duty to explore and defend this world.”

Blackjack
2010-04-16, 08:08 AM
Before the Storm
Airdate 21 February 1997
Written By: Larry DiTillio & Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "They Come"

SYNOPSIS
Tigatron watches as a strange energy pulse is emitted from a distant mountain. The Predacon base’s sensors detect this as well and inform a sleeping Megatron. The computer reveals that the energy matches those of the Alien artifacts. Suspecting this to be the start of something big, Megatron sends Inferno to investigate. Inferno arrives on the mountain, burrows in and discovers a golden disk inside the mountain. The simple-minded Predacon tear it out of the mountain and fly back to base, handing it over to Megatron, who was pleased at his obedience (but is less than pleased at being called ‘queen’).

Optimus Primal arrives shortly after, scouting for the energy pulse. A probe flies past him and Primal follows it. After a short chase, the probe shows a hologram of Megatron, who speaks and proposes a truce on neutral ground between the two faction leaders. Soon, Primal and Megatron meet on a plateau. Megatron insists that the truce is not an act, because Megatron has no time to fight the Maximals and needs time to think. Primal, bound by Maximal code, has no choice but to agree. When he returns to base most of the Maximals are unhappy. Rhinox deduces that this might be related to the alien energy, to which Primal agrees, stating that something must’ve scared Megatron badly. An unwilling Rattrap is dispatched to enter the Predacon base.

In the Predacon base, Tarantulas sneaks and steals one of the Transwarp cells of the Darksyde. Waspinator sees this and holds him at gunpoint, but Tarantulas easily outwits the poor bug and blasts him into smithereens. Megatron sees this from security feeds, but decides to let Tarantulas do his plans for now. However, he sends Blackarachnia to know more about Tarantulas’ schemes.

Meanwhile, Airazor carries Rattrap near the Predacon territory. Airazor drops Rattrap off quickly, before dodging the bullets from the Predacon autoguns. Airazor comms Megatron, who casually switches off the perimeter defences and asks politely for Airazor to leave. As the Maximal flier turns, Megatron stops her for a moment and orders her to bring Rattrap back as well. Although the two’s snooping mission seems to have failed, it’s apparently a distraction for the real infiltrator—Tigatron—to enter the Predacon base.

Blackarachnia confronts Tarantulas, full with her own schemes. But as the two plotters bicker, Megatron manages to hack into the Transwarp cell from his chamber and adds his own programming. Elsewhere in the Predacon base, Tigatron hacks into the databases through a virtual reality console, and discovers about the second Golden Disk. Terrorsaur and Scorponok see him, but since they can’t fire a weapon in a truce, the Predacon thugs chase after Tigatron in the base. Tigatron escapes the Predacon base, and a fight between the Maximals and Predacons ensues, but they need to fight with unorthodox methods due to the rules of the truce not letting them use their weapons. The Predacons are outwitted, and the Maximals retreat. Megatron seems to have let them get away intentionally.

On the Maximal base, Tigatron explains about the Golden Disk. It’s similar with the one Megatron stole from Cybertron, but it’s created by the Aliens who seeded energon on the planet. Apparently the disk itself was part of a signal that the aliens sent, which basically says that the Aliens are on their way to the planet, and they were not happy.

Transformers Featured: Tigatron, Megatron, Inferno, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Dinobot, Rhinox, Cheetor, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Blackarachnia, Airazor, Terrorsaur, Scorponok

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
This episode is meant to be nothing more than a prologue to the two-parter 'Other Voices that would end Season One. At this point, the main arc is not why Megatron has arrived on the planet (yet, because they haven't figured out this is Earth yet, remember) but rather, the mysterious Aliens. Although what should be a boring episode where characters get to where they're supposed to, it manages to be entertaining. Inferno's little comedy with Megatron is hilariously done, while Tigatron builds up character from his little moment last issue. Rattrap manages to get a few good lines in too. However, Tigatron playing a video game to hack into Predacon databases is a thinly-veiled attempt to pad out time. The battle where the Maximals take down the Predacons through wacky methods are awesome, though.

But ultimately, both Optimus Primal and Megatron get wonderful chances to show some actual personality rather than be blank stereotypes like their G1 cartoon preceedors. Say all you want, but the Beast Wars characters are much less bland than the G1 guys. There are some short hilarious scenes in here as well, like Megatron brushing his beast mode head. Primal's frustration at not being able to refuse a truce, as well as Megatron being a ham, are wonderfully performed. Tarantulas also gives a more interesting split among the Predacons, and Megatron letting him actually do his work as part of his strategy is nice. Although, it’s a safe bet that the Maximals and Predacons will have to team-up sometime down the next two episodes to combat the Greater Threat™. Still, it's a rather nice build-up to 'Other Voices'.

NOTES
Bob Forward claims that this episode was originally planned to be a part of a four-parter 'Other Voices' to end the season. However, anything more than a two-parter is too hard to schedule, so plans were scrapped and 'Before the Storm' is made into a stand-alone episode.

Megatron’s room has several trophies in his room, seen when he’s talking to Inferno. Items of interest are a bowling pin, a golden trophy, a bust of a G1 Seeker head with an expression of horror, and G1 Megatron’s fusion cannon.

Megatron’s Beast Mode head seems to have its own personality. Early in the episode, the Beast Mode head is looking around while Megatron himself is asleep. When Megatron observes Tarantulas’ break-in later, the head looks up at Megatron’s robot mode head, and he pats it with his other hand as if it’s a pet. Also, when Airazor calls the Predacon base, Megatron is actually brushing the Beast Mode’s head with a toothbrush. It’s probably just some humorous bits the CG animators put in.

Megatron’s code ‘ATT override’ which he uses to access Tarantulas’ transwarp cell is a reference to the Usenet newsgroup alt.toys.transformers.

Blackarachnia shares Tarantulas’ penchant for eating live animals. While Tarantulas eats deers and rats, Blackarachnia is seen briefly examining a red poison-dart frog in her web before Megatron communicates to her.

The virtual reality console that Tigatron uses to hack into the Predacon ship’s database seems to homage the 1990’s techno-films like Johny Mnemonic.

Megatron’s line, “A storm of such power, such magnitude, it is beyond imagination!” is a possible reference to the tagline of the original Transformers Movie (Beyond Good, Beyond Evil, Beyond your wildest Imaginations) as well as a fan website at that time.

Perhaps more so than any other Beast Wars episode, Looney Tunes-style slapstick gags are used in this episode. Scorponok’s facial features stretch in wild directions when he gapes before he slams onto Terrorsaur. The Spiders are squashed by a rock. Terrorsaur leaves a full-body impression on a sheet of metal. Inferno comes to a dead halt mid-air after Primal sabotages his jetpack, before realizing that gravity still exists. Also, when Inferno falls, there’s a Wile E Coyote-style dust poof.

GOOFS
When Optimus arrives at the neutral territory to talk with Megatron, his shoulder pads are missing. They show up later, though.

Megatron's shoulder armour pads are missing when he speaks to Airazor. Then again, considering that he’s brushing his hand’s teeth, he might’ve taken them off.

While Megatron is in his closing words of the episode, he is missing his beast mode "kibble", except the head of course.

When Blackarachnia pursues Tigatron at the escape scene, she wields her gun although the truce rules means that you cannot fire guns. However, she doesn’t actually shoot it, and it disappears in the next scene.

Quote, Unquote
Inferno: "By the great smelter, the Royalty was correct!"

Inferno: "Yes, my Queen."
Megatron: "I wish he wouldn't call me that."

Optimus Primal: "When Predacons talk truce, it just means they need time to reload their weapons."
Megatron: "Uh... Normally, yes."

Optimus Primal: "What could I do? He was right, I'm a Maximal. I have to give peace a chance, no matter how unlikely it seems."

Rattrap: "Aaaaaah we're gonna dieeeeeee!"
Airazor: "Isn't there a rule that heroes have to face destruction with dignity?"
Rattrap: "What's the use of dying if you can't enjoy it?"

Megatron: "There is a storm approaching. A storm of such magnitude, of such power... it is beyond imagination. And to think, I was once satisfied with mere energon. To think that my ambitions lofted no higher than the conquest of Cybertron. (laughs, breaks down coughing) Well, no longer. For I have been given a glimpse of power. Real power. And that power shall be mine!"

Tigatron: "You cannot shoot. We have a truce, remember?"
Terrorsaur: "Oh, I remember, but you know my trigger finger. It just might forget."

Blackjack
2010-04-16, 12:06 PM
Other Voices, Part 1
Airdate 31 March 1997
Written By: Larry DiTillio & Bob Forward
Japanese Title: "The King of Terror Arrives"

SYNOPSIS
A wormhole opens above the planet, and an energy surge emerges from it. The Aliens have arrived. Rhinox detects the arrival and alerts Optimus, who hopes that the truce is still holding. Primal flies off to meet up Airazor and Rattrap, who are the closest to the landing site of the energy surge. Meanwhile, Tarantulas is programming his stolen Transwarp cell, when Blackarachnia arrives again, telling him that she could help him could steal a stasis pod from the Maximal base. Apparently, Tarantulas is planning to make an escape pod to get away from the planet. Megatron monitors the Spiders' scheming, and sends Waspinator off towards where the Aliens are supposed to land.

The Aliens' landing site is has been turned a large circular plain, pulsing with energy and containing stable energon crystals. Rattrap and Airazor arrives. Airazor transforms and tries to scan the energon crystals, but she is zapped, and a metallic dome-like structure appears, trapping Airazor inside and Rattrap outside it. Airazor wakes up inside the Alien structure, where a garbled voice speaks in an alien language. She tries to assure the Aliens that she means no harm and they zap her with lightning until she transforms into beast mode. The Aliens leave the nearly-unconscious Maximal on the ground, saying 'Cybertron' cryptically.

Meanwhile, as Waspinator arrives on the area, Rattrap brutalizes the Predacon and drives him off. Optimus Primal arrives, but the two Maximals are unable to breach the dome structure. Megatron, Terrorsaur and Scorponok arrives, and the Predacon leader mocks the Maximals for thinking that simple laser weapons could cut through the dome. Megatron remarks that the Aliens can create Energon, and simple weaponry just won't work. Scorponok fires some sort of acidic sting which eats through the wall of the dome, letting the Maximals in. Rattrap drags Airazor out, while Primal tries to reason with the Aliens. Suddenly, metal tentacles shoot out and binds Primal, lifting him up to a scanning grid of sorts.

Meanwhile, the Spiders make their way to the Axalon. Blackarachnia activates a device that creates a hole in the Sentinel forcefield, and the two move in. Inferno, who is trailing the treacherous Predacons, burrows through the ground and follows them in. Back in the dome structure, Rattrap pulls Airazor out of the dome just before the opening seals, and finds himself facing the Predacons, who declare that the truce is over.

The Aliens begin to talk to Optimus Primal. Since they had no form that Primal could comprehend, they take the form of Unicron's head. The Aliens tell Primal that the Transformers have contaminated their experiment, and the planet will be sterilized. Primal tries to negotiate, but the Aliens don't really care about his concerns, citing greater dangers that they couldn't possibly understand. The Aliens activate a 'Termination Sequence'. The Alien Dome begins to glow, distracting the Predacons for Rattrap and Airazor to overpower the Predacons. Optimus Primal breaks free of his bonds, and breaks through the dome with force. The Maximal retreats, even as the dome bursts open and sends a blast of energy into the sky.

The energy activates hidden systems on the surface of the second moon, burning away the rocky surface and revealling metal underneath it. The 'moon' begins to glow from the inside, and endless rows of weapon emplacements power up. The energy surge cause the stasis pods in orbit to crash land to the planet. Rhinox observes this all through the monitors on the base, getting increasingly worries even as sensors begin to blow up. So engaged at the display that he didn't notice the Spiders sneaking him up. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas take out Rhinox and Dinobot with ease, but Tarantulas sees the display and remarks that it is 'the beginning of the end'.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Megatron, Waspinator, Airazor, Rattrap, The Vok, Terrorsaur, Scorponok, Inferno, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
Not as good as it should've been, honestly. The Aliens are a little too cryptical for my taste, although I suppose as higher beings they have a requirement to do that. The dome-shaped structure is seems to be done to pad out time, and the scene where Optimus Primal in gorilla mode gets attacked by tentacles are... unsettling. The episode's pacing is rather slow, with the Aliens' introdump and Airazor/Rattrap mucking around the site taking too much time.

Megatron shows more promise with his future plotting, while Rattrap get a lot of good lines in. Tarantulas and Blackarachnia are suitably running their own agenda, with Tarantulas seemingly knowing much more than he lets on. This two-parter is planned for the finale, when the show writers have no idea that there will be a Season Two, so this might be their last hurrah. For something that should've been more dramatic, this episode is a little let-down. Mostly, it's getting the characters to their places for the final showdown.

NOTES
The mysterious aliens are finally revealed to be the Vok, a mysterious race who seeded the planet with energon as part of an experiment. They regard life as small, being more than ready to sterilize the entire planet just because the Beast Warriors intruded. Tarantulas is shown to have known about the Vok for a long time, which explains many of his suspicious actions in the previous episodes. The Vok claims to have a form that we simpler beings couldn't understand (namely, ethereal floating skulls) and that 'there is more danger than you know' if the Beast Warriors are not terminated. It's possible that they are referring to Megatron's master plan seen at the end of season two- never mind. I'm getting ahead of myself.

The second moon is not really a moon. It has a Death-Star-esque look to it, with weapon emplacements all over it.

All the Stasis Pods are on the planet as of this episode, but although there are a lot of those stasis pods, only five show up later in the show (Rampage, Quickstrike, Silverbolt, an unnamed Protoform who's killed by Quickstrike, and a blank Protoform used as basis for Dinobot II). This means that people writing BW fiction have something to work on, and indeed this is what 3H and IDW writers have done.

This is the first of the three two-parters with the title 'Other V', the others being 'Other Visits' and 'Other Victories'. All the 'Other V' two-parters deal with the Vok, and most usually some great weapon of doom that they send. 'The Trigger' was the only Vok-related two-parter without the title 'Other V'.

Rattrap kicks Waspinator in the privates, before beating him up hard. Waspinator's voice is also as if his balls have really been kicked. Other than being hilarious, this does raise some... interesting questions.

The Vok uses Unicron only as a visual reference, as something that Primal could relate to. They do not have any direct ties with Unicron, although that never did stop fanfic writers, yes?

The Vok's line, "That which does not become part of the one shall become void" might be a reference to Unicron's motto from the Transformers Univere profile books. Namely, "That which does not become a part of me shall become one with the great void".

GOOFS
Why the hell does the Aliens seed the planet with energon in the first place? And what was the function of the floating island with traps in 'The Trigger'?

It seems rather odd for the Aliens to land, waiting for Airazor to scan those crystals and set off the events of this episode, instead of, you know, immediately activating the Death Star Moon. Why warn Optimus Primal and everybody?

Where does Blackarachnia get his forcefield-disabling gizmo from?

Sentinel seems to be... redundant if Inferno could simply burrow a tunnel under it.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Not fair! Waspinator always gets slag assignments."
Megatron: "May I remind Waspinator that the current ceasefire applies only in reference to Maximals?"
Waspinator: "-gulp- Waspinator go."

Megatron: (Optimus Primal screams in the distance)"Aah, would I could have that sound to lull me to sleep each night."

The Vok: "It is too late. You and your enemies have already contaminated the project. The harm has been done. That which does not become part of the one—shall become void."
Optimus Primal: "No, wait! We can fix whatever damage was done."
The Vok: "We are not interested. The experiment will be sterilized."

Tarantulas: "It is the beginning... of the end."

Blackjack
2010-04-16, 02:25 PM
With that, Season One is finished. I'm taking a break from Beast Wars (Sades, you're welcome to do Season two if you want). It's tiring me out, honestly, and I'm planning to work on the comics section for a while. I've got some Tales of the Fallen, Last Stand and Ongoing comics, and I want to review them for a bit. :)

No, I'm not abandoning BW. It's just on hiatus for a month or so.

************************************

Other Voices Part 2
Airdate: 1 April 1997
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: "To Protect the Peace"

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor and Tigatron stare in fear at the Vok superweapon as the moon continues powering up to space. Optimus Primal orders all Maximals to return to base. As usual, Rattrap says that they are all going to die, but Primal is sure that Rhinox can find a way for them to survive. Meanwhile, the dome structure finishes transferring energy to the weapon, and the Vok depart, returning to Nexus Zero. Megatron and his troops observe this from their base. As the troops panic, Megatron calmly scans the Maximal base, detecting Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Inferno within.

Tarantulas is converting a stasis pod with the transwarp drive he stole from the Predacon ship into an escape ship. Blackarachnia observes that the pod is rather cramped for two, but she pulls out her weapon, double-crossing Tarantulas. Before the two could battle, though, Inferno arrives and blasts Blackarachnia, and sets Tarantulas on fire, knocking him out. Blackarachnia continues to battle Inferno, using her superior agility to elude Inferno and ultimately knocking the fire ant out with his own weapon. Blackarachnia uses Tarantulas' cyberlink goggles to obtain the data she needs to finish the pod ship, but as she stares into Tarantulas' mind, Tarantulas isn't as weak-minded as she thought...

The Maximals arrive at the base, shocked at seeing Sentinel down. As they enter they find Rhinox and Dinobot webbed to the ceiling. Rattrap and Airazor are dispatched to hunt down the infiltrators, while the damaged Maximals are placed in CR chambers. Megatron is delighted as the data flow from Tarantulas' body to the pod continues. Suddenly, the 'Planet Buster', having finished its transformation sequence, opens fire on the planet. Primal activates Sentinel just in time as the surroundings begins to burn. The Maximals and Predacons both deduce that the Vok intend to ignite the energon deposits. Megatron notes that this will obliterate the entire planet, an incredibly ruthless strategy that he admires. Megatron, however, assures his troops that he has one reliable card to play -- the unwitting Tarantulas.

Blackarachnia finishes uploading data at into the pod ship, only to find herself being held at gunpoint by Rattrap and Airazor. Primal and the Maximals begin to panic themselves, with Rhinox still out. However, Primal's outlook changes when he sees Blackarachnia's pod ship. Primal plans to use the pod ship so that he can fly up to the Planet Buster and detonate the transwarp cell to destroy it.

Blackarachnia reprograms the ship to respond to Optimus Primal, and after a farewell with his teammates, takes off. Megatron is delighted when he realizes that Primal is the one flying the vessel. The tension is high as Primal reaches the Planet Buster, and ignites the Transwarp cell. However, as he tries to blow the hatch seals, he discovers it to be locked. Apparently, Megatron has hacked into the stasis pod's software, planning to use the same trick with Tarantulas. His face appears in front of Primal as he gloats, stating that the pilot will go up with the ship. As Primal pounds on the sealed hatch, the Maximals wonder what is going on. Blackarachnia says that it's too late in Tarantulas' voice. The Planet Buster and the pod ship both explode, and with it, Optimus Primal as well...

Transformers Featured: Cheetor, Tigatron, Optimus Primal (killed), Rattap, Airazor, Terrorsaur, Scorponok, Waspinator, Tarantulas (transferred into Blackarachnia’s mind), Blackarachnia, Inferno, Dinobot, Rhinox

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
A wonderful conclusion to the first Season of Beast Wars. Megatron's counter-plan to Tarantulas' treachery is wonderfully executed, and his gloating speech at the end of the episode is nice. The tense atmosphere in this episode is evident, but there are some light-hearted moments as well. Optimus Primal's death seemed final, what with pieces of his body flying towards the camera as the Planet Buster explodes. While seeing an Optimus die might seem routine, remember that to kids who aren't familiar with G1, it would be a shock to them. Besides, it's a rather excellent death, with Primal being tricked into the situation by Megatron.

The Planet Buster's transformation is well animated, and it's a good thing that the Vok exit the stage as soon as it's activated. They are rather dull and it's nice to see that no more screentime are wasted on them. Rattrap's sarcasm are hilarious in context. Tarantulas being inside Blackarachnia's head is a rather disturbing prospect, yet a nice plot twist as well. The dialogue is well-scripted, being hilarious and dramatic all at the same time. Most of the characters (bar Rhinox and Dinobot) get one or two good dialogues thrown in, even the Predacon stooges panicking. The death of Optimus Primal is a wonderful cliff-hanger, as is Tarantulas/Blackarachnia's unique situation. It just makes you want to go to the next episode and discover what's going on...

NOTES
The first proper death in Beast Wars, after Clone One and Snowstalker, is Optimus Primal himself.

The name of the Vok's 'Death Moon' superweapon was dubbed as the 'Planet Buster' by Rattrap, and it stuck. I prefer ‘Death Moon’ myself, but oh well…

Tigatron’s excuse to pilot the pod ship instead of Primal, he says “I owe this world”. This might be a reference to his guilt after the death of Snowstalker in “Law of the Jungle”, as well as destroying the Island Paradise in “The Trigger part 2”. For a pacifist, he blows up lots of things.

Megatron’s parting line, “You Optimuses do enjoy sacrificing themselves” might be a reference to the numerous time Optimus Prime has sacrificed himself.

If you listen closely as the pod slams into the Planet Buster, there is the sound effect of Optimus firing a gun (perhaps his arm cannons) and glass shattering. It’s as if he attempted to blast his way out, but it’s too late.

If you watch the final scene in slow motion, you can see Optimus Primal bits fly towards the camera, including his head.

Apparently, Megatron was slated to taunt Optimus Primal on the stasis pod not with a video recording of himself, but with an image of Optimus Prime. This did not make it to the final cut, though. Most likely because they have no time to make a CG model for Prime.

GOOFS
Last episode, Dinobot falls into the elevator glass on the right hand side of the screen, breaking the glass. But this episode, the left elevator glass is the broken one.

Apparently, according to Primal and Megatron, the Planet Buster ignites every living thing on the planet, yet after the events of this episode, there are still lots of organic living things on the planet. Perhaps they were just exaggerating?

When Blackarachnia grabs Inferno’s gun, her body clips onto Inferno’s for a couple of seconds.

As Airazor searches for Blackarachnia with Rattrap, she jumps into a hallway at one point. However, her gun does not move with her, leading to her hand grasping at thin air while her gun gets stuck on her, well, armpit.

As Optimus Primal lies on the pod ship, his shoulder pads are much smaller that what they are supposed to be. But then, this seems to be a deliberate attempt as otherwise they’ll clip the cramped stasis pod.

When Megatron laughs at the end of his speech, his right hand is a normal head instead of a T-Rex head.

Quote, Unquote
Cheetor: "Suffering circuits, what could it be?"
Tigatron: "The light at the end of the world."

Airazor: "Cheetor and Tigatron are coming."
Rattrap: "Oh, ter-rific. Now we can all get reduced to hot burning slag together."
Primal & Airazor: "Shut up, Rattrap!"

Megatron: "Brilliant. They're causing a chain reaction which will rip this planet to atoms and destroy all treaces of them simply to deal with us! Such sheer ruthlessness. Such disregard for sentient life!" -pause- "I rather like these aliens."
Terrorsaur: "Like them? They're trying to destroy us!"
Waspinator: "Waspinator not want to be destroyed. Waspinator has plans!"
Scorponok: "Megatron will save us!"
Megatron: "I think not. I've reserved that task for Tarantulas."

Optimus Primal: "I'm betting I can fly close enough to take it out."
Rattrap: "With what? One of your famous 'we can do it' speeches?"
Optimus Primal: "A transwarp explosion." -silence-
Blackarachnia: "Haha! You'll blow yourself to atoms!"
Optimus Primal: "If it saves this planet, it'll be worth it. If not, I'm no worse off."

Rattrap: (all the other Maximals volunteer to pilot the pod in Primal's place) "Hey, suicide ain't in my job description."

Rattrap: "Just in case you don't come back... can I have your quarters?"
Optimus Primal: "No."

Megatron: "Oh, you Optimuses do love to sacrifice yourselves, don't you? Well, fortunately, this time your foolishness will destroy you, and your Maximals. The Beast Wars are over, Optimus. You. Lose."
Optimus Primal: "MEGATROOOOOOOOOOOON!"

Blackjack
2010-05-01, 04:22 AM
Aftermath
Airdate: 26 October 1997
Written By: Larry DiTilio
Japanese Title: "We're Back"

SYNOPSIS
Following the events of last episode, the Maximals and Predacons all react to Optimus Primal's death. The Maximals are in a state of shock, while the Predacons are celebrating. However, the destruction of the Planet Buster causes a surge of energy which his the planet. In the Maximal base, Rattrap, Cheetor as well as Tarantulas' dead body are affected, causing them to glow. In the Predacon Base, the energy surge rocks it, causing Waspinator to fall into the CR pool, while Megatron, Terrorsaur and Scorponok are all affected by the surge. Scorponok and Terrorsaur lose control of their hover-platforms and collide into each other, and tumbles into their death in the lava below. After the surge has passed, Waspinator emerges from the CR pool, happy to have survived. He sees Megatron, having been upgraded by the surge into a new Transmetal body.

Meanwhile, Rattrap and Cheetor found themselves in new Transmetal bodies as well, and they try out their new Beast and Vehicle modes, but end up crashing into stuff. Tigatron and Airazor goes off to hunt Blackarachnia, who has sneaked off during the chaos. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia is controlled by Tarantulas' mind, and he forces her to leave the Maximal base while dragging Tarantulas' newly-Transmetalized body along. Unnoticed by the spiders, Inferno's severed head, meanwhile, glow back online.

Meanwhile, Rhinox and Dinobot come back online. After Rattrap tells the entire story to them, Dinobot tries to wrestle command, but Rhinox throttles him and forces him to back off. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas escape the Maximal Base, but are intercepted by Tigatron and Airazor. However, Megatron brings a full Predacon assault on the Maximal base (which, technically, amounts to Waspinator and himself). They join forces with the Tarantulas-possessed Blackarachnia, and knock out Airazor and Tigatron.

Rhinox, taking temporary command, sends the two Transmetals outside while Dinobot and himself set up perimeter defences. Inferno, however, having put himself together, barges into the control room and blasts Rhinox. Dinobot attacks the Predacon and a brawl ensues.

Outside, Tarantulas forces Blackarachnia to retreat despite Megatron's (and Blackarachnia's) orders. Waspinator battles Cheetor, but the Maximal's new flight mode sends the Predacon packing. However, Megatron's new Transmetal body is much more powerful than before, and knocks both Cheetor and Rattrap in quick succession, and prepares to kill them.

Meanwhile, Rhinox, having recovered from the blow, grabs Inferno and throws him out of the base lift, and opens fire at Megatron with his 'Chaingun of Doom'. Megatron, realising that all his troops have been knocked out, retreat.

Elsewhere, in a stormy area, three stasis pods are lying in a barren area, their machinery malfunctioning. A hand emerges...

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Airazor, Tigatron, Cheetor, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Megatron, Terrorsaur (killed by lava pool), Scorponok (killed by lava pool), Tarantulas, Inferno, Rhinox, Optimus Primal (flashback), Dinobot

REVIEW
A clunky episode, with way too much time spent on advertising the new Transmetal toys. The time spent on Cheetor and Rattrap checking out their new vehicle modes is galling. Terrorsaur and Scorponok also get the lamest death in the entire episode, falling into the lava pool and are subsequently forgotten. It's just poor, rushed writing, really, when characters are killed off like this only to make room for newer Predacon toys.

Also, this episode wraps up most of the loose plot threads from last episode, and restores the status quo. Dinobot challenging the leadership and Rhinox's calm is well-scripted, as is Waspinator and Rattrap. However, it doesn't change the fact that this episode serves simply to advertise the new toys and to reestablish the status quo of the show. While the Transmetal bodies does look cool, they fail to give the episode much meat. And Tarantulas possessing Blackarachnia is just morbid and hastily done.

(Three out of Ten)

NOTES
The Quantum Surge (as it was named later on) only affects the Maximals and Predacons who are not birthed on the planet (Inferno, Airazor, Tigatron and Blackarachnia are not affected) and are not in CR chambers (Rhinox, Dinobot and Waspinator are not affected). Why is this so? Why, because they ain't got Transmetal toys at that time in the market, duh. And for those who actually had, like Terrorsaur or Waspinator, I'll bet that it's too expensive to build that many CG models in such a short time, so...

The flashback shows Primal reaching the center of the moon, which is not seen last episode.

Terrorsaur and Scorponok buy the farm. It's worth noting that they were undergoing the Transmetalization process as they sink under the lava, bringing a loophole which the writers could exploit should their return be needed later on.

Waspinator was the one who's supposed to be killed off, but due to his popularity among fans and the need for comic relief, the writers decided to kill off Scoponok and Terrorsaur instead. This is reflected by Waspy's line when he emerges from the CR pool: "Waspinator is alive... hee hee!"

The Quantum Surge damaged both the Maximal and Predacon bases. The Darksyde's now grey instead of green, and the rear section has collapsed. The Axalon fares no better, and is fractured halfway through. This look would remain for the rest of Season Two and Three, until those ships were destroyed.

Megatron references 'new packaging' when describing the Transmetals.

Cheetor's 'vehicle mode' consists of jet boosters coming out of his sides. Rattrap's 'vehicle mode' consists of his legs retracting and being replaced by wheels. Megatron's vehicle mode consists of either having roller blades, or hoverjets on his thighs.

GOOFS
While being in CR chambers are a nice explanation, it's weird why those birthed on Earth do not suffer from Transmetalization in story context.

Waspinator's gun is destroyed by Cheetor, yet he is still able to transform, although his gun forms his Beast Mode's abdomen.

Rattrap drops his shield, which is one of his hubcaps in Beast Mode. However, when Cheetor crashes onto him, both hubcaps are intact.

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "Yes, I am good, aren't I? But we can discuss my brilliance later. Now, there is work to be done."

Tarantulas: "I'm here, inside your pretty little head, controlling your pretty little thoughts."
Rattrap: "What's with you two?" -gestures toward crotch- "Is my gear box hanging out or something?"

Megatron: -on Transmetal Maximals- "New packaging. Same product. Losers."

Blackjack
2010-05-09, 05:15 AM
Coming of the Fuzors Part 1
Airdate: 2 November 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Enter the New Warriors! Snippety-snip, Sir.

SYNOPSIS
The Predacon base's sensors detected two stasis pods that have crashed in Delta Quadrant. Desperate for more troops, Megatron and Inferno heads off to claim them. Waspinator buzzes around, noting that there is only one moon now, before saying 'Waspinator knows!'. Dinobot is also observing the single satellite from afar. Dinobot sneaks into the Predacon base and walks towards where the Golden Disks are kept. Waspinator is there too, and Dinobot grabs him. They confirm their observations about the moon, and that they are on Earth now. The Disks can foretell the future. Surprisingly, Waspinator offers to join forces with Dinobot to steal the Disks, but Dinobot instead throws Waspinator onto the forcefield, overloading it. Dinobot steals the Golden Disks, escapes and blasts the computers.

Blackarachnia hauls Tarantulas' body to his lab and half-heartedly shoots Dinobot. Meanwhile, having been reduced into a crushed cube but ignored by Blackarachnia, Waspinator drags himself into the restoration chamber, grumbling all the way.

Meanwhile, the Maximals have found a sparkless, 'blank' protoform. Tigatron and Airazor, meanwhile, head out for an extensive survey to see the effects that the Planet Buster has on the planet. Rattrap is not impressed at the blank protoform, but Rhinox seems to have a use for it. Elsewhere, the two pods activate their DNA scanners but they malfunction, and the Transformers emerge, finding themselves a strange fusion of two animals. One is a wolf/eagle, while the other is a scorpion/cobra. The scorpion/cobra thinks that he could beat the wolf/eagle up, and attacks. Inferno arrives and attacks both of them. Megatron, observing the three-way battle, alters the new Transformers' command codes into Predacons. Megatron introduces himself and tells the confused Fuzors that they are Transformers. The scorpion/cobra Fuzor names himself Quickstrike, while the wolf/eagle names himself Silverbolt.

Meanwhile, Dinobot, ruminates to himself about the Golden Disks., debating with himself about destiny and whether he should peek and find out how he would die. (For a complete transcript of his monologue, see the quote-unquote section). He decides to be the master of his own fate, and resolves to know the truth, but later. He places the real Golden Disk under a rock, and takes the Alien Disk to the Maximal Base.

At the Maximal Base, Rattrap dispatches Cheetor to find Dinobot, while Rhinox hooks himself up to a massive piece of machinery. Cheetor encounters the now four-strong Predacon army. Cheetor contacts Rattrap, who tries to wake Rhinox up. However, the computer informs him that any disturbance to Rhinox or the machinery will separate Rhinox's consciousness from his body. Dinobot arrives with the Alien Disk and asks Rattrap what's going on, since Sentinel is under full alert. Dinobot and Rattrap arm themselves with additional weapons, and decides to take the fight away from the base.

Meanwhile, Tarantulas' mind is restored to his now Transmetalized body, but a strange side-effect kicks in. Tarantulas now has a psychic link with Blackarachnia. Megatron contacts Waspinator, who tries to tell his leader about the theft of the Disks, but Megatron orders Waspinator to rendezvous with the other Predacons. On a dusty plain, the Predacons, double the Maximal numbers, prepare to attack.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Inferno, Megatron, Waspinator, Dinobot, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor, Airazor, Tigatron, Quickstrike, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Much better. This is how you introduce characters, by making them integral to the story. After the hullabaloo last episode, this issue gets back into form. Dinobot's dialogue is superbly scripted in this episode, and he even quotes Hamlet again! And references to Predator and old Western films... You don't get that in All Hail Megatron, do you? Dinobot is characterized superbly in this episode, contemplating about destiny and such. Meanwhile, Megatron is back to form. He's no longer a bumbling idiot, but rather retains the more sinister plotter we saw at later episodes in Season One. And he still manages to be a ham. Inferno, Waspinator and Rattrap all get nice scenes to themselves, especially Rattrap's dealing with leadership. Waspinator's little bout of alliance, while a little out of character, does lead into one of the more hilarious scenes ever.

The new guys introduced are Quickstrike and Silverbolt. Quickstrike, is just another trigger-happy trooper, but his accent and awesome alternate mode endears me. He's more interesting than his earlier counterpart, Scorponok, anyway. Silverbolt is like an overblown hero, like someone out of a storybook, with a simple black-and-white outlook, a stark contrast to, say, Rattrap. The Spiders' treacherous planning is handled much better than Starscream or Terrorsaur, and it doesn't interfere yet with the main story. Rhinox is obviously trying to revive Primal, that much is certain, which is a shame since it seems like next episode would be a big Primal toy advertisement. It's a much better start to a two-parter than 'The Trigger' and much more interesting. While toy advertising is still rampant with the Transmetals and Fuzors, it's not made such a big deal like last episode. Dialogue is simply fantastic. And the cowboy homage at the end, with the thing going into sepia... superb.

NOTES
It's the debut of Quickstrike and Silverbolt. Quickstrike is a scorpion with a cobra head for his tail, while Silverbolt is like a Gryphon with wolf parts (and a wolf face) instead of lion parts. Quickstrike's character is based on a cowboy while Silverbolt is a somewhat akin to a chivalrous knight.

The way Dinobot covers himself in mud to avoid being seen by infrared sensors is a homage to Predator.

A third stasis pod can be seen near the Fuzors' two pods. Its occupant's corpse could be seen before Quickstrike and Silverbolt arrive. This is presumably the same protoform whose hand appears in the end of the last episode. Presumably it died because it didn't have a chance to scan an alternate mode.

Silverbolt's line as he makes up his name "I think my name is...Silverbolt. Yes! Pure, strong, and...and fast." is a reference to the first line of G1 cartoon's Silverbolt after being created by Vector Sigma.

Dinobot quotes Hamlet again, "To be or not to be." Afterwards, his line is a misquote from Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol.

As he prepares to leave the Maximal base, Cheetor's Maximal insignia lights up and fills the screen, acting as a scene-wiping transition in the style of the G1 cartoon.

Dinobot carries ammo strips around his body in the style of G2 characters.

The final scene of the episode is a reference to old Spaghetti Western films, right down to the music, the tumbleweed, the slow-motion, the sepia tone at the end and Quickstrike.

GOOFS
After Megatron shoots Silverbolt, the smoke in his shoulder gun barrels (well, T-Rex hands) stay in the same place even when he is moving.

When Rattrap explains the situation to Dinobot, his thumb is golden, but the rest of his hand is the correct silver.

Why didn't Rhinox tell Rattrap what exactly he is planning to do?

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Oh, sure. Don't mind Waspinator. Waspinator just lie here and suffer. Drag himself to CR tank."

Inferno: "Fool! Pain is my friend! Allow me to introduce you to it!"

Megatron: (to Silverbolt) "Teamwork and cooperation. Those are the Predacon watchwords."
Quickstrike: "How about backstabbin' and treachery?"
Megatron: "Oh, we can be flexible."

Rattrap: "What're you looking at? Hey, get your shiny new butt skyward and see if you can find chopperface before the Preds do."
Cheetor: "You mean fly?"
Rattrap: "Do I mean fly- no, I mean take a submarine. Of course I mean fly! Now get going!"
Cheetor: "All right!"
Rattrap: "-sigh- Optimus, how did you do it?"

Dinobot: "To be or not to be; that is the question. These disks I hold, are they a record of what will be, or only what may? For if, the future is indeed imutably foretold, then my demise is but moments from the confirmation. For I, I could not live if not the master of my fate. But if the future can be changed, if these disks record merely one path of all the myriad ways the cosmos might conform, then their power is infinite, and yet still limited. For they could be used but once, and in that change be rendered fiction, forevermore. I could destroy them! But no. It would be a coward's answer. I will know the truth instead. Then, it will be either them, or me, that face oblivion. Till then..."

Blackjack
2010-05-14, 03:19 PM
Coming of the Fuzors, Part 2
Airdate: 9 November 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Convoy Reborn

SYNOPSIS
Following the events of the last episode, Dinobot, Rattrap and Cheetor battle the six Predacons, buying time for Rhinox. Megatron orders the Predacons not to take survivors, causing Silverbolt to protest. This earns him a beating from the Predacon leader. The battle continues and Silverbolt is confused about the Maximals' resistance, and Megatron thorizes that the Maximals are keeping them away from their base. Waspinator and Silverbolt are dispatched to assault the Maximal base, and they are met by Cheetor. A reluctant Dinobot rides an equally-disgusted vehicle-mode Rattrap, opening fire on the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Tarantulas uses their psychic link to force Blackarachnia to search for information concerning the Golden Disks. She apparently discovers something of importance, but refuses to share it with Tarantulas. The battle causes Tarantulas to be rendered unconscious by a boulder, giving Blackarachnia the opportunity to download the information into her brain and destroying Megatron's computer she was using (claiming that is was booby-trapped).

As they reach the Axalon, Silverbolt is shot down by the autoguns and is captured by the Maximals. Dinobot is ready to destroy the Fuzor, but Rattrap and Cheetor takes Silverbolt into a CR Chamber to be repaired. Meanwhile, Rhinox disengages from the machinery and tells the Maximals they must stand their ground for a little while longer. As the Maximals head out, a charge hits Rhinox's device and heads off to the blank Protoform. Axalon's shields fail under the fire, and the Maximals find themselves out of ammunition, and the Predacons proceed to give them a savage beating.

The Predacons are ready to deliver the killing blow, but before they can finish the Maximals, an explosion rocks the hull of the Axalon. Maximals and Predacons turn as one to see the cause of the explosion, namely a reborn Optimus Primal. Primal uses his new Transmetal body to scatter the Predacons, before taking to the air with his 'surfboard' and knocking out all the Predacon stooges. Megatron engages Primal and nearly delivers a killing stroke, but Silverbolt arrives and knocks Megatron off a cliff, proclaiming his defection to the Maximals.

After repairs, Rhinox remarks that all the energon within the area have been detonated or converted into more stable forms, so energon overload is no longer a problem. Tigatron and Airazor have yet to return from their survey on the rest of the planet, though. Primal resolves to get to know Silverbolt better and to drive out Rattrap from his quarters.

Meanwhile, at the Predacon base, Blackarachnia informs Megatron of Dinobot's theft of the Golden Disks, as well as the destruction of the computers. Both Megatron and Tarantulas ask her whether anything from the backups can be recovered, to which she replies negative. Megatron declares that the Beast Wars has entered a new phase, while some lines of binary code flashes across Blackarachnia's eyes...

?Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Inferno, Cheetor, Dinobot, Rattrap, Quickstrike, Silverbolt, Waspinator, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
While not quite as messy as 'Aftermath', this isn't as nice as the first part. While Primal's return is handled nicely, his whole new-toy-beats-the-shit-out-of-everyone-else routine is banal. The spaghetti film homages are well-executed with the suspense being evident, but the rest of the plot falls short. Why did the Maximals run out of ammo all of a sudden? Silverbolt's defection is also little hastily handled, and unlike last episode, plain as the day. Why did Rattrap and Cheetor plonk him in a CR chamber of all places? So many hastily-done plot holes to get all the characters in place for the new status quo. Stuff like the Maximals running out of ammo are just lazy plotting.

On the other hand, the rest of the characterization are on-the-ball, with Megatron being smug and hammy as ever, while Quickstrike falls in line with Inferno as a rather dangerous guy who has a few screws loose with a cute accent. And it's hard not to feel all 'awww' for Waspy when Waspinator gives 'orders'. Silverbolt is okay as well for a character with so many ways to go wrong. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas double-crossing each other is well-scripted, and the intrigue on the mystery of the Golden Disks are delved into, so in this aspect at least this episode is better than the stand-alone slapsticks of the season one episodes. Dialogue is excellent, especially between Rhinox, Rattrap and Dinobot. There are many charming scenes like, for instance, Rattrap taking over Primal's room or Blackarachnia ransacking Megatron's stuff. In any case, it's an enjoyable episode, even if there are plot holes.

NOTES
Debut of Transmetal Optimus Primal.

As of the end of this episode, it is revealed that all energon have been destroyed by the Planet Buster, leaving only stable remains, so the Maximals and Predacons don't need to spend half the episode acting stupid in their Beast Modes anymore.

When Rattrap throws a rock into the air (and its cut down by Predacons fire), the Maximals' eyeballs pop out of their heads in a slapstick cartoon manner.

Dinobot references 'the Rat Patrol', an old war TV show.

Again, the Spaghetti Western films are homaged this episode, especially Megatron keeping the time and Optimus battling with Inferno.

Also, the Inferno toy was supposed to be a reborn version of Megatron (which is obviously scrapped). However, this abandoned plot was hinted at when Megatron and Inferno fly into each other and get their heads swapped.

As Rhinox goes into the Matrix/AllSpark/wherever it is he goes into, the Matrix of Leadership is briefly glimpsed. He also describes it as 'Where all as one', quoting Optimus Prime's infamous line in TFTM.

Several Easter Eggs could be seen among Megatron's stuff when Blackarachnia ransacks his room. Among those of interest is a small model of Starscream's head, a model airplane, a model helicopter, the Holy Grail, a pocket-watch and Megs' rubber ducky.

It is hinted that both Megatron and Tarantulas suspects that Blackarachnia made away with the Golden Disk data, although for this episode they are both content to let her go her way. Her having downloaded the data would prove an important plot point in subsequent episodes.

An earlier script revision had the elevator into the Maximal base to be destroyed during the fight, giving Primal a relevant reason to blow a hole in his own base. Presumably this was cut for time constraints.

GOOFS
Despite having arrived at the end of last episode, Tarantulas and Waspinator are shown arriving again.

At one point, Megatron's fingers clip through his tail-cannon thing when he fires on the Maximals.

Waspinator and Silverbolt take off for the Maximal base twice, going over the Maximals' heads a second time.

When pursuing the Rattrap/Dinobot duo, Megatron's VTOL engines are inactive when he flies.

Rhinox clips through Rattrap's rear wheel around the 'Comes the dawn' line.

Why do they even plonk Silverbolt in a CR Chamber? And even if they do, why didn't they secure it so Silverbolt can't escape? Surely they can't be planning on Silverbolt helping them?

Also, despite having ammunition bandoleers slung all over him G2-style, Dinobot says that his weapon is out of ammo.

On the same vein, Dinobot still can fire said weapon after the out of ammo line.

The Predacons have been battling longer than the Maximals, who have access to their base, yet the Maxies run out of ammo before the Predacons. Rhinox, for one, should have full ammo when he arrives for battle.

How did a blank Protoform get Transmetalized? After all, the Quantum Surge is shown not to affect guys like Inferno and Tigatron who are 'born' on Earth.

Quote, Unquote
Dinobot: "To think that a warrior must become a... a... rat patrol."

Waspinator: "Waspinator is in command. Waspinator will lead! Yes!"
Silverbolt: "Well, since you're the one who knows the way, go ahead! Lead on."
Waspinator: "Hmph! You not tell Waspinator what to do! Waspinator in command!"
Silverbolt: "Okay. Fine. What is your command?"
Waspinator: "Doggybot follow Waspinator. Waspinator will lead."

Dinobot: "Bah! Maximal sentiment! Oh, I must've been defective to defect."

Rattrap: "Where'd ya go, anyway?"
Rhinox: "Where all are one."
Rattrap: "Oh, where all are... What?"

Rattrap: "Oh, great. We're all gonna die."
Rhinox: "It happens. But miracles happen, too. Let's go!"

Rhinox: "Comes the dawn."
Dinobot:"And..." -arm falls off- "...our doom."

Silverbolt: "Consider that my resignation from the Predacons, Megatron! I know now that my place was always with the Maximals. May I join you?"
Optimus Primal: "Well, I like your resume."

Optimus Primal: "Specifically, to have Rattrap clear all his junk out of my quarters!"
Cheetor: "Rattrap!"
Dinobot: "Opportunistic vermin!"
Rattrap: "Come on! Gimme a break, will ya? The guy was dead." -Dinobot punches Rattrap-

Blackjack
2010-05-16, 01:49 AM
Tangled Web
Airdate: 16 November 1997
Written By: Len Wein
Japanese Title: Grand-slam Tarantulas

SYNOPSIS
Megatron assigns Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike to develop a refueling station at a newly-detected cache of energon cubes. Meanwhile, Waspinator and Inferno are sent to construct a jamming tower. As the Predacons move out from their base, Tarantulas sneaks a transmitter into Quickstrike's equipment, apparently to attract the Maximals. Blackarachnia 'convinces' Quickstrike to help her carry the load.

Meanwhile, Rhinox conducts experiments on Optimus Primal's new Transmetal body to test its limits. The equipment short-circuits. Just then, Cheetor reports of a strange Predacon signal being broadcasted on a Maximal channel. Rattrap and Silverbolt are patrolling nearby and are told to investigate.

Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike arrive at their destination, and Tarantulas is quick in deciding that the site would be a perfect replacement for his old lair, which was destroyed during the Quantum Surge. Changing plans, he destroys the transmitter which is attracting the Maximals. Blackarachnia thinks along the same lines, mentioning it to Tarantulas. Tarantulas tells her about his plan to use the site as a staging ground against Megatron and the Maximals, forcing Blackarachnia to join via their psychic link. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas persuades Quickstrike to join their 'arachnid rebellion'. Meanwhile, Rattrap and Silverbolt loses the signal and are forced to follow their noses to track down the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Megatron relaxes in his CR jacuzzi, and is contacted by Inferno and Waspinator, who have completed the jamming tower. Megatron turns around to contact Tarantulas' team (failing to see the tower collapsing on Waspinator) and is frustrated when he couldn't do so, realising that they are up to something.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia decides that she has had enough and is determined to terminate the psychic link between her and Tarantulas, threatening to blow up all the energon there. Tarantulas learns that their psychic link goes both ways and that pain is shared between them, so he agrees to break the link. Quickstrike arrives, telling them of the Maximals' arrival. Rattrap and Silverbolt gain the upper hand, but Silverbolt refuses to fight Blackarachnia because she's a girl. Blackarachnia has no such reservations.

After a fierce battle, Rattrap and Silverbolt realises that the Predacons are guarding the cave and attempts to break in. However, the entrance blows up and seals the cave in. Rattrap congratulates Silverbolt, thinking that the Fuzor did it, but Silverbolt claims that he didn't do it. The Predacons retreat to Megatron, and receive a scolding from the Predacon leader. A short time later, it is revealed that Tarantulas blew up the entrance so he could return and claim it as his new lair...

Featured Transformers: Waspinator, Inferno, Quickstrike, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A solid episode. In season two and three, each episode, with the exception of several throwaway episodes, act more like a chapter to a larger story instead of simple slapstick episodes like the original Sunbow cartoon or Season One (to some extent). Yet they still manage to do this whilst still being self-contained, so kudos to the writers. Tarantulas' and Blackarachnia's mind link are starting to get old after three episodes, and thankfully the writers realise this and ended that particular plot device. Both spiders get excellent characterization this episode, which is marvellous since in the first season no Predacon bar Megatron got any serious three-dimensional characterization to themselves. Tarantulas gets more and more sinister and manipulating, nicely built up from the events of 'Other Voices'. Plus, Transmetal Tarantulas has one of the coolest designs of all. Blackarachnia, while still treacherous, is a much realistic character than Starscream or Terrorsaur in her methods. She's more stubborn and independent, and is not afraid to, erm, 'charm' others to do her work. While that scene with Quickstrike is a wee bit... awkward, it's in character. How else will you do seduction in a kids' show about robots?

Silverbolt is a corny to-the-book hero, and is executed wonderfully. He could've gone off as a stereotypical Autobot, but him being over the limit in heroism is simply charming and a stark contrast to the 'dirtier' Maximals like Rattrap and Dinobot. Quickstrike is a fun character, a simple-minded trigger-happy cowboy. Another thing that I love about Beast Wars is that stuff from previous episodes are mentioned. Things like Quantum Surges have impacts throughout an entire season. In season two, the padding scenes are better as well; scenes like Rhinox testing Primal's new Transmetal body is much better to see than, say, having Rattrap and Cheetor race around like hyperactive kids.

NOTES
First hint of feelings between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia. Tarantulas seems to have a thing for her too, being somewhat 'jealous' when Blackarachnia sweet-talks Quickstrike.

Both Tarantulas and Rhinox are experimenting on the Transmetal bodies. Haven't mentioned it before, so here we go. Tarantulas' 'vehicle mode' is a spide-themed motorcycle, while Primal's attack mode involves a surfboard of sorts being made out of kibble, allowing him to fly.

"Grid Arakis" is a reference to a planet from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

Tarantulas' line "Of course, you realise this means war" is a quote of an often-used line by Bugs Bunny.

This is not the last time we'll see the jamming tower.

The final line spoken by Tarantulas "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home" is a reference to the traditional song "Home! Sweet Home!" although here it's much more sinister...

GOOFS
Tarantulas' transmitter thing dropped on Quickstrike's pile with a loud clang, but no one seems to notice it.

When Tarantulas says "we do live to please Megatron", the green spider-mode eyes on his chest are missing.

When Quickstrike warns the Spiders about the Maximals, his abdomen is a little messed up.

Quote, Unquote
Rhinox: "Despite my tests, we still don't know what limits these new Transmetal states may have. Perhaps this new bio-gen scan will..." -gizmo fizzes out-"...or perhaps not."

Quickstrike: "Well, just ain't no figurin' a female."
Tarantulas: "Hahah, a fact of life, Fuzor."

Quickstrike: "Destruction's better 'n construction, ya get mah drift?"

Rattrap: "That widow's about as female as a piston."

Tarantulas: "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Bwahahahaha!"

Blackjack
2010-06-10, 03:25 PM
Maximal, No More
Airdate: 23 November 1997
Written By: Patrick Barry
Japanese Title: I Quit

SYNOPSIS
In the Maximal base, Dinobot ponders about the Golden Disk, observing that Megatron's plan proceeds, even without the disk. Dinobot ponders his fate, and whether he is betraying his Predacon heritage. Optimus Primal interrupts, ordering him for a survey mission, and Dinobot puts his thoughts aside for now. Dinobot rides vehicle-mode Rattrap into Predacon territory, and they are ambushed by Inferno and Quickstrike. The Maximals have the upper hand until Silverbolt arrives and gets shot down by Waspinator (yes, you read that right). Silverbolt crashes onto Dinobot, knocking them both out. The Predacons retreat with the unconscious Dinobot, but Rattrap manages to take out Waspinator and rescues Silverbolt.

At the Predacon base, Megatron is eager to chat with his former subordinate. After a scuffle, Dinobot offers to change sides. He convinces the Predacons to prove his loyalty with a challenge. Quickstrike is selected as an opponent and they both get ready to battle. Meanwhile, Rattrap sends the injured Silverbolt to inform Optimus while he goes off to track down Dinobot.

After a brutal face-off, Dinobot soundly defeats Quickstrike. Megatron orders Dinobot to finish off Quickstrike, but Dinobot refuses on the grounds that Quickstrike is an able fighter. Megatron accepts the excuse, but demands that Dinobot return the Golden Disks. The Alien Disk is still with Rhinox, but Dinobot takes the Predacons to where he had hidden the original Golden Disk.

Rattrap, not aware of Dinobot's betrayal, tails the Predacons when he sees them. Dinobot takes the Predacons to where he had hidden the Golden Disk and returns it to Megatron reluctantly. Megatron is about to attack him when Rattrap arrives, shooting Megatron. However, Rattrap is in turn attacked by Dinobot. Megatron orders Dinobot to kill Rattrap as a final test of loyalty. After a long moment of hesitation, Dinobot turns his sword towards Megatron, telling him that his ambitions are insane and will destroy both the Maximal and Predacon races. Optimus and Silverbolt arrive on the scene, forcing Megatron to retreat.

Dinobot confesses his treachery to Optimus Primal. He had foolishly believed that he wanted to share Megatron's victory, and now resolves to fight with the Maximals until the end. Optimus leaves the decision to Rattrap, who, after several insults and angry outbursts, allow Dinobot back among the ranks.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Inferno, Quickstrike, Waspinator, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Okay. Face it. Dinobot ruled the second season. From his amazing monologue in 'Coming of the Fuzors Part One', Dinobot's character builds up nicely, giving him much more character development than the rest of the cast. For the few episodes that he was spotlighted in, Dinobot never disappoints with his dry wit and honour-related monologues. Most spectacularly, this characterization ties in with the main plot of Beast Wars, especially that of Season Two, what with all the speeches about destiny and the ever-mysterious plot devices. I suppose I'd better quit before I say any spoilers. Anyway, Dinobot's betrayal back to the Predacons is a believable plot twist. After all, the whole reason why he defected to the Maximals was because Megatron led them to the wrong planet. It flows smoothly from previous episodes. While it's no big surprise when he refuses to gun down Rattrap, it's still excellently scripted.

It's not just Dinobot, though. Rattrap is well-done as well, having warily trusted Dinobot after the events of the first season, only to have himself betrayed. Megatron suffers a little, but his vaudevillian tendencies are still charming. Guys like Waspinator and Inferno get themselves some nice scenes as well. The events of this episode has an impact all through season two, though. Dinobot's defection would lead to the events of 'Code of Hero', while the jamming tower directly leads into the Vok two-parter. Hints are dropped about Megatron's master plan, seen in the season finale. Why, yes. I'm being vague. Sue me. Anyway, this is a perfect installment in the Beast Wars series. A self-centered episode following on the events of previous episodes and building up to future ones.

NOTES
Lots of foreshadowing about Megatron's master scheme and the whole reason why he had traveled to the past. Without giving any spoilers, Dinobot claims that Megatron's plans will destroy Maximal and Predacon alike, and 'all who came before'.

In Dinobot's quarters, the scalp of Clone One is hung on the wall.

Dinobot observes that the Predacon installments match the locations of the Alien Disk, foreshadowing the events of the next episode.

When Rattrap does that 'computer vision' visor thing as he tracks Dinobot, there is a wedge of cheese in the bottom corner. Cute.

Starting from this episode, the other Maximals would start to doubt Dinobot's allegiance, or be wary around him at least.

GOOFS
At one point, Waspinator doesn't have stripes on his abdomen.

The animation of Dinobot's beast mode's skin fluctuates in quality throughout the episode. At times it's like normal, but at times it looks as if it hadn't been finalised. Well, the YouTube resolution might factor, but still...

Quote, Unquote
Inferno: "Stand your ground, traitor!"
Dinobot: "You're on my ground, insect!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator not serve. Waspinator rules! Hehehehehehe!"

Rattrap: [tricks Waspinator into knocking himself out] "Eeeh, I love that guy."

Megatron: "Inferno, aid Quickstrike."
Inferno: "Yeeees, my queen."
Dinobot: "I was... not aware you had given yourself a new title."
Megatron: [hurriedly] "The ant has some faulty programming."

Dinobot: "Your ambition has made you insane, Megatron. It will destroy both Maximal and Predacon... and all who came before!"

Rattrap: "You can't trust him, and he smells bad. Then there's the teeth. You ever seen him eat?"

Blackjack
2010-06-12, 05:04 PM
Other Visits, Part 1
Airdate: 8 February 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Huh? The Flower?

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox scans all the known alien sites (the stone formation, the floating island and all that) while Dinobot observes. Both of them notice a pattern, and according to the pattern the next location is on course with Tigatron and Airazor, who are out on patrol. They try to alert the duo, but the Predacons' jamming tower prevents them from doing so. Dinobot and Rattrap heads off to destroy the tower, while Optimus, Silverbolt and Cheetor flies off to warn Tigatron and Airazor. Meanwhile, Tarantulas is repairing his lair, muttering that the rest of the Predacons are too busy helping Megatron. His computer alerts him to alien presence. Tarantulas transforms into bike mode and races off.

In the Predacon base, Blackarachnia is dozing off while watching a monitor, complaining that being loyal to Megatron is boring, not knowing that the Predacon leader is standing behind her. But before he could reprimand her, Blackarachnia detects Tarantulas on the scanners, moving in a rush across grid Vaxon. Blackarachnia suggests to Megatron that they follow Tarantulas to find out what he's up to, but Predacon leader is a little reluctant. Just then, Inferno reports that Waspinator and Quickstrike, on the jamming tower, are under attack. Inferno suggests that he help out at the jamming tower, but Megatron tells Blackarachnia and Inferno that with only Rhinox on the Axalon it would be an opportunity to steal the Golden Disk.

Tigatron and Airazor, meanwhile, see a clearing full of plant life, untouched by the Planet Buster's attack. Airazor and Tigatron transform to scan the unique plants, and share a moment. However, plant vines suddenly sneak up on them and bind them. As the vines raise them into the sky, they say that their sparks will find each other. Then, the two are abducted in flashes off light, just as Cheetor arrives.

While Cheetor laments his friends' fate, Tarantulas knocks Cheetor out. However before the spider has a chance to analyse the Vok site, Optimus Primal and Silverbolt arrives, forcing the spider to lay low. Cheetor comes to and tells Optimus and Silverbolt what happened. Rattrap calls them, saying that he and Dinobot had taken care of the jamming tower. At mention of Tigatron and Airazor's disappearances, though, all the Maximals head back to their base.

Rhinox is shocked by the news, but he keeps on his work, analysing the beam that abducted Tigatron and Airazor. However the base alerts him to Megatron attacking outside. An irate Rhinox opens fire on Megatron, not noticing as Blackarachnia and Inferno sneaking into the base and shutting off the defense systems. Rhinox tries to radio Optimus and the others, but Inferno interrupts him, and the two fight each other. Blackarachnia grabs the Golden Disk as Inferno and Rhinox punch each other's chins. Rhinox knocks Inferno out, and was about to blast Blackarachnia, but Megatron arrives. Megatron disarms Rhinox (literally), knock him out and take the Golden Disk, before retreating.

The rest of the Maximals arrive back at base, and Rhinox is repaired. Although Cheetor insist that they rescue Tigatron and Airazor, Dinobot and Optimus decide to stop Megatron before the aliens strike. The Maximals head off to the alien site. Meanwhile, Tarantulas contacts Megatron. Tarantulas claims that while he is no longer a proper Predacon, he is Megatron's only chance of surviving the imminent attack, and the two form an alliance.

Tarantulas orders the Predacon goons to ram posts onto the ground in the alien site. Megatron questions why Tarantulas would help, and Blackarachnia (since they shared minds previously) tells Megatron that Tarantulas hates the aliens. Megatron is pleased with this answer, since hatred is an emotion he could trust. After a quick monologue Megatron and Tarantulas then has a little 'evil laugh' contest, but this is interrupted by the Maximals. The two factions are ready to face off, but the aliens' beam comes down, interrupting the battle, and a giant silver spaceship-thing materialises. The top of the domelike ship opens, releasing and energy surge which knocks everybody out...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Megatron, Inferno, Tigatron (abducted by Vok), Airazor (abducted by Vok), Silverbolt, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Waspinator, Quickstrike, Rattrap

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
A nice build-up to one of the more decent two-parters of the Beast Wars series. The plot again centers on the Vok/aliens. While I don't particularly like the Vok, the intrigue and suspense is there. There is also a genuine display of continuity, which is basically out of the window with modern fiction. Stuff like Airazor mentioning the Quantum Surge's destruction of organic life, or Primal being pissed off at Megatron dealing with the Vok, or Blackarachnia mentioning her mind-link with Tarantulas, or Rhinox doubting Dinobot's intentions... you don't see those in the original cartoon, do you? And anyway, Megatron, Tarantulas and Rhinox all shine in this episode. Megatron's strategies actually make sense and is a little sneaky, and he gets a badass moment when he rips off Rhinox's arm, while we get more development (and mystery) for Tarantulas and the aliens. The duo's evil-cackle-contest is a cute little thing, too. Rhinox's 'cool under pressure' shtick works well, and the scene where he and Inferno takes turns to bonk each other's chins is hilarious.

That aside, Tigatron and Airazor's abduction is rather pointless, other than the fact that they needed to clear the cast to make room for new toys characters, and Mainframe's engines can't animate that many characters at the same time. However, the two that are removed don't really have characterization. Scratch that—Tigatron has got some (Airazor's just a stereotype heroic tomboy girl) but it's eclipsed by the development of the others, which goes to show how well Beast Wars treats their characters. Ther cheesy romance moment is poorly-written. Anyway, this would be the last time that Tigatron and Airazor would appear as proper characters in the series, and while this isn't a pretty exit, it's serviceable.

NOTES
Tigatron and Airazor exit, stage left. While they would be mentioned next episode, they won't be seen again until season three, and even then they would be rebuild into a new character. It's a better exit that falling into lava, though.

Rhinox still distrusts Dinobot since the events of 'Maximal, No More'.

Airazor and Tigatron had hints of romance in 'The Trigger' two-parter, but otherwise it's not developed like BA and Silverbolt would have in subsequent episodes. Of course, in Japan Airazor is a guy, so it leads to some... awkward moments with the dubbing. The show's producers in Japan tries to worm their way out of this by making Airazor into Tigatron's samurai apprentice (sort of an adoptive little brother) but the moment when they snuggle up against each other doesn't stop some people complaining that they are gay.

Tarantulas has made his split from the Predacon chain-of-command official since 'Tangled Web'.

The fight between Rhinox and Inferno references Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots, a video game.

Waspinator says that he's pinned like an 'iron butterfly', referencing the 60s rock band of the same name.

Optimus is not amused at Megatron 'dealing with the aliens', considering that the last time Megatron dealt with them Optimus Primal blew up real good.

GOOFS
Near the beginning of the episode, Optimus Primal's thruster (when he surfs/flies) is pointed down, but the engine flame is still animated as if the thruster is up.

Cheetor's arm clip into the cat head kibble during the discussion.

Quote, Unquote
Tigatron: "Wherever we go, my Spark will find yours!"
Airazor: "And mine, yours."

Inferno: "Say the word, and he will burn, my queen."
Megatron: "Not yet... and for the last time, stop calling me that!"
Inferno: "As you command, my-" [Megatron throttles Inferno] "-ack."

Megatron: [all of the Maximal base's big guns point at him] "I... uh.. come in peace?"
Rhinox: "You're about to leave in pieces."

Blackarachnia: "Ready to rock and roll, insect?"
Inferno: "I don't rock and roll. I buuuuuuurn."

Rattrap: "It's like I always say. We're all gonna die." [Everyone glares at Rattrap]"I know, I know. 'Shut up, Rattrap'."

Blackjack
2010-06-20, 05:14 AM
Other Visits (Part 2)
Airdate: 15 February 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Huh? The Face?

SYNOPSIS
The Transmetals recover quickly from the structure's blast. Megatron walks around the Vok structure, noting that it did not react to Transmetals. Tarantulas tells Megatron that they must act quickly, and they activate the devices that they planted earlier, creating a forcefield that kept the Maximals out. Despite Optimus' warnings, Megatron uses the Alien Disk to open a way into the Vok structure. Optimus dispatches Cheetor and Silverbolt to take the non-transmetals (Dinobot and Rhinox) back to their base for repairs.

After figuring out that beast modes hide them from the Vok, while Transmetals are as good as invisible to their sensors, Tarantulas hacks into the structure's systems. Megatron uses the control interface of the structure, controlling it with the Alien Disk. Meanwhile, Rattrap uses several bombs to take out the forcefield web. Tarantulas takes Quickstrike out to repel the Maximals. As the four duke it out outside, Megatron causes the entire structure to rise and float above the ground. Megatron, successfully controlling the structure, discovers how to control the weapons, knocking out Optimus. Megatron uses the structure's powers to levitate all his troops, plus the deactivated Optimus.

A gigantic Megatron face appears in the base's side, allowing him to speak with his troops. Megatron tells Tarantulas that the aliens no longer matter and dissolves their alliance, dropping the spider to the ground. Megatron repairs the non-transmetals, and scoops in all the Predacons plus Optimus. Rattrap, having evaded the ray, watches as the base teleports away. The rodent is soon confronted by a battered Tarantulas.

The base rematerializes over the mountain where Inferno originally found the Alien Disk. Megatron needs time to prepare, and sends off Waspinator and Inferno to take the transwarp cells from the Darksyde to their new 'base'. Meanwhile, at the Maximal base, Dinobot and Rhinox are brought back online. Rattrap arrives with Tarantulas in tow. The rogue Predacon helps the Maximals to locate the alien basease. He also detects Inferno and Waspinator returning with the cells.

Meanwhile, Optimus Primal awakens in bonds, finding out that Megatron intends to take the alien base to Cybertron. Optimus tries to warn Megatron that the Vok would follow them, but Megatron is confident he could take the aliens in a fight. Megatron is convinced that the base would convince the Predacon Alliance that conquest is the right path.

Meanwhile, the Maximal forces attack, drawing the Predacon troops away from the base and generally providing a distraction. Rattrap and Tarantulas infiltrate the base. However, halfway through their journey, Tarantulas ditches Rattrap alone. Rattrap is close enough to the main room to stop Megatron from initiating the teleportation sequence, and to free Optimus. Optimus battle Megatron, while Tarantulas reappears, sending a download into the alien systems. Everyone flees the base. The base teleports into space, but before it could enter the transwarp portal it explodes. Afterwards, Optimus Primal swears to find Tigatron and Airazor.

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Megatron, Quickstrike, Cheetor, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Inferno, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
Sadly, this falls out to another Transmetal commercial, about how the Transmetals are so much better than the others. The main plan is much better though, with Megatron planning to take the plot device to Cybertron. Both Megatron and Tarantulas shine again this episode, Megatron as an actual mastermind while Tarantulas as a Vok-hating, double-crossing madman.

The fact that the Vok weapon does absolutely nothing until Megatron takes control of it is a little too convenient, but it's not very jarring. Optimus and Megatron have another well-animated face-off, with Rattrap getting several good moments inbetween. All in all, a much smoother (and darker) two-parter than the Trigger, but not as good as Other Voices.

NOTES
Megatron gives the Alien Disk a kiss for luck before he places it in the control room. This episode marks the end of the Alien Disk.

This is the first time that it had been said outright that the Predacon Command on Cybertron isn't working in tandem with Megatron. Previously it had only been hinted.

Tarantulas' line that being in Beast Mode would shield them from scanners would be a very major plot point in Beast Machines. The idea of a giant floating metallic ship with a giant Megatron head would be reused in Beast Machines as the Grand Mal.

GOOFS
Last time in Other Voices, the Vok were prepared to exterminate the planet. However, this time they dealt with the transformers with a plant base that kidnaps two Maximals before knocking everyone silly for a while, hardly the same level of 'cleansing' that the Vok wanted in Other Voices. Did they have a change of heart in the interim?

Since Megatron really loves to attack the Maximal base, why didn't he teleport the alien base over the Maximals and blow them up first?

Megatron's hand clips through his tail gun for a split second.

?Quote, Unquote
Optimus Prime: "Megatron, don't! Their power is beyond what you can imagine. You can't control it."
Megatron: "I am power."

Rattrap: "You do realize the web's the only thing keeping that alien locker quiet."
Optimus: "Blow it."

Rattrap: "Your turn to think of something."

Rhinox: "I'm getting sick of waking up in the slagging R Chamber."

Waspinator: "Waspinator not think this job so important."
Inferno: "Every job for the Royalty is a gift!"
Waspinator: "Antbot is major suck-up!"

Blackjack
2010-06-21, 01:22 PM
Bad Spark
Airdate: 22 February 1998
Written By: Greg Johnson
Japanese Title: N/A (was released as part of the pilot movie for the Beast Wars Metals)

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor spots a giant stasis pod marked with a big yellow X crashed in a patch of unstable enrgon deep inside a swamp. Optimus Primal tells Cheetor not to open the pod until he arrives. Optimus and Rhinox leave, and Rhinox seems pretty spooked. Megatron sends Waspinator and Blackarachnia to retrieve the pod, and subtly places a listening device on Blackarachnia. Megatron taps his armrest, seemingly aware that Tarantulas has bugged it with a listening device of his own.

Optimus, Silverbolt and Cheetor land near the pod, and Optimus finds, to his relief, that Protoform X seems to be dead. Cheetor and Silverbolt question Prmal about this. He tells them that the pod holds ‘the dark secret of Axalon’s journey’, Protoform X. It was created in experiments attempting to replicate the immortal spark of Starscream. However, X grew insane and sadistic, so after it was captured Primal was ordered to dump X somewhere barren during their journey. The Predacons choose this moment to strike. Silverbolt refuses to strike Blackarachnia because his code of honour wouldn’t allow him to hit a female.

Tarantulas arrives and threatens Blackarachnia, and Silverbolt attacks Tarantulas. In the process, he accidentally ignites the energon beneath X’s stasis pod, which explodes and scatters the combatants for miles. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt land next to each other. Silverbolt’s wing is broken, and the two grudgingly agree to team up. Tarantulas lands near the pod, and finds that it is empty. Something looms over him, and he screams.

Optimus and Cheetor are too damaged to search for Silverbolt and return to their base for the time being. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt journey on foot, and begin to trust each other. The two find one of Tarantulas’ limbs hanging on a tree. Meanwhile, Megatron and Inferno eavesdrops on their quasi-romantic alliance. Megatron notes that Blackarachnia no longer needs Silverbolt to protect him with Tarantulas out of the way.

This turns out true as Blackarachnia is ready to shoot Silverbolt at one point. However, a saber-toothed tiger attacks Blackarachnia. Silverbolt defeats the animal, but is left dangling precariously on a cliff. Blackarachnia saves Silverbolt, awkwardly saying that it was in case of more tigers. As the two walk on, Silverbolt tries to appeal to Blackarachnia’s inner Maximal nature, but the Predacon fires at him. The two then finds the rest of Tarantulas’ body, torn apart violently. Silverbolt then tells Blackarachnia (and by extension Megatron) about Protoform X. Megatron prepares an energon blade.

Blackarachnia and Silverbolt suddenly find themselves with Protoform X. none of their attacks damage the monster, and it tries to crush Silverbolt in his powerful claw. Optimus Primal and Cheetor arrive, and together with Blackarachnia fire at Protoform X, freeing Silverbolt. During the attack, X is finally knocked down a cliff, but Blackarachnia fell down the other side in process. Silverbolt jumps after the Predacon despite his damaged wing, but he succeeds in saving the Predacon. The Maximals let her go. Blackarachnia watches them go, before departing herself.

Meanwhile, Protoform X, barely active in a pile of energon, sees Megatron loom above him with an energon blade. X wakes up in the Predacon base, finding that Megatron had carved out a piece of his spark and placed it in a tiny cage, that, when squeezed, is able to cause X pain. Megatron renames X ‘Rampage’, and is pleased that the monster is now under his command.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Silverbolt, Protoform X/Rampage, Megatron, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Tarantulas, Inferno, Quickstrike, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
I like this episode. Rampage has been one of the more unique characters of Beast Wars. He’s a sadistic, unkillable, insane monster, yet is held in thrall by Megatron’s torture devices. Kind of like Galvatron from G1, but Rampage looks more imposing. And I was pretty surprised when he transforms into, of all things, a crab. The action scenes are executed nicely. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt is probably the only romance that worked in transformers lore. Sure, it’s cheesy, but at least they don’t fall head-over-heels with each other instantly.

The whole concept of the Maximal command trying to replicate Starscream’s immortal spark is also well-developed. The episode had this horror movie feel to it, with Tarantulas’ mutilation being well done. Rampage feels threatening and you could feel the suspense. Megatron is also defined nicely, with him being aware about Tarantulas’ bug but not doing anything, whilst spying on his own troops. His jokes as he eavesdrops on Blackarachnia are well done. All in all, a solid episode.

NOTES
The debut of Rampage, obviously. As well as Silverbolt and Blackarachnia's love-hate relationship.

Rhinox invokes Primus, the creator-God from Furman’s Marvel work. This is the first time it had been used out of Marvel continuity. According to Bob Forward, they poached it from an alt.toys.transformers post without realizing its significance.

Again, Starscream’s indestructible spark is referenced, this time as background information for Protoform X’s creation. It also tells us why the records for Starscream were sealed in ‘Possession’. Apparently they don’t want someone else making another Protoform X.

Cheetor’s transmetal body soaks up energon, but instead of seizing up like his non-transmetal body, he releases it in a burst of gas. This is the first time a transformer would ‘fart’.

Like Rhinox before him, Optimus Primal doubts Dinobot’s loyalty after the events of ‘Maximal, No More’.

Blackarachnia did not use his grapple line to scale up the cliff when X shoots him down, despite using the same grapple line less than a minute later. Not an error, since she seems to want Silverbolt to catch her. Ah, women.

GOOFS
As Optimus departs the bridge, the panels that make up his surfing board are missing.

Waspinator disappears after the energon field blew up.

The scorch-marks on Blackarachnia and Silverbolt sometimes disappears for a scene or two.

Quote, Unquote
Rhinox: “Primus help us all if that thing survived.”

Megatron: “Spiders spin their webs, yeees. But I spin them larger.”

Blackarachnia: “You! What are you doing here?”
Tarantulas: “You’ve got information I want.”
Megatron: [eavesdropping] “Yeeeees, let’s hear it.”
Blackarachnia: “Fine, Tarantulas. Here’s the scoop. Megatron is a slag-sucking saurian. Got it?”
Megatron: [eavesdropping] “Grrr. She’ll pay for that.”

Dinobot: “Forget the rescue plan, Optimus, and start devising an attack plan! Megatron has lost two, but we have only lost one.”
Optimus Primal: “I’ll remember that… next time you’re out missing in an energon storm.”

Rampage: “My spark, it feeds on terror. Let it grow! Let it consume your circuity! Feel it… yes, feel it! Feel the fear!”

Rampage: “I rise again!”
Silverbolt: “In that case, let us give you further to fall.”

Silverbolt: “You are much more than a Predacon, my lady. Someday, you will come to realise that.”

Blackjack
2010-06-24, 12:57 PM
Code of Hero
Airdate: 9 March 1998
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: Farewell

SYNOPSIS
At the Maximal base, Dinobot meditates in his room, turning the blade around. After a moment, he throws it aside, growling in frustration. Meanwhile, Rhinox has been calculating the path of the transwarp wave from the Planet Buster’s destruction. Rhinox states that the transwarp wave is traveling through time at an accelerated wave, and will reach Cybertron in the ‘present’, alerting Cybertron to their location in space-time. Optimus Primal is afraid that Megatron has discovered the same thing and decides to increase their defences.

In his bad mood Dinobot nearly fights Rattrap who teases him about turning over the Disk to Megatron. The two walk off, disgruntled at each other. Dinobot reflects that his past actions cannot be undone, but they may be mitigated. He then heads out of the base. Meanwhile, Cheetor finds Megatron and Rampage moving suspiciously, but is driven off. Cheetor reports the sighting to Dinobot, who says that he would follow the Predacons.

In his lair, Tarantulas is about to eat an antelope when Dinobot suddenly bursts out of the ground, demanding to know the information on the Golden Disk. Tarantulas claims that he doesn’t know, saying that Megatron kept the Disk on his person at all times. Dinobot holds Tarantulas at gunpoint and uses the transmetal as his ride.

Megatron lands on a proto-human village, scattering them away. Rampage mocks Megatron, saying that the Maximals will soon arrive from Cybertron, and says that he’s looking forward to Megatron’s death. Megatron replies that this would only happen if history remains as it is. Megatron explains that the Golden Disk contains images recorded in the future.

As a demonstration, Megatron shows a picture of a mountain in the Golden Disk. They see the same mountain, and Megatron orders Rampage destroys the mountain. After a moment, the image on the disk changes to reflect the altered timestream, much to Megatron’s delight. Dinobot, having observed this from a distance, realizes Megatron’s full plan, which is to change the future.

Megatron explains that the proto-humans there would evolve into the human race, and would help the Autobots win the Great War, which would in turn lead to the Maximals to rule over the Predacons. Megatron summons the rest of his troops, ordering them to destroy the valley and all the proto-humans there, to ensure that the human race would cease to exist. Dinobot is engrossed at the display, allowing Tarantulas to get the jump on him. Dinobot squashes the spider under a rock, before contacting Optimus Primal.

Optimus orders him to maintain position, but Dinobot knows that there is no time. Dinobot says that he is ready to face his destiny. Dinobot moves in, attacking the entire Predacon army single-handedly. While he defeats all the Predacon goons, he loses all his weapons and suffers a lot of damage. His systems warn him repeatedly that he must enter stasis lock to survive, a command that Dinobot overrides.

As all the Predacons are knocked out, Megatron confronts the damaged Dinobot, gloating over his imminent victory. Dinobot lunges at Megatron, but Megatron uses a proto-human hostage to make Dinobot halt. However, Dinobot is still a warrior at heart. Stealthily creating a makeshift weapon from a rock and a wooden stick, Dinobot knocks the Disk out of Megatron’s hand. With his final energy, he blasts the Golden Disk with an optic blast.

The Maximals arrive, and Megatron escapes, lamenting his failure. The Maximals gather around Dinobot, but it is too late to help him. Optimus assures Dinobot that he has saved the lives of millions, and Dinobot exchanges a final round of insults with Rattrap. Dinobot tells the Maximals to tell his story truthfully, both his good deeds and the bad. With that, Dinobot dies. Rattrap leads the rest of the Maximals in a salute as Dinobot’s spark leaves his body, and Primal wishes that it would go into the Matrix to join Cybertron’s finest.

The next morning the Maximals hold a funeral for Dinobot. The fliers soar through the air in a missing man formation, while Rattrap and Rhinox dissolve Dinobot’s remains. Meanwhile, at the valley, a proto-human finds Dinobot’s hammer, and uses it to fend off a giant snake.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot (killed), Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor, Rampage, Megatron, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Inferno, Blackarachnia, Quickstrike, Silverbolt
Notable Others: Protohumans

REVIEW
(Ten out of Ten)
”The rest is silence.”
The technical errors aside, this episode is wonderfully done. The dialogue is perfect, with Dinobot’s Shakespearian quotes being wonderfully done, and Megatron’s master plan not disappointing the audience. Dinobot’s heroic last stand is a little clunky, but is memorable. Megatron, Dinobot and Rattrap are all simply wonderfully characterized in this episode, and the function of the Golden Disk is revealed. ‘Code of Hero’ is one of those big event episodes. Rattrap’s another well-characterized one, with his biting remarks nicely complementing Dinobot’s silent ruminations. I like how Dinobot seems to be contemplating suicide in the first scene.

Dinobot’s death might be one of the few heroic, memorable deaths that is memorable to me (another notable one being Scorponok’s original death in the Marvel comics). Megatron’s mockings of Dinobot, as well as the anguished cry of ‘I was soooo close’ when the Maximals arrive, are simply fantastic. In season two, Megatron is starting to build up into a proper mastermind, with his own distinctive poise and style, from the goofy serious villain in the first season, and the brutality against the proto-humans is one of the best examples of it. Sure, you don’t see dismemberment (this is a children's show after all) but the trees burning and everything, with dead bodies… it’s definitely more mature than G1. This is one of simply the best episodes in Transformer lore. Kudos to the voice actors and animators for this excellent episode.

NOTES
First appearance of the proto-humans. The final appearance of Dinobot and the Golden Disk. The last appearance of Rhinox’s beast mode, amusingly enough.

Dinobot’s infamous last words ‘the rest is silence’, are taken directly from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. When he initially leaves the base, his line ‘a deed, once done, cannot be undone’ is a misquote of Shakespeare’s ‘what is done cannot be undone.’

Megatron’s master plan is finally revealed, with him using the Golden Disk to change history. Killing the humans would probably mean that the ancestors of the Witwickies and people like Chip Chase would be killed. He had apparently not shared this plan with anyone. Instead, the others thought that he was merely looking for energon (Dinobot in the first episode)

Rampage crushes a butterfly as the Predacons enter the valley to destroy the humans. This might be a reference of the short story ‘a Sound of Thunder’ by Ray Bradbury, in which a time traveler steps on a butterfly and drastically changes the future of humanity.

When Rampage aims his cannon at Dinobot, the POV seems similar to the gun-barrel viewpoints from James Bond movies.

Silverbolt, Cheetor and Optimus Primal fly in the missing man formation. In a bit of foreshadowing, three birds fly past Dinobot’s window in the beginning.

Code of Hero is the first episode that was directed with storyboards (done by series writer Bob Forward), instead of being directed on-the-fly. The series’ writers admitted that they did Dinobot’s death since it seemed to flow with the story, and to prevent more characters from being shoved off abruptly (like Terrorsaur, Scorponok, Tigatron and Airazor), so Dinobot gets the ax.

GOOFS
The door of Dinobot’s quarters is noticeably smaller than Dinobot himself. This is because the CGI model of the Maximal base is made at a different scale to the character models.

When Rattrap is working at the wall panel, his right forearm is backwards for a scene.

When Dinobot laments about Megatron’s power being limitless, Megatron and Rampage could clearly be seen on the cliff behind him, implying that Dinobot is out in the open, exposing himself in front of both Predacons.

As Quickstrike approaches Dinobot, his left lower leg is backwards.

Rattrap is in his original pre-Transmetal body at Dinobot’s funeral. Bob Forward said that he could not believe how the production team (who had viewed the scene nearly a hundred times) could miss the error.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Yeah? Funny, y'know not much changes around here… except maybe the occasional allegiance. Find any Golden Disks lately, hmm? Pass them on to any Predacons?"
Dinobot: "I don't need to explain my actions to you, mouse!"
Rattrap: "Yeah, that's right, you don't cause they pretty much speak for themselves."
Dinobot: "Go ahead, rodent. Push one more inch."
Rattrap: "You know, I used to figure I had you pegged. 'Oh, yeah, he's a slag-spoutin' saurian, but at least you know where he stands.' Guess we live and learn."

Dinobot: "The rodent's words give off the stench of truth. Destiny is one great test in store for us all. Has mine already come and have I failed it? A deed once done cannot be undone, but perhaps, it may yet be mitigated."

Dinobot: "The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior... let the battle be joined."

Megatron: "One lonely turncoat, battling on against impossible odds. I'm almost touched! Fortunately, such moments pass quickly."

Quickstrike: "What's a warrior without weapons, eh?”
Dinobot: "A warrior still!" [defeats Quickstrike]

Megatron: "Hmm, my ears are burning! Yesss! Why, Dinobot, what a delightful surprise! Let's see, where are we now? I have the Golden Disk, I have the power to change the future, and the only obstacle in my path to unimaginable glory... is yourself. Exhausted, damaged beyond recovery. Defeated."

Megatron: “I WAS SOOO CLOSE!”

Optimus Primal: "Well fought, my friend. You saved the valley. You saved the lives of those who live here... and of those who are still to come."
Dinobot: "Then... there is nothing to regret."
Rattrap: "Like I said, you're just a blasted, slag-spouting saurian, but... it's nice to know where you stand."
Dinobot:"Upwind of you, for preference, vermin. ...Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence."

Optimus Primal: "He lived a warrior... and died a hero. Let his spark join the Matrix, the greatest of Cybertron."

Blackjack
2010-07-01, 02:01 PM
Transmutate
Airdate: 10 March 1998
Written By: Christy Marx
Japanese Title: I'm A Crab

SYNOPSIS
Rampage tries to steal back his spark from a sleeping Megatron, but gets a lesson in pain from the Predacon leader. Megatron then dispatches an Rampage and Inferno to deal with Rattrap, Silverbolt and Cheetor, who are searching for a jamming tower in an unstable mountain range. Optimus Primal, worried about earthquakes, heads out to intercept his troops.

A large earthquake sends several energy discharges, knocking Rattrap and Cheetor under an avalanche. It also uncovers a stasis pod buried in the mountains. Inferno lands beside the pod, which is malfunctioning. Silverbolt takes Inferno out, and both Rampage and he watches as the pod warns that 'deconstruction' is imminent. Rampage urges the powerful spark within to fight its way free, and it does, exploding to reveal its passenger.

Rattrap and Cheetor free themselves from the rubble, and witnesses the new arrival, a grotesque, misshapen creature. Rampage, impressed, tries to convince the newcomer to destroy the Maximals, while Silverbolt offers friendship. The newcomer is confused, but suddenly Inferno emerges, attacking the newcomer by mistake. The newcomer responds with a sonic shriek that knocks the Maximals and Inferno out. Rampage, not affected as badly as the others, leads the newcomer, dubbed 'Transmutate', away. Rampage tells Transmutate that he is its only friend.

Inferno catches up with Rampage and Transmutate, and demands that the creature be returned to Megatron. Rampage nearly comes to blows with Inferno, but a holographic projection of Megatron appears, intrigued with Transmutate. However, when he learns that Transmutate could not transform, Megatron orders that it be destroyed. Rampage asks Megatron to give Transmutate a chance to prove his worth by destroying the Maximals.

Optimus and Silverbolt split up to search for Transmutate, while the others head back. Rampage and Inferno use Transmutate to lure Silverbolt into an ambush. However, Transmutate refuses to finish off Silverbolt, causing Inferno to aim his weapon at the Maximal himself. Seeing this, Transmutate uses a sonic scream to blast Inferno away. Optimus arrives moments later, burying Rampage in a rockslide. Transmutate, seeing Rampage hurt, nearly attacks Optimus until Silverbolt talks him down. Transmutate, able to fly, help Optimus to take the injured Silverbolt back to base. Rampage breaks free and goes off to get Transmutate back.

Meanwhile, Rhinox scans Transmutate and finds that his malformed structure makes it a danger to itself and everyone else. Rhinox recommends putting Transmutate into stasis. Silverbolt argues against this, and in the heat of the argument Transmutate wanders off. Rampage chooses this moment to call him, and Transmutate breaks out of the Maximal base. Silverbolt, angry at the team, stalks off. Optimus Primal then orders the Maximals to find Transmutate.

Rampage welcomes Transmutate into the Predacon fold. Silverbolt arrives and a battle ensues. Transmutate watches the two. As the battle reaches its climax, Rampage and Silverbolt both launch missiles at each other. Transmutate jumps in front of the missiles, crying out 'Stop'. Transmutate uses his power to destroy the missiles, overloading himself in the process.

Rampage cradles Transmutate's dying head in his head as his spark fades away, and Transmutate mumbles some final words. Optimus arrives, but Silverbolt tells Optimus to leave the grieving Predacon alone, for they are 'brothers' for the moment.

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Rampage, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Inferno, Rhinox Transmutate (killed)

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
When I read about this episode's summary, I actually thought it was going to be another boring filler episode. However, when I watched it for real, 'Transmutate' is actually a well-done episode. I don't really like Transmutate the character. Sure, he's interesting enough, but Rampage gets the best lines and characterization. Nearly everywhere else, he's a sadistic indestructible monster. Here, he is shown in a more sympathetic light, like how he tries to free himself from Megatron's slavery, and how he reacts to helping a kindred spirit. However, unlike, say, some other portrayals I could name (IDW's ongoing Prowl, IDW's Arcee, Rattrap in that one episode of Beast Machines), Rampage isn't terribly out of character. He's still dark, still hate-ridden, yet considers Transmutate a kindred spirit. It's nice scripting.

Silverbolt, meanwhile, did not get as much screentime to be a friend to Transmutate, so the death feels a little jarred. That moment where he debates with Rhinox over what is morally right and what is the greater good is well scripted, though. Inferno's mindless loyalty is portrayed well too in this episode, and he had some hilarious scenes with Rampage. Transmutate, meanwhile, as the titular character, doesn't get to do much. But when he dies, it gives more of an impact emotionally than, say, Snowstalker or the protohumans. Rampage's anguished roar when Transmutate dies, and Silverbolt's subsequent mercy to Rampage, is rather heartrending. It's a pity that Rampage's little softening isn't followed up in subsequent episodes.

NOTES
First and final appearance for Transmutate. He is voiced by Susan Blu, voice director for the Beast Wars series and original voice actor for G1 Arcee and Marissa Faireborn.

Transmutate can give out a sonic scream and fly. In the dramatis personae in the original script, Transmutate was called a 'she', but in the rest of the script Transmutate is referred to as 'it'. For the purposes of this review I refer to Transmutate as 'he'.

Rattrap claims that Arcee is his great-aunt. Other than a shout-out to fans of the G1 series (and to the fact that Susan Blu voiced Transmutate in this episode) this probably is more of an in-joke than something to be taken as gospel.

Prior to the broadcasting of the episode, an early copy of the script with several... questionable scenes like Rattrap mounting Transmutate, is leaked to alt.toys.transformers, causing some uproar among the fandom. It turned out to be an April Fool's joke among the makers of the series, which got leaked to the public.

GOOFS
Megatron's energon infusion device disappears for a while at the beginning of the episode.

When Rampage drives up the cliff in 'tank' mode and transforms into robot mode, his tank treads simply vanish instead of being retracted/folded in.

Rampage calls the newcomer 'Transmutate' several scenes before he figures out a name for it.

Rampage's kibble is missing when Transmutate first exits his pod. It also disappears when he was about to step on Silverbolt during the final battle. The crab legs and claws are angled wrongly numerous times.

When Silverbolt says 'this one is not for you' part of his wing disappears.

Quote, Unquote
Rampage: "Do not speak. None shall hurt you now. Come with me, come. I will protect you... I am your friend, your only friend."

Rampage: [to Inferno] "Have I told you how much I like ants, hmm? Especially fried in a subtle blend of mech-fluid and grated gears?"

Rampage: "No! You will not have him, Optimus! The darkness of its spark echoes my own! It belongs with me!"

Silverbolt: [to Rhinox putting Transmutate on stasis] "Are we Predacons now? Do we destroy whatever does not fit our definition of perfection?"

Rampage: "I knew you wouldn't fail me. We are two of a kind. We belong together."

Transmutate: "No hurt."

Rampage: [to Silverbolt] "Time to go back to the Matrix, hero!"

Transmutate: "Friend… good. Friend… dark. I… am… hurt."

Silverbolt: "It's over. It's gone. We extinguished its Spark before we ever saw its true light."

Optimus Primal: "Cheetor and I will take care of Rampage."
Silverbolt: "No. Let him be. For the moment, we are brothers."

Blackjack
2010-07-10, 12:38 PM
The Agenda (Part 1)
Airdate: 11 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title Meow You're Under Arrest

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox announces that the Transwarp wavefront released by the destruction of the Planet Buster would reach present-day Cybertron soon. An unhappy Megatron has also made the same conclusion. Inferno reports that their attack on the protohumans had caused them to scatter, making wiping them out impossible. Megatron decides to implement his final plan, a gamble that includes Blackarachnia. The Predacon in question, meanwhile, leaves the base and meets Silverbolt in a secluded location. Silverbolt gives Blackarachnia a graviton generator, offering her a place among the Maximals, to which Blackarachnia refuses. They then began to flirt a bit with each other.

In the future, a. Cybertronian Predacon outpost in space is violently rocked by the Transwarp wavefront. The Tripredacus Council meets, tracing the wavefron back to Megatron. After several discussion, they detonate a Cybertronian satellite to ensure that the Maximal sensors don't detect the wave, and they send an operative to go to the past, find and terminate Megatron with extreme prejudice.

The Predacons assault the Axalon, and after a short siege the Predacons begin to gain the upper hand. Suddenly, someone opens fire at the Predacons from above, forcing Megatron to order a retreat. The Maximals watch as a sleek ship turns visible and lands. Their invisible ally snipes the Maximals' weapons out of their hands, and Optimus Primal realizes that their new 'ally' is a Decepticon who was granted amnesty after the Great Wars and rebuilt as a Predacon. Their 'ally' turns visible and reveals himself—Ravage.

Ravage apologizes to the Maximals for disarming them, saying that he was concerned that they would attack himwithout first hearing him out. Rattrap agrees, saying that a Decepticon is worse than a Predacon. Optimus tells Rattrap to shut up, and tells Ravage that Megatron had been less than friendly to them. Ravage apologizes to the Maximal on behalf of the Predacon Alliance for Megatron's actions, telling them that the Predacon Alliance did not sanction Megatron's actions. Ravage then tells the Maximals that he is there to neutralize Megatron, and enlists their help. When the Maximals question him about why the Cybertron-bound Maximals did not come, Ravage lies, saying that the Transwarp wave was too weak and was only detected by Predacon sensors, and that only Megatron's energy signature was detected.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia has finished building a flying stasis pod with the equipment brought to her earlier by Silverbolt. Megatron calls Blackarachnia, as well as the rest of the Predacons, ordering them to fortify their base, anticipating an attack from the Maximals. Waspinator is dispatched on a 'special mission'.

Meanwhile, the Maximals ride Ravage's ship. Cheetor is unsure about their plan, but the advantages provided by the ship's ability to extend Ravage's cloaking ability. Ravage also notes that they have another ally inside the Predacon base. As they near the Predacon base, Tarantulas is alerted to it. Tarantulas transforms and sets off towards the Predacon base as well. Ravage and the Maximals begin their assault on the Predacon base. During the battle, Silverbolt refuses to open fire on Blackarachnia, despite Optimus' orders. Blackarachnia, meanwhile, takes off after where Waspinator had flown off to.

Meanwhile, Ravage uses his ship to open fire on the Predacon base. Megatron, sitting in his command chair, is ready to make a last stand. Energy chains suddenly appear and bind Megatron, and the base's energy is cut off. The Maximals and Ravage enter, and Ravage tells Megatron that he's under arrest under the name of the Predacon Alliance and the Pax Cybertronia, and that the Beast Wars is over...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Megatron, Inferno, Blackarachnia, Tripredacus Council (Sea Clamp, Cicadacon and Ramhorn; not named), Waspinator, Rampage, Quickstrike, Ravage, Tarantulas

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A splendid start to one of the better stories in the franchise. The politics in this episode is well done with the Tripredacus Council. The fact that Megatron is a rogue agent and the Tripredacus Council wants to neutralize him (and most possibly the Maximals as well) is very realistic. The shaky romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is handled nicely, nice interludes as the plot kicks up. The fact that Tarantulas being a mole planted in Megatron's crew is a great touch, although it begs the question why Tarantulas didn't contact Cybertron sooner.

Rattrap is well-characterized, picking on Silverbolt now that Dinobot's gone. And Silverbolt's self-righteous (and noble) streak is well-explored. Megatron's master schemer shtick is well scripted too. Also, the animation this episode is especially gorgeous, with nearly no animation screw-ups. And Ravage.. well, he's not comic Ravage, of course. He could as well be Kickback or Buzzsaw and serve the same role, but the shout-out to past continuity and the fact that he's made something like a professional killer of sorts, is well done. It's a shame that they gave Ravage a Russian accent, though... it just doesn't sound right on him. I'm not a fan of his upright model, but it works in the context. Let the G1 purists whine all they want. Sadly, the dialogue in this episode suffers a little, since it's an action-heavy episode. Still, this is a great build-up for the three-parter.

NOTES
First appearance of Ravage and the first (and only) appearance of the Tripredacus Council. In the Beast Wars series, anyway.

Yes, Ravage is the G1 guy. References to the 'Great Wars' is a shout-out to the G1 cartoon. Ravage's cloaking field, meanwhile, is a reference to the ability in his tech specs, used in the Marvel comics. His body is Cheetor's Transmetal body with Tigatron's Beast head, all coloured black. And he has a Russian accent.

In the opening shots, some parts of Optimus Primal's original body (blown up in Other Voices Part 2) fly past the screen for a split-second before the Transwarp Wave arrives.

The Tripredacus Council's individual names are meant to be the components of the Tripredacus combiner toy (Sea Clamp, Ramhorn and Cicadacon), and are even referred to as such in the script. However, time constraints and schedules meant that its not possible to create toy-accurate CG renders for the three, so they receive generic renders, and they are not named individually. Only the group's name is given in their dialogue. The fact that the Tripredacus Council is the same with the Tripredacus toy is confirmed by the Beast Wars Sourcebook more than ten years later.

Cheetor wants to visit a theme park in Cybertron named 'Six Lasers Over Cybertron', a probable reference to the Six Flags theme parks.

Rattrap spouts some innuendo this issue in the dialogues quoted below.

Six Lasers Over Cybertron, which Cheetor gets excited about, is a reference to Six Flags over various states.

One of the Tripredacus Council says 'Terminate with extreme prejudice', a quote from Apocalypse Now.

Subsector Hooks is a reference to the fan who goes by the username Hooks.

The three missiles Rampage fires at the Axalon in the beginning of the battle each bear a symbol. The first is a model of an atom, the second is a death's head poison symbol and the third has a peace sign. No, really.

Ravage arrests Megatron in the name of the Pax Cybertronia, which is probably the truce between the Maximals and Predacons after the Great War. It's a name-play on Pax Romana.

GOOFS
Don't the Maximals have sensors elsewhere/elsewhen that could've detected the Transwarp wave? Then again, how the wave moves through time and whatnot might have its own rules of physics...

In his original bio, Ravage has a 'cloaking field' that makes him near-impossible to see in the dark (and makes him immune to energy fields), not an invisibility field. Of course, he might've upgraded himself in the long stretch between the G1 and BW periods.

If the Maximals knew that Silverbolt is seeing Blackarachnia, why didn't they stop him? Rattrap at least seems to be aware of the meeting from his innuendo.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Oh man, you are gonna love it! I know this little place where you can get dirty mech fluid mixed with just a touch of radium. It'll take your head right off! And not only that... not only that, but the serving bots are walking around minus their torso plates, you know what I mean?"
Silverbolt: [disinterested] "Yes, obviously a veritable nexus of culture and refinement. How can I refuse?"

Rattrap: "So, uh, where you been, birddog?"
Silverbolt: "Uh, scout patrol."
Rattrap: "Oh, yeah, yeah, scouting the enemy, yeah. Find any new positions?"

Optimus Primal: "After the Great War, a few Decepticons were granted amnesty. Most have retired. But rumor has it that one was reprogrammed and rebuilt. As a Predacon!"

Rattrap: "Oh, for bootin' up cold, the only thing worse than a stinkin' Pred, is a stinkin' Decepticon!"

Ravage: "In the name of the Pax Cybertronia and the Predacon Alliance, you are under arrest."
Megatron: "Noooooooooo!"

Blackjack
2010-07-25, 09:17 AM
The Agenda (Part 2)
Airdate: 12 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: I Do Love You

SYNOPSIS
After the events of last episode, the Maximal prepare to hunt down the Predacon troops. Optimus Primal summons Silverbolt and confronts him about Blackarachnia. Silverbolt argues that Blackarachnia was originally a Maximal, but Optimus doesn't want to hear it. He confines Silverbolt to his quarters and dispatches Cheetor to hunt down Blackarachnia.

In his cell, the imprisoned Megatron chides Ravage for siding with the Maximals. Ravage responds that Megatron is nothing compared to the original Megatron. Megatron offers a stash of energon as a bargain, but Ravage reveals that he already knew about the energon stash, and proceeds to tell Megatron that Lieutenant Tarantulas is a Predacon secret police.

Cheetor apologizes to Silverbolt for being assigned this mission, but Silverbolt tricks Cheetor and knocks him out. Rattrap sees this and raises the alarm, forcing Silverbolt to flee. Some time later, Cheetor and Optimus fly to where Tarantulas had told them the energon stash was. They find that the energon crystals stored are unstable, and is guarded by Inferno. The energon build-up had driven the non-Transmetal Inferno crazy, and he ignites the energon crystals. The Maximals escape, but the cave collapses, and Inferno is seemingly incarcerated. The Maximals report this to Ravage.

Silverbolt manages to find Blackarachnia, who is following Waspinator with her hover-pod to a mountain. Silverbolt begs for Blackarachnia to come with him, but Blackarachnia shoots the Maximal. Silverbolt points out that it was non-fatal, and that the Predacon does care for him. However, the hover-pod they were in slams onto Waspinator, blowing him into pieces. Silverbolt saves Blackarachnia from the fall.

Meanwhile, Megatron still tries to bargain his way out from Ravage. Megatron points out that Ravage has no intention of letting the Maximals or Predacons stranded on Earth survive. Ravage admits this, and prepares to execute Megatron. Megatron then desperately tells Ravage that he had another motive for stealing the Golden Disk, something which could affect the Great War. Ravage laughs, noting the Disk's destruction, but humours Megatron anyway and releases his bindings. Megatron reveals that a fragment of the Disk still remain, and plays the message encoded in the Disk that Ravage will believe. Namely, a message from the original Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, during the Great War. The original Megatron had left instructions in the Golden Disk for his descendants to travel back in time to ancient Earth. Although the message cuts out, the sight of his former leader convinces Ravage to release his Predacon namesake.

Meanwhile, Silverbolt and Blackarachnia have discovered that Megatron had been there before, discovering that a tunnel had been drilled through and resealed with rocks. The two bicker for a bit as they clear away the rocks blocking the tunnel. Optimus Primal and Cheetor return to the Maximal base. Rattrap warns them a little too late that Ravage has switched sides. Ravage's ship looms behind the two Maximal fliers, with Megatron riding on top. Ravage transforms, and begins an attack on the Maximals...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Silverbolt, Megatron, Ravage, Tarantulas, Cheetor, Rattrap, Inferno, Waspinator, Blackarachnia, G1 Megatron (recording)

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
The plot thickens. While the whole Inferno scene seems to be padding, the rest of the episode is splendid. Silverbolt and Megatron steal the spotlight, with the former's blind love and the latter's smooth-talking being some of the best-scripted scenes in Transformer lore. Silverbolt actually helping out with Blackarachnia's scheme is a little unbelievable, though. However, love is blind, no? Yes, the scenes are rather cheesy, but it feels natural. The interrogation between Megatron and Ravage lends to the more 'mature' feel of Beast Wars, with plotting and back-stabbing going on. The introduction of G1 Megatron as being the one who inspired BW Megatron (and seemingly who BW Megatron named himself after) is a nice touch as well, again cementing Beast Wars as part of the original cartoon.

However, there's no mistaking that this episode is merely there to get everybody in place for the big finish, so plot-wise not really much happens. However, this leads to better character development, and a more natural feel to the progression of the plot. Inferno's batshit craziness is portrayed well, even though his scene is basically padding. There is a nice cliffhanger, excellent dialogue, plot twists and nods to G1 fans. It's not bad, but there's a lot hanging for the finale where Megatron's plans would be revealed to us. It's a nice build-up, but it can still fail with the third part.

NOTES
First appearance of the original G1 Megatron in Beast Wars. The show creators intended for Frank Welker, his original voice actor, to voice Megatron. However, scheduling and payment conflicts prevented this from happening. Garry Chalk provides Megatron's voice instead.

Ravage transforms into his original Cassette alternate mode, with the transformation sound effect used in the original cartoon series. Bob Forward intended for the original cartoon theme song to play as Ravage transforms and begins his attack. However, due to copyright matters this idea was unfeasible.

Inferno was seemingly meant to be killed off this episode, considering how the show creators use the 'kill them all and sort it out later' approach with the season finales. Most noticeably, Inferno's head was shown disintegrating during the explosion. However, at the beginning of season three Inferno is fine, if a little beat-up.

Quickstrike and Rampage are apparently still out of commission after being brutalized last episode.

Optimus has a little trophy of a gorilla on his desk.

Silverbolt mimics a police siren when he asks Blackarachnia to 'pull this vehicle over'. He later breaks the fourth wall by referring to himself as a 'heroic character'.

Amusingly, a toilet is seen among Waspinator's parts as he's smashed into pieces.

Ravage uses Dr Evil's raised-pinkie gesture when preparing to execute Megatron.

GOOFS
Why didn't they use the stable energon in Tarantulas' lair (mentioned in 'Tangled Web') or those gathered by the Maximals to power Ravage's shuttle instead of going off to find a new stash?

Silverbolt punched his hand through the door to get at Cheetor, yet the door still opens without a problem. Having pieces of metal protruding out shouldn't let a door stay flat against the wall.

Why would the original Megatron not tell Ravage about the secret message on the Golden Disk?

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: [Silverbolt escapes] "Ah... I used to be young like that."
Optimus Primal: "What?"
Rattrap: "Duh, yeh. I mean, we got trouble. Oh yeah, trouble with a capital B."

Silverbolt: "I know how you're feeling. You don't know whether to kiss me or... kill me."
Blackarachnia: "I'm a black widow spider, you idiot. I can do both."

Blackarachnia: "You're not saving my life again? Even after I shot you?"
Silverbolt: "It's my duty, ma'am, as a Maximal and as a heroic character."
Blackarachnia: "You know I like them big and stupid, but you're really pushing it."

G1 Megatron: "This is Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. And if you're hearing this, it means I've failed. This time."

Waspinator: "Not fair. Waspinator minding own business when bang! Gets whole stasis pod right up the kazooty."

Blackjack
2010-07-25, 01:33 PM
The Agenda (Part III)
Airdate: 12 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Once Upon A Time

SYNOPSIS
Ravage and Megatron, in Ravage's shuttle, continue to assault the Maximal base. The remaining Predacons join in as well. Rattrap manages to latch himself onto the back of Ravage's shuttle unnoticed, and begins cutting into the ship's hull. Meanwhile, Optimus and Cheetor are pinned down by the Predacons' firepower. Quickstrike is shot down and subsequently crushed by a passing Rampage. Between Rampage's tank mode and Ravage's shuttle, the Maximal base's force field is quickly taken down. Rhinox joins the fray, holding Rampage back.

Aboard the shuttle, Ravage and Tarantulas prepare to launch a gigantic missile that would obliterate the Maximal base. Before they could fire it, however, Rattrap bursts in and tosses a pair of bombs that latch themselves onto Tarantulas. The bombs tear Tarantulas and the weapons around him apart. As the fireball expand throughout the shuttle, Ravage faces it stoically with a cry of 'Decepticons forever' before he, too, is consumed. The rermains of the shuttle crash inches from Rampage, and the missile detonates, taking the Predacon crab out. Rattrap manages to jump into the safety of Rhinox's lap. Alone with no troops, Megatron flees the battle. Optimus notes that the Predacon is not headed back to his base, and orders the Maximals to pursue.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia and Silverbolt make their way into the inner caves of a dormant volcano, revealing what Blackarachnia was after — the Ark. Blackarachnia retells to Silverbolt the story of how the Ark — with the best Autobots and Decepticons aboard — had crashed on Earth four million years before the Great War. As she finishes the story, Megatron arrives, knocks Silverbolt out and seals the entrance with another rockslide.

The Maximals try to dig their way through the rockslide. Megatron uses the unconscious Silverbolt as a hostage to force Blackarachnia to give him the access codes to the Ark that she had downloaded off the Golden Disk. Reluctantly, Blackarachnia agrees. As the Maximals arrive, Megatron and Blackarachnia enter the Ark and seals the entrance

Blackarachnia is ordered to activate the ship's defences while Megatron goes off to do something more permanent. As the Maximals battle the autoguns, Megatron enters the main bridge of the ship, talking about the Decepticons and Autobots as he passes their deactivated bodies. He hovers in front of his intended target, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, who defeated the Decepticons and caused the Predacons to be subservient to the Maximals. Even though the risk of changing history is too great, Megatron carries out his predecessor's instructions and charges up his weapon, aiming it at Optimus Prime's head.

The Maximals defeat the autoguns and force the door open. But as the horrified Maximals watch, Megatron opens fire, tearing up Optimus Prime's head. A time storm begins to form, spreading from Earth into space. The Maximals find themselves phasing through past bodies, as Megatron laughs at his triumph.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Quickstrike, Rampage, Rattrap, Rhinox, Ravage (killed), Tarantulas (blown up), Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime (flashback and present, shot in the head), Prowl (flashback and present), Ironhide (flashback and present) Jazz or Bluestreak (flashback), Ratchet (flashback), Skywarp, Thundercracker, Starscream, Soundwave

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
Well-scripted. There are some parts that feel rushed, though. Like how quickly Rattrap takes out Tarantulas and Ravage, making you wonder why they included Ravage at all other than blatant fanservice. The action scenes are well-done, and Megatron's long dialogue at the end of the episode, as well as the reveal of the Ark, is a fantastic build-up. Megatron is pure gold in this episode, and both Rattrap and Blackarachnia have several great lines. The whole 'killing Optimus Prime to release the Predacons from virtual slavery' thing is a nice edge that allows Megatron to perform the act with a motivation instead of simple, pure malice.

The suspense as the Maximals battle the autoguns while Megatron takes his time to construct a poetic speech is well-executed. Some of the more glaring plot holes are excusable—Megatron didn't do this sooner because of the risks, while Blackarachnia might be the only one who could decrpyt the Disk. The whole impact of time travel, previously seen only in Marvel UK arcs (in fact, the plot of this episode seems to borrow aspects from Time Wars and Target: 2006) is well-done too. And the cliffhanger as Optimus Prime seemingly dies must've made G1 fans grit their teeth in anger. Ravage's death, however, feel very rushed no matter how you dice it. All in all, the Agenda three-parter, while not perfect, is one of the better story arcs. It's a shame that the law of fiction tells us that Megatron's triumph won't last until the third season...

NOTES
First appearance of the Ark, the Nemesis and Optimus Prime in the Beast Wars series. Blackarachnia retells the battle between the Ark and the Nemesis seen in 'More than Meets the Eye part one'. We also get to see cameos of Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet and what could be Jazz or Bluestreak during the flashback. As Megatron walks through the Ark itself, the deactivated bodies of Prowl, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ironhide, Soundwave, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker could be seen, plus a few unidentifiable ones.

Rattrap refers to his vehicle mode as 'Knievel' mode, a reference to Evil Knievel.

Primal breaks the fourth-wall at one point, saying that the Ark has 'die-cast construction', before turning to the audience and saying that it's a lost art. It refers to the die-cast parts featured on early Transformers toys.

Apparently, Rhinox is afraid of heights. When flying with Primal, he looks down, and immediately looks back up with horror on his face.

GOOFS
This episode uses the Roman numeral for 3 (III) as part of its title instead of Arabic numbers, which the series uses for every other multi-part episodes, including the last two parts of 'the Agenda'.

Optimus Primal's chest is damaged and blackened early on, but the damage disappears and reappears at random.

If we follow what happened on the original cartoon, Optimus Prime was not in a sitting position prior to being awakened.

'Teletraan 1' is mispronounced as 'Teletron 1' several times. While not much of a big difference, the fans complained enough about this that it received a jab in a subsequent episode.

When the Maximals land outside the cave the colors on Rattrap's wheel kibble and his rat legs are reversed.

Why didn't Megatron think of downloading the codes to himself from the Golden Disk?

Quote, Unquote
Ravage: "Decepticons forever!" [dies]

Cheetor: "Where's he headed, Big Bot?"
Optimus Primal: "To the beginning of everything, Cheetor, and quite possibly the end."

Megatron: "Now I enter these hallowed halls. A conquerer, yeees. Autobots and Decepticons, still frozen in emergency stasis, awaiting the moment four million years hence, when they will awaken to start the Great War. Hmm. A Great War, when the Autobots defeated the Decepticons, and thus their descendants, the Maximals, rule we Predacons. Archaic energon guzzlers! How dare they? Unwilling though I was to follow my namesake's instructions, it has all come down to this. The ultimate risk, for the ultimate prize... A day of reckoning with those who made us slaves!"

Megatron: "So, we are now face to face, Optimus Prime. In one future, you awaken and become the great leader of the Autobots. But time shall take a different track, now. Computer- all available power to primary weapon!" [Pauses] "And now, Optimus Prime, in memory of the Decepticons... for the glory of the Predacons... for the Cybertron that is rightfully ours—and mine—to rule! I unleash the storm of vengeance... farewell!"

Megatron: "Say goodbye to the universe, Maximals! The future has changed. Yeeeees. The Autobots- lose! Evil triumphs! And you... you no longer EXIST!"

Blackjack
2010-07-25, 01:39 PM
And that's Season Two done for you. Season three reviews will take some time to come, though, since my life's getting in the way. I'll still be keeping up with the comic reviews as best as I can, though.

Blackjack
2010-09-07, 04:51 PM
Optimal Situation
Airdate: 24 October 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Grow Bigger

SYNOPSIS
As the time storm begins to unravel space-time, Megatron gloats, telling them that Optimus Prime's death would mean that the Maximals would in result no longer exist. Blackarachnia, born from Maximal technology, finds herself affected by the time storm as well, and helps the Maximals. She uses the Golden Disk's information to access the Ark's security systems to drive out Megatron. Blackarachnia, with Silverbolt's help, activate the Ark's repair systems to stabilise Optimus Prime's condition. However, it is a temporary gesture at best, since reality is still in flux. Optimus Primal places Optimus Prime's spark in his body to protect it while Rhinox operates one of Teletraan 1's repair devices to repair Prime's body. Having Optimus Prime's spark inside him causes Primal's body to be transformed into a larger and more powerful body. Meanwhile, back at the Axalon Tarantulas' body is put together by his drones, while Ravage's is ignored. Quickstrike's cobra tail also finds its body.

Megatron calls for reinforcements, and after Inferno and Waspinator pull themselves together (literally) the Predacons attack. Optimus Primal drives Megatron off, while Blackarachnia sneaks away during the battle. However, the Predacons create an avalanche that blocks the entrance to the Ark. Blackarachnia is trapped outside at the mercy of the Predacons. As punishment for her betrayal, Megatron blasts her. The Predacons take their leave when Optimus Primal blazes a path through the rocks. Realizing that they are heading for the unguarded Axalon, Primal and Cheetor fly off in pursuit.

A distraught Silverbolt cradles Blackarachnia. Thinking that the Predacon is dying, Silverbolt comforts her, as well as admitting his love. Silverbolt finally manages to convince Blackarachnia to join the Maximals, before going limp. Silverbolt howls in anguish... only for Rattrap and Rhinox to tell him that Blackarachnia is merely in stasis lock. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal and Cheetor manage to shoot down the Predacon fliers, but they are too late to prevent Rampage and Tarantulas' spider drones from trying to drag the Axalon off the cliff it had slammed onto. Optimus severs the ropes, but Rampage fires a missiles that flies dead-on towards Optimus Primal. Fearing that the missile would hit Prime's spark, Primal deflects it, and it explodes on the Axalon, which plummets down the cliff, severs into two and crashes down into the river below. The Predacons make their escape.

Optimus and Cheetor return to the Ark, where Rhinox had repaired Optimus Prime's body. Primal returns Optimus Prime's spark to its rightful owner. They decide to relocate to the Ark in order to protect it from further time-tamperings, and the Maximals (plus Blackarachnia) begins to set up their new base.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Megatron, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime, Waspinator, Inferno, Tarantulas, Ravage's Head, Quickstrike, Rampage

REVIEW
(Six out of ten)
A couple of mixed bits here, actually. There are some bad bits, like the tired-out 'new toy formula' with Optimal Optimus Primal going through his four modes upon ten minutes of reactivation. And the restoring of the status quo by the quick revival of Inferno and Silverbolt. The resolution to the time storm is also very flat after all the build-up running towards it. The romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, while well-played, is a little overdone, although it's more of the fault of Silverbolt's over-dramatic character.

There are some nice moments, like the jokes in the dialogue and Silverbolt howling after Blackarachnia apparently dies. Megatron shooting Blackarachnia at point blank range for treachery is also a nice scene, as is Megatron and Optimal Optimus' initial confrontation. And besides, Primal shooting off Optimus Prime's catchphrases is simply appropriate on so many levels.

NOTES
First appearance of the 'Optimal Optimus' body for Optimus Primal. He now has three alternate modes — gorilla, tank and jet — and is about the size of a smaller G1 Transformer. Megatron even refers to Primal as 'Optimal Optimus', the toy name, once.

The last appearance of the Axalon, although the debris will play a part in future episodes.

Blackarachnia's now officially defected to the Maximals, though she still considers herself a Predacon. It's somewhat similar to Carnivac from the Marvel comics, minus the romance bit.

The 'spark container' which holds Optimus Prime's spark is based directly on the Matrix of Leadership, leading to some confusion. According to the creators, the animators used Optimus Prime's death scene from the Movie as basis and used the Matrix without knowing its significance. 3H's Primeval Dawn comic would retcon Optimus Prime to have the real Matrix of Leadership placed under Optimus Prime's Matrix-shaped Spark container. However, Rhinox's line "his spark has the Matrix with it" might mean that either Optimus Primal took the Matrix into him, or that Optimus Prime's spark has Matrix energies in it. It's about the same either way.

Ravage's head is shown to be knocked off a cliff to ensure us that Ravage wouldn't be brought back in Beast Wars. That didn't stop 3H or IDW, though.

Optimus Primal quotes several of Optimus Prime's catch-phrases. Primal says "Freedom is the right of sentient beings" when he faces off against Megatron, as well as "transform and roll out" when first changing to his tank mode. The former is Optimus Prime's original motto and the latter is his infamous catch-call when the Autobots go to battle. Bob Forward confessed that he had no idea of the significance of "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" during production, saying that it's something he picked up from fansite alt.toys.transformers.

GOOFS
When we rotate around Optimus Prime as the repairs are being made, the Autobot insignia inside the interior mechanisms of his chest is upside down.

When Primal first transforms into jet mode, the cockpit doesn't have Prime's spark in it. in all other scenes it's there.

In 'The Agenda Part 2', Inferno is apparently vaporized/atomized by the energon explosion. This episode retcons Inferno into just being very terribly burned and injured. But after the initial attack on the Ark he inexplicably returns into perfect condition.

At one point when the Axalon falls off the cliff the engines are missing.

Quote, Unquote
Optimus Primal: [sees Prime's injured head] "Well, that's just prime."
Rattrap: "Or what's left of him, anyway."

Megatron: "You wouldn't dare fire in here! It might upset history."
Optimus Primal: "We'd have four million years to clean you off the walls, Megatron. I might risk it."

Megatron: "This is not the end of it, Optimal Optimus. Nooo. The universe cowered once at the name of Megatron, and it shall do so again!"
Optimus Primal: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, Megatron."
Megatron: "Then they'd better stay out of my way!"

Cheetor: "Jumping gyros, Optimus sure learns a new body fast!"
Rattrap: "Well wha'd ya expect? He changes 'em often enough!" [tiddy-boom]

Silverbolt: "Blackarachnia, dark poison of my heart, abide with me yet a while."
Blackarachnia: "You got a way with words there, rover. You almost make me wish I was a better girl."

Blackjack
2010-09-12, 10:14 AM
Deep Metal
Airdate: 1 November 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Ray!

SYNOPSIS
In the future, a Cybertronian hunts for Protoform X in a space sector declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. A transwarp portal suddenly appears and engulfs his ship, sending him tumbling into the past. The Cybertronian's body is also changed by the transwarp portal. Meanwhile, the Maximals have moved into a now-fortified Mount Saint Hilary. Inferno leads Rampage on an attack on the Maximal base, but when Rampage sees the ship coming out of the portal, he leaves Inferno to fend for himself. Inferno is quickly defeated.

Cheetor also sees this ship, and follows its descent as it plummets into the sea. But as Cheetor is reporting to Optimus, Rampage shoots him out of the sky, saying that the battle between the visitor and him is personal. The visitor in question is the Maximal Depth Charge, who has scanned a manta ray as an alternate mode. Depth Charge rescues Cheetor from sinking, but leaves off immediately to hunt Protoform X. Depth Charge and Rampage meet each other underwater, and they engage in a brutal battle. Optimus Primal arrives on Cheetor's position. When Cheetor tells the story to Primal, Primal apparently recognizes Depth Charge.

As the battle moves towards the beach, Rampage heals from his wounds, and approaches Depth Charge. The two battle again, and Depth Charge gains the upper hand when he throws his sword into Rampage's cannon, blowing it up. However, Quickstrike, sent by Megatron to check on Rampage, shows up and knocks out Depth Charge. Optimus Primal and Cheetor arrive and take out Quickstrike, but the distraction was enough for Rampage to sneak away. The Maximals bring the damaged Depth Charge back to base.

While Depth Charge is placed in a CR chamber, Optimus Primal and Rhinox tell the other Maximals that Depth Charge was in charge for colony Omnicron, until Protoform X destroyed the colony. A vengeance-ridden Depth Charge was the one who ultimately hunted down X. However, instead of executing Protoform X, the Maximal High Council placed X aboard the Axalon to be dumped in deep space. Depth Charge has since tracked X's energy signature, intent on killing him.

Depth Charge awakens, but acts aloof with the Maximals. Even when he sees the Ark, he has no interest in saving history, and leaves off to hunt for Protoform X. Optimus tells the other Maximals that Depth Charge's obsession with Rampage has changed him. Meanwhile, Rampage, delighted that his old friend has come to play, blows up Depth Charge's ship.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Depth Charge, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Inferno, Rampage, Megatron, Cheetor, Quickstrike, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
A solid episode introducing a character that doesn't quickly regress into a toy commercial. Depth Charge's backstory and his cold-blooded vengeance against Rampage is well-executed. While not everyone might like Depth Charge the angst-ridden-Wolverine-wannabe, you have to admit that he is introduced in a way that is tied into the main story. The darker backstory between Depth Charge and Rampage is well thought-out, as are the interactions between Depth Charge and Optimus Primal.

The fight scenes underwater are impressive and are as brutal as any cartoon fight scene could be. Rampage, too, benefits from being portrayed as what he is—an indestructible sadist—after several episodes of losing his touch. Optimus Primal, too, is plays the guilty leader role perfectly. The setup to the episode is well done as well, with the Maximals adapting to their new stay in the Ark's exterior and the Predacons trying to find weaknesses in their defenses. However, there are some glaring plot holes in the episode that just can't be ignored, so it can't get too high of a score.

NOTES
The first appearance of Depth Charge. The first mention of a 'Maximal High Council'. (Normally, Primal and Rhinox would say 'Council of Elders').

Depth Charge's spaceship is based on his 'jet' mode. A mighty big coincidence, that, since his alternate mode is only gained after his Transmetalization.

Along with his self-regeneration abilities, Rampage displays precognition abilities this issue. He senses that Depth Charge is coming even before Depth Charge crosses through the transwarp portal thing.

In the future/present, when Depth Charge enters Earth's solar system, he is informed that the area is declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. The writers had said that this is because that Earth had suffered an undecided-upon catastrophe, as well as making discouraging time-altering criminals like Megatron. However, this bit of backstory never made it into the show.

GOOFS
It is unclear what exactly the transwarp portal that swallowed Depth Charge's ship was. It could be due to the time storm created in 'The Agenda' and 'Optimal Situation', but that doesn't explain Depth Charge's Transmetalization due to the portal. Transmetalization should only happen due to the quantum surge. A mix-up, perhaps?

How Rampage manages to elude Megatron's scanners is not made clear. Why doesn't Megatron just squeeze that spark torture chamber to rein in Rampage?.

Depth Charge yells 'Maximize' to transform into beast mode instead of saying 'beast mode'. He does this repeatedly in other episodes as well.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Inferno blow up, Waspinator must salvage. Waspinator blow up, nobody salvage! Why universe hate Waspinator?"

Rampage: "Greetings, old playmate. So glad you could come!"
Depth Charge: "X!"
Rampage: "I'm called Rampage now. A bit obvious, but to the point, don't you think?"

Rampage: "Ignore the pain... it's only going to get worse!"

Depth Charge: [on his vendetta] "It's not revenge I'm looking for, it's justice."

Optimus Primal. "X is not alone. He's a Predacon now, under Megatron's control. There are six of them."
Depth Charge: "I've got to hand it to ya, Primal... when you screw up, you do it big time. But thanks for the tip."

Rampage: "It was really so very nice of you to come. So glad you could stay. Oh, we'll have such fun!" [Laughs crazily]

Blackjack
2010-09-13, 04:37 AM
Changing of the Guard
Airdate: 8 November 1998
Written By: Evan Somers
Japanese Title: Loose Fitting

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox tries to use the outdated Teletraan-1 forcefield, but the technology is incompatible with Maximal tech. This causes Optimus Primal to send a team to salvage the Sentinel module from where the Axalon had sunk. With Depth Charge refusing to help, the Maximals plan to use a single-occupant aquatic vessel developed by Blackarachnia. A reluctant Rattrap is selected to be the pilot. Soon, Silverbolt drops the submarine into the lake where the Axalon had sunk, and Rattrap has a good time as he explores the underwater surroundings, and begins to extract the Sentinel module. The radar warns him too late of Rampage's arrival.

Rampage catches Rattrap's submarine in a single claw, and would've crushed it completely if Depth Charge hadn't intervened. The vengeful Maximal battle with Rampage, letting Rattrap escape back to the surface where he is retrieved by Silverbolt. However, Waspinator attacks Silverbolt and causes him to drop Rattrap. Quickstrike then keeps the Maximal duo busy while Waspinator delivers Sentinel back to the Predacon base. Quickstrike is knocked out accidentally by Rampage. Silverbolt tries to enlist Depth Charge's help to recover Sentinel, but Depth Charge is obsessed only with hunting down Rampage.

Rattrap and Silverbolt improvises and manage to steal back Sentinel from Waspinator with a few aerial acrobatics, but Inferno arrives and harasses the Maximals. Depth Charge has a change of heart and goes off to help, but his untimely arrival causes him to slam onto Silverbolt, and he drops Sentinel into Inferno's hands. The Predacons leave, victorious for once.

Back at the Maximal base, Rattrap and Optimus Primal berate Depth Charge for getting in their way and causing the Predacons to obtain a strategic advantage. However, because they offer Depth Charge a place among them again, and this time Depth Charge warily accepts. Meanwhile, a jubilant Megatron installs Sentinel in the Predacon base, encasing it in a force field.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Depth Charge, Megatron, Quickstrike, Waspinator, Inferno

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
Another aquatic-themed episode, although this one co-stars the more interesting Rattrap instead of just Depth Charge (which, if alone, would get boring pretty quickly). It's really too sudden and frankly unprofessional to have Depth Charge's unbridled vigilantism to end just after one episode, although I guess if it's pulled for too long we'll just have another Tigatron analog. The rivalry between Depth Charge and Rampage is, as always, well played but it's a little irritating that Rampage keeps running off between battles. The fact that the Predacons actually won from the Maximals for once is a nice twist. Changing the status quo like that is good storytelling... the Predacons actually obtaining Sentinel surprised me.

After not doing much for a couple of episodes, Rattrap gets back to form with his biting wit, and his camaraderie with Silverbolt is fantastic. That bit where Depth Charge's sudden change of heart at hearing explosions is realistic, as is the mistake when the uncoordinated Maximals clonk onto each other. The underwater scenes have improved from last issue, and the animators certainly are prepared to make more underwater scenes, what with the submarine being introduced and everything. Also, this episode follows up nicely on the loose ends left behind by the Axalon's destruction.

NOTES
The 'Changing of the Guard' traditionally refers to an elaborate ceremony in England wherein the sentries providing ceremonial guard duties at important places are relieved by other sentries. This presumably refers to Depth
Charge joining the Maximals.

Inferno, Waspinator and Quickstrike spend their free time playing what seems to be poker with hexagonal playing cards.

Rattrap apparently whistles/sings the background music score for the underwater scene, since Silverbolt listens to the same music through the walkie-talkie with a raised eyebrow.

Again, as a running gag, Silverbolt is the only Maximal that could be defeated by Waspinator.

This episode marks the only time when Rampage uses his activation code of terrorize when he transforms.

When Silverbolt drops Rattrap's submarine, it bounces around like a pinball. When it finally comes to a stop, the dizzy Rattrap has 'TILT' flashing in his eyes.

GOOFS
The writer, Evan Somers, is mistakenly credited as Evan Sommers.

When Rampage stumbles backwards after pulling Depth Charge's tail out, his legs are miscoloured as Depth Charge's.

When Inferno pushes a tree towards Rattrap and Silverbolt, Rattrap's chest is inverted.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "What are you grinning about, litter-butt?"
Cheetor: "I was just thinking... with you inside, this'd make a swell cat toy."

Silverbolt: "We're approaching the target area. How you faring in there, Rattrap?"
Rattrap: "I'm hot, I'm cramped, I'm airsick. Eh, the next time that big ape asks me to do something for him, man, I am gonna shove my blaster so far up his-"

Waspinator: "Doggy-bot no match for Waspinator."

Waspinator: "Waspinator having good day! Not get shot once." [Silverbolt shoots Waspy]

Inferno: "Stand and fight, vermin!"
Rattrap: "Oh yeah? Shrivel up and die, ant!"

Blackjack
2010-09-14, 10:24 AM
Cutting Edge
Airdate: 15 0november 1998
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title:Beast Wars Metals: Convoy's Great Transformation! (Released as a movie special in Japan)

SYNOPSIS
The tribe of protohumans led by the one that wields Dinobot's hammer are walking through a jungle. They are attacked by a gigantic Cyber-raptor that drives them off with laser optics. Two children, Chak and Una, hide and are separated from their tribe. Optimus Primal and Silverbolt arrive and drive off the raptor. They take the kids back to their base, where Rhinox deduces that the cyber-raptors are made by Predacons. Optimus Primal assigns Cheetor and Blackarachnia to return the kids back to their tribe, a decision that Silverbolt is not entirely pleased with. After the two leave, Rattrap (who has been spying on Blackarachnia's activities) tell Rhinox that Blackarachnia has taken something from the classified area of their base.

As Cheetor and Blackarachnia slowly trek through the jungles, Cheetor and the kids fool around, much to Blackarachnia's annoyance. A cyber-raptor attacks, and in the resulting battle damages Cheetor's flight engines after he tries to impress Blackarachnia with a grandstanding maneuver. They also find that their radios are jammed, so they are on their own. In the Maximal base, Optimus Primal and Silverbolt likewise go out to check out their ersatz team members. Megatron, meanwhile dispatches a whole squad of Cyber-raptors, Waspinator and Tarantulas to eliminate the two Maximals. Both Maximal and Predacon teams arrive on Blackarachnia and Cheetor's position and a full-out battle ensues. Tarantulas uses his new gun and blasts Optimus Primal, causing him to lose his mind and sing around. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia intercepts a blast meant for Chak and Una. As the Predacons seem to have the upper hand, the hammer-wielding protohuman jumps to help, damaging the backpack on one of the Cyber-raptors. With this knowledge the Maximals easily destroy the raptors and defeat the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Megatron leads the rest of the Predacons on an assault on the Maximal base. After using Quickstrike to spring the exterior traps, Megatron leads Rampage and Inferno to claim the Ark. However, the unexpected arrival of Depth Charge turns the battle in the Maximal's favour. Meanwhile, Cheetor's group deliver Chak and Una back to their tribe. Unseen by the other Maximals, Blackarachnia smuggles some hardware from the Cyber-raptors. Cheetor congratulates Blackarachnia on her heroic actions, but Blackarachnia disses Cheetor off, walking off with Silverbolt. Cheetor sighs for being treated like a kid. Meanwhile, Megatron considers using the technology from the Cyber-raptors with the half of Rampage's spark...

Featured Transformers: Cyber-Raptors (killed), Silverbolt, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Megatron, Inferno, Tarantulas, Quickstrike, Rampage, Waspinator, Depth Charge
Notable Others: Hammer Protohuman, Chak, Una, Protohuman Tribe

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
The protohuman kids are irritating and uninteresting, and Cheetor being tired of treated like a kid is one of the character threads that's been trite since Season one. The cyber-raptors are rubbish as well, reeking of G1's "weapon of the week" and Tarantulas' unexplained inclusion among the Predacon ranks is uncharacteristically bad continuity among the writers. Also, Cheetor's puppy love at Blackarachnia is laughable in execution. Quickstrike's dialogue this episode is hilarious, though.

There are some good bits of storytelling here, though. Cheetor's upcoming upgrade and whatever it is that Blackarachnia and Megatron are up to respectively in future episodes are foreshadowed upon, while Silverbolt being overprotective to the point of naïveness is believable. Rattrap being suspicious is true to character as well. But the foreshadowings hardly make this episode as good as the others... the bits with the protohuman kids drag on the episode for far too long.

NOTES
The first appearance of recurring characters Chak and Una, the closest Beast Wars would have to children sidekicks. The protohuman with Dinobot's hammer (I'm going to call him 'Hammer' for review purposes) also reappears. Also, this is the first (and only) appearance of the Cyber-raptors, which are of course modified CG models of Dinobot's beast mode.

This episode foreshadows the chain of events that would lead to the "Feral Scream" two-parter. Cheetor being insecure and being tired of treated like a kid, as well as Megatron creating Cyber-raptors, and Rampage's spark. Blackarachnia's pilfering of resources would be explored upon in later episodes as well.

Megatron quotes Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in his line "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war".

This is the second time Megatron had attempted to clone Dinobot. It would not be the last. Megatron's little obsession with creating a loyal and competent Dinobot is... disturbing, to say the least.

GOOFS
The big one is, of course, the fact that Tarantulas is somehow working under Megatron's command. Before and after this episode Tarantulas has always worked on his own after being revealed to be Ravage's agent.

The first Cyber-raptor that Blackarachnia and Cheetor fight wanders off and doesn't turn up in the final battle (only the three raptors dispatched from the Predacon base appear), and where it runs off to is not made clear.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Call me paranoid, but I don't trust Preds, I don't trust spiders, and I don't trust dames who sneak in and out of classified areas when they think nobody's watching."
Rhinox: "What are you saying?"
Rattrap: "Nyah! I'm saying that our little spider chum-" [Silverbolt enters] "-is a credit to her web-spinning species and I don't know what we ever did without her."

Blackarachnia: "Guys. Oh, they're only young once, but they can act juvenile forever."

Blackarachnia: "Oh, great. I get stuck with the one cat in the world who lands on his head."

Megatron: "Quickstrike, you may lead."
Quickstrike: "Yeah! That's what I like to hear!" [charges in]
Inferno: "Royalty, why was I not chosen?"
Megatron: "Because, Inferno, when expecting booby traps, always send the boob in first."

Blackarachnia: "Listen, tabby, you're a nice kid-" [Silverbolt approaches] "-which is two strikes against you, so don't go looking for strike three, okay?" [walks away with Silverbolt]
Cheetor: "I'm not a kid. And maybe I'm not so nice, either."

Blackjack
2010-09-20, 03:45 AM
Feral Scream, Part 1
Airdate: 31 January 1999
Written By: Greg Johnson
Japanese Title: I am Resurrected

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal and Cheetor battle Megatron and Waspinator for a stasis pod through a canyon. Cheetor accidentally buries Optimus in an avalanche, allowing the Predacons escape. Depth Charge arrives and helps to get Optimus out of the rubble before going off on his own. Optimus drives off back to base for repairs and instructs Cheetor to wait for backup. Meanwhile, Megatron loads the stasis pod into a gigantic machine, with cells from Dinobot and half of Rampage's spark. Lightning strikes the Transmetal 2 generator, and a second Dinobot is born. Depth Charge and Cheetor arrives, and the new Dinobot attacks. Cheetor manages to steal the Transmetal 2 Driver from Megatron's machine, and tosses it to Depth Charge. However, this leaves him open to Megatron's attack, which causes him to be trapped in the electrical current of the machinery. Electricity runs through the young Maximal for a while, until a gigantic explosion engulfs him and the machinery.

Depth Charge arrives at the Maximal base and reports Cheetor's death to Optimus Primal and the others. He heads deeper into the caves to scan the Driver by himself, finding out that it's an Alien device altered by Megatron. Depth Charge tosses the Driver into the lava to destroy it, but when he turns his back, Blackarachnia zips down and catches the device. Outside the base, Optimus blames himself for Cheetor's death. But it turns out that Cheetor is still alive, although he isn't in the best of conditions.

In the Predacon base, Rampage is furious at Megatron for giving the other half of his spark being given to the Dinobot Clone, and tries to reclaim the spark fragment. However, Dinobot is also able to squeeze Rampage's spark, just as Megatron was able to do before, causing Rampage great pain. Megatron then dispatches Dinobot to recover the Transmetal 2 Driver. Depth Charge, meanwhile, sets out from the Maximal base after repairs to hunt down Rampage. Dinobot ambushes him, and easily subdues him. The Predacons interrogate Depth Charge, but suddenly a beast jumps down and defeats the Predacons one by one, overwhelming the Predacons with his speed. Depth Charge is left alone to wonder what had saved him, but the mysterious beast disappears by the time Optimus arrives to his rescue. Meanwhile, when they return to the Maximal base, a damaged Cheetor stumbles onto the scene and passes out. Primal and Rhinox rushes out to help him.

Featured Transformers: Waspinator, Megatron, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Depth Charge, Dinobot II, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Quickstrike

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
Completely mediocre. There are some precious scenes in here, like Dinobot's creation or Rampage being angry at Megatron, or Depth Charge being an ass, but the plot itself isn't that good. You never believe for once that Cheetor had actually died, and the faux-horror movie setting, while done decently, doesn't gel well with the very Looney Tunes takedown of the Predacons. The shadowed monster is very obviously Cheetor in a new body, so the audience, even Saturday-morning-children, wouldn't be fooled. The big event this episode, the introduction of Dinobot II, falls flat.

Another bad thing is the fact that they've got two episodes to introduce the whole concept of Transmetal Twos, but it's botched up pretty badly with no explanation on where the Driver came out from. The new Dinobot, while high on the coolness factor, seems to be just another sadistic, slovering monster like Rampage. Which is a shame, because now the Predacon goons seem to be split into two cliches — dumb thug that gets blown up every time, or super-powered sadistic monsters. The attempt at characterization for Cheetor fails somewhat, since we don't really get to see much of him. Not the best episode out there.

NOTES
First appearance of Dinobot II (or Dinobot Clone or Transmetal 2 Dinobot) as well as Cheetor's Transmetal Two Body.

Megatron's creation of Dinobot II is based on the creation of the monster from Frankenstein, complete with lightning bolts and Waspinator acting all hunch-backed and 'Masteerrrrr' like Igor. Well, the creation of the Dinobot clone from 'Double Dinobot' is also based on Frankenstein, so might be part of Megatron's creepy little obsession.

Megatron created Dinobot with a 'blank Protoform', a protoform without a spark. Whatever that's supposed to be. A malfunctioned protoform? A protoform that died during the crash? In any case, it's never touched upon again in the series.

'Subgrid Zarak' is a reference to Lord Zarak, the Nebulan Headmaster partner of G1 Scorponok.

Megatron spins around and over a cliff in a manner similar to the Tasmanian Devil and Wile E Coyote from the Looney Tunes cartoon series.

GOOFS
During the top panning shot of the Predacon base, the ship is reversed. Normally the right wing is the broken one and the left wing is whole, but it is reversed. On subsequent shots it's correctly shown.

Where did Megatron get the Transmetal Two Driver from?

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "From the tempestous fury, the spark ignites… to sire new life! Transmetal two life! Mwahahahahaha!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator not like new lizard bot!"
Depth Charge: "I agree with the bug. But then, I'm not crazy about any of you."

Optimus Primal:"Where's Cheetor?"
Depth Charge: [tosses a piece of Cheetor] "Cat was tough. He went out fighting."

Optimus Primal: "Cheetor. This is my fault, Rhinox. I was rough on him, so he… so he tried to prove something."

Rampage: "You gave this the core of my spark? I shall rip it from his chest and restore it within me!"

Rampage: [on Depth Charge] "No! He's mine! I shall feast upon his still pulsating spark!"

Megatron: "What is that thing?"
Quickstrike: "Dunno, boss, some kind of ghost, maybe. Or it will be when I'm done with it! Yee-ha!"

Blackjack
2010-10-16, 01:54 PM
Feral Scream, Part 2
Airdate: 7 February 1999
Written By: Jules Dennis
Japanese Title: Cheetor Arises

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal checks on Cheetor, who is sleeping in his room. Optimus discusses this with Rattrap, expressing worry about Cheetor refusing to use the CR chamber. Rattrap passes this off as Cheetor wanting to prove something, but Optimus is still suspicious. Cheetor, meanwhile, has a nightmare of himself being mutated, and is reviled by the other Maximals. A horrified Cheetor wakes up to see a green tendril emerging from his spark. Sleeping on the job, Rattrap is rudely awakened by Cheetor's scream and rushes to help, but is knocked aside by a large feline monstrosity. When Optimus arrives, Rattrap assumes that the monster had gotten Cheetor.

Meanwhile, Megatron hears the roar of the incoming beats, and deduces that Cheetor has been upgraded from their previous confrontation. Intrigued, Megatron sends Waspinator to investigate. On the Maximals' side, Silverbolt returns to the Maximal base, unable to locate Cheetor (and a little jealous of Blackarachnia's concern for Cheetor). Optimus Primal confronts Depth Charge and threatens him, forcing to tell the whole story to him. Reluctantly Depth Charge tells Optimus about the Transmetal Driver, and how he had gotten rid of it.

Cheetor finds himself awake, back in his Transmetal form, completely repaired. Waspinator leads an unhappy Dinobot towards the cave. After getting rid of Waspinator, Dinobot begins the hunt proper. Cheetor arrives again in front of the Maximal base, telling the others that he has taken care of the cat monster. Optimus takes Cheetor somewhere private under the guise of recovering the monster's remains, then urges Cheetor to tell him the truth. Dinobot chooses that moment to strike, and the sight of the downed Optimus causes Cheetor to morph back into his Transmetal 2 form, and he begins to battle with Dinobot and Waspinator. When Maximal help arrives, the Predacons retreat. Optimus Primal manages to bring Cheetor back to his senses. Back at the base, Cheetor flirts with Blackarachnia, who is actually more interested in Cheetor's technology than in the person.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Rhinox (dream and present), Blackarachnia (dream and present), Silverbolt (dream and present), Dinobot II, Waspinator, Megatron, Depth Charge

REVIEW
(Six out of ten)
Rather dull, because of its predictability. Cheetor's upgrade to Transmetal 2 is predictable, and is not worth two episodes to tell. Rather, it would be much better to have the change happen because of some other factor throughout the entirely of Season Three and focus this two-parter to introduce the new Dinobot. The scripting for this episode is rather sub-par, and the confrontation between Optimus Primal and Cheetor kind of feels rather emo. But then I'm not exactly Cheetor's biggest fan, so my opinion is a little biased. The whole 'werewolf'-ish brouhaha is banal, and all-too-predictable. Who was fooled that TM2 Cheetor really is Cheetor?

I love Waspinator and Dinobot's little camaraderie, especially after Waspinator getting very little screentime for the past few episodes. Rattrap's sarcasm and Depth Charge's hostility are back, as is Blackarachnia's self-centered plans. Silverbolt is golden as well, seemingly not willing to track down Cheetor out of jealousy in that reluctant little love triangle. However, these aren't enough to stop this being one of the duller episodes in Beast Wars, mostly because it tries to introdump another set of new toys and gimmicks. And unlike Transmetals and Fuzors, this isn't exactly the best sci-fi origin. Making this as an analog of teenagers, doesn't help the episode either. Although compared to stuff from Armada or Energon, this episode still isn't really bad per se, just below the high standard that Beast Wars sets.

NOTES
Alright, so Cheetor is now a Transmetal two. Transmetal twos have glowing sparks that could apparently have all sorts of wacky abilities (traveling at Mach 2, regeneration and being generally a kickass in Cheetor's case) that stem out of the coloured spark. However, TM2 Cheetor doesn't really get to display much of his abilities for the screentime that he was on. Cheetor's spark is now stored his thigh.

A Beast Warrior regressing into his feral senses was last seen in 'Call of the Wild', although this is more a homage of werewolf stories.

In Cheetor's room there are lots of junk, as the customary for these quarters. Of interest is a portrait of Blackarachnia (the kiddie-crush hinted on earlier), the potted plant seen in some scenes from season one, a photo of pre-Transmetal Cheetor and Optimus Primal, a model of the Axalon, three spare tails (!), a model of a wacky solar system, a model of a Cybertronian city, a trophy, and a holographic clock similar to the one that Megatron uses in 'Coming of the Fuzors'.

Optimus Primal's line to Depth Charge about tearing his head open and reading what's inside is familiar to a similar line from Blitzwing in the G1 episode 'Triple Takeover'.

Cheetor's change from Transmetal to Transmetal 2 is also accompanied with a change of personality from childish kid to rebellious teenager.

GOOFS
Yes, plot advancement and everything, but it's pretty daft that the Maximals don't realize that the monster cat coming out of Cheetor's room is really Cheetor when the Predacons were able to do so within moments.

How could Waspinator 'smell' Cheetor when Silverbolt (who is part-dog) evidently couldn't earlier on? Evidence points to the jealousy factor, or some sort of wacky Transmetal 2 stuff again...

Waspinator goes from being paper-shredded into perfectly fine with an arm on a sling within minutes, although this is more of a gag than a real error.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "Any sign of our tabby?"
Silverbolt: "Oh, not so much as a whisker. Your... concern does you credit."
Blackarachnia: "I'm full of surprises." [winks]

Optimus Primal: [to Depth Charge]"You listen, hard-head. Cheetor's gone, and I think you know something, so you will talk, or I will rip out your core processor and extract the information personally."

Waspinator: "Ooooh, Wazzpinator detects stink of unnatural Transmetal!"
Dinobot: [growls]
Waspinator: "Oops. Wazzpinator exclude present company."

Waspinator: "Wait! Need plan! Wazzpinator in charge!"
Dinobot: "I am the plan." [shreds Waspinator]

Cheetor: "I don't see why we have to do this. Don't you trust me?"
Optimus Primal: "Normally, yes–but at the moment, I think you're hiding something."
Cheetor: "I'm not hiding anything! Why is everyone givin' me such a hard time?"
Optimus Primal: "Because we care, and because I think I know the truth. I just want you to trust me enough to tell me."

Rattrap: "Oh, joy... cyber-puberty."

Blackjack
2010-10-17, 08:22 AM
Proving Grounds
Written By: Arthur Sellers
Airdate: 14 February 1999
Japanese Title: Love Typhoon

SYNOPSIS
The Maximals examine Blackarachnia's interior structures with an X-Ray machine, and Rhinox finds the location of the shell program that Tarantulas had inserted into Blackarachnia's protoform. A frustrated Blackarachnia snaps at Rattrap (who is suspicious) and Cheetor (who is infatuated), and leaves the Maximal base to clear her head after overhearing Optimus and Rhinox discuss an operation on her. Dinobot II, who is spying on the Maximals, stalks her. Blackarachnia finds herself walking into a secluded forest, and reflects on her situation when she notices Dinobot. After a scuffle, the two begin to hunt each other through the forest. In the Maximal base, Rattrap plays a video game but is evicted by Silverbolt, who uses the computer to locate Blackarachnia, and is surprised to find her in Predacon territory. Silverbolt manages to convince Rattrap not to report this to Optimus Primal, and sets off to rescue his beloved.

Blackarachnia and Dinobot continue their battle, tearing their way through large trees in a deeper, darker woods. Dinobot ultimately manages to trap Blackarachnia under two fallen logs, but Blackarachnia shoots Dinobot at pointblank. She manages to free herself and tries to radio for help, but doesn't notice Dinobot regenerating from his injuries. Fortunately for her, Silverbolt arrives. Meanwhile the other Maximals realize that Silverbolt and Blackarachnia are away, and heads off to help.

Silverbolt arrives near Blackarachnia, but is promptly attacked by Dinobot. Dinobot gains the upper hand, trapping Silverbolt's head in his optic laser, but Blackarachnia shoots Silverbolt, telling Dinobot that the fight is between the two of them. Blackarachnia proposes an alliance with Dinobot, but is rejected. Dinobot attacks, but Silverbolt uses the distraction to stand up, and uses Dinobot's hologram emitter used earlier on to fool Dinobot, and they shoot Dinobot over a cliff. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt argue about Blackarachnia's seeming betrayal. Blackarachnia explains that it was a stalling tactic to fool Dinobot

Blackarachnia tells Silverbolt of her decision to leave the Maximals, not wanting distrust to harm both parties. She headbutts Silverbolt, but it knocks both of them out. Optimus Primal arrives, and Blackarachnia confronts Optimus about the operation she overheard him discussing. Optimus explains that the choice falls to Blackarachnia alone and that the operation would not be forced. Satisfied, Blackarachnia remains with the Maximals.

Featured Transformers: Blackarachnia, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, Dinobot II, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A nice little spotlight about Blackarachnia. Blackarachnia's character have been gradually developing episode by episode, and this little confrontation about her true loyalties is well-executed and is a natural development. Her frustration with the Maximals not trusting her, and simply taking a walk to clear her head, is a great character moment. The fight against the new Dinobot in the forest is very moody and brutal, although there are quite a bit of uncomfortable double entrendes in the dialogue between Dinobot and Blackarachnia. The little holoprojector also looks kind of phallic.

The romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is well done, and while it may be a little cheesy, it feels... natural, somewhat. Dinobot II is also a nice foil for Blackarachnia, being a sadistic, people-shredding monster. The new Dinobot seems to be a cross between Rampage and the original Dinobot's personalities, being sadistic yet fair-play at the same time. That little moment where Silverbolt evokes the original Dinobot's memory to convince Rattrap to let him find Blackarachnia is also a nice moment. A great, tense spotlight for Blackarachnia.

NOTES
As of this episode, Blackarachnia now considers herself a Maximal officially. But then it's been that way since the start of season three, only that this is 'official' instead of just an alliance of convenience.

Dinobot's Transmetal two powers allows him to heal himself from his injuries almost instantaneously. Perhaps a side-effect of having half of Rampage's spark?

Rattrap plays a game based on 'Street Fighter' but uses a pixelated version of Transmetal Megatron and a simplified version of Optimus Primal.

Later, Rattrap plays a first person shooter game ala Doom, but instead of demons he shoots Waspinators.

GOOFS
While she is in the X-Ray machine, Blackarachnia's beast mode legs are missing from her hands. Then again, they won't fit there...

The damage on Blackarachnia's body sometimes disappears for short moments during the forest battle.

At one point when the Maximals try to locate Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, a piece of Rhinox's green parts clip through his chest.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "What's the matter? Don't you trust me?"
Rattrap: "About as far as an anvil can jump." [Blackarachnia chokes Rattrap] "Of course, I mean that in the best possible way."

Blackarachnia: [to Dinobot] "I'm beginning to like you, skullface. Let's play."

Blackarachnia: "Mood, setting... all I need now is my dance partner."

Dinobot: "Now hold still. This will hurt."

Silverbolt: "You're going to hear the truth if it h-"
Blackarachnia: [headbutts Silverbolt in the face] "Warned you... ooh, not such a... great idea." [Falls to the ground]

Blackjack
2010-10-23, 12:47 AM
Go With the Flow
Airdate: 18 February 1999
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese title: Zap! Shibire Babire bu

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor fools around with Chak and Una, teaching them the arts of self-defense as well as basic science and the usage of tools. Rattrap watches this with disdain. Meanwhile, on a mountaintop the Predacons build a gigantic cannon, but because the bipolar energon source is installed before the shields, the Predacons couldn't safely get near the cannon. In order to complete the weapon, Tarantulas suggests that they capture the two proto-children that Cheetor had 'educated'. Waspinator and Inferno is dispatched to kidnap them, and Waspinator manages to capture Una. Depth Charge arrives to help but the Predacons retreat. Cheetor reports to Optimus Primal, who orders Rattrap and Depth Charge to rescue Una while Cheetor returns to base for repairs.

Una does manage to dismantle Waspinator en route to the Predacon outpost. Megatron fires the weapon at a low setting, knocking Depth Charge and Rattrap out of the sky. However, the incomplete cannon creates a feedback that knock the Predacons silly, forcing them to shut it down. Megatron tries his best to instruct Una to install the shields to cover the machine, but it is slow going, with the protohuman's limited intelligence. However, she manages to cover the machine with the shield, albeit in a haphazard manner. During this time Depth Charge and Rattrap find themselves crash-landed in a forest. Damaged, Depth Charge is stuck in the crater, unable to transform or fly. Rattrap goes off on his own to rescue Una.

Una is ordered to place the stabilizer crystal when Rattrap arrives. Dinobot engages the Maximal, while Tarantulas heads off to 'dispose' Una. Rattrap and Una manage to out-trick the Predacons and run off. Arriving where Depth Charge had crash-landed, Una reminds Rattrap of Cheetor's earlier lesson with a lever, and they manage to get a nonplussed Depth Charge free and use him as a raft. Sailing through the rapids, they shoot Waspinator and Inferno out of the air, and they knock Dinobot out.? Megatron prepares to blow the Maximals up with his cannon, but apparently Una had fancied the stabilizer crystal as a hairclip. The cannon explodes and the Maximals sail float away victorious.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Rattrap, Quickstrike, Tarantulas, Dinobot II, Megatron, Waspinator, Inferno, Depth Charge, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Blackarachnia
Notable Others: Chak, Una

REVIEW
(Three out of Ten)
One of the lousy gag filler episodes, and this one isn't particularly a good one. There are some funny moments, like Depth Charge snarling at a butterfly, or Waspinator being dismantled by Una, but the main problem is Una herself. The Protohumans are ugly and uninteresting, and the plot — another 'Giant Cannon' — is hardly original. The protohumans are irritating, the Predacons are treated like jokes, and the ending is all too predictable. Stuff like protohumans studying is also boring. The river rapid chase is well animated, though.

Also, the 'time cheat' — in this case Una hammering one panel in, and when the scene changes the entire thing is complete — is rather unprofessional in my opinion. And why the hell is Tarantulas working with Megatron? This feels like a rogue season one episode, with Depth Charge subbing for Dinobot. It probably is supposed to be a 'fun' episode, but it falls completely flat on its back.

NOTES
Cheetor teaches the kids how to beat people, as well as using pulleys and levers. Cheetor's power of premonition (unseen since season one) makes a comeback in a smaller extent, with his spark chamber opening moments before the alarms sound.

Megatron's creation of a giant cannon is very reminiscent of similar-looking giant cannon weapons-of-the-week from the original G1 cartoon.

This episode is used in place of the planned episode 'Dark Glass'. In that cancelled episode, Rattrap would've happened on a copy of the original Dinobot's memories and found a way to inject them into Dinobot II's mind in a heroic attempt to bring bad his friend. In the unproduced script, the old and new Dinobots would vie for dominance, with the new Dinobot winning out and Rattrap finally accepting Dinobot's death and mourns. something that would explain the otherwise unexplainable reason why Dinobot II would do what he would do in 'Nemesis Part 2' (yes, I'm being vague for the benefit of those who hadn't watched that episode yet). Depending on who you asked, reasons range from a substandard script, a too-dark storyline or lack of action, or a combination of the three. Shame, really.

GOOFS
Tarantulas is back with the Predacons for some reason, when nominally he has betrayed them since the end of season two.

During the battle with Dinobot II, Rattrap's tail-sword is slice into two. Several scenes later it is back in full length when Rattrap uses it as a makeshift oar.

When they crash into the forest, Depth Charge's mouth is also moving when Rattrap says his line.

During the river rapids scene, just before Dinobot says 'target immobilized', Depth Charge's fin clips through a rock.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Feh, educational stuff. I'd rather watching things explode."

Waspinator: "Waspinator sees helpless target! Oh, happy day!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator to Megatron. Waspinator has female fleshybot, but there is problem."
Megatron: "She'd better not be injured."
Waspinator: "No, she- injuring- Waspinator!"
Megatron: "Ah, situation normal, then. Yeeesss."

Waspinator: "Waspinator want to re-negotiate contract!"

Rattrap: "Heheh, I ain't dead."
Depth Charge: "This day's just full of disappointments."

Depth Charge (to an ersatz butterfly that lands on him): "What're you looking at?"

Blackjack
2010-10-30, 04:18 AM
Crossing the Rubicon
Airdate: 22 February 1999
Written By: D.C. Fontana
Japanese Title: Shiny!

SYNOPSIS
In an alcove, Blackarachnia straps herself a ragtag piece of machinery that would hopefully convert her into a Transmetal 2. When she activates the machine she accidentally attracts the attention of Silverbolt, who flies in to the 'rescue'. Blackarachnia berates Silverbolt, but suddenly short-circuits and passes out. Silverbolt rushed Blackarachnia back to the Maximal base, where Rhinox diagnoses the problem. The shell program is starting to degrade, and if not removed soon it would delete Blackarachnia's core consciousness with it. Rhinox begins the procedure to remove the shell, something that have never been done before. The disoriented Blackarachnia wanders off to think about it, and confides to Silverbolt that she still views herself as a Predacon, and the idea of becoming a Maximal bothers her. Silverbolt insists that the only reason she is thinking that way is because of Tarantulas' shell program, and that deep down she is a Maximal. Blackarachnia abruptly short-circuits again in the middle of the conversation.

With little time to spare, Blackarachnia decides to go through with the operation. She transfers the access codes to the Ark (gained some time ago) to Optimus Primal before submitting to the operation. Rhinox controls some sort of nano-machine injected into Blackarachnia's systems, and begins to destroy the safeguards guarding the web-like shell program with calculated precision. This attracts the attention of Tarantulas, who informs Megatron of the situation. Megatron concludes that the access codes to the Ark must've been transferred, and that they have no reason to keep Blackarachnia alive anymore. Megatron recruits Tarantulas and sends his Predacons to attack the Maximals in order to disrupt the delicate operation. Optimus Primal, Cheetor and Rattrap defend the base while Rhinox tries to concentrate and gun down the safeguards. As Rhinox is about to destroy the final safeguard, a rocket launched by Tarantulas hits the base, causing Rhinox to miss and extinguishing Blackarachnia's spark in the process. A shell-shocked Rhinox shuffles off to tell Optimus, but Silverbolt, fueled with rage, stalks out in hunt of Tarantulas. Tarantulas, meanwhile, detects that Blackarachnia is dead and breaks off the attack, heading in a different direction with the other Predacons. Silverbolt follows. Meanwhile, the other Maximals (not aware that Silverbolt had slipped away) give Blackarachnia an eulogy and apologizes belatedly for not trusting her more. When they realize this, they head off to hunt Silverbolt. Unseen by them, the Transmetal 2 Driver begins to glow...

Silverbolt trails Tarantulas into a desolate area, and brutally attacks the Predacon. However, just as he was about to deliver the killing blow Rampage arrives and beats Silverbolt to the ground... only to be stopped by Blackarachnia, having been upgraded into a Transmetal 2. Using her newfound powers she makes quick work of Rampage and returns to base with Silverbolt. They return to base and Blackarachnia shrugs off her revival as being 'dark, then light'. She then gives Silverbolt a kiss on the cheek, much to the other's embarrassment.

Featured Transformers: Blackarachnia, Silverbolt, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Tarantulas, Megatron, Rampage, Quickstrike, Inferno

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
Another introduction of a Transmetal 2 upgrade, but unlike the case with Cheetor, Blackarachnia's upgrade had been hinted upon numerous times prior. It's very good writing throughout the series, and Blackarachnia's gradual change from an evil Predacon b*tch to a reluctant anti-hero and now to be accepted fully into the Maximal fold is so well-written, putting many of the laughable attempts at faction-hopping seen in the newer series look like paltry attempts in the process. Of course, that romance bit helps the storytelling too. And so far, Silverbolt and Blackarachnia's little love story is the only good one that I've seen in any Transformer fiction. And Megatron's plan this episode is uncharacteristically brutal for the series, where he sends his troops just to foil an attempt to operate on a mortally-wounded Blackarachnia. It's very dark compared to the 'build a big gun!' seen last episode.

Silverbolt's pain is really well played out, as is his vengeful hunt for Tarantulas. Rampage provides a sadistic foil to Silverbolt's hurting emotions, and Blackarachnia's 'death' does seem a little sad if you don't see what's coming. That said, this episode isn't without its bad sides, though. The parts where Rhinox had to basically play a video game to shoot down Tarantulas' safeguards is agonizingly long and not really interesting to see, and the new-toy-pwns-old-toy battle between Blackarachnia and Rampage isn't the best one. Still, it's a great episode, although it could do with some trimming.

NOTES
First appearance of Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia.

After his appearances of working with the Predacons in two previous episodes, this episode gives an inkling on how Tarantulas works now. He's somewhat of a loosely Predacon-based consultant that alerts Megatron of anything that could further mutual interests.

Megatron's rubber duckie is seen again, but it now has metal rings around it, as if it's been Transmetalized. Cute.

The medical machine connected to Blackarachnia is very similar to an electrocardiograph, the way it quickens and slows down, and even flatlines when she 'dies'.

When Megatron deduces that Blackarachnia has transmitted the Ark's access codes to Optimus Primal, he notes that this 'fits in nicely with our little plan for him', foreshadowing the next episode.

What exactly is a rubicon? It's a river in Italy which was illegal for Roman generals to cross (protecting the capital city from a military threat). Julius Caesar crossed it, causing a civil war which ended with Rome becoming his. 'Crossing the Rubicon' is an idiom meaning to go past the point of no return.

GOOFS
Like in 'Proving Grounds', when Blackarachnia gets out from the X-Ray machine, the spider legs mounted on her upper arms are missing. Perhaps they are removable?

Blackarachnia's gray battle damage disappears and reappears between shots.

When Optimus and Rattrap are talking when the Predacons attack, Optimus' blast shields are placed in his arms instead of his shoulders during one shot.

Optimus transforms into his jet mode by saying 'Maximize', when traditionally 'Maximize' is used to transform into robot mode. Normally he says 'Flight mode' when changing into jet mode.

When Dinobot II battles with Cheetor, the plate on his stomach/crotch is oddly stretched.

Not technically a goof, but Optimus Primal says that going off on your own is not a Maximal thing to do, when throughout all the episodes every single character (barring perhaps Rhinox) have done so at one point or another.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "Oh, yeah. Sure. Like you were gonna help the Pred get more power."
Optimus Primal: "Maximal or Predacon, you're one of us. You should know that by now."

Silverbolt: "You're only a Predacon because of Tarantulas. Inside, you're a Maximal. When this is over, you'll be one again, as you were meant to be."
Blackarachnia: "Easy for you to say. You enjoy this hero stuff. Me? I'm a bad girl at heart."
Silverbolt: "I know your heart and when I look into it, I see no evil. Only love."
Blackarachnia: "Sappy as always. What did I ever see in you anyway? Oh yeah, I remember..."

Silverbolt: "Tarantulaaaas! She's… gone, and it's all because of you!"

Tarantulas: "Ahh, the avenging hero!"

Rampage: "Ah, such pain. I must help deepen it."

Rampage: "Love the new look… goodbye!" [Fires missile]
Blackaracnia: "Missed. And you're ugly!"

Optimus Primal: "Not a very Maximal approach."
Blackarachnia: "Even when I'm good, I'm still bad."

Blackjack
2010-11-07, 10:03 AM
Master Blaster
Airdate: 1 Match 1999
Written By: Eric Torin
Japanese Title: Blaze, Dragon

SYNOPSIS
Megatron sends Waspinator to lead an attack against the Maximal base, and he successfully dispatches Silverbolt before the other Maximals storm out. Denied of reinforcements, poor Waspinator is quickly squashed by the Maximals. However, Waspinator was merely a ruse to draw Optimus Primal out. A hidden Tarantulas uses a blowgun to shoot a dart, which burrows into Primal's foot. The dart unfolds and makes its way through Primal's interior machinery and accesses Primal's spark. Optimus Primal goes black for a moment, then punches Cheetor, speaking with a Western drawl.

Soon, Blackarachnia returns to the Maximal base, suspicious at the open doors and the darkened interior. Optimus Primal sneaks up and grabs her. The Predacons reveal themselves, as well as the rest of the unconscious Maximals trapped in a cage. Quickstrike is revealed to control Optimus Primal's body by piloting a large mechanical suit. Blackarachnia is left to Rampage to play with, while Quickstrike uses Optimus Primal's body to allow Megatron access to the Ark. Megatron enters the Autobot shuttle, only this time his target is not Optimus Prime, but rather his namesake, the original Megatron. The Predacon leader opens the Decepticon's chest and uses a tentacle to grab the original Megatron's spark. After a bit of a struggle Megatron manages to contain both sparks within his body. While he recovers from his ordeal, Quickstrike, influenced by Tarantulas into working against Megatron, dumps the Predacon leader into a lava pool.

Meanwhile, Rampage is about to step on Blackarachnia, but the Maximal uses her newfound telekinetic power to slam a girder onto the Predacon. After outsmarting Inferno, she then proceeds to free the rest of the Maximals, although they are too injured to be of help. Meanwhile, Tarantulas accesses Teletraan-1, activating a self-destruct sequence which would destroy all the Autobots and Decepticons within. However, as Tarantulas leaves the Ark, Megatron rises from the lava, now reformatted into a new dragon form by a combination of the lava dip and the original Megatron's spark. Megatron burns the treacherous Predacon for failing to destroy him and tosses him into lava as well.

Blackarachnia assaults Quickstrike and manages to outsmart the Fuzor, freeing Optimus Primal from his control. The two head back towards the Ark. Megatron and Optimus Primal battle, the former reveling in his newfound powers. Blackarachnia manages to shut down the destruction sequence with seconds to spare. The remaining Maximals regroup and manage to drive off Megatron. Optimus then remarks that they needed to end the Beast Wars quickly...

Featured Transformers: Silverbolt, Inferno, Quickstrike, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Megatron, Dinobot II, Cheetor, Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Rhinox, G1 Megatron (deactivated), G1 Optimus Prime (deactivated)

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
After the Silverbolt-Blackarachnia romance thread after the previous episodes, we finally kick up the gear for the final arc of Beast Wars. While this episode begun like something similar to another 'weapon of the week' episode, it is refreshingly surprising to see the Ark revisited again. Tarantulas is excellently portrayed here, in his manipulating the Predacons. The dialogue in this episode is especially well-scripted, Megatron in particular. We get lots of comedic moments for poor Waspinator and Inferno, while Blackarachnia's newfound sense of heroism works well. Taking over Optimus Primal's body might not have been the most original idea, but it suits well to get the Predacons in position in the Ark, in order to have Megatron do his stuff.

There are quite a bit of plot holes, though. Why didn't Megatron kill Optimus Prime while he's at it? Why hand Blackarachnia to Rampage when killing her outright or imprisoning her would've caused the plan to succeed? While they might be explained by Megatron simply being your typical gloating megalomaniac, the fact stands that they are glaring plot holes. Megatron's battle against Optimus Primal is nothing short of epic, as is the unveiling of his dragon body. And Optimus Primal's solemn proclamation at the end sets up the mood for the cataclysmic end of Beast Wars...

NOTES
First appearance of Megatron's Transmetal 2 body. Well, the toy is marketed as a Transmetal 2, and all fans call it Megatron's Transmetal 2 body, but it's never referred to as such for the four episodes it appeared in, and Megatron's upgrade into a Transmetal 2, unlike Blackarachnia, Cheetor and Dinobot II, is unrelated to the Transmetal 2 Driver. That's what happens when toy gimmickry collides with storytelling...

This episode effectively retcons that all Transformers in G1 had sparks as their soul or lifeforce thing. Megatron's spark is also funky instead of the normal blue... it lashes around, too. It is unclear if the original Megatron's spark influences the Beast Megatron's mind while the two are combined. There have been arguments on both sides of the party, but in the end it's up to the fandom to decide.

After several episodes of loosely working alongside the Predacons again, Tarantulas is now his own independent faction. Why does he want to destroy all the Autobots and Decepticons when it would lead to his death as well? Tune in next episode!

Several new abilities are showcased this episode. Blackarachnia apparently has telekinetic powers in her new body (which would not be seen again after this episode), while Megatron's new body can breathe fire or ice.

After several jibes in the then-still-growing online fandom, Teletraan-1 is now pronounced as such, instead of 'Teletron-1' like it had in previous episodes.

Megatron's line "Enter the Dragon" is a reference to a Bruce Lee movie of the same title.

Teletraan-1's line when it shuts down (quoted below) is a homage to the Star Wars parody 'Spaceballs'.

GOOFS
Several times the Beast Warriors interact with consoles for Transformers their size (roughly slightly bigger than a human) when in previous episodes the consoles in the Ark have always been portrayed as large compared to them.

At one point before his upgrade, when he's gloating about collecting the set of Maximals, Megatron's head is coloured like his Transmetal 2 head.

Why didn't Megatron shoot Optimus Prime's head again? It's his master plan, after all...

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "You'll live to regret this, crab legs."
Rampage: "I regret everything, my sweet. Struggle as much as you like, I enjoy it."

Tarantulas: "By the Pit, you live!"
Megatron: "I am not so easily destroyed. And thanks to your treachery, my power is greater than ever! Let me thank you."

Megatron: "I can suffer your treachery, lieutenant, but not your incompetence!" [lobs Tarantulas into lava] "Treachery requires no mistakes."

Megatron: "Enter the dragon!"

Megatron: "Megatron does not yield... he conquers!"

Teletraan-1: "Eight clicks to core implosion. Five... four... three... two... one- Core implosion aborted. All systems normal. Have a nice day."

Megatron: "Did you think you could stand against the fury of both Megatrons?"

Optimus Primal: "What Megatron's done has just made it more important than ever for us to win this war… and win it soon."

Blackjack
2010-11-13, 02:57 AM
Other Victories
Airdate: 5 May 1999
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: I Have Returned

SYNOPSIS
In deep space, several skull-like ethereal entities — the true forms of the Vok — discuss the experiment on Nexus Earth. The Vok decide that there remains a threat, despite their efforts to sterilize the planet. The Vok merge the dormant bodies of Tigatron and Airazor together, creating a new Transformer. Two Vok inhabit the new body and fly off. Unseen by them, two sparks follow in their trail.

On Earth the Predacons hold a mock trial for Quickstrike. Quickstrike begs for mercy, offering to hunt down Tarantulas for Megatron. Megatron is about to order Quickstrike's execution when sensors suddenly detect an incoming, massive energy surge. The Predacons (and, from their respective bases, Rhinox and Tarantulas as well) realize that the aliens are back. The Predacons' autoguns are ineffective, and the Predacons abandon their base. The Vok-controlled ball of energy slam onto the Predacon ship, obliterating it immediately. Optimus Primal, worried that the timeline could be destroyed if the spark of the original Megatron is harmed, heads of to save the Predacons. As the Predacons recover, the Vok-controlled Transformer emerges from the ashes of the Predacons, introducing himself as Tigerhawk, the Emissary of the Vok. Commanding the powers of the elements, he easily dispatches the Predacon troops and faces off against Megatron. Megatron's powers give Tigerhawk some problems but the Vok Emissary is ultimately victorious. Before he could kill Megatron, however, Optimus Primal arrives. Tigerhawk does not wish to harm Optimus but couldn't let him interfere, and buries the Maximal under Earth. This provides the distraction that Tarantulas' spider drones need to swarm over Tigerhawk, subduing him and dragging him away.

Cheetor sees a prophetic dream of Airazor, Tigatron and the Vok. He wakes up to see the two sparks flitting through the air. Following it, he finds Tarantulas' lair, as well as Tigerhawk's unconscious body. Tigerhawk wakes up and recognizes Tarantulas. Tarantulas reveals that he intends to use Tigerhawk's powers to destroy the Maximals and the Ark, since he and the Tripredacus Council are not descended from the Autobots or the Decepticons. Tarantulas uses a deprogramming device on Tigerhawk, and the two Vok inside him exit and float towards Tarantulas. The machinery, designed to seek out the Vok's energy, swivels around and targets the Vok as they enter Tarantulas' body, obliterating all three of them. Cheetor jumps in and drags the now-lifeless Tigerhawk body out. Tarantulas' lair explodes. Tigerhawk and Airazor's merged spark enter the Tigerhawk body, and Optimus Primal welcomes the old-new friend back into the Maximal fold.

Featured Transformers: Tigatron, Airazor, Tigerhawk, Megatron, Rampage, Quickstrike, Dinobot II, Inferno, Waspinator, Tarantulas (killed), Rattrap, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Cheetor
Notable Others: the Vok (two destroyed)

REVIEW
(Three out of ten)
A veritable mess. The action scenes are amazing, granted — the Darksyde's destruction, as well as Tigerhawk's elemental battle against Megatron are superb. Dialogue is at its usual great quality, and that opening scene with Megatron holding a kangaroo trial, complete with a wig, is priceless. Megatron's reluctance and cold anger as he is forced to give the command to abandon base is perfect as well. However, the plot itself is messy. They try to resolve the Vok plot, the Tarantulas plot, place the characters where they are supposed to be for the finale, as well as introduce a new character. Now Tigerhawk, unlike most (read: every other) character in the show, is so bland and devoid of characterization. His addition and portrayal as a god-like superpowered being seems to be a desperate ploy by Hasbro to get the show to advertise a new toy in the final few weeks that Beast Wars aired. It's awkward, and Tigerhawk feels inadequate. Airazor and Tigatron's "return" doesn't even bat an eyebrow from me, and it seemed that the two forgotten Maximals are simply thrown in to make kids want to buy Tigerhawk.

The Vok is finally revealed as well after their two appearances in past episodes, and their conclusion and exit from the show is executed badly. A lot of lingering questions remain. Why seed Earth with energon? What is this 'experiment' they are talking about? Why kill Megatron? Why sterilize Earth? Who are they exactly? The Vok hasn't always been likeable. Interesting, maybe, but the show's insistence of putting them in the shadows constantly, not revealing much, ended up to be a downfall in terms of storytelling. Tarantulas' master plan, too, along with the whole inter-faction cloak-and-dagger stuff hinted throughout the series ends up unresolved and unsatisfying. Tarantulas' exit isn't particularly glamorous, although believable. It's a shame, though, that Tarantulas wouldn't play a part in the series finale. I love that crazy bug.

NOTES
The first appearance for Tigerhawk and the Vok's true forms. Final appearance of Tarantulas, the Predacon base Darksyde, the Sentinel shields, Tarantulas' spider drones as well as Airazor and Tigatron.

After being mostly an unseen enemy until now, the Vok are finally revealed to be an extra-dimensional race of floating, transparent skulls with powers. They live in a place called Nexus Zero.

Quickstrike's trial is based on a real court-martial, with Megatron wearing a barrister's wig. You know, those white, curly stuff used by British judges? Inferno acts as the stenographer, complete with a typewriter.

Tarantulas states that he and the Tripredacus Council are not descended from the Decepticons. This is a bit of a glaring retcon, since in 'the Agenda' the Council was pretty adamant of sending Ravage to save the timeline. This could mean that Tarantulas and the Council are either created by Unicron (the option 3H comics use, based on a throwaway line in the second season) or descended from the second-generation Cybertronian Empire (a popular theory among fans).

Tigerhawk is originally a Vok-controlled Transformer, but by the end of this episode he has Airazor and Tigatron's merged spark (whatever that means). Tigerhawk's powers, at least those that we see, include: travel through space and time (though that might be because of the Vok rather than Tigerhawk himself), altering the weather and creating tornadoes, shooting light beams and lightning bolts out of his palms, splitting open the ground, powerful cannons and presumably all other kinds of cool stuff as well.

Cheetor has his precognitive dreams again, after being non-existent since the early episodes.

Note that Waspinator drops some angry retorts about getting blown up all the time.

The Nemesis, the original Decepticons' warship, is seen on Tarantulas' computer.

Tarantulas makes a symbol of the crucifix with his hands when the Vok come to attack him, a sign traditionally used to ward off ghosts.

Tarantulas blows up, leaving only his feet behind, in a manner akin to Starscream's death in Transformers: the Movie.

Tarantulas dies after the two Vok enter him and blew him up. 3H's unfinished Beast Wars/Universe comic would place Tarantulas as surviving his death, being revived in an undead-ish body by Unicron, and refer to the whole scheme as a deliberate plan to absorb the Vok's powers for himself. Um. Yeah.

GOOFS
The Tripredacus Council mention in their conversation in 'the Agenda' that the Decepticons are their ancestors. Surely if it's really a charade they won't take it so far as in their private discussions? A popular fanmade assumption is that the Tripredacus Council is descended from the Second-Generation Decepticons from the G2 comic that aren't affected by the original Autobot-Decepticon war, which accounts for both parts of the story.

When the Predacons get ready for Tigerhawk's coming, Megatron's eyes are miscoloured green instead of purple.

When he fires at Tigerhawk, Dinobot II fires a green beam (like the original Dinobot) instead of his normal red lasers. Foreshadowing or animation error? You decide.

Why do the Maximals need to re-tell the story of Megatron having the original Megatron's spark to Rattrap? Surely all the Maximals would have been debriefed last episode.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Ooo, Waspinator like defense! A little more defense, and maybe Waspinator not get blown up all the time!"
Quickstrike: "Looks like this is my last round-up."

Waspinator: "Ah-eh-eh-hem! Two-head throw Megatron in lava pit. Megatron angry. Think Two-head traitor. Want to slaaag Two-head. Waspinator down with that!"
Quickstrike: "Ahh."
Waspinator: "Defense, take a rest."
Megatron: "Ah. Brilliant as always, yesss."

Inferno: "Royalty! It will destroy the colony!"
Waspinator: "Owhh... Megatron, what should we do? What should we do?"
Megatron: ".... Abandon base."

Rattrap: "Looks like the Beast Wars are over... for the Preds! Eheheh!"

Tigerhawk: "I am Tigerhawk, emissary of the Vok. Your form's changed, but I know you, Megatron. The Vok charge you with the willful disruption of time and space. Surrender to me immediately. Violence will not be tolerated."
Megatron: "Megatrons do not surrender. We conquer! Predacons, attack!"

Waspinator: "At least this time... Waspinator has companyyyyyy!"

Megatron: "[Tigerhawk]'s power is awesome."

Megatron: "This is my world now. You have no place in it!"

Rattrap: "Just when things were finally looking up... we're all gonna die."

Tigerhawk: "This is your last chance. Surrender or be terminated."
Megatron: "I give you... no chance at all!"

Tigerhawk: "You're insane!"
Tarantulas: "So they say. Bwaaaa!"

Tarantulas: "Something is wrong-"
Vok: [hisses]
Tarantulas: "AAAAA! No! Stay away from me!"

Blackjack
2010-11-16, 01:43 PM
Nemesis Part 1
Airdate: 6 May 1999
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Kaboom!

SYNOPSIS
Tigerhawk shows off his elemental powers while Optimus Primal reads a passage from the Covenant of Primus, believing Tigerhawk to be a good omen. With the Predacons missing a base, the Maximals begin to hunt down the disadvantaged Predacons. The Predacon troops are dissatisfied, but the ever-loyal Inferno offers to take Quickstrike and Waspinator to find a new 'colony' for his queen. Megatron, Rampage and the Dinobot clone search the abandoned remains of Tarantulas' lair. They discover a hatch that leads to an underwater tunnel. After accessing the files of a nearby computer Megatron becomes excited, and hops onto the rail car Tarantulas had prepared alongside Dinobot.

Silverbolt and Depth Charge, patrolling the skies in search of the Predacons, spots Inferno's squad. Despite Optimus Primal's orders otherwise, the two head in to investigate. Optimus Primal is forced to leave the base with Tigerhawk, Cheetor and Blackarachnia to support them. As Primal's group arrives, Depth Charge finds the hatch in Tarantulas' lair, but finds that it is booby-trapped. Silverbolt is torn to pieces, forcing Blackarachnia and Cheetor to carry him back to base.

Inferno declares that the Protohumans' cave dwellings would be their new colony, and, alongside Quickstrike, is prepared to wipe the Protohumans out. Waspinator, however, snaps, and bursts into an angry rant against everything in general. After several insults, Inferno and Quickstrike blasts him, and assault the Protohumans. However, the Protohumans have found ways to defend themselves with primitive spears.

Optimus Primal, Tigerhawk and Depth Charge locates a data terminal inside the tunnel, and discovers what Tarantulas had been planning — the Nemesis, the flagship of the Decepticon fleet, the vessel that the first Megatron used to shoot down the Ark. Primal and Tigerhawk flies through the skies while Depth Charge takes an aquatic route towards the Nemesis' landing site. Megatron likewise introduces Dinobot to the Decepticon warship with his usual flair for drama. They discover that Tarantulas had repaired the vessel, as well as added a transwarp cell and a Predacon-sized control panel. Megatron and Dinobot powers up the vessel for an attack.

Depth Charge informs Optimus of the Decepticon warship, and Optimus authorizes Depth Charge to neutralize the Nemesis by any means necessary. Rampage attacks his archenemy, and while Depth Charge tries to proceed with his mission, the inevitable fight occurs. The two mortal enemies engage in a brutal battle, which ends with them falling onto a field of energon crystals. Depth Charge gains the upper hand and manages to get an energon crystal above Rampage's spark. After a short struggle, Rampage let's go of the crystal, laughing like a maniac as a determined Depth Charge plunges the crystal into Rampage's spark, creating an explosion that kills both combatants. Dinobot II, with the death of Rampage, cries out in pain. Optimus Primal mourns Depth Charge's loss as pieces of him float up to the surface, but notes that the threat of the Nemesis has been dealt with... until the Nemesis rises from the ocean, fully operational...

To be concluded...

Featured Transformers: Tigerhawk, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Rattrap, Depth Charge (killed), Silverbolt, Dinobot II, Rampage (killed), Quickstrike, Megatron, Waspinator, Inferno
Notable Others: Una, Hammer, Protohumans (many presumably killed), Chak

REVIEW
(Nine out of ten)
An amazing start to the conclusion of what is undeniably the best series in Transformers lore. The action scenes are non-stop, and the writers have manages to tie in reasons for Tarantulas' seemingly erratic plans. The soundtrack and the visual effects (especially the dramatic unveiling of the Nemesis), and the comparison of how massive the Decepticon warship is, are breath-taking. The Nemesis is a great plot device, with the threat of a gigantic warship being realistic and believable. And having it reference something from the original cartoon, thus cementing the whole time-travel thing, it sets up the mood for a do-or-die situation. There's a lot that I like about this episode. Megatron's grandiose speech, Silverbolt trying to act tough, Waspinator standing up for himself, Inferno rambling about the royalty, the Covenant of Primus... really entertaining stuff. Dialogue is perfect, with quoting the Covenant of Primus leading to the characters quoting some excellent (if a wee bit corny), almost biblical, quotes. No doubt Furman's work.

But to me, the real clincher was the Rampage and Depth Charge battle, resolving the cold-blooded rivalry between the two, while the Nemesis powers up in the background. You might argue about whether it comes off, but for me personally it does. Depth Charge's characterization is fantastic, especially that point where he was ready to abandon the fight to complete his mission, showing us that even cold-hearted pricks can warm up. The resolution to the brutal, excellently animated fight is so satisfying yet tragic. Rampage letting go of the energon dagger could be interpreted as many things — he wanted to end the mockery of a life being forced to serve Megatron, or he wanted to test Depth Charge's will, or he simply wanted to kill Depth Charge with him. It is a touching moment for both characters, and a nice, if a little abrupt, ending for those two.

However, there are bits where things could have been improved. Inferno's party of sidekick Predacons, while highly fun, feels so much like padding. The assault on the Protohumans, while supposedly a major plot point before (in 'Code of Hero'), doesn't attract the attention of the Maximals like it should, and seems to be a half-assed attempt to get the minor characters out of the way.... which is a shame, because I love those three goons. There is also Tigerhawk. He fills Silverbolt or Cheetor's role as a flying Maximal, only more lifeless. It's just because he's a new toy. And that little advertisement with Primal reading the Covenant of Primus in the beginning, making Tigerhawk seem like some promised deliverance... eesh. Plus, there's that whole unexplained Dinobot II/Dinobot thing. Still, like all things the writers of Beast Wars does things with charm and grace, and it's easy to overlook these minor mistakes in favour for the prelude to Beast Wars' conclusion. It's an excellent episode, with some of the most spectacular CGI for the series. Compared to G1's Rebirth, Nemesis feels like an all-or-nothing finale instead of yet another episode. At least Beast Wars would go out with a bang.

NOTES
The deaths (and final appearances) of Rampage and Depth Charge. The first appearance of the Nemesis, and the first time that the Decepticon shuttle is ever named.

The Nemesis crashing down under the sea solidly cements Beast Wars as being part of the G1 cartoon continuity as opposed to the comic continuity (where the Decepticon ship kind of floats around in space until Galvatron shoots it). However, Optimus Primal describes the Nemesis as shooting down the Ark, instead of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticon boarders aboard the Ark causing it to crash down onto Earth, as seen in the first episode of the cartoon. Although it seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of the writers to make the Nemesis more badass, using the advantage of Optimus Primal as an unreliable narrator.

Longtime Transformers scribe Simon Furman worked together with Bob Forward on the outline of Nemesis. However, when a fourth season was deemed unfeasible, much of the plans they had developed was cut short.

The Covenant of Primus seems to be the Transformers' equivalent of the Bible. The bits read by Optimus Primal, with a mighty warrior casting a great dragon and his followers away, while parallels Tigerhawk casting Megatron and the Predacons away, is a reference to a passage in the Bible where God banishes Satan and his followers from heaven.

There are only two copies of the Covenant of Primus. One of them is in the Ark, the other is in the Nemesis. It's also revealed that Beast Megatron took his name from the Covenant of Primus, not from G1 Megatron. Not directly, anyway.

Megatron calls Tarantulas "Unicron's Spawn", something that is possibly should be a generic insult. However, some fans took this literally, since last episode tells us that Tarantulas is neither of Autobot or Decepticon descent.

Silverbolt's remark 'tis just a scratch', followed by his arm falling off, is a homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Inferno utilizes Looney Tunes' classic "somehow hiding behind an impossibly skinny tree" maneuver.

Waspinator has a long, green tongue. Also, this is the only time (barring his appearances as Thrust) where Waspinator refers to himself as 'I' instead of 'Waspinator'.

Like the T-Rex head in his original body, Megatron's dragon head seems to have a life of its own, being treated like a pet by Megatron.

When contacting the Maximals, Optimus encodes transmission 'M Sipher', a shout-out to a fan of the same name.

Depth Charge's part that sinks sombrely into the ocean floor totally has the same ball joint that the toy has.

GOOFS
The major plot hole: when Dinobot II cries out in pain after Rampage's death, he flashes back to the original Dinobot's character model and memories. It doesn't make any sense, since the episode 'Dark Glass' remains unproduced.

When Optimus Primal recites the Covenant of Primus in the beginning of the episode, Cheetor in his first Transmetal body could be glimpsed walking around.

Depth Charge flies around in his robot mode, when this is normally his vehicle-mode ability.

Depth Charge is the one who opened the hatch and was closest to the bomb, yet Silverbolt was the one who fell apart afterwards.

When Dinobot squeezes Rampage's spark to pacify him, his shoulder pads are missing.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Ant-bot not find own thorax with both hands and a road map."

Silverbolt: "Worry not, my love. It's just a scratch." [arm falls off]
Optimus Primal: "Maybe. But I think you're due some time in the CR chamber."
Silverbolt: "Sir, I'm fine. I..."
Blackarachnia: "Shut up and obey your commander, bone-brain."
Silverbolt: [head falls off] "Yes, dear."

Waspinator: "Waspinator feels much damage coming..."

Quickstrike: "Ew, I don't wanna move in there! It's got all those hairy critters livin' in it! Unless... unless... you mean we's gonna slag 'em! Oh, oh, puh-leeze tell me that's what you're plannin'!"

Waspinator: "No. I said no! Dragonbot command you, sub-commander Kiss-butt! Dragonbot not command Waspinator! Not any more! Waspinator sick of being evil. Sick of being Predacon! And Waspinator especially sick of getting blown to scrap all the time! So, Waspinator quit! As of now, which means Ant-bot and Two-head can just pucker their mandibles and plant big, wet, juicy one right here on Waspinator's big, fat, stripey-" [Quickstrike and Inferno blasts Waspinator]

Waspinator: [reduced to a head] "Waspinator has plans..."

Optimus Primal: "You have to stop Megatron at any cost."

Dinobot II: "Mmm... impressive."
Megatron: "Oh, it is more than that, my malevolent minion. That is the most powerful Decepticon warship in Transformer history. The ship that shot down the Ark itself! The NEMESIS!"

Rampage: "Think you can save the universe, fishboy? Don't make me laugh."

Depth Charge: "I have no time for you, X."
Rampage: "Like you had no time for Starbase Rugby? You had friends there as I recall. Tasty ones too!"

Rampage: "I was your assignment, and you failed!"

Depth Charge: "Raw energon! Right through your twisted spark! Take it- take it straight to the Pit, you sickening piece of slag!"
Rampage: [lets go of dagger] "Hahahahahaha!"

Blackjack
2010-11-20, 09:16 AM
Nemesis Part 2
Airdate: 7 May 1999
Written By: Simon Furman
Japanese Title: Happy? This Should Do It.

SYNOPSIS
Megatron opens fire at everything on sight with the Nemesis, quoting a passage from the Covenant of Primus about a 'Megatron'. Optimus Primal contacts Rhinox to deploy operation Eternity, and with Tigerhawk opens fire at the Decepticon warship, but fail to do anything worse than scratching the hull before Megatron returns fire. Tigerhawk tells Optimus to hurry back to the base to rally the Maximals, telling Primal that he would hold the line there. Meanwhile, Dinobot II comments that with Rampage's death, his spark seems to have changed, and admires Tigerhawk's stalwart defense. Summoning a giant tornado with his powers, Tigerhawks manages to disable most of the power conduits on numerous parts, limiting Megatron to only use the main fusion cannon. Megatron opens fire at Tigerhawk, who tries to hold it back with an energy beam. Despite his power, Tigerhawk is overwhelmed by the power of the blast, and is atomized.

Rhinox tells Rattrap that they are preparing to move the Ark. Optimus returns to base, and is told by a computer that Tigerhawk has been terminated, and swears in rage that Megatron will be stopped. Inferno and Quickstrike, meanwhile, drives off the protohumans. Hammer the protohuman chief tries to fight them back. Inferno is about to open fire at Hammer when the Nemesis soars overhead. Not realizing that his troops are below him, Megatron prepares to open fire at Hammer with the Nemesis. Dinobot tries to stop Megatron for some reason he seems not to fathom, asking Megatron where the honor is in killing a lone human. After a tense silence, Dinobot waves it off as conserving power. Megatron ignores it, and opens fire at the protohuman, killing Inferno and Quickstrike in the process.

Rhinox and Blackatachnia note in dismay that the ship has been offline for too long. Meanwhile, the Nemesis approaches the Ark and activates the tractor beam, tearing the mountain apart while the cannon is forced to recharge. Optimus Primal enters the Decepticon warship after disabling the grinders, and begins a brutal battle royale with Megatron. Despite floating around, Blackarachnia and Rhinox manages to get the engines online but they burn out almost immediately. Rattrap notes that they are all going to die. Dinobot mutters that Megatron is not being honourable and sportive by attacking a defenseless enemy, and sends a message to the Maximals informing them of a shuttle hidden inside the Ark (something that Blackarachnia notes the history datatrax doesn't mention). The Maximals activate the Autobot shuttle. Megatron gains the upper hand against Optimus, and orders Dinobot to fire. Dinobot refuses, and Megatron bats him aside. Before he could fire, though, the Rhinox-piloted shuttle crashes through the Nemesis' bridge, going all the way through and taking Megatron with him. This causes a chain reaction that causes the Nemesis to begin to crash. Optimus Primal flies out, telling Dinobot to save himself. However, Dinobot remains with the ship, telling Optimus Primal farewell as an explosion engulfs him.

Some time later, Optimus Primal remarks that all is as it should be. They have repaired the Autobot shuttle and attached a transwarp cell to it, and leaves the past Earth to Cybertron, a screaming Megatron tied to the hull of the shuttle. Back on Earth, the protohumans have built a village, and are using parts of Inferno and Quickstrike to worship their new leader... Waspinator.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Tigerhawk (killed), Rhinox, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Rattrap, Megatron, Dinobot II (killed), Inferno (killed), Quickstrike (killed), Dinobot (flashback), Waspinator
Notable Others: Protohumans (many killed), Hammer (presumably killed)

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
An excellent, action-filled episode. However, there is the distinct feel of it being rushed, since there are some niggling questions left unanswered at the end of the episode. We never saw the Nemesis return back to its undersea grave, or G1 Megatron's spark being returned to its original body. Nor do we get a definite explanation for Dinobot II's sudden change of heart. Inferno and Quickstrike are also gotten rid of in an idiotic manner, although it's very ironic and I suppose it's all part of Megatron's insane delusions. Regardless, those two's exit aren't the glorious exit that the other Predacons like Rampage or Dinobot got. Sure, they are comedy material, but they could've gotten more awesome or respectful deaths, right? I loved those two goons...

Other than those minor quibbles, though, this episode is simply excellent. Considering that it had been reduced from a three or four parter into a two-parter, it's a nothing short of brilliant. It's a grand finale for the Beast Wars series, with the Nemesis being portrayed as the ultimate threat and with past, present and future all on the line. When Tigerhawk, new-toy boy who had single-handedly defeated the Predacon army two episodes ago, is obliterated in a single blast... Tigerhawk's death is really well-done, considering he doesn't have much of a personality. I felt kind of sad seeing him die like that, heroically picking a battle he couldn't win to buy some time. The most tragic death had to be Megatron killing Inferno and Quickstrike without knowing that they were down there, and Inferno's anguished scream at seeing his beloved royalty not even bothering to check... that's cold. Megatron's delusions of godhood, including him quoting the Covenant of Primus constantly, is well-executed, and that final battle between Megatron and Optimus Primal is nothing short of climatic. It's brutal, direct, and yet at the same time satsifying to watch. I do think that they spent too much time for Optimus to fly into the grinders.

Dinobot II, who spent all the rest of season three as nothing short of yet another Predacon powerhouse, went through a sea of characterization in this episode. While nowhere as grand as the original Dinobot in Code of Hero, Dinobot II gets a lot of excellent lines, even though his change of heart is kind of abrupt. Rhinox, too, gets an excellent moment as he flies a shuttle directly at the Nemesis' bridge. For a moment there I thought Rhinox was going to buy the farm, considering the death toll of season finales and Silverbolt's sad salute before Rhinox takes off. The character's emotions are excellently portrayed by the CGI, especially that of Dinobot and Optimus Primal. There's really very little to hate in this episode, with every action and line being a joy to look at. It's a fitting ending to what is probably considered the best cartoon series ever by most of the fandom (bar those zoophobics and G1 purists).

NOTES
The final appearances of Inferno, Quickstrike, Dinobot II and Tigerhawk. Also, everyone else has their final appearances in the Beast Wars cartoon... until Beast Machines, that is.

Megatron quotes the passage with the name 'Megatron' from the Covenant of Primus. Presumably the original Megatron took his name from it as well. From what it sounded, Megatron seems to be the name of some ancient powerful evil warrior. Very recently, this Megatron mentioned in the Covenant of Primus have been retconned as the Fallen. Eh.

The fusion cannon of the Nemesis borrows its name from the favoured weapon of G1 Megatron.

Rattrap mentions that he has a 'Predacon-parts' collection, including a lot of Waspinator pieces. Kind of morbid.

Optimus Primal lost a teeth in the battle with Megatron. Cute.

The passage from the Covenant of Primus, 'In the darkest hour, there will be light', is most likely a homage to the oft-repeated 'light our darkest hour' from the original Transformers: the Movie.

The pieces of machinery that float around as the Nemesis' tractor beam attacked the Ark include a dart from Blackarachnia's original gun, one of Rhinox's Chainguns of Doom, one of Depth Charge's missiles, Rattrap's gun, and one of the autoguns usually installed outside the Maximal base. Plus several other machinery bits.

Optimus Primal's line 'this has to stop! At any cost!' is another homage to the Movie, namely Optimus Prime's line 'Megatron must be stopped. No matter the cost'.

According to Blackarachnia, the Autobot shuttle hijacked by the Maximals to return to Cybertron was never mentioned in the history data-tracks, making the timestream constant with what it is supposed to be and not a paradox.

As befitting a Furman-written episode, there are lots of quasi-religious ramblings from the Covenant of Primus (several of which are quoted below). They bear strong resemblances to passages from the Bible.

Rattrap accuses Blackarachnia as being an 'emasculating fembot' when she uses his tail sword as a wire. Go find emasculating in the dictionary, and have a good chuckle.

Blackarachnia and Rattrap have a slight debate about how to correctly pronounce 'Teletraan', a nod to a similar debate in the internet fandom when the supercomputer was pronounced 'Teletron' by Blackarachnia in early episodes of season three.

If Megatron had heeded Dinobot's warnings and not opened fire on the Protohuman colony, the Nemesis would be recharged at full strength when reaching the Ark. Plus, he wouldn't have lost Inferno and Quickstrike due to the friendly fire. Had he not done that, he would've single-handedly won the Beast Wars...

Dinobot is still able to live even after Rampage's spark is destroyed, so it raises some interesting questions. Perhaps Megatron had placed some of the original Dinobot's cloning or whatnot inside the clone, causing it do develop a spark of its own? At this point I think we can assume that Dinobot II is really cloned from the original Dinobot, and it's not just a physical similarity.

It should be noted that Megatron seemingly killed Hammer the tribe chief. Coupled with Inferno and Quickstrike seemingly killing several in their assault, that should've had repercussions in the timeline...

In an early draft, the Maximals would launch the Ark instead of the Autobot shuttle. Also, the Coneheads Dirge, Thrust and Ramjet would've been activated to ram the Nemesis instead of the Autobot shuttle. This would've also probably provided an origin to where the three came out from in the second season of the original cartoon. This scene is obviously dropped.

Deleted scenes included in bonus DVD sets that have been partially animated but not included for time limits:
-Optimus Primal tearing out a transwarp cell (which would later be seen in the Autobot shuttle) from the Nemesis before telling Dinobot to save himself.
-Optimus Primal placing G1 Megatron's spark back where it belongs.

However, Optimus Primal did say that things were supposed to be (the scene that's supposed to take place after they return G1 Megatron's spark) where they are before they left Earth, so we could assume they returned G1 Megatron's spark off-screen.

GOOFS
When Tigerhawk is about to be blown apart, Dinobot's monocle is on the wrong eye. The same thing happens during the final battle scene.

When the Nemesis begins approaching the mountains, the cannon is at 65 percent power, and by the time they reach the Ark, it's at 75 percent power. However, a short while later when Optimus Primal boards the Nemesis, it's already at 90 percent out of the blue.

In 'Other Victories', Megatron is worried that if Tarantulas destroys the Ark, he will destroy the Decepticons as well, and in extension the Predacons. So why is he doing it now? Although judging by his religious ramblings, it seems like power corrupts absolutely...

When Optimus Primal returns to the base and discovers Tigerhawk's death, his right wing is missing.

After he leaves Tigerhawk, the blast shields normally on Optimus' lower arms go missing throughout the rest of the episode. However, they appear for brief scenes during the battle with Megatron.

Inferno and Quickstrike are seemingly vaporized by the Nemesis, so how could the Protohumans use their parts for tribal equipment?

Optimus tears one of his wings off to jam the grinders at the bottom of the Nemesis. However, in subsequent scenes his wing is fine.

When Rattrap says his 'we're all gonna die' line, his kibble backpack is missing.

How did the Protos put Waspinator back together?

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "'I am alpha and omega... beginning and the end. I am... that which is... which was... and is yet to come! And you will know my name is Megatron... when I lay my vengeance upon you!'"
Dinobot II: "You have already read the Covenant of Primus?"
Megatron: "Just the good parts."

Optimus Primal: "For pity's sake, Megatron... No more!"

Megatron: "I'll say one thing for my namesake, he liked his artillery big and plentiful. Eh, now... where was I? Ah yes, mindless destruction! Good for the spark, I always say."
Dinobot II: "My spark has changed... it now feels... complete."

Optimus Primal: "You can't stop that thing alone."
Tigerhawk: "Perhaps, but it is my destiny to try. I will hold the line here. Go!"

Megatron: "Blast that Tigerhawk! My forecast was for clear skies all the way to Cybertron."

Dinobot II: [on Tigerhawk] "A brave stand... and noble."

Optimus Primal: "Nooo!" [slams the blast doors] "This ends here, Megatron. No more good friends will be sacrificed to your insane ambition. I swear it! No MORE!"
Rattrap: "Uh, you knock?"

Dinobot II: "This one [Hammer] seems hauntingly familiar... but I wonder why..."
Optimus Primal's voice: "...saved the valley... saved the lives of those who lived here... and those yet to come..."

Megatron: "Hmm, I suppose, given my imminent godhood, these primitives should really be beneath my intention. Still, no score is too small to settle, I always say."
Dinobot II: [stops Megatron, then silence] "You would turn the full fury of this mighty warship on a lone anthropoid?! Tell me, Megatron, where's the honor in that?"
Megatron: [glaring contest] "You dare use the H-word to me?"
Dinobot II: "I… ah... I apologize. I merely felt our power should be conserved for... the larger battle."
Megatron: "Duly noted... and ignored!"

Inferno: "But- my queen! We are down here!"
Quickstrike: "Ah don't like th' looks o' this!"
Inferno: "Nuh-NOOOOOOOOO!"

Rattrap: [Rhinox's machine explodes] "Just in time for one of those ominous silences..."

Megatron: [as the mountain is torn apart] "'...and the stone of their protection shall rise up forever and ever, as those who live and war as beasts confront their final cycle.'"

Optimus Primal: "This has to stop! At any cost."

Megatron: "Well, come on, let's have it. The usual 'destiny and honor' speech."
Optimus Primal: "Speech this!"
Dinobot: "Heh heh heh."

Megatron: "And there came a hero who said: hurt not the earth, nor the seas, nor the trees, nor the very fabric of time." But the hero would not prevail."
Optimus Primal: "Finish the quote, Megatron. 'Nor would he surrender!'"

Rattrap: [Blackarachnia uses Rattrap's tail-sword to substitute as a wire] "Hey! Ya emasculating fembot!"

Blackarachnia: "Main thrusters connected to Teletron I!"
Rattrap: "It's Teletraan!"

Rattrap: "No power, no weapons... we're all gonna die."
Rhinox: "Yup."

Megatron: "Victory is at hand."
Dinobot II: [mutters] "A coward's victory."

Blackarachnia: "The history tracts never mentioned this!"
Rhinox: "History is still being made. Come on, move!"

Megatron: "I am alpha and omega, Optimal Optimus! Now and forever, until the end of time!"

Megatron: "Destroy them!"
Dinobot II: [pauses, grits teeth] "Negative."
Megatron: "What? What possible reason could you have to disobey me? I am your master! I am your creator!"
Dinobot II: "And I... have my honor!"
Megatron: "Then stand aside, traitor, as I fulfill my destiny!"

Rhinox: [crashes into the Nemesis] "For everything that ever was..."

Optimus Primal: "Dinobot, save yourself!"
Dinobot II: "Farewell, Optimus Primal."

Optimus Primal: " 'In the spark of an enemy, there will be salvation, and in the darkest hour, there will be a light.' "
Rattrap: "Yeah, from a very unexpected source – old chopper-face's clone. Who'da thunk it?"

Optimus Primal: "And let us never forget those other brave bots, whose sacrifice safeguarded past, present and future."

Waspinator: "Waspinator happy at last."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And, with that, my guide to the Beast Wars is complete! Now I'll probably be taking a break to review IDW stuff again, before doing Beast Machines. And after that, Animated... cause I can't bear to watch Armada and the others, that's why.