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Blackjack 2010-01-24 02:22 PM

Cartoon Episode Reviews: Beast Wars [completed]
 
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.. :)

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

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackjack (Post 676699)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denyer (Post 676707)
Not at all, it's all welcome.

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

Quote:

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackjack (Post 676790)
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.
Quote:

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

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sades (Post 677683)
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

Quote:

Originally Posted by TFArchive (Post 679805)
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."


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