Cartoon Episode Reviews: Beast Wars [completed]
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2010-01-31, 08:46 AM
18 September 1996
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
, 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
, 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.
Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Starscream (dream), Terrorsaur (dream and present), Megatron (dream), Waspinator (dream and present), Rattrap, Dinobot
(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
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.
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
be foreshadowing on the air commander's appearance later in the series. Either that or the animators just liked to sneak a cameo in.
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
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.
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."
Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-02-27 at
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