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Old 2017-07-25, 09:11 PM   #232
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
I'm watching Beast Machines at the moment, just into ep 2 of Season 2. I have a lot of love for this series - again, largely just being able to watch it (and on Region 2 DVDs!In its entirety!) thanks to Universal having a bit of a quick cash-grab during the time of the first Bay film - but it is quite hard work.
I've gotten to around this point in the series myself, but this the first time I've ever watched it! After absorbing some seventeen years' worth of bile that's been spewed about it, I have to say...it's not at all what I expected. It's actually pretty good! But not without flaws.

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Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
It has quite a deep philosophical bent for a kids show, but that complexity is undone by a series of very repetitive episodes and some extremely flat characterisation throughout. Things start to turn around towards the end of the first season with all the Tankor stuff.
I watched the first season in three sittings I think, maybe four, so I didn't mind that the pace was a bit slow. I can imagine it was a bit frustrating to watch week-to-week on TV back in the day, though. But in general, the whole season had the feeling of building momentum, with things moving a bit quicker and getting a bit more intense with every episode until it exploded in the finale.

The Vehicon characters were generally (no pun intended) quite good. Tankor feels like a genuine threat, Jetstorm is insufferably smug and Thrust genuinely seems like he's struggling with his loyalties (until the Maximals reject him for not being who they thought he was). Even the Diagnostic Drone felt like a fully fleshed-out person. Nightscream on the other hand is quite grating, though they seemed to tone it down as the show went on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
The thing that I felt could have done with some further expansion is Megatron's dislike of his beast form that's driven him to this idea of technological purity - there's a story there that's never touched on or expanded, so it feels very abrupt following on from Beast Wars (hand wavey 'he got to Cybertron before the Maximals aside').
Megatron and Optimus both seem to have undergone complete personality transplants on the way back to Cybertron, and that above anything else really hurts the show as a sequel. They're well-written characters and if this was a standalone show I wouldn't have a problem with it, but as a big BW fan it definitely hurts my enjoyment to hear the iconic Chalk and Kaye voices coming from these two weirdos.

Honestly, I'm even more weirded out by seeing the proactive, decisive Primal become a reactionary fanatic totally incapable of doing anything that doesn't fit with the Oracle's dogma. BW Primal didn't seem the type to even believe in the thing (aside from one line in the episode that Furman wrote, but that's Furman so whatever), and he certainly wouldn't have followed it so unthinkingly, totally setting aside his own judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
The animation is stunning though, I love the design and shadows on Cybertron and the character models are all largely great (except for Optimus' beast mode, which must be the ugliest thing ever - what were they thinking with those massive hands and that weird elongated neck with a face dangling off the end?).
From a technical standpoint I'd say it's great. A lot smoother than what we got during Beast Wars, even the much-improved later seasons. I have a hard time believing it was done in 1999. But the art direction is so godawful that I have a hard time appreciating that, and I just can't agree with you about the character models. I think everyone and everything looks terrible aside from Tankor, and maybe Blackarachnia and Cheetor's beast modes if I'm in a generous mood.
 
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