SYNOPSIS FOR "CALL OF THE PRIMITIVES"
|ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY|
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 49
SKY LYNX: "Save your ammunition, Autobots! Superior forces are taking over!"
SPRINGER: "Well, well, Commander Modesty's here!"
- Name the primitives which appeared in this episode.
- What characteristic of Primacron did Grimlock find amusing?
- This episode attempts to explain a significant plot gap from The Transformers: the Movie--namely, why the Matrix was the one thing Unicron feared. After Primacron built Unicron, Unicron rebelled and attacked Primacron. "While I, the Primacron's assistant," explains the one who summoned the primitives, "escaped to this dead world." During this bit of dialogue, we see the deactivated robot body of the assistant, with an object looking very much like the Autobot Matrix of Leadership rising from his body and floating into space. Evidently, the Matrix is the essence of the assistant.
It would follow that if Primacron's assistant helped build Unicron, he might know how to destroy Unicron. Unfortunately, this episode does not explain how the Autobots came to hold the Matrix, or what connection (if any) it has to the Quintessons.
- Ever since Beast Wars debuted, the line, "Only Razorclaw commands Predacons!" has always had a new irony. It's right up there with the line from "Triple Takeover": "But never forget that I, Megatron, will always be leader of the Decepticons!"
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (11)
- Near the beginning, a Sweep reports, "Sweep 6 and 7 coming in for a strike." Well, this proves that more Sweeps have been created since the original three from the movie. That said, I'm surprised Sweep 6 and 7 are still around. What with all the Sweeps that have been destroyed by this point in the series, I would have expected they'd be up around number 11 or 12 by now.
- When Galvatron leads the charge against the Autobots, Rodimus responds, "Let's do what they don't expect--counterattack!" Isn't that what the Autobots always do? Since when has Galvatron expected brave Sir Rodimus to run away?
- Somehow, Unicron's head has resumed orbit around Cybertron! As you may recall, it was blasted out of orbit in "Ghost in the Machine," and also seen in "Grimlock's New Brain." I'd speculate that this episode could come before "Ghost," but the Terrorcons are in this episode, and they wouldn't have been introduced yet.
- I'm surprised that Primacron's assistant knows of Abominus, considering that he only just appeared three episodes ago. This guy lives in the center of the galaxy--how often does he hear about current events?
- Soundwave has two new cassettes in this episode, Slugfest (the stegosaurus) and Overkill (the tyrannosaurus). Where did they come from? Or did he have them all this time, and just never have occasion to use them?
- Including Ravage in this episode was a nice touch. After all, he was never shown to have died in the movie, so there's no reason why he wouldn't still be around. However, that raises the question, where's Buzzsaw? And for that matter, where's Laserbeak? We know he's still alive--we saw him in "Webworld." And while we're on the subject, where's Shrapnel? He shows up in the movie after Unicron recreates the other Decepticons, and there's evidence of his existence in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 1. Should I even mention Kickback? And finally, where are the Sharkticons?
- I have trouble believing that Sky Lynx qualifies as a "primitive." Other than the fact that he has an animal mode, he's easily as intelligent as, say, Rodimus Prime. I don't think he possesses the "simple instinct" that Primacron's assistant is searching for.
- This episode purports that Primacron created some of the primitives. Really? Who? Wheeljack and Ratchet built the Dinobots in "S.O.S. Dinobots" and "War of the Dinobots." Trypticon was built by the Constructicons in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4. The history of cassette technology at the end of this very episode suggests that the Decepticons built the cassettes. It seems that the Quintessons most likely constructed the Predacons ("Five Faces of Darkness" part 5) and Terrorcons ("Money is Everything"). Basically, that leaves Sky Lynx.
And anyway, if Primacron really did create some of the primitives, wouldn't they remember it? (Then again, perhaps not. Optimus Prime didn't remember the Aerialbots saving him in "War Dawn," and nobody recognized the Quintessons in the movie. I guess Transformers have very bad long-term memories.)
- After Tornadron sucks the energy from Cybertron and Earth, Primacron announces, "Two planets dead--now for the primitives!" Yet, during the assistant's story, we see Tornadron suck the energy from a planet and a star, neither Earth nor Cybertron. So does Primacron just have a blind spot when it comes to simple arithmetic, or did Tornadron take a leisurely detour before heading for the primitives, forcing the assistant to update his story?2
- Instead of hunting down the primitives one by one, why doesn't Tornadron just suck dry the entire planet? (Answer: because then it wouldn't miss Grimlock, and Grimlock couldn't save the universe.)
- Apparently, Grimlock can fly in dinosaur mode--he does it to reach Primacron's spacebound lair. This is the only episode in which he does, however.
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (8)
- Grimlock is the first primitive to be summoned by the caller. He follows this up with, "Come, Snarl, Swoop, Sweep, and Slag." Erm, there's no Dinobot named Sweep! I think Primacron meant Sludge... Or was he summoning the Sweeps that used to be Insecticons?
- Immediately following this, Snarl utters, "Someone calling Snarl, too!" Swoop chimes in, "Someone from ... up there!" in the wrong voice. It's close, but it's not Michael Bell. (It's actually Jack "Ultra Magnus" Angel--he's doing a voice similar to Sweep 6 from the beginning of the episode.) Later in the episode when Trypticon crashes and Swoop asks, "We all survived?" oddly enough, it does sound like Michael Bell again.
- At one point during the battle, Predaking is firing on the Autobots and Rodimus says, "This is becoming a very bad experience!" His voice is strained, like he's tensing all his muscle-cables. After Predaking and Abominus abandon the battle, Rodimus goes, "Looks like they're having a problem, too!" Nobody is shooting at the Autobots at this point, however; it just makes Rodimus sound as though he needs a laxative.
- When Galvatron, Cyclonus and Soundwave pursue the primitives, Cyclonus transforms with no transforming sound effect.
- When Sludge suggests stomping the Predacons, Razorclaw counters, "Predacons stomp Dinobots first!" only Tantrum's mouth moves.
- There are two edits to the dialogue track when the primitives arrive outside the cavern of Primacron's assistant. Sky Lynx says, "Now remember. Before you do anything, think: Is this what Sky Lynx would do in my position? and you will not go far wrong." There is a brief pause between the words "now" and "remember," and another between the words "far" and "wrong." They are unnatural pauses for a voice actor to make; it sounds like one of the sound effects editors pieced the line together.
- After Trypticon is drained by Tornadron, Trypticon is still groaning as he comes crashing down. How can he continue groaning if all his energy's been drained?
- The music to the credits sequence is slowed down in this episode (at least, it is on my copy).
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (31)
The animation in this episode is nothing short of gorgeous! Most of the visual bloopers from this episode are merely changed premises that previous episodes contradict--and got wrong.
- The energon cube which baby Tornadron feeds upon is drawn rather distorted. None of its sides are symmetrical.
- In the first long shot of the Autobots, Rodimus is missing the spoiler on his back.
- Rodimus's gun, which was red in the last episode, "Grimlock's New Brain," is back to black (the correct color) in this episode. Also, the wheels on his arms are red again. In the last episode they were black. Technically the red wheels are the correct color, but since it changed again, I sorta have to mention it...
- In the scene on Cybertron when Kup invokes the stage one alert, there is an Autobot running around in the background who is unmistakably Windcharger. Now normally, I'd just note that he died in the movie and move on. But since this episode is animated very well, it deserves a second look. I'd be tempted to say that the animators included him on purpose. (Jazz and Bumblebee are in the same scene.) Perhaps they meant to convey that some of our favorite heroes who apparently bought it in the movie didn't die after all? (I'm waiting for Wheeljack next...)
- This episode revisits the phenomenon that when a robot is drained of all his energy, he turns grey. In keeping with that fact, Unicron's head is also grey, but that's inconsistent with previous episodes.
- At one point during the battle on the Moon, Grimlock trips Headstrong with his tail and sends Headstrong flying, landing on his back. When he lands, though, he never stops bouncing. He looks like he's made of Jell-O.
- When the Dinobots are being summoned, the energy rings that surround Swoop jump for a brief instant.
- In "Money is Everything" and "Grimlock's New Brain," Abominus had two grey panels on either side of his head. In this episode, his entire head is purple.
- When Predaking is summoned, both Headstrong and Razorclaw do an animation jump as they return to their animal modes.
- When Galvatron orders Trypticon to enter the fray, Galvatron's Decepticon insignia is red.
- Apparently Trypticon really liked the new look he inadvertently discovered in "The Ultimate Weapon." His transformation cog was misaligned and, as a result, his dinosaur mode was partially transformed into his city mode, with one of his laser towers pointing up instead of down. As I said, he must have liked the look so much that he added it to his dinosaur mode, because in this episode, both cannons are sticking up.
- When Sky Lynx first appears on screen, flying through space, he appears to be chasing one of the stars in the background. The backdrop is static, but there is a white spot--a flaw in the animation cell?--that stays a consistent distance from one of his front feet.1
- As Sky Lynx challenges Trypticon and fires on him, the tips of his wings are red. The wings should be completely blue.
- Overkill and Slugfest are missing their weapons when they transform to animal form. I realize we've never seen these guys before, but their respective toys have side-mounted guns just like all the other animal cassettes, and they are shown with weapons in their TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE profiles, whose illustrations are taken from the same character models used on the cartoon.
- In the scene of all the assembled primitives, neither Overkill nor Swoop are in evidence.
- When Trypticon lowers his ramp to allow passengers to board, his lasers are suddenly pointing down for this one scene. Also, there are several orange beacons lit up on his body, but they are not backlit (glowing) as I believe was intended.
- After the first commercial, in the scene with the Dinobots aboard Trypticon, Slag's underbelly is grey instead of red.
- When Sky Lynx suggests that Trypticon shake up his passengers, there's a shot of Hun-Grrr, Cutthroat, Headstrong and Rampage reacting as Trypticon lumbers back and forth. How would this affect Cutthroat if he's in mid-air?
- When Grimlock stumbles off the cliff after chasing Tornadron, his robot fists can be seen beneath his dinosaur feet as he falls. It's a very nice touch; unfortunately, his fists are not visible when we see the bottoms of his feet in "Madman's Paradise."
- As Sky Lynx and the others peer over the edge of the cliff to see if Grimlock is okay, the tip of Sky Lynx's tail is red instead of white.
- The inside of Sky Lynx's mouth changes from red to white and back to red when he says, "Your brutishness is matched only by your stubbornness!"
- Tornadron has the ability to assume a solid form when it is absorbing energy. The first time the primitives see it, it appears as a robotic-looking gorilla. Well, later during Primacron's assistant's tale, in the flashback, Primacron's assistant appears as this same creature. Why would Tornadron assume the form of Primacron's assistant? And for that matter, how does Tornadron even know what the assistant looked like?
- Also during the assistant's story, we see Tornadron drain a star, leaving behind its dead husk. How do you leave behind the dead husk of a giant ball of flaming gas?
- When Trypticon is drained by Tornadron and falls, all the primitives adopt a Warner Brothers mentality as they flee. Namely, they all run in the exact direction Trypsy is falling. If they'd all just run sideways, it would have been a much shorter trip.2 (I don't see how Trypticon could have fallen over and landed on his back in the first place, what with that big honkin' tail in the way.)
- When Rodimus and the Autobots were drained by Tornadron, they were frozen in position, standing. But when Tornadron drains the primitives, they all immediately collapse to the ground.
- When Predaking is drained, he automatically splits back into his component Predacons. This is also a nice touch, since it was established in "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court" that it requires energy to remain transformed. Oddly enough, though, while the others revert to their robot modes, Razorclaw remains being Predaking's body. (I'm wondering if the animators weren't sure what to do with Divebomb's wings, which become Predaking's backpack.)
- Also, if the Predacons revert to robot form after being drained, why don't the Dinobots do the same? And what about Cyclonus?2
- It's nice to see Snarl had the good sense to get a laser blaster installed in his tail, and trade in those nasty snot blasters he had in "Heavy Metal War."
- When Rodimus and the Autobots are restored, they're all suddenly lying on the ground. As I said above, they were all frozen in a standing position. Also in this scene, the panels on the front of Ultra Magnus's legs are blue instead of white.
- The historical overview of cassette technology at the end of this episode borrows footage from other episodes. Here's a quick rundown of which episodes they came from:
- Teletraan II's computer monitor--"Chaos."3
- Laserbeak capturing Shawn Berger--"Megatron's Master Plan" part 1.
- Ratbat flying through space--"Webworld." They also dubbed in a new cawing sound that wasn't in the episode originally; it sounds more like Laserbeak.
- Steeljaw & Ramhorn--"Madman's Paradise."
- Rewind & Eject--"Forever is a Long Time Coming." Eject didn't have a significant appearance in the series, though, so when they got to the bit about him, they used a shot of Ramhorn ejecting! (Why didn't they just use the scene of him from the movie?)
- Grimlock; Sludge; Slag; Snarl; Swoop; Ramhorn; Steeljaw; Sky Lynx; Ravage; Ratbat; Overkill; Slugfest; Razorclaw; Rampage; Divebomb; Tantrum; Headstrong; Hun-Grr; Sinnertwin; Rippersnapper; Cutthroat; Blot; and Trypticon.
- The fact that he was so small.
©1999 Inspiration Studios