NUMBER OF TOTAL BLOOPERS: 102
HOT ROD: "This is ridiculous. Doesn't he know who we are?"
KUP: "Maybe we should get a new P.R. man."
CYCLONUS: "Remember, tin foil can't talk."
- Where is the plasma energy chamber located?
- What buttons does Wingspan push to open the vault in Autobot City?
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (24)
- Okay. It's the beginning of a new season, and a whole mess of the new 1987 toys are out. It's understandable they'd want to work some of them into (what would turn out to be the only three episodes of) the new season. But this is going a bit too far. Do you realize that no less than 23 Transformers are introduced in this episode alone? And even with all that cramming, they couldn't manage to find room for the Monsterbots or the Duocons!
- And about those new Decepticons... where'd they come from? Certainly not Cybertron (the usual source for that inexhaustible supply of new Transformers). The writers attempt to get around this by stating that the Decepticons were spread out all over the galaxy after the last episode. That still doesn't explain, however, why we've never seen any of these new characters before. Did they just recently join the Decepticons? Obviously not: Freeway knows Snapdragon; Mindwipe knows Lightspeed's name. (On a side note... It amazes me how many characters are never referred to by name in these three episodes!)
- Skullcruncher sure is a dangerous foe. After all, while the other Decepticons are busy fighting the Autobots, he's knocking over trees with his tail! Ooh... naughty!
- During the battle, Ultra Magnus orders, "Technobots, charge!" and Wide Load, Nosecone, Afterburner, and Lightspeed transform. Does this seem right? Then he orders, "Throttlebots, charge!" and Rollbar, Goldbug, Chase, and Freeway transform. Since when is Goldbug a Throttlebot? Maybe he got to be an honorary member... after all, he does look just like them. (Wink, wink.)
- Also, do these guys just stand around in the middle of a battle with their guns raised, waiting for Ultra Magnus to give the command to charge? How stragetically sound is that?
- After Wingspan grabs the key, he flies into a little hatch in the bottom of Scourge's vehicle mode. Er, wait a minute. In "Ghost in the Machine," Scourge didn't even have enough cargo room for two of Metroplex's football-sized eyeballs. Suddenly, Scourge can carry entire Transformers?
- As I said in my review of "Only Human," why is it such a problem for humans to inhabit Autobots in their robot modes? Rodimus and Springer both had easy-access hatches in their chests, complete with rung ladders.
- According to Optimus, the responsibility of guarding the key to the plasma energy chamber is passed on to each and every Autobot leader. That's funny--Ultra Magnus was elected leader in The Transformers: the Movie, but nobody ever told him about it.1 For that matter, I doubt Rodimus Prime knew about it either.3
- How do the Decepticons enter Cybertron space so easily? In earlier episodes like "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4 and "Starscream's Ghost," they had to resort to some form of trickery just to get close to the planet. In this episode nobody seems to notice them until the mothership lands on the planet!2
- Does anybody else find it totally non-believable that Blurr is lagging behind as all the other Autobots board the shuttle?
- Way back in "Cosmic Rust," I balked at the existence of an ancient Autobot language. Well, in this episode, the plasma energy chamber controls are written in ancient Cybertronian. Personally, I think that makes a lot more sense (i.e., it was the language used by the Quintessons). However, now we have the existence of two ancient languages. Wouldn't ancient Autobot be ancient Cybertronian?
- So, how come the plasma energy chamber overloads Scourge when he turns it on, but it doesn't overload Cerebros when he arrives to deactivate it?
- After the first commercial, Brainstorm says that every second they wait to stop their runaway shuttle takes them a million miles farther from Cybertron. Man, that's one fast shuttle--they must have warp drive capability. Even if they were only going the speed of light, that would only take them 186 thousand miles a second.
- I guess this is as good a time to ask as any: Where are the Sweeps? They usually follow Scourge around wherever he goes, but they're curiously absent from this episode. Here's a theory: Maybe Galvatron got sick of Scourge's treachery, and realized that Scourge had been using them as scapegoats (see "The Burden Hardest to Bear"). And so Galvy offed them. Another possibility is that three of the Sweeps were rebuilt into Misfire, Triggerhappy, and Slugslinger. They seem to be following Scourge around in this episode.
- And heck, while we're on the subject... there's a bunch of Autobots who seem to have disappeared, too. Where's Springer? What about Wreck-Gar? Perceptor? Grimlock? I'm sensing a "Let's Plug the Toys Still Available in Stores and Forget About Everybody Else" Syndrome here.
- Er, waitaminnut. These Nebulons know what humans are, but they've never heard of Autobots?! (We'll see later in part 2 that the Autobots have heard of Nebulos!)
- Chromedome asks Duros what planet they're on, and Duros replies, "Nebulon. Enjoy it while you can!" Obviously he must be lying to the evil machine to throw him off. The planet's name is Nebulos.
- Arcana must be going senile in his old age. Once the Decepticons arrive, he expresses concerns that if they let the Autobots free, "we'll have twenty machines after us instead of just ten." Let's see, that's Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Sureshot, Crosshairs, Pointblank, Brainstorm, Hardhead, Highbrow, Chromedome, Arcee, and Cerebros. Funny, I count 12 there.3
- Scourge orders the Decepticons to grab the fallen Autobots, and Mindwipe captures Crosshairs, who's still standing, wielding his weapon. How, in this Decepticon's twisted little mind, does this qualify as "fallen"? (And as Amy Howe points out, Crosshairs doesn't even put up a fight!) Meanwhile, why didn't they grab Arcee? Snapdragon nearly bit her hands off, and she collapsed to the ground.
- So... the Nebulons believe--and I quote Gort--"all machines are evil," but they'll go ahead and hook up Daniel to a life support machine?
- This Highbrow is a verbose little snot, isn't he? I like to think I've got a decent vocabulary, but Highbrow sends me scrambling to the dictionary. I've heard the term a priori, and"meritorious" is fairly easy to figure out, but what the heck is "meretricious"? Does he genuinely believe that becoming a Headmaster has something to do with prostitutes? (Please, no jokes. I heard you think it.)
- Chromedome poses an interesting question--he wants to know what will happen to the Autobots' personalities when they detach their heads. Well, let's look at the precedent. When Optimus Prime was decapitated in "City of Steel," his personality remained very much in his head, and he seemed to have some influence over his body. In "Desertion of the Dinobots," Powerglide held his own head in his lap, and again, his head was apparently in control. And let's not forget Unicron, who functioned quite well without a body. So, what I want to know is, why does Brainstorm respond, "You simply download into the auxiliary memory circuits in your chest," as though that's normal procedure every time a Transformer's head comes off?
- Speaking of which... the Autobots just pull their heads off in this episode! Aren't there any wires and things holding these things in place? Screws? Nuts? Bolts? Their heads just pop off??
Actually, this could be a good design incorporation. Normally the heads could be clamped in place, but in emergencies, they could eject their heads to preserve their minds, even if their bodies are destroyed. D'ya suppose this is what Unicron did?
- Also... isn't it an amazing coincidence that the Autobots who become Headmasters just happen to have names that have something to do with heads (except Arcee)--Brainstorm, Chromedome, Hardhead, Highbrow, and later, Cerebros? The same goes for the Targetmasters in the next episode--Crosshairs, Pointblank, and Sureshot!
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (14)
- The Decepticons' voices are much more heavily amplified in this episode.
- As Mindwipe hypnotizes Lightspeed, he says, "You feel powerless to resist!" and his mouth doesn't move.
- As the Decepticon clones are infiltrating the plasma energy vault, Pounce (he's the one holding the scanner) says, "In there," and he sounds like Punch/Counterpunch. Later, when he says, "Beat it, Counterpunch! We don't need your help!" he has a completely different voice (he sounds like a high-pitched Scourge). You can tell these guys apart in three ways: what they transform into; the symbols on their chests (Pounce has a puma head, and Wingspan has an eagle symbol); and what they're carrying. Wingspan, by the way, has a completely different voice--when he says, "There is is--the key!" his voice is deeper and more whispery.
- As the Decepticons retreat from the battle, one of them says, "We did it! We beat 'em!" I have no idea who this is supposed to be. It sounds like Brainstorm, but he's on Cybertron at this point and hasn't even been introduced yet...
- When Optimus sees Punch collapsed in from of the empty plasma energy vault, he says, "Oh no," and his face plate doesn't move.
- As Hot Rod explains to Daniel, "They call this place 'the maze!'" he sounds like he's infected with the hate plague! (My sister noticed this one.)
- When Sixshot guns down Slingshot, his guns make the same sound of C-3PO going "No!" that we heard in "Only Human" and "Starscream's Ghost."
- When the Autobots are pursuing Scourge, Brainstorm says, "Okay, everyone, let's take that shuttle," and his face plate doesn't move.
- Cyclonus's voice has changed yet again. Jack Angel is still doing him, but instead of the Ultra Magnus inflection he used in "The Return of Optimus Prime," his voice is deeper and he talks slower.
- When Pinpointer and Duros spot the Autobots, Duros's voice is Transformer-amplified when he says, "They don't look like anything the Hive's ever sent after us before!"
- The volume level for the background music seems to be turned down in this episode, especially during the Autobots' first fight with the Decepticons on Nebulos. You can barely hear it over the dialogue.
- When Brainstorm says, "The magnetic bombs! Let 'em have it!" he doesn't move his face plate.
- Arcana's voice is Transformer-amplified when he's diagnosing Daniel's injures.
- I swear when Gort is describing the Hive, it sounds like he's saying, "Ten rulers, and their supreme leader... Sarek." So, Spock's dad never died--he just moved to Nebulos to live with a bunch of other green-blooded, wrinkly aliens!
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (64)
- Ah, a new theme song! For those of you who don't know, the new title sequence uses footage from various 1987 Transformers toy commercials. The animation is much better, of course, because the animators were only required to produce about 10 seconds' worth of footage per commercial. I thought it might be fun to identify where each clip came from:
- Rodimus and Blurr consulting with Kup--Monsterbots commercial.
- Zarak combining with Scorponok/Technobots forming Computron--Scorponok commercial. (Why couldn't Scorponok's appearance in "The Rebirth" part 3 have been like this?)
- Flywheels transforming--Duocons commercial. An odd choice, since the Duocons never appeared in the series!
- Triggerhappy fighting Sureshot/Crosshairs fighting Misfire--Targetmasters commercial.
- Fortress Maximus blasting the Terrorcons--Fort Max commercial.
- Sureshot transforming--Targetmasters commercial.
- Metroplex firing at Bruticus--Metroplex commercial.
- Inside Autobot City, Goldbug has two panels on his back that he didn't have in "The Return of Optimus Prime." Also, his face plate is now gold. In the last episode, it was grey.
- Scattershot likes to exaggerate. He says he can make out about 100 blips on his screen, indicating approaching Decepticons. In the first scene, I only count about 27 blips. In the close-up of the screen, the blip formation changes and now there are a few more of them, about 39. (Neither count makes any sense, though. Throughout "The Rebirth," there are about 30 Decepticons in evidence.)
- In the next scene, when the doors open on Ultra Magnus, two panels on his forehead are white instead of blue.
- Which one of the Autobots repainted Optimus Prime after "The Return of Optimus Prime"? Whoever it was did a less-than-perfect job. (As you know, I've decided that Optimus is still wearing the alloy from last episode.) His backpack is off-white instead of red, and his mohawk is now grey instead of blue like the rest of his helmet. Also, the truck horns/fog lights/Christmas decorations on the top of his chest are grey.3 (Personally, I think some animator just re-did his color model from memory--and got it wrong.)
- Also, when Optimus stands up, he's missing the detailing on his legs.
- Hey, the Decepticon symbols are actually drawn correctly in this episode! Well, some of the time. When Galvatron first appears, his insignia still has the extra middle point in the forehead.
- After all that talk of "every Decepticon in the known universe" attacking, guess how many are in the sky when Wide Load shrieks, "Good grief!" Ten. (Aha, that's it... Scattershot just misplaced a decimal point!)
- When Wide Load transforms to robot mode, his gun is black. But in the next scene when he fires at Apeface, it's orange.
- Freeway, meanwhile, is shooting at Snapdragon with two tiny little guns mounted on his hood. When Snappy kicks him and he flies back, though, the guns are missing.
- Does Scattershot's gun have two settings? The reason I ask is because someone is shooting orange laser bolts at Misfire and Triggerhappy. Then we cut to a scene of Scattershot firing away, at the same angle and making the same sound effects--except now the bolts are blue.
- When the Decepticon clones find the plasma energy vault, Pounce is carrying his scanner in an off-yellow hand. In every other scene, both clones have dark purple hands.
- When Magnus orders the Technobots and Throttlebots to charge, he's carrying yet another gun we've never seen before. (See "The Ultimate Weapon" for more on the Amazing Morphing Gun.)
- As the Throttlebots charge, Goldbug's face plate is blue instead of grey. And when the Throttlebots begin fighting the Terrorcons, Wide Load is colored like Rollbar.
- After Scourge scoops up Wingspan, the yellow backlighting for his engines trails behind a bit when he flies off.
- When Galvatron gives the order to return to the mother ship, Hun-Grrr transforms and his twin monster heads swing behind his back (like Sinnertwin) instead of forming his legs.
- Hot on the tail of the retreating Decepticons are the Technobots, including Scattershot in his battle station mode. I guess this isn't really a blooper, but I always thought it was a stationary battle station.
- As the Decepticons fly off, Apeface is colored like Sureshot (who, by the way, hasn't even appeared in the episode at this point)!
- Up in space, all the Decepticons fly into a little port in the mothership. Then Galvatron presses a button, and it turns out that this port... is the main thruster! Can you say "Crispy 'Cons"?
- When Optimus discovers the injured Punch, Punch is missing his mouth.
- Hot Rod is colored a dark magenta in this episode, like Rodimus. Shouldn't he be pink, though? He was in the movie; he was in "Dark Awakening"; he was in "The Burden Hardest to Bear"; and he was at the end of "The Return of Optimus Prime" part 2.
- Also, when we first see him in vehicle mode, his engine is black instead of grey.
- Additionally, Hot Rod's changed his vehicle-mode interior again. In this episode, it's all decked out in purple with yellow panels. In "The Burden Hardest to Bear," as Rodimus, his interior was grey and his steering wheel was shaped completely different. (Both styles, by the way, are nothing like Hot Rod's interior from the movie.)
- When we first see Hot Rod from behind, he has two orange panels on his trunk. Just a couple of scenes later, they're red.
- The Autobots seem to have constructed a pretty accurate 2-D model of Cyclonus for use as an obstacle in "the maze," but they forgot to color the windows on his back orange. Also, for some reason his wings are visible from the back, but not from the front view.
- After Cyclonus, the targets Danny shoot appear to be: Vortex, colored pink with a black head; Swindle, also colored pink with a black head (the animators must have been thinking Skullcruncher); Brawl (I can tell from the unmistakable tank barrel on his back--but he's colored grey like Megatron, so I guess it was mistakable); and Cyclonus again (must be that infamous one-robot armada)!
- When Danny leaps out of Hot Rod, he just slips out the side window. In the movie, Hot Rod's cockpit had a flip-top. Also, when Hot Rod pulls up to the Autobots, his entire trunk is orange, just before he transforms. One he reverts to robot mode, there's a white panel on his forehead that shouldn't be there. Finally, he's changed back to pink once he's in robot mode.
- This isn't necessarily a mistake, since they're fairly consistent about it, but I think it's weird that Hardhead's optics are only blue on the front, and not on the sides.
- A robot arrives during the discussion over Autobots having human inhabitants and asks, "What's all the hubbub?" We'll learn later that it's the voice of Crosshairs, but instead, they drew... Pinpointer, Crosshairs's future Nebulon partner!
- When Brainstorm ponders where the human operators would fit inside the Autobots' robot modes, he brings his hand to his chin, and part of his helmet changes from grey to orange.
- Did Crosshairs used to be a Decepticon or something? All of the Autobots in this episode have blue eyes except Crosshairs, whose are red.
- As Optimus explains (via Kup's communicator) not to let the Decepticons open the plasma energy chamber, Pinpointer is among the Autobots again, as is Spoilsport, Sureshot's future Nebulon partner--who's standing right next to Sureshot, incidentally.
- After the Decepticon mothership lands on Cybertron, the Constructicons are the first to exit the ship. The problem here is that there's a robot with Scrapper's color scheme who is most assuredly not Scrapper4--he's missing the wheels on his shoulders and his legs are shaped differently. It kinda looks like Cerebros, actually.
- When Scourge heads for the plasma energy chamber, he climbs down a manhole (bothole?) that's barely large enough to accommodate him. A few moments later, the Autobots follow him in a shuttle down what appears to be the same manhole, only now it's large enough to fit two shuttles that size.2
- Chromedome, Brainstorm, and Sureshot never board the shuttle than the Autobots take to go after Scourge, but they somehow end up on it after the plasma energy bolt hits the ship.
- Blurr boards the shuttle through an entrance on the far right of the ship, then a door slides shut, coming from the right. By all rights, when that door slides open, it should poke out the side of the shuttle!
- Hey! When Scourge is down in the plasma energy chamber, his fingernails aren't pink!
- The flippy A/D symbol is extra long from the scene of the Autobots on the shuttle to the scene of the Decepticons inside the plasma energy chamber.
- When Galvatron picks up the unconscious Scourge, Galvatron's missing the red panels on his shoulder components.
- Cyclonus opens up Scourge's chest panel to give him an energon injection. In this episode, Scourge's chest panel is hinged on the right, and opens to reveal a mess of circuitry. Near the end of "The Burden Hardest to Bear," it is hinged on the left, and there were no circuits in evidence--heck, there was just a big, open space to stick the Matrix in!
- After Cyclonus injects Scourge, Scourge's eyes grow wide and they glow red. Right before the scene changes, though, the backlighting disappears and Scourge's eyes are black again.
- When Galvatron orders the other Decepticons to go with Scourge, Triggerhappy's upper body is grey instead of blue. (Also, only the other pre-Targetmasters are present when Galvatron says, "The rest of you, go with him." Yet the pre-Headmasters get to tag along, because they're in the shuttle later.3)
- Kup's missing the bags under his eyes when he tells the Autobots, "Let's hope we hit something soft, lads!"
- As the Autobots flee from the shuttle, Cerebros, Chromedome, Hardhead, Highbrow, Pointblank, and Sureshot never make it out of the shuttle! (After the shuttle explodes, all of these Autobots except Crosshairs are still missing from the group.) Also in this scene, Brainstorm's helmet is dark grey instead of light grey, and Kup's helmet and chest are light green instead of dark green.
- When Crosshairs asks how they're ever going to get back to Cybertron, his Autobot symbol disappears for an instant.
- As the Decepticons are following the Autobot ship's particle trail in their own ship, the panels on Cyclonus's torso that should be orange are purple instead, and Triggerhappy's entire face is white (he should have a red face plate and a yellow face).
- When Hot Rod suggests finding "a used ship dealer...or at least a pay phone", the panels on his shoulders are red instead of grey.
- Why do Pinpointer's binoculars have a readout with arabic numerals?
- As Kup begins his tale about Regulan IV, Sureshot's in the background and he's missing the wheels on his legs. Also, Hot Rod has a Rodimus face when Kup asks him if he's ever seen a Regulan Metal-Monger and Hot Rod replies, "Er, no..."
- In this same scene, Sureshot and Brainstorm are walking much faster than Kup, yet they never get any closer to him.2
- When the Nebulons fire their energy bonds at the Autobots, Brainstorm, Cerebros, Highbrow, and Pointblank are all missing from the group. When the Nebulons drag the Autobots off, Arcee, Cerebros, and Highbrow are missing.
- On Cybertron, for some reason Hook, Long Haul, Mixmaster, and Cutthroat are shooting at Sinnertwin and Blot, who are with somebody who looks like Hot Spot, and First Aid colored entirely white.
- During the Autobot clones' first appearance, Fastlane's dragster symbol on his chest is yellow, but Cloudraker's space jet symbol is red, like the rest of him. And in the next scene they're in, the symbols aren't there at all.
- When Optimus, Magnus, and the Throttlebots transform, Magnus's robot mode transforms into the truck cab just like Optimus, and both of their trailers roll in from off-camera and connect to the cabs.
- When the Decepticons arrive on Nebulos and jump out of their ship, Mindwipe's eyes are grey instead of red.
- When Hot Rod explains to the Nebulons, "You've got the wrong bunch!" he has a Rodimus face.
- In the scene with the Decepticons running toward the caves, we've got Cyclonus, Scourge, Apeface, Triggerhappy and... Caliburst! That's Slugslinger's Targetmaster partner, who hasn't been introduced yet.
- In the scene with Triggerhappy and Slugslinger advancing, Triggerhappy has a purple Autobot symbol, and Sluggo's missing the one on his chest. In the very next scene, Trigger's face plate is blue instead of red.
- I noticed that when Mindwipe grabs Crosshairs and he drops his gun, it looks exactly the same as it does later when he becomes a Targetmaster. That's odd, considering Triggerhappy's and Slugslinger's are different, as are all the Targetmaster movie characters' weapons.
- When Brainstorm's bunch arrives at the hills after chasing the Decepticons, Chromedome's and Hardhead's heads both pop off when they transform to robot mode. Oops! I think somebody forgot they're not Headmasters yet!
- As Highbrow surmises the Decepticons must be in the hills, Hardhead steps aside to reveal a Chromedome with a grey face and eyes, instead of an orange face plate and blue eyes.
- Brainstorm's missing his symbol when Spike tells him his idea of putting humans inside the Autobots' bodies is starting to make sense.
- When Brainstorm explains what will happen to the Autobots' personalities, the lower part of Brainy's helmet is green instead of grey.
- Why is it that when Arcee's head pops off, her neck goes with it, but none of the other Autobots' do? Just wonderin'...
- John Moschitta's name is missing from the voice credits. He does the voices of Blurr, Punch/Counterpunch, and Blowpipe.
- Twelve levels below Generator C on Cybertron.
©1999 Inspiration Studios