SYNOPSIS FOR "TRANSPORT TO OBLIVION"
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 83
MEGATRON: "The Autobots think they have defeated us--and yet we survive!" (Why in the heck would he utter such a thing months after his space cruiser crashed?)
BUMBLEBEE: "How are we gonna get out of this?"
SPIKE: "By the skin of our teeth!"
BUMBLEBEE: "I didn't know human teeth had skin!" (Groan...)
- What was the name of the power plant worker who was mistaken to be Soundwave's "owner"?
- According to Bumblebee, what was the location of the space bridge?
- I love Bumblebee's escape sequence from the riverbed. There's one scene that's entirely cel animated--Bumblebee, the ground, and the mountains behind him--that's only about four seconds long, but never fails to impress me.
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (13)
- This is the first episode since the pilot, and is subject to several changed premises. The first of these is the fact that the Autobots have been hanging out on Earth for several months. If you recall, at the end of "More Than Meets the Eye" part 3, they were just getting ready to blast off for Cybertron. Why the delay? Does it just take Bluestreak forever to get his bags packed, or what?
- On Cybertron, we see Shockwave cracking off a shot in gun mode before transforming. Why is he firing? Doesn't that waste energy?
- Also, I find it completely ridiculous that Shockwave waits four million years after Megatron is lost before he attempts to contact him. (I suppose we could presume that the scene of Shockwave attempting to make contact was really a flashback, but there's no evidence of a scene change at all. Let's just make-believe, shall we?)
- I assumed that Soundwave had invented the energon cube in "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1, but Shockwave explains that his supply of energon cubes on Cybertron is low. (One wonders who generates the empty cubes on Cybertron; usually Soundwave produces them from his chest. Maybe Shockwave does it, but they come out all diamond-shaped?)
- Prime's line about how "over half our force is out on patrol" is a nice way of dealing with the matter of where the other 11 Autobots are. (Too bad they never bothered with this in later episodes. So many characters are constantly unaccounted for!) My point is this: when Prime and the others leave for the solar power station, does that mean their base is completely deserted?1
- During the battle at the power station, Ratchet and Prowl are shot by Starscream. Ratchet nurses his hand and says, "A concussion blast!" That's not right; Starscream uses null rays. (Soundwave's tech specs say he carries a concussion cannon--I wonder if that's where this came from.)
- Somehow, the Decepticons build the space bridge transporter (or as I call it, the big metal donut), the controls to activate it, and at least two test vehicles (possibly three) in what seems like only a matter of hours. Where did they get this stuff from? (Aha, Shockwave sent it over the space bridge! Oh, wait.)
- Shockwave switches over from Earth time measurement to Cybertronic units partway through this episode. Earlier in the episode, he explains that the bridge is operable for up to up to eleven minutes. When the second test is aborted, however, Shockwave reports that the bridge cannot re-open for another 3000 astro-seconds.
- After the Decepticons ambush the Autobots inside the cave, Starscream fires a burst of energy (either a null ray or a concussion blast; take your pick) at Jazz, who deflects it with a stalagmite. Specifically, he swings it like a baseball bat and knocks the blast back at Starscream. What good would this shot have done against Jazz in the first place if it can't even damage limestone?
- After Ironhide prevents Soundwave from ejecting Laserbeak, Megatron says to Ironhide, "This time I'll blast more than your shoulder!" Actually, Megs shot Ironhide in the side, not the shoulder. (Nitpicking, perhaps. But isn't that why we're all here?)
- Also during the cave battle, Prime's foot is suddenly caught in some rocks for no apparent reason. My guess is, the writer wanted Prime's foot to get caught as he pushes Ironhide away from Megatron's buzz saw, but Prime's foot is clearly unencumbered only moments before he's allegedly stuck. (I'm thinking maybe our Autobot leader has some sort of Munchausen syndrome, compelling him to put himself in jeopardy in order to look like a hero when he manages to escape at the last second.)
- Starscream is doing some pathetic posturing in this episode. When Megatron orders the retreat, Screamer protests, "Starscream, retreat? Never!" What a load of petro-rabbit droppings. Throughout the course of the series, Starscream will become famous for retreating (as a matter of fact, he will do so in the very next episode).1
- What happens to all the rocks and debris that get sucked up into space during the space bridge transport cycle? Okay, the first couple of times everything pretty much disappears into limbo. But the third transport cycle sucks up Megatron, his energon cubes, and a bunch of chunks of rock. Megatron is successfully transported to Cybertron, so what happened to the rocks and the energon cubes?
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (6)
- When Skywarp first speaks in this episode he sounds different than he did in "More Than Meets the Eye"--he's developed a New York accent of sorts.
- When Laserbeak is flying circles around Bumblebee in the power station, Laserbeak makes a cawing sound that isn't amplified. It sound like a cross between a woman screaming and a cat getting stepped on.
- In the next scene, Megatron says, "Mwu ha ha ha ha! Soundwave. Prime is target, Soundwave!" and transforms to gun mode. I strongly suspect that someone was trying to insert a line of dialogue right after Megatron's cackling--something like, "Prepare to receive, Soundwave," but only added the word "Soundwave." The line just doesn't make any sense by itself.
- Then, Megatron's transformation sound effect is echoing when he changes back to gun mode. It sounds like someone overlapped a second sound effect on top of the first one.
- When Laserbeak returns from his espionage mission, he doesn't make a transformation sound effect as he enters Soundwave.
- Gears' voice fluctuates in this episode. Earlier when he complains that Megatron is escaping, he sounds just like Ratchet does. Later when he tells Bumblebee, "I think your memory chips could use a few volts to shake 'em up," his voice is deeper and rougher. (It's the same voice actor all the time, though--Don "Scooby Doo" Messick. I think he just couldn't decide which voice to use for Gears. This happens quite a bit when a voice actor is faced with two of his characters appearing in the same episode.)
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY:
- Someone thought that the Autobot space craft only had three thrusters when they painted the backdrop for the beginning of this episode. It actually has five, as seen in the first act of "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1.
- The terrain surrounding Autobot Headquarters certainly has changed. In the last episode the landscape was a lot more rocky, had no trees, no cliffs leading into the ocean, and definitely no rock formations that looked like Decepticons.1
- Also, when we first see Prime and Ironhide, they appear to be looking off into the horizon, pointing at something... but they're not saying a word. Are they practicing their mime lessons, or what?
- When Cliffjumper bursts out and shoots up the bad, naughty rock formation., he's carrying Jazz's gun. (Cliffjumper's one of those characters whose toy doesn't come with a weapon, so no gun was supplied for his character model. Any time he, or a character like him, is required to produce a weapon, the animators have to fudge it a bit.)
- When Ironhide affirms the Decepticons' destruction and Prime worries, "I wish I could believe that, Ironhide," the truck horns on the top of his chest are no longer truck horns--they're fog lights.
- Well, well! It seems not only has the Decepticon space cruiser safely survived the crash into the ocean, but the Decepticons have managed to build an entire underwater civilization! Look at all those buildings and things surrounding the ship!
- In the first scene with Megatron, his Decepticon symbol is missing its "eyes."
- On Cybertron, Shockwave has equipped himself with a gun-arm, which he will have for the rest of the series. In "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1, he had two hands. (It doesn't count as a mistake in this episode--just a changed premise.)
- On Megatron's monitor, shortly after Shockwave appears he takes a step back, but a dark purple outline remains of where Shockwave's body used to be.
- Also, unless the Decepticons have some sort of 3-D monitors, we should never see Shockwave on Megatron's monitor from anything but a direct front view. It's just like your television set if you freeze-frame a scene with Shockwave on the monitor. Since Shockwave is facing the monitor directly, it's not as though you'd suddenly be able to see the side of his body if you leaned over and peered at your TV from the side. And yet, in the final shot of Megs and Shockers conversing, we see Shockwave on the monitor from a 3/4 view. It makes it look like Megs is conversing with Shockwave through a pane of glass.
Incidentally, the creators of Star Trek: the Next Generation do create a very convincing illusion of 3-D view screens, but in order to achieve this effect they have to film the Alien of the Week at a slight angle (he'd be looking just to the left of the camera, for example) and then that film is superimposed on the Enterprise view screen, which is also filmed at an angle. The mechanics are very different for live action, but my point is, it's possible they meant to convey the same kind of technology in this episode. But I doubt it.
- At the power plant, Soundwave glows when he transforms to robot mode. Is this an indication of his mass being shunted back into his body from subspace as he returns to full size? Too bad he doesn't do this in any other episodes.
- The red stripes on Soundwave's wrists are missing as he ejects Laserbeak. (Also, Laserbeak seems to be taking an inordinately long time flying out of Soundwave's cassette drive. It's almost like he's in slo-mo.)
- Someone spliced in backwards the scene with Soundwave producing the energon cubes--his shoulder cannon is on his let shoulder instead of his right. Also, this scene was actually borrowed from "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1, except this time Soundwave's helmet is colored correctly.
- When Optimus is trying to determine why the city is losing power, a readout at the top of Teletraan I's screen says "Eye Island." Putting aside for the moment that Teletraan now displays readouts in English, why does Teletraan (or Optimus) think this island will lead to the cause of the power failure?
- Also, when Optimus finally pinpoints the problem (namely, the solar power station), Teletraan's readout actually says, "SOLOR POWE STATION." (Okay, nobody said it was good English...)
- Outside, after the Autobots assemble, Bumblebee arrives late and steps around Gears to the end of the line, on Gears' right. The problem is that Gears still overlaps Bumblebee; Bumblebee should actually be in front of Gears.
- When the Autobots transform, watch Ratchet's and Ironhide's transformations carefully. It appears the animators are still making an attempt to incorporate their MARB components into their designs--the tops of their ambulance and van modes look like they are a separate piece from the rest of their vehicle forms.
- For the next scene, they recycled Optimus' transforming sequence from "More Than Meets the Eye" part 1 (in what will be a disturbingly frequent trend).
- Then the Autobots all drive down this winding dirt path that extends from Autobot Headquarters. This is the first and last time we see it.
- Inside the power station, when Skywarp is carrying a stack of cubes, the backlighting that makes the cubes glow trails behind the cubes themselves for a moment, exposing the black ink underneath.
- After the Autobots arrive, right before Starscream and Skywarp drop their energon cubes and run, the cubes are black.
- The red panel on Megatron's abdomen flashes grey right before Cliffjumper runs up to pummel him.
- Megatron is missing the components on the tops of his shoulders (on the toy, they form the gun hammer) when Prime knocks him into the generator. They're absent for the rest of the fight.
- After Megatron receives his inadvertent power boost, the hinge on his back changes from red to grey when he punches Prime.
- When Cliffjumper and Gears charge Starscream, the backdrop is scrolling in the wrong direction, making it look like they're running backwards.
- When the Decepticons retreat, Skywarp flies off first, then Starscream and another Skywarp follow him. (Obviously a miscolored Thundercracker.)
- Back inside the power plant, Prime is holding his hand to his head after that last blow. In the very next shot, though, his arm is down. Also, now his forearm is colored blue instead of red. He looks a bit like Action Master Optimus, actually.)
- When Ironhide gets blasted by the shot meant for Optimus, both Autobots are shaded to indicate that a strong light source is right in front of them (i.e., Megatron's fusion blast) but the coloring remains the same long after Megatron fires.
- After Megatron returns to robot mode, he barks, "Until next time, Prime!" and in a very brief close-up, he turns away from Prime. In the next shot he's facing Prime again. (This close-up was so incredibly short and drawn poorly enough that I wonder if it wasn't designed to replace a flaw in a scene transition.)
- When the Decepticons are conducting their first test of the space bridge, Starscream is providing the countdown and appears to be looking at his wristwatch!
- The sides of the air intakes on Starscream's shoulders are grey when Megatron tells him not to harm Spike and Bumblebee.
- Bumblebee's eyes are grey instead of blue when he and Spike are in the vehicle (this is where Spike utters his ridiculous "skin of our teeth" line).
- When the second test aborts and the space bridge doors close, the doors don't have the thickness of the big metal donut.
- When Megatron balks, "Three thousand? This is intolerable!" his eyebrows are grey instead of black, and the cannon on his back is black instead of grey. (Obviously the cannon and eyebrows were bored with their mundane lives and decided to swap colors for this scene.)
- Not a blooper, but Ravage's guns emerge from subspace once more when Soundwave sends him after Spike and Bumblebee.
- I can never figure out why Bumblebee--fleeing from the Decepticon jets--finds himself a nice cave to hide in, immediately pokes back out, then ducks back in. Is he playing "Peek-A-Boo"?
- When Starscream nullified Bumblebee, Starscream's breast plates are red. They should be dark grey with light grey edges. (Hey, it's my job to know these things. Which is not to say I spend a lot of time studying Starscream's breast plates.)
- In the next scene, Starscream's helmet is grey instead of black when he turns to see that Megatron has arrived.
- Megatron has teeth when he ejects his phallic snake-like thingy to reprogram Bumblebee.
- Back at Autobot Headquarters, when Sparkplug frets, "What happened to Spike and Bumblebee?!" Bumblebee is standing right there. (Okay, it's actually Cliffjumper colored like Bumblebee. But it's still funny.)
- When Optimus transforms to head for the cave, his face plate decides to hang around for a few frames even after his head disappears. Also, the symbol is missing on the side of his trailer.
- After the Autobots arrive at the cave, right before they transform to robot mode, Prowl's vehicle mode is drawn rather strangely. He's missing his headlights and the black panel on his hood; he's actually drawn more like Wheeljack.1
- Also, I guess Jazz was supposed to come along too, but this is the only time we see him with the Autobots before the cave is sealed behind them. He's absent in every other scene--including when Jazz delivers the line, "This some kind of joke?"
- Back at Decepticon Headquarters, the yellow stripes on either side of Soundwave's cassette door are missing when Laserbeak returns.
- In the next scene, the red stripe on Soundwave's right wrist changes to grey. Also, he presses his STOP button on his pelvis (at least, if you go by the toy) to play Laserbeak's recording.
- Back in the cave, Bumblebee has wheels on both the outside and inside of his feet when he's dodging Starscream's blasts.
- When Soundwave ejects Laserbeak again, the sides of his helmet are blue instead of grey. Also, when Laserbeak ejects, his cassette form is much smaller than the cassette drive itself.
- Megatron has teeth again when his buzzsaw blade extends from his arm.
- As Megatron is about to blast Ironhide again, right before Prowl shoots him, Megatron's fusion cannon ins grey instead of black.
- The only Autobots who enter the cave are Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet, Gears, and the mentally wonky Bumblebee. After they enter, the Decepticons seal the cave shut. Cut to commercial. When we come back, suddenly Brawn, Jazz, Sideswipe, Trailbreaker, and Sunstreaker are in the cave as well. The only way this can be explained is if these Autobots were already present before Prime got to this cave--you know, the cave that Megatron specifically programmed Bumblebee to lead them to? In other words, all five of these guys are really Decepticon agents!
- Starscream is carrying his gun in his hand when Megatron orders the retreat. They're supposed to be arm-mounted.
- After the Decepticons leave, as Ironhide nurses his forearm, the front panels of his helmet are grey instead of red.
- As Bumblebee is lying with his chest panel and windshield open, a panel on his bottom torso is colored light blue, also like his front windshield.
- When Prime asks Bumblebee once more where the space bridge is, his neck is red instead of grey.
- Trailbreaker uses a rifle when the Autobots blast the cave entrance open. What's wrong with his gun-arm?
- Back at the river bed, Megatron's face is entirely black. Ooh, spooky!
- When Ravage is snarling at the captive Spike inside the energy cage, the energy beams are overlapping Ravage's neck.
- When Soundwave looms over Spike, Soundwave's shadow extends past Spike, but part of his head is still in the light. From our perspective, his shadow should cover the top of Spike's head. Then, the shadow disappears completely.
- Soundwave's symbol is missing after Spike is placed in the test vehicle.
- In the scene after this, Megatron's Decepticon symbol is missing its "forehead."
- When the doors to the space bridge open again, the doors are still two-dimensional compared to the rest of the donut.
- Megatron's eyes are blue (!) when he presses the button on his control panel.
- When the Autobots arrive to save Spike, Ironhide is carrying a rather large green bazooka-style cannon. This is the only time he carries this weapon.
- After Megatron is presumed destroyed and Starscream takes command, another Starscream steps up behind him. (Again, it's a miscolored Skywarp.)
- When Megs is transported to Cybertron, the pink glowing energy is overlapping the space bridge receiver.
Junkionisms are named for Wreck-Gar's tribe of Autobots from Transformers: the Movie, but they apply to any pop culture reference in the course of the series. There's only one in this episode:
- Bumblebee: "Just leave the driving to me."--a play on the Greyhound Bus slogan, "Leave the driving to us." (Incidentally, the slogan exhibits considerable longevity, since Rattrap delivers almost the exact same line in the Beast Wars episode "Coming of the Fuzors" part 2, some 300 years later.)
- 96.4 miles from the highway.
©1999 Inspiration Studios