|Transformers: Cybertron > Episode 1|
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A massive black hole forces the Autobots to evacuate Cybertron. And to make matters worse, Megatron is back...
The destruction of Unicron has resulted in the formation of a colossal black hole that now threatens the safety of Cybertron and the entire universe. Reporting from a remote station, Red Alert informs the Autobots on Cybertron of the black hole's continued expansion and the resultant destruction of the planet Moriturus, forcing Optimus Prime to issue a drastic command: the complete evacuation of Cybertron. The Autobots arrange to relocate to Earth and adopt vehicular forms scanned from the planet by Jetfire to hide in plain sight among humans.
A little later, as the population is transported via space bridge to Earth, the Autobots' headquarters is rocked by a tremor, caused by the appearance of a strange portal above the planet. From out of the portal emerges an ancient spaceship which suddenly transforms, revealing itself to be Vector Prime, "keeper of space and time." Vector Prime wastes no time in explaining his purpose on the planet, informing the Autobots of the lost Cyber Planet Keys, tiny fragments of the power of the Transformers' creator, Primus, that were lost to the far reaches of space eons ago. The Autobots must now find the keys and restore Primus's power in order to stop the black hole, but as Vector Prime synchronizes the map that will lead them on their journey, Starscream launches an attack on the base. The Autobots retaliate, but Optimus Prime realizes that Starscream is simply serving as a distraction; while they have been busy fighting, Megatron has infiltrated the base. Prime returns just as Megatron overpowers the ancient Transformer and steals his map. Meanwhile, Starscream goes one-on-one outside with Landmine, but the fight takes a turn in the Decepticon's favor when the crumbling surface of Cybertron shifts under Landmine's feet. Starscream exploits this momentary distraction to blast Landmine into the air, where he is caught in the pull of the black hole. As the villains escape, Vector Prime opens a portal in Landmine's path, teleporting him across space and time to safety.
Across the galaxy, on Earth, the Hansen family are picnicking in the Rocky Mountains. Coby and his father ride dirt bikes through the forest, much to the consternation of Coby's friend Lori, whose family have moved to the Hansens' sleepy country town for the peace and quiet, which the Hansens are now disturbing. Before a full-scale argument can break out between Coby and Lori, Coby's younger brother, Bud Hansen, steps in and calms things down, and the three kids go for a walk. A strange glow in the sky attracts the kids' attention, and they watch as something comes crashing down nearby. That something, as they soon discover, is Landmine.
The kids drag Landmine out of the crater he has made for himself, and Coby puts some of his mechanical knowledge to work repairing an injury in the Autobot's arm. As Coby goes to work, Lori and Bud polish Landmine's armor, and he recounts to them the events that led to his arrival on Earth. Little does Landmine know, however, that Megatron has ordered Thundercracker to follow Landmine to Earth, and the loud-mouthed Decepticon soon tracks him down and opens fire. Landmine and the kids are saved when Thundercracker is knocked out of the sky by the sudden arrival of Optimus Prime, who lures him into a narrow cavern and uses the cramped space to explode Thundercracker's missiles in his own face. Thundercracker flees, and the Autobots all gather at Prime's location, where they are reunited with Landmine and introduce themselves to Coby, Bud and Lori. Vector Prime's Mini-Con companions, Jolt, Six-Speed and Reverb, also introduce themselves, at which point Jolt recognizes the symbol on Lori's shirt. Although Lori insists that it is simply a rock group album cover, supposedly an image from Atlantis, Vector Prime explains that it is the symbol of the Omega Lock, the focusing device for the Cyber Planet Keys...meaning that the ancient device must be hidden somewhere on Earth!
Written by: ???
Original airdate: 19th September 2005
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Hot Shot: I can't believe this, Jetfire. I can't believe we're abandoning Cybertron.
Jetfire: You can't think like that, Hot Shot. We'll come back and beat this thing.
Hot Shot: But how? Hey, now what's it doing? Look out!
Starscream: Target practice!
- — opening dialog of the first episode of the series. Apparently, showing things blowing up is more important than conveying what the hell is happening.
Animation and/or technical glitches
Strangely, this episode features some scenes using different animation from their Japanese counterparts.
- When listening to Red Alert's report, and later, while addressing the Autobots before the evacuation, Optimus Prime features a noticeably different color scheme, with different coloration on his helmet, midriff, pelvis and forearms. This colour scheme (likely test colours) was featured in Japanese hobby and character magazines a few months before the Galaxy Force series aired in Japan in late December 2004.
- The animation which accompanies Vector Prime's recounting of the history of the Cyber Planet Keys is completely different between versions, with the Japanese version simply featuring four glowing lights on a black background, and the American version actually displaying the keys against a spinning map of space.
- As a result of the episodes being cut up and stuck back together (see below), Vector Prime seems to appear in two places at once. He clashes with Megatron inside the base, but when Megatron breaks out, he immediately escapes atop Starscream. However, Starscream was present when Vector Prime opened the warp gate to send Landmine to Earth, meaning that Vector Prime would have had to be outside already.
- This episode is a composite of the first two Japanese Galaxy Force episodes, "The Destruction of Seibertron, the Sacred Homeworld?" and "Encounter with the Transformers". This is effectively accomplished by beginning the episode in medias res, kicking off with the Transformers already in the process of evacuating Cybertron and Landmine being warped to Earth. The opening and closing scenes of the first episode (the family having their barbeque, and the kids finding Landmine) are then presented back-to-back, and all the other events of the first episode are presented in heavily truncated form as flashbacks told by Landmine. No real plot points or important actions from the first episode are lost in this manner; things are just more condensed. To incorporate these flashbacks, however, the second Galaxy Force episode really received a chopping. Scenes of the Autobots pursuing Megatron through space; the revelation that the map is based on an older layout of the universe and not especially helpful; the Autobots searching for Landmine on Earth; humans following Landmine's trail of massive footprints, thinking he's Bigfoot; and Thundercracker's blasts starting a forest fire that the Autobots have to fight are all removed to make room for the flashbacks, leaving only scenes of the kids talking with Landmine, the fight between Prime and Thundercracker, and the kids meeting the rest of the Autobots and learning of the Omega Lock. Since this reduced the overall count of episodes to only 51, the second episode was later dubbed in its entirety to make up the numbers, as "Inferno", a "lost episode" that aired as the 52nd and final of the series.
- For an unknown reason, this episode was skipped when the Cybertron series began airing, even in foreign markets like the UK, suggesting that the decision to combine the two episodes may have been a late one. When it finally did air, it was two months into the series's run.
- Megatron is not voiced in this episode by his regular voice actor, David Kaye, but by Trevor Devall, doing his best Kaye impression. It's an odd decision: last time Megatron wasn't voiced by Kaye, back in Energon Grid, it was Richard Newman who stepped in, and sounded quite like Megatron except for the rare lapse into Rhinox-ness. Richard Newman is the voice of Vector Prime in Cybertron, so why he wasn't the one to substitute for Kaye once more is unknown. Devall's Megatron, on the other hand, sounds nothing like Kaye's.
- Speaking of voices, Coby's is a heck of a lot reedier and whinier in this episode than in all others. He's still being voiced by his regular actor, Sam Vincent, but holy hell, he constantly sounds like he's about to burst into tears.
- "Moriturus" is Latin for "[I] am going to die," likely derived from the famous phrase "Morituri te salutant"—"We who are about to die salute you"—spoken by Roman gladiators saluting the Emperor prior to combat. Or perhaps someone on staff is a fan of the hapless "wizzard" Rincewind of the Discworld series...