Galvatron invades Autobot City and then Cybertron with a plan to destroy the Autobots forever! This is something new?
Japanese title: "The Headmasters are Born"
Goldbug is talking with the Technobots at Autobot City. Things have been quiet for the Autobots in the months since the return of Optimus Prime and the Hate Plague crisis. Not a word has been heard of the Decepticons in months. Who knows where they are. The answer? Right at their doorstep. Meanwhile, Ultra Magnus walks into a room to find Optimus on his knees. Optimus claims that he has been having visions since he opened the Matrix, and it's something big. Goldbug informs Optimus of the approaching Decepticon force, and Optimus realizes that what ever he's been sensing, it's starting right now.
Leading the Autobots out, the Decepticons attack. The Technobots and the Throttlebots take point, but the Decepticons have gotten some new raw power in Apeface and Snapdragon, while Mindwipe has some fun with Lightspeed. However, Punch sees Wingspan and Pounce enter into Autobot City. Transforming into Counterpunch, he follows to check up on their progress, where he sees them steal something from the vaults. The Clones quickly dispatch Punch, and take their prize to Scourge. Having claimed what they wanted, Galvatron orders a retreat. Optimus, realizing this was a diversion, runs into Autobot City, finding Punch and the vault. Horrified, Optimus orders everyone to board the ships and head for Cybertron.
On Cybertron, Blurr is racing with Hot Rod, with Daniel riding in Hot Rod. Blurr, however, loses control, while Daniel shoots several Decepticon targets and wins the race. Brainstorm claims that this is evidence of his theory that human partners would be able to assist the Autobots in the war with the Decepticons. Hardhead and Cerebros are unsure of the idea. However, Optimus contacts the Autobots, telling them Galvatron stole the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. This was the forge which was used to create the bodies of the original Autobots. Since the Quintesson rebellion, the key has been in the safekeeping of the Autobot leaders, who have been tasked with guarding the key with their lives. However, Galvatron intends to open the chamber and destroy Cybertron. The Decepticons arrive, and chaos ensues. The Aerialbots are quickly taken down by Sixshot.
During the onslaught, Kup and Hot Rod's team notice Scourge heading for the Plasma Energy Chamber. They pursue in an attempt to stop him, but when Scourge opens the chamber, he is nearly killed, but Spike and Cerebros manages to grab the key. The Autobots' ship is hit by a wave of energy from the Plasma Energy Chamber. Their ship is hurled off Cybertron itself. Discovering Scourge, the Decepticons reactivate him. Scourge explains what happened, and a team under Cyclonus heads out to find the Autobots with the key.
Meanwhile, the Autobot ship crashes on Nebulon. With the engines fried, the Autobots and the Witwickys decide to look for civilization. However, they're captured by a resistance movement that thinks they're machines being controlled by the Hive. They plan to destroy the Autobots with magnetic bombs, even though Spike tries to talk them down. However, the Decepticons show up. Spike finally convinces the Nebulons to release the Autobots. In the subsequent battle, Daniel is injured by Snapdragon, and Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Crosshairs, and Sureshot are taken captive. Some of the Autobots pursue them into the forest, but are quickly driven off by machines.
Returning to the cave, the Nebulons explain that the Hive is a tyrannical group of telekinetics who have used machines to enslave Nebulon. The resistance members know the weak points of the machines, but they just don't have the firepower. Spike thinks that Brainstorm's idea of organic partners just might be the ticket. The Autobots agree to allow the Nebulons to use their heads as suits, except for Cerebros, who walks out, tired of fighting. Arcee asks to be Daniel's partner, and Spike agrees. As they remove their heads, Spike declares that they are about to become Headmasters.
Original airdate: November 9, 1987
Production number: 6701-1
Written by: David Wise
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- -- Optimus Prime, foreseeing the end.
"Yeah, y'know! Rollbar. Big, ugly guys made 'a metal. Who want to melt us all down into scrap!"
"I know who they are! I just wonder what they're up to!"
"After we get outside, you can ask 'em!"
- --Autobots description of Decepticons
"Back off, Snapdragon!"
- -- Freeway right before Snapdragon kicks him backwards.
"Whooee, this is really what i call a battle."
"This is what i call getting slaughtered"
Scattershot- chatting with Goldbug.
"Fine. You deal with my Autobot counterpart. I've heard he's nearby."
[ducks around the corner, transforms to Punch]
- -- Counterpunch becomes Punch, uttering a classic line.
Kup: It might give us the edge if the Decepticons did return.
Crosshairs: That's not gonna happen!
Optimus: Kup! Highbrow! The Decepticons are heading your way!
Kup: How many of 'em, Prime?
Optimus: All of them!
Crosshairs: 'Course, I have been wrong on one or two occasions.
- -- Crosshairs really needs to think before he speaks.
"Sixshot, show them what a one-robot army is!"
- -- Galvatron prompts Sixshot to do the old sell-my-toy routine.
"Five up, five down. It's like shooting cyber-ducks in a barrel."
- -- Sixshot after dispatching the Aerialbots.
"I suppose it's the only meritorious way out of our meretricious situation."
"Yeah, me too. Like he said."
- -- Highbrow and Hardhead on becoming Headmasters.
"My one wish... is to never fight again."
- -- Cerebros, so pacifistic he won't even fight to help his friends.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Ultra Magnus enters the room where Optimus Prime is, parts of helmet are colored white, as is the top of Prime's helmet. This would happen again many times throughout the episode.
- Daniel is gnawed and thrown around by Snapdragon, and yet, his uniform remains squeaky clean and show no signs of damage despite Daniel's injuries being described as 'severe'. That must be some tough fabric they use in the future.
- When Ultra Magnus orders the Technobots to charge, Wide Load transforms alongside Nosecone, Afterburner, and Lightspeed, with Scattershot and Strafe nowhere to be seen.
- Optimus Prime contacts Kup and Crosshairs, yet Prime says he's communicating with Kup and Highbrow, Mind transfer happened only once in Generation One.
- Goldbug and the Technobots reminisce about all the "loose parts" knocked from the Decepticons after Optimus Prime was resurrected. When did that happen, exactly?
- Scattershot claims there's "about a hundred" Decepticons heading towards Autobot City, but the attacking force shown on-screen is barely a quarter of that number.
- The outside of the city is already smoking (burning?) before the Decepticons start their attack or fire a single shot.
- Soooo.... why do the Autobots rush headlong to meet their attackers instead of transforming the city to battle station mode?
- When the Autobots first met the Nebulans (only to get captured by them), why didn't they use the universal greeting?
- Moreover, how is it even remotely possible the Nebulans recognized Spike and Daniel as humans straight away, but were never heard of Autobots, even that the Transformers are a race millions of years older than humans?
- When Optimus Prime says "All of them" in response to Kup's question, he obviously means ALL the Decepticons, — but we see NO sign
sof Trypticon , or the Constructiconsthroughout the episode.
- This episode takes place several months after The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2.
- This would not be the last you'll hear of the Key to Vector Sigma. The key's legend and its ability to transform organics into technomatter would be revisited in Beast Machines.
- Optimus Prime's reference to "twelve levels below generator sea" has a similar sounding to Jules Verne's 1870 science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- The Rebirth Part 1, was to be the fourth season premiere, but due to declining interest from Hasbro executives, not the actual fans, it simply was the first of the three final episodes (originally conceived as a five-part story), in which a slew of new characters and concepts were introduced, most notably the US animated version of the Headmasters.
- This episode marks the first appearances of the new Autobots and Decepticons who would become Headmasters and Targetmasters, plus the Clones, Punch/Counterpunch and Sixshot.
- All these years of Blurr babbling when he panics...and Hardhead is the only one who thinks to cover his mouth?
- Then again, the animation makes it look like Hardhead is sweeping Blurr off his feet in a passionate French kiss instead of throttling him into silence, so who knows what's really going on?
- Okay. Whose bright idea was it to give Daniel a gun?
- The Autobot ship that crashed to Nebulon must be one tough piece of Cybertronian engineering. If we take Brainstorm's note literally that "every second we wait, its a million miles away from Cybertron", the speed of the ship is travelling almost 20 times the speed of light (light travels at 186,282.397 miles per second). Since there's no air in space, thus no friction and since Spike said they "could finally get the retros working" (no attempt to do so was really seen), the ship should have plunged in to planet's atmosphere about that speed. What makes it remarkable, is that even with those facts on the table, the ship was left relatively intact (apart the engines that eventually blew up) and crew escaped without injuries.
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