Transformers Beast Wars! I love this show. Sure the primitive CG is so dated that the first two seasons are literally older than me but the writing’s pretty good as far as i’m concerned. Unlike a lot of kids shows you see these days it doesn’t feel the need to turn it’s protagonists into idiots so kids can learn shit or in order to move the plot along, it’s witty, epic and even has some pretty great character moments dotted throughout. If i had to pick a favorite Transformers series then Beast Wars would definately be in the running.
Anyway it’s before dawn and i have nothing better to do, let’s watch the pilot episode Beast Wars Part 1.
Space, the final frontier. The episode starts with a backwards sai-shaped spaceship emerging from a warp swirl followed by the space cops in their ’96 space-phallus. Our heroes (the space cops) are the Maximals, who evolved from the Autobots. They’re chasing after the other guys, the Predacons, because they stole something called The Golden Disk.
A pretty intense space battle ensues during which many glowing bolts of light are traded, many showers of quads fly out of explosions and many close up shots of character’s faces are used to hide the fact they didn’t have time to model everyone’s Cybertronian forms.
All this results in the Maximal ship being damaged, jettisoning it’s huge crew in escape pods for use later in the series and bringing the Predacon ship down with them.
Both crews realise pretty quickly that they can’t survive on this planet as is due to the large amounts of unstable energon radiation (or as transformers call it “unstable food radiation”) going on around here so they scan the local animal life and fossils in order to turn themselves into basically the terminator covered in Arnie meat but with animals instead.
I’m not sure how exactly this helps block radiation, i would imagine it’s something PETA would complain about though. It also gives everyone a chance to rename themself with a bad pun so now’s a great time for a…
On team Maximal we have Cheetor, Rattrap and Rhinox lead by Optimus Primal.
On team Predacon we have Tarantulus, Terrasaur, Scorponok, Dinobot and Waspinator lead by Megatron.
Not really too sure why the leaders didn’t change their names, i’d say it’s because Apeface and Dinosaurer were taken but it’s pretty clear these two have no issues ripping off their ancestor’s names. Anyway because transwarp travels in both time and space the Maximals ruminate on where and when they’ve chased the Predacons to.
Meanwhile in camp Predacon all is not well, it seems they were trying to use the Golden Disk to lead them to Earth, but this planet they’ve landed on has two moons and if you look up in the sky right now chances are you won’t see that so Dinobot challenges Megatron’s leadership before making like Team Rocket after the loyal Scorponok blasts him.
We cut back to the Maximals again, Rhinox sets up what looks like a diesel generator while still in rhino form and Cheetor describes himself as “The Golden Rocket” before whizzing off out of the limited range of communication the radiation affords them in order to test drive his new body
Rattrap questions Optimus’ leadership ability, and begins the trend of predicting total party kills.
Cheetor tries to enlist some of the locals to help him test out his Golden Rocket
But is interrupted by Waspinator, Who is actually competent here, so competent in fact that Cheetor has to yank out his intestines for use as a firearm.
Then the Maximals, seeing that he’s in trouble, chase after him in one of the coolest action sequences in TV history:The Predacons (minus Dinobot) also show up and everyone converges on a little gully and sounds off their transformations so the kids know which toys to ask their parents for.
While everyone stands around int the open and shoots at each other Cheetor is pinned down in the gully, literally, by a rock, so Optimus orders Rattrap to go down there and get him. Rattrap who’s a bit of a dick with his cowardice right now tells him where to stick it so Optimus jetpacks down there and does it himself. (yes, he’s a robot gorilla with a jetpack. seriosuly how can you not like this series?)
Meanwile Rhinox persuades Rattrap to provide covering fire.
The Maximals bravely run away as the battle is cut short by an energon surge forcing everyone back into beast mode.
On the way back Optimus chastises Rattrap for being a dick, Oh and they’re still doing that tower of animals thing from earlier.
Now at this point I bet you’re wondering what happened to poor old dinobot, we haven’t seen him since Megatron fired him, surely he’s got to have some relevence to the plot considering how much time and effort would have to go into making a CG model back in 1996? Well here he is now blocking the rock bridge back to the Maximal ship.
Not only that he’s here to challenge Optimus for leadership of the Maximals. It’s like the old saying goes: If you want to make a good impression on a potential employer then challenge them to a battle to the death.
To be Continued!
If you want to watch Beast Wars Legally i highly reccomend checking out the Shoutfactory Complete Series collection DVD set, it’s what i’m watching it on at the moment and you can use VLC to bypass the region lock on it so long as your DVD drive supports that.