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EPISODE 2:
TARGET EARTH

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
09/09/1984
WRITERS:
Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal and Tom Ruegger
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SYNOPSIS

"Get your feet off my desk!"Matt, Nick and AJ are confined to Matt's house by NASA. Leader-1 turns up, asks for help and then just takes them before they can actually answer. The Guardians need a component to repair Turbo, and Nick volunteers to help Scooter retrieve the part from the NASA base. While they're there, Scooter detects Renegades in part of the complex, and the dynamic duo investigate. They find Braxis plotting with Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher. The pair are detected, but evade Cop-Tur thanks to Scooter's hologram generator and escape. Nick tells Matt about Braxis betrayal, while the Guardians repair Turbo. Matt sets off to inform NASA, but Braxis stitches him up and NASA's SWAT team try to arrest him. Turbo rescues him in time, though.

Cop-Tur can strike a mean, ose, but sadly he's an utter clotMeanwhile, Cy-Kill orders Fitor to send Zod to Earth. Meanwhile, Leader-1 realises the Renegades are heading to the Eastern bloc island of Stovilvoi to kidnap Anya Turgenova, inventor of the powerful element Sorium. However, Zod lands there first, and while the guards are distracted, the Renegades kidnaps Anya. The Guardians arrive and she escapes, but the Renegades have their Sorium. Crasher tries to recapture Anya, but the pair are chased by Turbo and caught in an avalanche. Having chased the guards off, Zod then shoots down Leader-1, who takes cover near the avalanche. Zod then forces the Command Center into the water. Leader-1 and Turbo shelter in a cave with Matt, AJ, Anya and Crasher, but Cy-Kill throws in an unstable piece Sorium and gets Zod to drop the roof in on them, before heading off with Cop-Tur and reluctantly leaving Crasher.


NOTES

This episode is the second of a five-part mini-series - effectively a pilot for the Challenge of the Gobots series, though in practice it was simply broadcast in five parts at the start of the series' syndicated run. The whole five-parter was released in compilation form (with the intervening credits and recaps removed) on VHS, simply titled Gobots. This was released on Vision Video Limited's Kideo Video label on both sides of the Atlantic, with promotional art of Baron Von Joy (who wasn't in it) slapped on the front. I'm working from this release for the reviews, and while the fades are left in, I've had to go with best guesses for where one episode ends and another starts - feel free to contact me if I've made an error with this. The whole mini-series is often referred to simply by the title of the first episode - "The Battle for Gobotron" (which is also the onscreen title on the video compilation).

FitorcronWe see Scooter's hologram generator in use for the first time (we'll later find out that he's been fitted with that instead of any armament). Crasher can also fire her electricity bolts via her headlights. Cop-Tur's helicopter blades can form a sword. Thruster can go underwater, which isn't bad (it even has a big, bendy periscope), as there doesn't appear to be any on Gobotron. Presumably communications aren't so advanced - Cy-Kill literally summons Fitor by Astro-Beam just to request Zod. Thruster also has a head for its' little-seen 'base' mode (like the toy - though unlike the toy, the thing doesn't actually open up... you have to wonder what the point in it having a head is... it won't be seen after this, I guess if you wanted to you could argue this is a prototype and the feature was later dropped as it was pointless. If you wanted to argue that, though, you should probably get out a bit more). The Command Center can tap into government computers.


TRIVIA

"Vot iz zat?"Gobots Featured: Leader-1, Scooter, Turbo, Cy-Kill, Crasher, Cop-Tur, Fitor, Psycho, Crain Brain, Screw Head.

Humans Featured: Nick, Matt, 'AJ', Doctor Braxis, General Newcastle, Anya.

Others Featured:
Zod.

Particularly Glaring Errors: Psycho is coloured all red for his brief cameo. Why is Anya, while being recaptured by Crasher, steering her captor? Cy-Kill requests Zod be sent down, basically dooming the Renegades' Gobotron fortress, and then uses him to chase off five 'Eastern bloc' guards... A tad excessive...

Moments of Actual Quality: Crasher's face reflected in the random glassware on Anya's desk is a nice touch. Well, for Hanna-Barbera anyway.

Unintentional Hilarity: They fix Turbo with jump-leads.


REVIEW:

Zod has landedIt picks up where the last episode left off, and the NASA-based action is very dull. Scooter is already grating, and Nick isn't much better. Add in some very, very poor comedy, and the episode is something of a trial.

When the action shifts to the Eastern bloc (love it!) things pep up a little - the battle scenes are limp and poorly animated (this will be something of an ongoing motif), but Anya is so ludicrously stereotyped she actually comes through offensive and out the other side to funny. But most of it's dire - Turbo's repairs, Braxis' ludicrous behaviour, the stupid amount of military resources NASA have at their disposal (seriously, do they have that bloody task force just sitting ready in case Matt rings?). Argh.