ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 11/11/1985
WRITERS: Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, John Loy and Peter Anderegg
They duck into an old storeroom for shelter. Leader-1 takes Turbo back to the Command Center, but the exposure to the cold dark side of the moon was too much for him, and he collapses. In the storeroom, Nick mucks with a robot head, causing him and Scooter to be beamed away just before Crasher gets them. Cy-Kill has slipped past the Command Center, but the Guardians do manage to track Scooter's distress signal to the Gobotron moon of Knowledge. He and Nick are in a room full of ancient Gobotron recordings, which is located in the pedestal of a statue. They are freed by Leader-1 and Small Foot, and have found the location of the Last Engineer, who may be able to repair Turbo.
episode is the first of a five-part mini-series, known mainly by the home
video title of 'The Gobotron Saga'. The Gobots airing order is
contradictory and haphazard, and this is one of the biggest aberrations.
It was broadcast roughly midway through the syndicated run (41st through
45th in the running order), but its' place in actual continuity is quite
different - the imprisoned Renegades are clearly a nod to the situation
they are in at the end of the "Battle
for Gobotron" mini-series, while the serial also introduces a
number of characters. It's possible some of the Renegades not seen in
the first mini-series (such as Destroyer) were captured off-screen (with
Cy-Kill also being captured later). There are a couple of things that
need slight fudging for this to work (for example, Small Foot appearing
on the Command Center - it's fair to assume this is just an early visit
for her, before she becomes a permanent member of the Earth-based team).
This would then be the first appearance of Roguestar, presumably
previously built by the Renegades as a fallback should their Gobotron
Built-in Gobot weapons run from power-packs located in the chest units - these seem to be interchangeable, as Fitor can use Hans-Cuff's - but then they both have general purpose lasers. It might be different for someone who has specialised weaponry, such as Crasher. Gobots can feel cold - they aren't just susceptible to low temperatures, Fitor actually shivers. Erm, not sure about that... Leader-1 can raise the temperature of the area within his forcefield. Gobots can seemingly get fevers - there's a bit of technobabble about cranial insulation that might get them out of this, though. The old forms of the people of Gobotron are shown (looking much like humans) in a news report from the time of the first Renegade revolt. Renegade saboteurs caused an asteroid collision with Gobotron, forcing the Last Engineer to devise the Gobot form.
Crain Brain has a new character model with a modified face, but isn't seen after escaping his cell. Like, ever again. Blaster is also highly modified, again with a more 'human' face as opposed to the earlier visor & faceplate deal, and with green added to his design too. It's a step backwards...
This episode was released on VHS as part of an edited compilation, named The Gobotron Saga.
Featured: Flip Top, Blaster, Hans-Cuff, Cy-Kill, Fitor, Leader-1,
Scooter, Rest-Q, Turbo, Small Foot, Doctor Go, Bad Boy, Crain Brain, Geeper-Creeper,
Crasher, Cop-Tur, Path Finder, Destroyer.
Particularly Glaring Errors: How exactly does Destroyer see? All the other 'roof heads' have some sort of window or somesuch that could work, but even as an animation model Destroyer just has a gun for a face. How slow is Crasher going when she chases Scooter and Nick? The room they shelter in is full of dismembered robots - even allowing for Gobots' cyborg makeup, that's a bit morbid and strange, and Nick trying to thieve the head off one for a souvenir is even worse. I guess Gobotron's applecore shape was meant to be caused by the asteroid collision, but the animation shows it looking exactly as it does now even before the meteor strikes... Good work, Hanna-Barbera.
Moments of Actual Quality: Not much really stands out, but this is more because of a generally decent level of competence shown.
Unintentional Hilarity: Cy-Kill's wheel attack is a little bizarre. Fitor drives along corridor floors in jet mode.
Rather good, truth be told - not only do a few second-stringers like Destroyer and Rest-Q get a bit to do, but there's some good, solid info on the Gobots themselves. The plot is a little disjointed and there's still a bias towards the Big Six (though Fitor displacing Cop-Tur is a nice change), but it keeps moving forward. The animation isn't good in the grand scheme of things, but it's lost that wobbly feel of the early episodes and is largely mistake-free.
There are a couple of baffling moments, and a fair helping of camp nonsense, but this is a good, solid opening episode and makes a decent introduction to the series for the curious.