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EPISODE 8:
THE FALL OF GOBOTRON

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
13/11/1985
WRITERS:
Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, John Loy and Peter Anderegg
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SYNOPSIS

Roguestar looms over GobotronCrasher boards the Command Center and takes the Master Renegade back to Thruster. The Guardians are able to escape, while the Renegades head back to Roguestar. Leader-1 tells Zeemon about the Master Renegade, and the planet's defences are out on alert. Small Foot's transformation device was damaged by the Master Renegade, but it's restored thanks to Rest-Q and Professor Von Joy. However, soon after the planet comes under attack from Roguestar itself, assisted by a fleet of Thrusters. The Guardians head to battle stations, but Leader-1 is shot down with the Master Renegade's transgressor, while Turbo, Scooter, Small Foot and the humans fall into a massive blast crater. Scooter crashes into a long-lost cryogenic chamber, waking its' inhabitant. They take the man back to Guardian HQ. The battle isn't going well for the Guardians, casualties are mounting and there's no sign of Leader-1. He's been captured by the Renegades, but on the plus side the sleeper is revealed to be the real Last Engineer. The Guardians' joy is tempered by Cy-Kill's announcement that he will be disassembled on Gobotron's Prison Moon.

Leader-1 is captured by Cy-KillSparky leads a few of the surviving Guardians, as well as the humans and the Last Engineer, to the Prison Moon. She gets them to the disassembly chamber and they overpower the Renegade guards - but not before Psycho activates the Disassembler. Leader-1 is broken down into his components, which are then fired into space. The Guardians board their shuttle and manage to recover the parts, then head back to Gobotron. The planet is now subdued, but the Master Renegade and Cy-Kill begin to clash. The Guardians sneak into Dome 7 and take some components the Last Engineer needs, but Scooter and Sparky get separated from the rest. The Last Engineer is able to convert a Modifier in his laboratory in order to repair Leader-1. It works, but the Renegades find them immediately.


NOTES

Hardcore ex-prison guard SparkyThe Guardian council are a set of (slightly bizarre) generics. Gobots are just (part-organic) robots until they're placed in the Modifier, which gives them a transformation. This is mainly intended for graduated Guardians (though presumably the Renegades use one too). There is more than one Modifier - the one we see is modified to create Earth-type vehicles.

The Renegades have at least 30 Thrusters, and the Guardians around the same number of Command Centers. It's heavily implied this is the first time the Guardians have seen Roguestar. The Last Engineer has heavy cybernetic modifications - both arms (one from the shoulder, one from the elbow; the former also has a powerful blaster built in), one leg (below the knee) and part of his head (including his jaw); oddly, he has an eyepatch rather than an artificial eye. Sparky has served as a guard on the Prison Moon for a long time. The Disassembler separates a Gobot's components (which isn't in itself fatal) and fires them into a deep space. It would seem the Guardians only use it in extreme cases, seeing as all the Renegades survived incarceration without being disassembled. Scooter has a tongue.

Psycho has also had a slight redesign, with flashing eyes added to his head (they also actually use the toy's colour scheme). Like Crain Brain in "Cy-Kill's Escape", the effort is wasted as he's not seen again. At least Psycho gets a line, though.

This episode was released on VHS as part of an edited compilation, named The Gobotron Saga.


TRIVIA

Cy-Kill looks on as Psycho operates the DisassemblerGobots Featured: Leader-1, Scooter, Blaster, Flip Top, Small Foot, Rest-Q, Turbo, Path Finder, Crasher, Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur, Zeemon, Hans-Cuff, Professor Von Joy, Van Guard, Scratch, Wrong Way, Defendor, Night Ranger, Staks, Sparky, Sky Jack, Psycho, Stinger, Stallion, Spoiler, Block Head, Bad Boy, Geeper-Creeper, Slicks, Loco, BuggyMan, Fitor.

Humans Featured: Matt, Nick, AJ.

Others Featured: The Master Renegade, the Last Engineer.

Particularly Glaring Errors: As Sparky blasts the door to the disassembly chamber, Cy-Kill mouths something on the screen but there's no accompanying dialogue. Talking of the viewscreen, Cy-Kill also keeps turning to look at the action that he can't see because he's looking through a two-dimensional screen. But then he could just be that stupid, I suppose. Sky Jack is referred to as Spike (probably a working name, corrected in the later "Mission Gobotron").

Moments of Actual Quality: How cool is Sparky? It's such a nice change for Gobots - Turbo and Scooter are clueless as to what to do without Leader-1, but Sparky steps in with a plan that works, gives attitude to her defeatist comrades and then does well in the ensuing fire-fight.

Unintentional Hilarity: One of the Thrusters has a massive video screen on the underside. Turbo implies Scooter isn't "a real Guardian" - okay, he's probably referring to the hologram, but it's still pretty funny.


REVIEW:

Leader-1 is disassembledA splendid action episode. Hanna-Barbera more or less deliver for the battle scenes in probably the only full scale battle in the whole series. The discovery of the real Last Engineer is somewhat contrived (especially as it comes in a matter of hours of the discovery of the Master Renegade - they obviously hadn't tried looking very hard before), but the drama builds nicely.

There's a real sense of two large groups at war here that's rarely in other episodes, and it adds up to great fun.