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EPISODE 42:
THE THIRD COLUMN

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
25/11/1985
WRITERS:
Eric Lewald and Mark Edens
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SYNOPSIS

Zero rages at Cy-Kill Cop-Tur, Crasher and Zero attack a Guardian weapons factory on Gobotron, but are driven off by the installation's defences. Back at the Renegade base, Zero berates Cy-Kill for his lack of planning and walks out on the Renegades, followed by Twin Spin and Geeper-Creeper. The trio attack Gobotolis' main power station, destroying it. On the back of this success, Zero challenges Cy-Kill and beats him in battle. Cop-Tur, Crasher and Fitor stay loyal to Cy-Kill, despite his defeat. Zero takes over Roguestar, and is soon joined by Bad Boy, who has captured Crasher. He decides to use her as a hostage to bring the other Renegades into line, and wants to capture a Guardian to neutralise them too. They attack a UNECOM base on Earth to this end, forcing the Guardians into battle and capturing Turbo. He orders Leader-1 and Cy-Kill to come alone to a rendezvous at Dengon Beta to get their respective comrades back.

Cy-Kill battles ZeroLeader-1 finds the hostages there are dummies, and is attacked by Cy-Kill. Both the Command Center and Thruster head down to the planet's surface, and both groups realise Zero has set them up, attacking Gobotron in their absence. Thruster attacks Roguestar, allowing Crasher and Turbo to get free and escape from the ship. Turbo gets to the Command Center and fills everyone in. They're able to beat back Zero's troops and chase after Roguestar, with Cy-Kill following in Thruster. Zero retreats to his hideout, where the automated defences take out Turbo and Dozer. However, Leader-1 tricks Zero so he's hit by the defences too, causing him to withdraw back into his base. As Thruster approaches, Zero sets the planet to self-destruct in order to destroy Cy-Kill and escapes. His troops have become disillusioned, however, and inform Cy-Kill of the self-destruct device. He shows them mercy and takes them away from the planet on Thruster before it's destroyed. The Guardians evacuate too, while Zero swears they haven't heard the last of him.


NOTES

Stretch searches the UNECOM baseThe Renegades are shown to have a (presumably secret) base on an asteroid orbiting Gobotron. Dengon Beta is very, very similar to Earth. The Renegades that join Zero are Geeper-Creeper, Twin Spin, Stretch and Bad Boy. Sadly, despite his promise at the end of the episode, this is the last we'd see of Zero (chronologically, anyway).

While most, if not all, Gobots lose any insignia on the toys for their animation models, Zero still has massive Japanese roundels on his Zero-sen mode.


TRIVIA

Bad Boy and Twin Spin return to Roguestar injuredGobots Featured: Blaster, Road Ranger, Crasher, Zero, Cop-Tur, Cy-Kill, Fitor, Bad Boy, Geeper-Creeper, Twin Spin, Stretch, Screw Head, Zeemon, Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter, Dozer, Tank.

Humans Featured: AJ, Nick, Matt.

Particularly Glaring Errors: So where was General Newcastle, then? Matt and company are expecting him, but Stretch turns up instead and whatever happens to the General isn't really addressed.

Moments of Actual Quality: Anyone else quite pleased Zero doesn't have a clichéd Japanese accent? Even if he does have a Kamikaze Plan (no, that is what it's called in the dialogue). He's undoubtedly the best villain in any episode, though, besting Cy-Kill in single combat, nearly beating both factions with just five Gobots, causing untold damage on Gobotron and keeping everyone guessing the whole episode. And he gets a nice sequel-hunting exit too - shame it was never followed up.

Unintentional Hilarity: Zero flying in space looks a bit weird.


REVIEW:

Zero plots his next moveSuperb. As outlined above, Zero is a breath of fresh air, and certainly warranted an extended stint as Renegade leader (or at least make his rebels a longer-lasting third faction) which would sadly never come. To be fair, he also brings the best out of Cy-Kill too, who also gives an idea of just what a Gobot would feel like if they lost Every. Single. Time.

On top of that it's full of twists and turns, exciting battle scenes and some very neat ideas. It's a real shame more episodes (and characters) couldn't be this well thought out.