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EPISODE 58:
IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
15/09/1985
WRITER:
Mark Zaslove
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SYNOPSIS

Clive sodomises ScooterThe Guardians are working on improving their Power Suits with help from Professor Von Joy. The scientist has also devised a Renegade Detector Unit. Scooter meanwhile notices a strange meteorite landing, and sets out to investigate it. The object is actually a probe sent by the Renegades that knocks the Guardian out. He's found by a guy named Clive, who thinks Scooter's a motorbike, and takes him away for repairs. Both the Renegades and the Guardians set out to look for him. Leader-1 finds and destroys the Renegade probe, but Scooter is reduced to a dormant state, being driven around by Clive. Turbo and AJ spot them, and chase them into Salt Lake. Clive evades them by accidentally activating Scooter's hologram function. He doesn't escape Cop-Tur, however, and the Renegades capture Scooter. They leave Clive, who is then found by Turbo and AJ. The Renegades brainwash Scooter, and dispatch him to blow up the forcefield protecting the local UNECOM lab.

Who says evil has to be depressing? The Evil Scooter is let back into base, but his weird Evil behaviour intrigues Nick. When the Professor's Renegade Detector identifies Scooter, the boy decides it must be malfunctioning and wanders off into town. There he's attacked by Crasher and Pincher, before Leader-1 rescues him. The Guardian leader had suspected a Renegade plot from Scooter's weird behaviour. Meanwhile, Clive is loose in the lab, and his attempts to drive off in Scooter prevents the sabotage going ahead, also causing the Guardian to get an electric shock and return to normal. However, enough damage is done that the force field still goes down, and the Renegades attack. However, the Guardians are ready for them. The Renegades are pinned down when the Professor intervenes with a new immobilising weapon, which sadly backfires and disables the Guardians. This allows Cy-Kill's forces time to escape.


NOTES

Do not invoke the wrath of Evil ScooterScooter has tentacle probe things in his chest - bit of a surprise he didn't get a gig in Kiss Players as a result. He is also heavier and faster than, well, a scooter, and doesn't have a conventional engine.

A Gobot committing self-destruction is, obviously, a Goboticide (to give slight, slight credit, I'm not entirely sure regulations would have let them say 'suicide' on a kids' TV show in 1984).


TRIVIA

Dumper grapples with PincherGobots Featured: Blaster, Defendor, Dozer, Professor Von Joy, Leader-1, Turbo, Path Finder, Cy-Kill, Crasher, Cop-Tur, Scooter, Pincher, Snoop, Rest-Q, Geeper-Creeper, Road Ranger, Dumper, Scratch.

Humans Featured: Nick, Matt, AJ, General Newcastle, Clive.

Particularly Glaring Errors: The best way to test the upgraded suits is by strapping Dozer into one and blasting it? Poor Dozer, especially when it becomes clear how scatterbrained Von Joy is. Also - "That's the strangest meteor I've ever seen... I'd better check it out before I send an alert". The Guardians would have won ages ago if they didn't have Scooter on their team...

Moments of Actual Quality: The fight scene at the end actually isn't bad at all, especially as Dumper, Dozer and Road Ranger get a little bit of a workout in it. Plus Professor Von Joy is quite funny - you can feel the amount of restraint Leader-1 is channelling at the end.

Unintentional Hilarity: Scooter's facial expression when he's dormant looks like he's offlined at a particularly pleasurable moment. Clive hitting on AJ is supremely creepy - I'm not sure how old AJ is meant to be, but she looks 14, and he looks like a sex offender.


REVIEW:

Von Joy fucks it all upMost of the episode is horrible, absolutely horrible. Clive is irritating even by the standards of irritating humans in 1980s cartoons about transforming robots - does anyone in the world actually speak like that? Cy-Kill's plan hinges on several coincidences, and there's a palpable lack of drama as he and the Renegades stand around waiting for Scooter to put their plan into action. Scooter's even stupider than usual, and acts with so little subtlety when brainwashed that you have to wonder why the Guardians aren't onto him immediately.

It's a shame so much of the big stuff is terrible, however, as a lot of the little stuff is nice - the more democratic splitting of the action between the Guardians (Blaster, Rest-Q and Professor Von Joy get a few lines and drops of characterisation, and there are rare appearances for Dumper and Dozer in the decent fight scene) is a nice change. Weirdly, the title seems to refer to Von Joy's weapon, rather than the other 21 and a half minutes of the episode.