“Prime told me there’d be days like this”
More than Meets the Eye Part One serves as an introduction to the epic war between the Transformers. We learn that the Transformers are a unique race of robots who live on the planet Cybertron. Early on in the show, the scene is set as we see that Cybertron has been drained of its resources by the war raging between the peace loving Autobots, led by Optimus Prime and the evil Decepticons, who are led by Megatron. We see that the transformers are aptly named as they can change from robots to vehicles-also referred to as “alt modes”.
Due to the lack of available energy, the Autobots set off in their spaceship to find a new energy source elsewhere. The Decepticons, keen not to let the Autobots gain an advantage, pursue them and it’s not long before they board the Autobot ship and engage them in combat. During the fight, nobody notices that the ship is being pulled into a planet-which we later learn is planet earth, until it’s too late. The ship crashes into a volcano and lays dormant for four million years.
“Explore, Explore, Repair, Repair!”
An eruption awakens the ships’ computer, which proceeds to scan earth based vehicles and repair the battle-damaged robots giving them new earth based vehicle modes to transform into. As the Decepticons are repaired first, they leave the ship and seek energy sources and materials to build themselves a new space cruiser. Upon completion of the Autobot repairs, they set out to find out what the Depticons are up to-presuming that they will be looking to plunder the energy rich planet of its resources. We see many impressive transformations, learn more about the cast of warriors and their unique abilities as the Autobots find the Decepticons and become aware of their plans.
“Ok Reflector, let’s see what you can see”
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It doesn’t take long for humans to become caught up in the war, as the Decpticons mistake a human vehicle for a potential Autobot and attack it. Meanwhile, as the Autobots form a battle unit to take on the Decepticons, Megatron flies his warriors over to an oil rig to steal energy from it (which they will store as “energon cubes”). Predictably a battle breaks out and the episode is concluded as Megatron destroys one of the rig’s supports, tipping the Autobots into the sea, then proceeds to set fire to the oil, and leaves the Autobots to save the humans that have been trapped in the water under debris………….
Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:
- When the transformers change modes they make a unique transforming noise that really makes it feel like something special and unique to them as a race.
- Early on, as Megatron leaves one of his troops-Shockwave to watch over Cybertron, we learn that another of his warriors named Starscream has desires to take over as the Decepticon leader and does not hide this from Megatron.
- The Autobots generally transform into land based vehicles, and the Decepticons into air based vehicles, but there are exceptions, we see transformers change modes into guns, cassettes and cameras in this first episode.
The Verdict: This episode serves as a great introduction to the Transformers. There’s lots of action in this episode, and it is very well written. We are introduced to a lot of characters in a very short amount of time and yet plenty of attention has been given to making sure we learn about the key character traits of the big characters in the show. The only thing I think could have been better, is that the characters were naturally given unfamiliar Cybertronian style vehicle alt modes when they are initially on Cybertron, yet the majority of them have the look of robots who transform into earth based vehicles when they are in robot mode. It would have been nice if they had Cybertronian robot modes as well as the alt modes, and then looked different following their repairs on earth which allowed them to take earth based alt modes. However, given how little time is spent on Cyberton during this episode, I can understand why this wasn’t done. Overall I score this episode 9 energon cubes out of 10, it’s well worth a watch whether you are a seasoned Transformers fan, or a new fan who has never seen the G1 cartoon.
Afterthoughts: Even though I’ve seen this episode many times, I tried to view it from the viewpoint of someone who hadn’t watched it before and also tried to write the review in a way that wouldn’t give too much away for someone who hasn’t seen it but wants to. One thing that came across though is that despite the many times that I have seen it, and despite the fact that it is over thirty years old, the quality of this episode really shines through and it’s easy to see why Transformers was, and still is loved by so many of us.