Well, it needed to happen! While I’m 32 years old (so, the “prime” -hehe- age to be “Transformers” fan), I haven’t really immersed myself in the cartoons since I watched them when I was a kid. I re-entered the franchise with the “War for Cybertron” games on the PSP, and then the Bayverse (which, as I mentioned before, I enjoyed). So I put my online casino bonuses to the side for a bit, and re-watched the absolute classic that is the very first episode of “Transformers” ever aired. What follows is a real-time commentary of my experience!
Intro: Wow, the sound mixing hasn’t aged well. I wonder if it’s just the copy that I’m watching? The song is super catchy, though!
Start of episode: This is much more political than I remember. I knew there were factions, of course, but I didn’t remember the whole thing was a war over energy resources. Considering this was made shortly after the oil crash of the 70s, it feels very timely now, too.
First appearance of Bumblebee: Hey! I barely recognized him!
First appearance of Optimus Prime: He’s not as tall as I remembered. Or, should I say, not much taller than other Autobots.
First appearance of Megatron, Starscream and Shockwave: Well, I’m sorry (not sorry, but maybe surprised?) to say that I’m finding the baddies much more interesting. The power struggle between Starscream and Megatron is already a fantastic storyline, and Shockwave is set up as a fearsome first lieutenant.
Decepticons board the Autobot Ark: There’s a lot of pushing and shoving going on. I wonder how much of this was inspired by “A New Hope”? I thought the fight would have been much more technology-based.
Four million years later: NICE! That’s awesome! I had no idea that the Decepticons woke up first. A bit ironic, too, that it was the Autobot Ark that repaired the Decepticons.
Starscream: Wow, this guy is really set in his goal of taking over. I guess that’s what you get when you are with the bad guys… no respect for leadership.
New Decepticon base: These guys work FAST! base is looking good, too. I’ll get them to build me a house if I’m ever in the market.
Hound down: Way to go, Cliffjumper. “You couldn’t hit an Autobot with a Moonbeam!” – Definitely Star Wars things going on here. Either that or a Pokemon reference 20-odd years before that franchise was born. Also, Cliffjumper’s “attack gas” that comes out of his backpipe and is strong enough to make a missile explode? We all have a friend with that kind of firepower, am I right?
Reflector: My favorite “Transformer” yet? I mean, I thought *my* camera was cool! This is a mixture of DSLR quality and Polaroid convenience! Neat.
Let’s roll: Ok, that was super, super cool. Prime looks HUGE now. Much more like the image I always had of him growing up.
The Rig: This scene already sets up the Decepticons as tremendously menacing to helpless humans. I love it. It’s very well done.
The cubes: The idea of compressing oil to form a denser, better form of energy is pretty damn brilliant.
Autobots arrive: Again with the wrestling and pushing and shoving? The fights between Megatron and Prime have not been great this episode.
I can’t lift it: Prime seems far, far less powerful than Megatron. Was it always like this? I guess I’ll have to find out by watching more episodes!
Well, that about wraps it up! It’s definitely a much deeper experience than I remember, and that I gave it credit for. I think fans were right in getting upset at the Bayverse; it was not representative of the depth of even this first episode. I can’t imagine how much better the series gets, and just how much bigger the gap gets between what was set up by the source material and what ended up being shown on the first few “Transformers” films. Definitely more to the cartoon than meets the eye.
Would you like me to watch and commentate on more episodes? Let me know which ones I should watch, by commenting below!