Continuing our retrospective look at the first ever CGI Transformers series, we’re now up to episode 12 of the first season – “Victory”…
The Maximals have managed to install a surveillance camera on board the Predacon’s base. When testing the system, they discover that there appears to be a mutiny taking place amongst the Predacons. In the events that follow, Megatron and all of his devoted followers are seemingly destroyed after a supply of energon explodes.
Seeing that they have won the Beast Wars (and once again the characters refer to their ongoing feud as such), the Maximals set about trying to repair their ship to head back to Cybertron and to aid in this they decide to salvage parts from the Predacon vessel.
While this is going on, “Victory” picks up on the Dinobot sub-plot from the previous episode. Dinobot once again expresses concern about returning home and he tells his comrades that he has decided to stay behind. This, he feels, is a better option rather than face the maximal authorities on Cybertron and an almost inevitable prison sentence.
Soon after making this decision, he makes the startling discovery that Megatron and his goons are very much alive, and that the explosion was nothing more than a ruse. Dinobot rushes back to warn Optimus, but is gunned down before he can reach the Maximals.
Attempting to rescue their fallen companion, Optimus and Cheetor head out but in the ensuing confusion Primal is attacked and falls from the newly repaired Maximal vessel while it’s in mid flight, apparently crashing to his death below…
Thinking that the Maximals have lost their courageous leader, Megatron appears, having stowed away. Joining in on the attack on the Maximals, only Rattrap is left standing between him and conquest of his adversaries. Megatron is unexpectedly taken out by a rather shaky Rhinox, but not before Megatron damages the ship beyond repair, sending it hurtling back to the ground. However, Optimus appears just in time and manages to use his Prime Jets to give the craft enough of a boost to make a safe crash landing.
This is the first story since the two-part opener that really shows that Beast Wars has an ongoing storyline. It’s also refreshing to see the development of a series of individual story arcs rather than a show made up of stand-alone episodes. It was a clear break from the established format for most animated shows of the time. Story Editor Bob Forward and his team obviously aimed the show at a more mature audience, knowing that they could cope with mode in-depth storytelling. It certainly paid off with the quality of the series.
Focusing specifically on “Victory” and this is a great episode. I’m glad they took the time to develop the story over an extended period instead of forcing everything into just 25 minutes. By doing so it did justice to the characters, plot and even allowed time for light hearted moments amongst the drama.
I mention the levity as it’s one of my highlights of the episode. A great moment here is when the Maximals spot Optimus heading to rescue them. Dinobot asks, “Is it a bird?”, followed by Rhinox saying, “Maybe a plane?” with the last line going to Rattrap – “Nah, it’s Optimus!”. While this is going on, a piece of music not too dissimilar to the classic Superman theme starts to play as Optimus seems to be carrying the ship as he flies!
A great episode and one that leads nicely into the halfway point of the season next time…