Episode Review: Beast Wars S01 Ep14 – “Double Dinobot”

Beast Wars

We’re now into the second half of the first season of Beast Wars with Episode 14 – “Double Dinobot”.

Double Dinobot – Synopsis

Once again, Megatron has been experimenting and this time he’s been able to create a clone of Dinobot – but one that is loyal to the Predacons. Planning on using the clone to spy on the Maximals, he sets out to get rid of the real Dinobot to carry out his scheme. Terrosaur is tasked with eliminating Dinobot but instead leaves him trapped in a cave.

Informing Megatron of his apparent success, the clone (who is unable to transform) sets off to deceive the Maximals and lead them into a deadly trap. Primal soon suspects something isn’t quite right but sends the clone and Rattrap to investigate, but it’s not long before Rattrap is attacked.

The Maximals are removed from the base one by one, but eventually the real Dinobot escapes and the clone is confronted and he manages to save the day.

Clichéd Plot

Truthfully, the doppelganger storyline has been used an astonishing number of times in sci-fi and fantasy. It has been said that there are really only a handful of original stories and everything ever written is just a variation of one of those core themes and that’s certainly the case here. If you think right back to the classic tale, The Man In The Iron Mask, the character swap has been used time and time again. In fact, I’ve been rewatching classic episodes of The Bionic Woman on Amazon’s Freevee channel and even several episodes of that show have done the same.

But the story has been used so often because it gives us a chance to see how well the lead characters truly know and trust each other. In this case we see that Rattrap still has misgivings about Dinobot, in part down to his reluctance to trust him from the start. But Primal, who has had faith in the former Predacon is one of the first to suspect something isn’t quite right…

Voice Acting Masterclass

In terms of the cast, this episode really allowed Scott McNeil to shine no only as both the real and clone Dinobot, but in all of the scenes where he was verbally sparring with Rattrap. We had the pleasure of bringing Scott over to our convention back in 2010 and to see him perform as both live during our script reading was an absolute delight.

This really was his showcase episode though. There are others later in the series that give him an even greater spotlight, but this is probably his best up to this point.

Comic Relief

Despite the fairly serious nature of the episode (as seems to be the case with the series as a whole), Double Dinobot does have its light hearted moments. When Dinobot first encounters his clone, they meet in a corridor on board the Maximal ship but instead of a stand off, they both act initially as if they are looking at a reflection of themselves. It’s only a short scene but it’s written and animated superbly and adds a touch of fun to the episode.

The highlight for me is a line from Dinbot at the end. When Rattrap and Optimus ask where the clone is, Dinobot replies, “I’m afraid he’s gone for good. It’s a shame really, he was such a handsome creature… and quite tasty!”. Best line of the episode!

Overall

I’d say that this is probably one of my favourite Beast Wars episode up to this point. While it’s not the most complex in terms of storytelling, it’s solid entertainment from start to finish with what is arguably the best one-liner of the entire series.

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About Simon Plumbe 493 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe