Episode Review: Beast Wars S01 Ep15 – “The Spark”

Beast Wars

Moving on rapidly with our rewatch of my all-time favourite Transformers series, Beast Wars. The first season is progressing well as we’re now up to episode 15 – “The Spark”.

The Spark – Synopsis

A stray meteor crashes into one of the stasis pods in orbit around the planet and sends it hurtling rapidly towards the ground. Knowing that the occupant is currently a Maximal protoform, both sides are in a race against time to get to it and release it. Optimus to make sure it is safe and Megatron to reprogram it and turn it into a Predacon.

Megatron sends Scorponok and Blackarachnia to retrieve the damaged pod – which has crashed in their territory. At the same time, Rhinox, Cheetor and Tigatron see it land and they head off to try to recover it and save the Maximal inside.

A Disaster Awaits

Rhinox arrives on the scene first and sees how badly damaged the pod is. With a failing scanner, and even greater damage to the protoform itself with no ability to go into stasis for self-repair, there is little that can be done to save the spark inside. Rhinox and Cheetor have a struggle on their hands to save the potentially doomed Maximal…

In order to try to save the protoform, Rhinox temporarily removes Cheetor’s locking chip and places it in the new Maximal until they can repair it properly and find it a beast form.

A Touch Of Spirituality

One thing that The Spark touches upon – and is something I don’t recall seeing in Transformers up to this point – is how the Maximals feel about life and death. While Cheetor is temporarily offline to have his locking chip removed, he enters a brief dream state where he discusses the wonder experienced when a new spark is created, and the sadness experienced when the spark of any bot is lost and its ultimate fate sees it return to the Matrix.

While the natural life cycle and its emotional impact is something we may take for granted as humans, to see and hear it from a Maximal perspective adds a whole new level of depth not only to this episode but to the series as a whole.

Overall

The Spark is an extremely well written, and thought provoking episode. The slow build-up has you wondering from start to finish whether the Maximal protoform is going to survive, will be turned, or if they do survive just who they will become. But the journey to get there is balanced with plenty of action, superb dialogue and a fascinating insight into the the Maximal way of life.

At the end we’re finally introduced to the latest member of the Maximal crew, Airrazor and although her form was hinted at a few times during the episode, her appearance at the end was no less impactful. Yet again though, this is another fantastic episode and one that stands up to repeat viewing almost 30 years after it first aired.

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About Simon Plumbe 500 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