Episode Review: Beast Wars S01 Ep19 – “Call Of The Wild”

Beast Wars

We’re into the final stretch with our look back at the first season of Beast Wars. Episode 19 sees series story editor Bob Forward return to writing duties once more with Call Of The Wild so I was expecting something special…

Call Of The Wild – Story Summary

Cheetor is having nightmares… He finds himself dreaming about being a wild animal chasing down prey before being surrounded by fire then plunging to his death. Interrupted by a Predacon attack, the Maximal base is taking damage after being assaulted on all sides. During the confusion, Waspinator managed to tear open a section of the ship and steals something from the base. Once Megatron knows it’s in the posession of the Predacons he orders a swift retreat.

During the battle both Primal and Airrazor took damage, but that quickly became the least of their worries. Rhinox revealed to the rest of the team that the component Megatron stole – the Rectifier Coil – was protecting the Maximals from the Energon field outside of their base. Without it, they would need to remain in beast form permanently…

Defenseless

Without the Coil, the Maximals were in a weakened state. Not only was in increasingly difficult to use their equipment in their base but many of them were starting to display traits of their beast forms. Knowing this was going to happen, Megatron and the rest of the Predacons sat waiting for their opportunity to strike when the Maximals were at their most vulnerable. But in the meantime, more and more of the Maximals were struggling to maintain control of their identities, and their inner beasts were taking control…

Eventually, once all of the Maximals had reached what seemed to be a point of no return, the Predacons used the cover of night to strike hunting them down one by one. Only Airrazor and Tigatron were safe having not only made peace with their beast forms, but spending more time in the wild they were accustomed to living freely rather than being dependent on the Rectifier Coil.

Tigatron To The Rescue

Eventually, Tigatron encounters his fellow Maximals, and manages to get them to follow him in an attempt to connect with their robotic selves. Meanwhile Airrazor heads towards the empty Predacon base to recover the stolen Coil. Successful, Airrazor takes the Coil back to the base while Tigatron explains to the rest of the Maximals that they need to embrace rather than block their beast side to achieve inner balance.

The Hunt – A Bad Call?

For the most part, I’ve enjoyed Beast Wars as a series and apart from the odd weak episode I haven’t really found anything that I’ve really been disappointed with. Until this episode, that is. In theory the hunt could have been a straightforward scene, putting Predacon against Maximal, but instead it was done in extremely bad taste. The Predacons imitated big game hunters, right down to an almost ceremonial parade at the start. When Megatron took the first shot again Primal, he used what was clearly meant to be a rifle, even aiming down sights mounted on top.

It didn’t end at that point, as another one of the Predacons made reference to using automatic weapons during the hunt. If there had been a anti-hunting comment at this point from at least one of the characters about their conduct it would have at least made this a more positive scene, but instead it came across as if it was glorifying hunting. Regardless of the fact that it was the Predacons doing the hunting, it wasn’t handled in a way to be critical of the act of hunting, just that the Predacons failed. And with the Maximals being in beast form, it made the scene come across as being even more supportive of hunting.

Overall

The concept is an interesting one. It’s often said that humans – if you take away basic necessities – will revert back to a more aggressive, almost primal state and in a sense this story parallels that. While we have known all of the Maximals in their robot forms, deep down that’s only half of their personalities. As soon as they crash landed, they all became hybrid beings taking on board the characteristics of the forms they had taken.

With that side of their nature unleashed it stripped away everything apart from their raw strength and power. In a sense it shows just how dangerous they could be to the native inhabitants and why their inner balance was so important, as it is for all of us to acknowledge that we all have a darker side to our own personalities.

Overall, Call Of The Wild is a good story, only let down by the hunt segment, but overall it’s another solid piece of writing from Bob Forward.

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About Simon Plumbe 499 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