Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Saturday, May 30th, 2015 10:49am CDT

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Posted by: william-james88   Views: 107,269

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While there are very few lists concerning Transformers toys on the web(world), it’s a different matter for the G1 episodes, which asks for a bit more special attention. So I called upon the help of an expert, Seibertron's own Optimutt, to write this very special list devoted to the 98 episodes of the original Transformers cartoon:

The Top Ten Best Transformers episodes!

Take it away Optimutt!

Since this is an important list, I had to establish a ruling criteria. This will be the same rules for the subsequent lists I write, if this one goes well. In looking at each episode, I considered a number of important points.
- The first is Enjoyment Factor. If we can’t enjoy a cartoon, why bother watching, right?
- The second is Animation. While some of you may claim this is unfair to the notorious AKOM studio, this is an animated show after-all so I can't ignore it, but keep in mind that this is only one of the many factors.
- To this, I also add Story. Yes, this was a 1980’s cartoon. Yes, I know that campiness was a key ingredient of the stories. Indeed, this WAS a series designed to sell toys. And yes, I wholly understand that these were cartoons geared at kids. But all those factors aside, there were also some remarkably mature concepts that the cartoon introduced to the fandom. In many ways, the story-telling of G1 conceptuality set the standard for what was to come: Dinobot in Beast Wars, Cliffjumper in TF: Prime, the brutality of the movies, Furman’s run on Marvel’s and IDW’s comics, and James Roberts’ More Than Meets the Eye, among countless other examples.
- Which leads directly into Cultural Relevance. The Transformers cartoon was the one that started it all. Without the movie, would Optimus Prime be a walking phoenix cliché? I think not. So much of what the Transformers has become is owed to this cartoon series. Indeed, there are some episodes on this list that would absolutely not belong were it not for their significance to the fandom over the past thirty years.

Before the list begins, I want to make a shout-out to the fans who responded to an inquiry I posted on various fandom media. I asked YOU what you thought was the best episode. The results of that is below.

Fans’ Choice – I submitted this question to a number of different media. It turns out that of all the responses, the fandom feels that Galvatron’s descent into madness was the most fun you could have with the 22 minute time slot of the 1980’s! Congratulations Webworld!

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Galvatron with Dr. Ratchet.

I also want to thank for the episode descriptions and a whole lot of different places for the images. They’re purty.

Finally, an honorable mention. The movie was epic. Watch it, if only for this epic scene. Yes, “epic” is used twice because the whole movie blew minds. Only truly epic things deserve such epicosity of wordage.

Alright. Enough lolley-gagging! Let’s get this show on the road!

Number Ten

Webworld – Written by Len Wein and Diane Duane. Cyclonus is concerned about Galvatron's mental and emotional state and takes him to a planet where he can get treatment.

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Galvatron proving he accepts no outside interference.

One thing to note: Len Wein is the guy who wrote Giant Sized XMen 1, you know, the first appearance of Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird. These are some of the most influential characters in comics, and he brought them all to life. But this is only one element of his legacy. The fact that his most significant contribution to the TF Fandom is what was chosen as the favorite episode speaks volumes of his abilities as a writer.

Mutiny is no stranger in the cartoon, but in the first two seasons, we would have seen exactly that. In Webworld, that tradition is circumvented by Cyclonus’ loyalty to his leader. This element, by itself, puts this episode in a unique position in the canon.

More important than the Decepticon situation is the psychological one. The whole episode is a social observation on how emotional connection changes not just the target but also the agent. In opening itself up to Galvatron’s psychological mainframe, the planet of Torkulon contracts the same madness that plagues the Decepticon leader. Titled “Webworld,” the episode almost predicted a potential flaw in the Internet (which would not be made public for at least several years after this episode was made), which was of exploitation. Wonderful as it is, ask any artist or creator about creator rights, and you will see how much damage Galvatron’s madness actually is.

Number Nine

The Master Builders – Written by David N. Gottlieb and Herb Engelhardt. Grapple has dreamed of building a solar tower to collect energy from the sun. But when Optimus disapproves, Grapple finds help from the Constructicons, who are secretly working for Megatron.

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Grapple enjoys his toy model blueprint.

How far will an artist go to create his art? “The Master Builders” looks right in the face of this question. In Grapple, viewers can vicariously make that judgement call that all artists must wring their hands in quiet contemplation when their ideas are rejected. Do they give up? Do they eschew traditional methods and create the art on their own? Or do they make a deal with the devil and sell out? This is the Faustian myth of blues artist Robert Johnson in animated form. And just like the “Crossroads” creator, Grapple has to pay the price of his deal: betrayal and corruption of the dream.

There is also an unspeakable tragedy of war in this: it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain anything of value during wartime. Wartime consequences will come to play a little later in the list (can you guess which episode I am referencing?) but for now, let me just say how amazing an episode this is. There is no line that is out of place, nor scene that does not work into the overarching story. And for once, Megatron (and Scrapper, and Smokescreen, and Optimus… just about everyone, really) shows how competent a leader he actually is. Perhaps it is that overall competence that we see in this episode that makes it so good. Every thread is about using your skills, and other people’s skills to benefit the populous. Ultimately, despite all the betrayal and heartache that we see, it is a sparkly feelgood episode.

Number Eight

War Dawn – Written by David Wise. Some Aerialbots start to have doubts about their cause, some have started to admire Megatron, and are thinking of switching sides. They get pulled into a time warp, and end up on Cybertron, before the current war began. They'll discover more about Megatron, and the origin of one of their own.

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“Pax. Orion Pax. I’ll have a Tesarus, shaken, not stirred.

Who is Optimus Prime? What was he before he became the ultimate Autobot? Why, he was just another chump named Orion Pax, palling around with his girlfriend and buddy. IDW has used this idea as a launchpad for so much of their stories that I would not be able to give the company justice in this review. So I won’t. All I will add about this is that the Cultural Relevance of this episode is mind-bogglingly huge. I mean, Unicron-sized huge.

As far as a story is concerned, it’s ok. There are some serious flaws in the episode (“We must destroy the time machine to save our friends! But now we need to fix it get them back!” paraphrasing courtesy of the author). Despite this, the Aerialbots’ naivete is beautiful. Yes, they are chumps, but it makes sense! How many of us (both young and old) have fallen victim to that crush on that sexy, beautiful person only to realize what a chump they are? I have most certainly made that mistake once. Or twice. So cut Slingshot (Quickslinger) and company some slack. At least they learned from their mistake. Granted, it only nearly cost Orion Pax his life, but who’s counting? We got Optimus Prime out of the deal! Thanks, chumps!

Number Seven

Golden Lagoon – Written by Dennis Marks. The Decepitcons coat themselves with electrum that they find in a golden lagoon. They become impervious to laser fire and attack the Autobots.

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I am Golden Supreme!

Above, if you guessed I was referencing Golden Lagoon, give yourself a No-Prize!

The 1980s were a good twenty something years into the Cold War, a period of non-conflict between Capitalist countries (especially the USA) and Communist countries (primarily the USSR, but also China) to see whose dogma is the better one. If the Cold War were ever to run hot, it would look a lot like Golden Lagoon. What begins as a mere skirmish between a handful of Autobots and Decepticons results in a capture of Autobot prisoners. To rescue these prisoners, the Autobots mount a greater force, but again are repulsed because the Decepticons find the lagoon of Electrum and become invulnerable. So the Autobots pull out their big gun, the ultimate defender, Omega Supreme! Yeah. He gets beat. Soundly. So the Autobots manage to find the Electrum and coat themselves, resulting in their defeating the ‘Cons! Yay! We won! Or did we?

See, this episode is not about how wars are won by building bigger and better weapons, instead, it is a commentary about the horrors of war. In The Master Builders, Grapple’s Solar Power Tower is destroyed not because it’s bad, but because the nature of conflict is that has no conscience. It destroys indiscriminately. In warfare, no one is innocent, and those that begin innocent are quickly stripped of it, either by outright destruction or by death. This is an idea that we are seeing more and more of in the fandom: The Battle of Chicago (TF3), Code of Hero (Beast Wars), IDW’s Transformers series (starting back in Retaliation). Sure, using Beachcomber as a narrative shows just another hippie hugging his trees and channeling his inner Disney Princess, but upon a deeper look, this allows the viewer to appreciate the beauty of life. And to mourn death’s loss. Beachcomber’s response at the end, where he looks out at the Arcadia that was now a dismal crater of smoking destruction is one of the most poignant images in the whole of cataclysmic TF images. See and judge for yourself.

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“We won.”

Number Six

The Return of Optimus Prime – Written by Marv Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson. A group of scientists finds the body of Optimus Prime, and some spores that bring out aggressive tendencies in whomever it contacts. The scientists have a grudge against the Autobots, and use Optimus's body to lure them into a trap. As the spores spread through the Autobots and Decepticons, Rodimus orders Sky Lynx to find a Quintesson in a desperate attempt to bring Optimus Prime back to life. The spores spread across the Galaxy, forcing the newly-revived Optimus to find a cure in the Matrix, which is inside a spore-infected Rodimus Prime. Without becoming infected, Optimus must find a way to get the matrix.

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Who could it be?!?

Relevence: Historic. Prime f-bomb comes back to life!

This episode sets two very recurring precedents in the TF mythos, namely that Prime is a phoenix who dies and promptly comes right back to life again, and upgrades will happen! Not just recolored toys and simple retools of previous molds, but full-on upgrades! While Optimus doesn’t get one in this episode, Bumblebee does! Which happens again. And again. And again. This is a perfect story play; especially considering this is an animated show for a toy line, it lets HasTak keep the bodies fresh. I mean, since this episode, certain Transformers have changed bodies as if they are clothes ( Starscream Prime Optimus Primal>).

This is visually one of the best episodes in the whole series. It has elements that we last saw in The Movie, but it also does things that had not been seen before. Like a white Optimus Prime? Yup. Totally original idea, there. Everyone is one color. Haven’t seen that before, either. Not even in Golden Lagoon. I jest. Really, just about every background and every render of the characters are crisp, clean, and they absolutely pop. The story is great, too. Its prime conflict comes outside of the war, forcing both Autobots and Decepticons to find alternatives to direct combat, which leads to ingenuity of story-telling that keeps the double-parter feel fresh. As the principal scribe to this episode, Marv Wolfman shows us why he is such a pillar of creativity in the world. Oh, you don’t know who Marv Wolfman is? Well, one of his biggest accomplishments was the first ultimate DC mashup that resulted in the deaths of Supergirl and Barry Allen’s Flash. Yes, I’m talking about Crisis on Infinite Earths. In addition, he created the Teen Titans, Blade, Nova, Spider-Woman, Deathstroke the Terminator, and he helped create edit/write Beast Machines, I mean, the guy is a living legend of creative genius. And we can add to that impressive resume the fact that he brought Optimus Prime back to life in style. Well done, sir!

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“Give me the Matrix, Rodimus!”

Number Five

More Than Meets the Eye – Written by George Arthur Bloom. As the Energon supply runs low on the planet Cybertron, the Autobots leave to find a new energy source. Their enemies, the Decepticons, follow. After a vicious battle in space, both of their ships crash land on Earth. The Decepticons try to gather every bit of energy that they can, from Earth, in order to get back to Cybertron. The Autobots, along with their new human allies, try to stop them.

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Autobot group shot

This is the one that started it all and that Beast Wars copied. Overall, in these three episodes, children all around the world, and of all ages, are given a backstory that grounds the whole mythos. Not only do we get a cool story of resource acquisition and the culture shock of being in a new place a long, long, LONG time after you set out, but we also get complex characters right from the start. Each character, from Thundercracker, to Reflector, to Prowl, to Hound, to Cliffjumper, to Spike and Sparkplug, to Huffer and Gears, gets a very unique voice that is carried throughout the three episodes. And on voices: this sets the standard of incredible voice acting quality. Indeed, without Voice Director Wally Burr’s influence, one of the biggest continuously-praised strengths of the cartoon would never have come to fruition. Can you imagine Prime speaking like his Hong Kong dub of TF: Headmasters? Yeah, I just shuddered a bit, too.

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Decepticon group shot

But that isn’t all! Below is only a partial list of what it establishes that Transformers media (and toys) keeps referencing: Prime’s axe. Megatron’s flail. Sideswipe’s rocket pack. Mirage’s invisibility, Skywarp’s teleportation, Ravage’s light sensitivity, Soundwave’s creepiness. Decepticons as tripod ships, Cybertron and Cybertronian forms. The need for human friends. Snarky Starscream. Windcharger’s magnetic arms. Hound’s resourcefulness. Rumble’s piledrivers. In no way can I emphasize the importance of this. Only certain weaknesses in the overall story elements and the hit and miss quality of the animation prevent this from being at the top. To be fair, some of the story elements are hindered by the toys themselves, though I will reflect upon no names.

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Cybertronian forms. Sweet…

Number Four

Cosmic Rust – Written by Paul Davids. The areas of Megatron that get hit by some meteor fragments begin to rust. The Decepticons capture Perceptor to find a cure for their leader. But once cured, Megatron hatches a scheme to infect the Autobots with Cosmic Rust.

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An interstellar Transformers colony

This episode does not just look at departing Cybertron for new energy, but it shows that there are more to Transformers than meets the eye. In Cosmic Rust, we get actual Transformer settlements! On other planets! This adds a ton to the mythos, as it suggests that a: there are many more Transformers out there and b: colonies do exist. The next question, logically, is where are all these other Transformers? And while we get few actual answers in the cartoon (Wreck Gar, the Quintessons being exceptions to this point), it is an idea that Simon Furman plays with in his Generation 2 comic series.

The animation is well above par, with each character drawn well and where the growth and detail of the rust as it spreads over various Transformers feeling authentic and gruesome. As a story, it is another character piece, with great humor, the Stunticons shining the way they destroy best, and Starscream’s previous life as a scientist is referenced. Like The Master Builders above, this is an episode all about choice. Perceptor shows himself as being potentially dangerous, but instead of art, everything he does is in the name of science. Does that mean he is less noble for it? Potentially. His nobility forces him to heal Megatron, but in doing so, it puts the world in jeopardy. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to help Megatron out of a heroic need, but more of a scientific need. “Hey, Percy, here’s a chance to demonstrate your genius. Don’t worry about the consequences!”

Number Three

Starscream’s Brigade – Written by Michael Charles Hill. After being exiled from the Decepticons, Starscream frees five Cybertronian criminals from prison and re-purposes them into his own troops, the Combaticons. With these new warriors at his command, he challenges Megatron for control of the Decepticons.

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Combaticons, arise!

Although this boasts some of the worst animation on this list, the episode itself is just so fun that it matters little. This is the real template for sub-team mutiny in the Transformers mythos. And there certainly have been enough civil wars! Starscream is devious but brilliant, showing just how evil and duplicitous a leader he would actually make. Where Megatron rules by fear, Starscream leads by manipulation. While it is a powerful tool, it is exactly why he is forever relegated to second fiddle.

Probably the greatest thing to come out of this episode, however, is the idea of Decepticons that are so violent, so unruly, that they have been imprisoned. I wonder if James Roberts was watching this episode when he came up with his notorious Decepticon Justice Division.

Number Two

The Ultimate Weapon – written by Arthur Byron Cover. First Aid quits the Autobots over his pacifism. This becomes a problem when Trypticon attacks a malfunctioning Metroplex.

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Malfunctioning metropolititan mashing.

The relevance of this is cognitive. Get it? Because of transforming cogs? Before this titan of an episode, people only assumed that Transformers converted form simply because. It was never an idea of internal mecha-organs. This changed that with an excellent story that any doctor would nod at in accordance with the reality of organ transplant. The battle between the monsters (pictured above) is so fun because of the unpredictability of their malfunctioning systems. Going a little deeper under the exo-skeleton, the cogs have become of the three most important parts of a Transformer (brain, spark, and cog). In fact, what is a Transformer without its cog? Action Master? Member of the MMM? James Roberts, are you like me in that this is this your favorite TF cartoon? I only ask because it seems the foundation for a whole lot of what you’re doing with your amazing MTMtE series for IDW.

Animation-wise, this is right up there with The Return of Optimus Prime and Call of the Primitives. Everything is beautiful (just look at the chunks fall off from that contact!), even the setting in Holland! The action is brilliant, where each and nearly every single character gets a spotlight moment. This episode is also as close as the animated series comes to Scramble City. When First Aid quits the team, Defensor is left short-handed in his protecting duties.

Number One

The Search for Alpha Trion – Written by Beth Bornstein. Optimus Prime travels to Cybertron to rescue Elita One, the leader of the female Autobots.

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Elita-1: LeGENDERy. See what I did there? Yeah.

For the last year or so, whenever a group of fans are given the chance to vote on what kind of character we want Hasbro to produce, we’ve said “WIMMIN!” First, Windblade. Now, Victorion, the all-female supergroup that will kick butt not just alone, but as a COMBINER! Who wants to take bets that this would never have happened were it not for the introduction of Elita-1, Moonracer, Firestar, Chromia, and the other female Autobots from this episode? Yeah. Didn’t think so. The impact of their inclusion is historic. It changed a race of totally “male” robots into something far more complex, both physically, and culturally. While The Challenge of the Go-Bots did this better, including female characters right in their first episode, with this, Transformers established a precedent that is seen in the third season, with a regular character that never got a toy (Generations Arcee FTW!), and in every series since then. While not exactly a feminist’s cry of success, as every one of the females has a male counterpart, the very fact that they are in the series is a mighty victory, indeed. What impresses me most about Elita-1, especially, is her willingness to protect Optimus Prime, even at the cost of her own life. This is not only a woman, but it is woman as hero. And she is beautiful.

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Bittersweet ending

In addition to the female Autobots, we also get Vector Sigma, the super-computer that “gave all Transformers life” (despite its various iterations) and Alpha Trion (another one who will get a toy later this year. Takara Legends Ultra Magnus, in case you were wondering). The animation is as good as a regular episode can get, and when Elita uses her special power, things get downright seizure-inducing, which all good cartoons from the ‘80s need. I also want to take this moment to give a special nod to the recently late John Stephenson, who did an incredible and indelible job voicing Alpha Trion. Thank you, sir.

So there you have it! The Top 10 episodes of the original Transformers series. Do you agree? Let us know in the forums!
Previous Top Transformers lists can be found here!

Credit(s): Seibertron's own Optimutt

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Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692407)
Posted by griftimus prime on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:00am CDT
there are so many its hard to make a top ten but no call of the primitives?

cosmic rust and return of optimus prime are both great. i am a really big fan of the 3 part ultimate doom episodes.

and i may take heat for this but i love the episode the girl who loved powerglide.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692408)
Posted by RhA on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:02am CDT

Good to see Webworld in there and even better your no. 1 wasn't MTMTE. And it makes me want to see Cosmic Rust again.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692410)
Posted by william-james88 on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:03am CDT
My personal favourite is the God Gambit. Just goes to show how much there was good stuff in a show that was initially made just to sell toys.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692411)
Posted by RhA on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:04am CDT
william-james88 wrote:My personal favourite is the God Gambit. Just goes to show how much there was good stuff in a show that was initially made just to sell toys.

The God Gambit was a great episode. Realy liked it as a kid.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692423)
Posted by BlueBefore on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:23am CDT
griftimus prime wrote:there are so many its hard to make a top ten but no call of the primitives?

cosmic rust and return of optimus prime are both great. i am a really big fan of the 3 part ultimate doom episodes.

and i may take heat for this but i love the episode the girl who loved powerglide.

Both Call of the Primitives and The Girl Who Loved Powerglide are great episodes.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692425)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:32am CDT
Those aren't bad choices. I'm not a fan of the cartoon and there are at least ten (maybe twenty) 80's cartoon series I enjoy a hell of a lot more but reading through the reasons for each episode here is pretty interesting.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692426)
Posted by Wheeljack808 on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:32am CDT
Ummmm S.O.S. Dinobots isn't here? Really? :(
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692429)
Posted by Optimutt on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:39am CDT
Wheeljack808 wrote:Ummmm S.O.S. Dinobots isn't here? Really? :(

It was just barely bumped out. Marvel's TF 4-6 has a more lasting impact on the mythos than S.O.S. had, which tarnished its score a tad. Top twenty, for certain.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692431)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:46am CDT
I have to add my vote for God Gambit, that REALLY foreshadowed just what people would, could do, in the name of faith. I also really liked the two part arc that really wasn't when the Autobots were in space. First part was called Child's Play and the second was when they ended up on that gambling planet. Child's Play features probably one of the greatest quotes from Optimus Prime.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692432)
Posted by shajaki on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:50am CDT
It's a great list, and just makes me realize how many amazing episodes there really were in G1. But it hurts me to the SOUL that my favorite isn't in there:

Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692433)
Posted by Optimizzy on May 30th, 2015 @ 11:56am CDT
Diane Duane of Webworld also wrote many of the pivitol "Spock" episodes of star trek, including the star trek novel "Spock's World"

Interesting since Leonard Nimoy had played both characters.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692438)
Posted by RiddlerJ on May 30th, 2015 @ 12:11pm CDT
Call outs I'd like to make.

Call of the Primitives-love the animation and the idea of teaming up all the animal transformers is pretty cool. Especially since both the Autobots and Decepticons are concerned enough to work together. They don't put aside their differences (in fact it's great hows there's still a few flare ups) but the larger threats has them attempt to get their act together.

Microbots-Okay the shrink ray bit is a little gimmicky, but it has beautiful animation, a call back to what happened to the Nemesis, and drunk Decepticons.

Desertion of the Dinobots-It's a shame the Dinobots were reduced to comic relief in the 3rd season because there was some great character moments with their frequent clashes with the other Autobots and this two-parter makes great use of that. Plus malfunctioning Transfomers and Grimlock totally tries to kill Spike (imagine if Swoop didn't grab their car at the last minute)
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692458)
Posted by Cyberpath on May 30th, 2015 @ 1:19pm CDT
This timeless cartoon.

Hasbro may have commissioned it to sell toys, but I think the creative team was mostly allowed to do whatever, so long as they included the characters that Hasbro requested for each episode. There's so much talent between the directors, writers, designers, storyboard-artists, animators, and voice-actors of this series.

Love all of it and the movie. Impossible to pick just ten.

william-james88 wrote:As far as a story is concerned, it’s ok. There are some serious flaws in the episode (“We must destroy the time machine to save our friends! But now we need to fix it get them back!" paraphrasing courtesy of the author).

He needed to stop the time-machine immediately before it had the chance to take the Aerialbots back to the beginning of time -- "before the galaxy even existed." Better they spend some time in Cybertron's past than in oblivion.

william-james88 wrote:Perceptor shows himself as being potentially dangerous, but instead of art, everything he does is in the name of science. Does that mean he is less noble for it? Potentially. His nobility forces him to heal Megatron, but in doing so, it puts the world in jeopardy. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to help Megatron out of a heroic need, but more of a scientific need. “Hey, Percy, here’s a chance to demonstrate your genius. Don’t worry about the consequences!"

He helped because Megatron promised peace. I think Perceptor was quite gullible in this one.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692466)
Posted by Black Bumblebee on May 30th, 2015 @ 1:50pm CDT
Quite a few of my favorites come from the less popular (but still awesome) Season 3:

"The Burden Hardest to Bear." In it, we see Rodimus revert back to Hot Rod (who hasn't wanted to go back to being a kid again, after realizing that adulthood is full of too much responsibility?), the Matrix captured by Galvatron (who gets told off by the ghost of Prime when Galvatron tries to insert the Matrix into his cannon), Scourge Prime, and Rodimus coming to terms with his destiny. It's main flaw is that it comes right before the return of Optimus Prime, and thus destroys the character building Rodimus gets.

"Dark Awakening." The Quintisons try to use the body of Optimus Prime as a trap to kill the Autobots. If the death of Optimus Prime is something that shocked a generation of little Transformer fans... this episode upped the score by several more by having zombie Prime as a villain, and a final gory shot of his face torn apart as he sacrifices himself at the end. Again, this episode loses some impact when they tacked on the return of OP, but otherwise, quite shocking.

"Starscream's Ghost." The ghost of Starscream and Octane act as an unlikely pair of buddies as they try to pull down Galvatron. Starsceram body hopping around all over the place is oodles of fun. This also serves as an episode that shows that they were trying to build a story line of continuous episodes, rather than stand alones, as it builds on events of a previous episode (where Octane had tried to steal Trypticon) and gets it's own sequel ("Ghost in the Machine") where Starscream's ghost makes a deal with Unicron for a new body, by getting Starscream to give Unicron a new body.

"Only Human." Rodimus Prime and company become human due to the technology of "Old Snake." We have some interesting redesigns going on here, and even a little Rodimus / human romance double cross. This also serves to show a direct connection of Transformers to GI Joe, which is also alluded to with Marissa Fairborn's episode "Madman's Paradise."

"Dweller in the Dephs." Transformer zombies. 'Nuff said.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692479)
Posted by Super Megatron on May 30th, 2015 @ 2:31pm CDT
Great list, and I agree with 90% of it with the exception of "Return of Optimus Prime". The story for that particular episode was weak, the lack of characterization made the episode pointless, and the deu ex machina device used at the end rendered the awesomeness of the Matrix pedestrian (more on this later).

In its place, I would have "Fight Or Flee". This episode offered:

1. Another glimpse of Cybertronian history that added to the richness of the G1 canon.
2. An explanation as to what happened to the non-aligned Cybertronians ("Nails") and what had become of them in G1.
3. What Cybertron could had been like if the war had stopped a long time ago.
4. Another glimpse of what would happen if the Autobots loses a world to the Decepticons (as we had seen in "Megatron's Master Plan".
5. How Prime, unlike Optimus, can make those hard decisions when the latter can't or isn't willing. I know blowing up a planet may seem stupid, but in WW2, military leaders had to implement the scorch earth policy in order to prevent the enemies in attaining a strategic resource or land, making that decision a necessary evil - I was impressed that they actually shown this in a kid's cartoon.
6. The animation, for the most part, was beautiful.

"Return Of Optimus Prime" was bad in several regards - it contained a story that was basically a vehicle to bring Optimus back - never mind why the hate zombies can work together to infect the non-infected, when they were supposed to be irrational and is full of hate, but it was so that it justify giving Optimus Prime the Matrix back so the North American audience can "back to the way things were before the movie". Of course, by opening the Matrix, all the ills of the galaxy can be solved just like that, leaving you wondering why not open the Matrix every time something goes wrong? Just fill it up with wisdom! I guess Optimus should had done that before the war was dragged on for millions of years. Oh well.

More importantly, while the rest of the world was getting ready to have TF: Headmasters, Masterforce, Victory, and Zone. It just goes to show you that the NorAm audience doesn't have the ability to move forward with a fiction narrative an is stuck in its ways, making beloved franchises stale and irrelevant over time (hence all the remakes we've been seeing in the last 20 years or so)
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692494)
Posted by TGS1985 on May 30th, 2015 @ 3:09pm CDT
For me personally the timing of this couldn't be any better as I'm about to start a complete G1 marathon for the first time.

I'll have to definitely keep an eye out for all these episodes when they come up.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692495)
Posted by Ultra Markus on May 30th, 2015 @ 3:14pm CDT
griftimus prime wrote:there are so many its hard to make a top ten but no call of the primitives?

i agree and the animation was better than most
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692499)
Posted by Jelze Bunnycat on May 30th, 2015 @ 3:27pm CDT
Wow, I remember almost all many episodes from that list, considering I don't remember that many. Good taste. I'd like to nominate (purely storywise):

Triple Takeover
This episode is akin to Starscream's Brigade in the sub-factioning department, only with the Triple Changers Blitzwing and Astrotrain taking the helm, in their own ways. Instigated by Starscream, yes, but he gets stabbed in the back himself for once.
Sure, the plans executed by the two seem... I don't know, comical? Putting Megatron on ice (literally) may seem nonsensical, yet it was effective and may have set the precedent in the 2007 Movie. The highway created by the Constructicons allied with Blitzwing sure was effective with taking out the Autobots, even with a football coach's random advice. :lol: Astrotrain was equally successful with gathering Energon with his modified trains. But even the best plans can and will go wrong.

Not a gem, or a diamond in the rough, but I feel this shows the creativeness of some of the characters, Starscream getting his comeuppance in the treason department, plus it's refreshing to see Autobots bite the dust :lol:
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692503)
Posted by Desslok2201 on May 30th, 2015 @ 3:46pm CDT
I'm a big fan of Cosmic Rust, but absolutely couldn't stand the Return of Optimus Prime. It felt like a cop out, like they were backtracking because of the uproar over killing him in the first place. No mention of The Key to Vector Sigma? That was a huge two parter, back in the day. If there were a water cooler in my sixth grade, that would've been the topic of discussion around it.
Re: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes (1692515)
Posted by zko on May 30th, 2015 @ 5:38pm CDT
I agree with about half of these, especially "more than meets the eye"

ones I thought were missing or could have easily replaced some of the above:

"the ultimate doom"
- the decepticons working with a human in the form of Dr. Arkeville and the level of danger in this one is really high because of all the humans hypnotized, and Optimus having to choose between Cybertron and Earth, similar to DOTM, but unlike that movie Cybertron isn't as dead as it was in DOTM and there are according to Optimus many of his own friends still on Cybertron, also the fact that Sparkplug was one of the humans hypnotized was a biggy and we got to see alot more of Cybertron in this one than in many of the earlier shows.

"heavy metal war"
- megatron borrowing the powers of his minions was fantastic and this really was a worthy cliffhanger for the first season

"grimlock's new brain"
- grimlock's intelligence and the creation of computron make this one awesome

"only human"
- mentioned by someone else, inspiration for "human error" in animated

"the rebirth"
- the finale of the US series, was actually pretty cool to me, especially some of the action shots and animation

"fire in the sky"
- great classic with introduction of jetfire and his sacrifice at the end to save earth over his loyalty to starscream was great

"the key to vector sigma"
- introduced stunticons and aerialbots

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #273 - Our Way to Oblivion
Twincast / Podcast #273:
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