Battle for GoBotron
|This article is about the first episode of the cartoon. For the mini-series of which it is part, see Battle for GoBotron (mini-series).|
|"Battle for Gobotron"|
|Airdate||October 29, 1984|
|Written by||Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal and Tom Ruegger|
|Directed by||Oscar Dufau and Carl Urbano|
The Guardians pursue the Renegades to a distant world known as Earth.
In the far reaches of the Milky Way, the metallic planet of GoBotron is at war. Its native population, the GoBots, are split into two factions: the benevolent Guardians, who rule GoBotron, and the evil Renegades, who seek to conquer it. In his latest bid for power, Renegade leader Cy-Kill and his minions Crasher and Cop-Tur steal the Guardians' Astrobeam teleport device and make their escape using their race's ability to convert their mechanical bodies into vehicle forms. Guardian security officer Hans-Cuff attempts to stop them, but is taken out by Crasher's energy shockwave powers. Returning to the Renegade Fortress, Cy-Kill explains his scheme to his assembled troops: knowing that the Renegades' foothold on GoBotron is on the verge of crumbling, he plans to relocate to the far-off planet Earth, where a human ally he has already made contact with will help them establish a new beachhead from which they can strike at their homeworld.
At Guardian headquarters, military commander Leader-1 proposes a final strike on the Renegades' fortress to purge GoBotron of the villains once and for all. Zeemon and the Guardian Council agree, and the Guardians soon launch an all-out attack on the fortress. Cy-Kill appoints his second-in-command Fitor in charge of operations on GoBotron and leaves him to direct the Renegade army while he, Crasher, and Cop-Tur leave for Earth aboard a Thruster. Before Cy-Kill departs, Fitor requests permission to unleash the giant, feral monster Zod on the Guardians, but Cy-Kill refuses, as he will require Zod for his own plans in the near future. Tracking the trajectory of Cy-Kill's Thruster as it flies off, timid Guardian engineer Scooter deduces his destination, and Leader-1 takes him and Turbo in pursuit of the villains aboard a Command Center.
In Earth orbit, astronaut Matt Hunter takes new recruits Nick Burns and A.J. Foster on a mission to repair the Argos communications satellite, overseen from operations control down on Earth by prickly scientist Doctor Braxis. Once the job is complete, they are preparing to return to Earth aboard their shuttle the Intrepid when they witness the emergence of the Renegade Thruster from hyperspace, demolishing the Argos in the process. Unable to detect the huge spaceship on their scanners thanks to its stealth device, Braxis and General Newcastle don't believe Hunter's claims; consequently, Hunter disobeys orders to return to base and sets off in pursuit of the Renegade vessel. Cop-Tur detects the Intrepid, and Cy-Kill, desiring no witnesses to their arrival, has him land Thruster in the desert so they can exterminate their human pursuers without being seen. Once Thruster has landed, Cop-Tur shoots down the Intrepid, and he and Crasher chase the three humans across the desert. Fortunately, the Guardians soon arrive to aid the humans, but this forces Cy-Kill himself to join the fray, and a shot from the Renegade leader badly damages Turbo. Leader-1 shields both his fellow Guardians and the humans from Renegade fire using his personal forcefield, but just as his power has almost completely drained away, Scooter detects the approach of a large group of humans: a unit deployed by General Newcastle to arrest Matt, A.J. and Nick. The Renegades and Guardians both withdraw before they can be seen, leaving the three humans who have witnessed their fight helpless to convince their superiors of what has occurred.
Suspended from duty, the trio retire to Matt's house for the evening, where, under cover of darkness, Leader-1 approaches them with a request for aid. The Guardian leader doesn't actually bother to wait for an answer, scooping up the three humans and taking them back to the Command Center, where he explains that they require help acquiring the electronic components necessary to save the injured Turbo's life. A.J. and Nick are keen to help, and Matt extracts the promise from Leader-1 to help reinstate their reputations with NASA after all is said and done. Scooter accompanies Nick to obtain the necessary components from NASA's electronics warehouse, but as they are about to head back to the Command Center, Scooter's sensors detect Renegades in a nearby building. Eavesdropping through a skylight, the pair observe Cy-Kill, Crasher, and Cop-Tur meeting with Cy-Kill's human ally... Doctor Braxis! In return for Cy-Kill's promise that the Earth will be his to rule when the Renegades have left, Braxis provides them with information on the location of an energy crystal known as sorium. Just as Braxis hands the documents over, however, the skylight gives way under Nick and Scooter, and they come tumbling inside the lab! Cy-Kill instructs Cop-Tur to attack, and the Renegade menacingly advances...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Leader-1: "The time has come to put an end to Cy-Kill and the Renegades once and for all!"
Turbo: "Leader-1's right! We've sat on our circuits long enough!"
Zeemon: "The Guardian Council is in full agreement, Turbo. What do you propose, Leader-1?"
Leader-1: "An assault on the Renegade fortress tonight!"
Scooter: "U-uh, tonight? A-aren't we being a little hasty?"
- —The GoBots in: Sketching in Character Personalities 101
"We must not panic your people."
"Panic? You want to see panic, just wait'll I try and explain what happened to this shuttle!"
- —Leader-1 and Matt
"This is a great house, Matt!"
"Thanks. Now if I can only find a job to pay for it..."
- —Nick and Matt
- Gadgets and Powers:
- From the beginning of the series, it is established that all GoBots have anti-gravity flight systems available in their robot modes and (with the exception of Scooter) hand-blasters that fire energy discharges from their fists. Some GoBots also possess additional powers on top of these features.
- Crasher demonstrates the shockwave power she possesses, generated from her boots when she stomps on the ground. It takes the form of a zigzagging stream of energy that travels over the ground before exploding a target.
- Leader-1 is capable of generating a force field for the protection of himself and others. Unfortunately, using the force field drains his power at an unpredictable rate directly proportionate to the needs of the plot.
- Scooter's holograms are introduced when he generates a holographic dumpster for himself and Nick to hide behind at NASA.
- Scooter's more impressive sensors are also referenced, as he detects the Renegades merely by driving past a building they are inside.
- As the Guardians depart GoBotron, Turbo declares "Time to go!"—an unremarkable bit of dialogue that somehow winds up morphing into his catchphrase, repeated often throughout the series.
- The Renegades casually activate their stealth device (here called a "cloaking field") to hide Thruster as they approach Earth. The moment is treated with no fanfare, but future episodes will make a much bigger deal of the technology, which is unique to the Renegades and often key to both their evil plans, and to their constantly managing to escape at the end of every episode.
- The human organization involved in this mini-series is the real-world NASA (and later NORAD), which would be replaced in the series proper with the fictive UNECOM, the United Earth Command.
- The original mini-series uses character models for several of the GoBots that differ in subtle ways from those used in the series proper. Probably most notable are Turbo's beady black eyes and cheekbones, and Cy-Kill's black handlebars, which will be all-grey in the series. Cy-Kill also spends the pilot-mini series with only four fingers on each hand; his character model is revised to have five fingers in the series, but animation errors presumably resulting from the use of outdated reference often revert him to four-fingered status. In general, the proportions of some characters in these five episodes are slightly bulkier, and their hands are more often depicted as large, square pincers until the script calls for them to use their individual fingers.
Continuity and plotting errors
- It sure sounds like everyone is saying "Astral-Beam" instead of "Astrobeam."
- When Cy-Kill tells the Renegades to return to their ship, he refers to it as the Command Center instead of as Thruster.
Animation and technical errors
- When the Guardians storm the Renegade fortress, Geeper-Creeper is briefly seen among them.
- As Turbo reels from the injuries Cy-Kill inflicts on him, the glowing yellow sparks that are supposed to be coming from the ends of the severed wires poking out of his neck jump around the screen out of time with the wires themselves (right).
- Kelly Ward provides BuggyMan's single line in this episode, alerting Cy-Kill to the approach of the Guardians; he does not reprise the character in future episodes.
- This episode formed the basis of the Western Publishing Company storybook War of the GoBots.
- A storybook of this episode, packed with a record featuring the soundtrack with additional linking narration, was released by K-tel in 1984.
Home video releases
1985 — GoBots: The Original Full-Length Story! (Karl-Lorimar/Kideo Video, UK & US)
2011 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Original Miniseries (Warner Archive Collection, US)