Unbeknownst to either, Scooter and Nick had wandered into a Far Side strip.
|Airdate||October 2, 1985|
|Written by||Don Glut|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
Scooter and Nick face prehistoric perils when they are stranded on a primitive alien planet.
Investigating the Omega Prima system for a new Renegade base, Scooter and Nick get more than they bargained for when they discover the villains building a huge new spaceship-fortress. The pair are caught snapping pictures of the base and come under fire from Thruster, which cripples their Command Center and forces them to make a controlled crash-landing on a nearby planet with a similar atmosphere to Earth. Before going down, they are able to alert UNECOM headquarters on Earth to their plight, but they hit the ground before they can send their co-ordinates, and their transmission cuts out. While Scooter works to repair the radio, Nick goes off to explore the planet, which is environmentally and geographically akin to a prehistoric version of Earth. Unfortunately, that means it has "dinosaurs" of a kind as well, and Nick soon finds himself being chased by a huge, three-headed lizard-monster! He runs back to the Command Center, but this only results in the creature attacking and absolutely wrecking the vessel before turning its attention back to Nick and Scooter. Scooter switches to vehicle mode to carry Nick to safety, but the beast chases them off a cliff and they plummet into an alien tar pit below.
Back on Earth, Scooter and Nick's allies are worried about them. Deducing that they would need to find an Earth-like planet in order for Nick to survive, Leader-1 scans the Omega Prima system for such a world. Identifying the only world in the system capable of sustaining human life, the team blasts off aboard their Command Center.
Meanwhile, Cy-Kill, Crasher, Cop-Tur, and the Monster GoBots skim over the surface of the prehistoric world in Thruster, searching for the fallen Command Center to make sure Scooter and Nick are no more. They find the wreck, but upon discovering it to be empty, the villains split up to search for their quarry.
At Nick's suggestion, Scooter uses his utility energy beam to knock down an overhanging tree branch, with which he is able to haul himself and his friend out of the tar pit. As soon as they are back on solid ground, however, a new danger presents itself: a tribe of blue-skinned alien "cavemen"! With Scooter unable to transform thanks to the tar gumming up his systems, the pair hot-foot it into the jungle, but immediately become entangled in some living creeper vines and are captured by the cavemen. From the air, Cop-Tur spots the pair being trooped through the jungle back to the caveman temple; he informs the other Renegades, who gather to watch from afar as the cavemen place Scooter and Nick on a crystal "pyre" so that they may be sacrificed to a stone idol of their demonic deity. Though the crystals sap their strength, they are able to effect an escape when Scooter distracts the primitives by projecting a hologram that makes it appear as if the idol has come to life.
The Renegades try to take matters into their own hands, but when they approach the temple, the cavemen attack them. The Renegades easily beat them back, of course, but the scuffle buys Scooter and Nick time to escape into the jungle. The Renegades pursue them, but just as they catch up to them, the other Guardians arrive. Battle quickly breaks out, with the Guardians taking advantage of the natural dangers of the planet—Leader-1 blasting Cy-Kill back into some of the living vines, Turbo kicking Crasher into a tar pit—but the heroes are too outnumbered to take the upper hand, and things don't look good. Spotting the three-headed alien dinosaur from before, Nick and Scooter catch its attention and lure it toward the battle. The Renegades turn their firepower on the stampeding creature, but when their blasts have no effect they are forced to retreat. Subsequently, the Guardians call in a fleet of Command Centers from GoBotron and, using the information obtained by Scooter, target and destroy the Renegades' new base. Victorious, they return to Earth... unaware that they leave behind a forever-changed tribe of cavemen, who now worship at the feet of a statue of Leader-1!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Scorp: "We live to obey, Cy-Kill!"
Vamp: "They are food!
Pincher: "We'll bring back their components, Cy-Kill... piece by piece!"
- —The Monster GoBots are a pleasant bunch
(Caveman leader speaks unintelligible language)
"Wh-what's he saying?"
"Probably something about meet the rest of his attractive friends!"
- —Scooter and Nick
- The new base the Renegades are building looks very similar—but not identical—to Roguestar. When Scooter takes pictures of it, he refers to it as "that new star"—a line that seems to make no sense until you realize it was likely edited in post, and originally referred to "that new Doomstar," the preliminary name for the Renegades' flagship that was mostly excised from the finished series. The edit here evidently didn't extend to re-recording Scooter's dialogue.
- In broadcast order, this episode features the first appearance of the third Monster GoBot, Vamp, in a story that's big on promoting the complete 1985 assortment of Monster GoBot figures. As with Pincher and Scorp, an origin story will be provided for her in the "GoBotron Saga" mini-series, which aired over a month after "Dawn World," but chronologically takes place before it.
- Also in terms of broadcast order, up to this point in the series, the Guardians' Command Center and the Renegades' Thruster have only ever been depicted as singular vehicles. It's been most noticeable with Thruster, which is often referred to—and will continue to be referred to—as if it's a proper noun, rather than "a" Thruster, or "the" Thruster. This is the first episode to show that there is more than one of both, with a whole fleet of each kind showing up in the final moments; Scooter and Nick's is even clunkily referred to as "Command Center 2" in dialogue very early on to pre-emptively justify the appearance of more later in the story.
- Anya Turgenova makes a brief guest appearance at UNECOM headquarters, receiving Scooter's distress call; evidently the formation of the United Earth Command has allowed for more comfortable working relations between the U.S. military and a Soviet representative than those on display in the pilot mini-series. The finale of that mini-series implied Anya would be one of the "main four" human allies to the Guardians going forward, but in practice, she's only ever an occasional guest star, with half-a-dozen more appearances spread across the series. Of course, they never think to redesign her with a new character model, so she's always wearing the parka from the pilot which was only part of her outfit because she was stationed in the Arctic...
- It has yet to be stated definitively in dialogue in the series, but Scooter (despite what the opening sequence of the series shows) does not have hand-blasters like the rest of the GoBots. This is why Nick has to explicitly refer to the bolt he fires from his hand to shoot down the branch they used to escape the tar pit as a "utility energy beam" (but, see errors).
- Leader-1 calls Cy-Kill "old friend." As originally written, this was almost certainly just him being sarcastic, but we will later learn in the episode "Et Tu, Cy-Kill" that there's real meaning behind the remark.
Continuity and plotting errors
- Cy-Kill tells the Monster GoBots to "take Thruster" as if he was ordering them off on their own, but when Thruster takes off, Cy-Kill, Crasher, and Cop-Tur are all aboard with them.
- If Scooter's "utility energy beam" is supposed to be the same beam he was using to weld the radio earlier in the episode (which would make sense in terms of plot set-up), then it should be shooting from his eyes, rather than his fist. This would be more logical for the scene (he wouldn't have to struggle to pull his fist out of the tar, as his head is already above it) and it wouldn't risk confusion with a normal hand-blaster.
Animation and technical errors
- As Scooter and Nick approach the planet, ("We're not gonna make it!"/"We've gotta try, Scoot!"), the starfield background visible through the Command Center's canopy is moving in the wrong direction, as if the ship were flying backwards instead of forwards.
- When Scooter pokes his head out of the upturned Command Center, Nick and the three-headed monster are shown upside-down to reflect his POV. Unfortunately, the background paintings are right-side up!
- As the Renegades search for Nick and Scooter, the cel of Crasher driving through the rocks Pincher has just blasted is misaligned with the background, resulting in her driving at an angle, up into the sky.
- After the Renegades Nick and Scooter, a layering error places Cy-Kill on top of Crasher instead of behind her during their transformation sequence, making him look tiny. He's also always on top of a fern that's sitting in the middle-ground of the shot that he should start out behind of, then move to the front of.
- When Turbo transforms just before kicking Crasher into the tar, the front end of his vehicle mode overlaps part of the foreground painting.
- The blasts fired by the second Command Center from the left, in the rear of the group, overlap the lead vessel instead of going underneath it.
- As noted above, the new Renegade base is not identical to Roguestar, lacking the "hammerhead" portion at the front... except in the seconds before it explodes, when the part is included. It then blinks out just as the ship explodes, and isn't part of the debris that scatters in the blast.
- Writer Don Glut is a noted enthusiast of "prehistoria," and he channelled this interest into many of the scripts he wrote for different cartoons in the 1980s, like "Primordial Plot" for G.I. Joe, and many Dinobot-centric episodes for The Transformers. This GoBots script does not go quite as far as those, featuring only strange monsters rather than anything approximating a real dinosaur, but several concepts—like the characters fleeing from the local fauna, or becoming trapped in a tar pit, and especially the heroes losing the final battle only for the villains to be defeated by a native creature—echo those seen in the two-part Transformers episode, "Dinobot Island." Glut would later get the chance to indulge in his prehistoric passions more overtly in "Destroy All Guardians."
Home video releases
1985 — Challenge of the GoBots — Volume VIII: "Quest for New Earth," "Clutch of Doom," and "Dawn World" (Vestron Video)
2015 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume One (Warner Archive Collection)