Nova Beam (episode)
|This article is about the Challenge of the GoBots episode. For the titular weapon, see Nova Beam (weapon).|
|Airdate||October 3, 1985|
|Story by||Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward|
|Teleplay by||Daniel Will-Harris|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
Cy-Kill has Doctor Braxis broken out of jail to create a new weapon for him that destroys stars.
In his cell at Tri-State Prison, Doctor Braxis bemoans his lot in life, from his incarceration—locked away after aiding Cy-Kill in his failed attempt to conquer the world—to the constant, distracting harmonica playing of a fellow prisoner. The prison guard is unsympathetic to Braxis's complaints, but soon finds that the doctor's whining is the least of his worries when the Monster GoBot Pincher comes crashing through the doctor's cell wall, snatches Braxis up under a hail of fire, and quickly departs for space! Pincher takes Braxis to Roguestar, where the human fawns over Cy-Kill in thanks for rescuing him, even as Crasher and Cop-Tur make clear their dislike for him. Braxis soon finds that his situation hasn't actually improved, as the Renegades toss him in a holding cell... complete with a harmonica-playing hologram specially included to annoy him!
Some time later, on GoBotron, Staks brings word to Zeemon and Path Finder of a message from the planet Nywilak, which warns that their sun has become unstable and soon threatens to go supernova. Investigating, Path Finder discovers the sun is being affected by an energy beam being broadcast from near-Earth space; information that is soon passed on to the GoBotron Security Council, which has convened on Earth following news of Braxis's breakout. The council quickly concludes that the beam is the work of the Renegades, created by Braxis for Cy-Kill, but they are unable to track its source, thanks to Roguestar 's stealth device, and are thus powerless to prevent the Nywilak sun from exploding, obliterating its entire solar system.
Back on Roguestar, it turns out that, despite the destruction it has wrought, Braxis's new Nova Beam weapon is not perfected: the solar system it has destroyed was, in fact, not the one he was aiming at! The intended system was outside GoBotron's scanner range, and Cy-Kill, now concerned that the Guardians are aware of their scheme, urges Braxis to begin the second test of the weapon. Firing the beam temporarily drains all of Roguestar's power, but the test meets with total success, eradicating the sun of Norrem and its Guardian outpost... whereupon Cy-Kill, no longer needing Braxis, promptly has Pincher take the human back to Earth so he can die with the planet when the Nova Beam is fired at Earth's sun in one hour!
Dumped somewhere in rural America, Braxis tries to convince a yokel to let him use his phone, but the man recognizes the scientist and calls the police. Immediately locked up again, Braxis tries to convince anyone who will listen that the end of the world is nigh, but his rantings go unheeded. When word of his recapture reaches Leader-1, however, the Guardian leader has Braxis brought to UNECOM headquarters, where he spills all the details. Having temporarily detected Roguestar when Norrem was destroyed, the Guardians realize they were able to do so thanks to the brief deactivation of the ship's stealth field when the Nova Beam drained its power. Leader-1 and Matt head out in a Command Center to this spot, but the Renegades remain hidden simply by taking no action, doing nothing to give away their cloaked position as they carefully align the Nova Beam for firing.
Leader-1 orders the security council members back to GoBotron for safety, then calls upon the rest of his team to join him on the Command Center with Braxis. Scooter extrapolates the logical firing point Roguestar would need to be in, and the Guardians set off, despite Leader-1 not having a plan to stop the beam. Fortunately, providence provides an answer when a rogue comet crosses paths with the Command Center on the way. With careful precision, the Guardians blast the comet into the beam's projected path... but Braxis realizes that Scooter's calculations have failed to compensate for lunar tidal effect, and that the comet is on the wrong trajectory. The scientist's pleas that they abandon Earth and flee the solar system fall on deaf ears, as Leader-1 disembarks the Command Center to correct the comet's course himself. Watching from Roguestar, Cy-Kill sends Crasher and Pincher to intercept Leader-1, but the Guardian out-flies them both and blasts the comet onto the correct trajectory just as Cy-Kill fires the Nova Beam. The beam strikes the comet and is bounced back at Roguestar, and the Renegades, realizing that they unaware of how to turn the beam off thanks to Braxis never sharing that information, are forced to jettison the weapon. As the Renegades retreat under cover of their stealth field, the Nova Beam explodes... a sight not witnessed by Doctor Braxis, who has already fainted from the stress!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Oh my, what a horrible thing!"
"Cy-Kill sent me!"
"I-I meant, what a horrible thing... to be stuck in jail!"
- —Braxis's immediate reaction to laying eyes on Pincher
"I'll never forget what you've done for me, Cy-Kill! I'll do anything you want, anything!"
"Then shut up."
- —Braxis and Cy-Kill
Crasher: "I'd like to crush that insect!"
Cop-Tur:" "No, I get him!"
Cy-Kill: "Stop quibbling! When we're through with him, you can each have half."
- —The Renegades aren't big fans of Braxis
"But I designed the Nova weapon! Why get rid of me?"
"Because... you annoy me!"
- —Braxis and Cy-Kill
"Sorry to bother you, but the world's going to come to an end!"
"Nrm. Didn'choo see that sign? No solicitors! So beat it!"
"I've got to use your phone! I-I've got to warn--"
"Hey! You wait one gol'darn minute, mister! I recognize you! Saw yer pitcher in the paper!"
"Oh yes? How flattering...!"
"Yer that nut scientist who's helpin' those evil space men! Now you wanna use my phone to call Mars!"
"But... but... I don't know anyone on Mars!"
- —Braxis has a run-in with a farmer
"As usual, your plan is brilliant!"
"Yeees, I know."
- —Crasher's praise for Cy-Kill can't match his own high opinion of himself
- "Nova Beam" reintroduces Doctor Braxis following his imprisonment at the end of the pilot mini-series. Accordingly, the events of this episode must take place prior to "Genius and Son," which had already been broadcast when this episode first aired, and in which Braxis appears.
- In terms of broadcast order, Pincher has already appeared in "It's the Thought that Counts" and "Dawn World," but Nick's failure to recognize him in "Nova Beam" indicates that this episode's events must occur first. Indeed, "Nova Beam" appears written to function as something of a "soft introduction" to Pincher, with Leader-1 and Scooter explaining who he is to Nick in pointed, toy-promoting dialogue, but a proper origin for the character will later (much later) be provided for the character in "Flight to Earth". Accordingly, that episode (and the mini-series of which it is part) must also occur before this episode. Fortunately, neither Nick nor any of the humans ever see or meet Pincher in that mini-series, providing no conflict with Nick's unfamiliarity with Pincher in this episode.
- Roguestar also previously appeared in "It's the Thought that Counts," but as we have established that this episode takes place before that one, this would mean "Nova Beam" is the chronological first appearance of the ship in its "finished" condition (as opposed to the partially-constructed but near-complete state in which it is shown to be in "The GoBotron Saga" mini-series).
- The "GoBotron Security Council" seen in this episode is a separate body from the Guardian Council that appears elsewhere in the series. In addition to Leader-1, Scooter, and their four human friends, its members include Good Knight (making his first appearance, in both broadcast and continuity order) and Professor von Joy. The council arrives off-screen via Astrobeam in the first documented use of the technology by Guardians; there's nothing unusual about this, of course, as the Astrobeam was always a Guardian invention, but up until now only the Renegades have been seen using it.
- Braxis has scrawled the phrase "BRAXIS LIVES" on his cell wall, a reference to the countercultural slogan "Frodo Lives!" from the 1960s and 1970s.
Continuity and plotting errors
- Given his claim while in prison that "The world is ending in fifty-six minutes!", Braxis was evidently flown back to Earth from Roguestar, interacted with the farmer, was arrested by the police, and was taken back to prison in... four minutes. Erm.
Animation and technical errors
- Braxis isn't wearing his jacket when Pincher snatches him out of his cell, but he's suddenly wearing it when the GoBot switches to vehicle mode and tosses him inside, and will continue to wear it for the rest of the episode.
- After Pincher enters Roguestar, the wrong background is used, and he is shown transforming and standing against a starfield, instead of the ship's interior.
- As Cy-Kill complains to Braxis about the power drain, he is missing his "stubble."
- When the jet-mode Leader-1 says "Come on, Braxis, we don't have all day!", Matt's mouth moves with the line.
- When the Nova Beam is deflected back at Roguestar, the cel of the ship is missing, and the beam winds up impacting on empty space.
- Some of the other rather hilarious graffiti Braxis has decorated his cell with includes "DOWN WITH GUARDIAN PIGS" and "BRAXIS IS GREAT SCIENTIST!"
Home video releases
1988 — Challenge of the GoBots — Volume V: "Forced Alliance" and "Nova Beam" (Children's Video Library)
2014 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume One (Warner Archive Collection)