The GoBots That Time Forgot
|"The GoBots That Time Forgot"|
|Airdate||December 10, 1985|
|Written by||John Loy|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne, he travels the fastest who travels alone.
Scooter is setting up a new radio tracking system on GoBotron; it immediately detects something, and he traces the signal to Level 17 of Old GoBotron. He reports his findings to Leader-1 and Turbo, who dismiss it as impossible, as the older sections of GoBotron were sealed off and abandoned years ago, putting it down to a systems malfunction. Scooter wants to convince them so goes to an old Transit Capsule and heads down to Level 17 himself to investigate. He finds life down there but the locals run off scared when he tries to greet them. Guards then approach and open fire on him, destroying the capsule. Scooter tries to send a distress call but cannot get a reply before Bug Bite appears, calls the Guardian a "Topworlder", tells him his powers are being blocked and captures him. Above Leader-1 and Turbo realise where the missing Scooter likely is. Scooter is taken to meet the Lord High GoBot Gunnyr, who interrogates him, wondering why he is on Level 17, and has him imprisoned. Bug Bite queries whether he is a spy for a top-world invasion force, but Gunnyr assures him any Topworlders will be stopped by the Crystal Mountain blocking their powers. As Gunnyr and Bug Bite have scramblers fitted they can still convert, while Level 17 is further protected by an energy wall. Meanwhile Leader-1 and Turbo arrive above Level 17 and fly in under their own power; however, they strike the Energy Wall.
They drop down to Level 17 but find they can't convert or use their weaponry, and are soon menaced by a wild Zod. They are eventually able to cause a rockfall that pushes the monster into the energy wall. Scooter meanwhile is visited in his cell by a GoBot named Ace, who has never heard of Topworld and believes Level 17 is the entire universe. He believes Scooter is insane, but tells him his forthcoming DXing will sort him out; guards arrive and take Scooter to the Brain Drain Chamber. Elsewhere on Level 17 Leader-1 and Turbo are having no luck finding their friend, finding the residents as unhelpful as Scooter had done until one - Dart approaches them and tells them to follow him, just as Gunnyr's guards arrive - though Turbo is able to beat up their pursuers even without his weapons. Gunnyr meanwhile has found the reason for Scooter's initial visit, tracing the signal to Level 17. Realising he has a dissident somewhere in his kingdom, and tasks Bug Bite with finding the source of the transmission, while Ace is ordered to DX Scooter. Dart fills Leader-1 and Turbo in on the situation on Level 17, revealing that Gunnyr and Bug Bite systematically DX the minds of GoBots to maintain the fiction that they are Gods due to their abilities to fly and convert, which the others have forgotten other GoBots can normally do. However, as Dart has been to the edge of Level 17 and seen flying GoBots he realised that Gunnyr was lying and is plotting to overthrow him, though he lacks allies. Meanwhile Ace decides to free Scooter, believing he is telling the truth about Topworld, and the pair hide when Gunnyr returns. Dart meanwhile shows Leader-1 and Turbo his hideout - but Bug Bite and his guards are waiting inside for them.
Turbo tries to fight back but Bug Bite's ability to convert gives him the upper hand. Scooter and Ace meanwhile are able to escape Gunnyr's palace thanks to a dose of good luck, hiding on a troop transport bound for the Crystal Mountain. Meanwhile Dart manages to convince Bug Bite that Leader-1 and Turbo are just ignorant peasants from the wasteland, which the lieutenant accepts; he takes Dart for DXing instead and the Guardians decide to head to the palace. Turbo and Leader-1 gain entry just as Bug Bite and Gunnyr are about to wipe Dart's mind, using weapons captured from the guards to bury them under debris before the trio escape, with Gunnyr and Bug Bite giving chase. At Crystal Mountain Scooter and Ace spot the situation on security monitors; the Guardian finds the central computer and realises it is projecting interference. A guard finds them and Ace tackles him; a stray shot hits the computer and destroys it - allowing the Guardians to access their powers. Scooter flies Ace to safety as Crystal Mountain self-destructs while Leader-1 shoots down Gunnyr and Turbo takes out Bug Bite. They are prepared for transfer to the Prison Moon as Scooter and Ace arrive. They all head back to GoBotron's upper levels, where Dart and Ace are enrolled as Guardians in return for their help and put through the Modifier, and convert for the first time. Leader-1 hopes they'll be more obedient than Scooter
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- This is the only episode not to feature any Renegades (while Gunnyr and Bug Bite are Renegades in the toyline their faction here is not named) or human characters at all. As such it is the only one in which Cy-Kill does not appear.
- No direct reference is made to the Guardians' previous foray into Old GoBotron from "Lost on GoBotron". However, when Leader-1 dismisses the idea of a signal coming from Level 17, he acknowledges there are over 200 levels of Old Gobotron, and the top 80 are occupied. Wrecks and the mutants presumably come from one of those levels, while Level 17 is much further down.
- The exact location of Level 17 is a bit ambiguous, and raises questions. Is it on the surface of GoBotron's "apple core", or beneath it? The sky is visible on Level 17, but that could be an artificial sky. If they ARE on the surface, how can the Levelers believe Topworld is a myth when modern GoBotron should be dominating their field of vision? Dart suggests that only past the Forbidden Zone could he see Topworld and the flying GoBots from there.
- The transport capsule goes through water on the way to Level 17. Someone tell Dive-Dive...
- So apparently wild Zods roam the wastelands of GoBotron. Huh.
- Why exactly the Brain Drain is also referred to as a DX isn't clear; DXing as a noun is used a lot in the ham radio scene, but the actual use of the terminology doesn't line up in the episode, so it might just be a cute reference.
- Even by his usual standards Leader-1 is passive and unimpressive in this episode - while Turbo risks life and limb tussling with Bug Bite, Leader-1 just stands there and watches silently; it's Dart who speaks up and talks Bug Bite into sparing the Guardian. Later Leader-1 is knocked down by one of the generic guards at the same time Turbo is beating them up.
- Turbo's subversive attitude to the "chase scene" trope is fantastic.
- Gadgets and Powers:
- Scooter transfers destination coordinates into the transit pod using his retractable chest plug.
- Scooter is seen with a flashing communicator on the back of his hand, whereas previously he (and nearly every other GoBot) have their radio's flashing lights on their chest.
- Dart is a frickin' midget in this episode, whereas his previous appearances have shown him of average GoBot size.
- So... speaking of Dart. Rearranging the episode order can explain how he (and Ace) are Guardians in "Mission: GoBotron". If he's been DX'ed before, it could explain how he's apparently forgotten his own history as a Guardian-turned-Renegade from ""Et Tu, Cy-Kill"". But still, Leader-1 should remember him as a fellow Guardian who joined the Renegades at the same time as Cy-Kill.
- It's never really explained who did sent the signal. Everything points to Dart, including Bug Bite tracing it to his hideout, but he never admits to it and outright avoids it when Leader-1 and Turbo say the signal suggests there's another ally out there. If Ace is meant to have sent it before a recent DXing (hence his prominent scar) it's not explained, Dart doesn't seem to know who he is, and that wouldn't explain why the signal led to Dart's hideout.
Animation and technical errors
- Scooter's transit pod is drawn upside-down briefly during its descent, with the nosecone pointed down.
- Scooter's "belt" is colored red instead of gray when Gunnyr has the guards seize him.
- Turbo's eyes flicker between grey and green just after he sees the Zod, separate from his blinking.
- The left side of Ace's skull sparks a bit, as a sign of his DX'ing. Later, however, his DX'ing scar is on the right side of his skull. Naturally, the scar also vanishes whenever Ace is not seen in a close-up shot.
- This is Bug Bite's sole appearance in the series. Why he debuts so much later than the likes of Zeemon and Professor Von Joy, who were released at the same time in stores, is unknown.
Home video releases
2015 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume Two (Warner Archive Collection)