The Third Column

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Challenge of the GoBots ep 51
(Broadcast Order)
Challenge of the GoBots ep 51
(Story Order)
"The Third Column"
Production code 0142-8540
Production company Hanna-Barbera
Airdate November 25, 1985
Written by Eric Lewald and Mark Edens
Animation studio Wang Film Productions

All things in the universe eventually come to...Zero.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]


Blaster and Road Ranger are working at weapon factory on GoBotron when Zero, Crasher and Cop-Tur make a surprise attack. Road Ranger is able to activate the facility's defences, which drive the Renegades into retreat. At the Renegades' asteroid base Zero castigates Cy-Kill for not knowing about the factory's automated weaponry before the raid and walks out. Twin Spin and Geeper-Creeper agree with him and follow him out. On GoBotron Zeemon is demanding production of the automatic blasters is accelerated when Zero makes his move, attacking the planet's main power station and destroying it. He returns to the Renegade base and proudly announces his success, suggesting the Renegades need a new leader. When Cy-Kill attempts to dismiss him Zero opens fire and single combat begins between the pair, with Fitor preventing Crasher and Cop-Tur from intervening, saying the strongest must lead. Zero wins the battle and Stretch also joins his group, while Crasher, Cop-Tur and Fitor stay with Cy-Kill. The upstart takes control of Roguestar and Bad Boy soon arrives to join his group - bringing a restrained Crasher as a token. Zero decides he now needs a Guardian hostage to complete his plan to wipe out both factions; he sends Stretch in disguise as General Newcastle's car. He goes to UNECOM Base 12 and attempts to kidnap Matt, A.J. and Nick with help from Geeper-Creeper, Twin Spin and Bad Boy. Leader-1, Turbo and Dozer arrive in the Command Center but in the resulting battle Turbo is captured by Zero - and imprisoned with Crasher on Roguestar.


Zero then contacts the Guardians, saying that Leader-1 will have to come alone to Dengon Beta to retrieve Turbo. Matt believes it will be a trap but Leader-1 feels they must take the chance in order to save Turbo. He then makes a call to Cy-Kill, telling him he will have to come to the same place to get Crasher back. Fitor warns him he must comply or will lose even more Renegades to Zero. Both of their ships arrive in orbit, though Cy-Kill takes Tank down with him. A.J. meanwhile grows worried waiting for Leader-1 and volunteers Scooter to sneak down to Dengon Beta with her. Leader-1 meanwhile finds that Turbo and Crasher are actually dummies before Cy-Kill appears and attacks him. Leader-1 is able to knock the Renegade into a ravine but while he's taunting his opponent Tank shoots him. However, while Tank is distracted Scooter and A.J. arrive, protecting the injured Leader-1 with a hologram of some rocks. Matt, Nick and Dozer realise the pair are missing and arrive in the Command Center just as they're found. Fitor then calls Cy-Kill back to Thruster. Matt then relays a message from the Guardian Council - a Renegade terrorist team has been discovered in GoBotolis and a huge battle has broken out. The team's location was actually leaked by Zero as part of his plans to sow chaos. He orders his troops to bomb the Council chambers - after destroying Turbo and Crasher.


While Twin Spin and Bad Boy attack GoBotron, Stretch and Geeper-Creeper are set to execute the prisoners. However, Roguestar is rocked by fire when Thruster attacks and Stretch accidentally hits the energy case holding them. The pair manage to escape, with more fire from Stretch destroying their restraining bolts before they head out into space and immediately begin fighting each other. He heads down to GoBotron while she joins Cy-Kill on Thruster. Leader-1, Scooter, Matt, Nick and A.J. watch Thruster and Roguestar battle each other as Turbo arrives onboard and fills them in. The Command Center then hits Bad Boy and Twin Spin, who return to Roguestar and inform Zero. He plans to lead them back to his hideout. The defences cause the Guardians problems until Leader-1 tricks Bad Boy into being hit by one of the guns, and Zero withdraws his troops back into the base just as Thruster arrives. His battered rebels have had enough, though he puts his final kamikaze plan into action, planning to destroy the planet and take Thruster with it. Zero flees and when Cy-Kill arrives Bad Boy tells him about the auto-destruct; as a result he forgives the rebels and takes them back to Thruster. The Guardians also realise what's happening and escape on the Command Center with seconds to spare. Zero meanwhile warns that they haven't seen the last of him.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"It's been great rooming with you, you old sow."
"I wish I could say the same, you old bore!"

—It turns out getting a room was the last thing Turbo and Crasher needed.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • This is the first (and sadly only present-day) appearance of Zero in the cartoon; flashbacks in "Et Tu, Cy-Kill" would later establish that he is a long-serving Renegade and has a history with Cy-Kill.
  • Presumably General Newcastle (who is only mentioned in dialogue and does not appear in the episode) actually does get driven around in a limo from time to time. Swanky.
  • The Guardian Council on this occasion comprises Zeemon and two generics.

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • Gadgets and Powers:
    • Zero generates an electrical charge on contact that incapacitates Turbo. He can also fire his cannons in robot mode.
    • Scooter uses his holograms to hide Leader-1 behind a pile of rubble.

Continuity errors[edit | edit source]

  • If Fitor thinks the strongest should lead why does he then stay with the defeated Cy-Kill? (Because he’s super loyal.)
  • On Earth, Bad Boy and Twin Spin convert from robots to vehicles...then land in their robot modes in the next shot.
  • Stretch smacks his head on a door and complains the base isn't made for GoBots; however, basically every other doorway and room seen of it is GoBot scaled.
  • Bad Boy states he disconnected Crasher's weapons but she can still do her stomp attack in the cell with Turbo

Animation and technical errors[edit | edit source]

  • Stretch's mouth doesn't move as he speaks when he knocks his head at UNECOM.
  • Bad Boy's head is gray instead of green when he lands at UNECOM.
  • Possibly due to poor editing Zero's message doesn't play on the screen of the Command Center but looks like he just appears next to Scooter and starts talking to him.
  • Dozer is missing his little orange hat when the Guardians arrive at Andromeda.
  • Tank's lower face and mouth are colored over blue before he and Cy-Kill set down to the planet.

Real-world references[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Foreign localization[edit | edit source]

Home video releases[edit | edit source]


2015 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume Two (Warner Archive Collection)

External links[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]