Whiz Kid

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Challenge of the GoBots ep 39
(Broadcast Order)
Challenge of the GoBots ep 44
(Story Order)
"Whiz Kid"
Production code 0142-8529
Production company Hanna-Barbera
Airdate November 7, 1985
Written by Al Pegal
Animation studio Wang Film Productions

Those darn kids, with their loud music and their alpha frequency spectrometers....

Synopsis[edit | edit source]


Young genius Buddy is testing her new homemade Spectrometer she built for science class, controlling it through her home computer and satellite dish. When she starts the machine up Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter find themselves overwhelmed from the other side of town, losing control of themselves before Buddy's long-suffering mother makes her switch the machine off. Along with Nick, they track the source of the signal to an oblivious Buddy, whose house is promptly surrounded by UNECOM and the Guardians. With them wary of her being a Renegade spy, the teenager is whipped off to UNECOM Headquarters and interrogated by the Guardians and General Newcastle. It becomes clear that Buddy inadvertently took control of the Guardians via the alpha frequencies they use rather than out of malice, and she makes fast friends with Nick. Together they pitch in on repairing Scooter, who was damaged in the incident, fitting him with a new beryllium plate. Buddy is fascinated by the news that Renegades operate on beta frequencies, and offers to try adapting her probe to control them instead. Leader-1 however tells her not use the device ever again and turns down her request to join the Guardian Apprentice Programme before Buddy is returned home. Determined to get on the programme, Buddy presses ahead with adapting it to Beta Frequencies and is able to briefly gain control of Cop-Tur at the Renegades' Big Horn Mountain base, causing him to briefly attack Cy-Kill and Crasher. However, the Renegades track her signal; Cy-Kill, Crasher, Spoiler, Slicks, Cop-Tur and Stinger descend on her house. Buddy attempts to destroy her machine but Stinger smashes through the wall, grabbing her and the remains of the device. Cy-Kill quickly realises it is what controlled them and it could be used against the Guardians. The girl is taken back to Roguestar by Thruster, and Dr. Go puts her through the Brainstormer.


The machine gives Dr. Go all the information he needs to replicate - and improve on - her spectrometer, adding the ability to add beta frequency programming. Meanwhile on Earth Leader-1, Turbo, Scooter and Nick investigate Buddy's disappearance - just as Dr. Go unleashes his new improved spectrometer. Meanwhile Buddy's distraught mother visits UNECOM just as the Guardians receive a report of a Thruster near Big Horn Mountain. However before they can mobilise Dr. Go takes control of Leader-1, Turbo, Good Knight and Blaster, turning them evil by switching them to beta frequencies. Cy-Kill calls UNECOM to show Newcastle the Guardians are under his command, ordering Leader-1 to head to GoBotron and take the Guardian Council prisoner. Blaster realises Scooter isn't under control, thanks to the beryllium plate; he escapes the base with Nick and eventually shakes off the pursuing Good Knight and Turbo by using his hologram projector to pretend they crashed into a train. Nick decides their best course of action is to head to Big Horn Mountain and find Buddy. The controlled Guardians prevent Newcastle warning GoBotron, and take off in the Command Center. At Big Horn Mountain Scooter and Nick nearly give up looking for the Renegade base until the arrival of BuggyMan, Spoiler, Fly Trap and Slicks shows them where the secret door is. They manage to climb to the launch pad and get inside Thruster just before it launches - only to be immediately spotted by Spoiler.


Before the Renegade can attack Scooter is able to drop a bulkhead door on the Renegade, at which point Nick tears enough wiring out of Spoiler's back to deactivate him. Thruster heads to Roguestar while on GoBotron Zeemon greets Leader-1 - only to be seized by Blaster and Turbo. Leaving Good Knight guarding the ship, they head to the chambers to capture the rest of the Council. Path Finder tries to resist and is shot by Leader-1 before the rest are marched to the Command Center. The controlled Guardians escape the attentions of Hans-Cuff and Night Ranger before radioing Cy-Kill to inform him of their success. The Renegade leader tells them to take the prisoners to Outpost Omni for reprogramming - planning to make the Council proclaim him Overlord of GoBotron. Scooter and Nick meanwhile find and free Buddy. She is able to distract Dr. Go, allowing Scooter to run the Renegade scientist over, then use the machine to return the Guardians to normal. Scooter then destroys the device and the trio head for the exit, flattening Dr. Go a second time on the way out. The other Renegades nearly capture them but Scooter's holograms allow them to escape BuggyMan and Slicks and get to a shuttle. Thruster gives chase but Nick is able to knock out their stealth device, while Buddy puts out an SOS that allows the Command Center to save the shuttle in the nick of time. Though the Renegades escape when Crasher is able to fix the device and Buddy is returned to her long-suffering mother, immediately beginning to plan new technical marvels, including patching all the world's satellites into one central computer - but instead offers to show Nick how she hacked her school grades, much to Leader-1's uneasiness.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]


"You've done a diabolically excellent job!"
"I try."

Cy-Kill and Dr. Go


Nick drops out of character

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Surprisingly though Crasher is able to very quickly repair Thruster's stealth device.
  • If Guardians run on Alpha frequencies, and Renegades run on Beta frequencies, and both read outs are visible inside their chest, then GoBots actually have a Good/Evil display that can be checked at any time. Think of how useful this would have been to consult in "It's the Thought that Counts", "Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap", "Wolf in the Fold"...
  • The Guardians, UNECOM, and even Nick are remarkably dismissive of Buddy. She crippled the entire Guardian command team by accident, then offers to do the same thing to the Renegades and they're, like, "Eh...maybe when you're older, kid." Which is odd as she doesn't look or act any younger than Nick or A.J.
  • Dr. Go happily starting to explain the spectrometer to Buddy before realising she's an escaped prisoner is a rare well-timed bit; the bad Doctor is on good form throughout.
  • Council line-up: Zeemon, Scratch, Path Finder, Staks, Dozer, Rest-Q, Dr. Go Professor Von Joy, Road Ranger.

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • GoBots have a neural interface that connects their organic brains with their robot bodies.
  • Gadgets and Powers:
    • Scooter creates an illusion of their fiery wreck when he and Nick jump onto a moving train car.
    • Scooter also seems to have a highly effective blaster in his fingertip. And his eyes.

Continuity errors[edit | edit source]

  • Scooter and Nick jump on a random moving train at a crossroads while escaping from Turbo and Good Knight and it takes them within walking distance of Big Horn Mountain, exactly where they want to go. That was lucky.
  • Why does Cy-Kill go to the effort of taking the Council to be reprogrammed when he could just control them with the Spectrometer?

Animation and technical errors[edit | edit source]

  • During Buddy's interrogation scene, UNECOM is supposed to be shining a bright light in her face to make her talk. The problem is General Newcastle stands in front of the lamp and no light is drawn emitting from it, so the room is just...dark.
  • As occasionally happens during the series, the faceless Super GoBots like Zeemon and Dr. Go appear unusually small in this episode.
  • Dr. Go mistakenly appears on the Guardians Council. The German accent shows up later, so it was presumably meant to be Professor Von Joy.
  • The other Council members also appear off-model in the first shot, with Dozer having an abnormally thick head and Rest Q's head seems to have been replaced with a beach cooler. There's a bizarre, 2-D complexion when Blaster makes them march, and Road Ranger spontaneously appears half way through the scene, too. Then the Council is reduced to mostly generics as they approach the Commander Center.
  • Cop-Tur's mouth doesn't move for his last line.
  • Leader-1's shoulder flaps disappear when talking to Buddy at the end.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This is one of only a few episodes not to feature A.J. and Matt.
  • While present and having dialogue Crasher and Cop-Tur do surprisingly little, with the Renegade lines and actions spread out across several characters.

Home video releases[edit | edit source]


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