Mission: GoBotron

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Challenge of the GoBots ep 60
"Mission: GoBotron"
Airdate December 6, 1985
Written by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward and Eric Lewald
Animation studio Hanna-Barbera

Cy-Kill wages a war against GoBotron and their very faith in the Guardians to protect them.


Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Guardians Renegades Humans



  • In broadcast order, this episode was a major changing point for the cast, introducing no less than EIGHT new Guardians and Renegades, even if only for brief appearances. However, the continuity of the final six episodes becomes increasingly complicated, and nearly half the new characters would soon be RE-introduced in origin episodes that would have to take place before this one, chronologically. That, combined with the high stakes and all-out war in the finale, leads many to conclude this episode actually works best as the season (and series) finale, last of the final six episodes instead of the first.
  • This episode begins with a scrolling text of the title, giving it the feel of an old-timey news reel bringing updates on the war.
  • Mach-3 appears for the first time in this episode. The toy's traditionally gray color scheme is replaced by a stark white look for the animation model.
  • Mention is made of the GoBots "building" GoBotron, reference to the apple core shell constantly under construction around Old GoBotron. Indeed, later shots in the episode show the apple core of Old GoBotron now concealed by a larger central pillar for the planet.
  • Sky-Jack appears for the first time since the GoBotron Saga. He was called "Spike" in that brief appearance, but has the correct name in this episode.
  • Gunnyr also appears for the first time. The future episode "The GoBots That Time Forgot" would show his origin, and therefore takes place chronologically earlier than this episode.
    • Like Mach-3, Gunnyr's animation model has a remarkably different color scheme, trading in his Commie red colors for a more drab olive.
  • Dart, Ace, Hornet, Re-Volt, Bolt, and Man-O-War appear for the first time as well, and the only time for Bolt and Man-O-War.
    • Dart is a Guardian this episode, but his continuity gets more confusing in the final episodes. He and Ace would receive a chronologically earlier origin story with Gunnyr in "The GoBots That Time Forgot".
    • Although he doesn't interact with any Guardians this episode (merely mans a Thruster), it seems likely that Re-Volt's infiltration mission in "Guardian Academy" also takes place chronologically earlier than this episode.

Continuity notes[edit]

  • Gadgets and Powers:

Continuity errors[edit]

  • As happens several times in the series, Leader-1 claims to have a plan, take action that looks nothing like a plan, objectively seems to lose, and then claims victory because it wasn't as bad as it could've been.
    • Specifically, he claims to have a "dangerous" plan to stop the Renegades "once and for all". But then he just initiates a transport run like normal. When the Renegades attack, as he knew they would, Leader-1 and the Guardians defend the convoy like normal as well. At no point does he do anything resembling a new plan...just stay the course and try not to lose.
    • But they do lose. Not only does Cy-Kill stop the convoy, he causes the metal slabs to rain down on GoBotron, implicitly crushing and killing many civilians. The Renegades have won, and leave knowing they've won.
    • Worse, Leader-1 has made the utterly incomprehensible decision to leave total control of the city's defensive suspension fields slaved to the console of Dart's Command Center in the convoy. When Dart is shot (as he inevitably would be as part of the convoy), GoBotron is left unable to activate their own defenses. When Ace finally climbs aboard Command Center 3 and activates the field in Dart's place, Leader-1 shouts "It worked!" like he actually did something smart!
    • The only possible "plan" is if you assume Leader-1 is focusing on the population's faith in the Guardians, and is clued in to Cy-Kill's deliberately trying to undermine it. Then you could assume he created the "largest convoy in history" knowing Cy-Kill would wait till the last minute to attack for maximum effect on civilian morale. But, if the Guardians win in full sight of the civilians, GoBotron's faith in the Guardians will be restored.
    • If so, Leader-1 deliberately created a situation with a high probability of civilian casualties, made the city's defenses objectively more difficult to activate, lost a battle which resulted in losing some of the convoy's resources, mass destruction and probably death on GoBotron...and calls it a victory!
      • Maybe he should run for office.

Animation and technical errors[edit]

  • When the Renegades attack, Leader-1 says, "Let's intercept them", and Mach-3 replies, "Right. Argh!" because he gets shot. However, instead of showing him get shot between those two words, as the dialogue intends, Leader-1 speaks, Mach-3 gets shot, and then he responds enthusiastically to Leader-1 before remembering to shout in pain.
  • The following dogfighting sequence seems to lose something in the interpretation as well. Leader-1 shoots Mach-3 as if they were enemies, shouting "Gotcha!" while Mach-3 screams again in pain. However, it then appears as if Leader-1 has surrounded Mach-3 with a force field (although not his typical version), then encourages Mach-3 to reach the Command Center. It's almost as if a sequence of Leader-1 attacking Sky-Jack (another white jet) was blended into a sequence of him helping Mach-3 reach safety, with Mach-3 playing both his role and Sky Jack's while the animation and dialogue desperately try to make it work.
  • Although he's happy with the successful sabotage mission, Cy-Kill's body language makes it appear as if he's scolding Crasher, and she in turn is cowering away from him.
  • Bolt has a mouth when he's seen on the Guardian Council, but has a face plate when aboard the Command Center.
  • Gunnyr is seen flying alongside Mach-3 and Bolt as a Guardian in defense of the convoy.
  • Man-O-War's normally red eyes are gray when he's in the stasis field.
  • Zeemon and Man-O-War are paralyzed in a typical GoBotic city, but when the field drops they're standing in a forest area.
  • Snoop appears with the Guardians running for cover on GoBotron during the Renegade attack.
  • Hornet's head is colored gray instead of dark blue while manning his Thruster.

Real-world references[edit]


Foreign localization[edit]

Home video releases[edit]

External links[edit]