Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Transformers: Season Two, Volume One (25th Anniversary Edition) DVD Review

Written by General Jabbo

After the success of the initial 16 episodes of The Transformers, the show was renewed for a whopping 49 episodes, 28 of which are collected on The Transformers: Season Two, Volume One. As the show’s main purpose was to sell toys, season two introduced a number of new characters, including Autobots: Omega Supreme, Beachcomber, and Cosmos, and Decepticons: Dirge, Ramjet, and Thrust. In addition, a number of combining robots were introduced (several robots that combined to form one large robot) including the Aerialbots, Protectobots, Stunticons and Combaticons. New human characters were introduced as well, including Carly, Spike’s girlfriend.

When the Dinobots are deemed too dangerous to keep at Autobot headquarters, they are sent to train at Dinobot Island, which was also the name for this two-part episode. The Autobots discover an energy field in the middle of the ocean coming from the island. When they investigate, they find the island to be inhabited by real dinosaurs, making it a perfect place to send the Dinobots. The island is also rich in energy, which Decepticon leader Megatron is keen to steal. In spite of Starscream’s warnings, Megatron steals the energy, which causes a time rift. Portals open and out come cavemen on wooly mammoths, pirates, and cowboys from the old west. The Autobots soon discover they need to release the energy to restore time to its normal state.

In “Enter the Nightbird,” the Decepticons capture a human-made ninja robot named Nightbird and reprogram her to fight the Autobots. She breaks into Autobot headquarters and steals the World Energy Source. Though Optimus Prime vowed to protect the robot, he has no choice but to attack her to foil the Decepticon's plans.

“Autobot Spike” finds Sparkplug creating Autobot X out of spare Autobot parts. When Megatron attacks Bumblebee and Spike though, Wheeljack transfers Spike’s mind into Autobot X so they can save Spike’s body. Spike is horrified by his new form and, after seeing Frankenstein on TV, believes he is no different from the monster. Megatron seeks to exploit Spike’s anger by trying to turn him against the Autobots.

Cliffjumper accuses Mirage of being a traitor to the Autobots for not reporting electro cells he found. In reality, he was trying to trick the Decepticons. His plan backfires though when Megatron, thinking the Insecticons have set him up by stealing his energon cubes, fires on them. The Insecticons decide to make Mirage their slave via a brain chip and it is up to the Autobots to save him. Every character — Autobot, Decepticon and Insecticon — is under suspicion in one of the highlight episodes of season two.

It’s disappointing that season two has been spit up into volumes (There’s a complete set of the show’s entire run available for those who can’t wait) and there are no bonus features on the discs. One can hope the bonus features will appear on Season Two, Volume Two. The enclosed episodes are treated with the same loving restoration as season one though and the extra episodes, as well as the fast-paced action make The Transformers: Season Two, Volume One a winner.


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