Transformers Prime

March 6, 2013

[SOEE #66]

This is both parts combined into one mega-podcast.

The Transformers road trip finally emerges from the ugly, industrial wasteland and like Outrun we find ourselves suddenly experiencing a completely different and altogether more fascinating vista.

Yes, this animated TV show, passed up by the majority of adults as being for the kids just happens to be the greatest depiction of the Autobots and Decepticons ever committed to any medium. Freed of the obligation to deliver spectacle whilst somehow keeping the robots to a minimum this production team somehow manage to capture everything we loved about Generation 1 with the best bits from the movies, shows, comics and games in between. 

Focus is on companionship between the Autobots and the human teenagers they are protecting, with the kids giving perspective to the bots and vice versa. The Decepticons are no longer snarling hyper-aggressive insectoids but a charismatic, entertaining team in their own right. Starscream reaches his full potential to become a scheming metal Iago, Soundwave somehow manages to be even more creepy NOT speaking and  Megatron goes from being the one-dimensional byword for tedious head villain to a genuinely frightening and compelling warmonger.

As for the Autobots, Bulkhead and Bumblebee take their cues from the Iron Giant and R2-D2, Ratchet is played by the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs like a transfroming Doctor McCoy, guarded warrior Arcee is described on this very show as being like Trinity but less robotic and Peter Cullen turns in his best grave, powerful performance as Optimus, finally being given the kind of things to say and do that make you remember why he's the leader you'd follow into robot hell and back.

It's so good we did two shows on it, covering first Autobots and then Decepticons over Season 1. We've saved the big spoilers for the end of the second show so you really should listen at least that far and then get hold of these. 

Joining us are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic who provided us with stunning Transformers artwork for the website (Visit his Patreon here), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

The Transformers road trip comes to a triumphant end as we close out our Prime conversation in unusual circumstances, discussing a group of characters who have struggled since 1984 to be expressed as anything other than thugs or buffoons, The Decepticons, Turns out all it took to portray them as a group of warriors with their own motivations, weaknesses, misgivings and strengths was decent writing, building upon both well-established characters finally given dimensions of personality and newcomers who swiftly became fan favourites. It's been a wild ride through the Transformers series, but I'm very happy we could end on such a high note.

Joining us once again are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic (I'm a patron of his webcomic http://www.patreon.com/Wicked?ty=a), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

Next week, we celebrate Halloween in style with a pair of notorious creature features; Troll & Troll 2, the latter of which is considered by many to be the best worst movie ever made. 

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