Monday, July 19, 2004

Where Did Transformers Go Wrong?

For me there is a definite moment when it happened. Season 3 of the first ever series. Now I’m not saying it was crap, just saying that’s when it all started to fall apart. It went into space started throwing new races, alien and transformer, around like it was Star Trek and looking back Season 3 is a shade of what Season’s 1 and 2 were. Then we had the Beast Wars, a good concept but not when you compare it to the original; Beast Machines, a clever way of tying Beast Wars back to Cybertron and Leftfield’s Phat Planet as a theme tune. Next we had Robots in Disguise, Armada and Energon, truth be told I’ve seen 5 seconds of Armada and saw a flying shark and switched off but friends who have sat through entire episodes hate it.

So how to fix it? Well first off bring back the proper voices. I remember finally figuring it out, I was watching Beast Machines and I suddenly realised why Optimus Primal sounded wrong, there was no electronic hint in his voice. He sounded totally normal. The electronic voices were great, Christ except for the cassettes it was all Soundwave had going for him.

Now this next bit I think they’ve already fixed, but I’m gonna moan about it anyway because it’s one of the things that really cheesed me off about Season 3. The setting. Transformers only really works on Earth and Cybertron and when Autobots are fighting Decepticons. Random planets with random aliens do not make a cool Transformers story.

The vehicles. Ok, let’s me start with Hot Rod was fucking cool! Now I’ve said that I can bitch about the fake cars. I have no problem with the fake cars, I love the fact that they’re being used as the Cybertronian version of the ’Bots, it makes sense, why would they be built on another planet to look like a Toyota Supra? Can’t we have some that were designed on Earth and built there that does look like a Supra though? When you look back Jazz, Bumble Bee and Sunstreaker were cool because they were actual cars. Now I don’t know who blame. The toy company (because they don’t want to pay the licence fees) or the manufacturers (because I can see the arguments now “But we don’t want our car/gun/plane/fridge to be evil, our car/gun/plane/microwave is obviously good and should be an autobot”). If it was the manufacturers, SHUT UP! When I see a Porsche 911 or a Lamborghini Diablo I don’t think ‘Wow Jazz’ or ‘Cool just like Sunstreaker’ I think ‘Bloody Nice Car’. I have always loved the design of the F-16, who knows if it’s because of Starscream and co, but I don’t think of it as a evil plane, just a cool one.

Now they seem to have the right idea with BinalTech and Alternators. I’m not sure how they did it but they’ve got companies to let them design Transformers around their cars. Which is just fantastic! Now can we have a cartoon about them please? With electronic voices? Based on Earth?