The time of reckoning is almost upon us. Discovery and Hasbro's new channel, The Hub, is set to debut the new "Transformers: Prime" animated series on Monday, November 29th at 6:30pm EST. Tformers.com was lucky enough to score an advance 'screener' copy of the first two episodes, which are part of the opening 5-episode miniseries that kicks off the show. After review of the show, we're ready to offer our first take.
The article below will reveal some plot lines and character personas. If you do not want to know any plot details, or if you do not want a critique of characters, DO NOT GO FURTHER!! You have been warned!
The story takes place near the fictional town of Jasper, Nevada. The town is fictional, but the name is no coincidence, as it was a nuclear program during the 1950s that took place just northwest of Las Vegas. The storyline has shifted back to a more G1-esque type of situation, where the Decepticons are trying to mine Energon from cache points around the Earth. The Autobots, naturally, are trying to protect the Earth from this raid while staying incognito. During a scout mission, one of the Autobot's covers is blown while being pursued by Decepticon troops. When the dust settles from the ensuing battle, two humans learn about the Autobots. When Prime orders that the two humans be brought into Autobot custody, a third human is eventually in on the secret, and is subsequently brought into custody as well.
Meanwhile, Starscream begins the series by monitoring the Energon mining operations. From what is learned, Megatron has been missing for 3yrs, much to Starscream's satisfaction. That streak ends when Soundwave locates him. Once back in command, Megatron divulges his discovery of Dark Energon. Megatron injects the Dark Energon into a recently deactivated test subject. The result is a mindless zombie bent on rage. As part 2 ends, Megatron is seen injecting himself with the Dark Energon.
Vague? Yes. I don't want to give everything away.
The characters themselves are done in high definition graphics. They move very smoothly and show great detail, although their faces are very simplistic in nature. The background art is console game quality.
Warning! Some major plot lines may be revealed here! Read further at your own risk!.1) Unicron is back in the storyline. This is where the Dark Energon eminates from.
From what I can gather from the first two episodes, another attempt is being made to satisfy all walks of Transformers fans while trying to bring a fresh story line via canon reboot. Some people may be disappointed that Welker's Megatron is not G1 faithful. In truth, it more resembles Corey Burton's portrayal via Animated. It's one of many 'letdowns' that some older fans may have. In fact, the only satisfactory point may be with Optimus Prime. The voice is spot on, as is his G1-esque persona.
That aside, the show does have promise. Sure, the CGI looks a bit dated when judging it from the peripheral art, but the characters themselves are done up very well and have fluid animation. The storyline, even from early on, is also intriguing. What may hurt (or help) this series is the airtime, which is 6:30pm EST (3:30pm PST for you west-coasters). 6:30 is usually dinner time, so it should be interesting to see how many east coast fans tune in initially.
Being that it airs at 3:30pm in my time zone, this writer won't be able to catch it live. Since I also don't possess a DVR, that means (like many) I will be victim to YouTube or torrents to catch most of the action. Depending on how the remaining three episodes of the miniseries pan out, this has the ability to make or break both the Transformes and The Hub. Here's hoping for a strong finish.
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