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- AN EXAMPLE OF HOW A LARGE CAST CAN WORK -

The Transformers Logo
"THE TRANSFORMERS"

"GHOST IN THE MACHINE"

(Original Airdate: October 21, 1986)

SYNOPSIS OF THE STORY


- THE PLAYERS -
*

With the recent announcement that there are plans to make the highly awaited Unicron Toy (A Proto-type exists), this episode featured Thirty-Five Main Characters, all of which were made into Action Figures, except for the human Spike and possibly Arcee.

THIS EPISODE'S KEY PLAYERS
  1. - Starscream's Ghost. - Starscream was Megatron's next in line (after Soundwave). In "Transformers:The Movie", the Decepticons lead an attack on Autobot City which took up most of a day, ending with the death of Autobot Leader Optimus Prime, and Decepticon Leader Megatron heavily damaged. As they left the area beaten up in a ship running low on fuel, Starscream took the opportunity to move up in rank by ejecting Megatron and several other heavily damaged Decepticons into space. Megatron and gang was picked up by the planet devouring Unicron, a transformer the size of a planet. He reformed Megatron into Galvatron, and reformed the damaged Decepticons into Cyclonus, Scourge, and numerous Sweeps. Galvatron came back and killed Starscream. This is the second appearance of Starscream's Ghost since he died.
  2. - Scourge. - The leader of the Sweeps (Space Hovercrafts), recreated from near dead Decepticons by Unicron.
  3. - Unicron. - A Transforming Planet that tried to eat the Transformer's home planet Cybertron, but was destroyed. His head and debris now orbits Cybertron, which is ruled by the Autobots.

    THE DECEPTICONS
  4. - Galvatron. - The unstable and often outraged Leader of the Decepticons (a Canon). Prior to his change by Unicron, he was the more stable Megatron (a Gun).
  5. - Cyclonus. - Galvatron's second-in-command (a Space Jet). He's cool headed and tries to calm Galvatron down every so often. In one episode he even lured Galvatron to a galactic mental hospital to try to make him better.
  6. - A Sweep (One). - They usually didn't have names.
  7. - A Sweep (Two). - They usually didn't have names.
  8. - A Sweep (Three). - They usually didn't have names.
  9. - Trypticon. - The Decepticon City which can transform into a fat Black, Grey & Purple T-Rex, once stolen by the Triplechanger Octane, who was the first to encounter Starscream's Ghost when he was once cornered by the Sweeps in a Decepticon grave.
  10. - Astrotrain. - A Triplechanger, he can transform from a robot into a Train into a Space Shuttle. (You loyal fans will remember Galvatron kicked out the other triplechanger Blitzwing when he gave up on fighting. We haven't seen him since)
  11. - Thundercracker. - One of the original Jets like Starscream.
  12. - Thrust. - One of the original Jets like Starscream.
  13. - Rampage. - A Tiger Predacon. It takes all Five Predacons to mirge into PredaKing. In this episode we only see three.
  14. - Headstrong. - A Rhino Predacon.
  15. - DiveBomb. - An Eagle Predacon.
  16. - Runamuck. - A White car (a Battlecharger).
  17. - Runabout. - A Black car (a Battlecharger).

    THE AUTOBOTS
  18. - Rodimus Prime. - The Leader of the Autobots, who took the Matrix of Leadership from Optimus Prime, who was killed by Megatron in the Movie.
  19. - Ultra Magnus. - Prime's next in line, he's a semi and car trailer. In the movie he was voiced by Robert Stack.
  20. - Metroplex. - The Autobot City on Earth that transforms into a giant robot.
  21. - Blurr. - A Fast-talking blue car.
  22. - Springer. - A green Triplechanger, he can transform from a Robot into a Race Car into a Helicopter.
  23. - Sky Lynx. - A Space Shuttle that splits to transform into both a Pteradactyl and a Tiger. Sky Lynx is highly intelligent, as he constantly reminds people.
  24. - Kup. - An older, wiser "old man" Autobot.
  25. - Spike. - Spike's a human. In the original series (in 1986) he was in his 20's. These episodes take place 20 years later (2006) and Spike is now a Father and a Husband (to Carley). He used to hang around with Bumblebee all the time.
  26. - Bumblebee. - A Yellow Volkswagon.
  27. - Powerglide. - A small red plane.
  28. - Blaster. - A Boombox.
  29. - Warpath. - A small burgandy colored Tank who suffers from Tourettes ("Wham, Bam, Pow, Kazowee").
  30. - Wheely. - The 2006 equivelant of Bumblebee, except annoying.
  31. - Hotspot. - A Blue Fire Engine Protectobot. It takes all Five Protectobots to mirge into Defensor. In this episode we saw two. In the "Generation 2" (1996) Comics, Hotspot was shot to hell by the Terrorist organization of Cobra when he tried to pursue both Cobra AND G.I.Joe to prevent them from keeping Transformer technology Cobra Commander had copied and stolen when Cobra once rescued battle-ravaged Megatron. Unable to fight any further, and with G.I.Joe on one side and Cobra fast approaching on the other, Hotspot then realized what Optimus Prime had meant when he said that great sacrifices must be made to ensure that humans do not end up killing themselves due to the actions or consequences of the arrival of the Transformers on Earth. Knowing that he is on the virge of death and the humans would soon get ahold of him as well, Hotspot took himself out and ended his own life by self destructing with an enourmous explosion, destroying himself and taking the Cobra Cargo Truck of Transformer technology with him.
  32. - Unidentified Protectobot. - A Protectbot, either First Aid, Streetwise or Groove. I can't tell because he didn't transform.
  33. - Unidentified Aerielbot. - An Aerielbot. It takes all Five Arielbots to mirge into Superion. In this episode we see two.
  34. - Unidentified Aerielbot. - An Aerielbot.
  35. - Arcee. - A Pink & White Female Autobot that transforms into a car.

THE STORY
*
Each Character is in Bold as they show up for the first time in the Episode.

The episode opens on the ruined planet of Char, which is occupied by the Decepticons. A group of Decepticons consisting of Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge (the leader of the Sweeps), several other Sweeps, and two Predacons - Rampage & Headstrong, are walking along one day. Starscream's Ghost materialises and startles Scourge. After taking over his body, he proceeds at taking pot-shots at Galvatron and the others, before being forced to flee when they retaliate. Galavatron orders the Predacons to hunt Scourge down, not realizing it was Starscream behind it, but Cyclonus insists it should be him and the Sweeps to go after the Traitor. Galvatron agrees.

Starscream
Starscream, in his livelier days.

Starscream takes Scourge to Unicron's Head, which is in orbit of Cybertron. Re-activating Unicron's brain, Starscream requests to have his old body back, knowing that only Unicron has that power. Unicron will grant his request after three labors are performed. Scourge reluctantly stays with Starscream, knowing that he can't return to Char because Galvatron now thinks he tried to kill him. For the first Task, Unicron orders Starscream to retrieve for him the eyes of the Autobot City Metroplex.

TASK ONE.

At the Autobot City Metroplex, Sky Lynx drops off Kup and Spike for an inspection. Present at the City are Bumblebee, Powerglide, Blaster & Warpath. Starscream's Ghost blows out Metroplex's Scurity System, putting the Autobots at a frenzy preoccupied with a Red Alert. Starscream and Scourge takes one of Metroplex's Eyes. Bumblebee and Spike unexpectedly show up to secure Metroplex's Brain Vault, and almost drives into Scourge, who drops and shatters the Eye. Starscream and Scourge take the other Eye and set a Photon Charge. Metroplex senses them, and begins to transform in a panic.

"Decepticon Intruder in my Brain. Decepticon Intruder removes my Eye." - Metroplex

Metroplex transforms without warning, knocking the Autobots around inside, and Starscream and Scourge escape breaking out through Metroplex's eye socket. As Scourge flies away, he's momentarily pursued by PowerGlide and two (unidentified) Arielbots. But when Metroplex, in a panic, starts shooting blindly, he shoots down Powerglide. When the Photon Charge detonates, it leaves Metroplex locked in a defenseless City Mode, and the Autobots unable to report what happened.

Warpath
Warpath, the little
Tank that could.

Starscream makes Scourge return to Char to replace Metroplex's destroyed Eye by taking one of Trypticon's. They bury the first Eye so it won't be found.

With the front door of Trypticon being guarded by Runamuck and Runabout, Starscream's Ghost takes over Runabout, blasts Runamuck, and runs Runabout right into a wall, knocking him out. Starscream and Scourge enter the City. Runamuck is able to set off the alarm.

Astrotrain, Thundercracker(?), and Thrust(?) hear the alarm and come running.

After Scourge gets Metroplex's Eye, Astrotrain literally runs into Scourge, so Starscream takes him over because he's got more cargo room than Scourge does.

When Starscream and Scourge retrieves the buried Eye, Thundercacker(?) and Thrust(?) show up and start blasting, but they escape in Astrotrain.

Now knowing that Starscream was behind Scourge's attack, plus the fact that Starscream took Astrotrain with him and Scourge now appears to be helping Starscream voluntarily, Galvatron gets pissed that they allowed him to get away.

Galvatron
Galvatron

While Scourge installs the Eyes in Unicron, Starscream exits Astrotrain just as he enters Cybertron's Airspace, to allow the Autobots to dispose of him. On Cybertron, Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus try to figure out why Scourge and Starscream's Ghost took Metroplex's Eyes and blew him up, when Blurr and Springer pick up Astrotrain coming in. We see Wheely in the corner of the room. Not sure how many Decepticons may be inside, Protectobots HotSpot and one I can't identify open fire and shoot Astrotrain down.

TASK TWO.

Now able to see again, Unicron orders Starscream to bring the Decepticon City Trypticon to him. Scourge gets a little annoyed because they were just there.

Seeing the new Eyes in Unicron in orbit, the Autobots realize where Metroplex's Eyes went. Sky Lynx takes Ultra Magnus, Springer, Hotspot and the other Protectobot to Unicron, but his defense systems fry them, forcing them to exit, while outside Scourge takes some shots at Sky Lynx, forcing him to leave. With the Autobots gone again, Scourge suggests it would be dangerous for him when they return, suggesting he should leave. Unicron reminds him that what he once gave Scourge, he can also take away.

Galvatron, pissed that the 2 Jets and 2 Cars allowed Starscream to leave with Astrotrain and Trypticon's Eye, orders the Decepticons (including Predacon DiveBomb) to hunt them down and blast them. They flee into Trypticon. Galvatron, confused as hell about why Starscream is doing this, gets more irate when Trypticon begins transforming into Dinosaur Mode without authorization, with Starscream's Ghost at the controls.

"I'm just borrowing him for a little while. Don't worry about a thing." - Starscream

Starscream, with Trypticon, takes off back to Unicron. Galvatron orders the others to pursue.

"The Head of Unicron has drawn the Decepticons into our midst. Trypticon has been sighted leading a squad of them towards Cybertron." - Rodimus Prime

Starscream's Ghost arrives with Trypticon, wanting to know what the third (and final) task is. Unicron tells him the second task is not yet complete and has Scourge remove Trypticon's transformation Cog and place it into Unicron's Head, while Starscream uses Trypticon to fight off the approaching Decepticons. The fight between them baffles the Autobots, and drains the Decepticon's weapons.

TASK THREE.

Unicron
Unicron, as seen in the movie before
his tremendous weightloss.
"Connect my Head to the planet Cybertron. I will then have a new body. I will be complete again. Able to devour ALL worlds in my path." - Unicron

Now too big for him to handle, Scourge takes off back to the Decepticons. But with their weapons drained, they are unable to do anything. Scourge goes to the Autobots and explains what Unicron is attempting to do. Starscream uses Trypticon to push Unicron's Head to Cybertron to make the external connections. Ultra Magnus gets the idea to plant explosives at the connection point.

Still inside Trypticon, Runabout, Runamuck, Thundercracker and Thrust do some damage that causes Starscream to lose control of Trypticon, to stop him from making the connection.

"Unicron. If you want the connection made, you better give me a new body now." - Starscream

Unicron blasts Starscream with an energy beam, making his body solid and alive again.

"Now do my bidding. Complete the connection." - Unicron
"Do it yourself." - Starscream

The Autobots plant and detonate the explosives, sending Unicron's head back into orbit, and sending Starscream hurdling through space.

The Autobots, now including Arcee, cheer at the victory.

Looking back at the explosion on Cybertron to see what it was, Galvatron sees Starscream hurdling through space, and starts blasting him, making Cyclonus wonder since when do Ghosts tumble out of control through space.

The Autobots let Scourge and Astrotrain go, and decide they would have to rebuild all new eyes for Metroplex, since the explosion probably damaged Unicron's beyond repair.

Probably.

THE END.


OVER VIEW:
*

This is one of those episodes of a Television Series that you don't get tired of watching over and over.

The second appearance of Starscream's Ghost after he passed away, this episode was a vast improvement from Starscream's First appearance in "Starscream's Ghost", which had a slow beginning as Starscream didn't return from the dead until it was 1/3 over. The majority of that episode that re-introduced Starscream was spent concluding Octane's story when Galvatron kicked him out as a Traitor for stealing Trypticon from an earlier adventure (Octane and Blitzwing should start a club). Keeping all of this in perspective shows how the stories were now continuing unlike its episodic predecessor, continuity which was rare for a "Cartoon".

Leave it to Starscream to be the awnry one who refuses to die. The conflict between Starscream and Megatron goes all the way back to Episode One. Even though Megatron is long gone and has since been reconfigured into Galvatron, it's nice to see the conflict between the two remains, but now on a much bigger level than before, now dealing with the bigger scope of life and death, and with the whole of space now at their disposal compared to their earth-bound adventures from 1983. This certainly isn't like the past where they used to have power struggles over which rock quarry to build the Space-Bridge. It was actually Galvatron who killed Starscream in the Movie, not Megatron, although Starscream knows full well who he's dealing with.

The ultimate villian gets a step ahead. The fact that Unicron now has working eyes to replace the destroyed ones places him in a better position for whatever his next evil deed would have been had the series progressed.

A brief scene between Spike and Bumblebee when Spike suggests it's just like old times instantly reminds the loyal viewers of how much things have changed throughout the years. More specifically, 20 years have passed between the "1980's" Transformers and the "Movie" Transformers, even though both were contained within the same television series. The "1980's" version ended production in 1985 and the new "Future" version of the Series was produced in 1986, like any series that never stopped production. Only the setting and time-frame changed (Similar to SeaQuest DSV changing into SeaQuest 2032).

After the major jump 20 years into the future (from 1986 to 2006), we've found many references to the long dead of the past in this new future version of the series. The first episodes that picked up after the Theatrical Movie saw the temporary- leaderless Decepticons missing the days of Megatron. A few episodes later the Autobots found the "Morgue Ship" where all the dead Autobots were buried after being killed in the Movie, such as Iron-Hide and Wheeljack. The same episode saw the return of Optimus Prime briefly as he was rebuilt by the Quintessons for their own purpose. The continuing appearances of Starscream's Ghost is another example, as his first appearance saw where many of the dead Decepticons were honored with statues. Another appearance by Alpha Trion as a younger version, and then the final resurrection of Optimus Prime again proves that the past isn't always over and may still catch up to you.

It's interesting that two of the Decepticons inside Trypticon who stopped Starscream from using him were two of the 1980's Jets, the same design as and former comrades of Starscream.

Both sides get screwed when they both sustain losses. Both the Autobot City Metroplex and the Decepticon City Trypticon get damaged. The only one who seem to have gotten ahead was Unicron by the obtainment of his new eyes, even though everyone assumes they were also destroyed.

Starscream gets his old body back. Had the Series continued, we may have awaited the third (solid) appearance of Starscream. But now that his goal of being alive again has been achieved, would Starscream have gone back to his previous goal of ruling the Decepticons? He would have been a fish out of water compared to the newer space-age versions of his comrades. Starscream is a product of 1983. The next season would have been 2007. If not ruling the Decepticons, where would that have left him?

Starscream


THE OTHER EPISODE STORIES FEATURED:
TRANSFORMERS: "Ghost in the Machine"
TRANSFORMERS: "Call of the Primitives"
E.N.G: "Seeing is Believing"
G.I.JOE : "Cobrathon"
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: "War of the Gods Pt. 1"
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: "War of the Gods Pt. 2"
V: "The Conversion"

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