The Transformers – Season Two, Volume One [25th Anniversary Edition] (2009, Shout! Factory)
Originally Aired: September 23, 1985 – November 5, 1985
I actually own Season 1 (and talked about getting it way back in the day) but never got around to posting my thoughts on it… or at least I couldn’t find the link if I did. Honestly, I don’t know if ever finished watching Season 1 but it’s a pretty short season so maybe someday I’ll talk about it. For now, let’s get underway with Season Two, Volume One. I own Season Two, Volume Two but haven’t watched it yet so who knows when I’ll get around to talking about it.
Let me say this, I realize Transformers are a bigger deal than G.I. Joe to the rest of the world, but even as a kid, I’ve never seen it that way. Back in the ’80s, I liked TF but it didn’t compare to G.I. Joe or He-Man. Still doesn’t, IMO. I wonder if the fact that I didn’t have many of the toys factors into my enjoyment for the show itself (I did have a few awesome TF lunch boxes though). Another factor could be that I’m just not much of a sci-fi fan and can’t really relate to indestructible robots from outer space battling other indestructible robots from outer space (a superhero with a power sword battling a blue guy with a yellow skull-face — that I could relate to). As I was watching this set, I found myself enjoying the episodes that deal with the Transformers interacting a lot with humans (or human-like creatures). I definitely prefer that over seeing the Autobots and Decepticons blowing each other up in some unnamed desert.
Unlike with G.I. Joe or MOTU, I don’t have many memories of Transformers episodes. Even watching the show now, nothing is coming to mind making me go “Oh YEAH! I remember this!” other than the “Megatron’s Master Plan” two-parter. There’s not a HUGE nostalgia factor at play for me when I think of Transformers. And I think the movies suck. Nonetheless, the show was a part of my childhood and I liked the show so here I am watching and reviewing the series.
A lot of children of the ’80s say Transformers is the best cartoon ever but it’s pretty far from it in my book. The main problem I see in the series so far is that it seems like every few episodes Optimus Prime is thought to be dead OR some of the Autobots get their circuits/memory chips messed with and they fall under the control of the Decepticons. It’s done way too much for my liking.
One of the highlights for this DVD set has been the Dinobots, who are introduced in this season. I remember playing with their figures at my friends’ house as a kid and I always thought they were really cool looking in both of their forms. I love how they are written as super-strong and super-dumb. Their dialogue and I like the voice-work done with them. Their fight scenes are done very well too as they put over just how powerful these guys are. They kinda remind me of Frankenstein’s Monster in a way. Even though they were built by Wheeljack and Ratchet, it still seems somehow wrong that the Autobots use them for a lot of their dirty work. To the Dinobots’ credit, there are actually times when they grow resentful of how the Autobots treat them and express desire to be left alone. This is the focal point of the fun two-part “Desertion of the Dinobots”. This show seems to excel at two-parters, by the way. Most of them are very well done.
A couple of other subgroups are featured in this half of Season 2. The Insecticons are kinda like the Decepticons’ answer to the Dinobots. They keep to their own for the most part and seem to come and go as they please and don’t always get along with Megatron. The Constructicons (who are full-fledged cooperating Decepticons) make frequent appearances after debuting in the final episode of Season 1. The Constructions combine to form the gigantic Devastator and I’d LOVE to see the Dinobots battle that monstrosity. Or even an Omega Supreme/Devastator battle. Hopefully at least one of those match-ups happens later in the series.
Surprisingly, even though this is a 25th Anniversary Edition, there are NO bonus features. I mean, the packaging is nice. There’s a nice booklet that summarizes the episodes (which is more than we can say for the G.I. Joe Series 2, Season 1) but why wouldn’t you include any short interviews, art or commercials for such an occasion? Really cheap of them to do that. You can pretty much bet the house they’ll do 30th Anniversary collections in 2014, maybe by that time they’ll add some bonus features.
Anyway, this is a great collection and I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. It seems as the series progresses the episodes keep getting better because I found myself liking almost all of Discs 3 & 4. I’m really looking forward to diving into the S2V2 set and seeing how things go from here.
There was a complete series box-set that was released in 2011 so you may be better off picking that up if you’re planning on getting the entire series. Or just wait 2 years and buy the 30th Anniversary editions.
Best Episodes: “Dinobot Island” 1 & 2, “Traitor”, “Changing Gears”, “A Prime Problem”, “Attack of the Autobots”, ”The Insecticon Syndrome”, “Megatron’s Master Plan” 1 & 2, “Desertion of the Dinobots” 1 & 2, “A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur’s Court”, “The God Gambit”, “Make Tracks”, “Quest for Survival”