Transformers: Prime – Season One

For centuries across the universe, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and the Autobots have battled their greatest foes, Megatron (Frank Welker) and his army of Decepticons. But on Earth they face a new threat: discovery by the human race. By using their unique ability to disguise themselves as common Earth vehicles, the Autobots have managed to avoid detection and the risk of escalating their war to disastrous proportions. But now they require the assistance of three young human allies (Jack, Miko and Raf), along with Special Agent Bill Fowler (Ernie Hudson, Ghostbusters) not only to help keep their secret but also to defeat the sinister Decepticons once and for all!

From Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the writing team behind the megablockbuster Transformers feature films, and executive producer Jeff Kline comes an all-new series of sophisticated adventures for the Autobots, Decepticons and their human allies that boasts stellar computer animation and an impressive voice cast including Adam Baldwin (Chuck), Clancy Brown (Lost), Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Dwayne The Rock Johnson (G.I. JOE: Retaliation), John Noble (Fringe), Tony Todd (Final Destination) and Gina Torres (Firefly).Transformers fans disappointed by the live-action Michael Bay films and various animated permutations of their favorite Cybertronians’ adventures may find some solace in the Emmy-winning Transformers Prime, a CGI series that harks back to the Transformers‘ heyday while adding welcome layers of depth and grit to the characterizations. There’s also a touch of darkness in its central storyline, which has Decepticons Megatron (Frank Welker) and Starscream (Steven Blum) mining Dark Energon to create a “zombie” army of robots to defeat a quintet of Autobots, led as always by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen). Aiding the Autobots in their defense of the Earth are a government agent (Ernie Hudson) and a trio of school kids who serve as a conduit between Optimus’s team and the human race. As outlined by producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who penned two of the Bay-directed Transformers films), the action shifts between the Autobots’ battles with the Decepticons and Megatron’s attempts to wrest control of his minions from the rebel Starscream. The season comes to a head with its cliffhanger finale, which resurrects the robot-god Unicron (Fringe‘s John Noble), forcing Cybertronians on both sides of the moral fence to pick up arms against a common and devastating enemy. It’s a thrilling end point to a largely terrific season with high points (Cullen and Welker reviving their ’80s-era roles, Firefly vets Adam Baldwin and Gina Torres as Decepticons Breakdown and Airachnid, and cult movie hero Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet; Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson pops up briefly as well) overshadowing the lows (the unremarkable, occasionally grating young heroes). There are also 15 commentary tracks (for a 26-episode series), all featuring cast and crew members including Cullen, Hudson, Combs, producer Jeff Kline and Rafi Ruthchild, composer Brian Tyler, and even executives from Hasbro; the latter is also present for a toy featurette that exceeds the standard advertising-disguised-as-featurette pitfall by looking at unreleased characters and the conception of newer ones. The Making of Transformers Prime is a bit more by the book: it’s a production by the series’ broadcast network, the Hub, and covers the usual subjects (voice cast, past Transformers incarnations) without much fanfare. A 20-second preview of season two, which debuted at New York Comic Con in 2011, rounds out the extras. –Paul Gaita

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3 Responses to Transformers: Prime – Season One

  1. Ryan M. Lutz "blood vamp" says:
    27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    ravage 24/7, January 11, 2012
    By 
    Ryan M. Lutz “blood vamp” (Richmond,VA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Transformers: Prime – Season One (DVD)

    Transformers Prime is one of the best!I have been a transformer fan since the beginning in the 1980’s and this takes me back to that time with how great of a series this is.This series is as good as any from the G1 days with amazing action and solid storylines from the first episode to the final episode.One thing I will agree with from another review is that I would have rather seen Ironhide in the series instead of Bulkhead,but maybe they will bring him into the action in season 2.Also I would have liked to see Bumblebee actually talk again,but this is a minor detail compared to how awesome an all around series Transformers Prime is.This series is a vast improvement over the earlier animated series with better looking transformers,characters,and quality overall.The main character transformers are amazing looking whether in robot or vehicle modes.Optimus has a G1 touch along with a new millenium look all wrapped up into one for a cool appearence all around.Megatron is menacing as ever with one of the best looks he has ever had that blows his G1 appearence away.Starscream has a new,more sleek appearence that is very cool as well.Ratchet has one of his best character appearence’s ever with his classic G1 colors and usual staight forward personality.Bumblebee is as cool as ever with a sweet looking sports car mode that blows the earlier animated version off the charts.My favorite would be Arcee,which looks the best she ever has in any transformer series.Arcee has great storylines involving her nemesis Blackarachnia.Arcee faces personal demons and has some heart felt momments along the way while kicking some major ass all around.The human characters of Raf,Miko,and Jack compliment the series very well while intrigating into the storylines just as well along with their autobot counterparts.If you are a fan of transformers this is a great series for all ages whether you are just getting into transformers or have loved them since your childhood.Bottom line Transformers Prime is a 10 out of 10 DVD series that is a thrill ride with compelling storylines that will keep you in anticipation from episode to episode.I highly recommend Transformers Prime Season 1 to all transformer fans out there.Transformers Rule!!!

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  2. H. Bala "Me Too Can Read" says:
    9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    “Mom, meet my science-fiction club.”, March 25, 2012
    By 
    H. Bala “Me Too Can Read” (Recently moved back to Carson, California, or as I call it… the center of the universe) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      
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    This review is from: Transformers: Prime – Season One (DVD)

    If you’ve got a bone to pick with Michael Bay and his live-action, senses-shattering (but not in the best way) TRANSFORMERS film franchise, then why not tune in to Hub’s marvelous CG-animated TRANSFORMERS: PRIME? The first season is out on DVD. It’s a better reimagining than Bay’s own robots in disguise.

    This incarnation plonks the Autobots in the desert outskirts of Jasper, Nevada, as they make do with a remote bunker as their base of operations. The series opens with the five-part “Darkness Rising” arc as our heroic ‘bots deal with the Decepticons’ reappearance after three years of hunkering down. A driven Megatron, returned from years spent in outer space, is obsessed with harvesting dark energon, that bent element which creates zombie Transformers (the ‘con leader means to raise an army of these undead). Megatron’s quest is a recurring sub-plot which pays off huge in the season finale. But to demonstrate that this series isn’t messing about, an Autobot falls very early on.

    Fans of the original animated series, as well as of the intervening iterations, will recognize the affectionate nods this show bestows. I don’t know that TRANSFORMERS PRIME deepens the mythology as much as reshuffles it around some. But it does well in establishing the lore of this current continuity. The characters are well-defined; the cast is kept to a relatively small core number. The Autobot crew is composed of five robots, few enough that the writers are able to invest in solid character development. Each Autobot gets showcased. Heck, on the opposing side, even lesser ‘cons like Knockout and Breakdown get their moment in the sun. Two memorable characters are introduced in the shapes of the sadistic Aerachnid (Gina Torres) and the snarky Decepticon medic (and drag race enthusiast) Knockout. But the old hands are still well represented. The cowardly Starscream is still scheming away. Everyone’s favorite muscle car, Bumblebee, still channels R2-D2. Peter Cullen again lends his awesome pipes to the noble Optimus Prime. He’s reunited with his longtime foil, Frank Welker who once more voices Megatron.

    As is its wont, the franchise recruits children to the Autobots’ cause. In the first episode, three kids – Jack, Miko, and Raf – individually stumble onto the existence of these 30-foot-tall bio-mechanical aliens, leaving Optimus no choice but to appoint three of his warriors to act as their respective guardians. I’ve always enjoyed the inclusion of humans as they act as our point-of-view characters. Except that the impulsive Miko is really irritating, always scampering off against orders and getting underfoot. The Autobots’ allies also number two human adults: the Autobots’ liaison to the U.S. government, Special Agent Fowler (Ernie Hudson), and ***SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE*** later, Jack’s no-nonsense mom June Darby (Markie Post). I think a TRANSFORMERS show will always need humans, if nothing else, so as to establish a sense of scale.

    The CG is amazing, a feast of sleek visual designs and thrilling robot-on-robot violence that is very well executed. In episode 4 of the “Darkness Rising” arc, there’s a sequence in which the camera shoots from a human’s P.O.V. while a robot melee rages on. This sequence really gets you a feel for how chaotic and scary a metal on metal scrap can be and how tiny and insignificant humans are compared to these giant battling robots. The stage direction of these combat scenes is exhilarating stuff. TRANSFORMERS PRIME treats us to storytelling that is rich and compelling and humorous and with an eye towards a grand scope. The majestic score only adds to the grandiose vibe. What’s more, there’s a clear emotional thru-line. The stories are darker and more violent than in past series. I love that the episodes tend to advance the overarching plot.

    It’s appreciated that the big bads don’t simply consist of Decepticons. One of my favorite episodes is the hilarious “Scrapheap” which finds the Autobot headquarters infested with the metal-devouring Scraplets, touted by an apprehensive Ratchet as the “most dangerous vermin ever to crawl upon the face of Cybertron.” It’s massive fun watching these giant robot warriors turn into these jumpy, squealing pansies. The episode “Convoy” not only unveils the McGuffinish “Dingus” device (a prototype energy source) but also introduces M.E.C.H., a human mercenary organization headed by the opportunistic Silas (Clancy Brown, in fine sinister form). In my opinion, all the episodes are terrific, with this season bookended by the epic “Darkness Rising” and “One Shall Rise” arcs. “One Shall Rise” concerns the doom prophecy long ago proclaimed by the Cybetron Ancients. As the dreaded Chaos Bringer awakens from its eons of slumber, freakish global catastrophes threaten to devastate the world. Time for the Autobots to roll out. The “Oh hell no–!!” cliffhanger ending is frustrating but in a good way. In fact, the DVD…

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  3. HavokH85 says:
    9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The best Transformers animated series to date, January 16, 2012
    By 
    HavokH85 (Virginia) –

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    To start off, I grew up watching the original Transformers. I have watched all the shows that came after. Robots in Disguise, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Armada…I’ve seen them all. Through the good and bad. So one can say Transformers has a special place in my heart. Transformers:Prime is absolutley mind blowing. The story lines are amazing, character designs are spectacular, the music score is simply beautiful, and the voice talent is second to none. Peter Cullen returns as Optimus Prime with Frank Welker also returning as Megatron including a special guest appearance from Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

    I don’t believe in spoilers therefore you will get none from me. Transformers:Prime makes a for a great investment for children and adults alike. You will not be disappointed.

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