The Transformers go to the sixth century but avoid Camelot, as it is a silly place.
Japanese title: "Time Travellers"
Warpath and Hoist are battling it out with Starscream, Rumble, Ravage, and Ramjet. When the Decepticons retreat out of exhaustion, Rumble detects energy in a nearby cave. After they wander inside they are transported them to 543 A.D., where they are greeted by Sir Wigend du Blackthorne and his knights, who believe the Transformers are knights of an enemy realm. Their arrival is also observed by an owl, who flies off to inform his master, the wizard Beorht, of this strange new development.
Nearby, Nimue, princess of that enemy kingdom, is spying on their conversation and runs to warn her father, Sir Aetheling the Red, but she bumps into Spike (literally). The Decepticons agree to help Blackthorne's knights win their conflict with Aetheling, but Starscream obviously wants to rule and have a land of his own. Spike enters the jousting tournament between the two kingdoms (which has been rigged by the Decepticons, of course), but quickly fails.
Ramjet and Rumble enter the tournament together (Rumble riding Ramjet in vehicle mode), but are defeated by Warpath and Sir Aetheling. An enraged Starscream is sick of chivalry, kidnaps Nimue and threatens her life unless Sir Aetheling agrees to give up his realm. The Autobots give chase but cannot keep up due to lack of energy and collapse out of exhaustion.
Starscream holds Nimue prisoner in Blackthorne's castle, which he has commandeered, and forces its residents construct and power a primitive electrical generator to keep the Decepticons energized. Starscream then sends Rumble to get potassium nitrate (in other word, LOTS of bird crap) to make gunpowder.
Spike attempts to save Nimue from Blackthorne's keep, only to find she and Sir Blackthorne are now a happy couple. Despite feeling rejected, Spike still agrees to help fight the war against the Decepticons.
Meanwhile, the Autobots and Sir Aetheling's knights charge towards the castle to battle it out with the Decepticons. The Autobots help the knights cross the moat and scale the walls, but they can't put up much of a fight due to their dangerously low energy levels. Starscream's gunpowder projectiles make short work of the invading forces.
Beorht the wizard appears and summons lightning that fills Warpath and Hoist back up to full strength. They take back the battle with Starscream and are victorious. Beorht concludes the robots are time travelers and leads them all back to the cave in which they arrived, only to find it guarded by a dragon. Starscream refuses to go any closer, but Beorht pulls out a pouch of "dragon's bane", noting that a little bit of it works every time. He throws the concoction at the dragon, and it explodes, frightening away the beast.
Spike and the Transformers go back into the cave and return to the present. When they arrive back in their own time, they are greeted by multiple cannon blasts by Megatron. Starscream tackles his leader in a burst of enthusiasm at being back safely. Megatron, on the other hand, isn't nearly as happy to see Starscream, who has just ruined his shot...
Original airdate: 24 October 1985
Production number: 700-39
Written by: Douglas Booth
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Oohh! I just changed heads last week!"
- — A ground-bound Ramjet strangely comes off second best after attempting to ram Warpath.
"Out of the way, Rumble! It could be dangerous. As your leader, I must take the risk. Anyway, I'm lower on energy than you!"
- — Starscream being a true gentleman.
"Huh! Inferior construction, even for an Autobot. One good whack, it breaks right in two!"
- — Ramjet examining the "wreckage" of Sir Wulf and his horse.
"What's more important is that we have 1,451 years to go before we have to worry about the Autobots and that bungler Megatron!"
- — Even trapped in the past, Starscream looks on the bright side, unaware his math is failing.
"Whatcha waiting for, Red Knight? Don't you wanna rumble with Rumble?"
- — "Sir" Rumble prepares to joust.
"My nose! You've ruined my nose!"
- — A ground-bound Ramjet strangely comes off second best after attempting to ram Warpath. Again.
"Starscream, lower the drawbridge! Uh, I got your stupid potassium nitrate!"
- — Rumble, carrying a pot of bird droppings while also covered in same.
"Magic can never defeat science!"
- — Starscream, who obviously never appeared on Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light.
"Tyrwas, God of the Sky, I know not of Science, buteth thou must give these giants...Life!"
- — Beorht, rejuvenating Hoist and Warpath, Frankenstein-style.
"What's the matter? Aren't you glad to see us?"
- — Starscream asks a rather loaded question to Megatron.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The original broadcast version of this episode featured the misspelled title, "A Deceptacon Raider..." The error was corrected for the Generation 2 version of the episode. Likewise, when Kid Rhino recreated the title cards for their DVD release of the series, it was also amended. This flub seemed minor then, but years later...,
- But you think that's bad? During the Blooper Reel on the Season 2 Part 1 DVD, the title is misspelled "A Decption Rainder". Oy!
- Princess Nimue has cleavage that appears and disappears from shot to shot and sometimes frame to frame. And no, you are not a pervert if you watched the episode six times to chronicle this error.
- When Ramjet rams into Warpath in the jousting duel, his canopy is smashed and nose cone crushed in, yet less than a minute later, he's back to normal when the remaining Decepticons attempt to flee with Starscream.
- Even making allowances for the story being set in the enlightened and (presumably) advanced kingdom of Camelot, plate armour of the kind worn by the various knights in this episode was not introduced into medieval Europe until around the year 1400—almost a thousand years from the stated date of 543 anno domini. Even so, one should be fair to the writers and cartoonists, given that major motion pictures like Excalibur also made this sort of error (or used it for dramatic effect because audiences would easily recognise a stereotypical "knight" as opposed to a historically accurate version). Additionally, in one respect, the defect can be excused: Hoist's creation of a suit of armour for Spike with 900 years' worth of technological innovations can be regarded as a pretty smart tactical move.
- How come none of the factions realised both of their ships were already crashed on the planet and taken advantage of this opportunity?
- Surprisingly, there is a slight bit of Arthurian legend present in the episode. Nimue is an Arthurian character who fell in love with Merlin. Unsurprisingly, that Nimue is nothing like this episode's Nimue.
- The title of this episode is an homage to the novel "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" written by Mark Twain and published in 1889.
- Despite the title, King Arthur doesn't make an appearance in this tale.
- This is the first episode not to feature Optimus Prime.
- This is the first (but not the only) time the Transformers can't stay transformed due to low energy.
- Starscream's math is out by about a decade - 543 + 1451 = 1994, rather than the correct 1984.
- Spike actually gets a kiss from a girl. What will Carly think?
- When the Decepticons arrive in the past they are attacked by mounted knights. Upon seeing Rumble one of them exclaims "a spy from the red knight, charge!" It seems even fleeing through history cannot save Rumble from the fandom.