Megatron's latest scheme involves using the most powerful computer on Earth to control machinery remotely.
Japanese title: "The Rebellion of the Computer"
Megatron and Soundwave (the former disguised in a guitar case!) not-so-silently infiltrate Quantum Laboratories, a top-secret facility where the world’s most powerful computer, TORQ III, is housed. Megatron reprograms the computer with his own personality and gives it the power to control remotely dangerous machines of all types through the use of "Remote Control Circuit Linker cards."
At the same time, scientist Dr. Paul Gates of Quantum Labs muses with a colleague about the dangers of machine sentience and that, in the wrong hands, TORQ III might be too powerful. Since Fate is both cruel and timely, the very scenario they were discussing comes true when TORQ III locks them in their office and announces that he’s taking over.
Megatron is using TORQ and the circuit linker cards to remotely control fleets of oil tankers. This alerts Teletraan 1, who notifies Optimus Prime. Prime then receives Dr. Gates’ distress signal; Gates fills him in on TORQ III’s rebellion and asks to be rescued.
Hound and Skyfire are assigned to investigate the tankers, and Spike tags along. Prime leads a group to Quantum Labs, where they immediately come under attack by machines controlled by TORQ. Overwhelmed, Prime orders in the Dinobots (minus Swoop) to come help, and they smash, chomp and melt down all of the machines. Grimlock makes his usual pompous comment about having to save Prime’s bacon when things get rough. Afterward, Prime rescues Dr. Gates and they advance toward the buildings, meeting lots of resistance from TORQ’s machines.
Meanwhile, Hound, Spike and Skyfire sneak aboard an oil tanker and infiltrate the Decepticons' oil platform. Their attack falls short when Spike is captured and they are forced to surrender.
After smashing more remote-controlled machines at Quantum, Prime decides to explore inside TORQ’s maze-like complex alone. As Optimus moves in closer, one of the machines places a circuit linker card on him, making him Torq’s slave, and he is brought into the computer’s domain. But—surprise, surprise— Prime rips the card off his body, saying it was a dud he placed in the robot’s claw, and he disables TORQ with a well-placed punch to the control panel.
Back at the oil platform, Spike has hatched an idea to use an electromagnet (which happened to be in their cell) to immobilize Rumble and Ravage. Skyfire easily smashes through the cell door and Hound disables the force dome that was protecting the platform. The rest of the Autobots arrive and a battle ensues. Prime faces down Megatron and manages to wrest a remote control device from his hands, then tosses it back to him. Megatron lands on it, crushing it, and comes back up spitting mad. He retaliates by activating the self-destruct mechanism on the platform.
The Autobots escape, but Prime stays behind to find Hound, Skyfire and Spike. He rips apart the platform deck, revealing the missing team members, and Skyfire flies them out of danger.
Finally, Prime says goodbye to Dr. Gates, who makes a parting comment about machines being unreliable, and then quickly retracts the statement when he realizes his gaff. The Autobots laugh at the ungrateful human's hubris.
Original airdate: October 10th, 1985
Production number: 700-24
Written by: David Wise
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Illegal access! Illegal access!"
"It certainly is."
- —TORQ III is reprogrammed by Megatron
"Good grief. More bad news. This isn’t one of our shining days."
- —Optimus Prime as TORQ's machines surround his troops.
"Dinobots always getting Autobots out of messes they get into."
- —Grimlock laments at yet another Autobot bungle he is called upon to resolve. Forcefully.
"Fortunately, I have a delicate lock-picking technique."
- —Optimus Prime, right before he "delicately" blasts his way into TORQ's building.
"Come and get me you metal-headed dumb-dumb."
"There goes one stupid Decepticon."
- —Skyfire and Hound accurately assess Frenzy's level of intelligence.
"You took the word right out of my mouth. It was in there with my foot."
- —Dr. Paul Gates after he tells the Autobots that all machines are unreliable.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- At one point, Megatrons insignia is red.
- At another, Sideswipe's helmet is also red.
- Hound's shoulder cannon disappears in between shots at one time.
- Also at one point, Slag looked like he was talking when he was really growling.
- When ever Hook is pumping the oil when Skyfire, Hound and Spike arrive he is colored yellow
- How do the guards at Quantum Laboratories not hear Megatron, Soundwave and Laserbeak breaking in? There were a lot of explosions going off.
- Megatron wants TORQ to help him control human machinery. Wouldn't the Decepticons already have highly advanced computers far more powerful and capable than anything humans could create?
- This is one of Optimus Prime's shining episodes. He defeats TORQ III almost singlehandedly; he destroys Megatron's remote control device and foils the tanker stealing plan; and he saves Spike, Skyfire and Hound from sinking with the oil platform. No wonder he's in charge!
- Paul Gates, the scientist of Quantum Labs, could be a nod to the co-founders of Microsoft, Paul Allen and Bill Gates.
- Numerous Star Wars references include Lightsaber-like sound effects throughout the episode, such as Ironhide delivering Admiral Ackbar's famous line "It's a trap!", and Optimus Prime blasting through a wall, not unlike Princess Leia.
- Ironhide destroys one of TORQ's machines by walking right through the blast it's emitting and sticking his finger in its hose. He is old because he is hard!
- This episode marks the only time in the original animated series that Megatron shrank to a human adequate scale.
- Hound and Spike come out of Skyfire's crotch.
- This is yet another episode where Spike gets captured by a Decepticon(Laserbeak), and screams like a frightened child with a nasally voice.
- Hound refers to the opposing robotic forces as Decepticrons at one point.
- C'mon, Rumble and Ravage, who have proven able to hold their own against Autobots, defeated by a kid with a magnet!?
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