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The Autobots create the Dinobots, but can barely control these new powerful warriors.
- Japanese title: "Dinobots are Born!"
- Russian Tv dub title (6th channel): "На помощь, динаботы" ("S.O.S., Dinobots")
A series of tremors turns the attentions of the Autobots into the ancient stone surrounding their volcano headquarters. Deep sensor scans reveal dinosaur fossils, which pique the curiosity of Optimus Prime. Spike explains that dinosaurs were very powerful reptiles that lived on Earth millions of years ago. He takes Hound on a tour of a natural history museum to further illustrate his paleontological crash-course. Hound snaps a few holograms of dinosaur bone displays, inspiring Wheeljack and Ratchet to construct robotic versions of dinosaurs.
Wheeljack unveils the three new additions to their ranks: the Dinobots Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge. The demonstration of their power turns sour as they run amuck, their primitive brains unable to control their raw strength. The Dinobots begin attacking their fellow Autobots, even destroying Teletraan I.
The Autobots finally rein in the rampaging Dinobots thanks to Wheeljack’s magnetic inducer. Prime declares the terrible Dinobots that they are too dangerous. Despite Wheeljack’s desperate entreaties, Prime has made him pull the plug on the project, and orders the Autobots to hole the Dinobots up in a cavern in the Ark, never to be activated again, being too dangerous.
The Decepticons arrive at the Great Falls, and the humans try to reach the Autobots via Teletraan I. Their distress signal goes unheard, as Teletraan I is currently offline thanks to the Dinobot rampage.
With Teletraan I out of commission, it’s up to individual Autobot scouts like Hound to be on the lookout for Decepticon activity. Hound’s sensors detect the ransacking of the Great Falls plant, and he and Spike go to investigate. Hound radios in his findings to the Ark, and Optimus Prime leaves with a strike force, leaving Bumblebee behind to guard the base, and possibly never to let the Dinobots out of the cavern, or be activated, ever again.
The Autobots arrive at the Great Falls, but the Decepticons are ready for them. A battle erupts, and Megatron fires his fusion cannon directly powered by the Great Falls' output. He blasts the cliff-face where the Autobots stand, sending them falling into the raging waters below.
Disobeying orders, Bumblebee arrives at the Great Falls and picks up Spike. They return to the Ark, informing Wheeljack and Ratchet of the Autobots’ failure at the Great Falls. Wheeljack decides to reactivate the Dinobots. He has secretly developed a series of memory components that would upgrade the Dinobots’ brains. The Dinobots awaken. Still relatively simple-minded, they are now much more intelligent than the mindless monsters that first appeared. Sludge, Slag and Grimlock carry out Wheeljack’s orders and fly to the Great Falls.
The Decepticons pull the soggy Autobots from the drink and truss them up with Energon chains. Just as the Decepticons are about to execute the captives, the Dinobots arrive and make short work of the Decepticons who retreat as Wheeljack frees the Autobot captives. Wheeljack and Bumblebee brace themselves for reprimands for disobeying Prime’s direct orders, but Prime concedes he was wrong. He accepts the Dinobots as the newest members of the Autobot forces. Spike, Bumblebee, Wheeljack and the other Autobots cheer with their agreement, as the Dinobots transform into dinosaur mode and growl their approval.
Original airdate: October 27, 1984
Production number: #700-05
Written by: Donald F. Glut
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Well I’ll be a Cybertronic bolt-bat!"
- — Sideswipe
"Wow, man. That’s what I call heavy metal!"
- — Unidentified museum-going punk, upon seeing Hound
"It’ll never work. Big waste of time."
- — Huffer, cheerleading the Dinobot project
"Hey, not the face, okay? I just had it chromed."
- — Sunstreaker, after Trailbreaker deflects Slag's flamethrower with his force field
"Maybe Hound’s got glitch-mice in his databanks again!"
- — Bluestreak, mocking Hound's radar accuracy, to the amusement of no-one
"You’re too slow, rusty-pants!"
- — Starscream trashtalking Ironhide
"Nice shooting, if you were aiming for the sky!"
- — Rumble goading Bluestreak
Megatron: "Now you will witness the power of my fusion cannon! Ready, Rumble?"
Rumble: "Ready to shake, rattle and quake!"
- —Rumble, referencing the Earth song "Shake, Rattle & Roll."
"Which ones friends?"
"Uh, ones with face like this, uh, I think."
"That good enough for Slag."
- —Slag and Sludge determining friend from foe by using faction symbols.
"Gyro inhibitor shells! My equilibrium, destabilized!"
- —Megatron, being a drama queen.
"If on Decepticon turf you happen to tumble, look out robot, because here comes Rumble."
- —Rumble's brilliantly poetic combat banter
"HEY! NO FAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIRRRRR!!!!"
- —Rumble after Sludge beats him at his own game and knocks his piledrivers off.
"Heat-seeking missiles, seek heat!"
- —Skywarp's not-so-clever combat banter
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The exposition-spouting tourist visiting the Great Falls hydroelectric power plant has hair that turns from red to black from one shot to the next.
- Spike identifies a brontosaurus during his tour of the museum’s dinosaur exhibit, though there does not appear to be a brontosaurus on display. Though, to be fair, it may just be Spike’s error, or the brontosaurus skeleton might be out of the camera’s view. (Also, by the time this episode took place, the brontosaurus was a deprecated genus, but that's just picking nits.)
- Wheeljack’s line of dialogue, “Autobots, meet Dinobots” is delivered by Ratchet.
- As Wheeljack introduces the Dinobots, the foreground characters slide magically against the background scenery due to an error in animation.
- The varied Autobot reactions upon seeing the Dinobots: “Look at the size of those things,” “Great Cybertron,” “Holy hetradyne” all come out of Bluestreak’s mouth.
- Optimus Prime’s line, “Interesting, but what else can they do?” is delivered by Cliffjumper.
- The Rhino DVD version of this episode uses a faulty take for the shot where the Dinobots demonstrate their power by clearing rubble. In the DVD, the blasts from the Dinobots’ mouths are missing, and the rubble does not vanish. The broadcast version, though, has both effects. (See illustration).
- After Ratchet rights a tipped over Bumblebee in the thick of the Dinobot rampage, the section of Ratchet obscured by a foreground Bumblebee is still missing.
- When the Decepticons arrive at the Great Falls plant, a foreground Decepticon seeker’s leg is colored a deep yellow… an error, but as close as Sunstorm ever came to appearing on Earth in a G1 cartoon.
- In the Rhino DVD version of the episode, when the Autobots arrive at the Great Falls and they transform from vehicle mode to robot mode, the shot of Bluestreak is reversed, and he is shown transforming from robot to car. The broadcast version used the correct take.
- Bluestreak is shown knocked over by Gears, and then immediately standing in the next shot.
- Quite a few coloring mix-ups in the battle at the Great Falls, including Sunstreaker painted as Sideswipe, Bluestreak as Trailbreaker, Brawn as Hound, Optimus Prime as Sideswipe, Trailbreaker as Gears, and Mirage as Bluestreak. There are also two very noticeable shots of Prime painted blue.
- While the Autobots are trapped in Energon Chains, Optimus is colored entirely blue and Trailbreaker is entirely grey.
- When Skywarp drops bombs on Grimlock, all the parts on Grimlock that are meant to be grey are black.
- When the Decepticons retreat at the end of the episode, Skywarp is painted in Starscream colors.
- Near the end, Bumblebee's Autobot insignia in his chest is missing in one shot.
- When the Autobots arrive at the Great Falls, Bluestreak is shown transforming INTO vehicle mode, while the others transform OUT of it. In the next scene, however, he's in humanoid mode.
- When the Decepticons retreat, the Seekers' cockpits are on their underside.
- When Bumblebee and Spike are inside the Ark, Ratchet's visor is white in one shot.
- Though the holographic dinosaurs illustrated in the episodes matched some of the concepts of the early ‘80s, their depiction is outdated by today’s standards. The dinosaurs in the show are the sluggish, tail-dragging cold-blooded variety not in keeping with more modern theories of warm-blooded, bird-like animals.
- When the holographic dinosaurs are shown, a brontosaurus is seen living alongside a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus. In reality, the brontosaurus (well, Apatosaurus...oh, you know what we mean) lived in the Jurassic Period, while the Triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus lived during the Cretaceous Period. So basically, they were separated by millions of years, but apparently, in a cartoon, that doesn't matter.
- The data gathered by Reflector and Soundwave leads Megatron to conclude with relish that the Great Falls contain enough energy to vanquish the Autobots and control the universe...but that’s really nothing new. The Decepticons have targeted hydroelectric power sources before.
- What is it about falling into the river that is so devastating to the Autobots? We've seen that Autobots can deal with being in the water (Hound in "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 2", various Autobots in "The Ultimate Doom", Springer, Kup, and Arcee in The Transformers: The Movie, etc.). It's possible that the fall itself damaged them, but the Autobots are clearly shown struggling around in the water. Then again, Optimus Prime needed Jazz's help to escape the rushing river in "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 2".
- It’s possible the editorial pace of the show plays with time and space, but taken at face value, the Autobots build three Dinobots in the span of time it takes the Decepticons to decide to attack the Great Falls.
- The Autobots' ability to fly, seen in "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Roll For It", is shown again in this episode, when Gears attacks the Decepticons at the power plant. Wheeljack and the Dinobots are also capable of flight. Still, along with Sideswipe, Gears and Wheeljack are the original Autobots SUPPOSED to be air-borne—Gears is equipped with compressed air boosters and Wheeljack has solid-fuel rockets in his arms.
- Megatron actually refers to his fusion cannon by that name.
- Great Falls is a city in Montana, named after a series of waterfalls on the Missouri. There are three hydroelectric dams on these falls. It is possible the the great falls dam mentioned in the episode is one of these dams. It would certainly fit with the dinosaur theme of the episode, as Montana is know for its fossil finds.
Wheeljack is probably the smartest Autobot on Cybertron, yet he built the Dinobots with dinosaur intelligence.Shhh! Don't tell anyone.
- This episode, along with the cover to #8 of the U.S. comic, and the Dinobots' commercial animation all seem to suggest that Grimlock, Slag and Sludge were originally meant to be released as a group, separate from Snarl and Swoop.
- Ironhide is equipped with a sonadar sensor array that extends from his forearm, capable of penetrating solid rock. The findings of the sensor are displayed in the windshield in his chest.
- Sideswipe is equipped with piston arms, that allow him to punch through stone walls.
- Slag’s triceratops frill can reflect Optimus Prime’s laser rifle.
- Not so much a goof, but the Rhino DVD version of this episode has a rainbow visible at the Great Falls when Megatron lands. This is not in the broadcast version.
- Another difference in the broadcast version and the Rhino DVD version is when Hound contacts the Ark with a recon report. The glowing light on his chest and forehead are blue in the broadcast version, but red in the DVD version.
- Laserbeak does not appear but is mentioned in this episode, as Megatron credits him for gathering intelligence at the Great Falls.
- The chapter stops for this episode on the Rhino DVD are: Opening / Old Bones / "Dinobots Must Die" / Fusion Power / Permanent Dysfunction / Dinobots Will Stay.
- In the Japanese version, the Dinobots' roars were replaced with kaiju roars (mostly an altered version of Baragon's roar).
- This episode marks the first appearances of Grimlock, Slag and Sludge.