Attempting to retrieve their lost records journal, the Quintessons use subliminal messages on the Junkions, and inadvertently the entire galaxy.
Japanese title: "The Big Broadcast of 2010"
Searching for one of their journals, the Quintessons discover that it has landed on the planet of Junk. After observing the native Junkions, the Quintessons send a Sharkticon retrieval team. The Sharkticons locate the journal quickly, but are then driven off by the Junkions. The Quintessons hijack the television broadcasts the Junkions watch, planting subliminal messages telling the Junkions that being neat is a good thing...and the other races are their enemies.
Travelling through the Junkion sector, Sky Lynx comes under attack by Astrotrain. While the two battle, the Junkions fire on both Transformers. Sky Lynx races back to Cybertron, and informs Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus. The Autobot leader sends the Aerialbots to investigate. Astrotrain also returns to Chaar to report his encounter, but Galvatron doesn't care. Cyclonus, however, is interested, and takes Scourge and the Sweeps to investigate. The Aerialbots arrive, and get caught in the crossfire between the Junkions and the Quintessons. The Aerialbots form Superion and target the Quintessons. However, the Quintesson ship damages Superion, who is then rescued by Sky Lynx. Cyclonus and the Sweeps arrive to investigate, and withdraw after being fired upon.
During the battle, the transmitter sending the messages to the Junkions was damaged, causing the Junkions to believe that they should transmit their broadcasts to other races. The affected races soon begin lashing out at their neighbors, causing what would become an interstellar dark age. The Quintessons see a good possibility here, as they could sell weapons to the warring races, but decide that the recovery of the journal is the higher priority. Back on Chaar, Galvatron displays anger at Cyclonus for going to investigate Junkion, but Cyclonus continues on, believing that to turn the Junkions on the Autobots is too good an opportunity for the Decepticons. Hoping to find answers, Rodimus, Magnus, Kup, and Blaster head to investigate in Omega Supreme, but come under attack by Cyclonus and the Sweeps. Omega is damaged, and the Autobots draw the Decepticons away from the wounded Guardian robot. Finally, Omega Supreme is repaired, and the Decepticons retreat.
Meanwhile, the affected races have converged on Junkion, and are firing on everyone in sight. Chaar has also been targeted, and Galvatron is drawn into the bedlam. Knowing they have one chance, the Quintessons make a move for the journal, but a stray blast from Galvatron damages their shuttle and sends the journal hurtling into the void. Arriving, Blaster determines that the transmissions are the cause of the violence, and sends out transmissions to counter them. Their senses restored, the Junkions stop fighting everyone...and start concentrating on the Decepticons, who retreat. Rodimus asks Wreck-Gar what happened, but Wreck-Gar doesn't know.
Returning to their ship, the two Quintessons prepare to accept their punishment, but their superior declares that finding the journal is now their priority...before their clients do.
Written by: Michael Reaves
("Numbers indicate order of appearance")
- -Astrotrain: "Eat plasma, Autobot!"
- -Sky Lynx: "Sorry, not hungry"!
"I know you're bored, Rodimus, but with the mantle of leadership comes obligations."
"Don't suppose I could interest you in a used mantle?"
- —Ultra Magnus and Rodimus Prime
"To share is to care. To care is to share."
"I'm a winner! I'm a winner! I believe in me!"
- — Wreck-Gar
"Mrs. Peel, we're needed. Our five year mission: to boldly share our signal with all the sloppy lifeforms who are our enemies. There is nothing wrong with your television set. We are controlling transmission. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We've got the touch!"
"Mighty Galvatron, where are you going?"
"To the signal. To be a winner! Because I believe in me!"
- —Cyclonus and Galvatron, discussing Galvatron's newfound belief in positive thinking.
Blaster: We're outgunned, man! We don't have a chance!
Kup: Boy, that's what makes life interesting.
Rodimus: Or over!
- —The Autobots discuss their situation.
- One of the programs the Junkions watch is a TV game show based on "The Price Is Right". In the show, contestants are encouraged to guess the price of — and potentially win — a "combination granny-and-attack-dog-bot". Said CG&ADB is a human-sized transformer with humanoid and canine modes. This implies that, by 2006, humans might have adopted enough Cybertronian technology to make transformable servant robots available to the consumer public. SWEET.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Astrotrain doesn't get to even begin his report on the Junkions attacking Sky Lynx before Galvatron attacks him, yet somehow Cyclonus and Galvatron know about the attack in the next couple frames. The entire scene is choppy, and plays like dialogue and animation has been edited out.
- After driving off Sky Lynx and Astrotrain Wreck-Gar is shown standing next to Wreck-Gar and — Wreck-Gar.
- Whether this counts as a glitch or not, Omega Supreme is faceless, just like his toy.
- When Sky Lynx drops Superion off at Cybertron, they appear to be equal in size.
- When Omega Supreme crashes, the next clip shows Soundwave getting out of Astrotrain, colored wrong, as if it's a clown car.
- If the Junkions' entire culture is based around Human television broadcasts then that would make their culture only about 50-60 years old which doesn't really fit in with the "robots that are millions of years old" part of the G1 fiction. However, the age of the Junkions was never established during the animated continuity, so it's highly possible that their culture just absorbs new influences very quickly.
- This episode is Omega Supreme's last appearance in the cartoon.
As a Junkion-centric episode, this story is positively drowning in pop culture references. In addition to generic phrases like "this concludes our broadcast day," "it slices, it dices" and "waxy yellow build-up," specific references spewed by the various Junkions include:
- "Here's looking at you, kid." – Humphrey Bogart's famous line from Casablanca.
- "Live from New York, it's… your hit parade!" – a dual reference to Saturday Night Live and Your Hit Parade.
- "Say goodnight, Gracie!" – a reference to comedienne Gracie Allen.
- "Oh, Cisco!" and "Oh, Pancho!" refer to The Cisco Kid and his sidekick, but Wreck-Gar and his lady friend use the names in a swooning, romantic way, which is... not... right.
- "Fly somebody else's friendly skies!" – a warped version of the United Airlines slogan, "Fly the Friendly Skies."
- "And that's the name of that tune!" – the catchphrase of the titular character in 1970s detective show Baretta, itself a reference to Name That Tune.
- "Tenk you veddy much!" – the catchphrase of Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) on the sitcom Taxi.
- "Your mission, should you choose to accept it…" – the famous introductory line from the Mission: Impossible TV series.
- Wreck-Gar and his little buddy assume the roles of Perry White and Jimmy Olsen from Superman, respectively, on a few occasions. First, "Jimmy" refers to Wreck-Gar as "Chief," at which point Wreck-Gar quotes Perry by shouting "And don't call me Chief!" Later, Nancy refers to "Mrs. Kent" and recites the classic Superman tagline, "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...", and Wreck-Gar quotes Perry's catchphrase, "Great Caesar's Ghost!"
- Following on from Wreck-Gar's insistence that he not be called "Chief," the "Jimmy" Junkion responds with "Sorry about that, Chief!", in the style of Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) from 1960s spy comedy, Get Smart. Wreck-Gar also later mimics Smart with a cry of "Missed me by that much!"
- "Warning, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!" – the famous line from Lost in Space
- "I pity the fool who messes with us!" – catchphrase of Mr. T.
- "Let's consume mass quantities of TV!" – Saturday Night Live sketch characters the Coneheads liked consuming mass quantities of stuff.
- Wreck-Gar cries out to his lady by calling her "Lassie."
- "Baby, you're the greatest!" – common catchphrase of Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) from The Honeymooners.
- "Mrs. Peel, we're needed." – Wreck-Gar adopts the role of John Steed (Patrick Macnee) from The Avengers and calls on his teammate Emma Peel (Diana Rigg).
- "Our five-year mission... to boldly share…" – Star Trek, naturally.
- "There is nothing wrong with your television set..." – Wreck-Gar recites verbatim several lines from the opening narrative of The Outer Limits.
- "We control the horizontal. We control the vertical." - from the title track of the movie UHF by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- "We got the touch!" - a callback to the rock anthem from Transformers: The Movie.
- "Lookin' goooood!" – catchphrase of Chico Rodriguez (Freddie Prinze) on Chico and the Man.
- "Laser Wars... nothing but Laser Wars...!" – Wreck-Gar parodies a parody, mimicking Bill Murray's comedic rendition of the Star Wars theme on Saturday Night Live.
- "Ward, I think we've been a little rough on the Beaver." – reference to the 1950s sitcom, Leave It to Beaver.
- "Go ahead… make my day." – Clint Eastwood's famous line from Sudden Impact.
- "I dunno! I wuz a victim of soicumstance! Yuk yuk yuk!" – banter in the style of the Three Stooges.
- When the US comic needed a fill-in issue, this episode was chosen and script adapted. While the UK offices were in no position to pass up on any US material being produced, this issue also completely conflicted with the Movie-Future they had established. To sidestep continuity problems, Simon Furman wrote a framing sequence establishing US #43 as an imaginary story dreamed up by Wreck-Gar, as part of a lead in to his Space Pirates arc.
- There is a slaggin' dog planet and cat planet that fight in this episode. I mean c'mon.
- The show that the Quintessons are broadcasting is Space Age Jack. Their battlecry is awfully familiar-sounding as they attempt to crush their lizard-like enemies. So remember folks, all other life forms are your enemies!
- Astrotrain must have knocked his head because he attacks the way larger Sky Lynx who often defeats far more dangerous foes such as Predaking. So technically the Junkion intervention saved Astrotrain from getting his afterburners kicked.
- This episode is set before "The Quintesson Journal", because this journal is the same one that Blaster and Outback find.
- In one scene Soundwave is seen climbing out of Blast Off after the latter lands on Junkion. Blast Off must be the clown car of the Decepticons.
- In one scene, a woman bears an uncanny resemblance to Marissa Faireborn, but she talks with a southern accent.