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Beast Machines
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The Beast Machines TV Series Logo
Production
Voices See Cast
no. of Episodes List of Beast Machines episodes
Broadcast
Runing time 21 minutes
Chronology
External links
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[[Bm-logo|250px]]
The Beast Machines TV Series Logo

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Beast Machines is an animated television series produced by Mainframe Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures. Hasbro has the full distribution rights to the show as of 2011. It was a direct sequel to Beast Wars taking place within the continuity of the original Transformers series.[1][2] The cause of much controversy among the fanbase, the show ran for two seasons, airing on YTV and Fox Kids from 1999 to 2000. Of the Transformers animated series produced in North America, Beast Machines was the only one to have been completely conceptualized and outlined in advance, lending it a more serialized and linear storyline than the others. The Beast Machines intro theme was "Phat Planet", by Leftfield.

Characters

Main article: List of Beast Machines characters

Episode list

Main article: List of Beast Machines episodes

The show ran for two seasons with a total of 26 episodes (13 in each season). The second season was subtitled Battle for the Spark.

The first season begins shortly after the events of the third season of Beast Wars, and the second season begins immediately after the first season.

Season One

Episode Number Title
01 The Reformatting
02 Master of the House
03 Fires of the Past
04 Mercenary Pursuits
05 Forbidden Fruit
06 The Weak Component
07 Revelations Part 1: Discovery
08 Revelations Part 2: Descent
09 Revelations Part 3: Apocalypse
10 Survivor
11 The Key
12 The Catalyst
13 End of the Line

Season Two - Battle for the Spark

Episode Number Title
14 Fallout
15 Savage Noble
16 Prometheus Unbound
17 In Darkest Knight
18 A Wolf In the Fold
19 Home Soil
20 Sparkwar, Part 1: The Strike
21 Sparkwar, Part 2: The Search
22 Sparkwar, Part 3: The Siege
23 Spark of Darkness
24 Endgame, Part 1: The Downward Spiral
25 Endgame, Part 2: When Legends Fall
26 Endgame, Part 3: Seeds of the Future

DVD releases

Beast Machines: Transformers (Episodes # 1-5)

  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating: PG in Canada
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004
  • Run Time: 107 minutes

Template:CAN / Template:USA

Beast Machines - Transformers: The Complete Series

  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 700 minutes

Template:CAN / Template:USA

Beast Machines - Transformers: Series 1

  • Format: Dubbed, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language English
  • Region: Region 2
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 16 July 2007
  • Run Time: 264 minutes

Beast Machines - Transformers: Series 2

  • Format: Dubbed, Full Screen, PAL
  • Language English
  • Region: Region 2
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround & 2.0 Stereo
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 19 November 2007
  • Run Time: N/A

Template:UK

''Beast Machines - Transformers: Season 1 - Volumes 1 & 2''

  • DVD Release Date: 20 June 2007
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Region: Region 4

Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)

Beast Machines - Transformers: Season 2 - Volumes 1 & 2

  • DVD Release Date: 23 October 2007
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Region: Region 4
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance)

Template:AUS

Other information

Written into a special edition comic book was a character by the name of Primal Prime. Appearing only in this book, he is a side character to the Beast Machines story and was later written into the toy lines of both Beast Machines and Transformers: Universe. In the Universe story line he eventually gains a new body, which combined with Apelinq to create Sentinel Maximus.

The head writers used to post and answer questions on a message board known as Bottalk.

Toys

The Hasbro toys for Beast Machines are infamous for the fact that many bear little resemblance to the characters on the show, in both shape and color. They were also scaled out of proportion to each other. The reason for this was that although basic concept sketches were made of the major characters, the show creators and toy creators developed the characters independently from that point in the first year. After the first year of toys was released, a number of slightly more show-accurate toys were released.

Many of the characters created as toys never made it on the television series, although some did appear in the comic books. Oddly, the transforming plant Botanica from the television series was not made into a toy for any of the related toy lines.

Another characteristic of this toy line was its packaging. Unlike other Transformers lines, wherein each toy had a photo or illustration of themselves on the front of the packaging, almost all Beast Machines packages had an illustration of Cheetor on the front - regardless of character or faction. The one exception was Nightscream. [3]

The toys released in the Beast Wars Returns (a release of Beast Machines in Japan) toy line by Takara were recolored to more closely resemble the show colors. Molds from the drones in the Vehicon Army, which bore more resemblance to the Vehicon Generals, were recolored and used as the Vehicon Generals instead in the Beast Wars Returns toy line.

A line of simple McDonald's Beast Machines toys was sold which did look more like the show characters, and this line was recolored for release in other countries by other fast food restaurants.

Non-show groups

A number toy sub-groups didn't make it into the animated series, but had small stories on their toy boxes.

  • Beast Riders
Two deluxe sized vehicles that resembled heads of animals and could be ridden by larger figures. Both were redecoed once each, but their boxes remained unchanged.
Three sparkless Maximal drones that turn into weapons useable by larger toys. All three were redecoed in new colors, but their boxes remained unchanged. The dark blue recolor of Rav was used to represent the character of Chro in the 3H Comic series.
A set of Maximals, all recolors of older toys from the Beast Wars, Beast Wars Neo lines. Commanded by Magmatron and T-Wrecks, members included Airraptor and others.

Non-show characters

Mirage bm

Beast Machines Mirage

A number of characters appeared in the Beast Machines toy line who didn't make appearances in the television series. These included:

  • Blastcharge - A Vehicon who turns into a six-wheeled missile truck. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Buzzsaw - A Maximal who transforms into a wasp. The character does appear in the Transformers: Universe comics.
  • Battle Unicorn - A Maximal who turns into a unicorn.
  • Che - A Beast Rider whose form is a cheetah head. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Chro (Name given to purple Rav repaint) - Appears in Wreckers comics.
  • Dillo - A Maximal Deployer who turns from an armadillo into a weapon. The character does appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Geckobot - A Maximal who transforms into a flying lizard.
  • Hammerstrike - A Maximal who transforms into a hammerhead shark.
  • Longhorn - A Maximal who turns into a bull. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Mechatron - A Beast Rider whose form is a dragon head.
  • Mirage - A high speed Vehicon race car. The character appears in Apelinq's War Journals, his drones appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Mol - A Maximal Deployer who turns from a mole into a weapon. The character did appear in Wreckers comics.
  • Nightviper - A Maximal who transforms into a cobra.
  • Primal Prime - A repaint of Beast Wars Optimal Optimus. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Quickstrike - A Maximal who transforms into a wolf. The character does appear in the Transformers: Universe comics.
  • Rav - A Maximal Deployer who turns from a bird into a weapon. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Scavenger - A Vehicon Demolitions expert. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.
  • Skydive - A Maximal who turns a pterodactyl. The character was to appear in the un-produced Wreckers #4.
  • Snarl - A Maximal who turns into a lion. The character does appear in the un-produced Wreckers #3, and the Transformers: Universe comics
  • Spy Streak - A Vehicon stealth jet. The character does appear in the Wreckers comics.

Transtech

After Beast Machines ended, Hasbro planned a follow-up series called Transtech. The series was supposed to bring back some of the characters who died in Beast Wars along with some characters from the original '80s cartoon, all in new, organic-looking bodies, with vehicle alternate modes instead of the animals used in Beast Machines. Many concept sketches and even a few toy prototypes were made, but Hasbro scrapped the idea, bringing Car Robots to American markets as a placeholder until Transformers Armada.

Concept sketches or prototype toys have been seen for Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Depth Charge, Megatron, Nightscream, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Shockwave, Soundwave, Starscream and a new character called Immorticon. There were also rumors of a Transtech Dinobot.

It is generally believed that the concept for Transtech Cheetor inspired the design of Transformers: Cybertron Brakedown and the concept for Transtech Megatron inspired Armada Megatron.

Transformers: Universe

The storyline of Beast Machines is continued in the short-lived comic book Transformers: Universe by 3H Publishing, which has stories taking place during the second season of Beast Machines (In the Transformers: Wreckers comic) and after the Beast Machines story (in the Transformers: Universe comic).

English Cast

Controversy

As early as its premiere episode, Beast Machines provoked much debate among fans about whether the new series' creative team was portraying the individual characters and the broader Transformers backstory as accurately as the creators of Beast Wars had done. Much of the criticism focused on character portrayals and actions that were seen as inaccurate and inconsistent with how the characters were established in Beast Wars. For example, the wise-cracking Rattrap is portrayed as "not enlightened enough" to transform at first. In addition, there was much debate over perceived continuity errors in regards to the broader Transformers backstory, such as the claim to Cybertron once being an organic planet. While this had some foreshadowing in the original series episode The Dweller In The Depths, it contradicts the comic continuity where Cybertron was created by Primus from a meteor. The ending of Beast Machines proved to be extremely controversial. Detractors believe that the "reformatting" of Cybertron, from purely metallic to technorganic, diminished the traditional qualities that had made the Transformers mythos special.

While Beast Machines has always been a controversial series and has gradually become more popular over time with some Transformers fans, particularly in retrospect after the Unicron Trilogy which was met with even heavier abuse for its general low quality, it is considered a failure with a majority of the fanbase due to the derailing of the momentum of both the Beast Wars toys and cartoon. Hasbro has since retconned much of Beast Machines events in fan-exclusive convention comics such as Transformers: Universe, and fanclub publications, reviving many characters killed and redeeming those "corrupted" during the series like Rhinox. Nevertheless, Cybertron remains technorganic.

Production notes

According to commentary of the Beast Machines DVD the series was initially to be called Beast Hunters. The character Jetstorm was initially called Skybolt, but the writers changed the name to make it harder to theorize Silverbolt's connection to the Vehicon. The first five episodes of the series were filed with the name Skybolt, and later edited to reflect the change. At one point, Thrust was going to be carrying Silverbolt's spark, but the writers decided to have him carry Waspinator's spark instead on a whim. In the episode Home Soil, the character Thrust made a gesture similar to the middle finger to Optimus while racing to the crashed ship and in the episode "Savage Noble", Thrust also made a gesture similar to the middle finger to Cheetor when they briefly banded together to search for Savage. In the flashback featuring Waspinator, the heads of Inferno and Quickstrike make cameo appearances, as do the pre-humans Hammer, Jack, Una and others.

References

External links

Template:Fox Kids Template:Animated series based on toys


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