Season 3 Episode 26

Call of the Primitives

Aired Weekdays 8:00 PM Nov 18, 1986 on ABC Family
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Call of the Primitives
The evil Primacron has plans for universal conquest. His means of this is Tornadron, who is possibly powerful enough to destroy every Transformer and whatever else gets in his way. Unaware of Primacron's machinations, the Autobots and the Decepticons are busy again fighting each other. Suddenly, however, a strange signal gets the more primitive Transformers' attention. These usual enemies ultimately find Primacron's own assistant, who explains the situation and requests their help against his master. If they can't work together, everything they know and more will be doomed.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A fun episode with some historical information about the Transformers universe.

    "Call of the Primitives" and "The Golden Lagoon" are my favorite Transformers cartoons. This is a really fun episode with a mix of action, Grimlock humor, and insight into the Transformers universe (albeit perhaps incongruous with other revelations). As a child, I devised a plot wherein Tornadron must be recreated in order to fight an overgrown Dweller, an energy-draining creature imprisoned then released by the Quintessons in the bowels of Cybertron. Obviously this story must have left quite an impression to have stirred my creativity and to now recall the episode clearly, 20 years later.

    Note also that this is the only episode featuring the Terrorcons (yes, another cheap marketing trick, but these were pretty cool toys!).moreless
  • Great episode!

    First of all, let me just say the same thing that everyone else says about this episode, and that is that the animation is fantastic. With the exception of The Movie there isn't a single episode that has such amazingly sharp animation as this one. It's like watching a moving piece of art, and although the episode is now twenty years old to me it still puts plenty of today's animated shows to shame.

    Now for the show itself. In a very weak season, this was a pleasure to watch. It was a really great idea to have The Primitives, all of the beast formed (and in many cases dumber) Transformers be the center of the story. The Primitives, although enemies, work quite well together and one would have to imagine that they could be quite a fighting force if they could have stayed together. They also provide some prime comic moments.

    The plot itself isn't the greatest. Unfortunately, it's very representative of the poorly thought out episodes that populated this season, and as usual on this series there are some pretty serious continuity problems. But the quality of the animation and the fantastic interactions between The Primitives more than make up for the shortcomings, and this is an episode you'll enjoy watching again and again.moreless
Paul Eiding

Paul Eiding


Recurring Role

Gregg Berger

Gregg Berger

Grimlock / Long Haul / Outback / Skyfire/voice of Primacron's assistant

Recurring Role

Christopher Collins

Christopher Collins

Starscream / Wheeljack / Defensor / Reflector / Sparkplug Witwicky

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Goofs: After Grimlock is summoned, the voice contacting the other Dinobots address them as "Snarl, Sweep, Swoop, and Slag". "Sweep" should have been addressed as Sludge. Then before the Decepticons depart the planet, Galvatron's insignia is colored red. And if all the robot animals were to be summoned, where were Laserbeak and Buzzsaw? Also, toward the end of the episode, Grimlock is able to fly in dino mode.

    • This is the only post-movie episode to feature only background music that was created after the movie and had none from seasons 1 or 2.

    • Although Slugfest and Overkill are summoned and eject from Soundwave, except for this initial scene they are never seen nor mentioned again.

    • Primacron's assistant looks an awful lot like the Autobot Matix of Leadership.

    • Laserbeak and Buzzsaw were not summoned, even though they're both primitives. Maybe Hasbro wanted to put an emphasis on the newer characters than the old ones which is why they were replaced in the script with the sole appearances of Slugfest and Overkill.

    • Swoop's first line was delivered by Jack Angel.

    • Primacron says that he created some of the primitives. No he didn't! Because Wheeljack and Ratchet built the Dinobots in "S.O.S. Dinobots" and "War Of The Dinobots." Trypticon was built by the Constructicons in "Five Faces Of Darkness". The history of cassette technology at the end of this very episode tells us that the Decepticons built the cassettes. And it was the Quintessons who built both the Predacons and the Terrorcons. And anyway, if Primacron really did create some of the primitives, wouldn't they remember it? Then again, perhaps not. Optimus Prime didn't remember the Aerialbots saving him in "War Dawn," and nobody recognized the Quintessons in the movie.

    • During the middle of the show, the predacons talk like the dinobots. But before they combine into predaking they talk normally again.

    • After tornedron attacked the decepticons galvatron cannon was on the wrong arm

    • Windcharger can be seen in the background at one point, but he died in the movie.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Sky Lynx: Primitives, flee!
      Headstrong: Us primitive? Im not stupid!

    • Sky Lynx: As commander, I will propose our battle plan.
      Razorclaw: Only Razorclaw commands Predacons!
      Hun-Grr: You command the Terrorcons? Over my rusting carcass!
      (Steeljaw and Ramhorn growl at Ravage and Ratbat)
      Sky Lynx: Your brutishness is matched only by your stubbornness!

    • Grimlock: Me Grimlock not know where I go.
      Headstrong: That not surprising, Grimlock don't know nothing!
      Snarl: Stupid Decepticon rhino make fun of our leader!
      Sludge: Sludge no like Predacons! Lets stomp!
      Tantrum: Predacons stomp Dinobots first!

    • Headstrong: I detest fleeing, I would rather die fighting!

    • Rodimus Prime: What's with the Dinobots?
      Springer: Id say they're losing their minds, if they had any to lose!

    • Sky Lynx: Now, remember, before you do anything, think: "Is this what Sky Lynx would do, in my position?" and you will not go far wrong.
      Grimlock: Grimlock say Sky Lynx would look there.

    • Grimlock: Me Grimlock am Stealthy Fighter!

  • NOTES (6)

    • After Tornedon has drained Cybertron of its energy Primacron bragged that he has already surpassed his predecessor, Unicron. That's a serious overstatement, since even in the Movie we see Unicron devour a planet and two moons, and he'd been around a long time before that.

    • At the beginning of the battle on the moon one of the Sweeps says "Sweeps six and seven coming in for a strike." Exactly how many Sweeps are there? There were never that many before, and all of the Sweeps just disappear in the middle of the battle anyway.

    • This episode is widely considered to be the pinnacle of Transformers animation, if not the best episode of the entire series. Now, it doesn't hold much weight, but at the time, it was considered state-of-the-art.

    • It's interesting that after Tornadron was defeated and the Autobots were reanimated, Rodimus asked what happened and Ultra Magnus's reply was that whatever it was flew harmlessly overhead. No one seems to notice that they have fallen to the ground, which would seem to indicate that it didn't just fly harmlessly overhead.

    • Final appearances of Unicron, Jazz, Ramhorn, Ravage, Trypticon and the Dinobots.

    • First appearances of Overkill & Slugfest.