Season 4 Episode 1

The Rebirth (1)

Aired Weekdays 8:00 PM Nov 09, 1987 on ABC Family
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Rebirth (1)
While much has changed and there has been a peaceful lull lately, the Decepticons are happy to get back to basics. Soon, Autobot City is a mess and the Plasma Energy Chamber key is stolen. The fight moves to Cybertron and in front of the soon activated the Plasma Energy Chamber, no less. An unexpected reaction from it, though, leaves a number of Transformers on both sides (plus Spike and Daniel) on Nebulos. Greater fighting awaits there, as machine-hating Nebulons seek to overthrow the evil Lord Zarak and the Hive. Getting back home is, of course, on hold for the recent arrivals to Nebulos. However, the Hive appears unstoppable and only something truly radical may work against them.moreless

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  • The beginning of the end...

    I first saw "The Rebirth" when I got it on video in 2002 when I was on holiday in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. But then again the fact that these are the worst three episodes of Transformers ever should give me plenty more to keep me occupied - like telling all of you WHY it's so awful.

    It starts off with Goldbug talking about how the Decepticons are never coming back and now the Autobots can live in peace forever. Y'know, everytime Bumblebee/Goldbug opens his mouth, something bad happens. I don't know what it is about him that attracts evil, but all of a sudden we are told that EVERY DECEPTICON in the galaxy is coming to Earth, including those Deluxe Insecticons everyone's seen pictures of but no-one actually HAD.

    Actually, looking at the battle, I can name at least twenty Decepticons that aren't here right off the bat. How the heck are you going to leave Astrotrain, Soundwave, Rumble, and Reflector out of this battle? Unfortunately for us, we're treated to some new robots, like...a vampire Decepticon?!?

    The madness doesn't END at this. Now we also are treated to Twin Decepticons.

    Fortunately for the Autobots, Double-Spy catches the twins. Punch, who can magically turn himself into a Decepticon called Counterpunch! Get it? Punch - Autobot, Counterpunch - Decepticon? That's brilliant! That's great! That', wait, how did the Decepticons not figure this one out?

    Counterpunch walks in, tells the Decepticons that Punch is coming, then runs behind a corner, and turns into Punch, then runs back out and attacks the Decepticons. Does anyone on Cybertron find it just a bit odd that they're never in the same place at the same time, or for that matter that Punch only shows up when Counterpunch leaves? I'm glad to report that the Decepticon twins knock Punch on his butt and run off with the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. What that means, I have no idea, but if I know the Transformers, that's really bad right there.

    You didn't think you were going to escape this episode without Daniel, did you???

    That's right. On Cybertron all is still well. Daniel practices shooting at cardboard Decepticons with Hot Rod, while we are introduced to Cerebros, a pacifist Autobot, who tells us that he hates to fight, and whines about everything. He lacks any form of a spine. What a git! If Cerebros were any more effeminate, he'd be on ABC's "The View"...that is if Star Jones doesn't beat him, first. More on that later... The Autobots are taken by surprise when the Decepticon army brings in Sixshot, the only new Transformer at this point that's worth a darn shoots the Aerialbots down to the ground! In the Japanese Headmasters series, he befriends the Autobots by doing the best thing for them he can do...killing Ultra Magnus!

    If you think this is abuse, more on that later. In the moments that follow, Optimus Prime arrives from Earth, manages not to die upon arrival (I guess he learned the last time he attacked Decepticon leaders five minutes after landing), and sends Kup, Hot Rod, Blurr, Arcee, and new Autobot recruits like Highbrow, Hardhead, and Chromedome (who was one of my first Transformer toys ever BTW), and a few others that manage not to be called by their names for the whole three-parter, to get that key back. Galvatron's already sent Scourge to do it, which proves he hasn't learned that Scourge cannot be trusted due to the Matrix incident in "The Burdern Hardest To Bear". Then again, apparently the Sweeps are on strike, so he doesn't have much of a choice. However the resulting power of the Energy Key sends an Autobot ship into the furthest reaches of space and deactivates Scourge.

    Judging from how that ship crashed into the water of that unidentified-but-not-for-long planet, apparently Optimus Prime is the only Autobot that can't crash a ship.

    Unfortunately for these rookie Autobots, they've crash-landed with Hot Rod and Kup, which means that since Hot Rod is too friendly to tell Kup to shut up, they have to hear about how Kup had 700 Autobots against three Metal Mongers. That's good. How come if there's so many Autobots, we only ever see about twenty or thirty of them? My guess is that most of them committed suicide having to listen to Kup run his mouth all day long.

    Soon they find themselves surrounded by little green men with guns. Hot Rod says "Hi!" and they blast the Autobots, capturing them, and annoying Spike. Perhaps they should have used the universal greeting.

    Okay, so we see that the Decepticons got new jets, Decepticon animals, a Vampire, and Sixshot, in addition Scourge and Cyclonus who were already there before. I'll admit that maybe the Decepticon selection isn't as bad as seeing some very generic and forgettable Autobot vehicles, Punch/Counterpunch, the second appearance of Goldbug, AND... *drum roll please...* the Autobot Twins - Cloudraker and Fastlane! No wonder the Autobot symbol is crying.

    Back on the planet now called Nebulos, the green men tell us that they hate all machines and that they think the Autobots were created by their enemies, the Hive. They plant bombs to their butts (literally), but before they know it the Decepticons are arriving. Spike tells the green men that Decepticons will squash them like guacamole. I think considering the fact that guacamole and Nebulons are both green, Spike was in fact actually spewing racist statements at them.

    Unicron's soul can rest easy knowing that Galvatron has treasured and kept the ship he gave him in "The Transformers: The Movie", and that also after all this time he's kept both Cyclonus and Scourge, even if they had Galvatron committed to the Torculon asylum in "Webworld" some time ago. I guess they did good because Megatron/Galvatron hasn't slapped them around abusively in a while, and seems to have a plan for the first time since becoming Galvatron.

    Although the Nebulans reluctantly release the Autobots from the bombs, it's too late and several of them are captured, and Daniel crippled by Snapdragon. Apeface keeps jumping up and down on Kup while saying "Kup creamed!" The remaining Autobots formally introduce themselves to the green men, who have names that scream Transformer such as Pinpointer, Firebolt, Recoil, Peacemaker, Spoilsport and Haywire. Who names their child one of those names? I can understand robots, but green men? Please...

    Behold the Headmasters!!! (Or a cheap easy way for those zany little green guys to get free air-conditioning).

    I'll tell you all more in my review of Part 2.moreless
Jeff MacKay

Jeff MacKay


David Mendenhall

David Mendenhall


Susan Blu

Susan Blu

Arcee / Marissa Faireborn

Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings

Afterburner, Rippersnapper (uncredited)

Johnny Haymer

Johnny Haymer

Highbrow / Swindle / Caliburst

Danny Mann

Danny Mann

Lightspeed / Freeway / Cloudraker

Danny Mann

Danny Mann

voice of Spoilsport

Guest Star

Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen

voice of Haywire

Guest Star

Steve Bulen

Steve Bulen

voice of Onslaught / Peacemaker

Guest Star

Johnny Haymer

Johnny Haymer

voice of Recoil

Recurring Role

Charlie Adler

Charlie Adler

voice of Vorath

Recurring Role

Jack Angel

Jack Angel

voice of Cyclonus / Arcana

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • If every known Decepticon in the Universe was attacking Autobot City then why did the Autobots sally out to engage them? Why did they not transform Autobot City like they did in the Movie?

    • After the Decepticons steal the plasma energy key, you see Sureshot follow them into the sky (on Earth) by flying in his robot mode.

      In the next scene, he's on Cybertron with other Autobots.

    • Freeway's voice is deeper in this episode.

    • After the Decepticons steal the key to the plasma chamber, Ultra Magnus asks why they're making a big deal over a small key. Optimus responds "The plasma energy chamber is the foundry in which the original Autobots' bodies were forged, millions of years ago. Since then, every Autobot leader has been charged with guarding the key--with his life." So why wasn't Optimus guarding the key.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Optimus Prime: Kup, Highbrow...The decepticons are heading your way.
      Kup: How many Prime?
      Optimus Prime: All of them!
      Crosshairs: Course I've been wrong on one or two occasions.

    • Counterpunch: Galvatron told me to check up on you.
      Pounce: Beat it Counterpunch, we don't need your help!
      Counterpunch: Fine, you deal with my Autobot counterpart, I've heard he's nearby. Real nearby!

    • Highbrow: It would seem to be the only meritorious way out of our meritricious situation!
      Hardhead: Yeah, me too. Like he said.

    • Sixshot: Five up, five down. It's like shootin' cyber-ducks in a barrel!

    • Hot Rod: This is ridiculous. Don't they know who we are?
      Kup: Maybe we should get a new PR man.

    • Scattershot: Ooowee! This is what I really call a battle!
      Goldbug: This is what I call getting slaughtered!

    • PA System Voice: Decepticon attack! Decepticon attack!
      Rollbar: Decepticons?
      Searchlight: Yeah, you know, Rollbar, big ugly guys made o' metal?

  • NOTES (7)

    • The Japanese Headmaster episodes are far different from the "Rebirth" episodes. Blaster is named Billy, is killed, and is reborn with the name "Blaster", Optimus Prime is killed yet again and Rodimus Prime assumes leadership, Ultra Magnus is killed battling Sixshot, and Galvatron is killed battling the Autobot Headmasters. This was a small sample of the differences shown, as well as appearances from Autbots considered dead, like Sunstreaker.

    • With this episode, the Constructicons and Optimus Prime are the only characters to appear in all four seasons of the cartoon. It is debateable that Bumblebee may also lay claim to this, as a character greatly resembling him appeared during Rebirth, but seeing as Bumblebee had already been transformed into Gold Bug by this point, it was either the similar-looking character named Hubcap, or an animation error.

    • Not many people know this but the japanese Headmasters episodes aired before Rebirth.

    • Final appearance of the Constructicons.

    • First appearances of: The Autobot Headmasters (Chromedome, Hardhead, Highbrow, Brainstorm, Cerebos), Targetmasters (Sureshot, Pointblank, Crosshairs), Clones (Fastlane and Cloudracker), Punch/Counterpunch, Rollbar, Wideload, The Decepticons Headmasters and Headmaster Horricons (Skullcruncher, Mindwipe, Wierdwolf, Apeface, Snapdragon), Targetmasters (Slugslinger, Triggerhappy and Misfire), Clones (Pounce and Wingspan) and the six changer Sixshot.

    • The Japanese version of Transformers does not count these three episodes in thier series.

    • The Plasma Energy Chamber would be featured in the season 1 finale of Beast Machines.