Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Fire on the Mountain (part 1)

I'm back!  I hope you'll forgive my two week absence, my wife and I took a couple of weeks off to relax and enjoy the holidays.  But now I'm back, and bringing you another edition of The Ark Addendum!  This week, I'll go back to something I touched upon about a year ago, the G1 episode Fire on the Mountain. 

This was a slightly odd episode, all told.  It starts out way up in the arctic north, where they dig out Skyfire.  It seems to me that, if it was that easy to get him out, they'd have done so in Fire in the Sky.  I wonder if that episode was finalized, and then someone changed their mind about killing off the character.  Anyway, that's why there is an arctic landscape amidst all the other more traditional South American fare. 

Next week I'll finish off this episode.  Sadly, I don't have Luisa's character model.  I think that, next to Chip and Arkeville, she was probably the most prominent human introduced in S1. 

In other news, it's been out that Bill and I will be attending Roll Out Roll Call in the UK, and we're pretty psyched about it.  Our Bios are now up on the show website.  You should go and check them out, Bill and I had fun making them. 


Hans said...

I remember Skyfire's "death" made quite an impression on my when I was young (very young...). And I was very relieved when they dug him out about a week later :P

Maybe his "death" had something to do with the fact that he was supposed to be "Valkyrie" Jetfire, but they couldn't use that character in the cartoon, so they brought in a lookalike called Skyfire as a one-off to remind kids about the Jetfire toy on the shelves. And maybe sales went up for the toy so they decided to bring him back anyway?

Anonymous said...

Good guesses about the actual reasons behind his removal and reintroduction, but if you keep it within the context of the show, the implications get disturbing. For years I'd made myself believe that Wheeljack invented something to bust through the ice, and it never sunk in until I got the Rhino DVDs that he just had Sideswipe chisel it away with a big jackhammer.

So why'd they just decide to leave him buried when they easily could have dug him out? I've yet to hear a better theory than Raksha's on this one: Despite Skyfire's defection, Optimus wasn't sure they could trust him, so he just left him there as part of his wider policy of burying potential enemies alive when he wasn't sure he could ethically shoot them (the other instances being Nightbird and the first 3 Dinobots). They dug him out when they realized the benefits of air travel outweighed the risks, and likely reburied him around the time Powerglide, Cosmos, and Omega Supreme showed up. Day of the Machines was his last episode, right?

A slightly harsh view of cartoon Op? Well, until I hear a better theory, that's just one more reason my loyalty lies with the continuity where yellow-eyed Optimus just suffered occasional lapses in judgement that led him to commit suicide over video games.


JustSomeJoe said...


There's a problem with that theory: Raksha is a lunatic.

Hans said...

LOL at Optimus burying his potential enemies alive! :)

I watched the scene at the end (the benefit of having all the episode on my computer... don't worry, I also got both the Rhino sets way back when as well as the Shout Matrix box set...) and they make it pretty clear he's supposed to be dead. Spike says he's gone, and Optimus says they will always remember him. All an elaborate scheme on his part? :)

As for Skyfire's final appearance: he makes it as far as Headmasters episode 27 (introduction of the Targetmasters). It's very clearly him at the beginning of the episode :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, so it's just as likely that Skyfire's vital signs came back online weeks later, detected by Skyspy.

But that sort of conspiracy theory keeps me from over-analyzing Starscream and Megatron's relationship in eps like Enter the Nightbird and Autoberzerk.

Speaking of inappropriate innuendo, this ep lays out one of the most important distinctions between S1 and S2: at the end, Luisa (glad to finally know her name, since I think it goes unspoken) offers to hook Bumblebee up with her brother's convertible, Juanita, to which Bee sort of blushes (squishes?). See, in Season 1, the Autobots came to Earth to f@#% our cars; it wasn't until well into Season 2 that some of the smaller ones came down with Fleshling Fever. Ah, if only Juanita had an unused character model that Jim might unearth by next week...

I think my favorite part of this ep was the lighting effects inside the temple from the shaft of energy, but I always wondered why the Cons didn't use that to crank out energon cubes whenever they weren't using the gun that it powered. So I was glad to see the temple's models in the older post.

I believe this was also the only episode where Thundercracker got any characterization. He needed to stand out from the crowd more, what with every S1 generic seeker apparently being based on his color scheme.