Beast Machines
Complete Season One

Starring (voice): Garry Chalk, Ian James Corlett, David Kaye and Scott McNeil
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 9.99
Certificate: PG
Available 16 July 2007

Transformers: Beast Machines sees the innocent Maximals awaken on their home planet of Cybertron with no memory of how or why they are there. However, instead of being greeted by their own kind, the robotic creatures find themselves pitched in a life-or-death battle with the evil Veicons, ruthless and mindless creatures by the Decepticon Megatron. With a war now being waged, the Maximals must free Cybertron from Megatron and restore it to its former glory before all life is doomed...

In this Beast Wars sequel, the Maximals, a fierce team of robotic beasts, continue to defend their homeworld from the evil Megatron. The Maximals - Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Blackarachnia and Rattrap - find themselves hunted by a new breed of Transformers: the Vehicons. Forced underground, the Maximals undergo a strange alteration of their beast/robot bodies. As they learn the advantages of their new powers of metamorphosis, the Maximals begin their struggle to free their planet from Megatron's evil rule.

This collection includes all 13 episodes from this CGI show's first season:

The Reformatting: Optimus finds himself back on a deserted Cybertron, being chased by an army of transforming tank robots. He is stuck in beastmode thanks to a virus, and he also has amnesia. One by one he encounters his old friends - Cheetor, Blackarachnia and Rattrap.

Master of the House: The Maximals split up and go in search of a new base when a drone interrupts their training. Blackarachnia and Cheetor investigate the surface only to discovers that Cybertron's archives have been erased. After fending off another drone attack, the four Maximals make their way towards the Council Chambers to find out who's behind everything.

Fires of the Past: The Maximals are attacked once more by Megatron's drones, while Rattrap is looking through Cybertron's backup files for a clue to what has happened to their homeworld.

Mercenary Pursuits: Optimus sends the Maximals out on a scout. All they find is Tankorr, who is ready to destroy our heroes. Rattrap finds a transformation enhancer program - which turns out to be a bit too much of a good thing.

Forbidden Fruit: Optimus discovers a Maximal bat. At first he flees, though when Jetstorm ambushes them he is forced to co-operate.

The Weak Component: After messing up a reconnaissance mission, and finding out that his robot mode is weaponless, Rattrap's self-esteem hits an all-time low and he heads off to strike a deal with a weakened Megatron. But, when push comes to shove, will he turn against his friends?

Revelations - Part I: Discovery: Optimus floods the underground levels with coolant while fleeing the Viecons. Forced to go to the surface the Maximals end up in a graveyard with thousands of Maximals whose sparks have been removed. They are soon tracked down again, and in the ensuing firefight Blackarachnia and Thrust are trapped in a spark removal facility that is about to blow up.

Revelations - Part II: Descent: While Optimus insists on meditating to explore deeper into the Oracle, Cheetor takes the rest of the Maximals out to probe Tankorr's mind to find out if he really is one of their former comrades.

Revelations - Part III: Apocalypse: Rattrap and Cheetor face a dilemma. How can they stop the rampaging Tankorr without hurting Rhinox inside. Meanwhile Nightscream chases after Jetstorm to retrieve Blackarachnia's spark.

Survivor: Megatron sends the diagnostic drone, along with the Viecons, to capture and study Nightscream in hopes of finding an effective way to purge his beastmode.

The Key: Optimus is now convinced that his mission is to return the organic life to Cybertron with the help of the green organic goo found in Cyberton's core. The first obstacle is Rhinox/Tankorr, who decides to pay the Maximals a little visit equipped with the newly found key to Vector Sigma - which is capable of turning organic life into techno-matter.

The Catalyst: While Rattrap discovers a growth acceleration program, Blackarachnia goes of to revive Silverbolt with some organic goo, and Megatron gets the key and sends Thrust and Jetstorm out to test it.

End of the Line: When he finds he no longer has control over the key equipped tank drones, Tankorr decides to provoke Megatron into action by showing Optimus the legendary plasma energy chamber.

While the majority of the episodes suffer from pretty outdated CGI, this series will no doubt appeal to those who were in their early teens when it was first broadcast in 1999. For everyone else, the poor animation (which looks half finished in quite a lot of scenes) coupled with the rather poor storylines, that only occasionally raise above mediocre, mean this is not a series that you should really buy unless you are a huge Transformers fan.

There are no extras on this collection, but to be honest for £10 you shouldn't expect any on this double disc set.

Pete Boomer

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