Transformers: Prime

Transformers: Prime is an American computer-animated television series based on the Transformers toy franchise by Hasbro that aired on Hub Network from November 29, 2010, to July 26, 2013. Reruns aired on The CW's Vortexx block from December 8, 2012, to June 1, 2013. Transformers: Prime focuses on the Autobots of "Team Prime", which consists of Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Arcee, Bumblebee and Bulkhead. Throughout their battles, the Autobots are aided by three human children, and with their help attempt to protect the Earth from the villainous Decepticons, and their warlord and leader Megatron.

Transformers: Prime
Transformers Prime logo.jpg
Also known asTransformers: Prime - Beast Hunters (season 3)
Genre
Based on
Developed by
Voices of
Opening theme"Transformers: Prime" by Brian Tyler
Ending theme"Transformers: Prime" by Brian Tyler
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes65 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Running time23 minutes
Production companies
DistributorHasbro Studios
Release
Original networkThe Hub / Hub Network
Picture format16:9 HDTV 1080i
Original releaseNovember 29, 2010 (2010-11-29) –
July 26, 2013 (2013-07-26)
Chronology
Followed byTransformers: Robots in Disguise (2015–2017)
Related showsTransformers: Rescue Bots[1]
External links
Website

Development of the series began in early 2010 with the announcement that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, screenwriters of the first two live-action films, would be creating the series. Casting began soon after with the announcement that Peter Cullen and Frank Welker would reprise their roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron. According to executive producer Jeff Kline the two characters, along with Bumblebee, were considered "must-haves" for the series. From that point on, they tried to include characters that would complement their personalities "rather than emulate them". From the early stages of development, a story bible had been created so that writers had a basic idea of where the plot was heading. Early in development, it was announced that the first season would consist of 26 episodes—the first five airing as a miniseries from November 29, 2010, to December 3, 2010. The remaining episodes aired from February 11, 2011, to October 11, 2011. While the first season was still running, it was announced the show had been renewed for a second season, also consisting of 26 episodes.

The second season premiered on February 18, 2012, and concluded on November 2, 2012. During that same year it was confirmed that the series would return for a third season. It was given the subtitle Beast Hunters and featured the appearance of Predacons, who are depicted here as the Transformers' ancestors who went extinct (much like dinosaurs preceded humans), but a few were recreated by the Decepticons to serve their cause. Kline said that the introduction of the Predacons allowed the writers to emphasize further how Earth and Cybertron are "twin planets". On March 1, 2013, Hasbro confirmed the third season of Transformers Prime—which premiered on March 22, 2013, would be the last. In the same month it was announced that the series would be followed by the television film Predacons Rising, which would conclude the storyline. Beast Hunters aired its final episode on July 26, 2013. Predacons Rising aired on October 4, 2013.

PremiseEdit

SettingEdit

Transformers Prime is set in the "Aligned" continuity, taking place after the video games and books – Transformers: Exodus, Transformers: War for Cybertron, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Transformers: Exiles, and Transformers: Retribution.

The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, operate from a former American military missile silo near Jasper, Nevada. The team, known as "Team Prime", initially consists of Optimus, Arcee, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, Ratchet, and Cliffjumper (who is killed in the five-part pilot “Darkness Rising”). Later characters include Wheeljack, Smokescreen, and Ultra Magnus, as well as Knock Out, the Decepticons’ (former) medical officer, who defects in the television movie finale Predacons Rising. The Autobots also have several human allies: Jack Darby, and later his mother, nurse June Darby, Japanese transfer student Miko Nakadai, computer prodigy Rafael Esquivel, and American government agent William Fowler.

The Decepticons, led by Megatron and briefly by Starscream in the former's absence, operate from their warship, the Nemesis, and briefly from a base called Darkmount, which they build in the season 2 finale, but is destroyed by the Autobots at the beginning of season 3. At first, the only other notable members are Soundwave and his minion Laserbeak, Knock Out, and Breakdown. Later members include Airachnid, an Insecticon hive led by Hardshell (who was renamed like this instead of Bombshell in the "Aligned" continuity), Makeshift (who is killed in the same episode he debuted in, namely "Con Job"), Skyquake (who is also killed in his debut episode, "Masters and Apprentice") and his twin brother Dreadwing, and Shockwave.

The changes and additions the series makes to Transformers lore include the ancient planet-sized Transformer Unicron serving as the core of the Earth itself, emphasizing the idea of Earth and Cybertron being "twin planets"; Ground Bridges, a scaled-down version of Space Bridges which allow quick travel to any location on Earth, and are used by the Autobots and Decepticons alike (Space Bridges, which can be used to travel to other planets, also appear in the series, but aren't featured as prominently); MECH, a human faction led by the villainous Silas, whose sole purpose is to create a new world order through cutting-edge technology stolen from the Transformers; the necromantic Dark Energon, a more unstable and dangerous version of Energon (which powers all Transformers), which can be used to bring the dead back to life as mindless zombies (called "Terrorcons"); and the Predacons (Transformers who resemble dragon-like creatures) being the Transformers' ancestors, having gone extinct until they were recreated by Shockwave to serve the Decepticons. However, only one Predacon is created, namely Predaking, who later defects upon learning that Megatron had ordered the destruction of the other unborn Predacons. Megatron was fearing they could turn against him, after Predaking showed signs of intelligence and the ability to transform into a robot. Two other Predacons, Skylynx and Darksteel, appear in Predacon Rising.

SynopsisEdit

Season 1Edit

Season one opens with Cliffjumper being murdered by Starscream, who leads the Decepticons during 'Lord' Megatron's absence. Following Megatron's return, he uses Cliffjumper's corpse as a test subject for Dark Energon, which he intends to use to create an undead army from Cybertron’s fallen warriors. The plan fails when the Autobots destroy Megatron’s Space Bridge, leaving him in a comatose state floating through the empty space, and allowing the treacherous Starscream to claim leadership of the Decepticons once more.

During the Autobots' conflict with the Decepticons, new characters are introduced, such as Wheeljack, a former 'wrecker' and teammate of Bulkhead who helps Team Prime on several occasions, but prefers living on his own; Skyquake, a legendary Decepticon who has been entombed on Earth for centuries and is released by Starscream, only to be quickly dealt with by the Autobots; Airachnid, Arcee's archenemy who killed her former partner Tailgate and has her own vendetta against the Autobots, but eventually joins the Decepticons; the Decepticon duo Knock Out and Breakdown, the latter of whom shares a rivalry with Bulkhead. There is also MECH, a human organization led by Silas, who seek Cybertronian technology for his/their own nefarious purposes.

Eventually, Megatron is able to recover from his state, and claims back leadership of the Decepticons from Starscream, who later defects to follow his own path and is replaced as Megatron's second-in-command by Airachnid. In the season one finale, the Earth starts to witness several natural disasters, later revealed to be caused by the awakening of Unicron. The Autobots and Megatron join forces to prevent the rise of Unicron, who is ultimately defeated after Optimus uses the Matrix of Leadership to knock him back into hibernation, at the expense of his memories. Regaining his pre-war personality of Orion Pax, he gets manipulated by Megaton into leaving the Autobots and joining the Decepticons.

Season 2Edit

In season two, Megatron manipulates the amnesiac Optimus into decrypting the Iacon archives, which contain the coordinates to Cybertronian relics hidden on Earth. Jack travels to Cybertron, obtaining Optimus’ memories from Vector Sigma, and restores them to Optimus, via the Matrix. From this point onwards, most of the season revolves around the Autobots and Decepticons' hunt for the Iacon relics, with both factions retrieving a number of them. Starscream also searches for the relics and manages to claim some of them before the Autobots and the Decepticons.

New characters are introduced, such as Smokescreen, a new addition to Team Prime; Dreadwing, Skyquake's twin brother who ends up joining the Decepticons and becoming Megatron's new second-in-command; and an Insecticon swarm, led by Hardshell, who are discovered by Airachnid after she betrays the Decepticons and kills Breakdown. She attempts to use them to defeat Megatron, but is captured by the Autobots and left in suspended animation, while the Insecticons come under the command of Megatron instead. Hardshell later severely injures Bulkhead during the hunt for a relic, and is in turn killed by Wheeljack and Miko. During this time, MECH also creates Nemesis Prime to stand a better fighting chance against the Autobots, but it is destroyed, with Silas severely injured in the process; to help him survive, he is placed in Breakdown's corpse, and, upon killing all his men, he becomes C.Y.L.A.S. (Cybernetic Life Augmented by Symbiosis) and attempts to join the Decepticons, only to be taken prisoner and used as a test subject for Knock Out's experiments instead, as punishment for his previous abuse of the Transformers. After losing the powerful Star Saber to the Autobots, Megatron creates the Dark Star Saber to contend with it, using the Forge of Solus Prime, which can only be wielded by a Prime, prompting Megatron to replace his right arm with that of a deceased Prime.

Eventually, both the Autobots and the Decepticons learn about the Omega Keys, which can power the Omega Lock, a device that can reboot the dead Cybertron. After obtaining all four keys, Starscream gives them to Megatron in return for clemency. Shortly after, Dreadwing learns about Starscream resurrecting Skyquake as a Terrorcon, desecrating his honorable death, so he defects, providing the Autobots with the Forge, which they use to transform their Ground Bridge into a Space Bridge, giving them the means to travel to Cybertron and find the Omega Lock; Dreadwing then attempts to avenge his brother and murder Starscream, but is in turn killed by Megatron. Optimus ultimately destroys the Omega Lock, but not before Megatron uses its powers to create a new base on Earth – Darkmount. The Decepticons then target and destroy the Autobot base, unaware the team escaped beforehand using their Ground Bridge, though Optimus was forced to stay behind to allow the others to escape.

Season 3: Beast HuntersEdit

The third season, subtitled Beast Hunters, opens with Team Prime divided and on the run from the Decepticons, while an injured Optimus is being looked after by Smokescreen. New characters are again introduced, namely Ultra Magnus, Optimus' second-in-command and the leader of Bulkhead and Wheeljack's (who has officially joined Team Prime by this point) old team, and the cold Decepticon scientist Shockwave, who plans to create an army of Predacons to serve Megatron, starting with Predaking. Eventually, Smokescreen is able to resurrect Optimus using the Forge's last powers after he dies, giving him a new, more powerful body, and the Autobots reunite, destroying Darkmount.

Despite this, the Decepticons remain an active threat, and Shockwave continues work on his Predacon army, until Megatron orders him to terminate it, pinning its destruction on the Autobots, after Predaking shows intelligence and the ability to transform into a robot. During this time, Knock Out also continues his experiments with Dark Energon on C.Y.L.A.S., one of which turns him into a Terrorcon bent on draining Energon from other Transformers, turning them into Terrorcons as well. He infects most of the Nemesis' crew, before freeing Airachnid (who was retrieved by the Decepticons following the Autobot base's destruction), who puts him out of his misery and claims back leadership of the Insecticons; however, she is quickly dealt with by Soundwave, who teleports her and all the Insecticons on one of Cybertron's deserted moons (where it is revealed that Airachnid was infected as well, and begins feeding on all the Insecticons). Later, Soundwave is ordered to kidnap Ratchet, whom Megatron forces to rebuild the Omega Lock using Synthetic Energon. During his imprisonment, Ratchet informs Predaking of the truth about his unborn brothers' destruction, and he defects, attempting to kill Megatron, but fails.

Eventually, the Autobots storm the Nemesis to rescue Ratchet and destroy the Omega Lock. During the battle, Soundwave is trapped in the Shadowzone (a dimension created by the interaction of multiple Ground Bridges, where anyone trapped inside becomes invisible and can't interact with normal space, as if they were out of phase), and Bumblebee is shot by Megatron, falling into the Synthetic Energon. However, he survives, gaining a healed voice, and kills Megatron by running the Star Saber through him, sending his body falling back to Earth. Afterwards, the Autobots (save for Ratchet, who chooses to remain on Earth and continue helping mankind) use the Omega Lock to restore Cybertron and head home victorious using the Nemesis, bidding farewell to their human allies.

Predacons RisingEdit

The series ends with the television movie, Predacons Rising, where the Autobots and the remaining Decepticons (save for Starscream and Shockwave, who are now fugitives) attempt to rebuild Cybertron. While Optimus and Wheeljack leave to locate the AllSpark, the source of new life on Cybertron, in deep space, Ultra Magnus leads the search for Starscream and Shockwave, only to encounter the Predacons Skylynx and Darksteel, who attack and severely injure him, leaving Bumblebee to temporarily assume leadership of the Autobots; it is later revealed that the pair are the first two creations of Starscream and Shockwave, who plan to create an entire Predacon army under their command. Meanwhile, Unicron reanimates Megatron, possessing his body and planning to kill Cybertron, actually his brother Primus.

Ratchet is called to Cybertron to heal Ultra Magnus, while the others search for the Predacons. After failing to get answers from Predaking, who still holds a grudge against them, the Autobots, at Knock Out's suggestion, investigate Megatron's old fortress Darkmount, only to encounter Unicron (in Megatron's body), and barely escape from his grasp. Meanwhile, Predaking searches for his two Predacon brothers, and also runs into Unicron, who defeats him. Elsewhere, Shockwave, Starscream, Skylynx, and Darksteel find the Predacon grave site, before Unicron arrives and uses Dark Energon to reanimate all the Predacons into his undead army, who overwhelm and seemingly kill Shockwave. The Autobots then discover Unicron's plan to lead the undead Predacon army to Cybertron's core and destroy it, so Bumblebee formulates a plan to stop him. Starscream boards the Nemesis and frees all the imprisoned Decepticons, including Knock Out, intending to retake control of the ship and use it to flee Cybertron, but is subdued by Knock Out, who then defects to the Autobots. Meanwhile, Predaking finds Skylynx and Darksteel, and together they form an uneasy alliance with the Autobots to stop Unicron.

The Autobots and Predacons engage Unicron, just as Optimus and Wheeljack return from their mission to retrieve the AllSpark. Following a final battle, Unicron is tricked into opening a container which he believes holds the AllSpark, but it instead pulls his Anti-Spark from Megatron's body, freeing him from Unicron's control, who is finally defeated for good. Afterwards, Megatron, disillusioned with the prospect of tyranny, disbands the Decepticons and exiles himself away from Cybertron, while Starscream, having escaped from his imprisonment, returns to Darkmount to attempt to restart the Decepticons, only to be confronted by the Predacons, who wish to exact revenge for their abuse at his hands; Starscream is last seen being pursued by Skylynx and Darksteel, though his fate is later revealed in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.

In the aftermath, Optimus holds one final meeting with his fellow Autobots, revealing that he fused the Matrix of Leadership with the AllSpark, and that he must now fuse with Primus’ core to restore life to Cybertron. He claims that the age of Primes is over, but recognizes each of his comrades as Primes in their own rights, before bidding them farewell and flying into Cybertron's core, sacrificing himself to begin a new era for the Transformers. The film and the series as a whole conclude with Optimus' last words that his sacrifice will not be the end of anything, but rather a new beginning - "simply put, another transformation".

Cast and charactersEdit

Autobots
Peter Cullen Sumalee Montano Will Friedle Kevin Michael Richardson Jeffrey Combs James Horan Nolan North Michael Ironside
Optimus Prime Arcee Bumblebee Bulkhead Ratchet Wheeljack Smokescreen Ultra Magnus

The series stars Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), who acts as the leader of the Autobots. In his fight to protect the Earth, Optimus is aided by Team Prime, consisting of Ratchet (Jeffrey Combs), the team's medical officer, Bulkhead (Kevin Michael Richardson), the team's muscle, Arcee (Sumalee Montano), who is considered the team's most agile fighter, and Bumblebee (Will Friedle), the team's scout. Bumblebee is voiceless throughout most of the series due to a damaged voice box and communicates through beeps.

During the first season, the Autobots encounter Wheeljack (James Horan), one of Bulkhead's fellow Wreckers. While initially appearing for one episode in season one, the character played a more important role and joined the team in the latter half of season two. During the same season, Smokescreen (Nolan North) is introduced as a new member of the team. In the final season, Ultra Magnus (Michael Ironside), Optimus' second-in-command, comes to Earth and also joins Team Prime in their fight against the Decepticons.

Decepticons
Frank Welker Steve Blum Daran Norris Adam Baldwin Gina Torres Tony Todd David Sobolov Peter Mensah
Megatron, Soundwave Starscream Knock Out Breakdown Airachnid Dreadwing Shockwave Predaking

The Decepticons are led by the villainous Megatron (Frank Welker), who is the main antagonist throughout the series. Initially, the only other notable Decepticons are Starscream (Steve Blum), Megatron's treacherous second-in-command who wishes to usurp him, and Soundwave (Frank Welker), who is cold and almost emotionless, remaining silent throughout most of the series and choosing to replicate other characters' voices to communicate. Later, they are joined by Knock Out (Daran Norris), the Decepticons' medical officer, his partner Breakdown (Adam Baldwin), who shares a rivalry with Bulkhead, and Airachnid (Gina Torres), who is Arcee's rival, having killed her first partner Tailgate. The second season introduces Dreadwing (Tony Todd), and Shockwave (David Sobolov), the Decepticons' cold and calculated scientist (though he only appears in a flashback, making his proper debut in the third season), while the third season features the debut of Predaking (Peter Mensah), a Predacon created by Shockwave to serve the Decepticon cause.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, co-writers of Transformers and its sequel Revenge of the Fallen, were announced in early February to be helming a new Transformers series which would be CGI-animated.[2][3] The title of the series was first announced in February 2010 as Transformers: Prime on Jeffrey Combs' website. Combs revealed he would be voicing Ratchet and that the first season would consist of 26 episodes.[4] The series' logo was revealed on May 3, 2010.[5] Orci said that one of the reasons he and Kurtzman decided to come back to the franchise is because when they worked on the live-action film, there were limitations on how much time the Transformers could appear on-screen and what type of actions they could perform, stating:

There were things we wanted to do in the movies that we just couldn't do and there were character arcs that we wanted to explore with the Transformers that we just couldn't do. We wanted to show more of their mythology and their past and their planet and just hang out with them. ... And in the movie, every time you did that, it was very special but it was extremely limited. So there was always another way ... to tell ... Transformers stories and this was ... a lucky accident that .. we got an opportunity to pursue that inspiration[.][6]

On February 4, 2011, when the show's first season resumed airing, it was announced that it had been renewed for a second season consisting of 26 episodes like the first.[7][8][6] The season began airing on February 18, 2012.[9] On March 1, 2013, it was revealed that the third season of Transformers: Prime, which premiered a few weeks later on March 22, would be the show's last.[10] During the same month, it was also announced that following the series finale, a TV movie called Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising would air and would end the story.[11] According to Hasbro Studios vice president Mike Vogel, "[they] knew, from day one, where [they] were going to try to wrap everything up".[12]

WritingEdit

Discussing ideas about the show's themes and inspirations, Orci said that while the live-action film series was "about a boy and his cars", the dynamic between the kids and robots in Prime was to be more like that of The Iron Giant.[13] In a similar statement, Josh Keaton (Jack Darby) revealed in a November 29, 2010, interview with The Trades that while the show does include human main characters, and their relationships with the Autobots are important, they are in the foreground.[14] According to Jeff Kline, from the beginning they had created a story bible of at least "three years' worth of [storylines]" and that "the universal need to find or forge a family and a home" was one of the major themes when developing the series.[15]

Kline said that from the early stages of development they wanted to keep the ensemble of characters small; this was done both for production reasons and to allow deeper characterization and development. Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee were the characters that were considered "must-haves" for the series. From that point on, they tried to include Autobots and Decepticons that complemented those characters' personalities, "rather than duplicate them".[16]

Regarding Arcee's inclusion in the main cast, Orci said that he regretted killing her off in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and that Prime gave them "a chance to do what [they]’ve always wanted to do with her".[17] Kline said the staff wanted to include more Decepticons than Autobots in the series, so that the Autobots would always be at a disadvantage and their jobs would be that much harder. Additionally, when asked about the death of Cliffjumper and other characters in the series, he said that "when we kill a character, we kill a character".[18]

In an interview with MTV, Frank Welker (Megatron), when comparing Prime in the TV series to the original cartoon, said that the writers "go deeper into the evil side of [Megatron] and what’s driving him."[19] In a different interview, Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) said that "the writing is consistent with that of the original series, though in this new version [... my character] has a lot more communication with earthlings, and so he tries to be a little more Earthlike".[20]

During New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2011, many details about season two were revealed. Regarding Optimus' memory loss and joining the Decepticons, Duane Capizzi said that they wanted to satisfy fans' expectations "but take it in unexpected directions. What happens will be pretty unexpected, but pretty organic." On the revelation that Unicron was sealed inside the Earth's core, Kline said that "[they] knew" they had to include him in the series but were initially unsure how. After a writer made the suggestion, they realized Unicron could be included in a way that tied Earth to Cybertron. He also reaffirmed his comment regarding death in the series, stating that "anyone can die" and revealed that "the body count has been upgraded" in season two.[21]

During NYCC 2012, it was revealed that the show would be retitled to Transformers: Prime – Beast Hunters for its third season. In Beast Hunters, the Predacons and Predaking are introduced.[22] By bringing Beasts into the show during the third season Kline said that this allowed them to emphasize further how Earth and Cybertron are "brother, or twin, planets"; something they had earlier indicated with Unicron's arc in season one.[23] He called the addition of beasts "fantastic" as it allowed them to keep shifting allegiances and "keep the [Autobots and Decepticons] out of balance".[24]

CastingEdit

The first voice actor to be cast in the series was Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet. Combs revealed this on his personal website on February 4, 2010.[4] On May 17, 2010, it was announced that Peter Cullen, who had originated the role of Optimus Prime in the original series and voiced him in the live-action film series, would return as Optimus' voice in Prime.[25] During San Diego Comic Con on July 8, 2010, it was revealed that Frank Welker would also reprise the role of Megatron from the original series. Besides Optimus and Ratchet, Autobots Bumblebee, Arcee and Bulkhead were also announced. It was also revealed that Starscream and Soundwave would be part of the Decepticons.[26]

On September 8, 2010, the show's voice actors were announced.[27] Kline would later reveal that Hasbro Studios had placed high importance in getting Cullen and Frank Welker to reprise their roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.[16] Steven Blum (Starscream) revealed in an interview that during recording of Transformers: Prime, he and the cast are given the scripts and "a couple of days [...] to figure out where the story is going".[28] During New York Comic Con, 2011 it was announced that Tony Todd, who voiced The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, would join the series in season two as Dreadwing.[21]

MusicEdit

Music in the series was composed by Brian Tyler. Tyler stated that when he approached to perform the music for the series, they wanted it to be "cinematic, thematic [and feature] classic scores, similar to Star Wars." Live orchestras were used to create the music.[29]

A soundtrack was released on March 6, 2012.

Transformers Prime (Music from the Animated Series)
 
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 6, 2012 (2012-03-06)
GenreSoundtrack
Length1:12:24
LabelLakeshore Records
Brian Tyler chronology
Terra Nova
(2012)
''Transformers Prime (Music from the Animated Series)''
(2012)
Thor: The Dark World
(2013)
Transformers Prime (Music from the Animated Series)
No.TitleLength
1."Transformers Prime"3:21
2."Optimus Prime Returns"2:07
3."One Shall Rise"2:43
4."Dreadwing"1:41
5."In Defense of Humanity"2:26
6."We Have Returned"4:42
7."Relentless Pursuit"4:36
8."This Is Your Home Now"5:02
9."Autobot Stratagum"2:38
10."Battle in the Energon Mine"3:11
11."Proximity Sensors"2:17
12."Cutting It a Bit Close"1:28
13."The Cons Are Back"4:46
14."RC on the Move"2:02
15."Always Welcome"2:11
16."Arachnid"4:10
17."The Space Bridge"1:29
18."Dogfight"4:52
19."Bumblebee"1:37
20."Next Day after School"1:12
21."Cybertron"1:31
22."Megatron on the Move"2:44
23."The Construct"2:16
24."Prime Finale"4:16
25."Transformers Prime End Title"3:05

Broadcast and ReleaseEdit

United StatesEdit

In the United States, Transformers: Prime aired on Hasbro and Discovery Communications-owned television network, The Hub. The show began broadcasting on November 29, 2010, continuing to December 3, 2010. The rest of season one began to air on February 11, 2011.[30] Beginning December 8, 2012, the series premiered on The CW as part of its Saturday morning Vortexx block, making it the first Hasbro Studios animated production to appear on United States terrestrial television.[31] The series started rerunning on Kabillion in July 2019.[32]

InternationalEdit

On November 9, 2010, Hasbro Studios announced a broadcasting rights deal with Corus Entertainment in Canada, which included Transformers: Prime.[33] The series premiered there on January 9, 2011, on Teletoon, half-owned by Corus.[34] As a part of the deal between Hasbro Studios and Turner Broadcasting System Europe announced on December 13, 2010,[35] Transformers: Prime began broadcasting in Central Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East on September 10, 2011, on the pan-European Cartoon Network.[35]

In Singapore, MediaCorp has broadcasting rights for Hasbro Studios programs including Prime, with the English version airing on Okto.[36] In Malaysia, Media Prima has broadcasting rights for Hasbro Studios programs including Prime; the series was broadcast on NTV7.[37] In India, the series premiered on Discovery Kids on May 6, 2013.[38] The third season launched on October 19, 2014.[39] It was also released on Big Magic in February 2020.

Home mediaEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD and Blu-ray release dates
First aired Last aired Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 26 November 29, 2010 (2010-11-29) October 15, 2011 (2011-10-15) March 6, 2012[40] November 9, 2012[41] December 12, 2012[42]
2 26 February 18, 2012 (2012-02-18) November 2, 2012 (2012-11-02) November 20, 2012[43] March 23, 2015[44] October 14, 2015[45]
3 13 March 22, 2013 (2013-03-22) July 26, 2013 (2013-07-26) December 3, 2013[46] November 9, 2015[47] February 3, 2016[48]

In the United States and Canada, Shout! Factory has the home distribution rights to the series. The complete first season was first released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 6, 2012.[40] The complete second season was first released on DVD on November 20, 2012,[43] with the Blu-ray version being released seven days later.[49] The third and final season, Beast Hunters, was released on December 3, 2013.[46]

ReceptionEdit

RatingsEdit

The series attracted approximately 102,000 viewers per episode.[50]

The Transformers: Prime/G.I. Joe Renegades special programming block on Friday from 3:30 p.m.–7;00 p.m. generated significant household and key audiences over the previous week. "[Households] (+111%, 97,000); Persons [age] 2+ (+133%, 142,000); Kids [ages] 2-11 (+130%, 62,000); Kids 6-11 (+78%, 32,000); Adults 18-49 (+117%, 50,000) and Women 18-49 (+120%, 11,000)."[51]

Critical responseEdit

Dusty Stower of Screen Rant, placed Transformers: Prime as the sixth best Transformers cartoon. Stower described the first season as "a very slow burn, [with] its eventual payoff [being] incredibly anticlimactic" and that in their attempt to focus on the Transformers' mythology, the writers "forgot to craft three-dimensional, likable characters". However, he concluded that the show did live up to its promise of an epic tale late in its run and reacted positively to Prime's portrayal of Ratchet and Starscream.[52]

Eric Goldman of IGN gave season one a "great" 8.0 out of 10. He praised the show for creating fully formed, relatable characters, well-done action sequences, serious-minded storylines and voice acting, singling out Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Jeffrey Combs (Ratchet) and Frank Welker's (Megatron) performances. He criticized Bumblebee's portrayal as mute. He concluded the review saying that the series "accomplishes its goals, delivering plenty of fun and action, while also incorporating darker and more complex moments that older viewers can appreciate".[53]

Brian Lowry of Variety said that Transformers: Prime is "unexpectedly sharp" and better than the movies, adding that the show's CGI animation is well-suited for rendering shiny robots and "their vehicular alter egos"; he ended the review by saying that while "there's nothing more than meets the eye here, [..] what does appear is plenty entertaining".[54]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2011 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Peter Cullen Nominated [55]
Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program Transformers: Prime Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Vince Toyama Won
Christophe Vacher Won
Outstanding Music Direction and Composition Brian Tyler Nominated
Outstanding Writing in Animation Transformers: Prime Nominated
2012 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Transformers: Prime Won [56]
Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program David Hartman Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation Robbi Smith Nominated
Robert Poole II
Roy Braverman
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Animation Ray Leonard Nominated
Mike Beiriger
"Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation" Christophe Vacher Won
CINE Awards CINE Eagle Award Whole crew Won [57]
CINE Special Recognition for Series Television Won
CINE Special Jury Award Nominated
CINE Masters Series Award Nominated
2013 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Arato Kato Won
Jason Park
Kirk van Wormer
Annie Award Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated TV / Broadcast Production Christophe Vacher Nominated

Marketing, merchandise and other mediaEdit

Hasbro had the Toys "R" Us store located in Times Square, New York City to cover the whole exterior of the store in Transformers: Prime characters' images.[58][unreliable source?] Several billboards were rented. One even appeared on Broadway in New York City.[58] Additional advertisements were run on the back cover of DC Comics’ Justice League of America Issue #51.[59][unreliable source?] A giant statue of Optimus Prime (modeled after his Transformers: Prime design) was shown off at San Diego Comic Con 2010.[60][unreliable source?] The statue was later moved to the location of New York Comic Con 2011 convention, where Hasbro was exhibiting.[61]

Toy lineEdit

The official launch date of the toy line was December 1, 2011. The release date of July 2011 was incorrectly stated during BotCon 2011, but the December 1, 2011, date was later confirmed by the Hasbro Brand Team.[62] Although earlier sources stated that the line would launch on October 1, 2011,[63] or October 11, 2011.[64]

Mobile mediaEdit

Ruckus Mobile Media partnered with Hasbro to deliver Transformers: Prime innovative storybook apps for Android, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) systems. The app was meant to deliver immersive reading experiences with interactive storytelling including title specific activities, coloring and read-and-record functions. The app was slated to release in May 2011, but never came out.[65]

BooksEdit

IDW Publishing has released a group of comic books based on Transformers: Prime. A comic book prequel was released on October 13, 2010, in the United States, followed by an October 26, 2010, Canadian release date. Adaptations of episodes (usually two episodes per comic book) from the series are currently being released, similar to the Transformers Animated comic books. Some Transformers: Prime storybooks were released in April, August and September 2012, in the UK including Transformers Prime: Official Handbook and Transformers Prime: Meet the Team.

Video gameEdit

A video game developed by Nowpro and Altron distributed by Activision was released in October 2012. The game, titled Transformers: Prime – The Game, is a brawler available for Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U. Both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game received mixed critical reviews.[66][67]

SequelEdit

A sequel called Transformers: Robots in Disguise debuted in March 2015. The series features Bumblebee as a police officer and follows his adventures on Earth, trying to catch escaped Decepticon prisoners. Throughout his mission, he's aided by Strongarm, Sideswipe, Grimlock, Fixit, and the humans Denny Clay and his son Russell.[68] Optimus Prime appears in a recurring capacity during the first season as a spirit, before being resurrected in the finale and joining the main cast from season two onwards. The only other characters to return from Transformers: Prime are Ratchet, Bulkhead, Soundwave, and Starscream.[citation needed]

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External linksEdit