Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide
Episode 17: Attack From Outer Space
Original Canadian air date: January 12, 2002
Written by: Matthew V. Lewis
Megatron and the Decepticons substitute Movor into a routine space shuttle launch to get him into orbit, with orders to locate the Autobots' secret base. Once there he locates Tow-Line, then Prowl, but neither one is heading toward the base. X-Brawn is next, but he happens to cross paths with the Predacons, who fight him and send him back to base out of Movor's sight. At the same time the Autobots are trying to communicate with the launched shuttle, but soon learn that the real shuttle wasn't launched and deduce Movor's plan.
Movor locates Side Burn next, who is chasing a red sports car across the countryside. Movor directs the Decepticons to one building after another, mistaking them for the Autobot base as Side Burn passes them. Seeing what's happening, Optimus Prime directs Side Burn to a lighthouse at an abandoned pier. Once there, the Decepticons arrive and the Autobots ambush them -- first Optimus and the car brothers, then team bullet train, all arriving via the global space bridge.
The Decepticons are unable to form Ruination without Movor, but Scourge attacks Optimus single-handedly anyways. Movor attempts to help by firing at Optimus from orbit, but mistakenly hits Scourge twice. Angry and outnumbered, the Decepticons retreat, and Movor is accidentally knocked down from orbit by a satellite hitting him from behind.
Why have a space-capable Transformer if you're not going to put him in space? Movor was only included in the otherwise military-oriented lineup of the Decepticons because the entire team was made up of repaints from the 1980s, and back then, they already had made a separate team of military jets. The writers finally decided to make some use of this unusual addition to the team by taking the obvious approach of sending him into orbit to attack Autobots from above, and then letting his incompetence and Megatron's impatience ruin an otherwise clever plan.
Despite this failure, Movor is sent into orbit a couple more times down the road, in the episodes "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion!", "The Human Element" and "Mistaken Identity" when his global-search abilities are essential. So it's likely this episode was written to provide a foundation for those later ones.
This episode was broadcast in Canada during their weekly RiD broadcasts before the United States got it, due to the American networks' oversensitivity to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. Presumably a space shuttle shooting from orbit looked too much like a passenger jet crashing into a building, or else they thought that terrorists would somehow get the idea that hijacking a NASA space shuttle was the just the thing to try next. Transformers fans across the U.S. are still scratching their heads over their logic.