Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide

Episode 1: Battle Protocol!
Original U.S. air date: September 8, 2001
Written by: Tom Wyner

As the First International Scientific Symposium in New York City gets underway, it's interrupted by the arrival of Megatron, leader of the Predacons. His goal is to pillage every energy source on the planet Earth and Dr. Onishi, a world expert from Japan in global energy resources, is his target. Dr. Onishi's son Koji tries to reach him by phone, but is cut off, and Optimus Prime, an Autobot from the planet Cybertron, intercepts the call.

Using the Autobots "transwarp global space bridge", he drives to New York in a matter of minutes and confronts Megatron. Megatron summons his fellow Predacons Slapper, Gas Skunk and Dark Scream to keep Prime busy. In return, Prime contacts T-AI who calls the Autobot brothers Prowl, Side Burn and X-Brawn. The Predacons are defeated one by one and left to fend for themselves. Prime apologizes to Koji for letting his father be taken, but Koji understands and accepts Prime's help to rescue him and defeat the Predacons once and for all.

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The first episode of the series, it establishes the Predacons, Autobots, and Koji as central characters. Rather than give us a history of these Transformers (as the original Transformers and Beast Wars cartoons did), we're dropped in the middle of current events and given the story from Koji's point of view. Optimus Prime and the three Autobot brothers are the only ones introduced at this time, and they remain the "stars" of the series for its entire run.

The number of things we know about the main characters so far is actually pretty extensive:

  • Optimus is patient with humans, encouraging understanding and honesty, and relentless with the Predacons, more than willing to go into battle with Megatron himself rather than send in his troops.
  • Side Burn, the youngest and fastest of the brothers, has a fixation with red sports cars. Not a plot point, just a personality quirk.
  • Prowl is a police car and a strict follower of the rules of the road. He and Side Burn fundamentally disagree on this.
  • X-Brawn is the oldest and strongest of the three brothers, and is more courteous and clever than his "country" Texas accent would first suggest.
  • The Predacon warriors, Dark Scream, Slapper and Gas Skunk, aren't terribly clever at anything. They're easily fooled and easily intimidated. Perfect cartoon fodder, but terrible tools for Megatron. This eventually works to their disadvantage when Megatron creates the Decepticons to replace them.
  • Kelly is introduced as the "owner" of X-Brawn's vehicle mode. Although she's never named except in the scripts, Kelly becomes a running joke throughout the series, appearing in almost every episode as the hapless bystander whose life and property is repeatedly ruined by the Transformers battling around her.

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