Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide
Episode 10: Skid-Z's Choice
Original U.S. air date: September 19, 2001
Written by: Tom Wyner
An Autobot named Skid-Z has recently arrived on Earth from Cybertron in the form of a Formula 1 racecar, but has so far failed to report for duty to Optimus Prime. Instead, he spends all his time entering races, whether he's supposed to be in them or not. A sports announcer points out that Skid-Z's vehicle mode is identical to the retired racecar of the late Augie Canay, a champion driver who died recently in a race. Koji, a fan, tells the Autobots that supposedly Augie was so impassioned with his car that it was supposed to have taken on his personality. Optimus deduces that when Skid-Z found Augie's racecar in a museum and chose to use it as a template for his transformation, he acquired Augie's "ghost" as well, causing his obsession with racing.
Koji suggests that the best place to find Skid-Z is in the "Great Race", an international cross-country road race open to any type of wheeled vehicle. Optimus gives permission for all the Autobots to join the race (including Team Bullet Train). Sky-Byte and Megatron, with the help of the other Predacons, arrive hoping to destroy all the Autobots at once. They are nearly successful before Skid-Z regains enough control to distract Megatron, and the Predacons are driven off. The race concludes with Skid-Z as the winner, but it turns out his obsession isn't beaten after all, and he immediately drives off in search of another race.
Skid-Z's name is pronounced "Skids" in the show. The original Autobot Skids was a blue hatchback, and was the only large Autobot car never featured in the cartoon. This may be a recurring problem for his name; Skid-z only appears in two more episodes near the end of the series ("Surprise Attack" and "The Final Battle"), and neither of them are more than cameos. Doubtless he was sent racing off into the sunset at the end of this episode just so that the writers didn't have to feel obligated to include him in future scripts.
The fictitious racing driver Augie Canay was a main character in the Generation One episode "Trans-Europe Express"; whether this is a deliberate link to previous Transformers continuity or just an inside joke for longtime fans is disputable.
The concept of Autobots having a "spark" which uses a native template for their transformation was borrowed from the earlier Beast Wars Transformers cartoon, and this is the first time it's mentioned in this series. The reference is important, because this technique for Transformers to adopt new forms is fundamental to the upcoming episode "The Decepticons".