At his panel on Sunday 18 August 2019, Marty Isenberg shared some additional details on Transformers Animated, including a few more things we might have seen in a possible Season 4.
Some key points included how Hasbro wanted to do some toys (Powermaster Optimus Prime and Marauder Megatron) and how this would have influenced the show. There was also reference to how Optimus Prime would have got his Movie flames (another toyline influence, intended to sell a redecoed Optimus). Spare a thought also for Beachcomber – the team wanted to have him killed off in Season 3, in a cut scene. He’d have died in Season 4 instead, and if that got cut, he’d have died in Season 5.
Lastly, they never fully figured out Sari’s story. But Sari’s true purpose would have figured into the series finale.
Read on for all the details from the panel.
- Powermaster Prime was a Hasbro request to allow Hasbro to release a larger size / priced character. Marty worked it into the premiere.
- Hasbro also requested flames on Optimus, movie-style. This would have been a repaint on the toy. It popped up in the outline as signifier of a high honour awarded to Optimus.
- Focus would have been on Mini-Cons, but the other Decepticons would have eventually come back.
- Megatron was completely losing it at this point in the story. Described as “not quite Beast Machines genocidal, but on the way there”
- Marauder Megatron was a Hasbro request, they wanted a triple changer design. Intended to make Megatron a huge threat to the point he didn’t need minions.
- Writers never figured out exactly where Sari was going. But her journey was the story of Transformers Animated – idea was the finale would have been the end of her journey.
- Beachcomber was intended for Season 3. He was supposed to catch Longarm turning into Shockwave. His reaction? “Dude, not cool”. Then Shockwave kills him. This was cut for time.
- Beachcomber was then intended for a scene in Season 4. Blackout would have killed him.
- If the Beachcomber scene hadn’t happened in Season 4, he’d have died in Season 5. Marty didn’t like Beachcomber.
- Unicron considered “too big for Animated”
- No plans to have had Megatron become Galvatron in Animated.
- Shattered Glass episode was intended for Season 3. It got bumped when the Season 3 opener was made into a three party.
- Marty doesn’t remember who would have been on Slipstream’s own team of Decepticons.
- Optimus as a young leader was Marty’s idea. He likes writing underdogs and characters with something to prove rather than big heroes.
- Blitzwing as a character was born from Marty wanting to write a character who turns into anything. Because that didn’t work as a toy, Derrick Wyatt suggested using a triple changer. Marty then came up with three personalities. Derrick was then inspired by He-Man’s Man-E-Faces. In-show origin would have involved Blackarachnia and been told in Season 4.
- There was a running joke about having a transforming character called “Tractor”. He’d have been an Energon farmer.
- Blurr was not intended to come back – he was “gone and dead” as far as Marty was concerned. But, the Botcon story where Blurr is revived “is canon. Sure. Why not?”
- Team Charr were not specifically planned to be used (no stories built around them) but Marty thinks they would have “inevitably” been used.
- Ratchet probably ran off with Omega Supreme as the Ark, and nobody else knew rather than him being intentionally given to Optimus.
- Characters like Red Alert and Rodimus would have been recurring characters.
- Marty thinks Obsidian in the treatment may have been a slip on his part, and could have been Strika in the final cut.
- No plans for more flying Autobots.
- Human villains were phased out – “fell by the wayside” – as the series progressed. Not a Hasbro pushback.
- The timeslot for the Unicron Trilogy and Animated was based on a deal. The first run was on a decent timeslot but if the ratings were not good, it’d be moved to an earlier timeslot.
- Cartoon Network wanted Marty and the crew to “age up” the show for season 3, to reflect the network’s other shows at the time (specifically the new Ben 10 and Clone Wars)
- Bulkhead was the first character Derrick Wyatt designed.
- Lockdown was based on wanting a version of Death’s Head that Hasbro could own.
- Chances of actually seeing a new season “slim to none”. Comic a smaller investment, but up to IDW to decide if they want to do it. Marty would be happy to write it.
- Marty says if you want to know more, get the Allspark Almanacs