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Challenge of the GoBots
Gobots.jpg
Directed by Ray Patterson (Supervising)
Arthur Davis (season 2)
Oscar Dufau
Volus Jones (season 2)
Don Lusk (season 2)
Carl Urbano (season 1)
Rudy Zamora (season 2)
Alan Zaslove (season 2)
Starring Lou Richards
Arthur Burghardt
Frank Welker
Bernard Erhard
Bob Holt
Marilyn Lightstone
Sparky Marcus
Leslie Speights
Morgan Paull
Phil Hartman
B.J. Ward
Brock Peters
Peter Cullen
Composer(s) Hoyt Curtin
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 65
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Joe Taritero
Patrick S. Feely
Producer(s) Kay Wright
Lois Hanrahan
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Tonka Corporation
Wang Film Productions (aka Cuckoo's Nest Studios)
Distributor LBS Communications
Worldvision Enterprises
Release
Original network First-run syndication
Picture format Color
Audio format Mono
Original release September 8, 1984 – December 13, 1985

Challenge of the GoBots (or simply GoBots) is an American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera, based on the Gobots toy-line released from Tonka. The show was first broadcast in syndication on September 8, 1984, then the show joined the weekday/weekend programming block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera on September 15, 1985. It was later rerun on the USA Cartoon Express.

Summary

GoBots dealt with two opposing forces of transforming robots from the planet Gobotron: the heroic Guardians and the evil Renegades. The Guardians were led by Leader-1 while the Renegades were led by Cy-Kill. The characters rarely had guns, instead shooting energy blasts out of their fists. The female robots on the series, such as Crasher, were built like the males, but with some distinguishing female features. The GoBots' origin as GoBings accounted for the presence of genders among the robots.

The series generally focused on a small number of robots from each faction (Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter vs. Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher) who were virtually ever-present with other characters seeming to rotate in "guest-star" roles. GoBots had no clear division between the two factions. The characters had no identifying insignias or markings to indicate their allegiance, although it was indicated on the toy packaging. Likewise, there was no commonality of design within each faction. The only "theme" to a side was that anything that turned into a "monstrous-looking" robot or vehicle was a Renegade.

Plot

In the series’ backstory, thousands of years ago on the planet Gobotron, there lived a race of human-like organic beings referred to as “GoBeings.” Civil war erupted on the planet when the power-hungry terrorist group known as the Renegades arose, led by a madman dubbed the “Master Renegade,” who waged war against the peaceful Guardians.

When a Renegade sabotage operation inadvertently resulted in a gigantic asteroid colliding with Gobotron, the natural disasters that resulted from the asteroid's impact pushed the GoBings to the verge of extinction. However, the genius who became known as the “Last Engineer” saved his people, taking his experiments to replace parts of his own body with mechanical substitutes to the ultimate extent and transferring the brains of the GoBeings into large robots known as “GoBots.”

The GoBots possessed an additional ability; after being run through the device named the Modifier, the GoBots’ bodies were able to transform into other vehicles. His work done, the Last Engineer intended to retreat to a pre-prepared workshop elsewhere in the galaxy, but the Master Renegade stole his ship and escaped in his stead. The Last Engineer placed himself into suspended animation beneath the surface of Gobotron, while above, the war continued to rage between the Guardians and the Renegades, now all encased in GoBot shells.

In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the planet Earth became involved in the conflict between Leader-1's Guardians and Cy-Kill's Renegades. During one of these battles, one of Leader-1's lieutenants, Turbo, became severely damaged. Unwilling to let his friend and teammate die, Leader-1 began his quest to find the legendary Last Engineer. Leader-1 found the person he believed to be the Last Engineer, but Leader-1 had unwittingly released the Master Renegade (though he did repair Turbo to gain the Guardians’ trust).

The Guardians later found the true Last Engineer, who was instrumental in frustrating the alliance between Cy-Kill's Renegades and the Master Renegade. The Master Renegade later escaped the custody of the Renegades, and plagued both factions, notably attacking the UniCom colony of New Earth.

Characters

Episodes

  1. "Battle for Gobotron, Part I: Battle for Gobotron" (written by Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, and Tom Ruegger)
  2. "Battle for Gobotron, Part II: Target Earth" (written by Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, and Tom Ruegger)
  3. "Battle for Gobotron, Part III: Conquest of Earth" (written by Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, and Tom Ruegger)
  4. "Battle for Gobotron, Part IV: Earth Bound" (written by Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, and Tom Ruegger)
  5. "Battle for Gobotron, Part V: The Final Conflict" (written by Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, and Tom Ruegger)
  6. "Time Wars" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Douglas Booth)
  7. "It's the Thought that Counts" (written by Mark Zaslove)
  8. "Trident's Triple Threat" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by David Schwartz)
  9. "Renegade Alliance" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Don Goodman)
  10. "Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Peter Anderegg; teleplay by Peter Anderegg)
  11. "Speed is of the Essence" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Jina Bacarr)
  12. "Genius and Son" (written by John Loy and Eric Lewald)
  13. "Dawn World" (written by Don Glut)
  14. "Nova Beam" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Daniel Will-Harris)
  15. "Forced Alliance" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Doug Booth)
  16. "Invasion from the 21st Level, Part I" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Lane Raichert)
  17. "Invasion from the 21st Level, Part II" (written by Lane Raichert)
  18. "Lost on Gobotron" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Eric Lewald; teleplay by Eric Lewald)
  19. "Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Dale Kirby)
  20. "Doppleganger" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Antoni Zalewski)
  21. "The Quest for Roguestar" (story by John Loy, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by John Loy)
  22. "Renegade Rampage, Part I" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Karen Wengrod and Ken Cinnamon)
  23. "Renegade Rampage, Part II" (story by Karen Wengrod, Ken Cinnamon, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Karen Wengrod and Ken Cinnamon)
  24. "Ultra Zod" (written by Jim Bertges)
  25. "Sentinel" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Don Glut)
  26. "Cold Spell" (written by Alan Burnett)
  27. "Crime Wave" (written by Francis Moss)
  28. "Auto Madic" (written by Mark Zaslove)
  29. "Scooter Enhanced" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Mark Young; teleplay by Mark Young)
  30. "Tarnished Image" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and David Schwartz; teleplay by David Schwartz)
  31. "In Search of Ancient Gobonauts" (story by Mark Young, Phil Harnage, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Mark Young)
  32. "Gameworld" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Michael Charles Hill)
  33. "Wolf in the Fold" (story by Michael Reaves, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Michael Reaves)
  34. "Depth Charge" (written by John Bates)
  35. "Transfer Point" (story by Patrick Barry, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Patrick Barry)
  36. "Steamer's Defection" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Drew Lawrence; teleplay by Drew Lawrence)
  37. "The GoBot Who Cried Renegade" (story by Eric Lewald, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Eric Lewald)
  38. "The Seer" (written by Eric Lewald and Mark Edens)
  39. "Whiz Kid" (written by Alfred Pegal)
  40. "Ring of Fire" (story by Michael Humm, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Michael Humm)
  41. "The Gobotron Saga, Part 1: Cy-Kill's Escape" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Peter Anderegg; teleplay by Peter Anderegg)
  42. "The Gobotron Saga, Part 2: Quest for the Creator" (story by Peter Anderegg, John Loy, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by John Loy)
  43. "The Gobotron Saga, Part 3: The Fall of Gobotron" (story by Peter Anderegg, John Loy, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by John Loy)
  44. "The Gobotron Saga, Part 4: Flight to Earth" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and Peter Anderegg; teleplay by Peter Anderegg)
  45. "The Gobotron Saga, Part 5: Return to Gobotron" (story by Peter Anderegg, John Loy, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Peter Anderegg and John Loy)
  46. "Pacific Overtures" (story by Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward, teleplay by Jina Bacarr)
  47. "Destroy All Guardians" (written by Don Glut)
  48. "Escape from Elba" (written by Lee Yuro and Linda Yuro)
  49. "Fitor to the Finish" (story by Don Glut, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Don Glut)
  50. "Clutch of Doom" (story by Eric Lewald, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Eric Lewald)
  51. "The Third Column" (written by Eric Lewald and Mark Edens)
  52. "A New Suit for Leader-1" (written by Reed Robbins and Peter Salas)
  53. "Renegade Carnival" (written by Carla Conway)
  54. "The Gift" (written by Karen Wilson and Chris Weber)
  55. "Terror in Atlantis" (story by Kelly Ward, Jeff Segal, and Francis Moss; teleplay by Francis Moss)
  56. "The Last Magic Man" (written by Mark Young)
  57. "Braxis Gone Bonkers" (story by Steve DeKorte, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Mark Zaslove)
  58. "Inside Job" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and J. Larry Carroll; teleplay by J. Larry Carroll)
  59. "Element of Danger" (written by Gordon Bressack)
  60. "Mission: Gobotron" (story by Eric Lewald, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward; teleplay by Eric Lewald)
  61. "Et Tu, Cy-Kill" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, Eric Lewald, and Mark Edens; teleplay by Eric Lewald and Mark Edens)
  62. "The GoBots That Time Forgot" (written by John Loy)
  63. "The Secret of Halley's Comet" (written by Lane Raichert)
  64. "Guardian Academy" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, Mark Young, and Lane Raichert; teleplay by Mark Young and Lane Raichert)
  65. "Quest for New Earth" (story by Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward, and John Loy; teleplay by John Loy)

Cast

  • Rene Auberjonois - Dr. Braxis
  • Candy Brown - A.J. Foster (pilot miniseries)
  • Arthur Burghardt - Turbo
  • Ken Hudson Campbell - Van Guard
  • Philip L. Clarke - Dr. Go, Tork
  • Peter Cullen - Pincher, Spoiler, Tank
  • Paul Eiding - Scorp
  • Bernard Erhard - Cy-Kill
  • Dick Gautier - Bugsie, Klaws
  • Phil Hartman - Baron Von Joy
  • Bob Holt - Cop-Tur, Geeper-Creeper
  • Marilyn Lightstone - Crasher, Path Finder
  • Sparky Marcus - Nick Burns
  • Wayne Mathews - General Lindley
  • Gail Matthius - Anya Turgenova
  • Morgan Paull - Matt Hunter
  • Brock Peters - General Newcastle
  • Peter Renaday - Master Renegade
  • Lou Richards, Jr. - Leader-1
  • Bob Ridgely - BuggyMan
  • Leslie Speights - A.J. Foster (regular)
  • B.J. Ward - Small Foot
  • Kelly Ward - Fitor
  • Kirby Ward - Heat Seeker
  • Frank Welker - Scooter, Blaster, Rest-Q, Screw Head, Zeemon

Home media

Various episodes of the show had been released on VHS and Betamax by Vestron Video under its Children's Video Library label in the 1980s.

On May 17, 2011, Warner Archive released Challenge of the GoBots: The Original Miniseries on DVD in Region 1 as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com. On May 6, 2014, Warner Archive released Challenge of the GoBots: The Series, Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1. The three-disc set features the first 30 episodes of the series. The final volume Challenge of the GoBots: The Series, Volume 2, which contains the last remaining 30 episodes of the show, was released on March 10, 2015. The 1984 Ruby-Spears television film, Robo Force: The Revenge of Nazgar, is included as a special feature.

Adaptations

The show spawned an animated, feature-length film GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords which opened in theaters on March 21, 1986, a little over four months before The Transformers: The Movie (August 8). Clips from the show were also used in Errol Morris’s Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. Additional GoBots storyline was later released on the Transformers Facebook pages “Ask Vector Prime” and “Renegade Rhetoric,” with GoBots characters also appearing in storyline from Fun Publications.

Stations

City Station
Albany WXXA 23
Baltimore WBFF 45
Beaumont KBMT 12
Birmingham WTTO 21
Boston WSBK 38
Canton WOAC 67
Charleston WTAT 24
Chicago WFLD 32
Cleveland WUAB 43
Columbus WTTE 28
Dayton WKEF 22
Fresno KAIL 7
Hamilton CHCH 11
Hartford WTIC 61
Houston KHTV 39
Kansas City KSHB 41
Los Angeles KCOP 13
KTLA 5
Madison WMSN 47
Miami WCIX 6
Milwaukee WVTV 18
Minneapolis KITN 29
Nashville WCAY 30
New York WPIX 11
Oakland KTVU 2
Oklahoma City KOKH 25
Orlando WOFL 35
Philadelphia WTXF 29
Phoenix KUTP 10
Pittsburgh WPTT 22
Providence WSTG 64
Reno KAME 21
Sacramento KTXL 40
San Diego XETV 6
Seattle KSTW 11
Spokane KAYU 28
St. Louis KPLR 11
St. Petersburg WTOG 44
Washington, D.C. WDCA 5
Winston-Salem WNRW 45
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