Featured TV on DVD Review: Transformers: Prime: Season Two
November 17th, 2012
The second season of Transformers: Prime comes out in this week on DVD and next week on Blu-ray. I have no idea why. It would make more sense to reverse those two release dates, that way fans would be given an extra reason to pay more for the Blu-ray. Does the series continue the strong run it started in season one? If so, is the Blu-ray worth the extra money?
Season two begins with One Shall Stand, which I previously reviewed. After that mini-series, we get to Operation: Bumblebee, Part 1, where M.E.C.H. knocks out Bubblebee and steals his T-Cog, which is the organ that allows him to transform. While the Autobots try to get it back, or figure out a way to make a new one, we learn a little bit about Bubblebee's back story. Wheeljack is back in Loose Cannons. Wheeljack is the only Transformer from my original collection I still have (I have since added to that collection.) Megatron finally grows tired of Airachnid's duplicity, so he tries to have her killed in Crossfire. She and Starscream join forces, an alliance that lasts all of three seconds.
Disc two starts with Nemesis Prime, in which M.E.C.H. manages to clone Optimus Prime, and the real Optimus Prime is blamed for the damage the clone inflicts. The next episode, Grill, Agent Fowler has to explain what really happened to the general, who doesn't believe his version of events. Nemesis, the Decepticons' flagship, is the center of the next two episodes, as it is attacked by Airachnid and Starscream while Bulkhead is stuck on board. It then crashes and in Flying Mind Megatron tries to repair it using Dark Energon. It should come as no surprise that this turns out to be a bad idea. The next four episodes are all based on trying to retrieve Cybertron relics that were in the Iacon database. It is here that we start to run into spoilers for the season. Some of them major spoilers. (There are new characters introduced, as well as some major deaths.)
Transformers Prime remains the best Transformers series since Beast Wars. Some of the aspects are even better than the original series. For instance, the humans here are better integrated into the plot than they were in the original series. There are some things that are weaker. For instance, there are far fewer characters and many that are introduced are quickly eliminated either by being killed outright, or relegated to guest status. This does mean the characters we do have are given a lot more time to develop, but I still miss characters like Jazz and Grimlock. There is a very good mix of standalone episodes and ones that flow into larger storylines, while the balance of drama and actions is as strong as it was in season one.
The first extra is a 23-minute roundtable / recap of season two. There is also a 28-minute interview featurette on the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen. That's only two extras, but it is more than 50 minutes in total.
The technical presentation is solid, for a TV on DVD release. The level of detail is good, as are the colors and contrast. However, there's some banding and compression issues. Nothing significant, but they are there. The audio is likewise good. The dialogue is clear with good separation and the surround sound speakers are used to create a more enveloping experience.
On the downside, the Blu-ray is much more expensive than the DVD, more than twice as expensive on Amazon.com. That is too much more expensive given what you get.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Filed under: Video Review