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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Beast Wars Transformers - The Complete Third Season
Beast Wars Transformers - The Complete Third Season
Rhino // Unrated // September 7, 2004
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 12, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

The Beast Wars series concludes with this third season of episodes.  The war between the Predacons and Maximals heats up with new transformer, new bodies and new abilities.

Beast Wars is the story of two races of robots, the good Maximals and the evil Predacons, who are able to transform from their robot form into different animals.  These two races are locked in a constant battle on an alien world as good tries to triumph over evil.

The third season starts off with the conclusion of the cliff hanger from the end of the second season and just keeps going strong from there. The pace seems more rapid, almost frantic in this season, with new transformers being introduced, battles being waged and a few surprises along the way.  The show also seemed a little bit darker in this final season, with more transformers being wounded and killed, and the stakes were higher this time too.  This more serious tone fit the show well, making this season arguably the best one of the show.

That isn't to say that the show was totally serious.  There was still a good amount of  humor.  Waspinator and Rattrap were still good for a laugh, but I really liked that the show was able to laugh at itself, as exemplified by this exchange in the first episode after Optimal gets a new body:

Cheetor: Jumping gyros! Optimus sure learns a new body fast!
Rattrap: Eh, what did you expect? He changes 'em often enough. (Rimshot.)

There were some very good shows in this season.  I particularly like the introduction of Depth Charge in the second episode of the season.  He is a Maximal security officer who has been tracking down Rampage in an effort to gain revenge for an atrocity Rampage committed years ago.  Their final show down at the end of the series was a high point in the season for me.

I also like the two part episode Feral Scream where the Transmetal 2 Dinobot and Cheetor are introduced.  And the final two part show was a great ending to the series, wrapping up a lot of the plot threads, but leaving enough open to lead into the next series, Beast Machines.

The most exciting aspect for many though, is that they tie this show in with the original Transformers series.  The scenes with the original Optimus and Megatron are really fun to watch.
 
Beast Wars is more than just a kids show, which is clear when you compare it to other children's programing of the time.  Beast Wars has a large cast of characters, complex plots with alliances being formed and broken, and a large amount of continuity.  This show gave viewers credit for being able to follow a plot over a number of weeks, and this strong continuity was what makes the show such a classic series.
 
One warning though, if they haven't seen the previous seasons, younger children may be fairly confused at the beginning, though I'm sure they'll latch onto the spirit of the show quickly.

The DVD:


The thirteen episodes that comprise the third season are presented on two DVDs in a folded cardboard case.  There is an insert with a synopsis of each episode included.

Audio:

You have your choice of a stereo or 5.1 mix. The 5.1 was a little more dynamic and had a good amount of punch to it, but the stereo track was adequate. Both sounded good, though the music was occasionally too prominent in the 5.1 mix overpowering the dialog.  The stereo track didn't have this problem.  There was an occasional dropout or two, which I was surprised to hear.  Other than that, there wasn't any distortion of background hiss.

Video:

The full frame video looked very good. The color palate used was darker and contained more earth tones, but they were accurately reproduced.  The image was a little darker than I would have liked, but the images were clear and detailed and the show looks much better than I remember it ever looking.

Extras:

There are only two extras included with this set, but they are pretty cool.  The most interesting one is a ten second deleted scene from the final episode where Optimus Primal reinserts the original Megatron's spark back into his body.  The other extra is the full animatic for the final episode, which is an interesting look at how the show is roughed out before the final animation is preformed.  These two are a little hard to find though.  You can access them from the episode select submenu.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good ending to a fun series.  Beast Wars may have been a marketing tool for Hasbro, but it was also told some good stories without pandering to the lowest common denominator.  Fans of the series show run out and grab a copy.  A high Recommendation.

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