Today, 8 September 2021, marks 20 years since "Battle Protocol!" premiered on television in the United States.
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These robots in are in your town. Surely they are...
TRANSFORMERS CAR ROBOTS
Through dimensional cracks, the mysterious invader group, the Destrongers, have appeared in the present era of the 21st century. In whole, they are a radical faction of the evil Destron race, of the scattered super-lifeform Transformers. Mecha animals and robots, they use both forms in their onslaught and toy with governments and militaries all around the world. "My name is Gigatron. I am the chosen dictator of the universe. I desire this Earth!" Their purpose is to steal all of Earth's energy. And unite the Transformers under a new order!
"Stop, Destrongers! As long as we Cybertrons exist, your injustice will not be allowed!" Behold! A fire truck! A police car! Shinkansen! All transform into a robot one after the other! The Destrongers are challenged to fight! They are the Transformers of justice, the Cybertron Dimensional Patrol unit. They came after the Destrongers, scanned Earth's vehicles, changed their forms and laid in wait. In the new century's Japan, the fierce battle of Car Robots versus Beast Wars unfolds.
I've lately come to feel that, of the three clip show episodes in this series (Episodes 13, 26, and 35), that 26 and 35 are most applicable continuity-wise when watched in placements earlier than their official ones.
Episode 26 best fits coming immediately after Episode 22, "Sky-Byte Saves the Day". In episode 21, "Landfill", the Decepticons sabotage the Global Space Bridge and, in episode 26, the Autobots are shown to still be working on fixing the damage done to the space bridge in that episode, with the clip show ending with one final test to show for certain that it is back to normal. This poses an issue with how the space bridge is seen being used frequently in episodes 22-25, as though the space bridge had already been repaired. Placing Episode 26 earlier fixes this continuity glitch, but since it also features recap footage from Episode 22, it can't go immediately after Episode 21, so it must instead go right after 22. Doing this also theoretically solves a point of confusion seen in Episode 22, in which Optimus drives from the base to the CGA Tower without ever bothering to use the space bridge to get there sooner. Were the space bridge still being repaired after the events of Episode 21, that would explain Optimus's lack of using it in Episode 22. After all, the only ones who make use of the space bridge in Episode 22 are the Build Team, who have the special authorization to be inside the space bridge whilst it is down for maintenance. Therefore, Episode 26 fits best coming right after 22.
Episode 35 best fits coming right after Episode 27, "The Two Faces of Ultra Magnus". In this clip show, Galvatron is Megatron again and is suddenly interested in both Ultra Magnus and the Matrix, which are treated in this episode as though the presence and relevance of both are recent developments. The latest episode that episode 35 recaps is Episode 27, so it must come no earlier than after that. Meanwhile, from Episode 29 onward, the series shifts Megatron's focus to squarely be on Fortress Maximus and the O-Parts, so his interest in Ultra Magnus and the Matrix in 35 requires that episode to come before 29. Placing 35 before 28 allows that episode to tie in with how 35 ends with Megatron's newfound interest in taking the Matrix from Optimus, as Episode 28 is the only episode in the whole series that could conceivably be viewed as an episode where Megatron's forces attempt to rid Optimus of the Matrix, as Optimus notes during his fight with Scourge in that episode "If Scourge destroys me, he destroys the Matrix as well." It's a bit of a stretch, yes, but another reason to put 35 before 28 is that it also fits better there than coming after 28 since 35's ending with Megatron wanting to take the Matrix from Optimus would jar with 29's beginning with Megatron instead wanting more info about Fort Max probed from Dr. Onishi's mind. Megatron's humiliating defeat in Episode 28 would serve as a decent excuse for him to drop his desire to go after the Matrix since it was by the power of the Matrix that Omega Prime overpowered him in that episode. Thus, Episode 35 can only really be slotted between Episodes 27 and 28.
And, back when I was working on that big RiD terminology project, amidst my noting of the original broadcast order of each episode, I realized that it strongly seems like none of the three clip show episodes were ever intended to be made in the dub in the first place since, aside from the specific episodes that 9/11 either pushed back for redubbing or banned from airing at all (and aside from the oddity of Episode 28's airing a day before 27), every episode that aired in their original order up until the airing of the first clip episode (Episode 13) appears to have been dubbed in their proper chronological order, as though Episode 14 was originally intended to be the very next episode to come after Episode 12. I really get the feeling that Episode 13 only got made when the dubbers saw that the O-Parts were about to become important to the story again pretty soon, but that the first O-Part found in Episode 12 went unnamed in that episode's dub and that Episode 22 (the second one in the O-Parts story arc and the first one in the dub that spoke of the O-Parts' significance) was one of the banned episodes. So aside from the non-sequitur that the O-Parts were presented as in Episodes 24 and 25, the O-Parts were really lacking a proper introduction for the American viewership of the series. So I'm thinking that Episode 13 was put together when it was so as to give viewers some kind of real intro to the O-Parts right before Fort Max came along and made the O-Parts suddenly relevant again.
Then, once the first clip show was made, the dubbers probably felt that that opened the door for more to be made, and figured that they might as well round up the episode count to match the original 39-episode count of Car Robots. Episode 26 was probably made to give viewers a look at Episode 22's events since that episode was banned and featured Landfill's debut. Since Landfill had kinda become a big deal by that point in the series, his appearance in episodes outside of his debut might have confused some viewers as to why everyone in the show acted like they always knew the Build Team could form Landfill when the team's own debut episode, Episode 21, featured the Build Team as complete strangers to Megatron's forces. Episode 26 recapping Landfill's debut in 22 would fill that hole for the viewers who missed out on his proper debut in that banned episode.
Finally, Episode 35's creation was... Well, I honestly can't think of any reason for why this episode was made beyond the aforementioned idea of rounding off the dub's episode count to match that of Car Robots. This episode was the very last one to air in the dub's original broadcast order, and really has nothing to do with any of the series' developments from episodes surrounding this one, so it just feels like an afterthought.