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Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an animated television series which aired on Cartoon Network in early 2015. The show made its worldwide debut in late December 2014, with the first 14 episodes released as pay-to-view content on Chinese video streaming website M1905. Set years after Transformers: Prime, it follows Bumblebee as he leads a ragtag group of Autobots back to Earth when Decepticons crash land on the planet.

Overview

Years after the Great War, the Autobot prison ship Alchemor crashes on Earth near Crown City, sparking a mass Decepticon jailbreak. Meanwhile, on a rebuilt Cybertron, war veteran Bumblebee is now working as a street cop, mentoring Cadet Strongarm. Bumblebee is alerted to the danger on Earth by a vision of a ghostly Optimus Prime, who directs them to a nearby space bridge.

300px-TFRID2015promoposter

Bumblebee unwillingly finds himself accompanied to Earth by Strongarm, and the delinquent Sideswipe, where they encounter Fixit, sole caretaker of the former prison ship. They're joined by the ex-Decepticon prisoner Grimlock, human scrapyard owner Denny Clay and his son Russell. Although he's not confident in his leadership abilities, Bumblebee nevertheless pledges to round up the inmates of the Alchemor. Chief among the Decepticon threat is the charismatic Steeljaw, who seeks to organize the escaped prisoners into an effective cabal to conquer the planet.

The first season had a "villain of the week" approach, in which most episodes would follow a pattern: it would feature a new Decepticon foe, usually with an animal-motif, that would prove to be a threat to the Bee Team, only to be taken down by the end of the episode and be placed back into a stasis pod. Most Decepticons featured, barring those who became part of Steeljaw's Pack, had little-to-nothing to do with each other besides being Alchemor immates. Early episodes rarely deviated from this pattern, but this theme was effectively toned down in later seasons when larger, overaching threats came into play.

Most episodes also featured recurring subplots and running-gags focusing on certain characters: Bumblebee's trouble coming up with a rallying cry and trouble leading his team in general, Strongarm and Sideswipe's rivalry with each other, Grimlock's difficulty finding an appropriate Earth disguise (because being a giant metal dinosaur would attract a lot of attention) and Fixit's glitching problem. These smaller stories would often affect the main plot, causing Bee's Team to face additional obstacles in several episodes.

Over the course of the first season, new Autobots bolster the ranks of the team, including the bounty hunter Drift, his two Mini-Cons Jetstorm and Slipstream, the mysterious Windblade, and finally Optimus Prime himself, returned to life by the Thirteen to defeat Megatronus.

Season 2 sees Bumblebee's team split into two groups: an "away team" to search the world for far-ranging Decepticons while Bumblebee, Strongarm, Grimlock, and Fixit hold down the fort near Crown City. Still recovering from his humiliating rout at the hands of Megatronus, Steeljaw allies with a mysterious group of Decepticons led by Saberhorn, Glowstrike and Scorponok, operating out of the crashed Alchemor, which they call "Decepticon Island". True to form, Steeljaw plots to rise through the ranks of this new army and seize control of the group for himself.

The second season features more frequent references to predecessor series Prime in an effort to forge a stronger sense of continuity between the two. Coinciding with this, the season sees the return of multiple regulars from Prime in special guest appearances: Ratchet, now partnered with a silent Mini-Con named Undertone, and Soundwave, still accompanied by Laserbeak. This season also begins to drop the "villain of the week" theme, though it is still present, in favor of having a larger overarching threat in the form of Decepticon Island.

Team Bee (Season 2)

This season was also very toy-driven in that it featured several returning Decepticons from the first season, as well as new Mini-Con and Deployer characters, who had newly received toys. As such, Mini-Cons were also a big focus of this season, with at least one appearing in every episode. Following the Season 2 proper, this trend would continue into a "mini-series" of sorts, referred to as "Season 3" by several official sources before the announcement of a full third season. This six-episode run sees the return of Starscream, who seeks the mysterious Mini-Con Weaponizers, who have reluctantly partnered with a group of Decepticon Scavengers searching Earth for abandoned Cybertronian relics.

The actual Season 3 is titled "Combiner Force". Bumblebee and his crew must harness the power of combination and form Ultra Bee in order to defeat the Stunticons. At the same time, Soundwave has sent a group of Minicons to steal the Bee Team's Decepticon Hunters, with this subplot playing a small background role until the Stunticons are captured and returned to Cybertron by the end of the first half of the season. In order to keep the "Con of the Week" theme present after the Alchemor's departure, caches set up by Windblade after her arrival on Earth contain Decepticons who end up getting free and require recapture. Some filler episodes feature Decepticons who managed to escape the Alchemor before it left Earth. Others feature Decepticons or others coming to Earth due to connections to members of the Bee Team or other reasons, the one exception being Flamesnort who was left on Earth during the Great War. This season also does a first and ties in with the Rescue Bots series by featuring the Rescue Bot Blurr for a few episodes.

Corruption on Cybertron, which had been building up conflict in the background for the entire series and has generally served as a way introduce new characters, seems to finally take the center stage during the second half of the season where mysterious benefactors on Cybertron free Steeljaw and his pack and grant them full pardons. They are sent back to Earth, where they ally with Soundwave and are tasked with capturing the Autobots. Steeljaw and the others make a grand return to Earth by nearly destroying the Scrapyard and forcing the Autobots and Clays to find a new base. By this point, the "villain of the week" approach is only used a few more times, but is otherwise abandoned in favor of having the Autobots face off against recurring teams of enemies such as the Stunticons and then Steeljaw's Pack. The tail end of the season also features the return of Bulkhead from Prime as a temporary ally to the Bee Team.

Team Bee in Trouble

The two-part series finale features the Bee Team returning to Cybertron to fight Steeljaw's benefactors, the new corrupt High Council, who are revealed to be a group of Decepticons disguised as Autobots, led by Cyclonus. The Autobots once again form Ultra Bee to take down the Council's combined form, finally freeing Cybertron. Optimus decides not to lead Cybertron into this new era as he "is a leader of warriors", and decides to leave Ratchet in charge of the new temporary High Council, which is now to be composed of Bulkhead, Windblade and Jazz, while the Bee Team returns to Earth as "ambassadors" to the planet.

Episodes

Season 1

  1. "Pilot (Part 1)"
  2. "Pilot (Part 2)"
  3. "Trust Exercises"
  4. "More than Meets the Eye"
  5. "W.W.O.D.?"
  6. "As the Kospego Commands!"
  7. "Collect 'Em All"
  8. "True Colors"
  9. "Rumble in the Jungle"
  10. "Can You Dig It?"
  11. "Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting!"
  12. "Hunting Season"
  13. "Out of Focus"
  14. "Sideways"
  15. "Even Robots Have Nightmares"
  16. "Some Body, Any Body"
  17. "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing"
  18. "Deep Trouble"
  19. "The Champ"
  20. "The Trouble with Fixit"
  21. "Lockout"
  22. "Similarly Different"
  23. "The Buzz on Windblade"
  24. "Ghosts and Impostors"
  25. "Battlegrounds, Part 1"
  26. "Battlegrounds, Part 2"

Season 2

  1. "Overloaded, Part 1"
  2. "Overloaded, Part 2"
  3. "Metal Meltdown"
  4. "Suspended"
  5. "Cover Me"
  6. "Brainpower"
  7. "Misdirection"
  8. "Bumblebee's Night Off"
  9. "Impounded"
  10. "Portals"
  11. "Graduation Exercises"
  12. "Decepticon Island (Part 1)"
  13. "Decepticon Island (Part 2)"

Season 2.5 (miniseries)

  1. "History Lessons"
  2. "Strongarm's Big Score"
  3. "Pretzel Logic"
  4. "Mighty Big Trouble"
  5. "Mini-Con Madness"
  6. "Worthy"

Season 3: Combiner Force

  1. King of the Hill (Part 1)
  2. King of the Hill (Part 2)
  3. Defrosted
  4. Blurred
  5. Sphere of Influence
  6. Bee Cool
  7. The Great Divide
  8. Get a Clue
  9. Out of the Shadows
  10. Disordered Personalities
  11. Guilty as Charged
  12. The Golden Knight
  13. The Fastest Bot Alive!
  14. Railroad Rage
  15. Combine and Conquer
  16. Moon Breaker
  17. Exiles
  18. Breathing Room
  19. Prepare for Departure
  20. Prisoner Principles
  21. Collateral Damage
  22. Something He Ate
  23. Sick as a Bot
  24. Five Fugitives
  25. Enemy of My Enemy
  26. Freedom Fighters

Shorts

  1. "Fixit Jam"
  2. "To Catch a Phrase"
  3. "Sticky Situation"
  4. "Carjacked"
  5. "Perfect"
  6. "Knock, Knock"
  7. "The Power of Dibs"
  8. "Back and Forth"
  9. "The Tragedy of Slipstream"
  10. "A Level Playing Field"
  11. "Two Plus Two Equals More"

Cast and Characters

Awards and nominations

2016 Daytime Emmy Awards

  • Outstanding Special Class Animated Program

Crew Members

Comic Series

Main article: Transformers: Robots In Disguise Animated

Gallery

Concept Gallery

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Trivia

  • The first episode aired on December 31, 2014 in mainland China, but not Hong Kong. The episodes were also made available in Chinese on website 1905.com, with five-minute previews being free and the whole episodes available for a price.
  • The series shares its name with another Transformers series that premiered in 2001.

Trailer