More Than Meets The Eye, Part 1
The narrator tells us that millions of years a go, there is a planet in deep space called Cybertron, which is inhabited by life -but not life as we know it, here, the planet is populated by robots known as Transformers. There are two sides at battle with one another - heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Their war has being going on for many millennia and Cybertron's once rich sources of energy have been drained out.
It's at this point that we see a couple of Autobots - Wheeljack and Bumblebee, who have been trying to find some energy but have only managed to find a few energy sticks which will not last for long. They decide to head back to Iacon, and Wheeljack transforms into his vehicle mode to transport the sticks and Bumblebee back home.
As the two Autobots head back to base, they encounter a Decepticon blockade, who open fire on them. Wheeljack activates some armour to protect himself, but he has a ring of fire placed around him. Bumblebee jumps out and transforms, and then they both charge forward and knock over all of the Decepticons, and continue onward.
Skywarp and Thundercracker transform and take off, and attempt to blast the two Autobots off the road, but despite their best efforts they lose track of them and retreat to go and report back to their leader. As the Autobots finally arrive back home, they fail to see...
...Soundwave transform into his robot mode and sends out Laserbeak to find out what the Autobots are up to. Inside the Autobot base, Jazz reports to Prowl, Trailbreaker and Autobot leader Optimus Prime, telling them that he can't find any energy. Optimus says that if they don't find a new supply of energy soon, no one will win this war, and so the Autobots will go on a search mission to find a new supply of energy.
Having found out what Optimus is going to do, Soundwave recalls Laserbeak and heads back to the Decepticon base to inform Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons. Megatron decides to follow the Autobots and tells Shockwave that whilst he and the other Decepticons are gone, he will leave Cybertron to him. Starscream then complains, saying that the Autobots would have been wiped out eons a go if he'd been in command, but Megatron silences him and tells the other Decepticon to prepare to blast off.
Meanwhile the Autobots have their ship prepped and a group of them are inside it. Jazz says that they're ready to go and Optimus launches the ship, which takes off and heads into space. But Megatron and a group of Decepticons are ready to launch to and a second or so after the Autobots launch, the Decepticons take off after them.
Trouble appears before the Autobots when Prowl notices that two asteroids are heading straight towards each other. The asteroids slam into each other and break up into many pieces and both Autobot and Decepticon ships are forced to head through the debris, but both ships start to take damage. Optimus gets Ironhide to use the ship's main laser cannon...
...to cut through all of the asteroids. This protects the ship, but the Decepticons also survive by following right behind the Autobots, and soon they are right alongside them as they pull out of the asteroids. A boarding chute is sent out to link the two ships together, and Megatron orders the Decepticons to board the Autobot ship. Optimus gathers all of the Autobots together to get ready to fight the invaders.
The two sides battle each other but it doesn't last for long as everyone notices that the ships are losing control and are being pulled down to a world below. The Decepticon ship breaks away from the Autobot ship, and both of them plummet downward.
The Autobot ship heads straight towards a volcano and crashes straight into it. Every robot onboard is deactivated in the crash, and for four million years nothing is seen of these Transformers again. Until...
...the dormant volcano mysteriously erupts, and part of it breaks away to reveal part of the Autobot ship. This also manages to kick-start the ship's computer into action, which sends out a sky-spy to explore this new world and to upgrade the Transformers.
Sky-spy starts to scan various objects on the planet and sends back the information to the ship's computer, which then goes about repairing Transformers. The first one it repairs is Skywarp, who's transformation mode is upgraded into an F-15 fighter jet. Skywarp transformers back to his robot mode and then revives Megatron.
All of the other Decepticons onboard the ship are revived and given new Transformation modes, and then Megatron leads them outside to see where they are, exactly. Megatron says that they are on a planet far away from Cybertron and that this planet has all of the energy resources they need to return home and conquer their home planet forever. Skywarp says that they don't even know if Cybertron still exists anymore but Megatron simply says it must, and then the Decepticons head out. Starscream can't help but fire off a few quick blasts at the volcano to cover up the Autobot ship even more though.
However this action causes Optimus Prime's body to fall into the repair beam, and the computer starts to rebuild him. Sky-spy scans a truck and this becomes Prime's new transformation mode, and soon Optimus stands back up. So if it wasn't for Starscream the Decepticons would have been able to get away with it all.
Meanwhile the Decepticons find a location to set up a temporary base of operations, and Megatron tells Soundwave to prepare plans to build a new ship they can use to head back to Cybertron. He then tells Starscream to go and find materials to build their new base and ship, and Soundwave spots a power plant they can use. Soundwave ejects Rumble to help out and the three of them head towards the plant.
Back at the Autobots ship, Optimus has revived all of the others and goes over the situation they are in with them. This planet they are now on is rich in energy sources, but the Decepticons will also know this and will start to plunder it. Optimus sends out Hound to find out what the Decepticons are up to, and Cliffjumper requests to go too, so they head off.
Starscream and chums reach the power plant, and Starscream and Rumble have some small talk on whether or not Starscream will ever be the Decepticon leader. Rumble then uses his pile driver arms to cause an earth quake which knocks the power plant apart so the Decepticons can use parts of it to create their new base and ship.
Hound and Cliffjumper soon find the Decepticons and see that they are constructing a new base. Hound listens in to find out that Megatron plans to plunder the Earth's energy sources and that they are also constructing a new ship to take them home. Cliffjumper suddenly pulls out a giant laser cannon out of nowhere and shoots at the Decepticons, who have no idea who it is firing at them but they quickly guess that it must be the Autobots.
Soundwave sends out Laserbeak to find out what's attacking the Decepticons, and chases after the two Autobots, who make a break for it back to the Autobot ship. Cliffjumper manages to get away but Hound gets blasted and falls off a ledge. Later of Cliffjumper gets Hauler and Autobot medic Ratchet to help lift Hound up and get him back to base.
Now they know that the Autobots are alive, guard duty is stepped up around the Decepticon camp and Thundercracker uses Reflector to find out what an object is which is heading towards the plant the Decepticons destroyed earlier. Thundercracker takes a picture and believes that the orange object could be an Autobot and reports his findings back to Megatron, who has Soundwave send out Ravage to investigate. Meanwhile the mysterious object is just a truck. Two workers get out of it to see what's happened to the plant...
...and then Ravage attacks them, but they both manage to get back inside their truck and drive off.
Laserbeak has found a place where the Decepticons can make energy and so Megatron leads them all to it, which turns out to be an oil rig. The humans there - including Sparkplug Witwicky and Spike Witwicky - all get knocked off into the sea whilst the Decepticons start to make energon cubes, but Megatron tells Starscream that this is just the start and they'll suck the planet dry before heading home.
The Autobots then arrive having somehow found out where the Decepticons are and start to fight them, but the Decepticons simply grab as many energon cubes as they can and fly off.
Megatron then destroys the oil rig and heads back to base, leaving Optimus and the Autobots in the sea. Seeing that all the humans are in danger, Optimus attempts to save them but can't life up the piece of debris that Spike and Sparkplug are caught in as the entire site continues to burn up. And that's it for the first episode of Transformers ever.
When the Decepticons attack Wheeljack and Bumblebee on Cybertron, they all look like Starscream but have different colours, including this guy:
e-Hobby released a toy of this generic character, calling him Sunstorm, in 2003.
Fans have wondered what Soundwave's alt-mode is on Cybertron, with most guessing that he's a lamp post. There's an identical lamp post on the other side of him in the episode, which could be another Soundwave, who knows.
"Hauler" is only featured in this episode for the briefest amount of time, and never speaks or transforms. Who he is meant to be exactly is a bit of a mystery, but Cliffjumper does call him by name. It's possible that it's Grapple, a character who will not appear until the next season of Transformers.
The Autobots can fly in these early episodes, this gets changed later on.