The second season of Transformers Generation One is the only one of the four seasons to not have something truly climatic or high-stake for a season finale, concluding on one of the worst entries in the series in “B.O.T”. The series bridged the gap between seasons two and three with the movie (or Scramble City and the Movie in some markets), and that feature was later broken up into parts for syndication.
I figured I’d give the second season something of a high-note to end on, so I took twenty or so minutes of the movie (the majority of the first act), using the 30th anniversary blu-ray and repurposed them to function as a standalone season two finale.
-Upscaled Transformers G1 season two intro and end credits added at the beginning and end -Transformers G1 commercial bumpers inserted upon a shot fading to black -No appearances or hints of Unicron
Upon activation, it could see all that was tangled and untangled through time, through days to come and all the love of long ago.
It saw the births of every hero, every monster, the cause and solution to greater and greater conflict.
But The Moment could not see an end in sight to this.
This war across time was waged with tremendous ferocity, and it had broken every conventional rule that had been put in place long before the conception of our latest reality.
For if there was to be an advantage, a victory, a step forward, it would be all too easy for a disagreeable to take two steps back through the passage of time and ensure the win would be in error, that it required an intervention, a rewrite.
History was written by the victors, but now it could be spoiled by the losers.
It was in a position where it could stand in judgement of them all, but it was not its place to determine who died. The Moment could only guilt those who can live with the cost of a most heinous of deeds.
Yes, more heinous than the constant revisions of countless lives.
The judgment would be reserved for one who would deny the young and the bold a constant of time.
The future. Their future.
Everything has potential, and the children were always so full of that.
Born into the universe, no immediate need for the touch of resurrection, carrying with them their old and outdated ideas, ready to inflict them on the disenfranchised.
The children were always the true leaders, those with bold and ambitious ideas, no matter what you thought of them, no matter how bitter the disagreements or the manner in which they judged you and the ways in which you were taught, it was they who would shape their world and the universe around them for better or worse. They had as much right to making mistakes, and correcting them.
The future was always changing, and nothing spoke to this more than what shaped this war.
For here, the enemy of the future, the blight of change, was change itself.
The children needed to stand, they needed to be counted.
The Moment was at a loss at what to do, who could spend what remains of their lifetime tallying up the cost of these inhuman actions by Time Lord and Dalek alike?
It broadened the scope of its search, expanded itself beyond time’s horizon and looked deeper, past the burning, towards the time of the fateful crossfire.
The Moment Before had reached out to The Moment After, and found the lack of response concerning.
It wasn’t expected.
So many voices being shared telepathically, channelled across the entire spectrum of the time and space vortex, they could open as many doors as The Moment could, see everything it could.
None of them had the time for The Moment or its plight though, save one.
Something distinct, something that set itself apart from what the remainder.
A constant in time.
And it sounded Northern.
“I know you’re scared, I know you have no reason to trust me, trust any of us, but it’s far from being all over, you know that. Nothing is ever over, everything ends, then it begins, we all go on to be somebody else, sometimes we tire, sometimes we give in, but everything that gives us pause in life is just that, it’s of a moment, and the immediate moment just as important as the moment before or after, they inform who we are in between the past and the present, and from there, we contribute to the constant of time, we dedicate our all to the betterment of the future”
The words flowed like a river, replenishing the Moment Before, bedazzling it almost, it was like magic.
“And for my next trick…” the Northerner uttered, pulling the curtain back by throwing a switch on his TARDIS console.
In the heat of the immediate moment, his past self could tangibly feel the burn.
The unwavering sensation of intense conflict, the pressure to do what was right, and the almost remarkably disenfranchised fatigue was steadily compelling The Doctor of War to answer the call of the higher Gods.
He’d done enough by now surely? One last miracle to perform and he could be done with it all, he could return to Time, who had bestowed him the honour of being it’s champion, in triumph. He could ascend and settle into long overdue retirement.
Another shudder sent him reeling back, thrown across the console room and into the back of the roundels.
In agony, he reached for the back of his neck and checked for any creaks.
His TARDIS buckled as it took a direct hit from the Dalek saucers as they converged on his location. A small laser guided time shift missile found its mark and cut its mark deep on the right side of the ship, throwing the Doctor of War off course.
Worse was to come, the forty-eighth Death-Watch battalion of Goth had eluded the sealing of the white point breach and was headed straight towards a vulnerable Gallifrey, bursts of blazing molten flame lit up its sails.
The TARDIS was headed directly towards it, the navigational systems knackered, the breaks faulty, nothing could hope to prevent the collision.
The Doctor of War braced himself for a swift end.
And then, from out of nowhere, another TARDIS shunted his own out of the way, attracting the ire of the Battalion.
They opened fire on the two ships with electrically charged balls of wild energy, but the Northerner’s TARDIS drew them towards a hovering Dalek battle station, and shot upwards, timing it just right so the energy blasts connected with the station and reduced it to a smouldering heap ablaze in space.
Like kicking open a hornet’s nest, it produced the desired effect, as teems of escaping Daleks swarmed out and surrounded the Battalion, which launched as much of its own against them. A whole war in itself was waged within minutes and both sides became far too preoccupied with one another to concern themselves with two of the thirteen or so similar looking time and space craft that had been the catalyst for their conflict.
“Finish those calculations Odin” the Northern Doctor instructed.
“Odin? I’d have settled for a more common label like ‘old man’, not some lofty comparison of which I am far too undeserving of” The Doctor of War spoke, tinged with self guilt.
“I’m never as old as I think I am, even when I look at it. You and I? We’re timeless, we’re The Doctor again, always have been, always will be”
The Doctor of War carried the heart of The Moment with him, its rhythm substituting for his own; he blessed the Moment that was for showing him exactly the future he needed to see.
The Northern Doctor’s thoughts reached through the recesses of time again.
“Yes, you over there? You did this, or maybe by my telling you, I did this, another constant of time is it can get very complicated. You told me one day I would count all the children, and one day I would see what it would do to me. I won’t retain the memory; all that will remain is the moment before. I need you to be the Moment after, so I can continue to be defined by new things. To grow, to change, to be different people all through my lives, and continue to be defined as the one constant throughout time, its champion”
The Moment Before became in this instance the Moment to Come, and requested further instruction on how to best approach The Doctor before.
“There’s a girl, only just met her really, popped out for a moment or two after I got the summons to preserve Gallifrey…nice lass, blonde hair, tall, sporty, sassy, made a terrible choice in a boyfriend, you’d like her, take her form if you like, give me something to notice, something to look out for on a subconscious level, as I won’t retain the surface memory. If it helps with the nudge, look into her history; don’t be afraid to turn the pages beyond my lifetime…see all the moments that are to come. It’s bound to be fantastic“
The Immediate Moment could feel itself being stripped from the Omega Arsenal, taken into a TARDIS, and taken into the desert wilderness of Gallifrey, towards the homestead of the Doctor of War, perched on a bed of hay, her abductor performing mental gymnastics on how to operate it.
The final pieces of the puzzle were slotting into place just as a firm foundation of the jigsaw came unglued
The Doctor’s home had been infiltrated, a sneak attack from his treacherous foe The Master, now in possession of a Deathworm Morphant, he had broken free from the confines of a prison box and had snidely slid underneath the console. He, or rather now it, was now choking the life out of the heart of the machine. Dancing across the console were lively and dangerously explosive sparks that threatened The Doctor with electrocution or worse upon each attempt to approach the controls.
The enemy from within had struck, and there was now much disharmony.
For The Doctor, this was a test unlike any other.
Across the echoes of unretainable memory, he could feel them, the commotion of his past and future selves, even a younger take on his present, urging him to finish his end of the calculations required to preserve Gallifrey and spare it from the final phase of the great Time War that threatened to sever all strands in the greater tapestry of time.
For The Doctor, concentration was paramount, he knew he had to act swiftly, and be quick about it. He had to find a means of expelling The Master, bring the TARDIS to order, and complete his mission for himself and all of Time Lord Society.
This was a showdown, high noon, high stakes.
He had to be the fastest gun in the west. He had to shoot first.
He swiftly commenced the action, dancing around the right side of the console, stabilising co-ordinates, remaining solidly within the orbit of the Rassilon Era just long enough to cross the boundaries dividing one world from another, creating the bridge from which to phase the planet and it’s people successfully within a pocket of reality that would protect them from the Daleks, for a time.
Oh how The Master had tried to bring the ship firmly under his/it’s heel, but there was no stopping the grit and determination of its pilot, if this were to be the end of his Seventh life, he would treat this crisis like it weren’t any such thing at all.
Towards the end of your life, things become quite clear to you. You make up for old mistakes, only to be born anew and face fresh ones. A crisis enables you to find purpose again, and above all other things, a chance for some small measure of redemption.
His thoughts turned to Ace’s dying words, in the precious few seconds before Dorothy stepped somewhere over the rainbow, with his reassurance the only thing she could carry with her.
Professor…we did good didn’t we?
Yes Ace. We did good.
The Doctor lowered the monitor to the left of him, the familiar ring of the cloister bell emitted from the ship, and his sense of euphoria was swiftly shrouded by two words that could break his very hearts if he’d let it.
“Oh no” he quietly said in a greatly diminished and sorrowful manner.
To his credit, The Doctor would not give his own lingering doubts any true satisfaction, or a hold over his senses; he would approach this end with the dignity of a Prydonian
He completed his end of the monumental task just as a sharp jolt threw the TARDIS off course and plunged it back into the tides of time, on a collision course with Earth as it prepared to make an emergency landing.
The Doctor marched across the TARDIS corridors with militant bluster, heading towards the chamber where he had kept the box containing The Master in isolation, only when he viewed its remains, noting it had been shattered from the inside, did he let the full weight of the reality to come overtake him.
The TARDIS descended through the time and space vortex, its mission to preserve Gallifrey temporarily put on hold, until the next life and the next phase of calculations.
Another time, another place, and another Doctor.
As the cloister bell tolled and the TARDIS descended on to Earth at the turn of the 21st century, in the year 1999, as his seventh life drew closer to its close, The Doctor thought back to those first conscious thoughts of the end to come, twice upon a time.
The aroma of fresh cotton and lavender was the first scent Charles ‘Chuck’ Brown sensed as his evening-long slumber came to an end with the advent of morning.
He watched as his fiancée, Pamela Islay, slowly rise and step out of her vine hammock to the right of him, stretching her arms and letting out a purring yawn that made his toes curl.
She made him want to get up and make something of the day, like always.
But he knew how different this day was going to be, and took his time by laying in bed for a few extra minutes than was normal for him.
Pamela sensed his trepidation, and, curious, slid onto the bed and curled up beside him, her arms sliding comfortably around his sides. She gently leaned her head over to the top of his own and touched the top of his scalp with gentle kisses.
“Are we feeling a little lazy today?” she said, playfully.
“Just need time to think” Charles assured her.
“Time to think, but no time for me? Should I be jealous of your own mind?” Pam teased
Charles didn’t answer; he was very much lost in himself.
Pam soundly huffed and got up; she examined herself in the mirror.
“My hair’s all over the place” Pam said, looking into a mirror and it examining her rather dishevelled locks.
“I like it. Looks rosy”
Pam smiled, and waltzed over to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast.
Charles mulled over his private thoughts for another ten minutes before getting up, he also took a hard look at himself in the reflection of the mirror, taking note of a stubble and a small zit.
“Here we go” he whispered to himself, popping the zit and rubbing his eyes gently, before heading over to the kitchen where Pamela had made herself some cereal, she struggled to eat a spoonful in one hand, and trying to get a hair comb out of her locks in another.
“Here, let me” he said, taking the brush from her hands and helping to gracefully comb and straighten her hair.
“So…you ready to talk?” he said.
“Talk about what? The big day?” Pamela said, examining the studded engagement ring on her finger and melted at the sight of it.
“It’s a big day for something” Chuck said, finishing up, and putting some bread in the oven.
“So size it up for me then” Pam asked, curious as to what he meant.
“This is the day we decide whether this is all worthwhile or not” Charles revealed.
Pam anxiously giggled, kind of understanding what the point was, but hesitant to contemplate that consequences for her actions were taking root.
“What is silly?” she asked.
Pam was starting to sense the resilient anguish and disappointment in his voice, it wasn’t pleasing to hear.
“Don’t be ridiculous, of course we’re worth it, we’re worth every bit of it”
“Depends on who you mean by ‘us’ Pam. You and me, or you and her“
“Her?” Pam asked.
Charles bit his lip hard before uttering the name neither wanted to bring up at this most crucial of eleventh hours.
Pam’s inner frustrations boiled over, she didn’t want to get this riled up so early in the morning. She buried her head deep in her hands.
“Oh, I wish this were just a bad hair day, I’m not lucky enough for it to be just a bad dream”
“You’re lucky to have me” said Kite, taking the toasted bread out of the oven and calmly spreading the butter on it, he placed both on a table and gently sat next to her.
“It’s for you, take it” he said.
Pam stared at the toast, and then stared back at her half-eaten bowl of cereal.
“Bit late to make an impression like that” she said.
“Hey, I was late getting up” he said.
Pam appreciated how little tension there was between them, especially in light of all that had happened.
“Charles…listen, Harley and I…what we did together, it was just of the moment, that’s all, something wild and crazy, the sort of thing somebody like her does, all I did was spend another day in her world, I knew I had to come right back to ours, you can understand that right?”
Charles wished he could tell her he did, but it’d hurt them more if he’d lied.
“There’s a difference between denial and acceptance Pam, I’d understand better if we both picked the latter”
The longer the conversation furthered down an uncomfortable path, Pam’s aroma changed to that of a cool unflappable fougere, sauvage
She figured it was an attempt to deflect from the talk, to maybe give him pause before he said something that made her feel further out of step, he did not seem to be budging.
She found herself steadily compelled to agree with him.
“Ok, I’ll level, she drives me crazy, y’know? She’s eccentric, conflicted, troubled, but you should see her rise above and beyond that every day Charles, she’s warm, and funny, radiant even…when we touched, when we kissed, it was like bathing in the white hot glow of the sun” she confessed
She looked back at Charles, who was visibly hurt.
“I feel like this is how anxious Prometheus gets when he flies too close to where you are, everything wilts away and you’re left without wings” he replied.
“But you don’t, when you hold me close and take me into the clouds, I see all the colours in the wind, I see the aura of rainbows, there’s magical sights, you see them every day, all while I take root firmly on the ground. I wish you to fly me there forever, to defy the law of gravity. To uproot me and show I don’t have to keep my feet on the soil. I serve Mother Nature, but you? You hang ten with god in the heavens every day; no woman worth a percentage in life can resist that opportunity”
She leaned over to Charles and kissed him softly on the lips, gently caressing his head in her arms.
“Oh my poor baby, do you want me to choose? Is that it? Because you know who it’ll be”
“I want you to be happy Pam, and I see only one way we could be together…and that’s if Harley’s along for the ride” Charles proposed.
“What do you mean?” Pam asked.
“Polyamory” Charles finished.
Pam slipped back in her chair, gobsmacked.
“Won’t lie to you Chuck, that comes with complications all its own” she admitted.
“I don’t see a downside, we’d be the talk and toast of the town, just imagine the grin we’d permanently wipe of the Joker’s grin”
“He’s sort of moved on himself Chuck” Ivy corrected him.
“Yeah, ain’t that a punch line…but we’re no joke Pam, neither are you and Harley, and if you have to hold onto her, I’m willing to hold onto her too. So long as I keep you close”
“Chuck, what if this leads to favouritism? One side in the relationship being more territorial?”
“You really think Harley would be as possessive as that?”
“I’m counting on it” Pamela cautioned.
“Then we’ll just have to risk
“So how does this work? Do we add her name to the marriage licence, or she meant to just be the mistress? I don’t want her to just be an option here, far as I’m concerned, she’s family and we need to accommodate her”
“Sounds like a busy few days, but one thing I can count on with you Pam, is that you know when to be all business with your personal life. Harley won’t be in the way, and I don’t mind if you want spend your wilder nights with her, it’ll give me time to catch up on my studies of Leo Tolstoy”
“Maybe you could read to Harls and me on the rain check days?”
“You think a little downtime with the Kitester is just as exciting?”
“There’s plenty of ways to make it an exotic night in, and we’d all have smiles at the end, trust me. And if Harley doesn’t like it, she can always water the plants”
“That’s what I was counting on with you Pam…When complications take root, all you do is blossom”
“Marry me as soon as you can Kite” Pam uttered, her aroma switching to lavender and vanilla with hints of cedar.
I love Friends, but for me it went on way too long and I sort of tuned out around season six, coming back for the last ever season. I still kept track of it in all that time though and I’m glad I stopped out when I did as the plots just got more and ridiculous, Joey got dumber, Ross and Rachel just would not settle with one another despite having a child. Only Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe seemed to come out of the whole thing largely unscathed. and developed organically and with less convolution.
So I figured, having watched the whole series lately and realised absolutely nothing from season six through to the end of season ten was worth exploring for some characters, I would bring the series to an end with season five’s “The One In Vegas”, using the absolute bare minimal of “The Last One” bolted on at the end, complete with a “Five Years Later” card. The last scene of Friends doesn’t actually reference any real developments from the last few series and exists as an island onto itself. Monica and Chandler having adopted kids isn’t really a concern as you can just assume they had them in the ensuing five years anyway.
So there you go. Ross and Rachel get drunk, get married, you can presume Chandler and Monica don’t chicken out of their own Vegas wedding, very little to do with Phoebe’s lurker sub plot or Joey’s identical hand twin stupidity (it’s referenced, but we don’t see much of it). This is the one to end it all!