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Anonymous writes...

i remeber reading in the archives that you pitched a premise for transformers in the 80s. when you say premise do you mean like a story arc or single episode. do you remeber what your idea was? be interested to hear what you would have done with that universe.

Greg responds...

Cary Bates and I pitched five separate springboards for individual episodes. No arcs.

Here's one:

Transformer Premise
by Bates and Weisman

After endless study of Transformer programming specifications, Quarto Quintesson, a young programmer-artist has designed a construct that has a 97% probability of starting a devastating war between the Decepticons and the Autobots.

The Quintessons send a few Sharkticons to one of Saturn's moons. The Sharkticons drop off the construct and retreat. Earth sensors detect the Sharkticon intrusion. Rodimus Prime, Spike, Blurr and Bumblebee are in the vicinity on a diplomatic mission. They pause to investigate. Arriving on the moon, they discover the construct. The construct is a small crystalline "sculpture" on a rotating stand. The "sculpture" looks like an over-sized three-dimensional micro-chip. As it turns on its stand, colored light refracts through the crystals and a soft music is played.

Spike says: "Hey, it's like an old-fashioned music box!" But it takes him a few seconds to realize that the Autobots are absolutely entranced by the beauty that they perceive in the "Ultrachip".

Cut to Chaar, where Quarto has arrived to seek an audience with the mad leader Galvatron. He informs Galvatron of the mysterious Ultrachip that all Transformers will desire, but that the Autobots will attempt to keep from the Decepticons. Cyclonus suggests that such an Ultrachip might help Galvatron consolidate his rule over the divisive Decepticons. Galvatron is infuriated at the suggestion that he needs any help and attacks Cyclonus but then unpredictably changes his mind and sends Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps to appropriate the Ultrachip.

Meanwhile, on Saturn's moon, Spike is explaining the concept of art to the Autobots, who like eternal soldiers, have never had the time to think about such things before. Spike accesses computer hologram records of various earth masterpieces...Rodin's The Thinker, Warhol's Soup Can, Bisin's Quantum Lady, etc. None has any real effect on the Autobots. The Ultrachip, however, is something new and wonderful to them.

And then Cyclonus and the Sweeps attack. The Autobots defend themselves, and the Ultrachip is momentarily forgotten, until the Decepticons get a good look at it. They too are mesmorized by its beauty. Without truly understanding why and having little to do with Galvatron's orders, they know that they must have it at any cost. The Autobots feel the same.

Spike pulls Rodimus aside and asks whether this "music box" merits all this trouble. Rodimus must explain that to Transformers, there can be no greater prize. Nevertheless, he offers Cyclonus a compromise. The Ultrachip will be left in a neutral location, where both Autobot and Decepticon can admire it. Cyclonus refuses the offer. Only the Decepticons may gaze upon the Ultrachip. Blurr in turn says that only the Autobots will be allowed to admire it.

Watching on his viewscreen, Quarto is practically gleeful, soon this skirmish will escalate into a full fledged war.

The battle continues. And the fragile Ultrachip is nearly destroyed by the conflict. Rodimus makes the extremely difficult decision to let Cyclonus take the Ultrachip. Better that the Decepticons get it, than that such beauty should be destroyed. Thus the Quintessons' latest plot is foiled by Rodimus' reason and compassion.

Cyclonus takes the Ultrachip back to Chaar and gives it to Galvatron, who orders everyone to clear his chamber. When he is alone, the mad leader destroys the Ultrachip...(or maybe he doesn't).

And on Cybertron, Kup is talking to Rodimus about the Ultrachip: "Too bad the Decepticons got it, we got a raw deal!"

But Rodimus opens a door, where we see Bumblebee, playing with crystals, constructing his own personal artistic Ultrachip, and Rodimus points out, "They may have gotten the chip, but we got the inspiration."

Now, before ANYONE posts questions about this premise, please keep in mind that this was TWENTY-SIX years ago. I remember NOTHING more than what you see above. NOTHING.

Response recorded on July 17, 2012