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The Original Transformers
Season 3 Part 2 & Season 4

Review by Jeffrey M. Jacobson. (March 21, 2004)

Transformers is ™ Hasbro and Takara. Transformers Program content: ©Sunbow Productions, Inc.

Video

As with the other Transformers sets, these DVDs were made from a 35mm film transfer. The video could have looked better if it were less compressed, and Rhino could have used less compression if they used their disc space more efficiently.

Audio

The audio options are pretty much the same as with the previous set. The "Original Broadcast Audio" track, as well as a 5.1 and 2.0 track with added sound effects that I would never want to listen to. This time around the Original Broadcast Audio is now the default audio track! Unfortunately, the other tracks are still there wasting space.

Extras

The extras on this set are very disappointing. There are only two extra features on this set, and only one of them is not a waste of disc space. Since none of the extras are even listed on the packaging, I would have to guess that they didn't spend much time on them at all, and just threw them together at the last minute.

Extras that Rhino should have included (on any of the TF sets), but didn't:

Rhino had plenty of room left on the last disc of this set for some more extras. Here are some things that they could have included. (These suggestions were also included on a list that I e-mailed to Rhino before their season 1 set came out.)

Other

Disc space used inefficiently

Discs 1 and 2 each contain seven episodes, while disc 3 contains three episodes, a pointless re-editing of the same three episodes, and an interview. There are much better ways to use the extra space on the third disc than putting "The Rebirth" on the disc twice! There are the potential extra features I listed earlier. Even if for some reason it was impossible for them to include any of those potential extras I listed, there still are better ways to use that extra space on the last disc.

The first two discs in this set have about two hours and 39 minutes of matierial, with seven episodes per disc. The third disc (without the duplicate "The Rebirth") has only three episodes and one interview, which is about one hour and 27 minutes worth of material.

A better use of disc space would be to put six episodes per disc on the first two disc, and the last five episodes and the interview on the third disc. This way the first two discs would have about two hours, 16 minutes of material, and the third would have two hours, 12 minutes. With less material on the first two discs, the video would not need to be as compressed and would look better. (And even less compression would be needed if they would include only the original audio track and ditch the other two audio tracks.)

Disc 1Disc 2Disc 3
Disc Contents (actual arrangement)
  1. Ghost in the Machine (0:22:43)
  2. Dweller in the Depths (0:22:42)
  3. Nightmare Planet (0:22:38)
  4. The Ultimate Weapon (0:22:46)
  5. The Big Broadcast of 2006 (0:22:43)
  6. The Quintesson Journal (0:22:43)
  7. Only Human (0:22:43)
total: 2:38:58
  1. Call of the Primatives (0:22:42)
  2. Grimlock's New Brain (0:22:43)
  3. Money is Everything (0:22:43)
  4. The Face of Nijika (0:22:42)
  5. The Burden Hardest to Bear (0:22:39)
  6. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1 (0:22:43)
  7. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2 (0:22:43)
total: 2:38:55
  1. The Rebirth, Part 1 (0:22:43)
  2. The Rebirth, Part 2 (0:22:44)
  3. The Rebirth, Part 3 (0:22:44)
  4. The Rebirth Parts 1-3 (again) (1:01:09)
  5. Interview with David Wise (0:18:35)
total: 2:05:55
total (without duplicate material): 1:26:46
Disc 1Disc 2Disc 3
Disc Contents (better arrangement)
  1. Ghost in the Machine (0:22:43)
  2. Dweller in the Depths (0:22:42)
  3. Nightmare Planet (0:22:38)
  4. The Ultimate Weapon (0:22:46)
  5. The Big Broadcast of 2006 (0:22:43)
  6. The Quintesson Journal (0:22:43)
Total: 2:16:15
  1. Only Human (0:22:43)
  2. Call of the Primatives (0:22:42)
  3. Grimlock's New Brain (0:22:43)
  4. Money is Everything (0:22:43)
  5. The Face of Nijika (0:22:42)
  6. The Burden Hardest to Bear (0:22:39)
Total: 2:16:12
  1. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1 (0:22:43)
  2. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2 (0:22:43)
  3. The Rebirth, Part 1 (0:22:43)
  4. The Rebirth, Part 2 (0:22:44)
  5. The Rebirth, Part 3 (0:22:44)
  6. Interview with David Wise (0:18:35)
  7. The Rebirth Parts 1-3 (again) (1:01:09)
Total: 2:12:08