Television is generally a reflection of what is going on in the world at that time. This includes childrens shows. Now that I have kids of my own I am watching a fair amount of kids shows both modern and ones from the 80’s and 90’s. Infact I am watching all of the Transformers series from the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s (Beast Wars) and now Transformers Prime. Each is different in it’s own ways and they are all quite good. Each reflects the time period they were written in.
The original 80’s series, which is the one most people know is very much based around the cold war. There are two sides, one is bad the other is good. The Autobots led by Optimus Prime is a very good guy who only responds to aggressive actions by the Decepticons. The Decepticons are essentially trying to take earths resources and turn them into Energon where by they can go and restore their homeworld Cybertron. In this endeavor they are very aggressive and they are constantly countered by the Autobots. It is very clear who are the good guys, however as the seasons drag on they introduce new elements of new aliens, new worlds, time travel and the like. So it does get away from the whole Cold War motif. Which is interesting cause the Cold War was also drawing to a close towards the end of the series.
Towards the end of the 90’s a new series was introduced using computer animation. This was called Beast Wars. It had two factions Maximals and Predacons. The whole reason behind the war isn’t really fleshed out that well. (Same with the original series). This series has no clearly defined bad guy and also has a love story. It kind of represents the 90’s, there is no real war or bad guy for the US to fight.
The newest series Transformers Prime came out about 3 years ago and is a phenomenal series with a great story line. It takes place more less after the original series of the 80’s. How it ties in exactly is not entirely clear but judging from some of the dialogue and plot cues it does take place after wards. They explain that the reason why the war erupted was over the dispute of energon (that makes sense a war over resources). However, later on the war is explained by saying that Megatron attempted to take over the senate. So the one side supports the senate the other one Megatron. A million years go by and they keep on fighting this war on earth and this time the Autobots are fighting the Decepticons and keeping them from obtaining energon.
I am not going to dig to deep into the story, because it is a children show but in this series versus the original 80’s series Megatron (Decepticons) does not threaten the people of earth. He is trying to gather energon and not bother the people of earth and restart Cybertron. The Autobots are the ones who keep on attacking the Decepticons and interrupting their attempts to leave earth. In fact the Decepticons have an agreement with the governments of earth that they won’t bother them as long as they don’t get in the way. As much as the show is based on real world events what is this show trying to tell you?
This is a good historical break down of the Transformers:
The Star Wars Effect:
War what is it good for?: