Where are they now: Transformers



Olly Lennard ties up the loose ends of cartoons, and then does kinky things to them.
This week: Transformers

In a darkened garage in Tokyo in 1984, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Kit from Knight Rider and Herbie engaged in a bout of Castrol-lubricated auto-erotica, and nine months later the Transformers were born. With not one of them achieving over ten miles to the gallon these shape-shifting robots were among the most environmentally destructive traffic hazards ever to save the world. The noble Autobots battled the wicked Decepticons ostensibly to protect humanity, though behind the scenes the real reason for the dispute was that the Autobots were insured by the AA, and the Decepticons by Direct Line.

In the original Japanese cartoon the leader of the Autobots, the subtly named Optimus Prime, was a wise and compassionate leader: very much the Barack Obama of the giant robot world. Contrastingly, his nemesis Megatron (on formal occasions Emperor Megatron, Supreme Decepticon Destruction Commander Strongest Might!) resembled a mechanical Peter Mandleson. Masters of stealth, these two were able to disguise themselves as almost any vehicle, so long as it was enormous and had flames painted on it. Though both were mighty warriors, Optimus Prime eventually defeated Megatron in an historic battle in downtown Tokyo in 1999, in which Megatron was clamped by Japanese civil authorities and imprisoned in a multi-story car park. Optimus did not escape unscathed: his tax disk was destroyed in the clash, forcing him to fill our several forms or face the crushing indignity of a small fine. Sadly Optimus’ brother Floptimus, who had the ability to transform into a Hybrid sedan, was crushed during the hostilities. In accordance with his wishes, his remains were recycled.

Optimus entered a dark period of his life after his brother’s death, developing a serious drinking problem with Valvoline Super-Coolant antifreeze. The problems came to a head in 2005 in a bar in London when Optimus was heard to remark “I just can’t see the light at the end of this tunnel.” and a passing Alfa Romeo advised him to turn on his headlights. Optimus destroyed the Alfa with a single blast of his ion cannon, was arrested and convicted of damage to private property as well as 460 separate counts of illegal parking and speeding, and fined over £3000 in unpaid congestion charges. He was also forcibly fitted with a catalytic converter, which converted most of his waste gases into cats.

Meanwhile, Megatron had been released from his multi-story prison in 2003 and begun an acting career, appearing in Robot Wars and the Pimp my Ride “Death Machine Special”, as well as a guest appearance on Top Gear. Megatron married the De Lorean from Back to the Future in 2008 and now lives in Surrey; the couple have three small Land Rovers. Mr. Tron (as he is now known) considers himself completely reformed and has recently finished a series of popular road safety advertisements aimed at children with the slogan “Stop! Look! Listen! Or I will destroy You!” He is also an outspoken supporter of the charity IonAmnesty, which aims to decrease the number of youths on Britain’s streets who carry ion cannons.

Olly Lennard is a second year comedian and actor. You can follow him on Twitter, @OllyLennard.

Illustrator: Ruairidh Bowen


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