When Transformers: War For Cybertron revealed the details of its third series, Kingdom, fans were ecstatic when it was unveiled that the last chapter of the animated series would be bringing back the Maximals and Predacons, but it's with a heavy heart that we have to report that the latest arrival on Netflix isn't able to shake a stick at the series of Beast Wars. This isn't to say that the final chapter of this new take isn't worth checking out for fans of the Transformers franchise, as it remains slavish to the expansive lore of the series, but fans of Maximals and Predacons might want to look elsewhere.
It's been around twenty-five years since the battle between the Maximals and the Predacons took place in the original Beast Wars series, so it definitely was no surprise to see that the original cast of the series wouldn't be returning to their roles in Kingdom. What was a surprise is just how jarringly different the voices are from their original versions, with the most egregious examples being that of the Predacon leader Megatron, Dinobot, and several other examples that fall between these two warring factions. On top of this, the characters of Beast Wars have roles that barely necessitate them being there, to begin with, which is really a shame as this crossover is a Transformers' fan's dream come true.
What makes some of the voice acting decisions all the stranger is that there are examples of some characters that do sound like their original selves from the Beast Wars series, with the likes of Black Arachnia sounding quite close to her voice actor from decades past. Beast Wars' Megatron is so startlingly different, that you'll find yourself dying for him to unleash one of his deliciously evil "Yesss," lines, but simply be faced with him throwing out the line once or twice with little inflection, which is a far stretch from David Kaye's beloved delivery from years past.
The new cast for the Generation One Transformers did a decent enough job of filling the shoes of their predecessors when War For Cybertron first began, managing to capture the intensity of some of their roles. When you look at OG Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Starscream for example, they sound like their predecessors and make an attempt at bridging that gap between generations. While there are some moments in this latest season that will scratch the itch for Transformers fans who always wanted to see Optimus Primal fight against OG Megatron, it seems to be a far leap from what the season could have been and that's a true shame as there might have been a way to placate both Generation One and Beast Wars' fans here.
Have you watched Kingdom on Netflix? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Robots In Disguise.