Conception and Pre-Soap WorkEdit
Conceived in 2007, the idea for Transformers: The Soap came when Mike Taylor saw the 2007 live action Transformers movie. Taylor decided to collect the toys and later found himself playing with them at work. Whilst he was doing so he had an idea to create a parody series, using his recently acquired toys. Initial ideas were Transformers: The Soap, The Iacon News At 600 Microseconds, Cybernation Street and All That Jazz. The first idea was decided for the title, but the other ideas have made their way into episodes, in some capacity. The series wouldn't debut until 2009 but a few short videos were made in the meantime, some of which are now lost. These were-
Don't Drink And Drive!!! (Lost)Edit
A G1 style Public Service Announcement-with a twist. In the video Ratchet is driving whilst impaired and runs down Puss In Boots (from Shrek)! As Ratchet checks on the fallen feline, Decepticon Blackout arrives, scolding Ratchet for his reckless behaviour. After concluding that the cat is dead, Ratchet beats a hasty retreat, Blackout doing the same because, as an evil Decepticon he might get in trouble! Made in 2007.
All That Jazz (Concept Episode, Lost)Edit
The first TF:TS related episode actually filmed. The concept is very similar to the actual All That Jazz episode, with the following exceptions: There was no backdrop/scenery. Bumblebee's radio talk was improvised, not pre-planned, leading to different dialogue. Jazz's voice was different, based on Bo' Selecta's Michael Jackson character. There was no "cold opening"/pre-titles sequence. Also Bumblebee talking properly wasn't in the original video either. Made in 2007.
Being Optimus Prime (Lost)Edit
A sitdown interview with Optimus Prime, who discusses his past as Orion Pax, teasing, and how he came to be Optimus Prime. He also discusses his choice of vehicle mode. The idea came when Taylor began spontaeneously ad libbing, in his Prime voice, whilst at work. Made in 2008.
IgglePiggle Vs. Transformer HulkEdit
In this In The Night Garden parody IgglePiggle meets Hulk, intending to befriend him. Unfortunately Hulk isn't interested and kills IgglePiggle! Made in 2009.
A Mini-Con MessageEdit
In this video a team of Mini-Cons warn viewers of the risks of joining phone/broadband provider "Speak Speak" (real name changed to avoid lawsuit.) This video was made to cheer up family members, who'd had several issues with "Speak Speak". Made in 2009.
Hulk and Wolverine talk about their favourite types of coffee, recommending Nescafe Gold Blend and Carte Noir. This video was made for the amusement of Taylor and a friend, after his (then) partner brought home cheap coffee (from "Morriseys!") Made in 2009.
The Mini-Cons are back, promoting "Morriseys" coffee. However they're confronted by Hulk and Wolverine! After Hulk asks the Mini-Cons what they're saved money goes towards, the Mini-Con says it goes towards his "Speak Speak" bill, prompting Hulk to kill him! The video also parodys the Morrisons adverts by demanding "freshly grown, freshly ground, freshly jarred coffee!" Made in 2009.
Transformers: The Missing InterviewsEdit
A series of interview videos, catching the robots views on their roles in the 2007 Transformers movie. The idea behind the videos was that only the humans were interviewed for the DVD special features, so Taylor decided to film mock interviews from the robots. Bumblebee and Barricade are interviewed in part 1, Ironhide, Jazz and Ratchet are interviewed in part 2, and Bonecrusher was interviewed in part 3. No other parts were made and there are currently no plans to continue the interviews. Made in 2008/2009.
John West Salmon Ad (Lost)Edit
A mock advert, featuring a John West teddy bear and the Darth Vader Death Star Transformer. Loosely based on the advert where the guy and the bear fight over the salmon. Ends with Vader killing the bear with his lightsaber. Made in 2008.
Pre-Production And Delay IssuesEdit
The first step in making the series was story ideas and toy acquirement. In 2007 Taylor wrote the script for the pilot episode-The Guy Who Flies Planes. Taylor had always wanted to use that name as a title for a pilot episode. However the script was too long and he decided to split it-instead having a Prologue, followed by what would become The Guy Who Flies Planes. Taylor continued to draft story ideas, coming up with Seasons 1 and 2 over the course of a few days. Despite the majority of his collection (or as he calls them "cast") Taylor didn't want his series to be specific to any particular generation or incarnation. Many different generations and series continuities are referenced, throughout the series. With help from his (then) girlfriend, Zoe, Taylor then fleshed out the characters, trying to homage them, whilst also putting his own spin on them. An example would be Arcee, who wasn't well liked by Zoe. The idea for Arcee to be a slut came out of her disdain for the character. Zoe also contributed to the Blackout/Arcee/Scorponok storyline.
The next step was assembling the cast, as Taylor called his figures. Back then he had a collection of about 25-30, including many movie characters. One character that proved tough to find was Barricade. It took around 6 months to find a deluxe Barricade, actually after the purchase of the Recon version. By 2008 he had a lot more characters.
A setback occured, in early 2008, when Taylor and Zoe (who was pregnant) had to relocate. Eventually they found a home and Taylor continued planning the series. Also, in 2008 Taylor began purchasing the Star Wars Transformers, and the Universe 2.0 Transformers, opening up new story opportunities, leading to a third and fourth season. In June, 2008 Taylor's son was born, delaying the series further. But he really doesn't mind. Originally the series wasn't going to be on YouTube, rather it was to be sent to close friends via bluetooth.
Next came set designs, Taylor not wanting to film on the kitchen table. He wanted something resembling Cybertron and set to work designing building interiors, which could be tacked to the wall. This idea was quickly dropped, though shades of the idea remain, to this day. In late 2008 Taylor wrote a draft for a Christmas special and a "movie". The Christmas episode became Transformers: Actually, whilst the movie is yet to be made. But it will be. On December 6th, 2008, Taylor joined YouTube, under the username DezarasPrime. He then decided to showcase the project on his YouTube channel.
2009 was a year of major changes, both series wise and personally. Taylor uploaded The Missing Interviews, IgglePiggle vs. Transformer Hulk, A Mini-Con Message, Morriseys Ad and Coffee Mates to his YouTube channel (Iacon Television Network.) The family also relocated again, moving from Skegness, Lincolnshire to Asfordby, Leicestershire. Taylor then had to adjust to filming elsewhere (he'd billed his old place as "Cavendish Studios", named after the road he was living on.), but started to make major progress in terms of set design and scripting. Taylor realised he had more support than he'd originally thought, through promotion in his toy reviews (which he still does.) He then set to work, building and acquiring set pieces. The Barbie house became both Autobot and Decepticon Houses, a slight shift in furniture being the differing factor. The sky/outer space backdrops were painted by Taylor and Zoe's sister Sam. Taylor then used polystyrene inserts, from various boxes, and painted them to resemble buildings. Once enough scripts were ready filming began...
On April 26th, 2009, the Prologue episode was uploaded to YouTube, as a private video for subscribers only. On May 7th the series aired proper, and publicly, with The Guy Who Flies Planes, and ended on August 24th. Season 1 contained 9 episodes, though, due to time constraints at the time (10 minute maximum per video), More Than Eats The Pie, Ultra Magners, Primal Instinct and Sex, Lies And Transformer-Tapes were released in two parts each. During this time Taylor also outlined Seasons 5-7.
Post Season Problems/Transformers: ActuallyEdit
Shortly after Season 1 had finished Taylor and Zoe split, meaning Taylor had to relocate again. Despite the setbacks he was determined to continue with the series, but became overcome by personal issues. These problems carried over into 2010, delaying the Christmas special and Season 2. Illness also played a part in the delay of Actually, as he was suffering from blistered tonsils and, among other things, couldn't use his voice. Nonetheless Taylor eventually got Actually released, introducing some modifications to the crudely presented Season 1. He also introduced a new in character "behind the scenes" concept called The Big Book Of The Soap.
The delay in releasing Actually meant a delay in releasing Season 2. In the second season Taylor introduced more human characters-the WWE wrestlers. Micro Aggression mini figures were used, as the scale was quite close.Over the course of Season 2 he would alter his filming techniques more and add more special effects. The time limit, on YouTube was also extended to 15 minutes, allowing more freedom and no more split single episodes. Season 2 premiered on September 3rd, 2010 (intended date was January, 2010) and ended on December 31st, 2010, lating for 8 episodes. The final three episodes were delayed, due to various reasons. There were also technical issues, including audio faults, video problems and effects faults. The episode worse affected-Cybertron Sunday-was re edited and re uploaded shortly before Season 3 premiered.
Not wanting a repeat of Season 2, delay wise, Taylor had finished the Season 3 scripts before Season 2 had finished airing. However, just as he was about to begin filming, the hard drive on his laptop died, causing him to lose many of his scripts. Though he was able to salvage a few episodes, a lot of rewriting had to be done. Another major setback occured in April, when his mother passed away. After taking time off to deal with these issues, he resumed work, rewriting his scripts-mostly from memory, with modifications where he'd forgotten certain things. The time limit on YouTube was also abolished so he was free to write lengthier scripts. He also added the Star Wars Transformers to the cast, and added more guest voices. 2011 was a draining year for Taylor and Season 3 still hasn't reached its conclusion. Season 3 premiered on August 5th, 2011.
Season 4 OnwardsEdit
Originally planned for 2012, Season 4 has been delayed by a year. It will now air in 2013. 2012 will see the final Season 3 episodes released, as well as another Christmas Special-Transformers: Actually Still. On April 17th, 2012 Doctor Who: The Magnus Years premiered, with the episode Prime Crash. More Magnus Years episodes are scheduled, to fill in for the lack of TF:TS episodes.
In 2014 Transformers: The Soap: The Movie is planned for release, as well as a comic book adaptation of the Prologue episode.
2015 will see the debut of the Ironhide spinoff, as well as Season 5 of TF:TS.
2016 will feature Season 6 of TF:TS and Season 2 of Ironhide.
CSI: Cybertron will debut in 2017, along with a 5 part Season 7 of TF:TS, titled Children Of Primus. There is no Ironhide series that year.
2018 sees what could be the final seasons of TF:TS (8) and CSI: Cybertron (2), as well as Season 3 of Ironhide.
Only Season 4 of Ironhide has been pencilled in for 2019.