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Western Animation / Alpha Teens on Machines

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A.T.O.M. (Alpha Teens On Machines) is a French animated television series based on a Hasbro action figure line, airing on Disney's Jetix action blocks/channels from 2005 to 2007. It chronicles the adventures of five teenagers (the eponymous Alpha Teens), set in the fictional Landmark City. The Alpha Teens test prototype vehicles and weapons for Lee Industries, and use these prototypes to combat criminals, particularly the sadistic Big Bad Alexander Paine.

A second season aired in Europe, but never made it to the US. This season contains an interesting Plot Twist: Mr. Lee, the industrialist who was the team's mentor in the first season, turns out to have been Evil All Along. Even worse, he's created the Mu-Team, a group of mutated Psycho Rangers with super powers, from the heroes' DNA through LEGO Genetics.


Alpha Tropes on Machines:

  • All Just a Dream: "Perchance to Dream" has the team sent into nightmares of their deepest fears by Dr. Recomobo for Mr. Lee.
    • Axel experiences a world were the Big Bad won and now rules with an army of his mutants.
    • Hawk is dressed like a clown and being ridiculed by an audience.
    • Shark is a dolphin man flapping about helplessly in a stretch of dried up sea bed.
    • Lioness has become fat and is floating in a pool of pizza sauce on a giant slice being eaten by a giant version of herself.
  • Bald of Awesome: King is too badass to need hair.
  • Balloon Belly: Shark's stomach inflates before belching after eating King's breakfast. Lioness has gotten fat from being forced to eat pizza in her nightmare.
  • Big Bad: Alexander Payne for the first season and Janus Lee for Season two.
  • Brains and Brawn: Spydah and Flesh, who respectively act as Paine's tech expert and lead enforcer.
  • Break the Haughty: Hawk. Every episode the rest of the cast and the extras are dicks to him, but it's not like he doesn't deserve it, most of the time. Even a little Humiliation Conga at the end of "Blackout," when after another unflattering piece on TV, the others call in their IOU on Hawk having to act as team leader (King describes how his laundry is to be done after dumping it on Hawk, Shark and Axel ask for "a large stack of blueberry (pancakes), extra syrup," and Lioness reminds him, "One week").
  • Catchphrase:
    • Axel: "Gear it up!"
    • King: "Outta my grill!"
    • Lioness: "¡Vamanos!"
    • Shark: "Shake the sand out of your shorts(, dude)."
    • Hawk: "Hawk flies in, he saves the day" and "Oh yeah, who rocks?!"
  • Denser and Wackier: Zig-zagged with season 2. While there’s more action and the main plots are usually serious, the subplots and the ways the A.T.O.M. team defeat their opponents can be extremely silly. For example, Shark stops an empowered Stingfly by burping a strong wind at him, and Hawk beats Rayza by having an allergic reaction where a suddenly swelling nose knocks the mutant out.
  • Executive Suite Fight: Once: the scuffle between Dragon and Mr. Lee on the top floor of Lee Industries. Or three times, if you count the two fights in San Solomon as well.
  • Female Gaze: Seriously? No matter how much they tried to pimp out Lioness, there was no escaping the fact that it was a team of muscular teenaged men. This trope was in effect any time the guys were shirtless.
  • Another example is Spydah, who can create robots of great destructive power, including mechas, but he’s not smart enough to shut his gob when Mr. Payne is in a foul mood.
  • Green Rocks: A meteorite that falls in desert close to the Landmark city even glows green. What's worse is it boosts Paine's power enough to force Axel to separate the chunk around Paine's neck to even face him later on.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Icarus in "Omega Team":
    Paine: Icarus, your target is Hawk. He's idiotic and vain.
    Icarus: Man, I swear, I hate those types. (sprays on hairspray)
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Exaggerated with Hawk, he’s shown flying not just his jetpack, but a helicopter, a jetplane and even a spacecraft!
  • Just Plane Wrong: There are recurring scenes of coaxial rotor helicopters similar to Kamov KA-27 lifting off. The coaxial rotors spin in the same direction !
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Dragon is revealed to be Axel's father, or so it seems. The truth is that he's a clone of Axel's father.
  • Male Gaze: The Lock-and-Load Montage goes like this: The guys put on helmets and gloves and fasten their seatbelts. Lioness? The viewer gets to see her zip her suit over her boobs, and we get a worm's eye view from the rear of her sitting on her motorcycle.
  • Market-Based Title: In the UK, Australia, and Latin America, the line was a spinoff of Hasbro's earlier Action Man line (Axel being the equivalent of Action Man here), so it was dubbed Action Man A.T.O.M..
  • Merchandise-Driven: As noted, the series is based on a toy line (which is based on another toy line).
  • Mundane Solution:
    • Axel gets the drop on Paine and Spydah when they assault his house. He turns off the lights, and uses a stealth suit/night-vision goggles to sneak up on them in the dark. Among other things, he drops a pinata on top of Spydahnote . He starts taking down Paine fairly easily, right up to the point Spydah walks over to the switch and turns the lights back on. This causes the suit to short out, and the night-vision to blind him.
    • Spydah gets another one, when a Jet-Ski is flown from the water and hits the deck, heading right towards him and D-zel. D-Zel jumps into his arms Scooby-Doo style, but Spydah just uses his mechanical legs to elevate him over it, no shots, no clever dodging.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In Season Two's "Secret Admirer" King is turned into a Meat Puppet through Mr. Lee's Mind Control device and briefly fights alongside the Mu-Team against the Alpha Teens. Once Axel destroys the device controlling him, King uses this trope, before becoming The Juggernaut against the Mu-Team screaming "WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO?!?" Cue the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of King single-handedly wiping the floor with the Mu-Team in Unstoppable Rage.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In "Omega Team", Icarus sounds like John Travolta.
  • Retcon: In season 2, Mass's past was retconned from a hustler to a wrestler. Though, he was a hustler used in a wrestling match that led to his transformation.
  • Shout-Out: Spydah builds a massive robotic spider in one episode, it takes some visual cues from the Spider tanks from Ghost in the Shell.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Lioness is the sole female member of the team.
  • Spicy Latina: Lioness is Afro-Brazillian.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Axel is a master of the Jo-Lan martial art which grants him the ability to teleport and fire energy blasts. Apparently there are other abilities a Jo-Lan warrior can unlock such as telekinesis and force fields.
  • Surfer Dude: Shark
  • The Worf Effect: Flesh gets hit, hard. In his debut, he was strong, and easily got the upper hand, the team got good hits in, but King only defeated him by out smarting him. Later, he had become incredibly ineffective, Dragon and Mass could easily beat him. Spydah, though, displayed the same competency from his debut (Which wasn't a whole lot, but he could put up an okay fight), more or less, he always got ass handed to him, but he managed to stay in the fight longer than Flesh.
  • You Killed My Father: Axel reveals that Paine was a corrupt agent at a government agency. His father was about to out him, but Paine killed him with a bomb, but accidentally got caught in the explosion. On the anniversary of his father's death Paine reveals that it wasn't him, and they were both almost killed in the line of duty. Qwan seemingly killed his father, and Paine was injured trying to get him out. Qwan later reveals that his father is still alive.


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