Love For Teen Titans

When there's trouble, you know who to call.

Divide and Conquer

Season: 1
Episode:
1
Air date:
August 2, 2003

 

Cast:
Scott Menville - Robin
Tara Strong - Raven
Greg Cipes - Beast Boy, Khary Payton - Cyborg
Hynden Walch - Starfire
Ron Perlman - Slade
Dee Bradley Baker - Plasmus

 

Crew:
Director(s) - Michael Chang
Storyboarder(s) - Christopher Berkeley, Steve Jones, Shaunt Nigoghossian, Scooter Tidwell
Writer(s) - Greg Klein, Tom Pugsley

 

Summary: Cinderblock, under orders from Slade, breaks into prison to capture Plasmus. The Titans arrive just in time, but after a mishap they fail to stop the villain. After an argument with Robin—in which they blame each other for the accident—Cyborg decides to quit the team!

 

Notes:

  • The first episode to air on television was "Final Exam", in July 2003. "Divide and Conquer", however, takes place first and is generally considered the real pilot, while "Final Exam" is the third.
  • First appearance of main villain Slade.
  • Sam Register wanted the series to have a look that was different from Bruce Timm's designs (from Batman, Superman, and the Justice League). Glen Murakami suggested an anime theme and Register approved.
  • In the first few episodes of the series, Raven and Beast Boy's voices sound a bit different. This was before Tara Strong and Greg Cipes got the hang of voicing their characters. Tara stated that, when she later found out that Raven is part-demon, she imagined she would speak with a kind of deep, rolling voice.
  • This episode marks the first appearances of Plasmus and Cinderblock.
  • Plasmus' human form is based on series story editor David Slack.
  • Producer Glen Murakami chose the characters from the New Teen Titans comic lineup because he grew up with that series. In addition, he said, “We picked the characters that we thought were the most iconic and the most symbolic. I wanted it to be very, very clear to understand them. Robin’s the leader. Starfire’s the alien, but she’s also the metaphor for the foreign exchange student or outsider. Cyborg’s the strong man. Beast Boy’s the funny one, but he’s insecure. He can be all of these animals, but at the same time he’s still really insecure. Early on, my whole thing was I wanted to understand their flaws because I thought that’s what will make them human."
  • Speaking on developing Teen Titans, producer Sam Register said, "I thought that Robin—one of the A characters in the DC Universe—was both an A character and a sidekick at the same time. I thought that he—in animation—was never anything more than a sidekick. It was also a good way of introducing new characters like Cyborg, Robin, Beast Boy and Starfire—who I knew through the DC Universe but many kids seeing the show for the first time would have no idea who they were. Robin was sort of an entry-character. Kids know who Robin is...so through Robin we are able to meet these new characters."
  • First appearance of Slade's butler Wintergreen.
  • Speaking on the simplicity of the episode, story editor David Slack said, "In the end, it’s a show about family. About friendship…and not being isolated and alone. So in a way, that episode set that theme for the whole show. So right off the bat, we played the 'What if the Titan break up?' card. We knew we didn’t want to do an origin episode, because that felt very explanatory. We were trying to avoid explaining things. But we still needed to establish the importance of the group and what they all meant to each other. So we focused on Robin and Cyborg…and the very relatable issue of what it’s like to get in a fight with your friend.”