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| Air Time!
Battle at the Radio Tower! Surpass Space-Time!!
|| August 17, 2000
| United States
|| September 8, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
Air Time! (Japanese: ラジオとうのたたかい！じくうをこえて！！ Battle at the Radio Tower! Surpass Spacetime!!) is the 160th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 17, 2000 and in the United States on September 8, 2001.
Before leaving Goldenrod City, the flamboyant producer of Poké Talk Radio insists Ash appear on Sunny Morningstar's show to talk about winning the Plain badge. After the interview, the gang saves the day by participating in a live radio drama with the Dugtrio Trio (Team Rocket in disguise!) Be sure to watch the twists and turns of the live performance as our heroes battle Team Rocket on the airwaves!
Ash and his friends are having breakfast at the Goldenrod Pokémon Center when a man approaches them. He introduces himself as the producer of Poké Talk Radio, and asks for Ash to appear because he earned the Plain Badge.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket notices a huge building and mistakes it for a department store. When they arrive, the guards stop them entering, telling them they need an appointment to enter, as this building is actually the Radio Tower. Then, he points them to the monitor where DJ Mary can be seen talking. Team Rocket decides to enter the building, posing as celebrities. The guard lets them in without any questions and directs them towards the elevator. The trio begin "Operation Radio Raid" and wreak havoc in a storage room, destroying several tape reels in the process. They are disappointed to find nothing of value, and soon they are dragged into the recording room by a man who mistakes them for a ventriloquist act about to be interviewed. When he asks them where their dummy is, Jessie introduces Meowth as the dummy. Then, the man proceeds to take them to DJ Mary, who introduces Team Rocket to the listeners as "The Dugtrio Trio". DJ Mary is amazed that their "dummy" looks and acts so alive, offending Meowth.
Meanwhile, Ash talks to Professor Oak, who tells him that he and all of Pallet Town are proud of him for winning the Plain Badge. Ash is surprised that his whole town know about the victory, and Professor Oak explains that the producer called his mother Delia, which she relayed to the other townspeople. He then reveals that all of Pallet Town will be listening to the interview, making Ash nervous.
Team Rocket are already enjoyed the perks of their celebrity status and happily scoff down boxes of food. The trio are surprised when an announcement sounds that Ash and his Pikachu are due to be interviewed. Ash's interview begins, and he initially gets very scared and mixes up his words. DJ Mary briefly stops the microphone and calms Ash down by telling him to forget they are on air and imagine they are in a Pokémon battle. She proceeds to ask him if he would have a battle with her, and he replies that he would gladly have a battle with any Trainer. Next, she asks him what his goal is; Ash replies that he wants to become a Pokémon Master, but he wants to win the Johto League first. He then starts to explain his team and adds that he will be heading to Ecruteak to challenge the Gym Leader there. Then, the interview ends.
As the group is leaving, a man enters the studio with several damaged tapes, which will prevent the airing of the Radio Drama Show. Then, the producer tells DJ Mary that they should air a live interview with "The Dugtrio Trio"". Team Rocket tries to leave, but the producer intervenes and convinces them to take part by telling them he will present them with a five-star buffet. Then, he turns to DJ Mary, saying that she, Ash, and his friends must take part too. Brock and Misty immediately agree, but Ash isn't too enthusiastic. Back in the studio, Ash is scolded by Jessie for his reluctance towards the show. Before the airing, Jessie tells James and Meowth that they are going to steal the show and Pikachu.
When the radio drama starts airing, DJ Mary narrates a story in which a character, "Prince Goldenrod", is returning to his castle after a difficult Pokémon journey. Ash, who plays Prince Goldenrod, says he has longed for his return while Misty and Brock's characters agree with him. Then, DJ Mary narrates that the characters arrived at Goldenrod City, but they see only the castle while the rest of the city is covered in sand. Then, the prince runs in the castle calling for his parents, played by Jessie and James, who tell the prince that he must have a Pokémon battle. Just then, Meowth jumps out and scratches Ash both in the story and in real life. When Ash asks about this, Jessie says that she improvised a little. DJ Mary then says that Meowth scratched Prince Goldenrod's face in order to prove he wasn't an impostor. During the play, Jessie continuously changes the script, forcing DJ Mary to improvise. The drama continues to unfold as Prince Goldenrod's parents are revealed to be impostors from the future, called "Team Socket". The Prince escapes Team Socket's trap on his trusted Charizard and goes on to free his imprisoned parents. The Prince reunites with his friends, but Team Socket appears to have escaped through a time warp that leads to 3000 years in the future. The group enter the time warp and catch up to Team Socket, but soon the villains blast off on their by cyborg Meowth rocket. DJ Mary adds her own twist, and reveals that Prince Goldenrod managed to cling onto the rocket. The Prince orders his Chikorita to use Razor Leaf to cut off the rocket's navigation system. Though Jessie makes a final adjustment to the script and has Team Socket escape defeat through another time warp.
Finally, Team Rocket reveals themselves, snatches Pikachu, recites their motto, and takes off. DJ Mary narrates the events the whole time, incorporating them as a part of the story of Prince Goldenrod. She, Ash, his friends, and the TV crew give chase. They follow Team Rocket onto the roof, where the trio take off in their [[Team Rocket's mechas|Meowth balloon}}. Jessie then sends out her Arbok. Chikorita dodges Arbok's Poison Sting, then uses Razor Leaf, hitting Arbok and cutting the rope. Pikachu is freed and uses Thunderbolt, which sends Team Rocket blasting off again. DJ Mary ends the play with the Magic Stone, which belonged to Goldenrod City, reappearing and changing the land back to its original state. Then, the producer congratulates them all on an exciting show.
Soon Ash and his friends hit the road once again, this time twoards Ecruteak City. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is hanging on a tree. The real "Dugtrio Trio" appears and asks them for directions to the Radio Tower. Team Rocket then falls down and starts complaining about their lost chance at fame.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Pikachu (US and international), Charizard (Japan)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Dragonite.
- In the games, Mary is just an assistant on Professor Oak's radio show. While she is shown to have this role in Will the Real Oak Please Stand Up?, she is also seen here as a star in her own right. Mary also appears as Professor Oak's assistant on television in Oaknapped!.
- While Cartoon Network aired the show in syndication, this episode wasn't aired until June 2, 2007. This was part of the two-day Pokémon Master Marathon that was aired shortly before the launch of the Diamond & Pearl series in the US.
- In the dub, instrumental versions of All We Wanna Do and Pokémon Johto are used as background music in the form of music on the radio.
- Misty's line in the play "There is something rotten in Goldenrod" seems to be a reference to Shakespeare's play Hamlet, where the character Marcellus said "There is something rotten in the state of Denmark".
- This episode is tied with Sick Daze for having the shortest dub title so far, with eight characters (nine if the space between the two words is included).
- Team Rocket's mechas: Cyborg Meowth (in radio show only)
- Jessie's improvisational invention of a "time warp" (in the dub) may be a reference to The Rocky Horror Show, in which some characters dress eccentrically - rather like Jessie and James' costumes - and perform a dance known as the Time Warp.
- Ash's Kingler is shown as Krabby in this episode.
- The Brazilian dub inconsistently translates Goldenrod. In the dub, Goldenrod City is translated as "Cidade de Pinhão Dourado" (literally, "Golden Pinenut City"), while in the radio show Ash's character is referred as "Valente Príncipe Goldenrod" ("Brave Prince Goldenrod").
- The blurb for this episode spells Plain Badge as Plane badge instead.
- Like in the previous episode, the Plain Badge is simply referred to as a "Badge" at the beginning of the episode in the Polish dub.
- Also in the Polish dub, the sandstorm in the story is mistakenly called snowstorm.
- In the original, the Dugtrio Trio was called the Dodrio Clan.
In other languages