Countdown is a Toonami Total Immersion Event (T.I.E.) that aired from November 4-25, 2017 at 11:00 PM. Countdown, the seventh Toonami T.I.E., consists of 4 episodes, that total around 14-minutes of runtime. The T.I.E. was animated by production studio Hinge.
Countdown is the first standalone Toonami T.I.E. that has aired on the Adult Swim version of Toonami, as the two previous T.I.E.s, The Intruder II and The Intruder III, were sequels of Cartoon Network's The Intruder.
Air Date: November 4, 2017
On the bridge of the Vindication, TOM shows off some of his artwork to SARA and the Clydes, who give lackluster responses. TOM is offended by their lack of interest and appreciation, for which SARA apologizes, until TOM suddenly vanishes from his chair with a flash of light which causes SARA and the Clydes to collapse to the ground. SARA recovers enough to see a rusted and distorted TOM (Future TOM) in his chair apologizing and stating that they have "run out of options". SARA demands an explanation, but the rusted TOM places a device onto the control panel of his chair, causing the Vindication's systems to power down, which leaves SARA and the Clydes unable to move. This device also starts a Countdown clock, that begins counting down from 24 hours. Elsewhere, TOM rematerializes, finding himself alone in the control room of the Future Vindication, to which he remarks, "something really bad just happened."
Air Date: November 11, 2017
While TOM is trying to figure out what has happened in the Vindication's control room, he is suddenly targeted by the lasers of an unknown group of Clydes, forcing him to run for his life. Pinned down, with the Clydes searching for him, TOM hears a voice calling from an open door. Determining that any way out is better than no way out, TOM sprints for the door. It is then revealed that his rescuer is a TOM from the future (more accurately an AI Copy of Future TOM programmed into an older Clyde model). Future TOM explains that sixteen weeks ago the Vindication came across an unknown nebula that sent an electric shock through the Vindication, corrupting SARA in the process. SARA became fused with The Vindication's systems and made it her mission to destroy all organic life. She also created the Clydes that are all over the ship to prevent TOM from stopping her and is in the process of upgrading herself for "maximum damage". Future TOM is left battle scarred from his failed attempts to stop her himself and believes that a younger, uninjured, TOM may be able to think of a way to stop her. The TOMs are forced to run when the Clydes finally bust through the door. As they run, Future TOM tells TOM to do anything necessary to stop SARA, even if it means destroying her and/or the ship. However, before Future TOM could finish his explanation, the Clyde containing his matrix is hit, fatally damaging it. As TOM picks up the head of the damaged Clyde, he questions, "why did we ever make Clydes."
Air Date: November 18, 2017
Future TOM is attempting to overload the drive core reactor as a last resort if Future SARA cannot be stopped. TOM manages to escape the Clydes and enter The Vindication core room trying to think of a way to shut down Future SARA. Future TOM then explains that he managed to steal power from The Vindication and used the matter transporter to send Future TOM back in time sending TOM to his future as a result. Future TOM intention is to destroy SARA and The Vindication before they become corrupted. SARA is able to override the subsystem and locates Future TOM heading to the drive core. SARA seals the door demanding to know were TOM is and why he plans to destroy the Drive Core. Future TOM is forced to explain what is happening in the future. TOM tries to find a weakness in the system; the corrupted Vindication approaches a nearby planet and the main power is draining into the laser cannon that destroys the entire planet.
Air Date: November 25, 2017
TOM witness the destruction of a whole planet unable to believe that SARA did this. The Hologram Future TOM reminds him that SARA is under the unknown alien intelligence and that their SARA would never do this. As TOM comes up with a plan he is suddenly interrupted by The Future SARA who appears before TOM to eliminate him herself being a threat to her plans. After Future TOM tells SARA what happens she is terrified by the fact that see her become a monster in the future but Future TOM tells her that she is not responsible for those actions being influenced and controlled by the unknown alien intelligence from the nebula. She is willing to have Future TOM access to the drive core and her system. Future TOM assures her that destroying the drive core is only a precaution in the event TOM fails; hoping he won't have to destroy SARA. Meanwhile in the Future, TOM is being damaged, but fights his way through the wave of Clydes targeting him. Future SARA points out that his resistance is futile and that she owns. TOM even says that she has always been a part of his life and willing to give his life to save her from becoming corrupted. She breaks free from the alien intelligence and thanks TOM for everything he has done for her. She bids him farewell and ask him to forgive her as the windows are shattered sending TOM flying into space. The Future Vindication is destroyed in an explosion afterwards. TOM is sent back to the present and runs back to the control room to stop the countdown timer. Her physical form is out of stasis and the Clydes are reactivated. SARA is frighten by the fact how much of a monster she became; TOM tells her she's not and will always be there for her even in their final days. The episode ends with Future TOM shown floating in space.
- TOM 5/Future TOM - Steve Blum
- SARA v4/Future SARA - Dana Swanson
- Narrator/Voice-over - Howard Parker
- A complete rerun of Countdown aired on Toonami beginning at 11:30 PM on April 7, 2018, along with Scavengers. This marked the first time a Total Immersion Event had been rerun on the block.