Air Time! (ラジオとうのたたかい！じくうをこえて！！ Radio Tower Battle! Exceeding Space-time!!) is the 3rd episode of Pokémon: Johto League Champions.
With his battle against Whitney behind him, Ash focuses on the next gym in the Johto region. While eating he meets the producer of Poke talk Radio who wants Ash to be in the next show. After being told by Professor Oak that everyone in Pallet Town will be listening in on his interview, he becomes a nervous wreck, until he meets DJ Mary who tells him to think of the interview like a battle. During the next segment Ash and co. are asked to do a radio play. Will they be able to pull it off, with some unlikely help?
As the heroes have breakfast, a man, who is the producer of Pokétalk Radio, approaches Ash and asks him if he is really Ash, as any trainer that defeats Whitney gets an interview in the show. Brock remembers the host is a girl who interviews people. The man continues to ask Ash to come to be interviewed, causing Ash to be startled. Team Rocket are hungry and wish for the free samples at the Galleria. They see a large tower and thinking it is a department store, go to it. At the tower, they are stopped by a guard, who tells them it is a radio tower and need an appointment to enter. They see the woman, DJ Mary, giving a broadcast. Jessie and James disguise as celebrities and say the guard they are to see Mary, who lets them pass. Team Rocket searches for valuables, but see tapes. A man enters the room and pulls them for an interview, thinking they are ventriloquists. Jessie stomps on James' foot for asking if they are performers and presents him with Meowth, who will act as a doll.
The man pushes them to the studio, where DJ Mary awaits them, calling them Dugtrio Trio. Team Rocket greet her, while DJ Mary is impressed by their Meowth dummy, who gets scolded, as he "is a dummy". Mary asks them how they developed the doll's character, so is told the doll always has character. The Meowth doll tells Jessie and James also have the character and gets bashed once more. Ash calls Oak, who tells him he and Pallet Town know exactly when and which radio they need to listen, since the studio called his mom, who told the whole town. Oak tells him to relax and logs out, causing Ash to be extremely nervous. Team Rocket eat and see they can work in showbiz rather than theft, then get surprised, hearing the twerp is next to be interviewed. DJ Mary asks to tell about himself, so Ash tells he is Pallet Town from Ketchum, his name is Pikachu and his partner is Ash. Mary tells he got everything backwards, while Oak thinks Ash will kill the radio. In any case, Mary tells him to imagine he is in a battle and asks would he challenge her in a battle if needed. Ash, with a decisive tone, would challenge any trainer and his goal is to become a Pokémon Master, but needs to become the Champion of the Johto League. He counts his Pokémon and remembers he is going to Ecruteak City to get the next badge. With that, Mary ends the interview, making Ash relieved.
Misty tells Ash he performed well. They meet the Dugtrio Trio; Misty sees the Meowth dummy and sees it looks almost real. Jessie and James tell they can make any Pokémon to talk and choose Pikachu. However, the producer comes and tells that the tape that should've recorded the talk show had been destroyed by vandals, making Team Rocket nervous. He sees that they can make it up by making a live show and pushes The Dutrio Trio back. He asks what can make them stay, so Meowth tells he could get another lunch. The producer agrees and asks of the heroes to join too, which Misty and Brock agree, the latter wants for the girls. Ash sees the script looks scary; Jessie scolds him, as the audience must not be left down, for they need to be given perfection. The Brave Prince Goldenrod radio drama starts. Mary states the prince and his companions is coming to Goldenrod Castle. Ash (prince) states he would see home after this journey. Misty and Brock (companions) state they will tell the others of their journey and adventures. Mary states the Charizard they rode has led them to the Goldenrod City. The companions see sands have befallen the city. The prince runs to the castle and sees his parents (who mimic Team Rocket). The companions see something is odd about the parents. Prince's mother, the queen, tells the army left the city. The companions think something strange and rotten is present. The king (James) lets them enter, but the queen refuses, as their Meowth attacks.
In the real life, Ash gets scratched by Meowth, as Jessie says they need to improvise. DJ Mary tells them to stick to the story, but Jessie states broadcasters can deal with such situations. Mary continues with the story, as the proved he is not masked by taking the hit. The queen sees this and hugs the prince. The king lets them in, though the prince questions why is Goldenrod City covered in sand, while his companion asks why weren't they told. The queen responds they did not want to put them in harm. The king and the queen dodge questions, as they present them the Master Stone, which has been disturbed, causing the city to be covered in sand. The queen presses a plate, causing the prince and the companions to fall in a hole. The prince sees they are imposters from Dastardly Gyarados Guild. Jessie yells "Wrong!" and tells that they will announce the world they are Team Socket. Everyone is surprised, since Jessie does not stay with the script. DJ Mary states that these people were not from the Guild, but were a new evil force.
The prince asks what happened to his parents, but Team Socket walks away. The prince calls to Charizard, who goes in the castle and uses Flamethrower on Team Socket. The prince's companions tell the prince to rescue his parents, while Team Socket are put in place. The prince rescues his parents and goes to retrieve back the Master Stone which Team Socket stole and have gone underground. Jessie tells the hole leads 3000 years into the future. DJ Mary sighs and improvises, telling the prince and the companions go in the hole and tells nobody knows what is to be expected then. Meowth transforms into a rocket, since he is a cyborg, so Jessie and James enter it and go off. They also release a missile, causing the heroes to be blasted off. Mary tells that the prince came onto the rocket and sends Chikorita, who uses Razor Leaf. It cuts the robo Meowth's whiskers, causing the robot to fall down. Jessie tells Team Socket teleported into the studio.
Meowth grabs Pikachu, as Team Rocket undisguise themselves. Team Rocket go away, so Ash goes to get Pikachu back, while Mary states Team Socket turned into Team Rocket. Team Rocket takes off while the prince tracks them. Jessie sends Arbok, who uses Poison Sting, but Chikorita uses Razor Leaf, cutting the balloon's ropes, so Pikachu is freed. With a Thunderbolt, Team Rocket blasts off. Mary states the prince and his companions came back to Goldenrod Castle. The Maste Stone appeared and the city was formed again, free from sand. Mary finishes the radio drama, making the heroes and Mary relieved for so much improvisation. The heroes leave the radio tower and the city, continuing their journey. Team Rocket, however, get approached by true ventriloquists, who are on their way to the city. James and Meowth cry as they could've been stars, while Jessie thinks she should quit Team Rocket and join showbiz, but realize she would work with amateurs.
- "Television couldn't kill radio but maybe Ash will." - Professor Oak
- With only 8 characters in it, this is the shortest dub title in the entire anime.
- Ash and his friends blast off in this episode, but it was only a fantasy that went along with the radio story.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Pikachu.