Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Source Code” Review (Evox’s Big Reveal!)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Evox, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Source CodeSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E21 – “Source Code”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Andrew Laing (Voice)
GUEST-STARRING: Olivia Tennet
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
June 26, 2020 (UK), December 5, 2020 (US) 
SYNOPSIS:
Evox infiltrates Grid Battleforce, and a terrible secret is revealed.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Source Code” contains what, up to that point at least, may very well be the biggest surprise in the show’s history: That Evox and Venjix from Power Rangers RPM are, in fact, the same entity. This twist was apparently planned from the get-go. In hindsight, the return of Doctor K obviously serves as evidence of that. What’s more, Randall Ewing, the voice of Evox, is a pseudonym for Andrew Laing, the actor who voiced Venjix in RPM.

For viewers unfamiliar with RPM, this is just another layer to the Venjix character. But for lifetime Power Rangers geeks like yours truly, it’s not just a continuity nod, it’s a full-on incorporation of a piece of the show’s history, the likes of which had never been seen on the show before. It solidifies Venjix/Evox as one of the most formidable villains in Power Rangers history.

Indeed, at the end of RPM, we saw that the Venjix virus had survived by hiding in the red Cell Shift Morpher. So the stage had been set for a Venjix return. But based on the nature of the show, we had no reason to suspect he’d ever actually return. Except for possibly in an RPM/Samurai team-up, but that wasn’t the direction they ultimately took things. It’s hard for me to find anything negative to hurl at this twist…

Actually, there is one minor thing. Once we get the reveal, Evox’s voice changes to the one Laing used for Venjix in RPM. Personally, I prefer the Evox voice. I’d have used the Venjix one for the big reveal, but then reverted back to Evox. That’s the one nitpick I have.

We flash back to see that a young Nate accidentally created Evox by attempting to incorporate snake DNA into a the red Cell Shift Morpher (shown above). Incidentally, also seen in the flashback are (checks Ranger Wiki to make sure…) a Rev Morpher and from RPM, a Sky Morpher from RPM, a pair of Mystic Morphers from Mystic Force, a pair of Overdrive Trackers from Operation Overdrive, and a Gosei Morpher from Megaforce. Great little Easter eggs for PR geeks.

We’ll chalk it up to youthful naïveté that our young prodigy was doing something as overtly evil-sounding as experimenting with snake DNA. Using what appears to be, of all things, a big jelly jar filled with the stuff in liquid form, complete with a picture of a venomous snake on it.

It’s, of course, great to see more of Doctor K. She and Nate obviously have a lot in common in terms of unleashing the Venjix virus on their respective worlds. The show takes full advantage of that, and it’s tremendous to see.

Before she returns home, Doctor K mentions the possibility that there are traces of the Venjix virus in her dimension. There’s a potential story there, somewhere…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Crunch Time” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E20 – “Crunch Time”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
June 25, 2020 (UK), November 28, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
Devon faces pressure to change up his leadership style.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I hated this episode. Absolutely hated it. Almost everybody in it looks like an idiot. The Rangers? Idiots. Commander Shaw? Idiot. Grid Battleforce at large? Idiots. Robo-Blaze? Idiot. It’s my least favorite episode of Beast Morphers, by far. And maybe, just maybe, one of my least favorite episodes the series has produced in almost 30 years.

Let’s talk about it, shall we?

The plot of this episode centers around Robo-Blaze impersonating the real Blaze to infiltrate Grid Battleforce and influence the Rangers, Devon in particular. Conceptually, there’s nothing wrong with that. And the way they play it, the audience knows from the start that it’s Robo-Blaze. They don’t flat out say it until the end. But I would think it’s rather obvious, even to little children. That doesn’t exactly make it a thrilling watch. But it’s a way to go.

The jig is up at the end of the episode when the real Blaze calls the Rangers from a karate tournament in Japan. And if you think about that with even a shred of logic or reason, you see there’s a giant hole in Robo-Blaze and Evox’s plan to get into Grid Battleforce. Blaze is friends with the Rangers. He could have, theoretically, called them any time. Blaze and Evox left themselves totally exposed.

What’s more, it’s common knowledge at Grid Battleforce that Blaze has an evil doppleganger running around. And you’ve got this guy acting uncharacteristically uptight, mean, and critical, especially toward Cruise. And yet nobody, not the Rangers, not Commander Shaw, not anybody at Grid Battleforce, thought to run a precautionary scan on him? Especially before letting him into their damn base?!?

I understand that Power Rangers is, first and foremost, a kids show. And sometimes, you’ve got to simplify the writing for the sake of that young audience. But at the same time, kids aren’t stupid. They don’t necessarily need to be written down to. Unfortunately, that’s what this episode did, to the extent that it was pretty much ruined.

Also, if I hear one of the Rangers say one more time, as Devon does in this episode, that one of the Beast Bots is “more than just a Beast Bot. He’s my friend.”, I’m gonna snap. I don’t know how much that line has actually been said over the course of Beast Morphers. But it feels like it’s been about 20 times. We get it. Enough.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Fossil Frenzy” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: 
S27:E19 – “Fossil Frenzy”
STARRING: 
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: 
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE: 
June 24, 2020 (UK), November 21, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
Zoey takes a big risk to make up for a big mistake.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Jacqueline Scislowski is one of the better actors on Beast Morphers, particularly when it comes to playing vulnerable or distressed. This episode highlights that, as Zoey accidentally destroys a priceless fossil belonging to her brother.

The fossil is burned up with “metachloric acid.” I’m fairly certain that’s not a real thing. There’s a meta-chloroperoxybenzoic acid, but not metachloric acid.

I’m surmising by its use in this episode that metachloric acid is used to move a plot along without burning up any set pieces in the process.

Without the fossil, Zoey’s brother is worried about not having anything to bring to his scholarship meeting. But moments later, Robo-Roxy produces a newspaper that has this new dinosaur species’ discovery as front page news. Couldn’t he have pointed to that, said he was on that expedition, and gotten someone to vouch for him? Seems pretty simple.

Considering Zoey’s brother allegedly discovered a new species of dinosaur with that fossil, she’s able to access the rest of the fossilized remains fairly easily. They basically just put up some flags and string. They didn’t even put a tarp over it. Some scientists…

Seeing Robo-Blaze and Devon get an extended fight sequence was cool. They’ve slowly but surely built up a nice little rivalry over the course of the series.

And so, Robo-Roxy goes down in flames once and for all courtesy of the Beast-X King Ultrazord. Big hat-tip to Liana Ramirez, as she played that evil character perfection. Avatar/Robo-Roxy loved being bad, and it showed.

They went back to the whole “Devon freezes up around dogs because of his cheetah DNA” thing for a gag at the end of the episode. They’ve used that maybe twice in the entire series. Which is for the best. Because, y’know, it’s dumb. Not quite as dumb as a dog putting ketchup on a hot dog. But still dumb.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “The Silva Switch” Review (Musical Number!)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Musical group shot, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Silva SwitchSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E18 – “The Silva Switch”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 23, 2020 (UK), November 14, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
A lab accident switches Nate and Steel’s bodies.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Within the first few minutes, I was fairly certain I was going to be disappointed in this episode. Not because it’s a body-switch episode, but because they swapped Nate and Steel’s voices as well as their bodies. In other words, Abraham Rodriguez (Nate) has his voice dubbed over by Jamie Linehan (Steel), while Rodriguez’s voice is coming out of Steel’s body. I was looking forward to seeing how Rodriguez would inhabit that Steel character, both physically and vocally. So to not get the whole package in that respect was a let-down.

However…

At about the 7:30 mark, from out of absolutely nowhere, the show dives into its first ever Broadway-style musical number, complete with singing and choreographed dancing. I had no idea it was coming and was absolutely blown away. It’s not brief, either. It goes on for almost two minutes on the dot.

Nate, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Silva Switch

I have a new respect for Abraham Rodriguez after seeing this sequence, as he had to be the centerpiece to the whole thing. It’s obviously not him singing. But he pulls off all the physicality and the dancing seamlessly. I can’t find anything that indicates he’s been in musicals before. But the dude was such a natural that you’ve got to believe he at least did it in school at some point.

I’m wondering, however, if he’s not a singer. That might explain why they had Jamie Linehan dub over his dialogue in the episode. That way Linehan, who’s obviously a voice actor, could carry the vocal portion and allow Rodriguez to focus on the other elements of the performance.

Is the whole thing pretty hokey? Absolutely. Did it win an Emmy, or even a Kid’s Choice Award? Nope. But when you can break new ground on a show that’s been around for 25-plus years it’s usually a good thing. No one was expecting, or for that matter calling for, a musical scene in Power Rangers. But this team took the concept, ran with it, and made it into one of the highlights of the entire series. Bravo.

They actually did make me feel sad for Steel when it was time for he and Nate to switch their bodies back. Dude loved being human enough to break out into friggin’ song. We should all love something that much.

Email Rob at PrimaryIgnition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Goin’ Ape” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E17 – “Goin’ Ape”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 22, 2020 (UK), November 7, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
Robo-Roxy sets out to destroy Ravi once and for all.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The episode starts off with Ravi and an old lady on a park bench, and the old lady just helps herself to Ravi’s sketchbook. Yes, they had to establish what Ravi had gotten Roxy for their anniversary. But still…rude much?

We also later find out the woman’s name is Stacy. I must admit, I’ve never heard of an old woman character named Stacy. On a kids show like this, you’d think she’d have been named Ethel or Hazel, or something a little more stereotypically mature-sounding.

Indeed, for the first time in many episodes, we see the genuine Roxy as opposed to the robotic version that serves Evox. Roxy was a little too hung up on what she was getting for her anniversary. Apparently in the Power Rangers universe, the thought doesn’t count…

As we’ve seen before with this Ravi/Roxy romance, they lay on the stereotypical lovey dovey imagery. Cast in point, the candles and the rose petals on the date. Even the beach setting when Ravi goes to be alone after the fight. Granted, they subsequent Sentai footage was at a beach, so it was called for. But still…

I noticed during this episode that Roxy’s robot form has the word “escape” printed on her forehead. Turns out Escape is the name of her Sentai counterpart. Conversely, Robo-Blaze’s counterpart is named Enter.

The second fight between Ravi and Robo-Roxy takes place at “Hartmann Nature Park.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Johnny Hartmann does the teleplay for this episode.

Are gorillas notoriously bad-tempered? Part of the premise of this episode is that Ravi, whose DNA has been infused with that of a gorilla, gets so hot-tempered that he turns on his teammates during battle. That’s supposed to be a side effect of the gorilla stuff, right? But is that a thing that gorillas do? Probably not…

Then again, the cheetah DNA-infused Devon freezes up when he sees a dog. Or even just a picture of a dog. Realism isn’t this show’s strong suit.

Ravi goes nuts with anger at the end of the episode, and Roxy is ultimately the one to cool him down. Yet again, a wasted opportunity for a kiss on this show. Just sayin’.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Golden Opportunity” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E16 – “Golden Opportunity”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 19, 2020 (UK), October 31, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS: 
Nate must choose between being with his parents and being a Power Ranger.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode gives us something I’ve been hoping to get from Beast Morphers: Some time with Nate’s parents. Devon, Ravi, and Zoey all have a parent that we know. It’s only natural that we meet at least one of Nate’s.

Incidentally, the Nate character has grown on me. I thought he was a little bit of a twerp when the series started. But time has softened my stance on him. Maybe it’s just a matter of spending a little time with someone…

This episode is pretty ambiguous about what Nate’s parents actually do overseas. Perhaps that’s on purpose. All the episode really tells us they move around, make things better, and then move on. Sounds like it might be a Peace Corps or American Red Cross type thing.

The little moments between Nate and Zoey in this episode are nice. Abraham Rodriguez and Jacqueline Scislowski don’t have a lot to work with in terms of giving their romance actual substance. But their performances are believable nevertheless. You can say what you want about the acting on Power Rangers, but those two are good.

If these were the Mighty Morphin days, I’d have actually been concerned Nate was being written off the show. This is one of those “move away” stories they always used to use to write characters out. Jason, Zack, and Trini went to Switzerland. Kimberly went to Florida. Now we’ve got an episode about Nate potentially moving to Costa Rica with his parents.

After Devon, Nate, and Steel destroy the Gigadrone with their zords, they rush back to rendezvous with the others as they fight against Robo-Roxy. As usual, they arrive via car. But I mean…couldn’t they have just gotten there in the zords? Why did they need to drive themselves there? And it again raises the question of why they can’t be teleported.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Grid Connection” Review (Jason Returns!)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Jason, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Grid ConnectionSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E15 – “Grid Connection”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez
GUEST-STARRING:
Austin St. John, Brennan Mejia, Yoshi Sudarso, James Davies, Davi Santos
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 18, 2020 (UK), October 24, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS: 
The Rangers (along with some friends) take on Evox, Goldar Maximus, and their forces.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The episode begins with Keeper showing back up to tell the Rangers about a vision he’s seen via the Morphin Grid. One of “many Power Rangers in a mighty battle” in which the Rangers are beaten. He adds that he can’t know which Ranger teams were fighting, as the vision was not clear.

So…Keeper couldn’t tell which Rangers were fighting in his vision? Y’know, these Ranger teams have pretty distinct costumes. They’re only similar in that they have a lot of the same colors. You’d think he’d be able to at least give them a hint or something. Was the whole thing blurry or something? Was he not wearing his glasses?

Keeper also says that Devon was hit by a meteor in his vision, which subsequently happens. Mind you, Devon isn’t even morphed when he’s hit, and he winds up totally fine. His clothes aren’t even tattered or burned. This could very well be one of the biggest affronts to the laws of reality in Power Rangers history. Like, right up there with being able to breathe on the surface of the moon.

Tyler transmission, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Grid Connection

Moments later, Grid Battleforce gets a distress call from the Dino Charge Rangers, which Nate says is from “another dimension.” I get that the “another dimension” line is probably the best way to get us into the scene, get it moving, etc. But it also makes it sound like Nate has no idea where the message is coming from. And remember, Grid Battleforce has obviously had some degree of communication with the Dino Charge dimension before, as they have access to their records, weapons, and what not.

“It’s from a familiar dimension,” might have been a better line. It’s roughly the same length, and it doesn’t make Nate look stupid.

After the rest of the Beast Morphers team are bested by Goldar’s forces, Devon sends out a distress call through the Morphin Grid that’s answered by Jason, the original Red Ranger. Any time Power Rangers can bring back someone who either hasn’t been back on the show in awhile, or hasn’t been back at all since they left, it’s special. Often the further back you go, the more special it is. As such, having Austin St. John back to play Jason for the first time in roughly 18 years is a huge deal. “Grid Connection” rightly treats him with reverence. Though not to the point of worship, as we saw with Tommy back in “Dimensions in Danger.”

Did they make Austin have to shave his beard for this? In virtually every picture I’ve seen of him in the last decade or so, he has one. I suppose it tracks that they might have wanted him to shave and look a little more like the Jason of old. But it’s still a little silly. Let him have the beard. What’s the big deal?

About two years after “Grid Connection” aired, “Morphin Master” dropped. That episode casually revealed that it was the Green Morphin Master who sent the Tyrannosaurus power coin to Devon via the meteor, which in turn called out to Jason. Why she chose to send the coin via a meteor is another question entirely…

The revelation in “Morphin Master” flew in the face of a headcanon idea I had: That whatever allowed all the past Rangers to morph in “Legendary Battle” had restored all lost powers. So for instance, the original Mighty Morphin Rangers, including Jason, would have gotten their powers back permanently. As we see with “Grid Connection” and “Morphin Master,” that’s probably not what happened. But it might have simplified things as far as explaining how different Rangers have gotten their powers back. It also might have explained how Tommy got his Master Morpher.

Unfortunately, Austin St. John’s return largely overshadows the Dino Charge actors being back again. This includes Camille Hyde and Michael Taber providing the voices for Shelby and Riley, who only appear in morphed form. Let’s not take them for granted, though.

Jason and the Dino Charge Rangers are ultimately confronted by Goldar and his forces, leading Jason to reveal his four Mighty Morphin teammates, along with the Red, Blue, and Yellow Dino Thunder Rangers, already morphed. Obviously, none of the original actors were back, even in a voiceover capacity. But it’s still amazing to see these three dino-themed teams on screen together. Granted, it was only done because they had the Sentai footage of all the counterparts being brought back for Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters. But let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. We got a big dino-themed team-up, with presumably as many of the original actors as they could afford to bring back.

What’s interesting about this to me, both on the Sentai side and the PR side, is that the Go-Busters/Beast Morphers team is largely cast aside in favor of the big dino battle. Granted, Devon comes in at the end to lend a hand. But usually these team-ups at least try to give everybody equal emphasis. It’s hard to deny that the Beast Morphers team, the incumbent team mind you, gets pushed aside here. That’s a shame, as after 30 episodes, they’d earned the right to get their due in a big team-up like this.

Dino Charge also gets a little more emphasis in the battle than the other two dino teams. That makes sense on the Sentai side, as the story was ultimately about their counterparts teaming with the Go-Busters characters.

Let’s talk about Trini. Thuy Trang, who played the original Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger, was tragically killed in a car accident in 2001. As of this writing, we know that a young actress and martial artist named Charlie Kersh will be playing Trini’s daughter in the upcoming Power Rangers 30th anniversary special. So it might be safe to assume that from a story perspective, Trini has died in the Power Rangers universe. I think that’s probably the right route to take. We certainly wouldn’t want anyone else trying to play Trini.

As Trini is presumably gone, it would make sense that Aisha, Trini’s successor as the Yellow Ranger, is the one in the costume here. Unless they retroactively tell us in the 30 anniversary show that Trini’s daughter took on her mother’s role.

Dino Thunder may be, top to bottom, my favorite series PR has ever produced. So to see those Rangers (shown above) represented here is, of course, a thrill. But as thrilling as it is, it’s also a little frustrating that neither James Napier (Conner, the Red Ranger), Kevin Dunahey (Ethan, the Blue Ranger), or Emma Lahana (Kira, the Yellow Ranger) were able to come in for a voice cameo. It really would have added an extra layer of authenticity and awesomeness to the whole thing. I’m assuming their absence has something to do with the show not wanting to spend extra money for what would ultimately amount to a few lines.

If there were ever a time to play “Go Go Power Rangers,” it would have been during Jason’s morph, on into the opening minutes of the fight. Preferably the classic Ron Wasserman version, obviously. But I’d even have taken the edgier version they used for Samurai and Megaforce. I’m extremely curious as to why PR seems so averse to using old theme songs for team-ups like this.

Jason’s lines about Zordon and Serpentera were nice little fan service moments. Incidentally, when he compares Serpentera to Evox’s Chimera Zord, he says the latter has six heads. But…*goes back and counts…it has seven. Whoops.

The big zord fight at the end featuring the three Megazords, including the original Mighty Morphin one, was nice. At least in theory…

Granted, this is all on the Sentai footage. But like a lot of modern zord fights, it was too much CGI and not enough suit work. The Chimera Zord is, conceptually, amazing. But there wasn’t anything that looked mechanical about it. Then, once we got into the fight with all the lasers and the flying, it looked like a big video game. Seeing the original Megazord during that big CGI assembly clip just felt wrong…

The device that Jason uses to open the portal at the end of the episode is just like the one Wes used to do the same thing in “Dimensions in Danger.” That might imply there’s been some kind of contact between Jason and Wes that we don’t know about. Or maybe Jason and Time Force.

I nitpick because that’s part of what I do with these reviews. But in truth, we were lucky to get what we got in “Grid Connection.” This feels like an anniversary episode, though it isn’t. Realistically, they didn’t have to adapt this Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters footage for Power Rangers. They also could have done it really lazily, without Austin St. John or any of the old cast members. Instead, despite its flaws, “Grid Connection” feels like a labor of love. A love that’s been dishearteningly absent from other PR seasons.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Making Bad” Review (Goldar Returns…sort of)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Goldar Maximus, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making BadSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E14 – “Making Bad”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Campbell Cooley (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, James Collins, Cameron Dixon
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
June 17, 2020 (UK), October 17, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
Evox’s forces debate which villain to revive to take on the Rangers.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Making Bad” is a strange episode. Not necessarily strange in a bad way. But strange nonetheless.

The premise is that Scrozzle, Robo-Blaze, Robo-Roxy, and the other villains are debating about which villains to bring back next with the Reanimizer. They watch old footage of villains like Koragg, Astronema, Lord Zedd, and Psycho Red before finally settling on their choice. As a long-time fan that’s really cool to see, even if the footage is “watered down” (more on that in a bit).

But from a storytelling perspective, it’s odd that the episode spends so much time teaching us about villains we ultimately won’t end up seeing.  The four villains mentioned above have no impact on Beast Morphers whatsoever. So what’s the point in talking about them? Simple fanservice?

Lord Zedd footage, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Incidentally, seeing how much Lord Zedd is emphasized in this episode and the previous one, I can’t help but wonder if at this point they already knew what they were going to do with Zedd in Dino Fury

Most of the retro footage we see in this episode has a “watered down” feel to it, as it’s all been re-dubbed by different voice actors. It’s not limited to actors inside suits, either. The “conventional” performances, where you can see the actors’ faces, are dubbed as well. For instance, in the footage we see from Power Rangers in Space, Melody Perkins (Astronema) and Christopher Kayman Lee (Andros) are dubbed over by new actors. And for the most part the original actors, like Perkins and Lee, weren’t used for the dubbing. (The only major exception is Koragg/Leonbow, whose actor Geoff Dolan does return).

According to research done by Linkara, this may have something to do with voice-only tracks for those old episodes not being available. Whether that’s actually the case or not, the effect is the same: It sucks. It really takes the punch out of seeing characters like Zedd and Astronema referenced in modern PR.

Trivia note: The actress who dubs for Rita’s voice, Susan Brady, also voiced the character during her brief appearance in Mystic Force.

After Robo-Roxy suggests Astronema be revived, Robo-Blaze says she should remember Astronema became a good guy from Ranger History Class. So wait, Blaze and Roxy took the class too?!? Who’s in this class, anyway? Did Nate take it too? Are Devon, Ravi, and Zoey still taking it as the series continues? I want to know!!!

Robo-Roxy, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Robo-Roxy is batting a thousand in this episode, as she refers to King Mondo from Zeo as “King Mondu.” Whoops.

While the villains are debating about who to bring back, the Rangers spend some time hunting for a jewel thief who picks his targets in alphabetical order. It ultimately turns out to be a Robotron, who may very well be the stupidest jewel thief of all time.

Evox’s forces ultimately choose to revive Goldar, albeit an “upgraded” and enhanced version of Goldar. He’ll ultimately be referred to as Goldar Maximus, so that’s what we’ll call him here. Once again, Goldar’s original voice actor, Kerrigan Mahan, is not used. I’m not sure if it was a union issue (which Power Rangers has run into historically), an issue of not wanting to pay a certain amount to get him, or something else. Even more than the dubbed retro footage, that hurts the final product. No disrespect to Adrian Smith, who was ultimately picked to voice Goldar Maximus. But as a kid, a huge part of why Goldar had such an imposing presence, especially in season one, was because of the beastly and animalistic voice Mahan used. It just doesn’t feel like Goldar without him doing the voice.

Behind the scenes, the decision to use Goldar was dictated by the Sentai source material they’d been using for “Finders Keepers,” this episode, and the next episode, the movie Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell, Our Eternal Friends. (Yeesh. That’s a title…) The film sees Goldar’s Sentai counterpart, Grifforzer, return in the altered form we see here. So to a large extent, if they wanted to use Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters, they had to use Goldar…

Goldar Maximus, image 2, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Making Bad

Or did they? Would it have been too lame to make the altered Grifforzer suit Goldar’s son, or some kind of relative? That would solve the Kerrigan Mahan issue.

On Evox’s order, Goldar kills Sledge for his insolence. That’s a nice little feather in Goldar’s cap, as Sledge was, of course, a lead villain. And I have no doubt Sledge will be back somewhere down the line. Beast Morphers was the third consecutive series he’d appeared in, after Dino Charge and Ninja Steel. The guy is hard to keep down, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Finders Keepers” Review (Dino Charge Team-Up!)

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Devon, Tyler, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Finders KeepersSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E13 – “Finders Keepers”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
GUEST-STARRING:
Brennan Mejia, James Davies, Yoshi Sudarso, Davi Santos, Camille Hyde (Voice), Michael Taber (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
June 16, 2020 (UK), October 10, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS:
A scramble ensues for possession of Ryjack’s villainous artifacts.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Keeper (who we know from Dino Charge) arrives to search for Ryjack’s villainous artifacts amid the wreckage of his ship, and Ravi remarks that he recognizes him from “Ranger History Class.” They have to take a class?!? Who teaches said class? Presumably a Ranger alum, right?

Actually, you know who’d be a really fitting teacher? Alpha 6. Or if they really wanted to go old school, Alpha 5.

This episode doesn’t do Zoey any favors. Granted, part of the story is her learning a lesson about rushing into things. But she still looks pretty stupid running headlong into a strange spaceship. Then you’ve got her slapping Keeper with the compliance collar. Didn’t she take Ranger History Class too? Wouldn’t she know who Keeper is, what he looks like, etc?

Among the objects in Ryjack’s collection are: Lord Zedd’s staff, Goldar’s sword, and Sledge’s blaster. Mind you, those are merely the items I immediately recognized. How Ryjack got these various items is a question for fanfiction. For instance, one could reasonably make the point that Zedd’s staff and Goldar’s sword were destroyed by the Zordon wave at the end of “Countdown to Destruction.” But one could just as easily assume that Zedd had more than one staff, Goldar had more than one sword, etc. Remember, a lot of these guys had been around for millions of years…

This episode leaves something to be desired as far as telling us who the Dino Charge Rangers are. It more or less assumes the viewer knows them coming in. As someone who, as of this writing, has not seen Dino Charge, that kind of sucks. It does a disservice to the characters. I had no idea, for instance, that the Dino Charge Gold Ranger is apparently a knight from the 13th century. I can only imagine certain people’s confusion as to why the Blue Ranger is talking like a cave man…

Though in all fairness, “Finders Keepers” has a lot to accomplish for one episode. So there’s not necessarily time to explore character dynamics with the Dino Charge team. However, it would have been nice to at least formally get their names. I’ve had to do a little bit of background research just to get them myself.

On the subject of returning Rangers, Camille Hyde (who plays Shelby, Dino Charge Pink) and Michael Taber (Riley, Dino Charge Green) were apparently unable to return in person for this episode, but did do voice cameos. That’s really nice, and not something to be taken for granted. As we’ll see in the next couple of episodes, it’s a luxury we won’t always have.

During the truck chase sequence, which consists mostly (if not entirely) of Sentai footage, we briefly see a street sign in Japanese (shown above). That isn’t a big deal to me. But that kind of thing is usually edited out of Power Rangers episodes. I’d be curious to know why they didn’t do it here.

This episode also features the unheralded, and not even acknowledged return of the Triptoids from Dino Thunder. They’re simply there for no apparent reason during the fight scene when the Dino Charge Rangers show up. A line or two introducing them would have been nice. But again, there isn’t necessarily time in this episode. 

“Finders Keepers” sees the Reanimizer revive Sledge, Snide, and a few other villains from Dino Charge. And they’re still around at the end of the episode. And yet, after the immediate threat has passed, Keeper and the Dino Charge Rangers hightail it back to their dimension, saying they’re needed there. From an in-story standpoint, I call BS on that. Keeper, Tyler, or somebody from the Dino Charge side of things could have stayed behind to help or advise the Beast Morphers team. Thanks for the help, ya jerks…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Goldar by Anthony Mattea

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Goldar returns to “Toy Chest Theater” once again, as Anthony Mattea allows the character to quite literally spread his wings.

The timing of this image is interesting, as I just watched the “Grid Connection” episode of Power Rangers Beast Morphers for an upcoming review. That episode sees an “upgraded” version of Goldar return to menace the Rangers. But as Mattea’s photo demonstrates, there’s nothing about the classic Goldar design that needed upgrading.

Goldar, Anthony Mattea

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.