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
S27:E14 – “Making Bad”
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Campbell Cooley (Voice)
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, James Collins, Cameron Dixon
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
June 17, 2020 (UK), October 17, 2020 (US)
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
S27:E13 – “Finders Keepers”
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
Brennan Mejia, James Davies, Yoshi Sudarso, Davi Santos, Camille Hyde (Voice), Michael Taber (Voice)
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
June 16, 2020 (UK), October 10, 2020 (US)
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.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Beasts Unleashed” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Beasts Unleashed, image 1SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E1 – “Beasts Unleashed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Teuila Blakely
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTORS: Simon Bennett, Yuji Noguchi
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 2, 2019
SYNOPSIS: An evil computer virus sabotages a city’s attempt to use the Morphing Grid for clean energy. Three new Rangers rise to take on the threat.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s fun to me that the Morphing Grid has, over time, become more and more of a character on the show. This thing, essentially used as a piece of expository tech dialogue way back in the Mighty Morphin days, has grown and grown to the point that it’s now an active piece of Power Rangers lore. And in the case of Beast Morphers, a pivotal part of the show’s premise. Morph X, a clean energy source derived from the grid, is being used not only to power the Rangers and their tech, but the city they reside in as well. That’s a really cool premise, and a clever way to use the concept of the grid.

But for crying out loud, is it “Morphin Grid” or “Morphing Grid?” Because I’ve heard it said both ways…

Devon Daniels, our new Red Ranger, reminds me a lot of Zack from Mighty Morphin. Rorrie D. Travis injects a lot of charisma into the character. Mere minutes into the premiere, I can tell he was a good casting choice.

Ravi, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Beasts Unleashed

Jazz Baduwalia, who plays Ravi, is the first Indian actor to play a Power Ranger.  I remember being shocked when I heard that. Yes, diverse casting deserves to be celebrated. But the show also deserves to be called out for this one. Beast Morphers is the 26th season of Power Rangers, a show that has supposedly had diversity built into its DNA from the start. And yet there had never been a Ranger of Indian descent until now? To me, that’s more sad than anything else. Sadder still is the fact that we’re now on season 28, and we still haven’t had a Middle Eastern Ranger…

You really can’t blame Devon for sneaking into Grid Battleforce, can you? He’s a gamer, and Grid Battleforce sounds like it was plucked directly from a video game.

Devon’s dad, the mayor of Coral Harbor, references Rita Repulsa, Sledge, and Galvanax when talking about villains who’ve wanted to steal the Rangers’ powers. That’s a nice little moment, harkening back to not just the first season, but Dino Charge and Ninja Steel too.

Nate Silva, the genius “child prodigy” character played by Abraham Rodriguez, annoys me for some reason. Like Will Wheaton in Star Trek: The Next Generation, he’s got a very punchable face.

The Beast Morphers suits are…different. Even by kids standards, the spandex costumes on this show have always required a pretty big suspension of disbelief, not the least of which because of the zippers in back being clearly visible. In contrast, these suits appear to be made of a leathery material, with the zippers clearly visible in front for some reason.

Blue and Red, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Beasts Unleashed

I don’t dislike them, though. They’re an ingredient that makes Beast Morphers stand out amongst other seasons. Would I want the suits to be like this every season? No. But as a one-off they’re perfectly fine.

For whatever reason, Power Rangers loves to tinker with the DNA of its heroes. Case in point, Beast Morphers is merging human and animal DNA to give the Rangers animal-themed super powers. The speed of a cheetah, the strength of a gorilla, etc. As far as the risk/reward ratio is concerned, I wonder how that stacks up against being bitten by a radioactive spider. Or perhaps a radioactive jackrabbit…

Yeah, the Yellow Ranger’s DNA was merged with that of a jackrabbit. Cheetah. Gorilla. Jackrabbit. One of these things is not like the others.

For the uninitiated, Power Rangers is made using footage from the Japanese show Super Sentai. So the producers of Power Rangers are to a large extent beholden to what the Japanese creators do. In this case, I’d love to be able to ask those creators…Why a jackrabbit?

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