Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by SG-17, Aug 7, 2010.
it happens frequently. one season will be fairly serious and the next will be light and comedic.
It's not very good imo but it has some nice stuff, the entire Dragon Ranger arc is pretty good and I liked the villains more than the boring heroes. Bandora's backstory is nice and I actually felt kinda bad for her in the end.
By the way, I find it interesting that in Zyuranger, the call to transform is "Henshin da!", which literally means "It's transformation!" Or, effectively, "It's morphin' time!" Another thing that's a lot closer to the original than I expected. (The Dairangers used the word "tenshin" instead of "henshin," though it apparently had the same meaning.)
Also the Blue/TriceraRanger's Legendary Weapon is actually called a lance in the original. It always bugged me that Billy's weapon, which looked more like a pair of sais, was called a Power Lance. I always figured that was a Westernization, but it actually was called the Tricera Lance.
One silly thing I'd forgotten was how, in the shots where Daizyujin/the Megazord picks up and wields its sword, the big black plastic fists are replaced by the suit actor's much smaller hands in white gloves. That's just weird.
I'm trying to decide what to watch now after having finished Wild Force, and am torn between MMPR S1 (I'd be using a Streamlined episode guide I made that cuts it down to 48 episodes), Zeo (it's been years since I watched it), Lightspeed Rescue (I've only seen a handful of eps, so it'd be basically a 'virgin' watch-through), or Dino Thunder (I don't particularly like it, but am willing to give it another chance). Can you guys help me decide which to watch, please?
If you haven't seen most of Lightspeed I'd pick that, my second choice would be Zeo.
I'd be interested to see that streamlined episode guide. If I ever do revisit MMPR, I'd want to keep it to the essentials.
Of the seasons you list, Lightspeed Rescue and Dino Thunder are my favorites.
^ Shoot me an e-mail (I'll pm my address to you), and I'll send you a copy of what I made.
^Any reason you can't just post the list in this thread? Others might be interested too, or have alternative proposals for essential episodes.
Besides, your PM didn't actually seem to include your e-mail as far as I could tell. And I'm not sure it's important enough to me at this point to pursue privately -- more something I might want to look into at a later time.
Ok. I'll post it here.
BTW, sorry about forgetting to include my e-mail.
Here's my 'Streamlined Episode Guide', as requested, for MMPR S1.
DigificWriter's MMPR Season 1 "Streamlined Episode Guide"Day of the Dumpster
A Pressing Engagement
Happy Birthday, Zack
For Whom the Bell Trolls
Power Ranger Punks
No Clowning Around
I, Eye Guy
Foul Play in the Sky
Peace, Love, and Woe
Green with Evil: Out of Control
Green with Evil: Jason’s Battle
Green with Evil: The Rescue
Green with Evil: Eclipsing Megazord
Green with Evil: Breaking the Spell
The Trouble with Shellshock
Itsy Bitsy SpiderThe Spit Flower
Life’s a Masquerade
Wheel of Misfortune
Island of Illusion, Part 1
Island of Illusion, Part 2
A Star is Born
The Yolk’s on You
The Green Candle, Part 1
The Green Candle, Part 2
Birds of a Feather
A Bad Reflection on You
Doomsday, Part 1
Doomsday, Part 2
Rita’s Seed of Evil
A Pig Surprise
Lions & Blizzards
Crystal of Nightmares
To Flea or Not to Flee
Reign of the Jellyfish
Plague of the Mantis
Return of an Old Friend, Part 1
Note: There are several episodes intentionally placed out-of-order insofar as either their original airdate, production date, or Netflix/DVD order is concerned; this was done in order to facilitate and manufacture as much serialization and progression of storyline as I could muster based on the episodic nature of the season.
Oh, I thought you meant you'd trimmed the whole 3 seasons of MMPR down to 48 essentials. This is only trimming season 1 by 20 percent. I doubt there are that many episodes in season 1 that I'd want to see again. I'd prefer to keep it to the absolute essentials.
I did that some time ago, I see if I can find the list if you're interested but I have to warn you, I skipped a ton of episodes that most people might find important because Tommy losing his green powers, getting them back and then losing them again annoyed me. Even Doomsday doesn't happen in my version because at that point Tommy didn't have his powers and it didn't matter anyway, the rangers "defeat" Rita and the next day it's business as usual.
I went ahead and started watching Lightspeed Rescue and figured I'd share my episode-by-episode impressions of it - which I'm posting elsewhere - here.
I've always liked Lightspeed Rescue's theme song; it's got a catchy melody and lyrics that are straightforward and encompass the motif of the season really well.
I also really like the costume design for the season. The suits are neat-looking and fit the overall motif of the season really nicely, and match up well with the designs of the Rangers' civilian uniform jackets and the look of the supporting characters' costumes. The villains also look great, with Diabolico and Vypra's costume design standing out the most.
Operation Lightspeed/Lightspeed Teamwork
I've actually seen these two episodes several times before, but no matter how many times I see them, I'm struck by how well they're paced and structured. They feel much more dramatic than is typical for the franchise, which lends itself well to the stories they tell. I also love the subplot in Lightspeed Teamwork involving Joel, as it's a great way to showcase a bit of his character and personality but without overwhelming the rest of the narrative.
I also really like the way the Rangers use their Zords separately and in tandem in Lightspeed Teamwork before forming the Lightspeed Megazord for the first time because it allows the writers to really emphasize the 'Rescue' motif of the season and gives the fight with the monster a more 'grown-up' and realistic feel that is reminiscent of the first Turbo Megazord fight in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
Trial by Fire
Although we've seen other episodes of its type before and since, Trial by Fire is IMO, the episode to use the 'Ranger doubts themselves' trope most effectively, giving us a great character study for Carter and an episode that, structurally and narratively, could've easily happened in a more 'mainstream' drama.
I also liked getting to see Vypra in action as the one driving the conflict narrative and enjoyed the seeds being planted for a rivalry of sorts between her and Carter.
Speaking of Vypra, I was kind of taken off guard - even though I've seen the episode a couple of times before - by just how closely her costume skirts the line between 'appropriate for a kid's show' and ' too risque'; I still really like the costume, but was somewhat surprised they were able to get away with making it the way they did.
The only complaint I have is that they rushed the Megazord transformation, but I'm only citing it as a complaint because I really enjoyed the more drawn-out transformation sequence from Lightspeed Teamwork.
Riding the Edge
I don't really understand where the title of this ep comes from, but I liked it anyways.
Kelsey is the only one of the Rangers who didn't really have an occupation before Mitchell recruited them, and so this episode is really our first chance to see - in full - what she brings to the team, and I liked that her fearless adrenaline-junky attitude found practical application in this episode, first in her first run-in with Nancy and then in the effort to save Nancy and her fellow shuttle pilot.
It's become kind of fashionable for fans to joke about some of the Samurai and Megaforce characters having homosexual tendencies, but I have to say that there's definitely more than a bit of intentional 'hinting' happening in this episode with Kelsey and Nancy, at least on Kelsey's end (even though I don't think it goes anywhere) which is kind of a big deal given that we know the behind-the-scenes environment on the franchise just a few years earlier wasn't too LGBT-friendly, so I have to give somebody on the writing staff credit for tackling the issue even in a subtle and one-off fashion.
A Matter of Trust
As I mentioned up-thread, this was the first Lightspeed Rescue episode I ever saw, and remains one of my favorites out of those episodes that I have previously seen.
The plot is fairly standard fare, but what makes it stand out for me is the character focus on Dana and the way it doesn't give away the 'twist' until fairly late in the story.
Alyson MacInnis does a really good job of selling Dana's indignance at being handed what she thinks is basically a 'milk run' assignment, as well as the realization that she was wrong in what she said to him and that he trusted her more than she knew. Her performance in this ep really helps elevate the story from standard generic fare and really helps you connect with Dana as a character.
Ron Rogge also does a great job of playing the 'straight-man' in the episode (just as he did in Trial by Fire), and the scene where Mitchell tells Dana that she doesn't need to question her worthiness for the job of being a Ranger yet also connects with her on a fatherly level is really powerful, especially in light of some of the revelations that are still yet to come story-wise for both him and Dana.
Wheels of Destruction
I don't see this as being a particularly popular opinion, but I happen to think Vypra is one of the strongest of Lightspeed Rescue's villains, not just in practical terms, but in terms of characterization and role, and this episode provides a good example of why.
It was a good decision by the writers to start the episode off 'in media res' because it gave Vypra a chance to come out swinging against the Rangers and provided a nice change of pace in terms of the traditional PR episode formula and an impetus for Miss Fairweather to do her tech thing.
I may not have seen all of the season prior to starting this watch-through, but was aware of what happens with Joel and Miss F, which adds a nice little layer to this episode's continuation of his interest in her and adds some nice subtle humor and irony to the scene at the very end of the episode where Dana calls her out on the fact that she rebuffed Joel's advances by making up a bogus regulation.
Up to the Challenge
Of the season's early character focus episodes, this one is the weakest and the one that feels the most rushed, but there's still enough substance to it to offset those negatives.... for the most part, anyway.
I liked the concept of Chad and Kelsey being friends, as their personalities seem like they'd mesh well based on what we've seen in previous episodes, especially in light of the idea that Kelsey 'bats for the other team', as it were, and the idea that he'd drag her to come practice Tai Chi with him adds some nice layers to both of their personalities. I also liked that it fed directly into the story of the episode.
Speaking of said story, I liked the concept of somebody aligning themselves with Vypra out of a desire to get one up on Chad, but the execution fell a little flat because there was no build-up to the idea being introduced.
With the Lightspeed Cycles just having been introduced in Wheels of Destruction, it makes more sense for this episode to be watched as an immediate follow-up, which is what I would recommend for first-time watchers or anybody who wants to rewatch the season.
I really liked the 'in media res' nature of the episode's teaser, and thought it made for a nice story set-up and introduction to the eponymous Cyborg Rangers, who I thought were actually kind of neat.
General McKnight comes off as a real douchebag, but it works because of the context and because he's SUPPOSED to come off as a douchebag, which makes his reaction when the Cyborg Rangers go haywire all the more neat and satisfying.
There were some parts of the episode that felt slightly rushed, but, overall, I really liked the story and the way it highlighted all of the characters. I particularly liked the Rangers' reactions to McKnight dismissing them from their Ranger duties and the nice detail of Joel and Kelsey being the ones to object to getting involved even without their Morphers.
When I started this batch of reviews, my feeling was that this episode and Up to the Challenge ought to be flip-flopped in story order, but as I was typing things up, I came to a different conclusion, which is that the episode actually makes more sense if it happens prior to the introduction of the Lightspeed Cycles in Wheels of Destruction, which would place it following A Matter of Trust.
Well, it's the same costume worn by Denus/Diinasu in Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive, and the Sentai shows often have more adult content than you'd see in an American kids' show. (I've always felt the only reason they would've cast such a horrible actress as Jennifer L. Yen in the role is because she resembled the original actress, Kaya Hirasawa, enough that they could match new footage with old.)
That's pretty much the way it always goes -- after the first few episodes, the individual Zords/mecha get marginalized and we get just a few seconds of them combining into the Megazord.
I figure the title references Kelsey's thrill-seeking -- it's like pushing the envelope, pushing yourself/your vehicle to the limits of endurance or safety. Like riding along the edge of a cliff.
That's news to me. Although I think I've had some pleasant thoughts along those lines where Emma and Gia are concerned...
Go Volcanic/Rising from the Ashes
I really liked these two eps, which constitute the season's first official two-part story arc.
I liked that Go Volcanic was largely Dana-centric, and the subplot involving the bus reminded me of the 'A' story from the Defiance Season 1 episode The Serpent's Egg. I also really liked Tri-Fire.
Rising from the Ashes was a nice follow-up to GV and, peripherally, A Matter of Trust, and I liked that after 7 or 8 episodes of talking about it, the episode finally had Queen Bansheera return, even briefly. Her ephemeral design was kind of freaky, and a nice call-back of sorts to the other demons' ephemeral forms as seen in Operation Lightspeed.
I also liked that RftA was our first 'focus ep' for Miss Fairweather and that it introduced us to the Supertrain Megazord while also continuing to play with the subplot of Joel's attraction to her and the hijinks associated with her trying to pretend that she's not interested in him.
That's not new, Danny and Max were almost Wild Force's official couple in the fans eyes and I remember that many people were convinced that Sky and Bridge were doing it when SPD aired. There was a scene of Bridge being asleep in the command center, Kruger was trying to wake him up and Bridge mumbled "Just five more minutes, Sky" in his sleep, cue everyone staring at Sky and him having a "Busted!" look on his face.
And can you look at this Samurai scene and tell me it doesn't look like they're going to make out?
That had to be intentional, if it wasn't I don't want to know what they were thinking when they wrote, filmed, edited, scored and locked that scene.
I resist the assumption that the only possible strong feeling that two people can have for each other is a sexual attraction. Friendship can be a deep emotion as well.
I've hit the Titanium Ranger arc, which had previously constituted the bulk of the episodes I'd seen from the season (although I've only seen 4 of the 6 episodes in it that I can recall).
Going back to the instances that Takeru cited re: LGBT jokes, I'm with Christopher. As for what sets the Kelsey/Nancy thing apart from those instances, there was clear inflection in Kelsey's behavior, tone of voice, and demeanor.... inflection, I might add, that matches the way Joel acts when he's trying to 'woo' Ms. Fairweather.
Fox Kids refused to air that episode in the UK because of the gun. Then when they had a "Lightspeed Weekend" marathon, they claimed to air every episode.
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