To quote DBZ Abridged’s Vegeta, “I’M BACK, BITCHES!” My first article of this nature received over 100 views in the matter of a few days; which I did not expect it would acquire that many in under a week. Now, I return to see if lightning will strike twice as I take a look at considerably the best Neo-Saban series to date, Power Rangers Dino Charge, and technically its other half Super Charge. However I normally prefer to just call the two parts, as simply Dino Charge because I do not give a damn about this lazy technicality of needing Super for everything these days!
*SPOILER WARNING AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO FINISH EITHER SERIES! IF ONE DOES NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED, DON’T READ BEYOND THIS POINT!*
I like a lot of fans were weary about Dino Charge because of Super MegaForce royally screwed the pooch with both respect to the greater franchise, and it’s fans. That was all due to Johnathan Tzachor, and how he really didn’t give a rat’s ass about continuity during Super MegaForce as seen with adapting suits like DaiRanger and MANY others with no rhyme or reason at all. Of course some fans were sad that Go-Busters wasn’t adapted even though it was rather good in my opinion. The Japanese audience didn’t see it that way even though Go-Busters was literally grooming itself to be adapted. The season that was adapted was Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, a season I had mixed feelings about due to its lead Red Ranger lording over the team, ESPECIALLY when he got his “Battlizer”. Once Daigo would tun to Carnival, the others didn’t really even need to morph. However, once more production material surfaced about the season such as Chip Lynn was coming back as Executive Producer after Haim Saban, himself, FIRED Johnathan Tzachor; allegedly it was due to Tzachor wasting too much money than was needed. Now, let us go over Dino Charge and what I truly thought about it – starting with the theme song.
Dino Charge’s theme song was still produced by Noam Kaniel, but thankfully the theme song has A LOT more lyrics this time around instead of just rehashing “Go Go Power Rangers” for the umpteenth time. Sure the lyric “Go Go Power Rangers” is still in the theme song itself, but it is only used twice in the song itself which is a freaking godsend. The Dino Charge theme is just so amazing that I’m sad to see it go after the finale. TRUST ME, we’ll get to that.
The overall story of Dino Charge is that the alien Keeper is trying to protect the Energems from the bounty hunter Sledge, employed by Lord Arcanon to steal the Energems in order to take over the universe. Sledge’s fiance Poisandra shoots down Keeper’s ship and he crashes on Earth… 65 MILLION YEARS AGO. Yeah, for a change of pace, we start during the age of the dinosaurs when they are about to die off which we’ll be getting to this later too. Keeper manages to trick Fury, one of Sledge’s generals into taking a bomb onto Sledge’s ship. When the bomb goes off, it dislodges the ASTEROIDS Sledge’s ship was hauling, which apparently it runs on asteroids, and they were the same ones to cause the extinction of the dinosaurs. However, Keeper was able to bond the Energems to 10 dinosaurs before the rocks dropped onto the Earth, leaving himself and Fury to live for 65 million years as the Earth developed into the present day.
Let’s talk about the Rangers, starting with our leader.
Tyler Navarro – Red Ranger
Tyler is an interesting character, being driven by his passion to find out where his father is. This sort of mimics Ryan Steele from VR Troopers, and Tyler himself is an avid adventurer, discovering the Red Energem allowing him to become a Power Ranger. A lot of fans commented that Tyler talking about his dad all the time was grating and stupid. For me, Tyler barely talked about his dad. Certain situations in the moment caused Tyler to have memories of his dad and one really can’t just shut those memories out in the moment. For me, Tyler was the best Red of the Neo-Saban Era, as he had a great personality which made him more likable than Jayden who was a copy of Takeru from Shinkenger, and Troy from Megaforce, whose delivery was god awful. Tyler was able to think on his feet and solve problems quickly, so he wasn’t rock-stupid a majority of the time, and overall he was just badass.
Chase Randall – Black Ranger
Chase was born in New Zealand, but came to America and discovered his Black Energem in a store curated by a friend of his in Amber Beach. Soon after is discovered by Keeper and Dr. Kendall Morgan (no relation to Kendrix Morgan sadly) and brought to work at the museum. At the beginning of the show his character practically shares several traits with his Kyoryuger counterpart, Ian. That would heavily include Ian’s womanizing however once Chase found himself in serious relation with a supporting character, Kaylee, his womanizing was GREATLY dropped and all he sought to do was be an honest man. GRANTED when Kaylee eventually discovered Chase was the Black Ranger, I would have liked for Kaylee to join the team in someway, but it didn’t happen. Something that fans did not like about Chase was he fondly mentions New Zealand… A LOT more than Tyler’s daddy memories. Now, from my understanding this all occurred because Saban received additional filming grants for the production of series they would have to promote the location to invoke tourism. I could be remembering it wrong, but it is along those lines.
Koda – Blue Ranger
Koda, THE CAVEMAN, found the Blue Energem while rescuing his brother from a sabertooth tiger, and fell into ice. The Energem protected him until the present day where he was discovered by Chase and Kendall. He then acclimated to the present as best as possible. Koda is one of the fan favorite characters on the show, and it is mostly because of actor, Yoshi Sudarso’s interactions with the Ranger fandom. His personality is highly infectious, making viewers feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s insane! Koda at first HATED stuff like the Dino Cycles and sheer loud noises; I know that feeling too of not being able to withstand loud and obnoxious noises of the modern day. Yet, what does Koda do to stop the noise? Well in terms of the loud noise of a cell-phone ring, HE CAVEMAN-SMASHES IT TO HELL! Eventually Koda does mature over time, and begins to speak better English. Koda was just adorable living teddy bear that one would not resist to hug.
Riley Griffin – Green Ranger
Riley was of a farming family, where he felt like he did not fit in with that life. Even Riley’s brother Matt understood he sought to do more with life, and thought that he should. Luckily enough that opportunity came when discovered the Green Energem while he encounter Fury attacking his dog. Afterwards he joined up with Tyler, and Shelby where they eventually join the others. Now, over the course of the series he is shown to be an intelligent individual, and was bullied growing up. Which may also eventually fed into his awkward flaw of being highly competitive, and getting himself into further trouble…
Shelby Watkins – Pink Ranger
Shelby is the heiress to Watkins Ice Cream fortune, the best ice cream in Amber Beach. However Shelby didn’t feel like getting into the Ice Cream business and sought to become a paleontologist, even if it was working at Amber Beach Museum’s Dino Bite Cafe. Her relationship with Kendall was a rocky one for various reasons, which are either alluded to the pair’s awkwardness between them and Kendall’s envy she was not a Ranger first. Like Riley, Shelby is one smart cookie, able to work various levels of tech in the Ranger base effectively and even developed the Energem Tracer with Kendall, but it was sadly destroyed. Shelby was also fearful of making mistakes, either due to the various ones made in general or specific between herself and Kendall a fair amount of the time. That made me think that possibly Shelby had anxiety issues, but added to her character as she would fight through it to better herself and to help save the world. The best example was when she needed to create newest Zord based the Spinosaurus to rescue the others who were trapped in stone.
Ivan of Zandar – Gold Ranger
Ivan is similar case to Koda, as he was a royal Knight of Zandar from 800 years ago who was sealed away inside of Fury as they fought over the Gold Energem. Thanks to the efforts of the Rangers, Ivan is set free and was mistaken to be Tyler’s dad however if one seen Kyoryuger it was highly expected to be our Gold Ranger. Yet, unlike his Sentai counterpart Ivan didn’t really think of the Rangers highly at first, where Ucchi just made it seem that way, but after the encounter with the monster Bones he turns around. I kind of liked Ivan’s interactions in the present day; especially in the episode “Riches & Rags” when he tries to get a gold bar he deposited 800 years ago by using his sword as a means of showing the writing on it in order to get in. One can imagine what happened after that!
James Navarro – Aqua Ranger
James, Tyler’s dad went missing when Tyler was only 8 years old. It all occurred during an expedition with his partner Rusty, where a cave-in lead to him discovering the Aqua Energem. Once bonding with the Energem, he realized he could not return home especially since Fury was tailing him. It was only until Tyler’s T-Rex Super Charger was infected with a virus making Tyler act like a T-Rex, that James revealed himself. However Keeper gives James the mission to locate the Silver Energem, to loosely write him out to fit with the source material. The only weird thing is that the Energem can also keep one youthful, so he looked the same age as the other Rangers. His other defining moment was that he located Sledge’s crashed ship.
Prince Phillip III – Graphite Ranger
Prince Phillip, the current prince of Zandar who was a huge prick upon his introduction. He looked down upon the Rangers for impersonation him as well as using the countries artifacts to lure out monsters. It was not until he was saved by the Rangers, he entrusted to them the Gold Energem and sought to join their search for the others. Luckily his archaeology team managed to find one, and Phillip wished to link with it, believing being charitable with his money would permit it. What he needed to do was to actually be a hands on hero, through self sacrifice! That came soon enough, and he eventually grew into being the Graphite Ranger, but it took a while for him to grow on me because of his dick-ish ways.
Albert Smith & Kendall Morgan – Purple Ranger
The Purple Energem/ Purple Ranger had two incarnations, Albert Smith a tracker/explorer from New Zealand before it was pasted onto Kendall Morgan. Albert found the Energem while saving a girl lost in a blizzard, and eventually began using the power to be a vigilante. However Albert had no idea what he was exactly, or about the monsters that ravaged the planet! When he discovered this threat, and met it head on he was naturally afraid of them since this was out of his league. He would then eventually relinquish the power, so that an even better successor could be chosen… Kendall!
Now, as stated earlier one major reason Kendall was bitter towards Shelby was due to her not being a Ranger. Just it was not her time, even though she proved herself on other occasions. This climaxed when she rescued Keeper and the Energem by herself, however she would still not always join the Rangers in battle due to the source footage. Yet, I would argue that Kendall was more highly proactive adaptation of Yayoi since she still visibly did lot for the team throughout the course of both season, and and for that easily came to I love the character.
Zenowing – Silver Ranger
Zenowing was unexpected for a lot of fans because we seriously didn’t know, or think that Torin was going to be adapted into the show! Fans only found this out through spoilers as the series finish in France first, or when watching the actual show for those who hate spoilers. The in show discovery came when the audience learns the Dark Energem can cause ones darkest side to appear, creating a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario. Once freed from this curse, he however had issues getting used to being apart of a team, still feeling emotions from Doomwing’s influence. Zenowing rediscovered himself by forging a friendship with Riley. Shortly afterwards he is revealed to be the creator of the team’s Zord technology, and took on Shelby as his student.
All of the Rangers were great and amazing characters, at least for me. However since we looked at them it is now time to check out our the villains!
Sledge doesn’t have a Sentai counterpart, he is an entirely original character; though I wished Sledge cast off his armor towards the end to reveal Deboss because at times the suit looked sub par. Sledge had great plans a lot of the time, but the antics that got me chuckling at him the most was when Poisandra had him wrapped around her finger. Sledge did actually love Poisandra, even though at times he didn’t want to admit it out-loud or sought time to himself such as his vacation!
Poisandra was unlike a lot of female baddies in the Neo-Saban era. She was a better adaptation of Candelira from Kyoryuger, but strangely didn’t capitalize on the singing especially since Poisandra’s voice actress is a known singer. She rarely fight the Rangers as much as her Sentai counterpart, but it lined up better with what the character felt like it should be, in the background. However the one way to get on her bad side is to get in the way of her marriage, that is when the gloves truly come off!
Fury & Wrench
First off, Fury for the most part was Dogold from Kyoryuger note for note. He even said Dogold’s catchphrase in some episodes. Whereas Wrench barely was anything like his counterpart, and hardly stood out. Wrench’s best attribute was that when he was not being the mechanic for the ship, he was an inventor able to create a machine that could clone destroyed monsters.
Heckyl & Snide
SWEET HIPPITY-HOPPITY CHRIST, THANK YOU CHIP LYNN AND THE REST FOR THESE TWO! Heckyl was first introduced in episode 19, and we were all left wondering what his deal was. Through Dino Super Charge we got that answer, Heckyl lived on a planet called Sentai 6, where the Energems were created. Lord Arcanon attacked the planet, but Keeper managed to get the Energems off planet except for the Dark Energem. Heckyl tried to keep away from Arcanon, but once touching it cursed him with the alter-ego and character, Snide; who uses the suit of Neo-Geildon from Kyoryuger VS Go-Busters. Heckyl was the brains of the fusion while Snide just wanted to maim, torture, and beat the crap out of people ASAP! There was something about Heckyl that I will touch on in a moment, but suffice it to say Heckyl was a DAMN GOOD second villain for the show.
Before I get to the Talon Ranger, and the finale there is something else that has been bugging me. That issue was why do a lot of the filler episodes SUCK ASS?! We had stuff like “Besties 4Eva!” which is one of the WORST episodes I’ve ever seen, and that was an episode which ushered us back in from the hiatus. THAT IS JUST NOT SOMETHING A SERIES SHOULD DO! A series should not return from hiatus with one of the most BULLSHITTY episodes this side of Operation Overdrive. There are several other episodes similar to my example, and god damn they will piss off anyone above the age of 10… JUST DAMN THOSE FILLERS ALL TO HELL!
Now, comes something that I know will cause controversy. Then again when doesn’t anything in the PR fandom cause controversy? I am of course talking about the missed opportunity of the Talon Ranger, and the show’s finale. First off, Talon Ranger was discovered through “hacking” the Dino Charge Morpher, where it pronounced “Spinosaurus – Power Ranger Talon!” This led fans to believe that Deathryuger, the main villain of the Kyoryuger movie and his zord, Tobaspino were to be adapted into Dino Charge. Well, we got the zord at least, but where did Talon go? There’s a lot of speculation about why so, let me throw my hat out there since I’m guessing that Chip Lynn had the plans of making Heckyl become the Talon Ranger with the Dark Energem, but for whatever reason, those plans were left on the cutting room floor. Another indication they planned to make Heckyl the Talon is that for a long time, the collar on Heckyl’s suit was a zigzag red and blue color similar to Deathryuger’s.
AND NOW, the moment everyone wanted to read my thoughts on the Dino Charge finale “Edge of Extinction” and “End of Extinction”; which should have been straight on billed as “End of Extinction” parts one and two if one asked me. The rundown of the episode is that while Sledge survived the crash of his ship, he discovered eggs from the Greenzilla that he plans to hatch all over the planet. However, he asked Heckyl for help in keeping everyone in line while Sledge had fun across the planet planting the eggs. They hatch, and the Rangers set forth to defeat the Greenzillas, while Snide who had defused from Heckyl attempts to steal the Dark Energem and the Rangers’ base. Thanks to the Rangers combining their strength, Snide is destroyed, but the Dark Energem didn’t have a scratch on it. Sledge then activated some tethers that attached to the eggs as anchors, so his ship could pull the Earth to the scrapyards of KAMEN 5. People should not complain about this, since the Tardis in Doctor Who did the exact same thing at one point, in the episode “Journey’s End”. The Rangers employ the help of the Earth to shine a crap-ton of light into the Dark Energem and with the original 10, the Dark Energem is destroyed… until the destruction causes a chain reaction that opens a black hole which swallows the Earth. To be fair, the Rangers didn’t know that would happen, so while everyone can cry foul here. It is understandable that the team just didn’t know that black hole would form as a result of the Dark Energem’s destruction.
Keeper then activates the Grand Power of The Energems, TIME TRAVEL! Yes, I’m right there with some fans in groaning that time travel would be the reset button the Rangers needed to get the Earth back however, it’s how far back the Rangers travel. They travel back to the beginning of the series and change the timeline more so than Barry Allen screwing things up with Flashpoint. Now, my theory with the Energem is that they not only stop one from aging, but they disconnect one from the natural flow of time itself so, if there were any timeline changes, they wouldn’t affect the team including Heckyl thus explaining future events to come. They all defeat the bad guys in the past where Keeper gives Ivan and Koda the chance to return to their old live. They seriously think over, and take the opportunity whereas the others return home to the present. Here in the present day they soon discover dinosaurs are no longer extinct and the museum is a zoo for them. The unanswered question though is why didn’t James Navarro get to go to the past to fill the void of the years he missed being Tyler’s father, and not his “miss placed brother”?
Despite knowing of the finale months in advance, I chose not to spoil anything in order to see it on TV. By then I forgot about a lot of details, so the finale surprised me in some aspects. I think Chip Lynn and Becca Barnes were ballsy to attempt this kind of finale for a kids’ show and I commend them for that. Sadly, not everyone saw it that way. Some fans saw the finale as “going too far” with some disowned the entire series, and a very few calling for them to be fired. My favorite salty moment was the fan who claimed Chip Lynn was Satan! I was furious, but it was a hilarious thinking about it now.
In my real honest opinion wanting someone to resign from their job just because one does not like the way the episode played out is going WAY THE HELL TOO FAR; now an entire series maybe. I didn’t want Chip or Becca fired because the overall series felt fun, which was something the previous series could keep to maintain constantly from episode to episode. Being a fan of this franchise is supposed to be fun, exciting, and all that other jazz!
Before fully bringing this to close I would also like to touch on the Christmas Special “Here Comes Heximas”. The episode occurs after the finale, which was surprising especially when I saw the T-Rex in a Santa hat and a brontosaurus as Rudolph. The Rangers fight a monster named Heximas who stole Santa’s coal for naughty children for a really dumb scheme, that even the Rangers notice it is a bad one. How did Heximas survive Sledge’s ship going into the sun? Simple answer is Heximas stole the pod Wrench was going to use to escape instead. Overall, it wasn’t a bad Christmas episode and was probably the best yet.
Final thoughts on Power Rangers Dino Charge, is that the series is roughly a B+. It could have been a full A+, but I all believe it is lower due to issues behind the scenes such as the BS surrounding the production, which to this day I believe it is Nickelodeon’s fault. Nick really seem to hate shows they don’t own everything to, and treat some of the shows they do own even worse than that; just look at The Legend of Korra. From the beginning of the season, I knew that they were NEVER going to address the events of Super Megaforce at all, and according to an interview with Davi Santos there was a lot more original stuff planned for the show, but eventual cut and replaced for more filler episodes. The reason this cut occurred was due to how MegaForce flopped; it practically ruined the Neo-Saban Era and caused it that production cannot attempt anything massively original again for sometime. Once again everyone blame things on that hack, Johnathan Tzachor! I hope he never comes to work on Power Rangers, because despite the Dino Charge finale reception Chip Lynn has done more to respect the franchise than Tzachor ever did.
Anyway, those are my honest opinions about Power Rangers Dino Charge. I hope you all like the list. Next time on Millennium’s Mind, we tackle my thoughts on Ninja Steel! Shortly followed by the review of the first episode of Ninja Steel. Until then enjoy New Year’s Eve, and be merry!