Archives for category: Dead Television
We are VR!

We are VR!

After Power Rangers became a breakaway success, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy decided to make another Ameri-toku series, this time, adapting three shows from the Metal Heroes series, Superhuman Machine Metalder, Dimensional Warrior Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider (in season two). Together these three shows would make up the basis for VR Troopers.

ORIGIN

VR Troopers began life as a starring vehicle for Jason David Frank called Cybertron. It pretty much follows the same plot as VR Troopers, but it just focuses on the Metalder footage, JDF would’ve played Adam Steele, the Troopers martial arts instructer Tao Chong would’ve helped train Adam to become Cybertron, he also had a daughter all of Grimlords minions were called War Drones, Karl Ziktor was called Cyrus Riktor, he also had a son Percy, and for some reason Jaime Kennedy was part of a Bulk and Skull-like duo. The pilot was reworked and renamed Psycon, most likely to avoid a lawsuit from a certain toy company, who just happens to own the term Cybertron.

The world got its first official look at VR Trooper in the form of a trailer that played before or after various Mighty Morphin Power Rangers VHS’, and while some things carried over from Cybertron, like Tao and Grimlord, once again there were some differences between it and the final product. For instance, Adam is now called Ryan, Kaitlin’s last name was Hall in the trailer, but was changed to Star in the series. The most notable difference, is the Troopers’ mentor Professor Horatio Hart, in the show he was an black, but here he’s caucasian, and rocking the Einstein look, and Jeb, Ryan talking dog, doesn’t sound like he’s impersonating Jack Nicholson as he does in the show.

Once the final changes were made, the show officially aired in syndication from September 3, 1994 to February 21, 1996

PLOT

The show focused on three young adults in their late teens, Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Star, and J.B. Reese, living in the fictional West Coast town of Cross World City, California. They regularly attended and were teachers at “Tao’s Dojo”, a karate studio. Ryan was the most focused martial artist; J.B. was the computer wizard; while Kaitlin was a photographer & budding reporter for the local newspaper, the Underground Voice Daily. One day, Ryan’s search for his long-missing father led him and his two friends to a strange laboratory. Inside, a digitized head of Professor Horatio Hart, a friend of Ryan’s father, Tyler, explained the truth about his life’s work of having developed extremely advanced virtual reality technology in secret. “VR” is a dimension existing alongside our own; within it lie mutants bent on conquering both worlds. The main ruler of these is a creature known as Grimlord, who, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, has a human identity as billionaire industrialist Karl Ziktor. As Karl Ziktor tries to overcome the barriers of the true reality to allow his armies easy passage from virtual world, the responsibility falls to Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. of defending the planet on both sides of the dimensional barrier. They have assistance in the form of armored bodies having incredible firepower. This included eventual additions to their arsenal, such as a Turbo Cycle, Techno Bazooka, VR Troopertron, VR Shoulder Cannon, VR Battlecruiser/Interceptop and a flying, laser-blasting Skybase.

Other regular characters on the show included Zeb as Jeb, Ryan’s hound dog, who, after an accident in Prof. Hart’s lab, was now capable of human speech; Woody Stocker, Kaitlin’s wacky hat-loving boss at the Underground Voice Daily; Percy Rooney, the local mayor’s nephew and Kaitlin’s bumbling rival reporter; and Tao, the wise martial arts sensei who owns the dojo and a family friend of the Steele Family. Recurring villains include General Ivar, Colonel Icebot, Decimator, the Skugs, and more throughout.

During the second season, the show changed format very slightly. Ryan’s father was finally found and restored to normal. Then, he quickly left to help the government research further Virtual Reality based technology. With him came Ryan’s new V.R. armor and an upgrade to his powers. Grimlord’s base of operations switched from the virtual dungeon to a massive spacecraft, and added new Generals such as Oraclon, Despera, Doom Master and his Vixens. The Skugs now had the ability to become more powerful in the form of Ultra Skugs.

Like Masked Rider, V.R. Troopers never had an official ending due to the stock footage from all Metal Heroes shows running out. There were plans to use the footage from the series Heavy Shell Beetle Fighters, and use that as the third season, but the plans were scrapped, and retooled to become another show that I’ll look at in the future, Beetleborgs.

REVIEW

The show is pretty decent. Like Power Rangers, it pretty much made me an instant fan of the Metal Heroes franchise, while it’s pretty corny and cringe-worthy at times (which is pretty much par for the course in most Saban productions.), it’s still fun to watch from time to time. With the advent of new V.R. technology in the real world, I could see this series making a comeback, as either a new series, or even a movie akin to the Power Rangers movie (though that seems a little unlikely since the movie kinda bombed). Overall, while corny, and may or may not have single-handedly killed the Missing Father cliche, I still think it’s worth checking out.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, something.

Oh! And check out this hilarious fan dub of the show, performed by the cast themselves.

"That's no good!"

“That’s no good!”

Happy (late) Anniversary, and once again we’re looking at something from the world of everybody’s favorite blue hedgehog, Sonic! Unfortunately, we’re looking at one of his downside of our spiky blue hero, at least until 2006, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. The show ran for a season (that lasted four years) in Syndication from Sept. 6th 1993 to Nov. 24 1996

PLOT (or lack thereof)

The series follows the adventures of the titular character Sonic the Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails as they attempt to stop Dr. Robotnik and his array of robots from taking over the planet Mobius.

The plots often used elements loosely borrowed from the storyline of the Sonic video games series. Three of Robotnik’s henchbots, Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts, are directly based on badniks that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The series also incorporated several recurring original characters not seen in the games, such as Robotnik’s mother, Stinky the Badger, and Wes Weasley, a salesman and con-man, not dissimilar to Phil Silvers. The show’s other characters largely consist of non-human creatures, such as anthropomorphic animals and robots.

Episodes of the show normally revolved around Sonic and Tails foiling Robotnik’s latest villainous scheme to dominate the zany, colorful world of Planet Mobius. At the end of each episode, Dr. Robotnik’s plan would ultimately fail due to Sonic’s efforts, his own incompetence and the stupidity of his henchbots, after which he says, “I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!”.

The end of the show is bookended by an additional segment called “Sonic Says” (or “Sonic Sez”, as Tails misspelled it on screen). This segment teaches viewers life lessons about subjects such as alcohol abuse and general safety. If you lived in the UK, you had the luxury of not seeing this as they were edited out of the UK airings.

There was also a Christmas special called “Sonic’s Christmas Blast” which was made to coincide with the release of Sonic 3D Blast. Depite having the same tone and art design as “Adventures”, the special seems to borrow a couple of elements from “Sonic SatAM”, like SWATbots, Robotropolis, and an appearance by Sally Acorn. Also, to go with the promotion of 3D Blast, a Flicky (birds that Sonic has to save in the game) shows up for a moment. For the longest time I didn’t even know this existed until 2004, when my local CW (then The WB) randomly aired it alongside another Christmas special I wasn’t aware of until that day, “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”.

Despite the silliness, the show touted a pretty good cast, most of whom you’ve heard of, like Gary Chalk, Ian James Corlett, Venus Terazo, Scott McNeil and of course the first person to give Sonic a voice, Jaleel White. The unaired pilot also had some good voice artists, like narration legend Gary Owens, and Jim Cummings, who played Robotnik in the pilot, would go on to play a more menacing Robotnik in SatAM.

REVIEW

Yeah, the show hasn’t really aged well. The characters (with the exception of Sonic and Tails) look awful, the background looks amateurish at best. It just looked and felt ridiculous. But, at the same time, there’s an appeal and fascination to it that makes you want to keep watching. And other people seemed to think so, since this show was seen the most times out of the five shows, this was the one that’s was shown the most in reruns. Overall, it’s a ridiculous series, but ridiculous in an insane way, and it’s really difficult to ignore. So, as the DIC entertainment commercials would tell you, “check to see when it’s on at your house!” And by that I mean, check it out on Netflix or something, but only if your curious.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, Girl Meets World returns, though not as you’re hoping it would come back.

2016 is over, and good freaking riddance! The world’s dumbest rich guy became our president. We’ve lost so many people, and apparently, even during the holidays, we still have to keep loosing people. But, there were some positives to this year, I did a year-long celebration of Star Trek, and despite a minor hiccup in September and October, I still consider that a success, I held a marathon of Robotech, tried Ecto Cooler and Crystal Pepsi for the first time ever, and only one of those drinks made me throw up, and I created an Instagram account to show off my artwork.

As mentioned, in the Big Hero 6 review, Marvel Month is tackling the first franchise in outside of animation. The 200th post is coming up soon, and I haven’t made an official decision on what I’m going to cover yet. I was planning on holding a poll on Twitter to see what people want me to cover.

I have plans on doing retrospective series on Digimon, but that’s currently being put on hold until, the final three Adventure Tri movies are released, and the new series, Appli Monsters has ended. As for movie reviews, I plan on reviewing Rogue One following this post in honor of Carrie Fisher’s passing. Next up, is Ranger Spotlight, I’ve been meaning to give my thoughts of the trailer for the new movie. And of course go over some of my favorite team-ups from the both Power Rangers and Super Sentai. Since my first interview was a success, I’m working on scoring another one soon.

So, with that said, Happy New Year folks, let’s hope and pray that 2017 will be better than 2016.

Keep a look out for the Rogue One review.

Later.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaveRoy92

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davecameron92/

"LET"S GET UGLY!!"

“LET”S GET UGLY!!”

Nickelodeon they used to be a very capable network, before going through Network Decay in recent years. But they’ve had their share of missteps in the past, case in point, Butt Ugly Martians.

The show ran from January 26 to March 4, 2001. Information on the show is very scarce, in fact most of the information I got for this, came from a VHS that came in a magazine exclusive to the UK (the video is currently available on YouTube).

So, in the distant future of 2053, Emperor Bog decided to launch an invasion on Earth, and sent out three of his best men, Commander B-bop A-Luna, Tech Sargent 2-T Fru-T, and Corporal Do-wah Diddy to attack the planet. Upon arrival, the Martians grew to love everything on the planet, food, media, technology, etc, the three also became friends with three human teenagers, Mike Ellis, Angela Young, and Cedric. After developing their fondness for Earth, the Martians decided to protect the planet from Bog. Almost every episode, we’ll see the Martians film fake progress report videos for Bog to convince him that the invasion is going well, but Bog’s henchman, Dr. Damage (pronounced Dah-maj) doesn’t believe them, and tries to bust them. Almost every episode, Bog sends down a some robot or other aliens to assist the Martians, but once they see Earth isn’t being conquered, the robot/alien of the week fight the Martians. When things seem to get to tough, the Martian activate their Ranger-like BKM (Butt Kicking Mode) armor, and win the day. When they aren’t doing that, they’re usually seen hanging out with the kids, watching TV, playing video games, seeing which is better, hoverbikes or hoverboards, and cutting music videos for their boy band… Yes, they have a boy band, Boyz II Martians. They also get help from a female martian named Shaboom Shaboom, who used to work for Damage but went rogue in her debut episode, and kept their secret.

Now it’s time to talk about the real star of this show, and the reason I still remember this show after all these years, Stoat Muldoon, Alien Hunter voiced by Robert Stack, in his last role before passing away. This character always cracked me up, mainly because you get to hear Robert Stack say some off-the-wall things that the scripts make him say. Granted, this is not the first time Robert Stack was played against type, though it was either played straight (Airplane!) or wasn’t give enough to work with (Caddyshack II) but here, it’s taken to its absolute extreme. Examples include:

“Muldoon, you da man!”

“He got away didn’t he my little ugly alien amigos!”

“Kumbaya, kumbaya, humma-humma-kumbaya”

“Your strange melodies and jiggy rhythms have moved me.”

“Aliens are around us. They want our world, they’ll eat our brains.”

Anyway, every episode Muldoon finds the Martians, and will either try to kill them, or if given enough prove, help the Martians fight the alien of the week, and every time, the Martians would wipe his memory, leading him to say more off-the-wall thing whilst passing out. He also has an apprentice named Ronald, who works at the Quantum Burger, and a rival Brady Hacksaw, who doesn’t just want to find the Martians, but also wants dissect them. Also, Brady and Ronald seem to be the only other humans in this show

There were certain episodes where Bog finally caught on to their escapades. The two-parter “Bog’s Not So Dumb After All/Bog In Charge”, actually has Bog launch an invasion with a robot army, and two villains the Martians fought earlier like Jax The Conquerer, but they talked them out of the invasion, and asked to complete the invasion themselves, and he falls for it. Then there’s the finale, “This Is… The Butt-Uglies” where Damage catches them making a video to show the world that they come in peace. After seeing this, Damage sends a robot disguised a human to attack the Martians, which they destroy, then Bog himself comes to Earth, but the Martians and Muldoon destroy him, only to find out it was a decoy, with Bog vowing his revenge on the Martians. And the very last shot of the series, shows Bog’s fleet approaching Earth.

There were apparently plans to make a movie though unlike most Nickelodeon movies, which were released by Paramount, this would’ve been release by Universal, but was canceled after the passing of Robert Stack. Speaking of, Universal released three VHS/DVD’s featuring at least three episodes.

This was very cheesy, but not in the same vain as Go-Onger. The CG hasn’t aged well but was still kind of passable for a TV show. The one redeeming quality of the show was Robert Stack, and the idea of the show being kind of a reverse Invader Zim is kind of neat. Since CGI’s become more popular, I think this show could make a comeback, with more improved animation, and as for Stoat, while it won’t be the same without Robert Stack, they could find a good replacement, Jeff Glen Bennett could pull it off, he did an amazing emulation of Stack in Transformers Animated.

If you want to check out the show, there are a few scattered episodes here and there on Youtube and a new website I discovered called KissCartoon.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next up, we look at the sequel to the only disaster movie I enjoyed and see if it’s any good.

Well, another year has come to a close, and as such it’s time to look towards the future. First, we’ll start with the bad news, I’m toying with the idea of stopping the Girl Meets World Recaps after Season 2. Now, I haven’t made an official decision, but it’s being considered. This brings us to the next issue, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going back to school, so posts may be slower (than usual). Back in June, I was offered a writing position on the website, Modern Gafa, I couldn’t take on the position, but I did ask if The Cutting Room, could be an associated website, but they didn’t seem interested.

Now for a bit of good news, this year marks the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite franchises: Star Trek, so once a month I’m doing a top 10 list dedicated to the shows and movies of the long-running franchise. Also, I just remembered, I never did that review of Star Trek Into Darkness, sorry about that folks, I’d say I’d squeeze it in some how, but I’d pretty much be saying what everyone’s already said about it, “It’s a remake of ‘Wrath of Khan’, with a little ‘Space Seed’ mixed in”, but hey Benedict Cumberbatch was great as Khan. But, (and this time, I’m keeping true to my word), I will review Star Trek Beyond.

Next, I know it’s been a LONG time since I did a Ranger Spotlight post. While we a long ways away, we’ve almost reach the 150 mark, and when we reach that point, instead of doing a review of a something, or a movie, I am doing a Q and A, as I feel none of you know me that much, so feel free to send me your questions, in the comments sections, or on Twitter (@DaveRoy92).

Finally, I’m working on a new tab (it’ll be right next to “Home” and “Welcome”), dedicated to some “Holy Grails”, which are rare hard-to-find items, mostly old TV shows, as they’re next to impossible to find and, I’d love to review them sometime. If you have the items, or know where they can be found, leave a comment in the Grail tab.

Alright, so thanks everyone for another enjoyable year, and once again, thank you for helping me reach 100 (134 as of now) posts, and here’s to 2016!

Oh, and Transformers: ReVisited, Season 1 should be up soon (hopefully)!

T-Bone (Top) and Razor (Bottom) - The coolest cats of the 90's! #NoApologies

T-Bone (Top) and Razor (Bottom) – The coolest cats of the 90’s! #NoApologies

So, in light of a recent Kickstarter Campaign, I thought I’d talk about one of the coolest cartoons of the 90’s, SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron. Produced by Hanna-Barbera (yes, THAT Hanna-Barbera), the show ran from September 11, 1993 to January 6, 1995, and contrary to what a certain episode of Steven Universe tells you, the show originated from TBS rather than Cartoon Network, but it did air in reruns on Cartoon Network around the late 90’s/early 00’s.

The series follows Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson, two cadets in the Megakat City Military Police, The Enforcers, that is until the two go on dogfight against a criminal and was ordered by their commanding officer, Ulysses Feral to stand down, but it was too late, and they fired their missile against him, destroying their newly built headquarters in the process. Afterwards, Feral discharges Chance and Jake, and the two get jobs at a military junkyard to pay for damages. While working at the junkyard, Chance and Jake notice that people throw away alot of useful things, and decide to build their own high tech weapons, and gear. With their new weapons and their jet, the TuboKat, Chance and Jake, (who also go by T-Bone and Razor, respectively) go out to fight various villains in Megakat City, with help from Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs, Feral’s niece Felina, even Feral helps the Kats, usually when the situation demands it.

This was an outstanding show, it characters were awesome, the villains were cool, and the action sequences were just the cherry on top of an incredible show. Speaking of, the show’s artistic design was amazing, the show’s creators, The Trembly Brothers (Christian and Yvon) were clearly influenced by anime when making this show, this is given even more precedence, once Season 2 rolled around, and the animation was outsource to Japanese company Mook Studios, this is basically what happened to the Marvel Action Hour/Universe in the 90’s, but the retool made the Iron Man and Fantastic Four go from lousy to great, and made SWAT Kats go from great to INCREDIBLE!

Sadly, just like the Iron Man and Fantastic Four, the show canceled after Season 2, unlike the aforementioned shows, SWAT Kats wasn’t cancelled from bad ratings. It was never made clear why the show was canceled, but the most popular choices stem from, being too expensive to produce, and being too violent, there’s never been an official answer, and Turner/Time Warner likes to keep quiet about this show. A lot of people who’ve covered the show in the past and recently have said that if the show premiered on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block, it would’ve stood a chance, and I agree with that theory.

The show was released on VHS after the show’s cancelation, with three videos containing two episodes. In late 2010, the series was given a DVD release through the Warner Archive online service. The Warner Archive service is a Manufacture-On-Demand video service, using the best quality master tapes, and burning them to DVD-R discs, allowing some of less than prominent movies to get some form of limelight. I’ve never ordered anything from the service, so I can’t really go either pro or con or recommend it, but it’s the best we can do so, millage may vary on the DVD set.

Now let’s get to the real reason why I decided to review the show, back in July, series creators, the Tremblay Brothers started a Kickstater campaign to create a revival of the show, called SWAT Kats: Revolution, they requested $50,000 and ended with $141,000, slightly more than enough for a 2 minute teaser. I, like everyone who supported the Kickstarter, I’m very excited for the pilot, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t know about it sooner. Though, I am curious as to who they’re going to get to replace Gary Owens (Feral), Brock Peters (Dark Kat), and Keene Curtis (Pastmaster) since all three actors passed away, with Owens passing earlier this year.

RANK: 5 out of 5

Next time, a top 10 list about heroes who fight for their freedom, their beliefs, their home, and their destiny.

Ah, MTV aside from at least two or three shows, The Movie Awards, and the occasional music video I accidentally stumble upon early in the morning, you really don’t have alot of shows going for you in terms of good scripted shows. Don’t get me wrong, some of their scripted shows are great like Awkward, Finding Carter, and Faking It, and there are shows like Hard Times Of R.J. Berger, that while not as good as Awkward does have some merits (I’ll look in that when I review Hard Times in the future). And then there are shows like today’s subject, Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous.

The show follows Zach, a high school graduate who decides to skip college, and try to become famous by hiring an MTV camera crew, a having them film his daily exploits. Every episode has Zach doing various things to become famous, like being a celebrity chef, a ringtone musician, to even faking his own disappearance. His friends (or the only two people that are still around, and can actually put up with him), Greg and Amy, usually seems to go along with his schemes, but his family, (mainly his father and little brother) are easily irritated and annoyed by his exploits (usually due to his borderline shallow behavior), except Zach’s mother, Sydney, who seems to be enabling him, in fact in the final episode, Zach’s father, Drew, actually calls her on it, more on that later on. The first 8 episodes were terrible, but the last 4 episodes were actually better, and not to much of a chore to watch. As such, I’ll talk about those.

In the 9th episode, while trying to prank his brother, Andy, Zach and Amy kiss, and Zach assumes that he and Amy are going to start going out. In the 10th episode, Zach has a small opportunity to be famous by auditioning and staring in a student film, afterwards he and Amy’s temp love interest, Nick have a bad run-in, which not only puts Zach and Amy’s relationship in jeopardy, but also causes Zach to lose his acting gig, after an emotional outburst during filming.

In the penultimate, episode, Zach finds out that he can only keep the camera crew for four more days, so after deciding to become a local hero, he talks Greg into faking a drowning incident, which led to Greg saving Zach, and ending their friendship. After sending someone in the broadcasting studio the footage of his many adventures, and hearing said person insult him and seeing him throw away the footage, he decides to make up with Greg, stop trying to be famous, and go on with his life. Or he would’ve, if a news crew didn’t come over and asked to do a story on Zach.

The final episode was both pretty enjoyable and a missed opportunity, in the episode, Zach finally has an opportunity to finally become famous, by being interviewed on a morning talk show. Of course due to several incidents, from nearly cutting his father’s fingers off and “recasting” Andy. Andy and Drew decide not to take part, and Drew calls out Sydney for enabling him, but she denies this, until, Zach calls both of his parents selfish for holding up the report, and she and the rest of Zach’s family leave the house. After the report, Zach is kicked out of his home, and crashes with Greg for the night. The next morning, Zach has another interview, and after seeing videos of his family and Amy talking about how much of a great guy he is, Zach admits to the world, that HE’S the one that’s been selfish, and he’s been wrecking his relationships with his family and friends all in the purpose of becoming famous, and admits that he’s in love with Amy, and walks off the set to tell Amy how he feels about her, but she already left for college. After saying goodbye to the crew, Amy pops up, and saw everything, the two officially become a couple, and walk hand-in-hand out of the studio, ending the show… Or that’s where it SHOULD’VE ended, this is where the missed opportunity kicks in. Instead, as the couple walk out the studio, a crowd of people are cheering for Zach and Amy, and asks Zach for his autograph. As Zach is signing his autographs and singing his theme song, Amy looks into the camera with complete disappointment and uncertainty ending the show.

REVIEW

This was terrible, well at first at least, it wasn’t until the last episodes that the show started to shine. Zach was completely unlikable in his attempts of instant fame, while at the same time destroying his relationships with his family. It wasn’t until the very final 4 episodes that I started to care about Zach, when he actually owns up to his being such a blockhead in the finale, was a great moment, and it was that one point that I actually started to like him and hoped that he and Amy would get together. And it really sucks that the show wanted to pull a 180, and end the series by basically saying to the audience: “JUST KIDDING!!”. So yeah, Zach Stone was a bad show, but it could’ve redeemed itself, and it decided not to take it. I recommend just watching eps. 9-12 as they actually mix things up, the first 8 are just formulaic nonsense.

RANK: 3 out of 5

And now with this out of the way, we can finally start the recaps of Girl Meets World!