REVIEW: POWER RANGERS: DINO CHARGE (SEASON 22)

MAIN CAST

Brennan Mejia (Kaboom)
Camille Hyde (Killer Kids)
Yoshua Sudarso (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger)
Michael Taber (The Legend of Hell’s Gate)
James Davies (Someone to Carry Me)
Claire Blackwelder (101 Ways To Get Rejected)
Davi Santos (Don’t Trust The B— In APartment 23)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Eve Gordon (The Almighty Johnsons)
Adam Gardiner (Legend of The Seeker)
Paul Harrop (Power Rangers Samurai)
Estevez Gillespie (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Jackie Clarke (The Semisis)
Richard Simpson (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Gerald Urquhart (Power Rangers Operation OVerdrive)
Alex Walker (When We Go To War)
Campbell Cooley (Vertical Limit)
Toni Potter (Shortland Street)
Jeff Szusterman (Power Rangers Samurai)
Nic Sampson (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Patricia Vichmann (The Dark Horse)
Kelson Henderson (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Peter Daube (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Paolo Rotondo (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Jarred Blakiston (The Hobbit)
Bruce Phillips (Power Rangers RPM)
Jazmyne Van Gosliga (Deadly Women)
Mia Simons (Legend of The Seeker)
Arhur Ranford (The Piano)
Kirk Torrance (Outrageous Fortune)
Stephen Butterworth (Evil Dead 2013)
Ryan Carter (Power Rangers Dino SuperCharge)
Reuben Turner (Rush)
Lori Dungey (Hercules: TLJ)
John Sumner (District 9)
Beth Kayes (Perfect Creature)

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I’m quite pleased with the cast of “Dino Charge,” the 22nd season of the Power Rangers franchise, which premiered on Nickelodeon on Feb. 7, 2015. The new actors all have high degrees of charm, energy and charisma and their characters are more interesting and more layered than the individual rangers have been in some time. They’re also older than the Rangers have been in a while. These aren’t high school kids but young adults just past college age and venturing out into the working world for the first time. InThe female ranger here is the Pink Ranger, of course, and the character, Shelby, is played by a black American actress (Camille Hyde), making her the first black Pink Ranger ever. Not only that, but she’s the first black female ranger in 14 years—since Yellow Ranger Katie Walker (Deborah Estelle Philips) in “Power Rangers Time Force” back in 2001.

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Shelby also happens to be the most compelling character here given her extensive knowledge of dinosaurs and the constant need to prove herself in her efforts to make a real impact on the Rangers’ mission. She also expresses dissatisfaction at having to work as a waitress in the cafeteria of the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum during her downtime when she’s got so much paleontological knowledge to share. Their supervisor, Kendall Morgan (Claire Blackwelder), also director of the museum, which houses the laboratory base of Power Rangers operations, who has some prickly exchanges with Shelby.

The four male rangers are all personable, endearing characters, each with different backgrounds. Tyler, the Red Ranger (played by Brennan Mejia), Tyler’s father was an archaeologist who disappeared after tangling with one of the lead villains here, a monstrous armored warrior called Fury, who Tyler gets into a serious battle with in episode #8 (“Double Ranger, Double Danger”). Tyler hopes to find his father or at least learn his fate. He keeps a journal and sometimes narrates his thoughts about the others.Blue-RangerKoda, the Blue Ranger, is a caveman who has somehow been revived after being buried alive a few thousand millennia ago during a confrontation with one of the ancient villains they’re now facing. (It’s all explained in #4: “Return of the Caveman”) He’s played by Yoshua Sudarso, from Indonesia, as someone new to the modern world and struggling with the language and the new technologies he witnesses around him.

Riley, the Green Ranger, is a white farm boy (played by Michael Taber), newly arrived in the city, who has a very precise way of doing things, which sometimes puts him at odds with the Black Ranger, Chase Randall (James Davies), a slacker from New Zealand given to riding a skateboard with headphones on. One episode (#6: “The Tooth Hurts”) shows their contentious relationship and how they learn to adapt their working methods to each other. It’s a highlight of the series so far because of the way it develops the characters and their working relationships, something not always given much attention in past PR seasons.


Even though the series is shot in New Zealand, as have the previous eleven seasons (since “Power Rangers Ninja Storm,” 2003), this season appears to take place in California. The series is adapted from “Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger,” the 2013 sentai season in Japan, one of three sentai seasons with a dinosaur theme, the first being “Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger,” the basis for the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” Since I’m following “Kyoryuger” episodes as well, I am happy to note that much of the Power Rangers fight footage in “Dino Charge” and most of the villain scenes seem to be newly shot in New Zealand for this version while the Zord battles, which take up the last five minutes, are, as usual, taken from the Japanese original. When we get to the back half the season  Three new Rangers appear, with one (Gold Ranger) joining the team as a regular member and the others appearing intermittently (“Graphite Ranger” and Purple Ranger). This means there have been a total of eight Rangers so far this season. That’s gotta be a record. And based on its conclusion.maxresdefaultPower Rangers Dino Charge certinally is a great season and the little cliffhanger leaves you waiting for Season 23: Power Rangers Dino Supercharge.Dino-Drive-Purple

 

 

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