Critical Depth - Power Rangers Dino Charge Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of our deep dive into Power Rangers: Dino Charge!

The Power Rangers

First of all, I thought the casting was great.  All of the Rangers were good actors, and they all brought their characters to life brilliantly.  Usually there is at least one (maybe more) Rangers that annoy me, but I thought each Ranger was given a strong personality in Dino Charge.

- Tyler (Red Ranger, played by Brennan Mejia) – The Red Ranger is traditionally the leader of the Power Rangers.  Tyler did get a lot of focus, especially in the early episodes, but I don’t think they ever tried to portray him as the team leader.   In fact, when the bad guys are defeated at the end of the season, Tyler is ready to go his own way, leaving his energem behind. 

Tyler has a warm, charming personality, but his main focus is finding his father who went missing sometime before the show started.  Tyler’s only clue is the journal his father left behind, with a drawing of Sledge’s top lieutenant, a vicious cat-like creature called Fury.   Tyler and Shelby stumbled across energems in the first episode, and end up encountering the other Rangers over the first few episodes of the series.

Tyler controls the Tyrannosaurus Rex Zord, who he affectionately refers to Rexy.  He’s definitely got the closest bond to his zord of any of the Dino Charge rangers. 

- Shelby (Pink Ranger, played by Camille Hyde) – Shelby works at the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum.  She has a great love and knowledge for dinosaurs, though her boss Ms Morgan doesn’t think much of her.  One day, she sneaks out on a dinosaur dig and ends up finding Tyler and the pink energem. The gem quickly bonds with her, and Tyler and Shelby team up to fight Fury and Iceage. 

One thing I love about Dino Charge is the two female members of the team both have a love of science.  My oldest daughter loves math and science, and she definitely sees Shelby and Kendell as role models.  It’s VERY RARE you see a main character in a show that is a female scientist, and Dino Charge has two.  I do think they sometimes portray Shelby as being a little flighty, but I still think she’s in the position to be an important character in children’s television.  I also love her relationship with Tyler.  She’s definitely got a crush, BUT, it never defines her character.

 - Riley (Green Ranger, played by Michael Taber) -  Oddly enough, even though he’s in the credits, Riley doesn’t appear in the first episode at all.   He’s sort of the odd man out when it comes to the Power Rangers.  He grew up on a ranch, and stumbled across an energem in a fossil.  When Fury comes to take the gem, Riley is able to fend him off.  Riley decides to head to Amber Beach…but his scooter breaks down on the way, and he is picked up by Tyler and Shelby. 

Tyler is into fencing and he tries to apply logic to everything he deals with.  Unfortunately, he’s probably the Ranger who got the least development in the first season, though I did love the episode “When Logic Fails” where he is able to help his teammates escape from a series of traps using logic.  I especially love his relationship with Chase.  The two of them approach problems from a very different angle, and Dino Charge often shows both as very viable answers.

 - Chase (Black Ranger, played by James Davies) – Chase is from New Zealand…which they will remind you on in just about every episode of Dino Charge.  He was actually recruited by Keeper and Morgan before the start of the show and works in the museum, after the black energem bonded to him after he rescued a dog from getting hit by a bus.

Chase is the team’s hot shot, with terrific accuracy using projectile weapons.  He’s a bit cocky, and borders on ADHD, but when it comes to protecting his friends and family, he puts all that aside for the greater good.  While I basically like all the Rangers, I do tend to call Chase my favorite.  James Davies puts a ton into the role, making Chase stand out in every scene. 

 - Koda (Blue Ranger, played by Yoshi Sudarso) – In the early episodes, Koda often seems out of place.  It takes a few episodes for them to get around to explaining “he’s a caveman.”  Koda was actually the first of the Power Rangers to find an energem.  He was rescuing his younger brother from a sabre-tooth tiger when he found the energem, and it put him in stasis for millions of years until he was found by Keeper and Morgan.  Koda has some trouble fitting in the modern world, but he’s fiercely loyal to his teammates.

 - Kendall Morgan (Purple Ranger, played by Claire Blackwelde) – I wasn’t sure whether to talk about Kendell or Sir Ivan first.  Kendall is a major character from day one, but she actually doesn’t become a Power Ranger until the very last episode, bonding with the Purple Gem during a rescue mission aboard Sledge’s ship.  Kendall is the true leader of the team, and I’m really curious if they are going to play up that dynamic in season 2, especially since she’s now a Power Ranger herself. 

We actually don’t know that much about Kendall, including how she met Keeper and how she became interested in energems in the first place.  We do know that’s she’s brilliant and built all of their teach and the dino chargers that allow the Rangers and their zords to access all their powers.  I really hope in season 2 we get to see a lot more about Kendall.

 -Sir Ivan (Gold Ranger, played by Davi Santos) – Since the beginning, the Power Ranger teams have always had an “extra” Ranger beyond the normal team.  Pretty early on in the show, we find out there is a gold energem and it had a connection to the country of Zandar.  Zandar has a story about a brave knight who defended the prince from a monster (later revealed to be Fury) hundreds of years ago.  The Rangers find out that Fury has a human trapped inside his body.  Tyler believes it’s his father, but when they manage to rescue him, it turns out to be Sir Ivan.   Sir Ivan soon becomes the Gold Ranger.

At first he’s not sure what to make of the other Rangers, but he quickly bonds with them, especially Shelby and then Tyler who he has a friendly rivalry with. Unlike Koda, Sir Ivan seems to have no problem adjusting to the modern world.  Most women consider his chivalry to be pretty charming.  Sir Ivan quickly becomes a key part of the Power Rangers team.

- Prince Phillip III (Graphite Ranger, played by Jarred Blakiston) – One odd thing about Dino Charge is there are at least ten energems, so the team could end up becoming rather large.  After meeting the team, Prince Phillip of Zandar becomes obsessed with becoming a Power Ranger, but the Graphite Energem doesn’t seem to recognize him as being worthy until he rescues Chase’s little sister from a monster attack.   Prince Phillip realizes that he has other responsibilities, so he leaves his energem and his zord in the care of the other Rangers, but promises to return when he’s needed (like for the finale).  Prince Phillip is only in a few episodes, but I did really like his story arc, so I thought it bared mentioning.

- Keeper (voiced by Richard Simpson and his suit actor is Eve Gordon) – Keeper is basically the team’s mentor.  Unlike the giant immobile heads I remember mentoring the team from earlier seasons, Keeper is a little alien guy who can kick a little bit of ass when he needs to.  He sort of reminds me of ET mixed with Master Splinter.  I do think they could have made the costume a little more expressive, but I still like Keeper anyway.

In writing this column, I spoke to a panel of experts (my kids) about their favorite Dino Charge Rangers.   And this is what they said:

Kira (9 years old) – I like Shelby.  She didn’t just become a Power Ranger to fight monsters, she really wants to help people.  I also like that she gave Tyler back his dad’s bracelet when he lost it.  She’s very kind.

Abby (5 years old) – Purple!  Ms Morgan is the Power Ranger I like best!  It was a nice surprise that she got to be a Power Ranger in the end!

Ben (5 years old) – Graphite.  I like his wrecking ball.  

The Bad Guys

This column has already become long enough, but I did want to give a quick shout out to the villains.

- Sledge – Sledge is a bounty hunter, hauling around a ship full of prisoners and valuable asteroids that he’s recovered.  BUT, his primary focus is the energems that Keeper has stashed on Earth.  Sledge typically sends down prisoners to do his dirty work with the promise of setting them free if they can bring him an Energem.   It’s never quite clear how Sledge, his crew, and their prisoners have stayed alive for millions of years…

- Fury – In many ways, Fury is the Power Rangers main enemy.  His first encounter with the Power Rangers was with Sir Ivan 800 years ago.  He also encountered Tyler’s father sometime before the series ended.  Fury is basically a massive cat creature who is capable of capturing and containing someone inside those large “teeth” on his chest.  Sir Ivan was held there for 800 years until the Power Rangers freed him.

 - Poisandra – Poisandra is Sledge’s main squeeze.  She is out to cause trouble, but her main goal is to get married.  So that means helping Sledge in his Quixotic quest to find the energems.   Poisandra is usually assisted in her attempts by Wrench and Curio.



  - Heckyl/Snide – The Heckyl is considered to be the most dangerous creature in Sledge’s cells.    Sledge actually tries to have Heckyl help him track down the Purple Energem, but when Fury gets to it first, Sledge locks Heckyl back in his cell.  At the end of the first season, Sledge’s ship crashes, and it seems like all of the villains might have been destroyed…except for the Heckyl who is revealed to have a monster form called Snide.   Heckyl/Snide will be the adversaries in season 2 of Dino Charge…




Back to my panel of experts.  Who’s your favorite villain?

Ben – Sledge!  He’s the scariest monster of them all!

Kira – Poisandra.  I feel bad for Poisandra.  I don’t think she’s all that bad.  She just gets wants to get married. 

Abby – Poisandra.  I liked when she stole Santa’s magic computer so she could get presents.