Saturday, 21 January 2017

Power Rangers Ninja Steel | "Return of the Prism"



On first viewing, the Ninja Steel premiere set good foundations for the rest of the season but the episode clearly had some flaws.
This may have been due to how ambitious the episode was.

Firstly, I did not expect to see so many connections to “Quasar Quest”. Maybe it is because I am currently re-watching Lost Galaxy and finding (non-existent?) links between both seasons but the space theme + the “lost” brother + ranger powers being trapped in an object which many individuals from across the universe have tried to gain but only the "chosen ones" being successful definitely brought back memories.

During the first act the episode felt disjointed between the scenes in space and the scenes on earth. The first two cuts between both locations was not as smooth as it should have been and it is only when Sarah and Preston see the Ninja Nexus Prism fall to earth do both plots start to make sense.

The episode felt extremely rushed which suggests it should have been a two-part episode in which the first part focuses mainly on Brody's backstory and life on the ship whilst introducing us to Galaxy Warriors, then revealing Brody's plan to escape to earth. This could then lead into the scenes at school. “Quasar Quest” does a fantastic job of introducing us to Leo, providing us with some backstory to his character as well as linking the scenes on earth and in space quite well.

Characterisation of Preston and Sarah was good and the acting was fair. They really wanted us to remember Preston is obsessed with magic and Sarah compares EVERYTHING to a freight train. I could do without Victor & Morty but I’ll wait and see how long their shtick lasts before it gets old.  The best scene for me was Master Dane at the beginning of the episode.

Another aspect of the premier that shocked me was how quickly Brody, Preston and Sarah became allies, morphed, defeated the monster and learnt Brody's history. In comparison to “Powers from the Past”, the first morph and battle seemed to start and end far too quickly as though it was added to the end to meet a quota to advertise the Ninja Battle Morpher, Ninja Blaster and Ninja Star Blade in the first episode. Perhaps taking the “Beginnings” approach and saving the first morph for the second episode would have made the final act seem less rushed.

Ultimately, “Return of the Prism” is a good episode but in regards to Powers from the Past which managed to do a lot more without the hurried tone it fails to make a lasting impact.


Side note: The most shocking thing about "Return of the Prism" for me was how much it felt like I was watching Dino Charge. The same tone, the slapstick background music, the voices for the monsters, the delivery of lines, the acting and directing... it's almost the same show but in Ninja clothing.

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