After episode one of the new Power Rangers series from Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures came out I wanted to wait until episode two to see the Zords. Then I got sick so it hasn’t been until after episode 3 that I’ve been able to review this show. Episode four, which is supposed to air this Saturday as of this writing, hasn’t aired yet, delayed a week for whatever reason. I wasn’t paying attention for obvious reasons. In the end this may be for the best. While two new Rangers are set to be introduced this week I still have what I think is a handle on the show. So without further delay here’s my review of Power Rangers Dino Fury.
At least that’s the name Hasbro went with. Fans were already calling it Dino Knights as the sentai it’s getting action footage from, Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger (translated by the Power Rangers wiki as “Knight Dragon Squadron Dragon Armament Ranger”, which is one doozy of a mouthful), has a theme around both dinosaurs and medieval knights. There was such a strong tie to that name that when Hasbro went with Dino Fury the fandom kind of rejected it. Personally I don’t mind the new name and didn’t about the fan-chosen title until after I heard the official one so that may have some influence. “Fury” hasn’t been used in a name since Power Rangers Jungle Fury, and while Dino Knights might have worked Dino Fury isn’t that bad either. How does the show itself hold up though?
Back in dinosaur times a group of alien knights followed the Sporix to Earth. These monsters had already decimated their planet of Rafkon and they wanted to prevent Earth from being next. They manage to contain the Sporix with the help of dinosaurs because dinosaurs are more intelligent in the Ranger multiverse, but only one of the Knights survived, their leader Zayto. Placed into suspended animation and watched over by the cybernetic dinosaur Solon, he awakens in present day when a bad guy named Void Knight attempts to capture the spores not to release the Sporix but use them as a power source. We don’t know for what yet. Zayto ends up teaming with budding scientist Ollie and reporter/paranormal enthusiast Amelia to become the new Dino Fury Power Rangers to stop both the Sporix and Void Knight.
The first thing that really strikes me about Allspark Pictures’ run on this series is their use of Ranger lore. Beast Morphers used the Morphing Grid as a key element of the story, something not seen since the Ranger team-up episode of Operation Overdrive. It also paid tribute to the history of the show, leaning heavily on RPM for inspiration and the big threat despite that series being retconned to another dimension. This season the ancient Knights were aided not only by dinosaurs but by the Morphin Masters, who gave them morphers to become Power Rangers. The Morphin Masters were only ever mentioned previously in one episode of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers all the way back in season 1. That’s a level of detail I wouldn’t have expected since they were never mentioned again anywhere in that or the following series. I wonder if this show will give any of the other dino-themed shows as much love as RPM received with Beast Morphers, especially Dino Charge since that show also takes place in another dimension and has the Rangers teaming with dinosaurs. That makes this the fourth show with dino-themed Zords.
The Sporix seem to be operating independent of the main villain of the story, with Void Knight barely showing up last episode. He has one minion among them but his henchmen, the “Hengemen”, actually being stolen from Zayto. He’s just some guy looking to use Sporix as a power source. For what we obviously don’t know yet. He’s not nearly as impressive a threat as some of the Rangers’ enemies previous but it depends on what his ultimate goal is. None of the Operation Overdrive enemies were impressive either…okay, maybe a bad example but they at least had potential and so does Void Knight. The Sporix themselves are just monsters. They’re as good or bad as any other Ranger monster.
Zayto doesn’t seem to be very emotional but considering his situation it’s not hard to understand. Maybe he’ll warm up later or maybe it’s just the way Russell Curry plays him. It’s not like Andro didn’t need to lighten up too. The real problem comes from Ollie and Amelia. Ollie is all about science and Amelia believes in psychics and aliens and other weird things. Sure, magic and science work hand in hand in the Power Rangers multiverse (mostly in the main universe and not so much in the two alternate universes we’ve seen thus far, pocket and mirror universes aside) but Amelia is into the weird part while Ollie rejects everything not scientific and is so convinced science can save the day that they both make mistakes. They’re extreme to the point of being one-note but hopefully not so far that they can’t learn and properly understand how both magic and science work. The two Earthlings are also more inexperienced compared to Zayto, who was a knight before he was a Ranger. That offers some more growth potential. I’m just hoping the other two (later three, when it’s time for the obligatory Sixth Ranger) can make up for their failings. They aren’t bad characters but there isn’t much to them yet, though as someone may already be running to point out we are only three episodes in.
Amelia is also their connection to Buzzfeed stand-in news site BuzzBlast, which gives us our comic relief characters–her boss Jane and her robot assistant J-Borg, who comes from Hartford Industries. (There’s that lore tie-in again, this time from Operation Overdrive. So far they’re about as useless as Monty and Victor from Ninja Steel without being as annoying…yet. I’d rather see more of Ollie’s scientist mom and the park ranger whose name I can’t remember right now. We’ll see what happens. Solon is not our mentor stand-in because like Power Rangers In Space there doesn’t seem to be one. If she turns out more like Mick in Ninja Steel I might grow to like her. Right now she’s just
Then there’s the morphing sequence for this series. The morph itself impresses me more than the animal whirlwind of the Beast Morphers but the full lead-up is a bit long. Even I’m having trouble believing the Sporix is going to stand there that long for the posing, while “link to the morphing grid” doesn’t have nearly as much impact as other morph call outs like the classic “it’s morphin time” or even “overdrive accelerate”. Then we have keys again. I know Hasbro wants to make that money and the keys were part of the original but it’s not like they couldn’t do something else. Saban traded out gloves for glasses…hardly an improvement…for the Jungle Fury Rangers. Still it beats the original morph.
I don’t see American kids taking the dancing key people seriously. That leads into the Zords since like the Ninja Steel Zords apparently little robots operating the Zords in the Japanese footage makes their return and I hope they do something more with it than that show, maybe closer to the Ninja Storm little robot that formed part of the MegaZord armor? At any rate outside of the ridiculously long blade on the triceratops Zord for this series they look okay.
Overall this isn’t starting off as strongly as the previous show but there is enough there to show that Allspark Pictures are being respectful of the series and playing into the lore a bit more than even the Disney or either Saban runs. I’m looking forward to the kinks being worked out because there’s a lot of potential here and Beast Morphers shows they can do a good job with this franchise.