Monday, March 20, 2017

Power Rangers Premier Countdown: 4th Place goes to...

Power Rangers RPM Episode 11: Doctor K

Why is this episode one of the best?

RPM is widely regarded as one of the best ranger series. It took risks, developed interesting characters and kept a mostly optimistic tone while taking place in a post-apocalyptic world. The episode Doctor K is a cut above the rest, as it introduces us to Doctor K's ( the character) backstory. The acting, its incredibly dramatic rendering of her kidnapping as a child, to her being raised in Alphabet Soup to work on government programs, to finally being driven to release the Venjix Virus (the season's main baddie) on the world is done with such care for the character that it almost transcends being a Power Rangers episode.

As RPM often does, even though the focus is on K, the other characters are still developed through their relationship with her. This is also the first we see of Gem and Gemma, the eventual 6th and 7th rangers on the team. The episode leads us to believe that they died saving K, unless you happened to watch Go-onger and knew what was coming.

Add to that the violin motif played by K throughout the episode, and that they are able to fit in a new Megazord formation into the story line, and an argument could be made that this is definitely one of the best episodes the series has to offer.

Why is this episode not higher on the list?

This episode is nearly perfect. The only things you can fault it for are your usual Power Rangers issues. Doctor K's plan to duplicate the device using the mirror is a good one, but the mechanics are never properly explained, nor why they can't build another. (Surely they can scrap parts from somewhere.)

It's also kind of hard to buy that Tenaya fit into that Attack Bot, but like I said, Power Rangers issues. (The show has long disregarded physics and spacial relationships.)

There's also a lot left unexplained regarding Alphabet Soup. It's not necessarily the job of the episode to do this, but since we never really hear from the group again, it does leave a bit of a lingering question in the minds of fans. (The main one being- what inspired them to make the ranger suits in the first place.) I would love to see some sort of comic in the future or novel tying up those lingering threads. If it were another series, I'd let it slide, but because RPM irons all of its plot points out, it just feels weird.

How does this episode influence the new movie?

RPM is often regarded as "the darkest season" of Power Rangers. Really though it's just the most grounded. It's about the characters, in spite of the ridiculous stuff happening around them. The movie seems to fall into the same idea- If you develop your characters fully, make them real, the audience is much more willing to suspend their disbelief and go on the ride with them.


Head to Fandango and check for theaters in your area!

We are officially in Premier Week! Today, (March 20th), there will be a special episode of Cake Wars featuring the Power Rangers movie on Food Network. Becky G (Trini/Yellow Ranger) will be a guest judge. Check your local listings for times!

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