Series: Power Rangers Dino Charge
It's about to get wild!
"It's Morphin' Time! Unleash the power!"
The 22nd season of the long-running Power Rangers
franchise, adapting footage from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger
(and reportedly also including elements from Tokumei Sentai Go Busters,
making this the second mash-up series in a row.) This is the third season with a dinosaur motif, following Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
and Power Rangers Dino Thunder
65 million years ago, the alien Keeper arrived on Earth while being pursued by ruthless bounty hunter Sledge and his evil forces, who hoped to steal the powerful Energems from him. Keeper was able to give the gems to ten dinosaurs for safe keeping, but they were soon lost when asteroids hit the Earth and wiped out the dinos. Now in the present day, five young adults are discovering the lost Energems - and at the same time, Sledge and his forces have returned to continue their hunt. Fortunately, local museum curator Dr. Kendall Morgan has partnered with Keeper in order to harness the Energems' power for the earth protection, turning those chosen by the Energems into the Power Rangers Dino Charge.
For episode recaps, go here
Common Power Rangers tropes:
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Dinosaur-themed, in this case.
- Chest Insignia: Unique this year in that the insignia is formed by a shoulderpad and "sash" pattern across the chest that together resemble a dinosaur head.
- City of Adventure: Amber Beach.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Red, Black and Green Rangers all wear appropriately colored Converse All-Stars. Also, Koda wears denim most of the time.
- And, for a bit of Foreshadowing, check out the colour of Kendall's glasses and Phillip's suit.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: As per usual, the Super Sentai guns have had laser effects added to them for Power Rangers.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Five-Man Band:
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: It's been 11 years since the last dinosaur series; we're overdue.
- Humongous Mecha
- Animal Mecha: Of the prehistoric variety.
- Combining Mecha
- Leader Forms the Head: Exaggerated; the Tyrannozord makes up all of the main Megazord but the arms.
- Mecha Expansion Pack: The Stegozord, Tricerazord, Parazord, Raptor Zord, Ankylozord, and Pachyzord. What's unique this time is that unlike other mecha with expansion packs, the Dino Charge Megazord doesn't have a plain vanilla combination and must use two of the provided weapon sets.
- Transforming Mecha: the Pteranodon, Plesiosaur, and Brachiosaur zords.
- Limited Wardrobe: Reverted back to earlier limits of Ranger color scheme instead of the exact same outfit like in most previous series. Also justified in certain cases since the Rangers sometimes wear standard brown work coveralls when on museum business.
- Make My Monster Grow: This year Sledge fires a "Magna Beam" from his ship in space as opposed to the Sentai which had the monster be sprinkled with a watering can.
- Motifs: Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
- Artistic License – Paleontology:
- The show is inconsistent on whether the T. rex has feathers or not; material recycled from Kyoryuger has them, while original footage does not. The Velociraptor also lacks feathers in both recycled and original footage.
- The Para Zord and Pachy Zord are based off of Parasauropholus and Pachycephalosaurs respectively, but in the show they dinosaur names are shortened to Parasaur and Pachysaur. The Pteranodon and Brachiosaur are also called semi-valid but dubious names of Pterodactyl and Titanosaurus; though both of those may be intentional nods to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
- The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: Of course, Sledge and the Keeper reach Earth the day the asteroids hit. Though there's a very good reason for that: they're responsible for the asteroids.
- Domesticated Dinosaurs: The dinosaurs in the prologue, especially the T. rex, seem to be this way; acknowledging and following the Keeper's requests. Though their may actually be some justification for this. For example, when the Keeper speaks to the Rex the first time, he appears to form some kind of psychic connection with the animal.
- Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Nobody involved particularly wanted to kill the dinosaurs, but Sledge was hauling a load of asteroids when the Keeper bombed his ship...
- Stock Dinosaurs: Zigzagged; while the Rangers draw power from stock dinosaurs there are also a series of Dino Chargers based on non-stock dinos.
- One Steve Limit: Enforced. The Red Ranger was originally going to be "Lucas", and some early merchandise even uses that name; but it was later changed to "Tyler" because the franchise already had a Lucas back in Time Force. Similarly, the casting sheet listed the Green Ranger as "Ryan" when there was one in Lightspeed Rescue; while early merchandising says "Quinn" and his final name is "Riley". Averted for the Sixth Ranger Ivan, who shares his name with Non-Serial Movie villain Ivan Ooze. You've also got Kendall Morgan, who shares a lot in common with Lost Galaxy's Kendrix Morgan.
- Recycled In Space: Power Rangers with DINOSAURS... A THIRD TIME!
- The Smurfette Principle: The core team only has one female in the group - the first time that this has happened in a major five-man team (the Alien Rangers were temporary stand-ins, and other one-girl teams from the Disney era were Power Trios). Previously, when Sentai had only one girl in five, Saban would use She's a Man in Japan to gender-flip a male Yellow Ranger. A casting call has indicated that it will follow Kyoryuger in adding a second female as a Guest Star Party Member later, though.
- Super Mode: The Dino Drive armored vests are partial examples, since they're only used as Megazord powerups; and Tyler will be getting the "KyoryuRed Carnival" upgrade from Kyoryuger.
- Transformation Trinket: Surprisingly, Dino Charge kept the team gun as the morpher; despite speculation that they'd make a new morpher and leave the gun as only a weapon due to violence concerns. However, starting from episode 3, insta-morphs without the gun are done as well.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Word Power
"Power Rangers, charge!"
"Tyrannosaurus Rex! Power Ranger, Red!"
"Parasaur! Power Ranger, Black!"
"Stegosaurus! Power Ranger, Blue!"
"Velociraptor! Power Ranger, Green!"
"Triceratops! Power Ranger, Pink!"
"Dinosaur might, ready to fight! Power Rangers Dino Charge!"
"It's about to get wild!"
This show provides examples of:
- Adapted Out:
- Torin and Chaos have been edited out; replaced by Keeper and Sledge.
- The original sentai footage for "The Tooth Hurts" originally contained the Ankylo Zord and the Aqua Ranger, but neither appeared in the episode. And although his existence is hinted at, the Aqua Ranger was also cut out of "Let Sleeping Zords Lie" when he had been present in the corresponding Kyoryuger episode. A conspicuous Chekhov's Gunman at the end of the episode implies that the character got Gender Flipped, which explains why the original footage couldn't be used. This did happen in Kyoryuger, but not till near the end.
- The Ageless: As it turns out, a perk of being bonded to an Energem. Just look at Koda - looking pretty spry for someone going on 100,000. Of course, being a Human Popsicle for most of that time probably helped.
- Air Vent Escape: Riley and the others in "When Logic Fails". Possibly justified, since Puzzler's Reality Warping may have had the side-effect of making the air-vents larger. Or because Puzzler was so busy warping rooms, covering doors with walls and altering maps that he forgot about the vents.
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Averted. Koda is a 100,000 year old caveman yet is anatomically indistinguishable from modern humans. Considering he is 100% Homo sapien, this and him not having stereotypical traits like grunting speech or a huge brow ridge is quite accurate.
- The Artifact: Though there have clearly been steps to avoid this through Pragmatic Adaptation, some aspects of the original sentai appear here without explanation.
- Ivan having a different morpher from the other rangers is never explained, even though everyone other ranger who appears gets a Dino Blaster and he has a crossbow-like device. In the sentai it was because his morpher was created before guns were invented, but in Power Rangers his morpher clearly doesn't materialize until present day.
- Phillip's suit has a muted sash instead of bright yellow like other rangers. This is never explained in the show, though in Kyoryuger it was because Kyoryu Grey was a spirit.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: Besides the general naming issues and lack of feathers on dinos that should have them (Or Double Subversion in the T-Rex case), the first episode has multiple flubs:
- There is no scientific reason for the various species of dinosaur in the prologue to exist in the same scene together, much less get along peacefully. Conveniently, the most problematic of these, the water-dwelling Plesiosaur, is kept off-camera. Also in the prologue, aerial shots show the continents as they look in the modern day rather than how they looked in prehistory.
- Later on, a dinosaur skeleton is shown in the museum that Chase states was uncovered nearby. Its head crest identifies it as a Cryolophosaurus, which was native to Antarctica.
- Shelby tries to impress Kendall with her in-depth knowledge of dinosaurs by explaining that only two of Triceratops' horns were bone with the other being made of keratin. In reality, all ceratopsian horns consist of a large bone core covered in a keratin sheet with there being no evidence of any dinosaur possessing purely soft tissue horns.
- That said, averted in the case of paleoanthropology. Koda being portrayed as identical to a modern human despite being 100,000 years old is actually quite accurate; as anatomically modern humans have been around for about twice that long.
- The Bad Guy Wins: "Double Ranger, Double Danger" ends in a mess for the Rangers. They lost the Energem scanner, forcing them to destroy it in order to keep it out for the bad guys's hands, but Fury recovers the Dino Charger they still had in the machine, meaning they can find the Energem now.
- Badass: Keeper. If it weren't for the fact Sledge's ship was hauling asteroids, he'd have taken out the entire enemy faction in a few minutes and is able to get dinosaurs to listen to him!
- Riley, in the second episode, attacks Fury when Fury tries to kill his dog, Rubik. He does get kicked around at first, but once he gets the power of the Energem, Riley manages to go toe-to-toe with Fury and fights him to a standstill, all while unmorphed. I guess he wasn't playing.
- Body Horror: Curio, who is made from spare monster parts.
- Bounty Hunter: Sledge, the Big Bad of the season. Also a very Bad Boss to work with, as Fury can attest.
- Boxed Crook: A variation (as they are in the employ of the Big Bad). The Monsters of the Week are held captive in Sledge's prison ship, and sent out to fight the Rangers as a sort of probation.
- Broken Streak: This is the first Power Rangers series to not have a Yellow Ranger.
- Call Back: In "When Logic Fails", Riley comments on how all the villains are on different paths but they're leading to the same destination. This is the same lesson that Keeper taught about him and Chase in "The Tooth Hurts".
- Cast from Hit Points: Fury uses the being inside of him to charge the Ptera Charger. This drains the being, which in turn seems to harm Fury as well.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Yet again, we have a powerful item that "chooses" to bond with people who just happen to find them. For bonus points, this is just like the last dinosaur Power Rangers series in that regard.
- Clip Show: "The Ghostest with the Mostest", which doubles as a Halloween Episode, has one of the rangers kidnapped and replaced by a monster in disguise. In order to determine who the fake is, Kendall asks the rangers questions about previous events in the series. Clips from those points are shown as the rangers answer them.
- Conspicuous CG: The sabre-toothed tiger in Koda's Dream Sequence in "Return of the Caveman".
- The dinos in the first 10 minutes of Episode 1.... do not look good on a real background.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Sledge has a shipful of the galaxy's most wanted criminals. Will he either (a) turn them in, become insanely rich, and be hailed as a hero for capturing them, or (b) lose them all by sending them against the Rangers one by one? You get no points for guessing which he's going to do.
- To be fair, the Energems are implied to be way more valuable than the criminals. Plus, he actually does consider it at times.
- Furthermore, in "The Ghostest With the Mostest", Wrench is shown to have adapted a machine that can re-animate destroyed monsters, so in theory, Sledge can now get both the Energems and all the bounties - just re-animate all the monsters once the Energems are secured!
- Demoted to Extra: The most dangerous criminal on Sledge's ship is Deboss, the Big Bad of Kyoryuger. Time will tell if he pulls a Dragon Ascendant.
- Empathic Weapon: As in Kyoryuger, the Rangers' powers seem tied to an emotion, but unlike in Kyoryuger were it was bravery, the Energems seem to react to selflessness and altruism.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: In episode 2, Riley's dog Rubik goes crazy and chases after something in the woods. It turns out to be Fury.
- Foil: Chase and Riley. The latter is The Stoic, type A, and extremely disciplined. The former is The Casanova, relaxed, and tends to unconventional methods of training.
- Foreshadowing: Sledge taking Spellbinder's amulet for future uses. Most likely for an upcoming monster that's a mashup of Spellbinder and Gold-Digger.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sledge's cell blocks. If you're familiar with Kyoryuger's monsters, chances are you might recognize some of them, including D.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Tyler and Shelby are cornered by Iceage in the premiere, Tyler pulls out a banana and a pair of underwear before finally finding the weapon he wants.
- The origin for Curio (someone with similar personality traits to Poisandra for her to befriend and be distracted by) makes him out to be more of a Pet Homosexual than before.
- Also, it's mentioned in such an offhand comment distracts from the Fridge Horror of it: Wrench said he made Curio from spare monster parts. Who are this year's monsters? They're not robots, they're not some kind of magical construct made on the spot, they're alien criminals. How can that not mean Dismemberment of living sentients + Frankensteining = Curio?
- Fury taking the E-Tracer from Poisandra and using it on his own so that "Sledge will love [him]".
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: This series has the rangers searching for the ten Energems before Sledge does, as well as people worthy enough to bond with them and become rangers themselves. This is downplayed, since by the second episode they already have a five-ranger team and, therefore, five Energems.
- His Name Really Is Barkeep: From the looks of it, Keeper.
- Hot Scientist: Kendall, who works at the museum and is involved with engineering the Rangers' tech.
- Human Popsicle: This is how Koda made it to modern times, as we see during his flashback that he was falling into an ice filled ocean when his Energem activated.
- I Call It "Vera": Tyler takes to calling the T-Rex Zord "Rexie" after getting friendly with it.
- If It Swims, It Flies: The Plesiozord, though justified as it's also part-spaceship.
- Ignored Aesop:
- "The Royal Rangers" involves the crew tricking Fury into stealing a fake Energem by disguising themselves as foreign royalty and entourage. It works, but Shelby didn't want to play a "spoiled princess." After the whole thing, Keeper ends the Episode by stating that "princesses don't have to be spoiled." It seemed like an attempt to address negative stereotypes; except said stereotypical portrayals were what tricked Fury in the first place. Plus, only Shelby's case is addressed in detail.
- "Knight After Knights" bungles it's message of "courage isn't fearlessness" by the simple fact that the Rangers' bravery immediately returns to them once they realize Keeper is right instead of actually putting said message into practice by nervously approaching the battlefield for Shelby's sake first. This also defeats the entire logic behind the MOTW note and renders it harmless in the process.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In "No Matter How You Slice It", the monster Shearfear is able to snip apart the bonds of friendship between the rangers...except for Koda's. To him the rangers are more than just friends, they're his family.
- Kick the Dog: Fury would have killed Riley's dog Rubik for no other reason but that Rubik annoyed him had Riley not jumped in.
- Local Reference: In an interesting inversion, the American Dino Charge has actually lot more references to its country of production than in years past including Chase himself (averting Fake American outright), his little sister (averting The Kids Are Kiwi) and Moana among others.
- Love Triangle: In "Sync or Swim", Tyler and Ivan begin competing for Shelby's affections. She'd shown some friendship and attraction to both of them before, so naturally the two were rivals for the episode, before working together against Sledge had them put aside their harsh feelings for each other. Though Shelby still hasn't decided who she likes more...
- Mythology Gag:
- Doesn't Wrench sound a lot like Baboo?
- This is also isn't the first time a T-Rex zord was summoned from a volcano.
- Tyler using "It's about to get wild!" as a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, just like his own counterpart Daigo.
- Likewise, in "A Fool's Hour" Wrench wipes his Ocular Gushers while proclaiming "That stings!", which was the Catch Phrase of his Kyoryuger counterpart, Aigallon.
- And in "Double Ranger Double Danger" Fury calls a megazord-sized copy of himself "Infuriating!", borrowing the Catch Phrase of his Japanese counterpart, Dogold.
- At the start of "A Fool's Hour", Chase is singing a song to the tune of Kyoryuger's opening theme; Koda can be heard humming it in the last scene as well.
- Sledge has a little problem with his left shoulder, just like Chaos (or maybe not as bad).
- In episode 4, "Return of the Caveman", a Saber-Toothed Tiger attacks Koda's brother. Trini and Aisha (and Boi, if you want to include Sentai) would've been disappointed.
- Curio's name is just two syllables away from his Sentai counterpart's name, Luckyuro.
- The first Monster of the Week is named Ice Age, which is what his sentai counterpart's name translates to.
- In this season, the rangers work in a fast food restaurant, they have a megazord that is comprised of 3 zords with red as a major component, and the megazord is controlled via motion capture. Not a first time in Power Rangers history.
- Also, Sentai fans have seen a team of dino rangers working for a dinosaur-themed restaurant before. Of course, PR fans have as well in "Lost and Found in Translation," the episode where the Dino Thunder team got to watch an Abaranger episode (as an episode of a show based on their exploits).
- In episode 5, after destroying the monster, Tyler said "We're the invincible ones!". The very first line of Kyoryuger's theme song is almost exactly that ("We are the invincible superstars!").
- With a subtle tweak, the coordinates produced by the Energem tracker built by Kendall and Shelby in episode 7 can be made to correspond to the actual location of Saban Brands HQ.
- In "When Logic Fails", Riley is sneaking around in an air duct and looks down through a vent to see Fury lying in a medical chair powering the Ptera Charger; in a scene reminiscent of Mighty Morphin''s "White Light" where Billy saw the White Ranger being prepared from the same angle.
- The way Fury says "After 800 years" in episode 11 is really reminiscent of Rita's first words in the opening.
- Another reference to Kyorunger is with the kingdom of Zandar, which shares its name with Zandar Thunder, the name of Ivan's sentai counterpart's weapon. Also a Pragamatic Adaptation, as a giant "ZANDAR" shoots out of the sword for his Finishing Move.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Keeper tricked Fury into bringing a bomb onto Sledge's ship instead of the Energems; not a bad plan. But then that caused the ship to drop the asteroids Sledge was collecting...
- Out of Order: "The Ghostest with the Mostest", since it featured a Zord (the Pachy Zord) that wasn't officially obtained by the Rangers until the following episode, "Rise of a Ranger". (Chalk this one up to Executive Meddling, since it was a Halloween Clip Show that was meant by the creative team to air closer to Halloween itself.)
- Pragmatic Adaptation: While there are some similarities in the characters, Dino Charge has a completely different story than Kyoryuger, much like the last dinosaur themed show.
- Pure Of Heart: The Energems are attracted to people who display this, but they won't necessarily work properly for the user if they stop being pure. Chase finds this out in "True Black" when he relentlessly mocks Shelby for liking a boy band, and later finds that his power-ups don't work because of it.
- Reality Ensues:
- Played for laughs in "The Tooth Hurts". Chase is hit with a blast that causes him extreme tooth decay, but he's still able to morph. During the roll call, Chase fails to finish his line because his mouth is in serious pain and has to let the other continue. Even during the big catchphrase and explosions, Chase's pain still prevents him from actually taking on his Asskicking Pose with the others.
- Imitating the Prince of Zandar during "The Royal Rangers" didn't hold up so well with the country. The next episode they show up to take the treasures back.
- Rearrange the Song: "Go Go Power Rangers" returns yet again, though the Dino Charge version inserts more lines into the chorus and has entirely new verses.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Right after he gets his morpher, Tyler starts fiddling with it and nearly shoots Shelby by accident. She's upset, but her anger is cut short since they're under attack by an ice monster and they decide to turn their guns on him.
- Worse, even right after Tyler nearly accidentally puts a hole in Shelby's face, they still do a lot of dramatic posing and such with their guns (fingers on triggers, too!) that would make anyone who's ever even been in the same room as a real gun hold their breath. Maybe they should have made the Dino Coms the morphers after all...
- In "Return of the Caveman", Sledge launches Slammer's space pod by shooting the launch button with his beam gun.
- In "The Ghostest With the Mostest", Shelby accidentally shoots Chase with a Dino Cupid blast while trying to figure out how to get the Cupid Charger out of her Morpher. Probably would have been better to fiddle with it in a private corner of the base (and with Kendall's help), even though ultimately it had no lasting harm besides giving Chase a case of temporary Acquired Situational Narcissism.
- Second Episode Introduction: While not aired together or titled as such, the premiere very much follows a two-part structure with the first episode only having the setup and A Taste of Power and the second episode having the real debuts. Riley didn't even appear in the first episode at all. Even after that, the personal weapons and Megazord were delayed to get their own feature introductions in episode 3. And Curio didn't show up until episode 4, with his absence until then leading some to think that he had been Adapted Out completely.
- Ship Tease: A subtle one during episode 7. Tyler was really worried when he found out Shelby fell into a hole with a brainwashed zord inside.
- And then brought into full swing thrice in episode 8:
- Tyler admitting in his narration that Shelby is cute.
- Shelby happily hugging Tyler after he showed up to complete the Dino Spike and destroy the monster.
- Shelby recovering Tyler's bracelet and even putting it back on him.
- It's hardly the first time a burger joint played a vital role in a Nickelodeon show.
- The very first scene is a small spacecraft being chased and shot by a space battlecruiser.
- Tyler's Goofy Print Underwear may bring to mind another world-wanderer-turned-hero.
- Koda is a superhero who has a Super Strength, whose costume's color is mainly blue, wields a shield as a personal weapon (and his zord weapon), became a Human Popsicle because he fell down to an icy surface while trying to save someone, and is trying to adjust to the modern world. Hmm...
- This season features transforming robot dinosaurs, the villain is an intergalactic bounty hunter who has a prison ship, he is after something the main characters have, and the first scene is a flashback to 65 million years ago depicting the dinosaurs' extinction. Hmm...
- Someone else had already done a gag involving triceratops poop back in 1993.
- Episode 8 starts with Tyler narrating about finding his father, much like Ryan Steele.
- Also in episode 8, Tyler's inside-the-helmet view also includes some HUD displays, just like Iron Man.
- The board game Puzzler plays throughout episode 9 is rather similar to 3D Chess.
- On that note, while fighting a monster in space thanks to the Plesio Charge Megazords flight capabilities, the Pre-Mortem One-Liner is "Let's make space his final frontier!"
- Shovel Strike: The main characters have a thing for always finding a spare shovel somewhere to use as a weapon—to the point where it is now a Running Gag. Which makes sense, because they are frequently going on archaeological digs - ostensibly for fossils, but in actuality to find the Energems. So it's natural they'd be lying around handy a lot.
- Shown Their Work: Chase's Kiwi slang (Such as calling Riley "You beauty!" in "When Logic Fails", which is slang for "Good job!") is quite accurate.
- Toilet Humor: The Oviraptor Dino Charger releases toxic gas, and the Rangers can't help but compare it to farting. The fact that the gas is discharged through the Megazord's left shoulder (corresponding with the T-Rex's tail) rather than its right (the head) does it no favors.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Koda is almost always shirtless when he's in the Dinolair - which is most of the time.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Apparently not much, since Sledge nonchalantly kills one just so it's out of Poisandra's way.
- Whole Costume Reference: Tyler's prince outfit doesn't scream Prince William so much as beat you in the face with it.
- You Fight Like a Cow: These are some of the quippiest Rangers since the Ninja Storm Rangers.
- You Have Failed Me: Sledge uses this on Fury after what happened with Ivan escaping. His method? Having a monster steal his courage away, making him functionally useless.