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Series / ReBoot: The Guardian Code

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ReBoot: The Guardian Code is a CGI/Live-Action reimagining of the animated series ReBoot.

In a hidden lab in the basement of Alan Turing High, an artificial intelligence named VERA watches over cyberspace. Its stability and security is threatened by a deranged hacker known only as "The Sourcerer" and his viral army. To lead that viral army, the Sourcerer has also resurrected the very dangerous virus known as Megabyte to ravage the Net once more.

To stop this new evil, VERA recruits four teenagers to travel into the digital world and stop him. Their de facto leader, Austin (Ty Wood), is also the son of VERA's creator and hopes to use the experience to discover more about his deceased father and the creations he left behind. Along with his nerdy friend Parker (Ajay Parikh-Friese), social media butterfly and popular vlogger Tamra (Sydney Scotia), exceptional and exceptionally put-upon athlete Trey (Gabriel Darku), and a newly-humanized teenage VERA (Hannah Vanderbygaart), these five must balance their personal lives with saving cyberspace from the Sourcerer.

The show aired its only season in 2018, divided into two half-seasons (marketed as Season 1 and 2 on Netflix), from March - September 2018 on Netflix and YTV.

This series provides examples of:

  • Artistic License:
  • Calling Your Attacks: The guardians activate their various powers/vehicles by calling them out by name.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: At the end of the original series, Megabyte had successfully taken control of Mainframe's Principal Office, telling Bob and the rest of Mainframe to "Prepare [themselves] for the hunt". There is no mention of this at all in The Guardian Code.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Sourcerer's code is dark purple, Megabyte's code is sickly green, and the Guardian's code is light blue. Digitized human blood shows up as red code.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Resurrection", during Megabyte's debut scenes, Frisket (or a dog reusing his design) as well as Dot's Diner can be seen. Megabyte also asks the Sourcerer about Bob.
    • The huge storm in episode nine is named Hurricane Cecil.
  • Creator Cameo: The ReBoot fanboy from the episode "Mainframe Mayhem" is played by Mark Leiren-Young, the episode's writer and the only writer from the original series to return.
  • Deadly Dodging: To defeat the worm virus which multiplies if cut and devours whatever it gets its mouth on, Austin tricks it into biting its own tail, causing it to devour itself.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Thanks to an Explosive Leash, Megabyte is reduced to the Sourcerer's enforcer, at least until he can figure out a way to break free.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Sourcerer has a habit of repeating the same thing in a different way as a Verbal Tic.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Only Enigma fights against Hexadecimal.
  • Epic Fail: The Sourcerer hacks a cell phone network and runs a search for relevant keywords: "Guardian", "Megabyte", and "Sourcerer". This nets him calls about cell phone data plans, a private security company, and a sorcerer, until he finally happens upon Parker's cell phone. Even then, he twice ignores it because the words are so common he assumes they aren't specifically referring to his activities.
  • Everything Is Online: Whatever the Sourcerer needs to hack into, it's online.
  • Explosive Leash: The Sourcerer puts a delete code into Megabyte's upgrade so Megabyte has no choice but to obey him.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Sourcerer has no apparent motivation for his villainy, seemingly doing it for no other reason than because he can. It's later revealed that he's been infected with "dark code" while in The Web. As dark code is only driven by a need to destroy, so is the Sourcerer.
  • Gunship Rescue: In "Emotional Rescue", V.E.R.A. reveals that the Codec has weapons, which she uses to save the team. Unfortunately, she gets a bit too into it thanks to the emotion plugin she's running and forgets to let them get clear first, nearly killing them by mistake.
  • Hacker Cave: The Sourcerer has one.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Department of Internet Security becomes this in the second season. While they are opposed to the Sourcerer and Megabyte / Hexadecimal, they are also opposed to the Guardians in a bid to get Adam Carter's technology under their control.
  • Hour of Power: The Guardians can only stay in the net for as long as their suits have power. Once it drops to 5%, the suits enter a power-saving mode which puts the user into a temporary coma. If they run out of power, the suits would lose integrity and they'd die horribly.
  • Humanity Ensues: Thanks to Parker randomly pressing buttons when they first discover Room 0, V.E.R.A. gets a bio-printed teenage body.
  • Hydra Problem: The worm virus doubles if it's cut in half. However, it also eats anything, including its copies, so Austin tricks it into eating its own tail and destroying itself.
  • In Name Only: The series has very little to do with the original series, which is part of why fans of the original view it poorly. The presence of Megabyte and a single episode that raised even more questions about how this show fits in with the original are all this show shares with Reboot.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Near the end of "Artificial Intelligence", Judy says "I don't want to have anything to do with Alyx or artificial intelligence anymore" to Vera, who is an AI in a human body.
  • Killed Off for Real: In "Black Hole", the Sourcerer kills off the virtual assistant Alyx.
  • Kill It with Fire: Vera programs virtual flamethrowers for the Guardians when individually killing the Sourcerer's zombie bots proves untenable. It's a lot more efficient, but there are so many of them that the Guardians nearly run out of power just containing them and have to switch strategies.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: In Episode 10, the original Mainframe system shows up, having been installed in Room 0 by Austin's father. It still works, and the old gang is still there. This proves problematic when the new Guardians are trapped in one of the old games and find their tech isn't backwards-compatible with the antiquated software. Fortunately, Bob still works just fine and Parker happens to remember a cheat code.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Austin's father, Adam Carter, is revealed to be the Sourcerer. During a trip in cyberspace, he was infected by dark code and his memories were lost.
  • Me's a Crowd: In "Game Day", Megabyte uses a code replicator to make copies of himself. The copies and the replicator are destroyed when Trey tackles the former into the latter, causing it to overload.
  • Mission Control: Vera directs the team from the control room.
  • Mythology Gag: Bob's first lines in "Mainframe Mayham" are almost exactly the opening lines from the intro in the original series.
  • Password Slot Machine: In a rather blatant Shout-Out to WarGames, the Sourcerer uses a sequencer to try and crack a nuclear launch code in the episode "Nuclear Confusion". He manages to get the complete code, but before he can do anything, the system clock (which has been sped up by Parker) rolls over to the next day, causing the system to randomize the launch code again - at which point the DIS arrives to flush the Dark Code from the system.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Sourcerer's dark code is represented by the color purple.
  • Rage Quit: Unlike ReBoot's super-determined user, this shows how players would react if the NPCs in the game could outright cheat. When Parker decides to test out a blaster he designed on a Clash of Clans-style mobile app, the kid whose game he's so rudely hijacked gives up in frustration, and that's before Megabyte takes over her castle and turns it into his new base.
  • Ratings Stunt: "Mainframe Mayhem", the final episode of the ten-episode "first season"note , brings back the entirety of the main characters from the original series, who have now been revealed to have been reactivated — seemingly as a way to dodge criticism of Guardian Code straying away from the series' roots by adding live-action material. As the series was canned after this, the stunt didn't work.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: The Sourcerer's zombie bots can reattach severed limbs and reboot if disabled, but are permanently destroyed if their heads are cut off.
  • Sequel Hook: The second season ends with the Sourcerer/Adam Carter lost in cyberspace without a trace, Megabyte and Hexadecimal ready to start their own evil plans, and someone having stolen the supercomputer the Sourcerer was using to wirelessly hack into any system.
  • Series Continuity Error: Despite dialogue treating The Guardian Code as a sequel to the original series, there are numerous inconsistencies between the two shows:
    • Megabyte was upgraded towards the end of the original series, giving him a more organic appearance and the ability to disguise himself as other sprites. Here, he sports his original appearance before being upgraded again, which gives him a skeletal appearance. No mention is made of his shapeshifting powers.
    • Enzo appears as "Little" Enzo and not as Matrix.note 
    • Hexadecimal is shown to still be living in Lost Angles at the end of Season 1, every bit as evil and deranged as she was originally, despite her having been healed both physically and mentally, performing a Heel–Face Turn, and most notably, performing a Heroic Sacrifice and dying to save the Net from Daemon by the end of the original series.
  • Strictly Formula: Most episodes follow the same pattern: The Guardians are in the middle of some school activity, The Sourcerer or Megabyte infects a website, the Guardians enter cyberspace to take care of it, then DIS takes all the credit when the day is saved.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Sourcerer furnishes Megabyte with an upgrade, making him a match for present technology. This is best demonstrated when he casually No Sells a blast from Hexadecimal.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Hexadecimal died in a Heroic Sacrifice to stop a supervirus from destroying the Net in the original series. Here, she's perfectly fine, as well as back to being evil, for no discernible reason.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The Sourcerer hijacks a military weather satellite so he can amplify a tropical storm into a hurricane which will destroy the eastern seaboard of the United States.
  • Wham Episode: "Mainframe Mayhem" reintroduces Mainframe and has Megabyte recruit Hexadecimal to his cause, putting some motion back into his stalled plot to break free of the Sourcerer. However, Hexadecimal is captured in the next episode and plays no part in Megabyte regaining his freedom, though they end up forming a partnership again when Megabyte himself is captured.
  • You Are in Command Now: Megabyte frequently kills his Alpha Sentinel and promotes one of the mooks to replace him.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In "Zombie Army", the Sourcerer releases zombie drones that are designed to infect computers, eventually forming a botnet that will crash the internet through DDoS attacks.