I think that’s part of the reason why the change has been accepted. I also think that, there were a lot of leftover rules about how the show should be written and what its formula should be that were part of the (original show creator) Haim Saban bible of what makes a power Rangers episode and it was very rigidly followed for a long time. I think under Hasbro there’s a strong sense of, let’s make the show a little bit more modern. Let’s make it work for audiences who are used to watching more sophisticated fare because there’s a danger if something doesn’t change or evolve, and it was originally originated in the early ’90s, if you don’t adapt that formula then it can look like a museum piece if you’re not careful.
Let’s talk about the Void Knight plot. I love what the writers have been able to do with turning a character that seemed to be the big bad of the season into someone much more complicated. When Void Queen blew up the ship Tarrick had built for them I was really taken off guard. This plot is very different from what we’re used to with Power Rangers.
There’s nothing like a good reversal and there’s nothing like actually subverting audience’s expectations in a way that they go, “wow, that’s amazing” rather than, “oh, I feel cheated.” So I think that (plot) is a successful example of that. We knew that Tarrick’s objective was always to get enough energy to pull the handle on his jukebox machine and bring Santaura back to life. That’s his motivation for him, which is actually a noble goal. But the way he goes about doing it, because he’s single minded, and a little bit ruthless, obviously has damaging and dangerous side effects for the Rangers and people in the city.
But we also knew that we wanted to change things up in the second half (of the series.) Basically, to raise the stakes and having Santaura fueled by vengeance. We don’t know quite yet why she wants revenge, but all will be revealed in due course. So Tarrick’s motivation for him was to heal his wife for him. Her motivation for her is to have revenge on humanity. Tarrick can’t buy into that, because he’s not essentially vindictive. He just wants to leave Earth with his wife and start a new life.
That’s why when she blows up the spaceship and closes the door on that possibility, it’s a huge moment for Tarrick, his entire future is demolished. We don’t know at this stage how long she’s been in that tube and how long Tarrick has been trying to revive her, but you get the sense it’s quite a while. It makes him a sympathetic character, because we can understand what he’s going through and what he’s gone through. It also makes flipping an evil character into a good character, or a less bad character, a bit more plausible to you if you play that out on screen. I think that’s been one of the defining things about dino fury is that we have worked hard to give the villains strong and understandable motivations that are more complex than simply conquering the universe or destroying the Rangers or stealing the power coins, you know, which is a usual power Rangers objectives for villains.
That leads into what I feel is an overarching theme for the season. That people can change. Of course change is a part of any drama but so many of the plots in dino fury deal with it, whether it be Javi’s hobbies and his dad learning to accept him, Ollie learning to respect Amelia’s ghost hunting, or Izzy’s mom taking time to respect the fact Izzy wants to wear suits instead of dresses.
(With Izzy and and her mom) you get the sense that there was friction in the past there and an uneasy truce. We discover that in the episode, and they are now reconciled, and there is a strong bond and understanding between the two of them. So I think you’re right, I think the idea or the theme of people can change is integral to the season. I know it was overtly a decision behind “The Hunt” episode, which, the temporary working title for that one was, “Tarrick’s Good.”