Critical Depth - Power Rangers Dino Charge Part 1

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Before we get started here, huge shout out to my friend, Brian Clark.   I am terrible about naming things.  That has been a long-standing issue for me.  In the past, I have done a few of these deep dive columns where I talk a look at a topic and go into obsessive detail about it.  In the past I've done "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the DC Multiverse" and "The Beginner's Guide to Doctor Who."  I have hated both those names, but I felt they needed a name, so that is what I came up with.  I had opened this up to some friends, and Brian got back to me immediately with Critical Depth. Which I loved, so it's the winner.

Some other suggestions I got (thanks, Logan) were Critical Analysis and Critical for the Skeptical, but Critical Depth won me over immediately.  Logan also helped me with editing the early drafts of this one.  It takes a village, people!

Full disclosure: I am not a Power Rangers expert.  To be honest, I’m not even all that huge a Power Rangers fan.  The only season I have even watched all the way through is Dino Charge, and I have never seen any of the original Japanese material Power Rangers is adapted from (nor do I have any interest in doing so).  So my “expertise” is limited only to Dino Charge as it aired in America.  BUT, I have seen every episode multiple times, and I have a great love of this series, so these columns are written from that perspective.

My relationship with the Power Rangers

When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers started way back in 1993, I was just about too old for the show.  I still watched it every now and then, and I actually did want a Dragonzord.  But, it was not something I obsessed over like I did Thundercats or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just a few years earlier. 

Jump to about a year and half ago.  I barely knew Power Rangers was still on the air.  But my kids have a weird habit of watching random older shows on Netflix, with no rhyme or reason.  It’s not unusual for me to find them watching old episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario.  At some point, my five-year old son Ben really got into Power Rangers, and I ended up watching quite a bit of it with him.  Again, no rhyme or reason.  He’d put on an episode of Wild Force and then switch right to a random episode of RPM. 

For me, my favorite episodes were the crossover episodes, especially when they involved the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  There was a Wild Force episode called Forever Red that had all the Red Rangers, including the original Red Ranger and Green Ranger (who used to have that awesome Dragonzord I mentioned earlier).  And last season was the 20th anniversary and the entire season was a Valentine to the Power Rangers lengthy history.  The last episode even ended with a ridiculously massive team-up featuring basically EVERY RANGER EVER (though only a few actors came back, most of them were played by stuntmen who never took the masks off…but it was still cool).

Last January, we started seeing commercials for Power Rangers: Dino Charge on Nickelodeon.   My first thought was that some of the Zord effects looking lame, especially compared to Super Megaforce.  But all three of my kids seemed real excited to see the new show.  I think a big part of it was that it was “their” Power Rangers, not something old.  They started asking for toys related to the show even before it aired. 

In February, we checked out the first episode, and we all really liked like.  It was a little hard for my kids to understand waiting between episodes (Generation Bingewatch), but every time there was a new episode, Power Rangers Dino Charge became appointment TV for us.  In between, they would watch every episode over and over again.  The season finale of Dino Charge aired last Saturday, and I thought it was worth writing down some of my thoughts about the show.


Dino Charge’s story starts millions of years ago.  A bounty hunter (Sledge) is chasing an alien creature named Keeper.  Sledge manages to shoot Keeper’s ship down on Earth.  Keeper is the protector of powerful artifacts called energems.  Sledge wants them for his own nefarious purposes.  He sends his goons after Keeper, but Keeper manages to get dinosaurs to take and protect the energems.  He tricks Sledge into bringing a bomb onto his ship, and the resulting explosion ends up creating the asteroid that killed off all the dinosaurs. 

Today, the energems have started to resurface in the fossils of dinosaurs.  Sledge is still looking for them, and Keeper is gathering the gem’s new protectors together as Power Rangers.  Keeper is assisted in this by Dr. Kendell Morgan, head of the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum. 

More to come…