ReBoot: The Guardian Code Doesn’t Really Sound Like a ReBoot Reboot
A new ReBoot related media project might actually see the light of day? Am I really typing this in 2015?
Shocking everyone, it looks like Rainmaker is going to make good on their fall 2013 announcement of a new ReBoot television series. Corus Entertainment has given the greenlight to 26 half-hour episodes of ReBoot: The Guardian Code, which all but ensures the show will actually exist. If your jaw is currently on the floor, I encourage you to leave it there until you read the show’s description:
Transcending age groups with appeal to kids, tweens and teens, ReBoot: the Guardian Code is an adventure-comedy series about four teens (Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra) who discover that they’re next-gen Guardians with a mission to save the world, by defending it in cyberspace. The Internet revolutionized the world, but it also left it vulnerable to attack. With the help of VERA, the last surviving cyberbeing from the original Guardian Program, our heroes stream into cyberspace where they use their awesome code-based powers to battle viruses that have been unleashed by a ruthless hacker. Known only as the Sourcerer, he seeks to rule the world by controlling cyberspace. Original fans of the show will be happy to hear that Megabyte will be back and he’s getting a major upgrade. ReBoot will showcase leading edge technologies and bring coding into the mainstream for kids.
When Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra are not trying to stop viruses from overloading a nuclear power station, or remotely opening a dam to flood a city, or playing Criss Cross Crash Hour with a city’s transportation grid, our heroes are being typical teens: arguing with their parents over curfews; dealing with crushes; or trying to avoid getting suspended for skipping class when they’re really on a cyber mission to save the world!
Have I said that it’s a live-action/CG hybrid? Did I mention that the new show appears to have little to no input from original series creators Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson and Phil Mitchell? Yyyeeeaahhhh …
Attempting to assuage fears that The Guardian Code is a ReBoot show in name only, Rainmaker president Michael Hefferon told the CBC that characters like Bob, Dot, Enzo and the bumbling duo of Hack and Slash will have roles in the new show. But it’s returning virus Megabyte who will be the most prominent. “With the advances in technology, it was fitting to upgrade Megabyte aesthetically, along with his abilities/powers. But ReBoot fans will recognize him as the same villain they grew to love, or despise from the original ReBoot series,” says Hefferon.
Believe it or not, that probably rang the biggest alarm in my head. I might not like it, but I understand barely related reboots that exist solely to sell a new thing off of nostalgia for an old thing. No company is going to spend millions producing a direct followup to a slightly obscure Canadian kids cartoon that got cancelled 15 years ago. Heck, I even understand the show being a hybrid of CG animation and live action footage. Yes, I know that kind of betrays the history of ReBoot, but back in 1994, simply being a CG animated show gave it eyeballs. In 20wheneverthisshowcomesout, that’s not enough to set it apart.
A modern ReBoot was always going to be different, so why graft seemingly superficial continuity? Fans of the original show are already writing The Guardian Code off for not being fully animated and sounding more like Zixx, Code Lyoko (which recently received a hybrid sequel), VR Troopers, Super Human Samurai Syber-Squad, Tron, etc. than ReBoot. I can’t imagine a Tony Jay-less Megabyte (who really needs to be renamed to something like Petabyte for an intimidating title in 2015) in a sideline villain role is going to win any of them over. In a way, it reminds me of Power Rangers Samurai. That show’s main plot is self contained from the rest of the franchise, yet there a few inexplicable leftovers from the past, like comedic relief Bulk. In the end that addition did nothing for anyone. Both new and old fans were at a loss as to why the character was there. The cynic in me saw it as “Hey, remember this character from that show you watched as a kid? Here’s a new version of him aimed at your kids! Please watch our show to relive your childhood and make sure to buy our merch for your kids!” Just completely superfluous material that didn’t really tie the show to prior events nor improve it in any way. That said, ReBoot: The Guardian Code can’t be as bad as Power Rangers Samurai … right?
“The core essence of what made ReBoot so successful 20 years ago carries through” said Hefferon. “The appeal for the new series will go well beyond kids.”
We’ll see about that.
UPDATE: The Star reports that the show is due out sometime in late 2016/2017. Here’s a quote from the article regarding ReBoot:
“There seems to be a trend to reboot shows…I think it’s going to appeal to kids who are 5 and 6, just because it’s cool and cool characters, and is going to hit that teen and young adult family viewing audience,” said producer Michael Hefferon, President and CEO of Vancouver animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment.
“Kids who watched it are now going to be able to watch it with their own kids,” added Jamie Piekarz, director of content, Corus Kids, whose parent company Corus Entertainment Inc. originally premiered the series on YTV.
UPDATE #2: YTV.com has put up a blog post talking about the show. I guess that confirms they’ll be airing it.
If you’re interested in rewatching the original show, you can find it streaming for free on Shout Factory’s website.