Monday, December 12, 2016

Reboot Revisited

Over the past couple of weeks, since my decision to retire Region One brought it to mind, I have taken the opportunity to re-watch my "Reboot" DVDs, partly out of curiousity as to how they hold up, and partly just for something to do. I made my way through series three last week, and then watched series four over the weekend. (Perhaps oddly, I don't have series one or two on DVD. But it practically became a different show at the start of series three, so that matters less than you might think.)


It's fair to say that the animation is very much of its time: "Reboot" was the first computer-animated half-hour TV cartoon, and it shows. And given just how far both computer animation and TV in general has come in the last few years, it really shows.

On the other hand, I'm not averse to watching old episodes of "Star Trek", or "Doctor Who", and "Babylon 5" remains one of my top sci-fi shows of all time, so bad effects aren't exactly a deal-breaker for me!

In terms of storytelling, I think those series of "Reboot" do still hold up, just about. And it's worth noting that the show does some things that I don't think I've ever actually seen anyone else do - including the literal end of the world while all the heroes are standing right there (which isn't even the end of the show - it's complicated). Plus, it really seems that, somewhere along the line, the writers forgot that they were supposed to be doing a kids TV show. That seems to happen to geeks a lot.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed it. Though I was perplexed, once again, that the show as a whole ends on a massive cliff-hanger. Personally, I think it would be better had it ended at the completion of the "Daemon Rising" arc, and the mega-happy ending that that implies, but never mind. "My Two Bobs" just didn't work for me, for several reasons... and then gave us that ending. A shame.

Unfortunately, having watched it again, it strikes me that "Reboot" is very much a show of its time, and not just in terms of the animation. Ironically, it is a show that itself probably shouldn't be rebooted. (Not least is the issue of Dot Matrix, whose name is a reference that was just about current back then but now is long obsolete. Though I suppose they could do a sequel-series many many generations further on...)

Anyway, that's that. I wonder now if I'll ever watch it again, or if "Reboot" joins "Babylon 5" and "Justice League Unlimited" on the list of great shows that are forced into the past by the technology?

#68: "Pathfinder: Dreams of the Yellow King", by Ron Lundeen

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