Day of the Dino
If “Day of the Dumpster” was the original, then “Day of the Dino” is the remix. This is the pilot for the Power Rangers Dino Thunder, the 12th season in the franchise. It stars a returning Jason David Frank as Dr. Thomas Oliver. I know what you’re thinking… ‘What? Tommy from Mighty Morphin is a doctor now?!’ Well… sort of. He’s a paleontologist, who we see in the opening scenes recovering artifacts from a mysterious island. Tommy finds himself being chased by the island’s inhabitants, the Dinodrones, the footsoldiers of the season. He jumps into the ocean, as the island explodes and sinks into the sea. Tommy resurfaces years later, as the new science teacher at Reefside High School, where he is put in charge of detention by Principal Randall (Miriama Smith).
In detention are Conner McKnight (James Napier), a soccer star that skipped class to practice his kicks, Kira Ford (Emma Lahana), an aspiring singer who was playing her guitar on school grounds, and Ethan James (Kevin Duhaney), a nerd who rigged the sprinkler system to go off as a prank. These three characters come from different worlds and social standings in the high school, and it takes a chance encounter with the Dino Gems, ancient artifacts that choose whom they bond with, to become Power Rangers. They battle the evil threats of Mesogog (Latham Gaines), Zeltrax (James Gaylyn), and Elsa (Principal Randall’s alter ego), who look to take the Earth back to the age of dinosaurs.
The characters are lively and offer a modern and refreshing take on the ranger world. This episode reflects the beginning of their arcs, where they eventually grow as people. For example, the character of Conner, in the first episode, does not have much respect for women, as a whole, but as episodes progress, he learns more about how to treat others with kindness and compassion. Tommy, as a character, helps ground the episode in something familiar, for long-time fans. It’s a return home for Mighty Morphin fans, and it is worth checking out!