It's almost time to kick off the Power Rangers Dino Fury season, and with the premiere set for tomorrow, who better to talk to than the Dino Fury cast and Executive Producer Simon Bennett? Thankfully ComicBook.com had the chance to do just that, and during our conversation, we talked about the big premiere episode, the epic flashback sequences, the season's approach to humor, how long it will be to get the team together, and more! You can check out the full interview in the video above, and I will note there are some spoilers here for the premiere episode, so if you want to go in unspoiled you might want to wait until you've seen it.
Dino Fury's premiere episode introduces us first to Hunter Deno's Amelia and then Kai Moya's Ollie, followed by Russell Curry's Zayto. We get a good grasp of all three characters by episode's end, and that was part of the reason why the show decided to just focus on the three Rangers as opposed to fitting the whole team in.
"Good question. Well we've only got 22 minutes and 30 seconds to tell a story in an episode," Bennett said. "And in episode one, you've got a lot of things to get across to the audience, like what is the fundamental story that's driving the season? Who are the good guys? Who are the villains? What is the premise? What is the world? What are all the little quirks and features that they're going to follow through the season? So there's so much to set up. It's better for us to focus on three characters at the start because we can give them enough weight within the story of that episode for the audience to get to know something about them and feel by the end of the episode, 'Oh, I like those characters,' or, 'She's the one who, and he's the one who, and I get who these characters are and how they work together.' And then a little bit later on, we can introduce more Ranger characters by which time the audience will already know the first three quite well. So they'll be able to get to know the new ones as they come aboard. So that's the strategy behind it."
As for when the rest of the team will come together, Bennett said "I would say that you'll meet the first five Rangers within the first four or five episodes. I don't think that's too much of a spoiler and I can't say anything more beyond that."
Part of the overall setup is Zayto's history with the Sporix, and those flashbacks actually give us full armies of warriors and dinosaurs in addition to all the present-day happenings, and it was a bit challenging to fit all that into the time allotted.
"It was very challenging. The main challenge was we had a vast amount of story to tell him those flashbacks with a very limited amount of time to tell it because you could of course base a whole season back in Zayto's time, 65 million years ago, and the great Sporix Wars and Zayto's team of Knights, et cetera," Bennett said. "But that's not what our show is about, but it's really important setup for our season that we understand where Zayto has come from, what he wants, which is to find out whether any of his people still exist or what's become of this planet and what the Sporix are and how they operate and what kind of a threat they pose to the people on earth. So it's a really important setup for our season, but it was technically very challenging to do because obviously dinosaurs and also big visual effects and fights."
"And so we decided to do it as a bit of a montage, as you will have seen, and that sequence was storyboarded within an inch of its life," Bennett said. "There was nothing that was wasted, nothing was cut or made in the visual effects department that didn't end up on screen because obviously, it's hugely time-consuming and expensive to do that kind of thing. So we wanted every moment to count and I think it does. And in terms of whether we see more of this kind of thing, I can say that we haven't finished with Zayto's backstory yet."
Production on Power Rangers starts well in advance of the casting process, and that includes working on the characters and their personal stories. That's why we wanted to know if the writers sort of adapt and evolve those characters a bit once the cast is locked in, and it seems that's the case.
"When the actors join us, we've already been writing for more than a year," Bennett said. "So the arcs for the series are pretty much plotted out. However, what happens when the actors join the show and the writers meet the actors and they're able to see what they bring to the characters is the voices of the characters become more appropriate for the actors who are playing them. So the writers do pay attention to the actors and they hear their voices. So when they're writing dialogue, they're no longer writing dialogue for a fictitious person whom they haven't seen yet, they're writing dialogue for a character who's inhabited by a particular actor. I think for the writers, it becomes easier, and for the actors, it probably feels as if the dialogue is more of a natural fit than maybe when they first started shooting. We're still filming, we're only about halfway through the shoot now."
The premiere features a more slapstick style bit involving an electrified net, but you'll also notice that much of the humor in the episode is actually featured in the banter between the Rangers as opposed to those broader humor moments, and that's something you'll see reflected throughout the entire season.
"I think there is a definite shift this season, and this is a deliberate thing towards humor that is more character-based and dialogue-based," Bennett said. "It's not to say that there won't continue to be physical comedy because there will, because that's always been a staple part of Power Rangers. And also it's something that the younger audience members enjoy. But we're injecting a new level of character comedy to the show, which you'll notice from episode one. So I'd say the tone is quite different."
"The dialogue is less expositional and simplistic, and there are more twists and turns and banter and interaction and fun in the dialogue," Bennett said. "So yeah, there's a new level of comedy that we're going for, and I would say that there's probably less of the traditional massive slapstick gag sequence comedy than in the last two seasons and that we're sharing the comedy around a bit more, the comedy with an episode might exist within the villains or it might exist within the Power Rangers, or it might exist within the world. So we are trying new things with how the comedy sets within the show."0comments
You can check out even more from our interview in the video above, and you can watch Power Rangers Dino Fury when it premieres on Nickelodeon Saturday, February 20th.
Let us know what you're looking forward to most in the comments or as always you can talk all things Power Rangers with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!