According to Judge Maurice Cobbs, what the world needs now is space cowboys on robot horses with laser guns.
"You humans are crazy! Outer space will never be the same!"—Captain Kidd
Years before short-sighted studio execs shot Joss Whedon's Firefly down in a blaze of glory, Western adventure and space opera collided in The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. An elite team of technologically enhanced lawmen, the Galaxy Rangers were tasked with preserving law and order in the vast reaches of space, where humans were settling with other races on remote frontier planets thanks to hyperdrive technology given to them by alien ambassadors seeking an alliance against the sprawling, genocidal Crown Empire. Using the microcircuitry in their badges, the Rangers could activate their Series 5 brain implants and access enhanced powers and abilities: Their leader, Marshall Zachary Foxx, could transform his bionic left arm into a laser cannon; the beautiful Niko could magnify her already-impressive psionic abilities; Dr. Walter "Doc" Hartford became a "computer wizard," able to "conjure" specialized computer programs; and Shane "Goose" Gooseman, last of the genetically altered Supertroopers, could shape-shift, or get super-strong, or become invulnerable, or whatever else the script called for him to do. Aside from battling the Slaver Lords of the megalomaniacal Queen of the Crown Empire, the Rangers locked horns with a variety of colorful villains, like gangster Jackie Subtract, space pirate Captain Kidd, bandit queen Daisy O'Mega, and Ryker Killbane and his gang of renegade Supertroopers.
Unlike the vast majority of cartoons from the mid-eighties, Galaxy Rangers was not driven by toy sales, which allowed it an extra level of creative freedom, but which also ultimately caused its untimely demise: Unable to generate a marketing frenzy, Galaxy Rangers was quickly lost in the shuffle and eventually canceled. But the show nevertheless maintained a healthy fan base, and now the Rangers are back, '80s rock soundtrack and all, thanks to the miracle of DVD. Unfortunately, Koch Vision has bafflingly decided to release the show in four-episode spurts, and out of production order. Here, in the fourth Galaxy Rangers collection, they've finally decided to release the first two episodes of the series. Here's how it breaks down:
• "New Frontier"
One of the benefits of the DVD medium is that it gives wonderful shows like Galaxy Rangers a real chance to find an audience. Unfortunately, Koch Vision has released these episodes out of their intended order, destroying the crafted continuity and possibly confusing new viewers who are unfamiliar with the show. Fortunately, there are rumors of a boxed set that will present the Galaxy Rangers saga the way it was intended to be seen. For now, fans will have to be content with these collections; the picture looks fantastic, and you have a choice of 2.0 or 5.1 surround sound. The episode synopses and the character bios in the special features are pretty standard, and there is also a "photo gallery" included, which is actually a collection of random and rather pointless screen shots from the show. Eh?
The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is a fun and exciting show, and rather advanced for the time it was being produced. Let's hope the boxed set comes along soon!
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• Episode Synopses
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