Chase pops into the base with a newspaper from New Zealand that he obtained somehow, despite being in that country after looking for the best movers for coming to New Zealand for months. The lead headline questions UFOs, with a picture of one of Sledge’s drop ships. This leads the group to hop on a plane and head to Chase’s home country of New Zealand to investigate. There they find Albert Smith, the man that took the pictures of the UFOs.
When a purse snatcher steals a woman’s purse, the Rangers chase after him, only to find the snatcher was captured by none other than the Purple Ranger. The new Ranger runs away, only to get stopped by Meteor, a new monster. The Rangers save him, and he reveals himself to be Albert, who has been using his powers to stop petty crimes around the city. Albert reveals that he bonded with the Energem when he saved a little girl during a mountain expedition.
Later, the Rangers find Meteor, along with a newly revived Ice Age and Sting Rage, who want to steal all 7 of their Energems. Unfortunately Albert is too scared to fight, and must be saved by Tyler. Albert admits his stories were fabricated. The other Rangers defeat Meteor, but the monster is enlarged with the Magna Beam. They begin the fight with the Dino Charge Megazord Tri-Ankylo Formation while Tyler continues to protect Albert. When Tyler gets his leg frozen by Ice Age, Albert helps him back to the forest. He then tricks the monsters into one of his bigfoot traps and breaks the ice on Tyler’s leg.
With the help of the Dino Charge Megazord Ankylo-Pachy formation, the Rangers defeat Meteor and return to Tyler and Albert. Albert requests that Keeper remove the bond between him and the Energem so that he is no longer in danger, and the Rangers can protect the Energem themselves. Even without the powers, he vows to protect the city.
“World Famous (In New Zealand)” is a mixed bag for me. The episode did a lot of really fun things, but ultimately felt rushed, and introduced a character that was horribly underused.
Power Rangers has been filmed in New Zealand since Power Rangers Ninja Storm, so it’s wonderful to finally have an episode of the show set in the actual country. There was a brief montage when the Rangers first arrived in the country that showed off several landmarks in Auckland. It served as not only a nice introduction to establish their location, but a nice tribute to the country they’ve filmed in for years.
Jumping back to the actual episode, Albert is an incredibly enjoyable character. It’s rare we get an older Ranger, so it’s always a treat when we do. I found it especially cool that he was an older Ranger that didn’t fall into an “old man” stereotype like Ulshade did in Kyoryuger, with back pain or little strength. Albert was as strong and fast as the rest of them, and just as smart to boot. The biggest travesty is how the character was treated. Not since S.P.D.’s Kat has a Ranger debuted and lost their powers within the span of one episode. Sure, he’s had the powers for some time now, but we didn’t get to see his wacky adventures in Auckland.
It’s especially painful when we find out the next episode of the series still takes place in New Zealand. It would have been a wonderful send-off to have Albert stick with the group for the following episode and actually participate in a large scale battle before he ultimately decides he’s not cut out for being a full-time Ranger. His send-off was as quick as his debut, and it is incredibly unfortunate.
The pacing of the episode was rather quick paced, so much that Ice Age and Sting Rage are left hanging in the forest. We have no idea if they were destroyed, or if Albert is using them as bigfoot bait. The duo didn’t really serve much of a purpose besides matching footage used from Kyoryuger. Everything was so fast-paced it was hard to just sit and enjoy the debut of a new character.
“World Famous (In New Zealand)” is an overall incredibly fun episode thanks to the debut of Albert. Unfortunately, that is also the episode’s biggest flaw. As fun as Albert is, he is only around for the short 15 or so minutes he is present in the episode. That being said, the small throwbacks to the Kyoryuger arc were neat to see as a fan. Even with the disappointment of Albert not sticking around for another episode, it did a lot for the narrative of the series as we slowly reach the final stretch of Power Rangers Dino Charge.
“World Famous (In New Zealand) is most similar to Kyoryuger’s Brave 21 while mixing in a lot of original elements as well. The Megazord battle seen in this episode is actually taken from Brave 18, an episode we took a look at a couple episodes back.
Brave 21 featured the Kyoryugers catching wind that Plezuon (Plesio Zord) was returning from space exploration with its partner, Kyoryu Violet. Unfortunately the Zyudenryu (Zord) gets attacked upon entry. The Deboth Legion have revived three previous monsters (Ice Age, Sting Rage, and Meteor) to take out the creature. The group also meets Doctor Ulshade and his daughter, Yayoi, the creator of the Kyoryuger’s gear. He reveals himself to be Kyoryu Violet, but injures himself during his roll call. He ends up giving the Kyoryuger’s the Plezuon Zyudenchi (Plesio Charger) to use the Zyudenryu in battle against an enlarged Debo Nagareboshi (Meteor).
As mentioned, the Plesio Zord didn’t actually debut in this episode, so the Zord footage from “World Famous (In New Zealand)” was lifted from Brave 18, the first Kyoryuger appearance of Debo Nagareboshi’s character before being revived in Brave 21. Other than magically going from the city to a forest, the switch is rather seamless and well-done.
Albert and Ulshade both take on the “old man Ranger” style of character, but are incredibly different characters. Ulshade was an out of shape doctor, whereas Albert is, despite his age, physically fit and capable of as much, if not more, than the actual Rangers. His gag about having a sore back to trick the monsters was a nice throwback to the suit’s Sentai roots.
Next time, the Ranger’s quest in New Zealand continues as they search for the lost Plesio Zord in Episode 17, “Deep Down Under”.