Teletoon Pilot Project Time | Space Knights Go!

Space Knights Go! (Teletoon: daCapo Productions/Big Hug Productions/Fatkat Animation, 2009) is one of those rare Teletoon Pilot Project shows directly connected to the man behind the curtain, in this case Loogaroo owner Gene Fowler.  Fowler is a frequent commenter on Canadian Animation Resources.  I’ve even e-mailed Fowler regarding Space Knights Go!‘s development.

Fowler was the owner of Fatkat Animation, a studio that went bankrupt twice in its ten-year history before becoming Loogaroo.  I’m sure Fowler reads URBMN from time to time, or else he wouldn’t have left a comment on an article which has nothing to do with him.

At the same time, I’m reviewing Space Knights Go!, not Fowler’s business practices and online demeanour.  I don’t know what it’s like at Fatkat/Loogaroo.  I’m also sure Fowler can’t resist any sort of publicity, so here’s the review.

Space Knights Go! is a tokusatsu parody, very clearly modeled on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Red Knight (Kevin Aichele) is the team leader/alcoholic.  Black Knight (Tayo Adedire) is…uh…black.  Green Knight (Miles Rezlab) is the all-purpose minority, being gay, crippled and cynical.  Blue Knight (Jeremy Donovan) exists.  Together, the four fight monsters and their own failing lives.

The animation on Space Knights Go! is stiff.  I wouldn’t say it’s low-quality, but it looks budget.  While I understand why the Knights’ mouths don’t move – it’s a fucking Power Rangers parody – there are better Flash cartoons out there.  At the same time, Space Knights Go! isn’t as ugly as Fugget About It.

The writing in Space Knights Go!…well, when the jokes are obvious, they’re way too obvious.  Space Knights Go! is middle-of-the-road edgy.  The characters swear, drink and deal with their career downfalls, but it’s still a Power Rangers parody.  It’s very hard to age up Power Rangers without going the Dynaman route.

I actually respect Space Knights Go! for bringing its idea to term.  It’s not pretending to be anything other than an adult parody of kids’ cartoons.  At the same time, SKG! could have been more ambitious.  It’s neither great nor terrible.  It’s the Blue Knight of the Teletoon Pilot Project.

Weirdly enough, the live-action public service bits are the most memorable parts of the show.  A live-action Space Knights Go! could actually work.  To be fair, I can’t understand why SKG! parodies one of the junkiest shows of the 1990s.  Saban’s toku portovers tend to parody themselves, without trying.  Ever watch Masked Rider?

I can’t say I like Space Knights Go! as much as Teletoon’s other at Night pilots, but I think it’s in the wrong format.  Seriously, when do you see a North American show tackle tokusatsu?  Kaiju Big Battel?  A satirical North American toku, with Mark McKinney as a showrunner, could work.  McKinney should know about that shit.

C. Archer
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