Alphanumeric! Canada-based Corus Entertainment has given a green light for Mainframe Entertainment – the television division of Rainmaker Entertainment that was developing a revival of ReBoot – to produce 26 half-hour episodes of ReBoot: The Guardian Code, the revival of the favorite CGI-animated series that ran from 1994-2001.
ReBoot was the first fully CGI animated TV series, long before it became the norm. It also used the computer jargon of the time and in-jokes that would entertain adults as well as kids. It followed Bob, a Guardian from “The Net”, who came to Mainframe to help protect it, especially during the “games”, which were started by the User. If a User won the game, an entire sector of the system – including binomes and sprites caught in the game – would be nullified.
In Mainframe he’s helped by local sprites Dot Matrix, her young brother Enzo, and Phong, the COMMAND.COM of Mainframe. And he’s often thwarted by Megabyte and his twin sister Hexadecimal, a pair of computer virii who want to take over Mainframe, and escape into the Net to infect other systems.
“We are thrilled to receive the greenlight from Corus Entertainment to move forward with the production of Reboot: The Guardian Code,” commented Michael Hefferon, President and Chief Creative Officer, Rainmaker Entertainment. “Technology is ever-changing and Reboot: The Guardian Code will utilize the very technology inherent in the concept of the show—and prevalent in kids’ everyday lives—to drive a new type of relationship across multiple platforms. Reboot: The Guardian Code and associated brand extensions will deliver mass appeal with a technology focus, empowering kids with the tools and confidence to chart their own course in a world that is increasingly dependent on and powered by technological knowledge.”
The series is quite dated – mostly in its terminology, and the names would likely be lost on people now. When it was produced, dot matrix printers still existed, and public awareness of the World Wide Web was only beginning (and “The Web” was a BAD place…) Now social media and gaming has taken over the real world. As such, the new show is going to get a lot of upgrades, and will in fact be a hybrid live-action and CGI series, as four teens enter the computer realm to save their own world. In addition, the show will be “multi-platform”, usually meaning there will be online/game tie-ins as well. From the press release:
Transcending age groups with appeal to kids, tweens and teens, ReBoot: the Guardian Code is an adventure-comedy series about four teens (Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra) who discover that they’re next-gen Guardians with a mission to save the world, by defending it in cyberspace. The Internet revolutionized the world, but it also left it vulnerable to attack. With the help of VERA, the last surviving cyberbeing from the original Guardian Program, our heroes stream into cyberspace where they use their awesome code-based powers to battle viruses that have been unleashed by a ruthless hacker. Known only as the Sourcerer, he seeks to rule the world by controlling cyberspace. Original fans of the show will be happy to hear that Megabyte will be back and he’s getting a major upgrade. ReBoot will showcase leading edge technologies and bring coding into the mainstream for kids.
When Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra are not trying to stop viruses from overloading a nuclear power station, or remotely opening a dam to flood a city, or playing Criss Cross Crash Hour with a city’s transportation grid, our heroes are being typical teens: arguing with their parents over curfews; dealing with crushes; or trying to avoid getting suspended for skipping class when they’re really on a cyber mission to save the world!
But what does this mean for our old friends? They don’t say, but we do hear that they will be involved, but perhaps only in minor or cameo roles. But the show will be linked to the original/
Doing my periodic update of our Sci-Fi TV Store (if you think anything should be included, let me know!)…the next two classic Doctor Who releases will be ”Frontios” and ”Time And The Rani”, released on June 14th; the classic Krofft show H.R. Pufnstuf gets a new Collector’s Edition which includes the only episode of “Horror Hotel”, a combo-spinoff featuring characters from Pufnstuff and Lidsville (along with a new standard release), out on April 12th; the MacGyver TV movies, (released last June but I missed it); the CGI series ReBoot finally get’s its first two seasons released on DVD on March 1st; and The Twilight Zone get its Blu-Ray releases, with Season 3 just out and Season 4 due in May.
The mystery wait is over. Reboot has come back as a comic book, but it includes fan involvement, with the fans apparently acting as consultants. “The ReBoot saga continues with this first installment of the Code of Honor storyline: Paradigms Lost. Two mortal enemies set aside their differences to battle a viral outbreak that threatens the stability of cyberspace. Will the unlikely allies cooperate… or stab each other in their backups?” There are still plans for three feature-length films though, produced wholly in-house, and previously described as a “reboot” of the franchise.
I haven’t heard anything since last July, but it appears that something is happening with the planned remake of ReBoot: A new official site is up, with a front page bearing a countdown and “Coming Soon”. Looks like we’ll find out in a little more than 18 days…