Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Alternatives for the 5th "Planeteer"

As we all know, the fifth captain planet kid (Little "Heart" kid), was rubbish. Plainly, inarguably awful. Now yes he was weedy, foreign and young, but shouldn't that mean that he gets the most powerful ring? But no, he gets heart.

For those who have totally lost what the hell I'm talking about:


You clearly didn't spend your Saturday mornings in front of the telly shouting "Go Planet!" and learning that all corporations are evil and are trying to pollute the world because its a bit of a laugh (I can not remember one episode in which a company polluted because the overall net profit could increased to the point where they could invest in better pollution controls in the longer term and bring increased standard of living to the local population and more jobs. Perhaps this is because it was aimed at kids who had just eaten sugar coated glucose breakfast products and couldn't concentrate on anything that wasn't exploding).

But for the benefit of these few non-TV'ers, a brief synopsis: Captain planet was the (American) superhero who could be called upon to beat up polluters of the world, thus solving the problem. Think of superman who had just had a big, messy fight in a primary colour paint factory. He had 5 disciples that each had an element of the earth to use as a weapon.

Unfortunately there are only 4 elements, and we FINALLY get to the point of this particular ramble:

Surely they could have picked a better fifth element than "heart".

I think what they were going for was that whole "fifth element" notion of human spirit being the fifth element in the world. But they really got a pretty poor power from it. From what I can tell, the writers sat around in the Ideas office in complete silence for about an hour until one of the staff said "Sod it, lets just rip off Mougli from the Jungle Book, no-one will notice; they'll all be looking at the explosions". Everyone else applauded and the man got a $20,000 bonus. And so the kid (whose name escapes me), had a slight "talking with animals" ability and that was about it. The other planeteers must have hated him. Whilst they were blowing stuff up or drowning it or making it collapse in an earthquake (by the "Earth" kid. Hmmm....racism anyone?), the stupid heart kid had to follow them around because they couldn't call captain planet without him. What a jerk. Why didn't he just give his ring to one of the others and go home to the jungle?

Perhaps a better power is needed, one that would complement the other ones. How about the power of finance? A big blinging $ ring that can summon millions of dollars to fall on people. Given that they were fighting evil capitalists, I reckon this would have been a pretty effective weapon. Plus given that the rest of them did sweet FA when they weren't saving the world, he could have paid for somewhere to stay and perhaps even a change of clothes (or maybe some paint-remover for Mr. Planet).

Why captain planet anyway? There was previously a Sgt. planet, but the army of the universe promoted him after the battle of Alpha Centari about 20 million years ago for bravery in the face of apocalyptic meteorites.

Maybe a ring of apathy? One shot and ZAP! You suddenly get no real satisfaction from killing sea lions and just go home.

My favourite is the ring of inevitability. One shot of this and any bad guy realises that they are the "bad guy" in a children's program, and have no hope of victory. Most likely they will have their stuff destroyed (an overlooked plot hole in many episodes where the fire kid helps blow up the evil oil refinery....hmmmm). So the bad guys just apologise and just go home.

Heart in deed...he must have turned up late in the ring giving out ceremony and been pretty damned pi**ed.

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