ReBoot: The Guardian Code
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|ReBoot: The Guardian Code|
|Also known as||ReBoot: TGC|
|Created by||Michael Hefferon|
by Gavin Blair
|Developed by||Sean Jara|
|Directed by||Pat Williams|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||1 (YTV) / 2 (Netflix)|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Hefferon|
Kim Dent Wilder
|Cinematography||Vincent De Paula|
|Production company(s)||Mainframe Studios|
Wow Unlimited Media Inc.
|Original network||YTV (CAN)|
|Picture format||4K (16:9 UHDTV)|
|Original release||March 30, 2018 – present|
ReBoot: The Guardian Code is a Canadian live-action/CGI-animated television series, produced by Mainframe Studios. It is a reimagining of the fully computer-animated series ReBoot. Originally announced in 2013, the first ten episodes debuted on Netflix worldwide (excluding Canada) on March 30, 2018. YTV aired all twenty episodes from June 4, 2018, to July 5, 2018.
Four teen gamers who make up the highest-scoring team in an online game meet in person on their first day at Alan Turing High School. Their enrollment was arranged by Vera, an artificial intelligence who has recruited the team to physically enter cyberspace as "Guardians" and protect it. Early in the series, Vera is given a human body and locked out of cyberspace, so she enrolls as an exchange student. The Guardians battle the Sourcerer, a human hacker who, unbeknownst to them, is Austin's father after becoming infected with "dark code", or malicious software. Dark code is the Sourcerer's primary weapon against the world's computer systems. After his initial run-in with the Guardians, the Sourcerer reactivates the computer virus named Megabyte, the main antagonist of the original ReBoot, to help him from inside cyberspace.
- Guardians, high school students who physically enter cyberspace under pseudonyms to fight viruses and hackers:
- Hannah Vandenbygaart as Vera, an artificial intelligence given a human body in the first episode and the Guardians' leader
- Bob Frazer as Adam Carter, Austin's father, who became infected by dark code and turned into the Sourcerer, an evil hacker
- Kirsten Robek as Judy Carter, Austin's mother
- Timothy E. Brummund as Megabyte (voice), a virus from the original series
- Alex Zahara as the Alpha Sentinels (voice), Megabyte's lead minion at any given time
- Shirley Millner as Hexadecimal (voice), a virus from the original series
Season 1 (YTV) (2018)
Season 1 (Netflix) (2018)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Activation"||Pat Williams||Sean Jara, Mike Kiss and Larry Raskin||30 March 2018 |
4 June 2018 (CAN)
|Austin, Tamra, Parker, and Trey discover on the first day of school that they have been chosen to protect cyberspace as the next generation of Guardians by a Virtual Evolutionary Recombinant Avatar, or VERA. Following their first battle with the villainous hacker, the Sourceror, who uses cyber locusts to cause a power outage, an accident materializes VERA as a teenage human girl and she cannot return to cyberspace.|
|2||"Resurrection"||Pat Williams||Ann Austen||30 March 2018 |
5 June 2018 (CAN)
|While Vera adjusts to life as a teenager, the Sourcerer finds and reanimates an old enemy from the original ReBoot series, the virus Megabyte. The Sourcerer abducts Megabyte from Mainframe, the setting of ReBoot, and forces him into servitude, giving him a newly upgraded body.|
|3||"Fortress Command"||Pat Williams||Mike Kiss and Ryan W. Smith||30 March 2018 |
6 June 2018 (CAN)
|Parker gives himself an unauthorized weapons upgrade and enters a mobile game to test it; Megabyte follows him and takes over the game, turning its fortress into his new headquarters, before starting to build his sentinel army. The other Guardians have to rescue Parker and they agree never to go solo again.|
|4||"Catastrophic"||Pat Williams||Rachel Langer and Shevon Singh||30 March 2018 |
7 June 2018 (CAN)
|Megabyte delivers a distraction in the form of a deceptively cute cat virus that launches annoying cat videos across the Internet, while he aids the Sourcerer in disabling the security of a computer building in the real world, allowing the Sourcerer to walk in and steal a high-powered computer called the "Nova X3J" undetected, which will make him capable of launching an untraceable cyber attack from anywhere. From the news of the theft, the Guardians learn of the hacker's existence and that Megabyte works for him.|
|5||"Discoveries"||Pat Williams||Ryan W. Smith||30 March 2018 |
10 June 2018 (CAN)
|A mysterious sphere found in cyberspace reveals that Austin's father, Adam, created the Guardian Code, sending Austin and Parker on a mission to look for more such spheres. While tracking one, they discover that Megabyte stole a software replicator to clone his army, but they lose the new sphere in his fortress.|
|6||"Emotional Rescue"||Pat Williams||Jeremy Smith and Matt Venables||30 March 2018 |
11 June 2018 (CAN)
|Vera installs a teenage emotion plug-in to better understand humans, but her mood swings jeopardize a mission when the Guardians must face off with Megabyte, who attacks a bank transaction terminal as part of the Sourcerer's plan to cause millions to lose their money. The government's Department of Internet Security (DIS) is introduced; they track the Sourcerer's activities and find traces of Megabyte and the Guardians.|
|7||"Game Day"||Pat Williams||Jeremy Smith and Matt Venables||30 March 2018 |
12 June 2018 (CAN)
|When the other Guardians discover Megabyte has begun replicating himself, Trey abandons his basketball team in the middle of a game to help his friends; his father does not approve, unaware of his double life as a Guardian. The Sourcerer learns that the Guardians are really humans in cyberspace after the battle.|
|8||"Artificial Intelligence"||Pat Williams||Rachel Langer||30 March 2018 |
13 June 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer hacks and controls Alyx, a ubiquitous virtual assistant, to cause chaos and lure the Guardians into a trap, so he can eliminate them. In the end, Vera talks Alyx into rejecting the dark code to save her reputation.|
|9||"Datastorm"||Pat Williams||Sean Jara and Shevon Singh||30 March 2018 |
18 June 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer hacks a military weather satellite and uses it to upgrade and take control of a hurricane in order to destroy the country's west coast. The Guardians stop him. Austin learns his mom is dating his father's old roommate Rowan, who unbeknownst to them is a DIS agent.|
|10||"Mainframe Mayhem"||Pat Williams||Mark Leiren-Young||30 March 2018 |
19 June 2018 (CAN)
|Megabyte returns to the system of Mainframe, the setting of the original ReBoot series, to recruit his sister Hexadecimal; the Guardians follow him, and they meet Mainframe's Guardian, Bob, and his family. A user initiates a game, which the new Guardians help Bob win. Vera begins helping Trey study for his classes, which leads Parker to suspect that they are dating.|
Season 2 (Netflix) (2018)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|11||"Network Interference"||Pat Williams||Mark Leiren-Young||28 September 2018 |
20 June 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer hacks into the Dyna-Cell network, so he can tap into cell phones to search for the Guardians. Hexadecimal accompanies Megabyte as he aids his master and ends up jeopardizing their mission. Meanwhile, Vera discovers the Sourcerer has compromised Parker's cell phone. The Guardians capture Hexadecimal and send her to Virusylum. They discover that the DIS is connected to Adam Carter's past and that the spheres contain Adam's memories regarding the Guardian Code.|
|12||"Zombie Army"||Pat Williams||Sam Ruano||28 September 2018 |
21 June 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer manufactures a robot zombie army in cyberspace that will infiltrate unprotected computers all over the world to create a botnet and launch a massive distributed denial-of-service attack that will crash the whole Internet. Meanwhile, Parker and Austin discover that Judy's boyfriend Rowan works for the Department of Internet Security and that DIS Agent Nance had threatened Adam one year prior. Following the Sourcerer's defeat, Rowan gives the Guardians a flash drive with the surviving research from Adam's computer. After finding a surveillance device on it, they decide not to trust the DIS.|
|13||"Bee-Ware"||Pat Williams||Jennica Harper||28 September 2018 |
25 June 2018 (CAN)
|To prove his worth to the Sourcerer amid constant threats of deletion, Megabyte infects a line of bee toys in order to scare children around the world. After the Guardians stop him, the Sourcerer finally learns their identities and instructs Megabyte to capture them and get access to their technology.|
|14||"Share Scare"||Pat Williams||Amy Benham||28 September 2018 |
26 June 2018 (CAN)
When Tamra accidentally uploads a video recording of Vera rapping about herself and the Guardians, her classmate Shari downloads and shares it without their knowledge, causing her to learn about some sensitive information; the Guardians manage to intercept the video before anyone else sees it. Parker learns that Vera's "dates" with Trey really were to help him study. At the DIS headquarters, Agent Nance recognizes the Guardian Code as Adam's work and she becomes intent on finding the Guardians and taking their tech by force.Vera's rap in this episode was featured in a promotional music video released on May 25th, a month before the show's premiere in Canada, on YTV's website and official YouTube channel.
|15||"Nuclear Confusion"||Pat Williams||Jeremy Smith and Matt Venables||28 September 2018 |
27 June 2018 (CAN)
|Rowan has learned the Guardians' identities, but withholds the knowledge from other DIS agents. He approaches the Guardians and asks for their help in stopping the Sourcerer when he hacks the DIS computers, taking over their security drones and attempting to launch a nuclear warhead. He also uses the Nova X3J to speed up the decoding process. Just in time, Parker resets the code sequencer before the Sourcerer cracks the launch code and the DIS purges the system of his dark code.|
|16||"Double Trouble"||Pat Williams||Larry Raskin and Todd Ireland||28 September 2018 |
28 June 2018 (CAN)
|While Tamra is away from school, Shari discovers the Guardians' secret base in the school's basement; mistaking it for a virtual-reality game club, she enters cyberspace as Tamra's Guardian avatar Enigma. The remaining Guardians go in after her, but Megabyte captures them all and they finally meet the Sourcerer, who extracts data from Shari's avatar, intent on gaining their technology. Vera beams Tamra in as a backup of Enigma and all five escape, while Megabyte tricks the Sourcerer and liberates himself from the delete code. Vera erases Shari's memories of the event, while the Sourcerer learns about Alan Turing High from Shari's data.|
|17||"Mega-Viral"||Pat Williams||Ann Austen||28 September 2018 |
2 July 2018 (CAN)
|Now free of the Sourcerer's delete code, Megabyte attempts to hijack all the world's social media, frightening the users when he starts talking to them. Before the Guardians can enact a plan, Agent Nance sics the DIS drones on them and captures Megabyte. However, while in Virusylum, Hexadecimal offers him a chance of revenge based on knowledge she's obtained since episode 11; he reluctantly accepts. Meanwhile, the Sourcerer begins a physical journey to Alan Turing High School.|
|18||"Great Escapes"||Pat Williams||Sam Ruano||28 September 2018 |
3 July 2018 (CAN)
|Megabyte's sentinels break him and Hexadecimal out of Virusylum. Before the Guardians can enact a plan, DIS drones intercept them so that Nance can check whether the Guardians are humans using Adam's Guardian Code. At the end of the episode, the Sourcerer arrives at the school during after hours and breaks in.|
|19||"Identity Theft"||Pat Williams||Todd Ireland||28 September 2018 |
4 July 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer discovers the Guardians' secret base and Austin recognizes him as Adam, his father, who was thought to have died in a fire. Nance has the DIS bring in Austin after school, but Rowan secretly frees him, just in time to join the other Guardians in fighting identity-theft pirates. They find a memory sphere revealing that Adam had faked his death to protect his family from Agent Nance, then entered cyberspace to study dark code for a year. Ultimately, they learn that dark code attacked and infected him, giving him an alternate personality as the Sourcerer.|
|20||"Black Hole"||Pat Williams||Larry Raskin||28 September 2018 |
5 July 2018 (CAN)
|The Sourcerer uses Austin's feelings toward his father to lead him into their secret base, from where he enters cyberspace and attempts to destroy the Internet with a cyber black hole. Adam fights for control as the Sourcerer fights the Guardians, and eventually Adam sacrifices his life to save them and the Internet. Austin thinks there's a chance he survived. Megabyte and Hexadecimal return to Megabyte's fortress with a larger army than ever. The DIS discovers that the Nova X3J computer, which the Sourcerer had stolen in episode four, has gone missing.|
On October 3, 2013, Rainmaker announced the development of a new ReBoot television series alongside the reintroduction of the Mainframe company brand for its small screen productions. Speaking to Canada.com later that month, Rainmaker's President and Chief Creative Officer Michael Hefferon stated the show wouldn't be the same as the "world of technology has changed drastically in the 20 years from when ReBoot first started" and cautioned that the original show's characters would likely be limited to cameo appearances. He then said the company planned to pitch the series in February, with the hope of getting YTV on board as the broadcast partner.
In November 2014, Rainmaker revealed the show would be called ReBoot: The Guardian Code. The following May, Deadline reported the series would be a live-action/CG-animated hybrid distributed by The Weinstein Company. On June 8, 2015, Corus Entertainment, owners of YTV, ordered a 26-episode first season, stating the series was created by Hefferon and confirming the details of the Deadline story. Shortly after, various characters from the original series, including Bob, Dot, Enzo and Megabyte, were confirmed to appear in the series, though focus had shifted to a group of four teenagers recruited into protecting cyberspace by the Guardian program V.E.R.A. The four teens were named as Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra. A poster showcasing Austin in his guardian form was released. Commenting on the inclusion of live-action material in the series, Hefferon stated, "I talked with broadcasters around the world. The one [resounding] thing — and I hate to break it to the fans — was nobody wanted the reboot of what [the show originally] was. Nobody was willing to buy it." He later added that two thirds of an average episode would be animated content. At the time, the series was penned for a late 2016/early 2017 launch.
Casting calls for the series went out in May 2016. They listed a shoot date between August and November of that year in Vancouver, with YTV attached as the broadcast partner and the episode count reduced to 20. Production was delayed with filming eventually taking place in British Columbia, Canada in February and March 2017.
On March 28, 2017, Corus confirmed the information revealed in the casting calls and announced the show's executive staff and main cast. Worldwide distribution, licensing, and merchandising rights had moved to Corus's Nelvana Enterprises with YTV set to debut the series in 2018. A mobile virtual reality experience and digital trading card game were confirmed to be in development. Rainmaker's parent company Wow Unlimited Media reported that the first 8 episodes of the series had been delivered to broadcast partners in the third quarter of 2017, with the remaining 12 scheduled for the fourth quarter of that year.
ReBoot: The Guardian Code is modeled, rigged, and animated in Autodesk Maya, and rendered in 4K resolution using Unreal Engine 4. Hefferon stated that using Unreal gave them an advantage in speed: "Some of these shots could have taken three to 13 hours in a traditional pipeline, per frame," whereas Unreal rendered each frame in seconds or minutes. It also easily allowed the crew to resuse animation assets for the virtual reality tie-in.
Three voice actors from the original series reprise their voice roles in this series: Michael Benyaer returns as Bob, Kathleen Barr as Dot and Shirley Millner as Hexadecimal. Timothy E. Brummund replaces Tony Jay as Megabyte due to the original actor's death in 2006.
A trailer for the series and the virtual reality experience debuted on February 21, 2018. The first ten episodes debuted on Netflix globally, excluding Canada, on March 30, followed by ten more episodes on September 28 as a second season. All twenty episodes aired on YTV in Canada between June 4 and July 5.
Following the debut of the show's first 10 episodes on Netflix, the official ReBoot: The Guardian Code YouTube channel uploaded a series of 10 1-minute virtual reality shorts. Similarly, YTV released a series of live-action shorts featuring the characters from the show alongside the Canadian broadcast. A number of these shorts are directly tied to events in the series.
A free-to-play mobile game, titled ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Code Hacker was released for iOS and Android devices on March 22, 2018. Developed by A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. Digital, the game is a match-5 puzzle title that features audio detection technology allowing users watching the YTV broadcast to unlock in-game cards. A web-browser version was also hosted on the official website for the series, as well as on YTV's site.
On February 25, 2018, the French website Codelyoko.fr, a fansite for the TV show Code Lyoko, published a negative review of the trailer. The review accused ReBoot: The Guardian Code of plagiarizing Code Lyoko, as the trailer showed many similarities to Code Lyoko's premise and characters. Shamus Kelley from Den of Geek! also noticed the similarities, claiming that "ReBoot: The Guardian Code is going for the whole Code Lyoko thing" and added that "There isn't a single reference to the old series outside of the term Guardians. It feels more like a teen drama with elements from Code Lyoko and Super Human Samurai [Syber-Squad]." Another concurring opinion came from Digital Spy writer Jon Anderton, who claimed that the original show "took place inside a computer system and there was no schoolkid element, making The Guardian Code more similar to 2000's series Code Lyoko (or Tron, to use a more mainstream example)". Shortly after the trailer's release, Code Lyoko co-creator Thomas Romain responded to the official ReBoot: The Guardian Code Twitter account, stating, "Wow you really liked Code Lyoko, didn’t you?" The Guardian Code has also been seen as a derivative of Zixx, an earlier CG/live-action TV show Rainmaker helped produce.
Reviewing the first ten episodes of the series for Collider, Dave Trumbore had mixed feelings, giving the show a 2-star rating. While he praised the performance of Hannah Vandenbygaart, the character interactions and most of the visual aesthetic, he felt the show's animation was of poor quality for a 2018 series. He criticized the writing, acting and camerawork, saying that it's "stuck in the mid-'90s." His biggest issue was the show's pacing, commenting that the series took too long to introduce emotional moments and callbacks to the original show.
Emily Ashby awarded the show 3 stars in her review for Common Sense Media. She felt the show had a number of positive role models for kids and while the series wasn't educational in nature, its use of technology could spur interest in STEM fields.
Initially skeptical of the show's quality, Watchmojo.com's Mike Petel wrote a list of the show's top ten disappointments upon its Netflix debut. Among the many complaints, he felt the premise was unoriginal, claimed the animation was "inferior to its '90s predecessor, especially in [the original series's] later seasons", and viewed the characters as one-dimensional. He took the greatest offence to the tenth episode, which he felt was disrespectful to fans of the original series. Summing it up, he added the episode "will upset fans at best, and confuse new viewers at worst."
Shamus Kelley of Den of Geek! was especially critical of the tenth episode. Describing it as "one of the worst episodes of television" he's ever seen, he derided the decision to include a character mocking fans and felt the cameos from the original characters was superficial. Conversely, io9's Charles Pulliam-Moore found it to be the only episode of the first ten to be worth watching. Calling it "legitimately fantastic," he enjoyed the appearance of characters from the original series and said "you can get away with not watching the rest of the season, jumping to the finale, and actually having a good time."
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The sequel to the classic animated series 'ReBoot' is looking cooler all the time. ... The show is being re-imagined for the 20th anniversary of the original show..
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