My brother-in-law Paul bet me I couldn’t name at least 3 of 5 of the TV shows we watched as kids just from the music in the intro. I set out to prove him wrong. No.2 is a British show so don’t be surprised if you aren’t from the UK and don’t recognise it.
PLEASE EXCUSE the clip that displays alcohol. I assure you we were sober when coming up with the idea and making this video…Honest…
Jeremy is a young man hurt by the woman he loves who can’t return his affections and so decides that there is far too much pain in the world. Aided by his loyal yet reluctant companion DyTillio whom he saved from being run over by a car many years earlier he sets about a chain of events that will bring Ragnarok… the end of the world! The Ghostbusters devise a plan to stop Jeremy summoning Ragnarok but will involve the four of them being killed in a blast that will destroy a quarter of a mile of New York around them. Fortunately however DyTillio manages to convince Jeremy that what he is doing is wrong and Jeremy reverses the spell to summon Ragnarok.
This was a surprisingly emotional episode being very character driven around the antagonist Jeremy and his companion DyTillio. Honestly, it feels like it’s their story and that the Ghostbusters are just there in the background. Their relationship is an interesting one. I found Jeremy very selfish in his motivation and to me the fact he is doing this because a girl didn’t return his affection made him seem like an angry teenager who hates the world as a result. That was probably Straczynski’s intention while writing this episode perhaps to help it relate to some of the older members of the audience. DyTillio seems to be following Jeremy through blind faith and later it becomes clear that he doesn’t support Jeremy’s actions. DyTillio was very obviously intended to be a Quasimodo type of character being physically unattractive but having a beautiful soul. The last scene of them with DyTillio hanging over the side of the building was especially touching.
The first scene in this episode with the Ghostbusters in it has them facing these gargoyle-type creatures on the streets of New York. I don’t think it was intentional but Ghostbusters: The Video Game has a similar scene after the Sedgewick Hotel level. On a similar note however I felt the climax of this episode on top of the building was almost a complete rehash of the original movie complete with demonic voice in the cloud and the Ghostbusters ready to use their equipment to sacrifice themselves in order to save the world. They even had the Ghostbusters saying good bye to one another. I didn’t like it to be honest as I felt it was cheap in terms of writing. I also thought that the image of the demon in the sky was very Walt Disney looking like it had been taken from Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. This episode did have its light hearted moments however in particular with Peter and Cindy although again in this instance she was simply taking the role of Dana Barrat from the movie; i.e. she is simply there for the villain to have an interest in and for Peter to flirt with.
On the whole this was an episode with a great start, an interesting villain with a strong emotion-based motivation for his actions and a sidekick who starts off quite low and then seizes the moral high ground at the end. Unfortunately it doesn’t hold well throughout becoming what feels like a retelling of the movie and therefore losing the worth it had established in the beginning.
Here are my top intros for animated action shows.
Biker Mice From Mars
Batman – The Animated Series
As it is 30 years this weekend since Ghostbusters hit the movie theaters we at the Order of Trinity are celebrating by having a Ghostbusters weekend with at least one post a day over the coming days on our favorite paranormal investigators and eliminators. Kicking us off is Tony Wilkins counting down the top 5 alternative vehicles to the classic Ecto-1 that have appeared in the animated series.
It might not be the most practical ghostbusting vehicle but I bet it is the one you’d have the most fun driving. It was built by a group of children who wanted to emulate their hero’s exploits and to that end the animators were instructed to make it look like it was assembled using glue and sticky tape rather than nails in case children tried in reality to build one.
4. Ecto-Garbage Truck
What do you do when you have a really big ghost to bust? Easy; convert one of the city’s garbage trucks in to a super ghost trap. That’s effectively what this is. It was one of a number of vehicles built to battle the powerful S.I.D.N.E.E. while an earlier version was used to rid a town of its ghost population. Would have been useful against Mr. Stay Puft surely.
3. Ecto Fire Truck
Since Ecto-1 was a former ambulance then a fire truck was the next logical choice for a vehicle. Built to battle S.I.D.N.E.E. it was developed for situations where very heavy proton streaming was required and mounted a proton cannon where the fire hose used to be. The vehicle had a sophisticated array of advanced targeting equipment for aiming the powerful proton cannon and was normally operated by a minimum of three people. Because it was a rush job the fire truck remained red rather than the more traditional white and had a single no-ghost logo applied (on the driver’s cab).
How cool would this look in real life? Ecto-Ichi (Ichi is Japanese for “one” so this translates in to “Ecto-one”) was a vehicle provided by the Tokyo police when a number of Japanese TV and movie monsters were brought to life forcing the Ghostbusters to travel to the land of the rising sun. Looking like the love child of Ecto-1 and the Mirthmobile from Wayne’s World, the biggest problem the Ghostbusters encountered with this beast was that all its cutting edge technology was labelled in Japanese forcing them to simply press buttons and see what happens. It probably won’t win over any Ecto-1 purists but you have to admit there is a part of you that wants to see Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and co. drive this thing in Ghostbusters III.
This is the one most fans would have liked to see in live action not just for its role in the series (which was far more frequent than any of our other entries) and not just because it flew but because many of them played with their Ecto-2 toy as a child. Yes it was introduced primarily as a gimmick to expand Kenner’s toyline but we didn’t care and while some people don’t like it being a patchwork of parts they tend to forget that Ecto-1 was a patchwork job too. Ecto-2 had some notable appearances in the series with even Slimer getting the chance to fly co-pilot in one episode.
There’s more posts to come as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ghostbusters hitting theaters. In the meantime please feel free to view our previous Ghostbusters articles by clicking on “Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary” link in the menu bar above. Ghostbusters.wikia.com was a big help for this article; check it out.
Thanks for reading…
The ghost of Casey Jones, an old train engineer who died in one of the worst train crashes in history, comes back to try and commandeer a modern train. Unable to use the modern controls he kidnaps Peter Venkman, who is as it turns out a closet train enthusiast, and forces him to shovel coal on an antique train that looks set to crash into an express train on the mainline. However it is Peter who works out that Casey Jones’ ghost cannot rest until he prevents a train crash like the one that killed him in the first place (even if it means creating the situation himself).
“The Last Train to Oblivion” was one of the show’s second season episodes first airing in 1987. It would probably have disappeared into obscurity had it not been for the ghost that was the main antagonist. Casey Jones is an example of a spirit with unfinished business which in this case is to nearly cause another train crash like the one that killed him so he can avert it from happening again. This plot point is one of the weakest parts of this episode for me. If Casey Jones really wants to make amends I am sure there have been plenty of opportunities from him to avert the many naturally occurring disasters that have happened over the previous 80 years. What has Casey been doing all this time? One can argue that the modern train Casey tried to board first was going to crash in to the Amtrak train we see later (which was early thus causing a collision) but if that was the case then by scaring the people off it he had effectively prevented the crash and therefore he should have passed on at that point.
More than any one of the other Ghostbusters this is Peter’s episode. We learn a great deal about his love of trains and it was fun to see. The line that really made me laugh was that originally he studied engineering for two years thinking it would be about trains only to find out it wasn’t and so he switched to parapsychology. While it may seem unbelievable at first if we think about it at least one of the Ghostbusters having an engineering background makes sense considering they devised all their own equipment.
As we saw repeatedly throughout the animated series Ecto-1 is capable of stunts that would put the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee to shame and this episode was no exception. We see the car leaping on to the back of the train landing perfectly on to one of the trucks. You can’t help but smile as you try to imagine this happening in real life with the real Ecto-1.
This episode poses several questions about the world of the Ghostbusters mainly are all ghosts evil? Casey Jones is really open to debate on this one. He wanted to prevent a crash but whether it was entirely for his own benefit or for the people he may have saved aboard the train he tried to hijack first we will never know. This was also one of the only times where we see a ghost “pass over” rather than get busted and this additionally poses the question; should every ghost get busted? These are metaphorical questions that can’t really be addressed in a TV show intended for children. Certainly the franchise makes an effort to demonize nearly all the ghosts we see so that we support our heroes but you have to wonder if the jogging ghost in Ghostbusters II was evil or just an innocent soul with some unfinished business of his own.
Thanks for reading….