The Real Ghostbusters episode 2 review

The Real Ghostbusters

Episode 002

Production number 75001 – 1986 ABC Season 1


Written by Len Janson and Chuck Menville

Plot Synopsis:

New York’s power supply has been possessed by the villainous spectre Killerwatt and it’s up to the Ghostbusters to capture him before he draws enough power to destroy the city.

The Review:

While this is the second episode of The Real Ghostbusters it was the first to go in to production. A considerably stronger effort than the first episode, “Killerwatt” is starting to show off what the show will become. The jokes are funnier and more natural this time around with no pandering to the film like in the previous episode. That’s all to the good as far as I’m concerned. The audience is familiar with the movie, we’re here to see more adventures not to rehash what we’ve already covered.

This episode really headlines one of the great strengths of the series, namely really inventive ghosts. The great thing about animation as a medium is it really allows for a lot of freedom in terms of design. There’s no worrying about how to make it, no additional costs involved in your ghosts being really complicated, and The Real Ghostbusters took advantage of this. Haunted hardware, possessed power drills, ghoulish vacuums and infernal ovens mark just a few of the truly interesting ghosts in this outing.

This episode also marks the first instance of Janine showing her feelings for Egon. Carried on from the feature film, it will be a line that runs through the series. Interestingly, every girl I know who watched the series reports having had a crush on Egon. I guess smart really is sexy. Speaking of smart, that’s another thing about this series: Intelligent ghosts. While most of the ghosts of the film world seemed to operate on a pretty much instinctive level, the ghosts of the animated series are quite often conscious and self aware entities.

The big bad of this episode is the demon Killerwatt, voiced by James Avery (Uncle Phil of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the Shredder on Ninja Turtles). Alas it’s not a really meaty part so this is only truly interesting as trivia and nothing more. One of the great things about The Real Ghostbusters is the way the show cultivates a sense of real danger. The characters often appear to be in legitimate peril. Tense music plays a large role in the series and really heightens the experience for the viewer.

I’d like to take a moment to touch on some of the changes the animated series made. The first thing you’ll notice of course is that the characters don’t look like the actors. This has a lot to do with likeness rights. It would be expensive to pay each of the actors a royalty for use of their likeness every time an episode aired. The spirit of the characters remains intact though, if you’ll pardon the pun. Each of the ghostbusters wears a different coloured jumpsuit, this was to allow for the audience to quickly and easily identify the characters. Each character has different coloured hair as well. The look of the characters has been very carefully designed to maximize character recognition, you always know who you’re looking at.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 on the PKE meter


~ by Pagz on November 9, 2010.

One Response to “The Real Ghostbusters episode 2 review”

  1. I would just like to say that I *hated* Egon’s hair. He was so dreamy in the movie, and then they made him a blond sausage head.

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