Surprisingly, the second half (season) of Reboot: The Guardian Code (RtGC) is a vast improvement over its weak start. The narrative takes an air of an espionage thriller and a binge watch of all twenty episodes show a grand design which I am enjoying. Canadian broadcaster YTV aired all the episodes and is still airing them, while on Netflix, two seasons exist. Shades of Disney’s TRON colour the digital landscape, and that’s only because this film introduced me to the idea of becoming part of the digital universe is possible; the spirit of the user remains in every bit of code they create. Those pulses of energy within the machine is life too.
Throughout other shows, these ghosts in the machine are real. In cyberpunk literature, this idea is nothing new. When considering RtGC has three agencies interested in acquiring this technology–the Sourcerer, Megabyte and the Department of Internet Security–their interests are not for the greater good. They are not out to mend or defend.
When considering Austin (Ty Wood), Tamra (Sydney Scotia), Parker (Ajay Friese) and Trey (Gabriel Darku) have no commando training, they can only do so much. The subplots of them surviving high school life are not as important. Yes, they are showing signs of romantic interest, but that’s normal in tween fiction. I kept on wanting to see the next episode to see who is close to finding their base of operations. They befriend classmate Shari (“Double Trouble”) who finds their base of operations and have close calls (“Share Scare”) but neither seem relevant to Mark Rowan (Nicholas Lea of X-Files fame) becoming part of the greater narrative. He befriends the youths and knows of the tech Adam (Austin Carter’s father) has been developing.
Little was known about the adversary when Rowan was introduced in “Datastorm.” By season two, the Guardians learn he works for the DIS. Rowan’s agenda is not clearly defined. He certainly does not want the tech in the hands of the wrong people.
If Carter created BOB from the original series, was he a software version of what a user believes a Guardian should be? The lore from the original series suggests they have been around since the World Wide Web went live in the 90s. The primitive sprites have tasks specific to keeping local systems alive and mitigating data to distribution centers so it gets to their intended destinations.
In version two of the Guardian definition, perhaps Adam’s realization to have self-aware programs is the only way to prevent entropy from destroying the hardware. Artificial Intelligence can only go so far, but human ingenuity is something else, which cannot be programmed hence his invention. A lot of reveals in “Discoveries” shows how series creator Michael Hefferon wanted to evolve the franchise than stick to the entertainment value the original series represented.
The original series never did get deeply metaphysical. As enjoyable as this series was, to watch it again with the plethora of today’s standards in storytelling shows the original Reboot saga to be very dated. The net has changed a lot since then. Computer programming was not as complex in the 90s compared to now. These days, modular programming languages are the norm and some developers rely on content management systems to create webpages than hand-code it.
Despite outcries of ruining childhoods, I believe the latter season has redeemed the show enough to make it a thriller. It considers threats like cyber-terrorism and identity theft which today’s users needs to be aware of. To keep up with the times is this new series goal and it does respect the original show well enough so that this series can be viewed as a continuation, set twenty years later.
Two renegade viruses are now on the loose and they are threats from the original series. No word has been made about a third season, but I hope it does happen. This upgraded version of Megabyte teaming up with the still 90s Hexadecimal can prove dangerous.