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Noroi's picture
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Stoker: Done right, and done so very wrong

Recently, I was lucky enough to get a decent website that I was able to watch all of BMFM 2006 series. While I watched it on tv when it first came out, I found it irritating that the episodes were shown out of order, and it was a little hard to keep track of what was going on in the overall plot. I caught it when I could, but I feel a lot happier now that I was able to watch it all the way through in order. However, now that I've seen it all the way through, I can't help but have some thoughts on Stoker I want to share. After all, he was my favorite character as a kid (asside from Mace, because I'm a sucker for the guys with the spotty pasts), despite only have a handful of episodes with him even in the show. Seeing as he's one of the major characters of the show, I find both things they did with his character that I love... and other things I didn't like so much, maybe even loathed.

First off, on with the things I think they did right. Stoker, despite being so cool in the old show, is also a bit of a letdown. Oh, don't get me wrong, he is AWESOME... but mostly off screen. You hear a lot about his deeds, what he means to the bros, and get this overall impression he'd made of pure 100 percent awesome juice. But he's not given that much to really do in the show. The first episode he's in, there's this whole "You're old so you can't fight anymore" thing that I never really cared for. Yes, he should have slowed down a bit, and he was clearly way too cocky and messing things up because he was aging. It was realistic to do in a cartoon, showing characters can in fact get older and lose their edge. He was also a prisoner of war, and probably not getting treated that well either, so he couldn't have been in great shape. Still dissapointing though, and I couldn't help but feel bad for him and crave some kickass moments. The next episodes with him (Once Upon a Time on Mars) are all flashbacks, and for half that time he's brainwashed so anything badass he's doing doesn't seem to count too much, seeing as he doing it to screw his former buddies.

But in the new show, he kicks butt. Seriously, he gets into fights, rides his bike like a champ, and his rat form alone is pretty intimidating. He really does seem competent again, and I couldn't be more happy with the development. After all, a kickass character should be presented... well, kicking ass.

I also liked how his character was expanded from more than just fighting. Again, in the old series, he was a rebel fighter and the leader of a resistance force. There's a war going on, and that is where the focus is on. Understanable, but one-sided. It was neat to find out he was actually an inventor as well, and able to design what was essentially the Dues ex Machina philosopher's stone, fixer of all problems. Seriously, could make buildings, water, change living matter's shape. I don't think there was anything this thing couldn't do... and a leading, professional scientist couldn't even figure out how to make a copy of it. Now that is smart.

Sadly, not all changes were good. I'll go with the most obvious. His looks. Now I know the new design has been complained about before. I won't get into all that because my feelings on it are rather mixed anyway. A new style is one thing, but what I can't get is this.

Why in the world does he look like a hippy?! Seriously. In all the flashbacks, he has that dumb looking hair cut and hippy outfit, when he's never ever been stated to look like that. And this is not even a big time jump. Ronald Rump firsts threatens Throttle in order to force Stoker to make him a regenarator, and it looks like they're both in a mishmash of horrible 60's style. But Rump doesn't even appear in the story timeline until after Limburger has been stopped once and for all and sent packing back home. Stoker clearly arrived in the 1993 show looking right and very unhippyish. Long ponytail, old vet clothing, and ripped like a mofo. So the 2006 is basically saying he looked like... you know, a soldier, then for some reason briefly changed his look completely... then a couple years later changed back.

What, was it halloween that day or something?

This also brings a point to the continuity. Stoker's past is CLEARY defined in 1993 BMFM. He's a resistance force leader in the war, and he seems pretty anti establishment. He's a natural born leader and fights for teh good of Mars, even when it seems like a losing battle. There are well established facts about him, with timelines firmly put in place. So why did the 2006 show have to take that canon and throw it out the window.

In Once Upon a Time on Earth, Throttle gives a short (and very erorrific) report on what happened to Mars. Occording to this, Stoker was an officer (at this time the Freedom Fighters had no rank, that was AFTER Carbine took over) but let's assume it was for the regular army and later defected. He built a regenarator after global warming destroyed Mars. Not the Plutarkians. Apparenlty he saved Mars and the Plutarkains showed up after to harvest the planet afterwards. This wouldn't be so bad, after all, that just added to the canon, didn't change it. But then immediately afterwards hw went to Earth to work on the regenarator, and it was stolen by Rump. How is this possible? After the war, he was captured and kept prisoner by the Plutarkians for years. There was no time to go to Earth. He was locked up, not tinkering with his Dues ex Machina plot device. And again, why was his look so radically changed in this magical in between time after the war and the start of the new series? He never looked like a hippy in the old shows flashbacks.

Adding on to his history is no crime, but it makes me wonder why they made such blatant errors. At that point, why not just create a whole new character that's an inventor and leave Stoker the heck alone?

Finally, he's so damn secretive, and the guys seem to know nothing about him. Two reason are given in the show why Rump ended up with a regenarator. One, Rump stole it from him. Two, Throttle's life was in danger, and the invention was the price to save him. Throttle doesn't seem to remember this, but clearly asks why Stoker did it, to which Stoker refuses to answer. Why? Why not tell him the truth? It wouldn't even take much explanation, or be that far fetched. There is literally no reason to hold back this information, at all. Also, there seems to be so much surprise over all of Stoker's family. It's revealed Carbine is his neice, something I didn't mind so much, except that the whole plot ran around this imposter claiming to be Stoker's neice instead, and the boys have no clue that this isn't true. Carbine is Throttle's girlfriend, and Stoker has been with Throttle and the others for years. You can't tell me the talk of family never came up. Neither of them never mentioned they were related? This was clearly something that was made up on the spot for the new show, and again, if it had been a casual reveal for audience enjoyment, that would have been one thing. But I can't buy the guys didn't know about this, and also not know Carbine happens to be without any sisters. This stuff is spoken about, unless there is a REASON to keep it secret, and there wasn't one at all. And of course, Stokers... *sigh* daughter. Once again, a character never mentioned or spoken about until she showed up. No one knows her, not even Carbine. Again... uh, family. She had a cousin and never knew? Really? This just never came up in coversation, huh? It's not even like this girl was intentionally kept a secret. It's shown clearly that the girl lived with him when she was young, but not once did he check on her during the war, not once did he mention her or pull out a picture of her in front of any of his comrades. No, she just didn't exist before and it's too plain to see. She was slapped in last minute, not even for plot, but to make a bad attempt at drama and suspence, as if she were dreamed up by some delusional fanfiction writer who wanted to create an OC that was related to one of the canon characters. So very, very lame. A shame too, because if they'd bothered to think it through a bit more, I would have been estatic to see Stoker having a child.

Still, for a character that had so little screen time before, he wormed his way into my heart, and I can enjoy (most) od what they new show did for him. He's a pretty cool character regardless, and it's nice to see his "I want to save Mars, even when the planet turns against me" attitude. He could have quit very easily when everyone else was calling him a traitor, and instead he saved his planet, not for reward or gain, but just because it was the right thing to do. I was happy to see more of him, even if I am forced to see BMF 2006 as largely noncanon due to the ovbious coninuity errors.

MayaPatch's picture
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Joined: 12 Nov 2012

I only say a thing: the 2006 series ruined a LOT of cool characters, Stoker first of all (And oh Goddess.. RIMFIRE!). This series spoiled a lot of things that was better don't know =(

"In Once Upon a Time on Earth, Throttle gives a short (and very
erorrific) report on what happened to Mars. Occording to this, Stoker
was an officer (at this time the Freedom Fighters had no rank, that was
AFTER Carbine took over) but let's assume it was for the regular army
and later defected. He built a regenarator after global warming
destroyed Mars. Not the Plutarkians. Apparenlty he saved Mars and the
Plutarkains showed up after to harvest the planet afterwards. This
wouldn't be so bad, after all, that just added to the canon, didn't
change it. But then immediately afterwards hw went to Earth to work on
the regenarator, and it was stolen by Rump. How is this possible? After
the war, he was captured and kept prisoner by the Plutarkians for years.
There was no time to go to Earth. He was locked up, not tinkering with
his Dues ex Machina plot device. And again, why was his look so
radically changed in this magical in between time after the war and the
start of the new series? He never looked like a hippy in the old shows
flashbacks."

Well... this is one of the reason for which I don't view this series as a regular one. Too commercial and.. too much inconsistencies! It seems that the team that worked on it didn't take a look on the older series! Yes, also in the old series there are some strange things (For example Throttle told Charley how Modo lost his arm... and we have two versions, one in that episode and another in Once Upon time on Mars) but it was comprehensible because probably they didn't know how the story could evolve. But.. no excuses about the 2006 series because they HAD a story on which they could work.
LOL Stoker as a hippy.. it was exilarant when I was him! How the hippy mania could be on MARS? Aren't the mice ALIENS? I can understand (Like Ungar himself said) that they had always intercepted radio's waves and so earthling TV programs etc... but... Oh.. I can't tell.. I'm going to burst into laughter XD

And about his Daughter... now.. I admint that being Italian I didn't understand about Carbine (Stoker's niece? °-°) but... yes... what's the sense of all this things?As I said: "I can justify the first 3 series" but NOT this last one. I can't. They had matter on which work and in a good way.. so WHY?

Answer: Moneys!

I swear that if the moneys weren't the reason, Ungar would work better on that last series... oh and I hate the new style.. really, so ugly .w.

 

Noroi's picture
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I completely agree with you. All this was done for was money. And it's a total shame really. Instead of the target audience being the old fans, they aimed it at little kids. But the 1993 show had gained such a cult following and so many recognized the old series, it was unavoidable the new one would flop like it did, because they just couldn't be bothered to stay true to things. Yes, all shows have inconsistencies, and I forgive small stuff like Modo's arm. It's a small character background point, and it doesn't effect the overall plot. I happens, and that was something mentioned in the first episode briefly, and than explained in the last episodes fully. There were three years between those episodes and I can forgive small errors. Like you said, they story evolved.

But yes, I agreee. It's clear no one cared about how it was all going done. Hippy Stoker might have been okay, if these flashbacks were from 30 years ago or so in Stoker's life, not during a time period his character was already established. They really just didn't care.

But I think the living NIGHTMARE Turf Wars proved that well enough.

InugamiTheHound's picture
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Joined: 02 Oct 2012

I wish they could remake 1993 series and maybe rewrite some of the cannon to it stays within the timeline. KInda like what happen with MGS games Hideo Kojima gave him a lot room to fill in the story/plot in prequels to match up the storyline in the latter games.