Do you like big robots and giant monsters? If so, Mech X-4 is going to be the show for you! Similar in tone to classic tokusatsu series like Ultraman and Johnny Sakko and His Flying Robot, this one features a group of four teenagers who helm a giant robot called Mech X-4 and defend Bay City from a series of monsters who seemingly come out of nowhere to attack their home. From the mind of creator Steve Marmel (Sonny With A Chance), this new serialized live-action series is coming to Disney Channel on November 11th. Disney Channel will have a special expanded premiere weekend where the first four episodes of the show will air with two the first day and then one new episode on Saturday 11/12 and Sunday 11/13.
I had the chance to see a sneak peek of the first two episodes and have to tell you I loved it! It took me back to my own childhood days of watching series like Raideen and Getter Robo G (for you Japanese anime fans of the 1970’s). These shows would draw you in and absorb your attention. Even though the villains were often cheesy, the plot, story, and action made you come back again and again. The same can be said of Mech X-4. The guys who play the team members that helm Mech X-4 are fun to watch, are often funny, and feel believable as both teammates and friends. The villains are pretty cheesy, often overacting their parts – but it’s GREAT! I wouldn’t change a thing. The overacting is funny and keeps the tenor of the show light. The writing is tight and inspired. In just the first two episodes they were able to give you an origin story, a backstory on the characters, a basic insight into the mech, and leave you with a mystery to tune in next time.
That is one of the big differences between this show and those classic robot/monster shows – there is a plot that weaves throughout the series. Each show builds on the next and doesn’t just follow a formula. While I’m betting we see Mech X-4 and a monster in most if not all episodes, the crux of the show is based on the relationship between the four guys and the mystery surrounding the robot. Why was Mech X-4 created? How did Ryan, the pilot of Mech X-4, become a technopath (a person who can mentally control technological objects)? Who’s creating the monsters and why? Is the creator of Mech X-4 alive or dead? And how is it all connected to Bay City? All of these questions come up in the one hour premiere and deepen the story, making you want to come back for more.
And of course, the mech itself is cool! The outside looks cool, the inside looks cool, it has a cool hiding place, and it has ultra cool weapons. Standing at 150-feet tall, it is imposing and I love that the inside is basically a base of operations. There’s a lab, an area for the guys to relax, a room of dangerous stuff as Mark, the mechanic on the team points out, and lots of other places to explore in the course of the show. In some ways, the show reminds me a lot of Star Trek with Mech X-4 as the Enterprise and the guys as the crew. Watching the show, you feel invested in them as a family. And in the case of Ryan and Mark that’s literally true – the two are brothers. Spyder (weapons) and Harris (shields and defense) are best friends with Ryan and together they see each other through thick and thin.
Be sure to tune in on November 11th when this show launches! It will definitely be worth your while.