Extreme Ghostbusters is an animated television series and a follow-up to the animated series Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters. It is a part of the film/TV Ghostbusters franchise. The series originally aired in the autumn 1997, and features a team of younger university-level Ghostbusters who are led by veteran Ghostbuster Egon Spengler.
Set years after the end of The Real Ghostbusters, lack of supernatural activity has put the Ghostbusters out of business. Each member has gone their separate way, except for Dr. Egon Spengler, who still lives in the firehouse to monitor the containment unit, further his studies and teach a class on the paranormal at a local university. When ghosts start to reappear, Egon is forced to recruit his lone four students as the new Ghostbusters. These are Kylie Griffin, a goth girl genius and expert on the occult; Eduardo Rivera, a cynical Latino slacker; Garrett Miller, a young white paraplegic athlete who uses a wheelchair; and Roland Jackson, a studious African-American machinery whiz. Filling the cast are Janine Melnitz, the Ghostbusters' previous secretary who returns to the job, and Slimer, a hungry ghost and general comic relief.
The series follows the adventures of this "Next Generation" of Ghostbusters tracking down and capturing ghosts all over New York and occasionally beyond the city. The series is styled as a supernatural comedy, following the trend set by its predecessor, but given an updated and darker feel. This is reflected by the use of a gritty, rock/funk-inspired variation of Ray Parker, Jr.'s song "Ghostbusters" as the opening theme written by Jim Latham and performed by voice actor Jim Cummings. Recurring themes throughout the series are the new team learning to work together despite their differences, Janine's largely unrequited affection for Egon, the love-hate relationship between Kylie and Eduardo that is never resolved, and the Ghostbusters' frequent clashes with authority figures who disbelieve their work.
Showrunner Bob Higgins told Ability Magazine that the decision to create a new Ghostbusters was taken by the studio, which hoped to reinvigorate a lucrative franchise. The show's creators decided "what we wanted to do was really put together a team of misfits in a way, people that you would not necessarily associate with being superheroes on television": hence Eduardo as a slacker, Roland as a "square", and Kylie as moody and sarcastic. Garrett was created as a balance to this, "an adrenaline junkie... who could kind of kick start the team", but was found to be quite bland until producer Jeff Klinesuggested putting him in a wheelchair; Higgins stated this made Garrett more interesting to write, as he was now "one of these guys that takes what he is given and makes the best of it and really lives up to any potential that he has". The show ended up winning an award from the Los Angeles Commission on Disabilities for Garrett.
The team that helmed Extreme Ghostbusters consisted of many producers and writers that had done work on The Real Ghostbusters, including Richard Raynis. As a result, the show was made as an explicit sequel to Real. This made the show one of the few direct sequels to a 1980s cartoon series — other franchises, such as Masters of the Universe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, opted for series relaunches — and as such opted for a more realistic passage of time. Maurice LaMarche was brought back to play Egon Spengler — though Frank Welker and Laura Summer did not return to play Slimer and Janine, respectively. The series would start to have more explicit tie-ins to Real as it went on — "Slimer's Sacrifice" referenced Egon entering the Containment Unit in an episode of Real and "Grundelesque" was a direct sequel to Real Ghostbusters episode "The Grundel", bringing back the eponymous villain and revealing Kylie lost a friend during its first attack. Finally and most notably was the two-part finale "Back in the Saddle", which featured the remaining original Ghostbusters returning and teaming up with their successors — with Dave Coulier (the second voice of Peter Venkman), Buster Jones (the second voice of Winston Zeddemore), and Frank Welker (the voice of Ray Stantz) all reprising their roles.
Characters and castEdit
- Egon Spengler (voiced by Maurice LaMarche)
- The only original Ghostbuster to become a regular in this spin-off series, Egon takes on the role of mentor for the new team of Ghostbusters. He still lives in the fire house with Slimer, enabling the building to become the Ghostbusters headquarters when paranormal activity starts again. Before the first ghost escaped, Egon was teaching classes on the paranormal at Columbia University - four people taking his class was double the usual. He usually leaves the field work to the new members, opting to provide audio back-up from the fire house and information on their current adversary, but has joined them in action when he feels the crisis requires his presence. Other than ghosts, he also has an interest in mold and started to grow cultures in Eduardo's bathtub when the two roomed together. He continues to have romantic tension with Janine.
- Janine Melnitz (voiced by Pat Musick)
- The Ghostbusters' original receptionist returns to the role after she is reunited with Egon by taking his Paranormal 101 class at Columbia University. Like Egon, she watches over the new team, and on occasion contributes an active part in ghostbusting. According to Egon, she also functions as the team's accountant and collector. She also shows off obvious signs of attraction to Egon, but he is completely oblivious to this, which only frustrates her.
- Eduardo Rivera (voiced by Rino Romano)
- Seemingly a lazy, sarcastic and somewhat clueless character, Eduardo nevertheless makes himself an integral part of the team by being determined and reliable. Eduardo, along with Garret, resembles original Ghostbuster Peter Venkman in that, like Venkman, Eduardo is sarcastic, has a penchant for pursuing attractive women, and is generally unscientific and constantly spouts pop culture references. He also reads "J.N. Kline" young-adult horror novels. Eduardo has a long-running subplot dealing with a love/hate relationship between him and Kylie, although it is very much revealed "In Your Dreams" that he has intimate feelings and dreams about her. In "Rage", Eduardo reveals to have an older brother, Carlos "Carl" Rivera, an NYPD officer who hates Eduardo for not being a police officer like the rest of their family, and thinks the Ghostbuster are a scam, which is why Eduardo kept his job a secret. In "Fear Itself", it's revealed that Eduardo has a fear of death (specifically his own). He has a vicious rivalry with Slimer, but has ended up working with the ghost, and volunteered to save him in "Slimer's Sacrific".
- Roland Jackson (voiced by Alfonso Ribeiro)
- The mechanic of the group. Roland is the most level-headed and mechanically-gifted of the new Ghostbusters, helping Egon repair and improve the Proton Packs and Ecto-1. Roland approaches the paranormal from a practical point-of-view, and in the episode "Fear Itself" reveals that his only fear is the dangerous breakdown of his equipment. In "The Infernal Machine", he became disgruntled that his technological efforts were being taken for granted. Roland's strongest wish is to get into the Ivy League and become a doctor. He's a very staid, square personality, slow to anger, though he came close to striking one of the racists in "The True Face of the Monster"; it's implied he's had to deal with racist attitudes before. Roland has twice come under the mental control of villains, the Siren in "Sonic Youth" and Luko in "The Infernal Machine". "Grease" reveals Roland is the oldest in a lower middle class family and volunteers for the Little League and helps the homeless; in "Grundelesque" we meet his very mischievous younger brother whom Roland (at first) refuses to believe is a troublemaker.
- Garrett Miller (voiced by Jason Marsden)
- Despite being a lifelong wheelchair user, Garret has a very 'jock'-like attitude and is a huge fan of extreme sports and attempting mad stunts. In the episode "Grease", it's revealed that Garrett was born with the inability to walk and studying to be a physical therapist, and throughout the series he only refers to his condition to mock it (and in "Be Careful What You Wish For", uses it as an excuse to dump some work on Eduardo). He is the most headstrong and enthusiastic of the new Ghostbusters, often claiming that he's in it only for the adrenaline rush. While he studies to be a physical therapist, his secret dream is to be an NBA star. In "Fear Itself", it's revealed that Garrett is claustrophobic (though he never admits it to anyone), and has a deep disdain towards the FBI ever since the incident where two agents arrested them under the belief they were causing the sabotages and released a gremlin they recently captured while they were on a plane. He has a rivalry with Eduardo, the two of them constantly bantering and trying to one-up each other. In "Deadliners", we find out Garrett wrote a (bad) horror story starring himself (the other Ghostbusters died on the first page, to their annoyance).
- Garrett is the only Ghostbuster in the history of the franchise never to be made as a toy (all other Ghostbusters received at least two toys, including Louis and Janine).
- Bob Higgins has said that during a focus group of young children, the creators found Garrett was the most popular character: "when we asked... which of these characters would you want to be and they all wanted to be Garrett, they all wanted to be the guy that does the crazy things. They all wanted to be the guy that was the leader and they all kind of saw him as the leader of this group [even though he wasn't]".
- Kylie Griffin (voiced by Tara Strong [credited as Tara Charendoff])
- The only member of the new team to have any sort of paranormal knowledge before signing up as a Ghostbuster, after her friend Jack was a victim of the Grundel. Kylie is in awe of Egon when the series began, but this soon shifts to a more equal footing, and becomes somewhat of the unofficial leader in the field, after Egon. Kylie's calm exterior often sets her as a foil against Eduardo's brashness, as part of the ongoing love/hate dynamic between the two. She is also the one who most commonly wields the Ghost Traps. She is depicted as something of a "Goth" girl, judging by the black hair and lipstick. In the episode "Grease", it is revealed that her parents divorced and she currently lives alone with her cat; she was highly close to her grandmother Rose, who died a year before the show started, and both her interest in the paranormal & Gothic styling are implied to be related to her grandmother's death. In "Fear Itself", it's revealed that Kylie is afraid of maggots as she finds them creepy, and in "Heart of Darkness" it is revealed she used to be "Cheerleader of the Year" when she was in the 8th Grade of her junior high school (something she finds mortifying). There is a running gag were she often replies with the sentence, "I'm not a...", followed by what has happened. It is also hinted throughout the series that she's attracted to older, intelligent men.
- Slimer (voiced by Billy West)
- Slimer remains the most unchanged of all the characters in terms of personality. However, he is given a less cartoony look to fit in with the series' overall style. In "Fear Itself", it's revealed that Slimer is afraid of broccoli (which is ironic, as he has been shown to eat anything). Slimer is very well-meaning, but is often pushed around by the Ghostbusters as he gets in their way and eats continually. His actions often affect the story, usually adversely, though he often acts to fix his mistakes and on a number of occasions has been shown to have a heroic nature and that he can wield a proton pack. He's got a strong rivalry with Eduardo, similar to the one he had with Peter Venkman, though several episodes show that Eduardo - and the other Ghostbusters - do care for him as much as he annoys them. He's been living with Egon for over a decade now, and the two are closer than in the original series; when trying to get Egon to discipline the ghost in "Glutton for Punishment", Janine says she knows the two have been through a lot together, and in "Slimer's Sacrifice" Egon immediately suits up to enter the Containment Unit to rescue him, but after he is attacked by the ghost, Eduardo goes in to save Slimer.
|01||"Darkness at Noon, Part 1"||September 1, 1997|
|When Achira, a disease-spreading entity, is released by a group of subway workers, former Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, now a college professor teaching paranormal studies at a New York university, attempts to handle the situation alone. When he fails, his only option is to round up the (only four) students in his class to be the next team of Ghostbusters - but one of them has already fallen to Achira.|
|02||"Darkness at Noon, Part 2"||September 2, 1997|
|With Achira spreading her disease through a possessed Kylie, Egon, himself infected, helps to train and equip the new recruits for battle.|
|03||"The True Face of a Monster"||September 3, 1997|
|A rabbi's son creates a golem to ward off vandals who have been spray painting anti-Semitic symbols and destroying the temple late at night, but the golem proves to be too powerful for the boy to control. Meanwhile Garrett reunites with some old friends, unaware that they're the gang responsible for the attacks. (Roland reveals he's familiar with racist abuse, saying he recognises the gang giving him "the 'we don't want your kind' look")|
|04||"Fear Itself"||September 4, 1997|
|The XGBs investigate strange occurrences in a recently renovated hotel and face a creature that brings to life any intruder's innermost fears. (The fears shown are claustrophobia (Garrett), maggots (Kylie), dying (Eduardo), his equipment going dangerously wrong (Roland), and broccoli (Slimer))|
|05||"Deadliners"||September 5, 1997|
|The XGBs investigate a string of disappearances, and discover the culprits to be Vathack - spirits who enter the mortal realm through writing. They have now taken the form of villains from the stories of famous horror novelist J.N. Kline. (The scenes have many similarities to the movie Hellraiser, while Kline is a homage to R.L. Stine)|
|06||"Casting the Runes"||September 8, 1997|
|A petty thief steals a pouch of runes from the Metropolitan Museum, and it soon becomes clear that anyone who touches one of the cursed stones will become a slave to a self-proclaimed god. The XGBs must find a way to save the victims when Eduardo becomes one of the demon's chosen slaves. The title is a reference to a short story by M. R. James.|
|07||"The Infernal Machine"||September 9, 1997|
|The XGBs battle Luco, a demon that jumps to various electronic devices and controls them. Also they become worried when Roland exhibits obsessive behavior in constructing his "infernal machine".|
|08||"Home is Where the Horror Is"||September 10, 1997|
|The XGBs investigate a house which is more than it appears when two boys go missing.|
|09||"Killjoys"||September 11, 1997|
|The XGBs go after vampiric clowns that devour victims that laugh in their presence. When Eduardo captures one of the clowns, he soon begins to turn into one himself. (Egon later wears a special proton pack with floodlights and a modified blaster - this was written in late as it was part of the Egon toy. )|
|10||"The Unseen"||September 12, 1997|
|The XGBs have been split up by an accident on a bust. While Kylie and Eduardo track down her missing proton blaster, the others have to deal with a spate of attacks that have cost the victims their eyes.|
|11||"The Crawler"||September 22, 1997|
|Fed up with Egon not showing her any attention, Janine resorts to making him jealous by dating a handsome Hispanic man, who turns out to be a bug-like monster in search of a queen.|
|12||"The Pied Piper of Manhattan"||September 23, 1997|
|The XGBs are rendered useless when a man appears to be able to lead ghosts away with his piper music. However, things take a turn for the worse when the mayor won't pay the piper.|
|13||"Be Careful What You Wish For"||September 24, 1997|
|A sinister salesman arrives in New York City who can apparently grant people's deepest desires. However, it soon becomes apparent that each of the granted wishes cause more harm than good — particularly for Eduardo, who becomes trapped in Kylie's pampered cat Pagan after wishing she would respect him more. (The heart's desires the Ghostbusters are tempted with are playing in the NBA for Garrett, into the Ivy League for Roland, and being with her grandmother again for Kylie.)|
|14||"Grease"||September 25, 1997|
|The XGBs must combat a mischievous gremlin on a plane, all the while under the watchful eye of two government agents who see the Ghostbusters as criminals.|
|15||"The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It"||September 26, 1997|
|The XGBs must protect a town from the Jersey Devil, despite not having any of their equipment.|
|16||"Dry Spell"||September 29, 1997|
|The XGBs must combat a creature that can drain moisture from the human body, and an obsessed oceanographer who wants to capture it.|
|17||"Sonic Youth"||September 30, 1997|
|The hunt to track down a Banshee takes on an extra level of difficulty when the Banshee's peace-loving sister, the Siren, enchants Roland with her beautiful voice.|
|18||"Ghost Apocalyptic Future"||October 1, 1997|
|A disturbance in the space-time continuum results in Kylie switching places with a rebel fighter from the future, where New York is ruled by a paranormal tyrant called Tempus. In the process, Tempus is split into two versions of himself in both time zones. (The future characters know Kylie, Roland, and Eduardo as legendary heroes of the "Great Ghost War" but don't know how Garrett is. This is played for humour but the underlying implication is Garrett died early on)|
|19||"Bird of Prey"||October 2, 1997|
|A huge, bird-like dragon known as the Hraesvelg causes the weather in New York to change drastically, and the XGBs must stop it before the weather threatens the city.|
|20||"Seeds of Destruction"||October 3, 1997|
|A seed inhabited by a vengeful paranormal entity causes havoc when it starts transforming plants into overgrown monstrosities that can cause whole buildings to collapse.|
|21||"The Luck of the Irish"||November 3, 1997|
|A recently-released leprechaun has set out on a vendetta to persecute those it believes stole his pot of gold, with matters becoming even more complicated when he curses Garrett with bad luck.|
|22||"The Ghostmakers"||November 4, 1997|
|Reports are coming in of people acting strangely. Eduardo is possessed by a mirror-inhabiting demon which mimics his behaviour - but not perfectly. Eduardo's spirit is consigned to a spirit realm where even other ghosts cannot see or hear him.|
|23||"Slimer's Sacrifice"||November 5, 1997|
|Slimer becomes trapped in the Containment Unit and the Ghostbusters are being picked off one by one by an aggressive dog-like monster called Fenris. Eduardo decides he must save the green spud by travelling into the Containment Unit, leaving the others to stop the demon god Surtr's plot to bring about Ragnarok. (Several older monsters appear, most crucially the Siren and Banshee - the former implied to be at risk of assault if she doesn't follow Surtr's commands)|
|24||"Grundelesque"||November 6, 1997|
|The Grundel appears to be hunting after children again, but when Egon reveals that the original Ghostbusters captured the Grundel years ago, Kylie realises that this new Grundel is actually connected to Jack, her long-lost childhood friend. (A direct sequel to "The Grundel", a Real Ghostbusters episode that aired ten years before)|
|25||"In Your Dreams"||November 7, 1997|
|Morpheus, the dream ghost, uses an obnoxious talk-radio DJ to turn people's dreams into living nightmares.|
|26||"Moby Ghost"||November 10, 1997|
|When an entity that resembles a whale causes electronic chaos across the city, the XGBs must join forces with a spectral hunter in order to stop the creature.|
|27||"Fallout"||November 12, 1997|
|The XGBs have to devise a new plan when an entity that feeds on nuclear isotopes is unaffected by their Proton Packs.|
|28||"Eyes of a Dragon"||November 13, 1997|
|After a Chinatown merchant disappears, the XGBs find that people across Chinatown are having their bones stolen.|
|29||"Till Death Do We Start"||November 14, 1997|
|A city yuppie asks the XGBs for protection when he is plagued by an undead bride.|
|30||"Glutton for Punishment"||November 24, 1997|
|Citizens across New York are going into inexplicable feeding frenzies, and the problem comes too close to home for comfort when it seems the disorder has also affected Slimer. Can the Ghostbusters stop him from eating the entire firehouse?|
|31||"Ghost in the Machine"||November 25, 1997|
|When a formerly abandoned oil well is reopened, an old spirit escapes and starts possessing vehicles.|
|32||"Dog Days"||November 26, 1997|
|The XGBs must combat problems of a canine nature when a demonic dog enslaves all dogs in the city.|
|33||"Mole People"||November 27, 1997|
|A string of power outages is blamed on a group of people living underground, but the XGBs discover that a quartet of energy-based ghosts are the true culprits.|
|34||"A Temporary Insanity"||November 28, 1997|
|When Janine goes on vacation, the XGB hire a temp to handle her workload, but it becomes obvious that the temp isn't all that she seems.|
|35||"Rage"||December 1, 1997|
|With the Firehouse being sprayed for bugs, Egon is forced to move in with Eduardo. The arrangement is complicated with a troll on the loose in the city and Eduardo's brother (who despises him for being a Ghostbuster) responding as part of the NYPD.|
|36||"Heart of Darkness"||December 2, 1997|
|A recent spate of thefts of electrical equipment and a set of priceless crystal skulls bring Egon into contact with an old associate. (Of note, Dr. Edward Kirilian is voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor John de Lancie.)|
|37||"The Sphinx"||December 5, 1997|
|A sphinx is turning Manhattan's intellectuals into blathering idiots as punishment for not solving his riddle. Meanwhile, Egon is depressed over getting old and starts to impose himself in the Ghostbusters' field work. (Note: Originally aired as the third last episode of the series, so it was set before "Back in the Saddle". As he mentions, Egon's only 39. Near the end, Egon calls Garrett "Ray" by mistake.)|
|38||"Witchy Woman"||December 8, 1997|
|Three teenaged witches try to recruit Kylie into their coven to bring about a spirit that will grant them more power, but when Kylie refuses, they recruit the oblivious (and infatuated) Eduardo.|
|39||"Back in the Saddle, Part 1"||December 3, 1997|
|Janine arranges a unique birthday present for Egon's 40th birthday: a reunion with the original Ghostbusters (Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore). However, the surprise is spoiled by a growing friction between the old and new Ghostbusters. (Note: Originally Part 1 of the series finale. Venkman says he tried to pitch another Ghostbusters film to Hollywood; a Ghostbusters film was the focus on an early Real episode.)|
|40||"Back in the Saddle, Part 2"||December 4, 1997|
|The two generations of Ghostbusters must put aside their differences when a mysterious entity begins devouring people, boats, and even whole towns down the length of the Eastern American Seaboard. The problem only grows worse when the Ghostbusters discover it is heading for Manhattan and that it has come from the Bermuda Triangle. (Note: Originally the conclusion to the two part series finale.)|
The cartoon series was actually based on a line of action figures released by Trendmasters. The line included Roland, Eduardo, Kylie, and several ghosts, as well as an updated version of Egon Spengler, and the Ecto-1.
In 1999, three VHS volumes of the show were released by Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment, all of which are now out of print. These videotapes were available to purchase separately or as a packaged boxed set containing all three volumes. The episodes included on the VHS volumes were:
- Volume 1: "Darkness at Noon, Part 1", "Darkness at Noon, Part 2"
- Volume 2: "The Infernal Machine", "Grundelesque"
- Volume 3: "Back in the Saddle, Part 1", "Back in the Saddle, Part 2"
A two disc DVD set of the series was released in Australia on June 3, 2009 and in the UK on June 15, 2009 containing the first thirteen episodes of the series. As of 2011, the show has yet to arrive on DVD in the U.S.
- ^ ABILITY Magazine "Extreme Ghostbusters"
- ^ ABILITY Magazine
- ^ Extreme Ghostbusters episode 19 Bird of Prey"
- ^ Extreme Ghostbusters episode 23 Slimer's Sacrifice
- ^ GB Fans "Killjoys"
- ^ http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/801585
- ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003YCKLKA
- Extreme Ghostbusters at TV.com
- Extreme Ghostbusters at the Internet Movie Database
- Extreme Ghostbusters Official Website Archive
- Extreme Ghostbusters Action Figures Trendmasters Archive
are led by veteran Ghostbuster Egon Spengler.