You remember Danny Phantom, right? You know, that show that ran for a good three years during Nickelodeon’s heyday in the 2000s with one of the best theme songs of all time? If not, let me remind you: 14-year-old Danny Fenton becomes half-ghost due to a lab accident with his parents’ ghost portal, and then learns how to protect the town of Amity Park from evil ghosts with his new-found superpowers and his best friends, Tucker and Sam, all while juggling the stress of high school. (And you thought YOUR teenage years were hard.)
Whether or not you remember it, the good news is that the show’s “Phandom” (we would never miss a pun) is alive and well nearly a decade after the show’s end. In fact, we’ve been hankering for a reboot, which show creator Butch Hartman and several others have teased the possibility of over the past few years. Now, any viability to those teases remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the Phandom has quite the wish list of what they would like to see in a potential reboot for everyone’s favorite half-ghost.
Alright, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: Phandom, in general, did not like the series finale, “Phantom Planet.” Granted, yes, it did have its good moments, and there are real-world reasons why it ended the way it did, but as a whole, the list of problems with it far outweighs the good. So if a reboot were to happen and would build on the original episodes in any way, the issues of “Phantom Planet” would need to be addressed and resolved somehow (or just forgotten and scrubbed entirely). Even having an episode where the events of the finale were a strange dream or a foreshadowing could be a good save if you wanted a chance to redo it right.
Back to the finale for a second, one of the most frustrating things about it is that Valerie Gray, who had been hunting Danny Phantom since season one and had become a prominent character, was seen for all of maybe two seconds when Danny revealed his alter ego to the entire world. We got one glimpse of her jaw hanging in shock, and then another shot of her clapping with a smile, nearly blending in with the background characters. All that after such promising character development in just the previous episode alone! There’s so much that could be explored with Valerie learning Danny’s true identity – after all, she’d had a long-held grudge with Phantom but dated Fenton at one point, so some confusion and anger would be expected. And even if the situation went back to where she didn’t know his secret, there’s more hunter-prey possibilities that could be made, and there’s also the question left open at the end of “D-Stabilized” of how she will respond to finding out that the man she’s been working for, Vlad Masters, is also half-ghost and has been using her for his own evil agenda all this time.
“Dark Danny”/Dan Phantom
Whether you call him Dan Phantom or “Dark Danny,” everyone wants to see Danny’s alternate-future evil self again. Possibly the most popular one-shot character of the series, Dan was featured in “The Ultimate Enemy,” in which he faced and was defeated by his younger self. At the very end of the episode, we see a chilling sight: Dan’s face protruding through the metal of the Fenton Thermos he was trapped in, now existing outside of time. We never see or even hear about him again, but the potential for a major storyline with him is there for the taking, and fans would definitely be eager to see him come back.
Sam and Tucker
We know these two would be in a reboot, of course, but one thing Danny’s best friends need is some strong character development, which seemed to taper off heading into season three, save for the ever-increasingly cliché crush-turned-relationship Sam and Danny got. It’s okay to have them like each other, but Sam seemed to lose her individuality and independence as their feelings grew for each other, which basically disregarded any development she had in the first two seasons. As for Tucker and Sam in general, they need more plot lines of their own again, like they got in seasons one and two, and more looks into their background lives (a big one being that Tucker’s parents get more screen time like Sam’s have gotten).
One of the cooler (ha!) aspects of the show that needs more development is Danny’s ice powers. We got a good look at them as they were introduced and featured throughout season three, but we barely got any insight as to their inner workings and how they affect Danny’s life on a daily basis. Most of the phandom has developed these powers into Danny having an ice core (and as a complement, his arch-nemesis, Vlad having a fire core). Also, there seems to be a deeper connection between Danny and Frostbite, who taught Danny about his ice powers, than meets the eye, seeing how Frostbite’s people in the Far Frozen hail Danny as the “Savior of the Ghost Zone.” Is there a further responsibility he still has with them, or some complication that could arise because of his previous heroics of defeating the Ghost King?
Fingers crossed that all these things make it into the hoped-for Danny Phantom reboot!