The newest instalment of Cartoon Network and Fresh TV/Teletoons’ Total Drama series sees contestants return, one year later, to Camp Wawanakwa. Chris, recently released from gaol on toxic waste dumping charges, returns as host to a group of fourteen contestants. These new hopefuls are a mix of the past four series, with seven from the original cast and seven from Total Drama: Revenge of the Island.
Rather than previous seasons where contestants were separated randomly, Total Drama: All Stars separates the campers into heroes and villains groups. The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters return in this thirteen episode season to fight for a $1,000,000 cash prize. The returning campers in the new season are Cameron, Jo, Lightning, Mike, Sam, Scott, and Zoey from Total Drama: Revenge of the Island and from the first three seasons, Alejandro, Courtney, Duncan, Gwen, Heather, Lindsay, and Sierra. As a particular favourite of mine, the return and resolution for Alejandro and Heather is a welcome one.
While sporting a new strategy for the team separation, the show attempts to hark back to the first season of the show. Mixing old and new concepts, each episode focuses on either a previous challenge or on a brand new one. As always though, the season starts off with a cliff drive, or in most cases, fall. This mix up of old and new gives the show a fresh energy, with each subsequent episode flowing easily into the other.
Plot is still very important to this animated, Survivor-esque show, so the creation, collapse and chaos of many relationships feature heavily. However, a larger storyline concerning a certain character subtly plays out over the whole series before culminating in a spectacular finale. The non-stop hilarity, which is a major feature of the show series, is sure to delight viewers whether they be new or old followers. Through the many twists and turns that only a Total Drama title can pull off, All Stars proves to be a very solid and enjoyable show.