Ben 10: Ultimate Alien [2010] Season 1. 20 Episodes

Wait, there were like four seasons of Ben 10, three of Ben 10: Alien Force, and now Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. Okay, what is the difference between the last two? New cast? Negative. New powers? Not really. New feel or format? Nope. New attitude? Sadly no.

Well, Ben does try to act tough in a fairly ham handed and unlikable way. How new that is we leave to your discretion.

A new emergence of the Forever Knights? No, they are still sadly underused and largely lame villains. Remember the “Ben 10” seasons? Those were the days…

What about Captain N? He was new.

So what is new? Ben is outed as a “hero”, and there is a new villain. Oh, his faux omnitrix has a ultimate setting which is designed to make beefed up versions of existing transformations in order to sell more action figures. But does that make any difference at all to the plot? No.

At least he does not look like a bad guy… well he does not have satanic horns- uh, never mind. (Is he Darth Maul’s long lost father?)

The season in a sentence: Ben, Gwen and Kevin are unhappy people who never get along well and somehow stumble into battles with bad aliens and emerge victorious despite a huge chip on Kevin’s shoulder, an always angry Gwen and chronic underachiever Ben who you will want to punch more than root for despite a ham handed attempt to make him suddenly smart at the end of the season.

Gwen Tennyson: Unhappy girl. Hey, we did look.

Uh, guys… make sure you know what your girl is REALLY like. You know. Underneath.

On the bright side some of the classic alien transformations you liked way back when make appearances. Max Tennison, original plumber hero is back and still doing well. Hmm, other highlights? There were not many. Oh, Charmcaster is back. They tried to rush a transformation of her character. But she is fun and interesting so we still welcomed the flawed effort.

Charmcaster turns nice? Maybe she should join the cast to cheer it up next season.

Max Tennyson. Still likable (more or less) after all these seasons. This season he gets treated with “space medicine”. Yup, that’s right. The ol’ tank of fluid.

The tone was just monotonous for 20 episodes. We hand it to series creator “Man of Action” for making a series strong enough to withstand the same gray, subdued and generally dissatisfying note episode after episode. The endings also stepped on many episode’s resolutions. The satisfaction you gained from (maybe) defeating a bad guy was practically ruined by an fifteen second insert at the end where something bad inevitably happened. Yuck.

Gwen does not chill out the entire season.

Kevin turns into a freakizoid to insure that an almost likable character is reduced to the likability level of Ben.

What makes Ben so unlikeable?

  • He is irresponsible.
  • He makes snap, unthinking or selfish decisions in combat.
  • He is generally, almost willfully obtuse.
  • They try to make him suddenly smart.
  • He is a shallow person whose goal in life is apparently getting a smoothie.
  • He (constantly) repeats the necessity to kill one of his teammates for three episodes without thinking much about an alternative.

But Ben does make time for Twilight wannabe star Jennifer Nocturne.

Too much spider monkey this season. We do not get it. Maybe the action figure sells.

An interesting face from the past was the strange Alien-X. Not seen since the first season of Alien Force, the overpowered alien was not even used but rather made into a plot device. The unlocking of the omnitrix in order to transform into him was cool though. Would that this uber-powerful alien could be put on some sort of cosmic timer and be unleashed once a season…

The unlocking scene was the coolest part of this season’s Alien-X cameo. (“X” must stand for “extra”, because that is how much we have seen this transformation.)

New arc villain Aggregor had potential. But he was more interesting as an intelligent villain -before he powered himself up to be a brute. It seemed somehow beneath his built up stature. Despite potential, he has so far fallen short of Vilgax.

The Rustbucket 3 was cool. Although a little much in the unrealistic size and scope department… Cars are one thing, huge spaceships (with hyperdrive) another.

The plumbers showed up enough to get kicked around. These guys are supposed to be the powerful galactic police? Sooper genius and omnitrix creator Azmuth shows up mostly to yell at Ben and criticize the “ultramatrix” which we too found underwhelming.

Azmuth, sooper-genius creator of the original omitrix thinks the “evolution” feature of the ultramatrix is dumb. We cannot say we much disagree.

If you are looking for a show with a lot of arguing, where even the heroes do not get along, this may be for you. It does have its moments of action, but none of humor, and few of satisfaction. 20 episodes of pressure are not relieved by the last 10 seconds of the season where the heroes decide to go have a smoothie.

We are okay with the homage to Ultraman. What you say? Who is Ultraman?

Check out our Ben 10 franchise takes:

Alien Force Season 1

Alien Force Season 2

Alien Force Season 3

Ultimate Alien Season 1

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (part 1)

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (Conclusion)

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens

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19 thoughts on “Ben 10: Ultimate Alien [2010] Season 1. 20 Episodes

  1. Thanks for the note on my site. I’m a regular on yours (read my comments on The Sarah Connor Chronicles if you forgot how I spilled out the crap that was that series), so I’m glad you stopped by. I’m not sure if you’ve seen my whole site – since you commented on something from last April. If not, check out the main page at:

    http://iamnoahjames.com/

    • We usually search for people who have also posted on a particular show or movie when we get around to making a take. You have some overlapping interests with the Fortress, so expect us to pop in from time to time with one of our comments and links.

      Yes, you weighed in mightily regarding The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Good times. 😉

      Your site is filled with in depth info regarding the behind the scenes shenanigans. We may go weigh in on your “Chuck” post right now.

  2. Wow, I really hope there is going to happen something with Gwen in this season and Kevin has to save her =D Do you maybe know an episode from ben 10 ultimate alien who has that?

    • We do not know of any Ultimate Alien episodes that really focused heavily on the romance between Gwen and Kevin. There was a little more attention given to it over the three seasons of Alien Force.

      That romance plot thread was also a victim to this season’s one dimensional/one note feel. Perhaps next season will explore the characters besides just Ben, who honestly we have had enough of.

  3. What I couldn’t stand about Ultimate Alien was Spider Monkey’s ultimate form. I mean, whose bright idea was that? Most disgusting-looking alien ever!

    • Yeah. Ultimate Spider Monkey was pretty dumb. We thought Spider Monkey was a little lame, but the Ultimate version was really… juvenile? Was it designed only to sell toys? Perhaps that one was phoned in. We would like to think Man-of-Action can do better.

      Ultimately Gross Design?

    • We hear you Brutus. However the personality diversification here at the Fortress is extensive, and we have found it best just to go with the flow of what comes forth. Yes, we have done some cheesy movie gems in the past like Outlander, The Legend of Chun Li, and certainly the Twilight movies. And we have plans to do more. So thank you for looking forward to them. We enjoy your commentary.

      It is notable though that we get many and the majority of our views regarding the animated fare. Perhaps those takes are less common on your Earth interwebs than movie reviews. We do get a lot of views for the uncommon movies like Jack Hunter and Librarian.

      As you know we put a lot into each and every Take, and it sometimes can take quite a while to review an entire season. We have been working on a major project whose completion is nearing. So we expect to be putting up new and varietal Takes soon, some of which we trust you will find entertaining.

  4. Finally someone agrees with me about Ben! They decide to make him smarter than Gwen for no reason whatsoever. And what sucks is that the writers aren’t ever going to change his personality as shown in Ben 10,000 Returns where his “real” future show up. The only reason Ben wins all the time is because of his now over powered aliens.

    • One of the reasons the Fortress is here is to confirm some of the thoughts many viewers have, yet ones that do not seem to get public traction. Yes, the Ben getting smart thing was… a questionable choice. Maturing is one thing, but suddenly smart is another.

      We liked the original Ben 10.000 character and episode. The new Ben 10.000 is more annoying and definitely more present day Ben. It is a cop out to go “alternate universe” on it.

    • We like Charmcaster too. She is interesting, especially now with her status turning from evil to “not too bad”. We hope they resolve the plot where they left her hanging in the negative zone.

      “Don’t forget me.”
      Don't forget me.

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