2006 - 2007: The series climax (seasons 3 & 4)
| ||Seasons 3 and 4 were ordered at the same time. The objective was different this time: the end of season 4 had to be a real ending, and not a cliffhanger.|
A little anecdote that everyone knows: the two seasons were originally the same length, approximately 22 episodes each. It wasn't until later that 30 episodes were confirmed for season 4 while 15 remained for season 3.
Discussions about the series effectively ended up at one point: season 3 would be a season of transition. It was meant to “distract” the audience while large work was being done on season 4. This especially allowed for longer periods of work on all the new things in season 4 (the concept of Teleportation, a new boost in 3D-CGI, the appearance of combat between humanoids due to William's Xanafication, etc...). So we entered the golden age of Code Lyoko.
Season 3...quickly obtained!
|Season 3 then kicked off as a season of transition.|
The scriptwriters took advantage of this to plan a project they'd always wanted to do: the “Prequel” episode of Code Lyoko. The double episodes about the beginning of the heroes' adventure. This special episode was meant to be done during season 2, but the broadcasters rejected the idea. Then, they thought about making it into a movie, but this idea was rejected too. Finally, the writers managed to achieve their goal: two episodes were cut from season 3, going from 15 to 13...and the Prequel became the special double episode “XANA Awakens”... Although officially, the double episode was, in terms of broadcasting, part of season 3.
And season 3 was born.
The episode writing began in December 2005 (remember, season 2 was still being aired) and would be finished on the 18th of April 2006.
After several months and a summer of waiting in 2006, the fan community got this new season very quickly, at the start of the 2006 school year. Airing began on the 9th of September 2006 on France 3 and ended on the 8th of November 2006.
The Prequel was aired as an advance screening in the USA on the 2nd of October 2006 (the day season 3 started in the USA)...and for the first time in France on Canal J on the 21st of October 2006. The rest of the season then aired on the children's channel.
The airing of season 3 on France 3 was riddled with many failures that made the French fans angry...
Moonscoop rode the wave produced by season 3.
A lot more products were then created: two Code Lyoko games for mobile phones (August), figurines from the series (20th of September), a complete English season 1 DVD set and the first (and only...) season 2 volume (March and November 2006) Code Lyoko trading cards (November 2006), and the famous Subdigitals album (20th November 2006). That'll please the fans!
Two other events occurred in the season 3 period. The first is a good one, as Code Lyoko received the International Export Prize in the animation category.
The second took place in the middle of season 3's broadcast: an exhibition on Code Lyoko at the Ecole des Gobelins...presenting the evolution of the series from Garage Kids to today... And this event was very popular because on one poster, we could see the first sketches of the season 4 Lyoko outfits!
A season 4 that we hoped would arrive very quickly...
And the long wait for season 4
|To kill time, we interviewed Sophie Decroisette about season 4 (Christmas 2006) and even though she shed light on some new aspects in season 4, she was unable to tell us when it would air.|
But let's go back to how fans were feeling at the time... The fan community was at a sort of peak. All the fans from websites and forums met during season 2 and got to know each other during season 3.
This little group didn't like to wait because, as we've said, season 3 came out very soon after season 2. What's more, season 4 had been announced for Spring 2007... And didn't come. A trailer announced it would come in summer 2007...then September 2007.
What's worse still, there was an absence of information that made this pause between the two seasons seem endless. From the end of 2006 to the start of 2007, neither Moonscoop not the TV channels were saying ANYTHING about it... And this silence was much more surprising because we knew that seasons 3 and 4 were conceived and developed together!
However, the wait didn't stop CodeLyoko.fr from reaching over one million visitors.
And then, it was like a huge thunder strike when some fans randomly found the first trailer of season 4, hidden in the members-only area of CodeLyoko.com... Entering several codes allowed you to view this video:
One gasp of air, sure, but the wait became even harder... And what made it worse (for the French fans), the Americans got an advance screening of the first episode of season 4 on the 18th of May... And then the season started airing on the 12th of June on Cartoon Network...
The only good point for the poor French fans was the release of the first DS game “Code Lyoko: Get Ready to Virtualize” on the 22nd of June 2007. And a small teaser of episode 66...
An advance screening...and season 4 arrived
And the good news came at last. Moonscoop resurfaced. They offered all the French Code Lyoko fansites and blogs 4 tickets to a big event: an advance screening of Code Lyoko season 4 in Paris...on the 5th of July 2007.
On the menu: screening of an episode of season 4, discussion with Jérôme Mouscadet and Sophie Decsroisette, and a demo of the as of yet unreleased Wii game. And lunch! (Very important when you were there!) The preview came hand-in-hand with the launch of the French magazine “Code Lyoko 2.0”.
CodeLyoko.fr was on the scene and reported the event better than anyone else (modestly speaking =3). From then on out, we could list the spoilers and create a file about season 4. To bring you back into the mood:
With all that, we just had to wait until the end of summer...because season 4 was announced for the 29th of August. But then, on the 13th of August, without warning, season 4 began airing on France 3...
The fans followed the run as best they could, and this was merely the least of their troubles as France 3 made even more mistakes as it aired the season.
[Season 4 trailer on Canal J]</centre>
Season 4 would be aired between the 13th of August 2007 and the 10th of November. It started airing on Canal J in October of the same year. The end of Code Lyoko is chaotic over in the USA: because of a dispute between Moonscoop and Cartoon Network, the final episodes of season 4 would never be aired on the American channel, which brutally stopped the run. The episodes later appeared on Cartoon Network's website. Moonscoop aired them through Kabillion at the start of the year in 2008.
But even with all of these failures, fans loved season 4 and Code Lyoko reached is end. Moonscoop used the success of the new season to launch more related products:
The Wii game “Quest For Infinity” was launched (23 November 2007), and finally the second DS game “Fall of XANA” (14 September)
The Wii game was adapted to PS2 and PSP on the 26th of September. The final huge event, in spring 2007, the Code Lyoko attraction at Futuroscope opened its doors.
| ||And so ended Code Lyoko and its golden age ended for the first time. The question on the lips of many fans was, of course: “When will a sequel come?”.|
Big fan movements were created (petitions, etc...) to get a season 5...but Moonscoop said almost nothing about it. Fans didn't give up and decided to be patient...
...but that didn't know that, though the wait between seasons 3 and 4 was hard...it would be nothing compared to what was to come...