by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor
After exciting children every weekday afternoon for 155 episodes, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were no more. Goldar and Rito had accomplished the impossible and placed a bomb under the Command Center. Moments before it was about to go off, Zordon and Alpha evacuated the Power Rangers to safety, only to watch in terror as their alien comrades are blown to pieces. This was one of the most devastating scenes to watch as a kid, as it was only just announced that this would truly be the “series finale” for Mighty Morphin. Fox Kids and Saban launched a very interesting promotional campaign called “It’s Coming” which teased the return of our favorite multi-colored heroes in a new form. We really didn’t have a clue what exactly “was coming”, but what we got would end up being some of the most memorable stories in the history of the franchise.
Get ready for a new kind of power, as our favorite teenagers with attitude embarked on strange new adventures that would take them around the world and to the furthest reaches of the universe in the second box set of the Power Rangers Saga, now on DVD thanks to Saban Brands and Shout! Factory. The second volume in this massive set contains 183 episodes and features the arcs of Power Rangers: Zeo, Turbo, In Space, and Lost Galaxy!
Power Rangers: Zeo
“A Zeo Beginning” – Parts 1 and 2- With the Command Center destroyed and their powers gone forever, everything seemed very bleak for the Power Rangers. While searching the ruins of their former headquarters, they stumbled upon the Zeo Crystal, which had survived the explosion. The Rangers would soon learn that Zordon, being the great alien wizard that he was, had a backup plan in case evil ever made it past their defenses, and created the Power Chamber! Now armed with new powers, new zords, and new costumes, the Rangers would be ready to take on the alien threat of The Machine Empire! While there was much to celebrate, there would also be some sorrow, as Billy would choose to pass along his portion of the Zeo Crystal to the newly added Tanya (but in reality, he just didn’t want to wear yellow). Rita and Zedd took off for uncharted territory, and the Rangers would now face new weekly challenges from King Mondo, Queen Machina, Price Sprocket, and more! Zeo was ultimately considered to be one of the best story arcs in the history of the show, mainly due to it having a much darker in tone than Mighty Morphin ever had.
“There’s No Business Like Snow Business” – Parts 1-3- I wanted to bring this episode up because it did something that was rather unexpected on a children’s TV show, it featured Tommy receiving a “Dear John” Letter from Kimberly. While the character had left the series in the middle of the previous season of Mighty Morphin, we had wanted these two crazy kids to end up together. Kimberly and Tommy. It was meant to be…But Kimberly was a World Class Gymnast now, and didn’t have time for her former Power Ranger boyfriend, so she just sent him a letter and took off. Very sad. While one relationship ended, a new one would begin, as this would open up the opportunity for Tommy and Kat to get together in the future.
“A Golden Homecoming”- The Gold Ranger, a new player who joined the fight against the Machine Empire, had revealed his origins to our heroes. Trey of Triforia had come to Earth seeking Zordon’s assistance in saving the Gold Zeo Powers before they would be lost forever. Obviously Billy jumped at re-joining his friends in the battle against evil, but unfortunately due to some complications while obtaining the main crystal during the Zeo Quest, he would not be able to wield this force. Instead, Zeo saw the return of an old friend (see what I just did there) as Jason once again came to the aid of his friends. Jason and Tommy were back together! Yay! This role reversal was a lot of fun for fans, as it was extremely entertaining watching Jason step in as the sixth ranger, just as Tommy had done years earlier.
Power Rangers: Turbo
“Shift Into Turbo” Parts 1-3- So between Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers: Turbo, there was a little movie called “Turbo: A Power Rangers Adventure” which saw our heroes return to the big screen! Taking place in cannon with the rest of the television series, Turbo’s series premiere was mostly a clip show featuring elements from the movie to catch fans up to speed in case they hadn’t changed gears. Want to know who Divatox is and why she hates the Rangers? Why did the Rangers get new cars that change into zords? Why is a little kid the new Blue Ranger? What happened to the Zeo powers? Everything except for that last (and very important question) are answered in the opening story. The choice to make a little kid one of the Rangers was extremely controversial with fans, and is something that we really didn’t get past. While Blake Foster (Justin) did his best with the content he was given, the character just was not a good decision and really caused a lot of fans to become dismayed by the franchise (and we missed Steve Cardenas as Rocky).
“The Millennium Message”- The Blue Senturion, a robotic police officer from the future, has traveled to the past to deliver a message to our heroes that can change the course of time itself! What is the message? Well…he kind of forgot…But what he can recover is that evil is coming…and it needs to be stopped. This plot thread is actually quite crucial and would come back into play with Power Rangers: In Space, setting up one of the biggest moments in the history of the franchise.
“Passing The Torch”- Parts 1 and 2- Well kids, it turns out that when you stop being teenagers with attitudes and start becoming young adults with responsibilities, it is time to give up being Power Rangers. Tommy, Kat, Adam, and Tanya had been Rangers for some time, and Zordon decided it was time to pass along the fight to the next generation of Power Rangers. Each member of the outgoing team had selected their replacements, and history was made as Turbo was the only series to feature two completely different teams wielding the same set of powers (although Zordon did let Justin stay on just to annoy the new team). This episode also saw the departure of Zordon and Alpha 5, who went off into space to fight off evil on Eltar. The Rangers were left with Dimitria (who only spoke in riddles and had some connection to Divatox) and the new (and incredibly awkward) Alpha 6 to hold down the Power Chamber.
“Chase Into Space” – Parts 1 and 2- All hope seemed lost as the forces of evil invaded the command center, destroying the home of Power Rangers…once again. When the Rangers learn that their former leader Zordon had been captured by Dark Specter, they set off into space to save the day (leaving poor Justin behind…). While Turbo itself has been considered one of the weaker seasons in terms of overall story, it definitely set up some larger developments which would have massive payoff for the next series: Power Rangers: In Space!
“From Out Of Nowhere” Parts 1-2 – Power Rangers: In Space is still considered by many fans to be one of the best in the franchise’s history. Our Rangers from Earth had set out into the vast universe to find the missing Zordon, and happen to discover a new ally in Red! Andros, the mysterious Space Ranger and his ship called D.E.C.A. join our heroes in the quest to stop evil. This episode also introduced us to Astronema and Ecliptor, who would go on to cause many problems for the newly formed Space Rangers!”Shell Shocked” – Hey, remember that time that the Power Rangers teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It really did happen! You don’t believe me? Well… watch this episode. Other than the Masked Rider team up in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, this was the only time that Power Rangers has crossed over with another franchise. Is it important to watch? Not really. It just exists.”Rangers Gone Psycho”- Power Rangers: In Spaceintroduced some serious threats and creative villains for the Rangers to face. One of the highlights that came from PR:iS was the creation of the Psycho Rangers, who continued on to be a threat beyond the end of this series, appearing in Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy. These villains also got somewhat of a mini-season arc (similar to Green With Evil and Zeo Quest) that took a large portion of the series.”Always a Chance” – Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch) returned to Power Rangers to help out Carlos as he questioned his abilities to continue as a Ranger. The two are attacked and Adam is forced to use his old Power Morpher from Mighty Morphin, which causes him great pain upon usage. Carlos must step up and save the day before his friend is critically injured!
“Countdown to Destruction” Parts 1-2- Evil has spread out into the universe, and it seems that the attack mentioned first in “The Millennium Message” was about to come true. The many allies of the Power Rangers are attacked in one big simultaneous endeavor. From Aquitar to Triforia, no place remains untouched by evil aliens. Now, Astronema has come to Earth with an invasion force, and the Power Rangers might be too late to save the day. How can our heroes win against such unbeatable odds? This spectacular two part episode brought a lot of closure to the story arcs from Mighty Morphin until now, and had the biggest pay-off imaginable. Faced with the possibility of defeat, Zordon commands Andros to shatter his tube, freeing his energy to destroy the impending doom, and sacrificing himself in the process. Meanwhile, the other Rangers are ordered to reveal themselves or else other humans would be executed in their place. The Rangers had saved the day so many times, it was now Bulk and Skull’s turn. Yes. You read that correctly. In a very “Spartacus” moment, these two stand up and claim to be Rangers, along with the other citizens of Angel Grove, until the real Rangers stand revealed in one of the most defining sequences in the series. This two part episode is required for anyone who grew up watching Power Rangers as a kid. Ending what fans would call “The Zordon Saga”, Power Rangers: In Spacedid some revolutionary things in a children’s television series. If you never watched this season specifically, do yourself a favor and make the time. It is well worth the effort.
Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy
“Quasar Quest” Parts 1-2- Power Rangers was about to enter a new era, and the creative team decided that it was time for a change. Humanity was now aware of the existence of aliens, and they decided that it was time to set out into the universe and expand their own knowledge. Earth had come together to create a space ship called Terra Nova, which would take a small group of humans to find a new home amongst the stars. This installment in the Power Rangers franchise would be the first to begin with a brand new cast (with the exception of Bulk and Professor Phenomenus) and served as both an independent series from it’s predecessors, and somewhat as an epilogue to the Zordon era. This series would also have the first sentient zords, as the Rangers would use the Galactabeasts who would transform into their robotic zords. Viewers will notice that the military force has been armed with a very special set of armor, as the show purchased the armor from the sci-fi adventure Starship Troopers. Five teenagers are once again chosen to defend humanity, this time thanks to the mystical Quasar Sabers from the planet Mirinoi. The Rangers must face the threat of Scorpius, Trakenna, and their army of monsters as they travel through space. Luckily the Rangers will have some help from Alpha 6 and the AstroMegaship (which still acts as their base of operations in space).
“To the Tenth Power”/”Power of Pink”- Lost Galaxy also got the ball rolling with what would become an annual team-up of the current Rangers with Rangers from the past with this special two part installment. The Psycho Rangers returned, and the Lost Galaxy Rangers needed a bit of help to take on this colorful evil force. The Space Rangers make their way to Terra Venture lend a hand, and as a result, fans were treated to an epic story that ended in tragedy. Kendrix (Valerie Vernon) was the first Ranger to “die” within the show, and her place was filled with the now reformed Karone, better known as the evil Astronema from Power Rangers: In Space. While Kendrix would eventually return to the show, her “death” was a shocking move, which was needed to allow the actress off the show as she dealt with her personal medical needs. Having a villain as big as Astronema take over and become a Ranger was definitely a game changer, and allowed for the series to go in a very dark, and interesting direction.
- Tales of the Giant Banana- Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy look back at the fun and chemistry behind fan-favorite characters “Bulk” and “Skull”.
- Behind The Mask: Celebrating The Stunt Team- Stunt coordinator Jeff Pruitt and the stunt team members Bridgett Riley and Sophia Crawford recall what it really took to be a Power Ranger.
- A Convention With Attitude: An intimate look into Power Morphicon – a fan-created convention exclusively honoring Power Rangers
- The Lost Episode- Hosted by Austin St. John and Walter Emmanuel Jones. Take a look at this special featuring the original pilot for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
- Power Playback: Power Rangers Funniest Moments – Hosted by Johnny Yong Bosch
- “It’s Coming” Serial Featurette- Check out the shorts that lead to the reveal of Power Rangers: Zeo!
- “Gold Lining” Serial Featurette
Audio and Video:
As noted in the first part of our review of this massive release from Shout! Factory, the video and audio quality for this set are extremely satisfying. All of the episodes are preserved in their original aspect ratio of 4:3, but if you feel the need to upscale the video to widescreen, the quality stays mostly intact.Each season included in this set features a custom 3-D animated menu to fit with the theme of the series. It should be noted that while the episodes themselves are not in widescreen, the menus and newly shot special features are all in proper anamorphic 16:9 aspect ratio which also look amazing. Perfect for viewing on your high definition set! Granted the audio being only in 2 channel stereo is also another limitation of its time but it too has been cleaned up and sounds nice and full.
You really have to give credit to Shout! Factory for taking the time to give the fans the best quality product possible. Fans have been waiting years for this show to be available as complete seasons, and this was the perfect way to kick off the 20th Anniversary celebration of the Power Rangersfranchise. Without question, this is the set that fans have dreamed of. If you watched this show as a kid and want to relive a piece of your childhood, do not hesitate to spend the money and pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.ComicsOnline gives Power Rangers: Seasons 1-7 on DVD5 out of 5 times to re-watch Countdown to Destruction!Get your brand new Power Rangers DVD set at PowerRangersonDVD.com!