Laser Time – The Power Rangers and Their Mighty History

As the Power Rangers hit theaters once again, we recount the sentai show’s history, from their Mighty Morphin origins to modern-day insanity, with plenty of clips, crazy themes, and returning cast members!

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61 thoughts on “Laser Time – The Power Rangers and Their Mighty History

  1. OKAY BOYS, HERE’S THE CLARIFICATION OF RITA:
    In the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Japanese actress Machiko Soga played the role of Rita via stock footage from the original Japanese Super Sentai show, Zyuranger, and also reportedly filmed a few original scenes as Rita. Carla Perez took over from Season 2 through 6. Julia Cortez, an actress from Sydney, Australia, portrayed Rita Repulsa in Power Rangers: The Movie. Barbara Goodson provided her voice in all of Rita’s appearances through 1998, including both movies.

    The actress playing Rita physically changed to a younger actress in season two (a young potion), but the voice actress was still the same.

  2. Did anyone notice that Dino Thunder used the same story as the MARIO Brothers movie?

    A meteorite that splits the world into two dimensions?

  3. Power Rangers is actually really major in my life, I literally realized little kid me was gay when I watched Power Rangers Turbo the movie, seriously the way they frame Kimberly in that movie is intentionally sexual and she is so gorgeous, for years I actually thought she was Jennifer Love Hewitt another woman with a huge impact on my life if you will and this along with DBZ kinda got me into animeish stories.

    1. I also kinda thought Megadeth made the Power Rangers theme because at that time I was just kinda discovering Metal I started watching in 96 when I was 5 and MMPR was on Syndication so I absorbed what turned out to be years of story in maybe 1 or two.

  4. Dinothunder was great. I was born in 97 so it hit me at a good age. I think there was an episode were Tommy has to fight all of the rangers he used to be.

  5. I’ve always loved the Power Rangers, I was born in 93 but managed to watch all the original and up to go Dino thunder. It’s hard to pick a favorite but one of my favorite ones was Power Rangers in space because in the end zordon on tells the red ranger to kill him so he can somehow to save the galaxy and that ending scene really hit my heart. That being said I do love time force, and ninja storm and Dino thunder a lot too. Well pretty much all of the Power Rangers I watched I loved at the time. But really guys you did a good job on this episode and you brought back a lot of nostalgic memories and makes me want to go back and revisit some of them

  6. Gotta put my cards on the table: I’m a baby from the year 94. So obviously I wasn’t watching the OG Power Rangers as it aired. Rather, I saw a good chunk of it in reruns, and I do remember renting the 95 movie a couple of times from ye olde Blockbuster. For me, most Power Rangers I watched was either on Jetix or that early 2000s WB cartoon block. I have very fond memories of Wild Force (that murder case is a very unpleasant factor keeping me from revisiting the show) Overdrive, and Mystic Force. Overdrive and Mystic are funny because both of them give the Red Ranger an interesting background, where in one he’s actually a Robot! In Mystic the RR is the son of a major villain and that season’s Zordon equivalent.

    In the past year or so I’ve been actually been getting into some Tokusatsu shows. Things like Garo or Janperson are an absolute blast, with entires into long running franchises like Kamen Rider Amazon or Ultraman Orb being good entry points to those franchises for me. I’ve heard a lot of good things from some folks I know who are really deep into the scene about how Kyuranger (the currently airing Sentai Show) is actually really good and totally worth watching.

  7. Born in 88, I watched from episode 1 of MMPR to the Turbo Movie when I checked out. A little kid turning into an adult was FAR too out there of a concept for me. I would flit back in and out during the more grounded seasons like when they were policing space and time.

    Two things of note: Bryan Cranston was a VOICE ACTOR in the original few seasons of the show! His career has brought him full circle.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MQ0rDcZAtw

    Second, you mentioned Amy Jo Johnson, Jason David Frank and Johnny Yong Bosch, but probably the ‘highest’ profile Power Ranger alumni is the gorgeous Rose McIver. She was in the Power Rangers RPM and is currently on the poorly named but excellent iZombie.

    1. When the Fox Kids channel was discontinued in Australia, half the shows moved to one of the flagship channels as a morning kids block. The weekend ones were great as it aired most 90’s Marvel shows, Digimon and Power Rangers Wild Force and Ninja Storm. They were the ones I would watch a lot of when I was a kid.

  8. For more info on Bulk and Skull an episode from the Jeff Rubin Show Podcast had an hour long interview with both actors Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier. The episode is from 2012 but still goes over some interesting info on the show and the role they played behind the scenes. Link to the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qZIg6gk6kA

  9. As a yunggin I watched mighty morphin(mostly vhs rentals) then was out until I was a tween and watched lightspeed rescue and then out at ninja storm but back on for dinothunder and finally out after mystic force(which is good). Although Samurai and Rpm looked interesting
    I was always disinterested by the ninja and space ones, idk why, but dino ones, except the recent one(dinocharge) always excited me(mighty morphin and Dinothunder)

    Mighty morphin had the best monsters.

    I thought the movie was great and still holds up excepts for the cgi at the end, people mock the leather costumes at the beginning but I think they still look great. I watched it constantly. Johnny yong Bosch is also a prominent anime/game voice actor.

    Lightspeed had the silver titanium ranger which was so cool at the time, the character had a ancient snake curse mark and blah blah blah….

    Time force is great for having two red rangers (the others the Quantum ranger)who are active rivals, especially the episode where they compete for who controls the Q rex which is probably the coolest zord since the dragon zord.

    Dinothunder is amazing, probably the best acting, not the best cg. Theres an ep where tommy fights the (his) past green and white ranger self.
    And the evil white ranger is uber cool and could steal zords.

    You should have played tommys reveal in forever red its hilarious.

    The girl who gets naked in Cabin In The Woods was a power ranger.

    1. Just to add to ur comment cause I was going to comment on this Johnny yong Bosch is the American voice actor for anime BLEACH as well as voice actor for Tohru-Adachi in persona 4

  10. Im crossing my fingers for the new movie to be good, the costumes and zords im not a total fan of but hopefully….

  11. Dude, Power Rangers Lightspeed was THE BEST. Instead of a floating head or some other mystic crap, the impetus was that the government reverse-engineered pr technology. The Power Rangers were essentially government agents with giant ass tran rails as their zords. They were the only ranger team who didnt bother with that secret identity crap, and used their blasters even in civilian form, they didnt give ANY fucks. I admit, I watched this as a 6 year old, so I am sure Im missremembering something.

  12. I was born in ’91 and nothin beats an old Japanese man hunched over a tiny model of a robot pterodactyl, painting lightning bolts on the side of it’s head, then waving it in-front of a camera so it looks like he’s fusing with a fire-engine-red robot T-Rex that just jumped out of a volcano.

    “What kind of music shall we create for this?” asked the American production staff, “I think we’ll go with wicked shredding power-metal”.

    It’s just good ideas all the way down.

    1. btw I appreciate you guys doing the research on this. I said a while ago that I thought you’d never do an episode on Power Rangers, but this felt like a birthday present specifically for me, so thanks a lot!

  13. Mystic Force? Lost Galaxy? Jungle Fury? Are you sure these are Power Rangers shows and not mid-90’s Taito arcade games?

  14. I actually watched a bunch of episodes of RPM because of one of the Rangers being Rose McIver of iZombie fame, and one of the villains being an Australian that my friends and I are fans of. Also turns out that Malcolm from Jessica Jones is another Ranger on the show. We watched it on Netflix and it was pretty bad, but it was kind of laughably bad.

  15. I am so bummed to hear that the US never got ToQger! It was wonderfully silly and I loved it. Definitely look forward to the recent animal one, the “zords” are all cubes so the giant robots all look like Minecraft characters made of blocks. It was a celebration of the Super Sentai series’ 40th anniversary!
    For the record the Sentai teams don’t show up on each other’s TV shows over here but often appear in cross-over movies which get theatrical releases. Likewise, Kamen Rider heroes will return from the past to fight alongside new versions, and sometimes Kamen Rider meets Super Sentai! Some of these are on Japanese Netflix if you can find a way to view that. I wonder if there’s a warehouse just full of EVERY super sentai costume, or do they keep remaking old ones when need be?

  16. I recently went into a Toys ‘R Us and they had a commemorative edition of the Megazord (the Thunder Megazord with the red dragon and other mythical bests). It cost $200.00.

  17. This episode is great. I was 8 when Mighty Morphin came out, so I was the perfect age to get super into it. I had all of the toys and watched pretty much religiously through to Turbo, where the little kid getting powers turned me off entirely. I did come back for Space because 1) the kid was gone 2) the yellow ranger on that show awakened something in me sexually and 3) there was some attempt at a continuity and interesting storyline in that series. It actually has a really awesome ending which kind of wraps up all 6 previous seasons. I then stopped watching again during Lost Galaxy.

    Cut to 2009. Ray Barholt had gotten me interested in GameCenter CX, and while doing some searching for it online I find a group doing fan-subs of some episodes. While on their website I notice they also do fan-subs for some Super Sentai series, including Zyuranger, which became MMPR. I had always been curious about the Japanese show, so I downloaded a few. I was basically hooked from that point. Something about the show tickled a weird sideways nostalgia in me, evoking memories of Power Rangers while still being mostly completely new. 8 years later and I am still really really into Sentai. I’ve watched most of the pre-2000 series (that’s the point where they stop being interesting to me) that are available either through fan subs or through Shout Factory’s awesome DVD releases, and I have read more about the history of Sentai than was necessary. Most interesting are Dairanger and Kakuranger, which were adapted into episodes of Mighty Morphin, but without using the new ranger suits, creating this really really weird cut and paste effect.

    I could literally talk about Super Sentai for hours and hours and point out all sorts of weird or fun facts, for example:

    The white ranger from MMPR was actually using the suit and zord of a character from Dairanger, which never crossed over with Zyuranger. On Dairanger, the white ranger was played by a 10 year old kid who grew to adult size when he morphed. This kid was also a perv, who continually grabbed the Pink ranger’s breasts and in one of the first scenes after gaining his powers runs around in the street using them to blow up school girls skirts to peek at their underwear.

    Also, Carranger, the series that became Turbo, was conceived and produced as a parody of the Super Sentai series, making fun of the series conceits and including patently absurd characters and villains. This is why the Turbo series is so bizarre and tonally incongruous. It is also why the series villain Divatox (as played by an American lady) exists, as in Carranger her equivalent character was intentionally hypersexualized and played by a Japanese porn model, with the other villain characters constantly lusting over her (within minutes of the first episode one of them extends his tongue about 3 feet out of his mouth to lick at her ass).

    Anyhow, this is long enough for a comment. Too long probably. Sorry.

    1. “Too long,” perhaps, but I greatly appreciate the information about Turbo. That makes sense and makes me really want to track down the Japanese original.

      I was born in 1988, so the original Mighty Morphin’ is what got me into all of this. It’s more or less to thank for my love of Godzilla and Ultraman Tiga. My original favourite was Kimberly; to echo pretty much everyone else my age, Amy Jo Johnson as the Pink Ranger was basically my first crush ever – well, her and Winona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz and Jennifer Connolly in Labyrinth. Of course, once Tommy was introduced, he remained my favourite throughout.

      I watched pretty religiously, and I remember being equally turned off by the stupid kid and stopped paying attention to Power Rangers right about when Turbo started. I actually love that theme song, though; I feel like it was the last good one, and most following it range from bad to unbearable.

      Anyway, my memory is obviously messed up – I barely remember the turning into kids subplot, “Go Go Alien Rangers,” and honestly don’t remember Zeo at all. Going from how I remember it, Turbo started right after the first movie, but obviously that’s not the case. My little brother continued watching up through In Space, and I’m certain that he told me the Gold Ranger was actually revealed to be Jason all along, but… apparently not. Still, though, that Gold Ranger theme is so pimp-tight, it’s hard to care that I remember it all wrong.

  18. Stan Lee and Margaret Loesch tried to bring Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan to the US in the 80s, but no network wanted to air it.

    1. Yes, and this is where the crazy Japanese Spider-Man show came from. That show is actually kind of where the “Sentai” series became “Super Sentai” as it was the first Toei superhero show with a giant robot (which all of the Sentai series afterwards had) and for a long long time that was the distinction between being Sentai or Super Sentai (they are all just called Super Sentai now). It was part of a deal with Marvel/Lee to co-produce shows for both countries. In fact, Battle Fever J, Denziman and Sun Vulcan all have Marvel copyrights on them, though the shows have very little if anything to do with Marvel.

  19. “Go, go Power Rangers! Spend your parents’ money!” One of my favorite things my dad would sing whenever the show would come on.

  20. Y’all want to jump down a few rabbit holes? Because the Power Rangers world has a few doozys.

    First the Power Rangers/ Commando/ Mad Max connection. Vernon Wells, aka Bennett aka Fat Freddy Mercury in a chainmail vest, played the villian Ransik in Power Rangers: Time Force. I was WAY too old to watch this so I have nothing else to add. I assume it was awesome.

    Now lets get deep and even…. political. The Saban of Saban Entertainment is Haim Saban, an Israeli entertainment producer. He even conposed (and was contested by other composers for stealing their work) for a ton of memorable soundtracks to cartoons we know by heart, including M.A.S.K, He man, and Inspector Gadget. From their he pivoted to Power Rangers and the like. Worth 3 Billion dollars and a staunch Democrat supporter, Haim dropped some serious cash on the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now depending on what flavor of Democrat you might be the very pro-Israel Mr. Saban might have hit your radar with his staunch, and pretty ugly comments on DNC head candidate Keith Ellison and Mr. Bernie sanders, saying Ellison was “clearly an Anti-Semite and Anti-Israel” and Bernie was “An anti Israel person”. I’m not going to wade too far into this but it’s safe to say that Mr. Saban is a colorful character.

    1. He’s also a litigious protective jerk when it comes to the PR brand — he blocked FFXV DLC because it was sentai, which meant he owned the rights, not S-E. Plus, he’s blocked several fangames inspired by sentai because it’s too close.

      As for political stuff, I imagine he’s just a hardcore Israel defender (ugh, I know) and will throw stones at anyone trying to slow or stop foreign war on Palestinians.

  21. Here’s my PR story since you guys said you were too old for the show. I’m a few years younger than the Laser Time crew and was 8 years old in 93 and in the 3rd grade. There was mass hysteria for MMPR when it first debuted and everyone in my grade loved it. We role played it every damn day. My mom some how got her hands on the Red, Blue and Black ranger action figures that were 10/12″ or so. This was at a time when no one could find them, I assume she did terrible things to get them. But I immediately became a show and tell God when I brought them into class. Fast forward to the following school year. I still enjoyed the hell out of the rangers and loved the green ranger the most. Little did I know that the entire grade of kids I was a part of moved on during that summer and was over the power rangers. So I decide to wear a Green ranger shirt that mimics the design of the costume to school one day. My mother warned me not to, but I decided to anyways. What followed was a super rough day of ridicule from other 9 year olds haha. At that point I never spoke of my love for the original rangers. So to Chris and Brett who were several years older at the time, you were wise to keep that shit to yourselves, because even grade school children would tear you a new asshole for it.

  22. OOf. Thank god the LT crew are so damn entertaining because I never would have been able to stomach this episode otherwise. PR came at a weird time for me. I’m as old as Wiki so it just dropped as I was discovering and trying to get with (though mostly failing) girls. Needless to say, I would have been branded an infant had I spent time watching PR so I avoided it and never gave it a chance afterwards. Managed to make it through the whole episode which says a lot about LT’s mic presence.

  23. Hey there! Although this is a new account, I’m a long time listener from the GamesRadar days. Just wanted to chime in on a few things you guys might have missed. The Zordon era of Power Rangers really ends in the conclusion of Power Rangers in Space. In a two part episode, the galaxy is in peril and Zordon is captured. In the finale, the Red Ranger kills Zordon in order to save everything. The finale scene shows previous villains such as Rita and Lord Zedd turning from evil to good and turning into humans. Also funny enough, the final monster “Dark Specter” is pretty much a reused costume of the monster from the Turbo Power Rangers movie. The episode in my opinion was meant to be a true series finale of Power Rangers but of course the show continued on with new lore and whatnot.

    Also how did you guys miss the return of Jason?! You guys talked a lot about the Gold Zeo Ranger but failed to mention that Jason, the original Red Ranger, is now back on the cast and with a new Ranger costume.

    You guys probably didn’t know Adam so well but he should have been at least given a nod or mention n the podcast. He was the replacement Black Ranger for Mighty Morphin and one of the longest running cast members other than Tommy or Billy from MMPR. He was also the Green Zeo and Green Turbo Ranger and made multiple returns, such as Power Rangers in Space, Operation Overdrive and Super Mega Force, as the Black Mighty Morphin Ranger.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S1vBRgRotk

  24. Loved the ep, guys! I was in the target age range during the original seasons and followed the show off and up on through Dino Thunder–before Pokemon came along in the late 90s, Power Rangers was THE coolest thing among kids I knew.

    I wanted to share an anecdote about the adaptation process between Sentai/Power Rangers in the early years. The link below goes into detail, but I’ll give you the cliffnotes:

    Because of falling ratings and the flop of the Turbo movie, the season after Turbo was meant to be the last in the series. The writers wanted to go all-out with a big ending. When they saw early footage of that year’s Sentai featuring space ships, they decided on the “in Space” premise. Then they saw the actual series, and realized MegaRanger is about technology and video games and takes place on Earth. As a result, they ended up having to make their own green-screen footage of the ships in space, footage of the Rangers riding their hoverboards in space, forest scenes from Sentai tinted random colors to create alien worlds, etc. It also led to a season where the Rangers both seem to live in space and travel the galaxy on their Star Trek Enterprise equivalent, but also live on Earth and go to high school somehow.

    The space theme was a big hit with kids, so they decided to do it again with Lost Galaxy…only to find out the next Sentai, Gingaman, was a nature-based plot where the Power Rangers ride horses, talk to trees, and hang out with giant animals that turn into robots. So Lost Galaxy takes place in space…but in a domed spaceship city, which for some reason has giant sprawling forests and quarries and volcanoes. There is nothing in the plot about any “Lost Galaxy” until the very end where they just throw it in.

    Finally, they were all set to do Time Force as a show where the team travels to different periods, only to find out that in the Sentai, they just travel back to 2001 and then stay there. They decided to basically copy the TimeRanger story, but added an original villain who was a marginalized mutant-turned-terrorist with a sympathetic backstory. Then 9/11 happened. The link details some of the post-9/11 edits, including a scene where the villain’s televised terrorisitic speech was edited out, with the audio of the theme song playing instead.

    I probably haven’t done it justice, but it’s a great read about the difficulties of adapting a Japanese show for American audiences while also dealing with budget cutbacks, executive meddling, and outside influences.

    http://deriksmith.livejournal.com/4099.html

  25. The alien rangers reminded me that aliens got big after dinosaurs,
    You guys should do another dinosaur ep and an episode of the alien craze of the 90s.

  26. I was of course into the early Power Rangers and went nuts over the Green Ranger/White Ranger chapters. It hasn’t aged well — the Green Ranger saga takes for fucking *ever* — but it’s one of those writing things that I love and it’s partly why I got into wrestling at an early age, with the drama of who’s side someone would be on. We will not be discussing the Definitely Not Power Rangers things I wrote.

    I got in again when Lost Galaxy was around, and I liked it better than I thought, considering even though it was still as cheesy as you’d expect, it was written and had characters and they bounced off one another, and you got to see the meathead Leo hang out with the tech guy in the Star Trek bridge and realize he’s a good leader of the Rangers but he sucks at anything else, which is important for a team dynamic. I never finished it but Trakeena was a great villain and the girl that faceturned spent the entire series wearing lots of black leather with pink garnish and that was very important to a 15 year old me.

    Only in the last year did I think to myself, “I kinda like this thing, but I dunno if I want to revisit it.” As it turns out, yes, yes I do, because once the Twitch marathon started I was all in — my text tone is now the watch beep from MMPR and once this is over I’m going to watch Lightspeed Rescue and Lost Galaxy, both of which I missed, and I’m going to see the movie and probably like it.

  27. I’m a huge fan of the original series and have watched it throughout the years off and on. I like Brett’s analogy to wrestling, it’s dumb fun with sub par acting and sometimes awesome fights. Strangely enough, that sums up my taste in most media.

    If I had to pick a favorite series it would be S.P.D. . The theme song, Doggy Crueger, the fact that they all have super powers and I just like the rangers themselves (the red ranger is badass).

    Personally, I’m glad it’s still around, and that people young and old still get to watch the weirdly Americanized versions of a Japanese show where teenagers in spandex beat up rubber monsters.

  28. Yeah, the Alien Rangers were whatever, but the SHOGUN MEGAZORD was DOPE! One of my favorite Megazords by far! Don’t forget Tor, the Shuttlezord and all that he did in the 1st few seasons!

  29. At a local anime convention Robert Axelrod (voice of Lord Zedd and a few other characters, and more recently has a few appearances on Tim & Eric) had a panel, and if I remember right he said those first few actors left because they wanted to get their SAG cards, and MMPR was a non-SAG show. He also said that initially Zedd was going to be a lot meaner, and you can kinda see it in his first few appearances, but after parents complained about it they hammed him up a bit. Which still worked for the show in a way, but he said he thought it was bullshit.

  30. I was born in 85 and I was directly in the target demographic when Power Ranger hit. It was so fun to have a show with cool robots and IMO really decent fight choreography. It inspired me and many more kids in my generation to take an interest in martial arts. It was also our first introduction to slightly advanced plotlines. Even as children we were painfully aware of the “kidification” all of our media when through to make it “safe” for us (simple plotlines, ham-fisted morality messages, and acting that wasn’t so much bad as it was an intentional decision to talk down to us.) But in Power Rangers we got our first taste into something more. The Kung Fu “violence” already had worried parents looking sideways, but we also started getting things like long running plot arcs and character development. I still remember the schoolyard debates on if Kimberly was gonna end up with Jason or Tommy. And the show, or at least its Japanese source material that didn’t have as many taboo for kids subjects, noticeably groaned under the weight having to support these tacked on dumbing-down elements despite speaking to it audience in a more mature way than almost any other media at the time.

  31. Another important moment is when rita and zedd finally get “cured” of their evil and are wearing sweater vests.

  32. I loved the original series as a small child, but the only other version of the show I ever watched was Lost Galaxy. And I fucking LOVED it. I was 12 or 13 when that show started airing, and it drew me back into Power Rangers super hard. From what I remember, the filmed-in-America parts of the show were a lot more varied than the original, because they got to do stories about space and advanced technology, instead of teenagers at a juice bar. However, the thing I remember most vividly is the villainess Trakeena, who was a very shapely woman in a skintight body suit that appealed very strongly to my pubescent brain.

  33. So here’s a couple of weird tidbits about Super Megaforce. PR has and always will be reliant on the Sentai footage in some manner. Considering that it’s adapting Gokaiger, they celebrate all of Super Sentai. Which leads to PR having to give some awkward explanations to use the footage. Gosei handwaves three pre-Zyuranger (Flashman, Maskman, and Changeman) teams and the Dairanger suits (sans KibaRanger, AKA MMPR White) as “powers never seen before on this planet.” It makes absolutely no sense to PR, and it always disappointed me that they couldn’t have matched the storyline of Gokaiger into something that could have used more of the footage in a manner that PR could have benefited from.

    Honestly, I too could go on for hours about PR and SS. I was at the ripe age where MMPR was perfect for me, and I fell out of it around the time of In Space. Then I fell right back into the tokusatsu hole once someone introduced me to SS, and I marveled at Zyuranger’s opening action scenes via various clips. I’ve been watching seasons off and on since Boukenger (Operation Overdrive), and it still manages to retain that goofy low-budget kaiju feel while still delivering some action that’ll hold your attention.

    If you’re looking for something that turns the formula on its head, give a few of these shows a try. Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger is basically a Toei produced celebration and parody of SS, and their red ranger knows all the tricks and tropes because of his rabid fanboyism of SS. Astro Fighter SunRed is a low-budget anime that follows a former toku hero living his daily life out and “fights” the villian on occasion (and never takes off his helmet even though he’s wearing regular clothes). This one is fun to watch mostly due to the fact that they flipped the personalities. SunRed is a right asshole while the villians are actually pretty nice guys, and their Rita stand in is a homebody dude with a penchant for cooking. Kanpai Senshi After V also pokes fun at SS tropes, but does so in a manner fitting of five spandex-clad heroes drinking and talking shit to each other.

  34. I gotta admit, it was pretty crazy to hear that you guys were all (at some point or another) really into the Power Rangers, based on its reputation at my school while I was a kid. I was born in ’83, and I remember people talking about the teaser commercials and being excited to check out this new show. I, and most of my class, checked out the first episode and promptly decided that it was for “little kids”. Power Rangers had a major stigma to it after that, and it was put into the same category as stuff like Barney the Dinosaur, but after a couple of years it just became background noise and nobody ever seemed to mention it or any of the other sentai shows at all.

    Years later, around the time I graduated high school, I started seeing people on the internet who were my age or older talking about how much they (still) loved Power Rangers, and I admit that it was like hearing a grown man talk about how awesome Thomas the Tank Engine is.

  35. I remember when I was in high school (2000-2003), there were people in my school that swore that Billy was now working at a local Starbucks here in Louisville, KY. While I seriously doubt their claims, I remember wondering if there could be any chance of that being correct.

  36. I was so into the White Ranger story line, and while I didn’t know who he was, my older brother showed me a White Ranger card that was in his Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine, where it said that Tommy was the person behind the mask. I was excited, but I was also devastated that the surprise was spoiled for me. Maybe that was the first spoiler I ever ran into…

  37. I was so huge into PR when I was about 6-7 that my grandmother knitted for me (at the time) power ranger dolls that were the size of me. I would play the villain ironically in most cases and beat the living crap out of these dolls.. bless my grandma

  38. I was a huge Powers Rangers fan back in the day and forced my family to go see the movie. It’s possibly the worst thing I’ve ever done to them. Anyway in the UK we were far behind the US in the TV series, so the movie was actually the first time I saw the new cast members. I remember being genuinely upset and didn’t understand why Jason, Zack and Trini weren’t there 🙁

  39. I have to share a little Power Rangers anecdote from my youth… I watched the OG Power Rangers every day when I was in jr high, and dropped off after the original series ended. Now, when I was age 14-18, I used to fly down to Dallas for the Project: A-Kon (now, just “A-Kon) anime convention. First with my mom, then solo the last time. Anyway, at the 1998 show, I was wandering around, meeting various people related to manga and anime and other Japanese entertainment, when I met a guy who claimed to be the original Red Ranger from Zyuranger (the basis of the original PR series). I have a photo of me with him (pardon my silly teen-goth hair): https://flic.kr/p/TeKQiB

    I’m not 100% sure, in retrospect, if this was the guy from that show, as I just did a Google search and the Red Ranger from Zyuranger looks a bit different (more beefy jaw shape), but who knows..? Maybe the guy in my pic was a different edition’s Red Ranger? One more fun detail, he seemed to me day-drunk a bit when I met him, hahaha… Maybe he just said he was a Power Ranger and was pulling my chain? Who knows…. but I WANNA BELIEVE.

  40. Oh, and one interesting casting thing that you missed in your (impressive) research–the gold ranger in Zeo does start out as the alien triplet guy, but after a few episodes they have to give the power to someone else and it turns out to be original Red Ranger Jason!

  41. I know this was about Power Rangers and only lightly touching on the Super Sentai shows the costumes come from, but the ending credits for Zyuranger (the one the first season of Power Rangers takes the costumed footage from) are fucking amazing and bizarre. Sadly this is the only video for it I can find on YouTube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyvfjVcw9l4

    The opening is also fantastic, with animatronic dinosaurs and even a few shots of the motorcycles which I don’t think made it in the Power Rangers adaptation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ2w_aIfwPg

  42. The best Power Rangers series for me is a tie between In Space and Time Force. As I watched the marathon last week, I noticed that the show started to give a damn about story in 1998, which was when In Space started. And although it was still a marketing ploy for toys, storyarcs were worth watching, and it really dug into me being very embarrassed that I loved the original first season with its missing Tommy and all. Eric Myers is the best sixth ranger. Bwah hahaha.

  43. Hey, I’m one of those young motherfuckers born in 1996 listening to your podcast (and I’ve been listening to talkradar since I was 13, so I’m young but I’ve been around a while).

    Here’s my take on the whole Power Rangers thing: when I was young, I remember really enjoying re-runs of the original 3 series, and I owned vhs tapes with like 2-5 episodes of random series on them. My favorite, by far, was the original Mighty Morphin movie with Ivan Ooze. The only seasons I remember watching live were Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder. I really enjoyed those two seasons and owned many toys. After that, I totally fell off with SPD.

    Many years after though, I remember watching a random episode of RPM on tv and LOVING it. It was so good with taking this goofy premise and turning it into something kind of serious in a really fun way. I never saw any episodes other than that one, so I’m kinda sad to find out that it took a break after that because executives thought it was too melodramatic (and the show changed hands).

    Thanks for the episode, it was really fun and hopefully my viewpoint was enlightening.

  44. One more interesting thing is that Saban had been trying to adapt “Power Rangers” for a few years before finally coming together and using the Zyuranger footage, and now the rangers and mechs from Zyuranger are forever what people will imagine when you say the term “Power Rangers” as where it all began.

    Its interesting to imagine just how different things might have been if the show had been made a year earlier and used footage from Jetman, which had animal themed rangers, but standard machine mechs, and was an homage to Gatchaman (which got brought here as Battle of the Planets). Its just interesting to think that if just one year earlier that those suits and mechs would be the ones everyone remembers as the starting point of this franchise.

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