Shannon Cornthwaite - 12/5/2012
20 years of Power Rangers, a look back at the Morphinominally popular super hero series which spawned toys, clothes, lunch boxes and comic books. Check out a retrospective after the jump.
On August 28th, 1993; I got up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons like most children in those days. There sat a 10 year old in his pajamas on the living room floor with a blanket wrapped around him and a bowl of cereal in his lap. I had been seeing the promos all week, nothing much just 5 teenagers to which all I could see was their faces and hands holding something shouting at the viewer with electricity surging behind them. The time had come, the world was going to be introduced to 5 heroes who would save the world over and over again for the next 20 plus years.
The show I remember watching so long ago has gone through many changes over the years but to those of us who remember, it will always be:
Over the years we've seen some of our favorite rangers come and go, for most the hardest one to watch leave the show was Tommy played by Jason David Frank. For others it was Austin St. John who played Jason or Amy Jo Johnson who played every boy's wet dream Kimberly. No matter who left the series, we always knew that they would return one day just as St. John did in Zeo and David Frank did in Dino Thunder etc. But for one, her final episode ever would be "Power Transfer" mid way through the second season. Sadly, Thuy Trang passed away on September 3, 2001 at the age of 27 when the car she was riding in lost control and flipped several times. The episode "Circuit Unsure" of Power Rangers Time Force was dedicated to Trang's memory.
Dedicated to Thuy Trang, December 14, 1973 – September 3, 2001
It seemed that nothing could stop Haim Saban in those days, after the success of Power Rangers he continued building his superhero empire in the United States with VR Troopers which was originally set to star Jason David Frank under a different title "Cyber Tron". However, Saban decided to keep Frank in Power Rangers and move Brad Hawkins who was originally going to be introduced in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as the White Ranger, across the lot to star in VR Troopers along side 2 others. Then came the unsuccessful spin off of Power Rangers entitled Masked Rider. To me, I thought for sure that Masked Rider would mark the end of times for all Power Rangers related series simply because it was so ridiculously outlandish all though I'm glad to admit that I was wrong. After Masked Rider came and went we got a better series from Saban entitled Big Bad Beetle Borgs which was a fan favorite and much like VR Troopers would have continued on to more seasons, but in order to keep costs down, Saban relied on the over seas footage and sadly for both series ran out bringing both Beetle Borgs and VR Troopers to an abrupt halt leaving us with cliff hangers as their final episodes. We then receive The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog which lasted only a short time and at the same time as Power Rangers in Space we received Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Next Mutation which midway through the season had the Rangers battle and then team up with the Turtles.
When news broke that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had been morphed into a full length cinematic feature film, I like most fans was ecstatic. My mom took my younger brother and I to see it at a theater which is now closed and directly after we simply had to stop at McDonald's for dinner and to get our own MMPR movie toys, mine was the White Ranger with Falcon Zord and my brother's was Red Ranger with Ape Zord. I remember getting the flip head power rangers for Christmas which I liked because they were Power Ranger toys but disliked because the way they were made, made them look incredibly fat, since their head flipped to convert from helmet to unmasked.
Soon, the last of the original team left the show being replaced by new characters with the exception of 2. Bulk and Skull were the comedic relief of the series from the very first episode all the way up to the first episode of Lost Galaxy with an appearance in the Wild Force episode "Forever Red" and Bulk continued to appear during Lost Galaxy and then again in the recent Power Rangers Samurai in which in the final episode Skull is said to be making an appearance. For most of their run, Bulk and Skull tried to unmask the Rangers and even dreamt of becoming Power Rangers themselves, but in the final episodes of Power Rangers in Space it was Bulk and Skull who lead the other non powered humans to stand up to Astronema and stand in the Rangers' place.
Since Mighty Morphin, we've been given Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, Power Rangers in Space, Lost Galaxy, Light Speed Rescue, Time Force, Wild Force, Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, S.P.D, Mystic Force, Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury, RPM, Samurai/ Super Samurai and now in 2013 Power Rangers Megaforce.
Power Rangers Megaforce will see the return of the Teenagers with attitude synopsis. Season 2 of Megaforce will see the return of Rangers from past seasons.
Over the years, we haven't only received different characters, different ranger series, Zords, and villains. We've also seen Power Rangers move from station to station several times. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted on Fox Kids from 1993- 2002, 2001- 2010 saw ABC acquire the rights to the Power Rangers broadcasting it on ABC's 1 Saturday Morning and ABC Family's Jetix. In 2010, Haim Saban re-acquired the rights to the series and moved it to Nickelodeon.
So where are the Original 6 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers now?
As I said before, Thuy Trang passed away.
Austin St. John is currently an EMT and fire fighter in Washington DC.
Jason David Frank is currently undefeated in the light heavy weight division of the MMA and owns multiple dojos all across the USA.
Walter Emanuel Jones is still acting mainly voice work as villains in other Power Rangers seasons as well as appearing in PETCO commercials and other tv series.
David Yost mainly works behind the camera now. Yost left Rangers as he revealed to Nopinkspandex due to harassment from the production crew for being a homosexual. He tried to undergo Conversion Therapy for 2 years to "get rid" of his homosexuality but failed. He is now a strong supporter of the NOH8 campaign.
Amy Jo Johnson starred in the tv series Flashpoint from 2008-2012 and is still acting.
Currently Power Morphicons are being held on a semi annual basis. The first convention took place in 2007 which celebrated 15 years of Power Rangers. The second was 2010, celebrating the 15th anniversary of Power Rangers the Movie. The most recent convention was held August 17–19 2012 celebrating the 15th anniversary of Turbo a Power Rangers movie. I'm sure the next will be in 2013 celebrating 20 years of Power Rangers.
You can also find Power Ranger news at nopinkspandex.com as well as many other Power Rangers official and fan based websites.
this post is dedicated to the lovely fwee_prower