November 19, 2016

MIGHTY MORPHIN ALIEN RANGERS

MIGHTY MORPHIN ALIEN RANGERS
(FOX, February 5-February 17, 1996)


Saban Entertainment, Renaissance Atlantic Entertainment, Toei Company, Ltd., MMPR Productions, Inc.


MAIN CAST:
David Fielding (archive footage) & Robert L. Manahan (voice) – Zordon
Richard Steven Horvitz (as Richard Wood) – Alpha 5
Robert Axelrod – Lord Zedd (voice), Finster (voice)
Michael Sorich – Squatt (voice), Crabby Cabbie
Jason Ybarra & Dave Mallow (as Colin Phillips, voice) - Baboo

            The second incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise, and the first of many name changes to come, Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers was a 10-episode mini-series picking up from the events of the third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The mini-series has been regarded as both its own series and a continuation of the third season, the latter justified by the production codes.

The Alien Rangers.


            In a major gambit against the Power Rangers, Master Vile (Tom Wyner) unleashed a weapon that reduced the ages of everyone on Earth; including the Power Rangers, leaving them unable to access their powers. With a threat still looming, Zordon (Robert L. Manahan) summoned the Alien Rangers of the planet Aquitar to come to Earth and protect it while the Rangers figured out how to restore themselves. To do so required the young Rangers to travel through time to find and recombine the shards of the Zeo Crystal.

The Aquitians.

            Aquitar was a water-covered planet and home to the Aquitians. The Aquitians are human-like except for their facial features, and can only exist outside of water for short periods of time. The Alien Rangers possessed Power Coins created by Ninjor (Kim Strauss) as well, however they didn’t rely on Power Morphers and used the Coins to transform directly. The Alien Rangers were comprised of their leader Delphine (Rajia Baroudi), the White Ranger; field commander Aurico (Christopher Glenn), the Red Ranger; technical expert Cestro (Karim Prince), the Blue Ranger; fighting expert Corcus (Alan Palmer), the Black Ranger; and strongman Tideus (Jim Gray), the Yellow Ranger. Like the other Rangers, the Alien Rangers had their own combat vehicles called Battle Borgs; robot-like machines that could be controlled telepathically. They also had control of the Rangers’ Shogunzords. In order to combat the Alien Rangers, Rita (Carla Perez & Barbara Goodson) and Lord Zedd (Ed Neil & Robert Axelrod) summoned their arch-nemesis, Hydro-Hog (Brad Orchard). Hydro-Hog was the emperor of the Dark Waters on Aquitar and was known to have destroyed many planets.

The Battle Borgs an the Shogun Megazord.

            Alien Rangers debuted on February 5, 1996 and ran for a total of 10 episodes. The theme song by Ron Wasserman was modified to replace “Power” with “Alien” whenever it was used, with series co-creators Haim Saban (as Kussa Mahchi) and Shuki Levy handling the rest of the series’ music. The Alien Rangers became the first Power Rangers team not to feature a pink member, a single female who was also the team leader, and the first time that a major archvillain was destroyed in battle (Hydro Hog). Footage from the Super Sentai series Ninja Sentai Kakuranger continued to be used for the production as it was for Mighty Morphin season 3; the differing suits necessitating the brief removal of the traditional Rangers from the narrative.

Introducing Tanya.

            Karan Ashley, the second Yellow Ranger, had become unable to maintain the difficult production schedule the series demanded and wanted to leave the show. Her character, Aisha Campbell, was written out during her mission to retrieve her crystal shard from Africa as wanting to stay on the continent and help sick animals. While there, she met and befriended Tanya Sloan (originally to be named Kenya, played by Khanya Mkhize as a young girl and Nakia Burrise as a teenager). Tanya agreed to go back to the other Rangers in her place with the crystal. However, Tanya’s tenure as a Ranger wouldn’t begin right away as Goldar (Kerrigan Mahan) and Rito (Rob Papenbrook) stole the Zeo Crystal and destroyed the Command Center, leading in to the events of the next Rangers series: Power Rangers Zeo.

The Alien Rangers DVD.

            In 2012, Shout! Factory acquired the rights to release the series on DVD. That July, they released the complete Mighty Morphin series and the Alien Rangers mini-series in a 19-disc set at San Diego Comic Con. In August, they released the complete series (minus the exclusive Comic Con dressing) bundled with the season 4-7 collection and a Red Ranger action figure in association with Time Life. In November, the complete series received a wider retail release. September 2013 saw the release of the Alien Rangers episodes separate from the third season. After working out a deal with Lionsgate to get access to the most recent Power Rangers show at that time, a whopping 98-disc limited edition set called Power Rangers: Legacy was planned for December 2013, but ended up being delayed until January. In October 2016, Shout! released a new version of the complete set with new cover art.

EPISODE GUIDE:
“Alien Rangers of Aquitar, Part I” (2/5/96) – The villains prepare to invade Angel Grove while Zordon, unable to contact Ninjor for help, contacts the Alien Rangers of Aquitar.

“Alien Rangers of Aquitar, Part II” (2/6/96) – The young Rangers help the Alien Rangers against their foes while Alpha saves the command center from a bomb.

“Climb Every Fountain” (2/7/96) – Zedd and Rita work on a new plan against the Rangers as they begin feeling ill, and Rito plans to take the Ninja Coins away.

“The Alien Trap” (2/8/96) – Before the young Rangers can help the Aliens, Rito and Goldar attack.

“Attack of the 60’ Bulk” (2/10/96) – Zedd and Rita’s new plan involves turning Bulk into a monster, but their plan backfires when he continues to act like himself.

“Water You Thinking?” (2/12/96) – As the Rangers begin their quest for the Zeo Crystal, Rita and Zedd conspire to dehydrate the Alien Rangers.

“Along Came a Spider” (2/13/96) – Rita and Zedd use a spider to impede the Rangers’ progress.

“Sowing the Seas of Evil” (2/14/96) – Billy and Alpha work to prevent the arrival of Rita and Zedd’s newest evil minion: the Hydro Hog.

“Hogday Afternoon, Part I” (2/15/96) – Zedd sicks the Hydro Hog on the Rangers while he searches for the Zeo Crystal.

“Hogday Afternoon, Part II” (2/17/96) – Aisha sends Tanya in her place and proper ages are restored, but Rito and Goldar steal the Crystal before destroying the Command Center.

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