Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Friedrich was a comicbook writer who co-created Ghost Rider for Marvel Comics. While Ghost Rider made many appearances outside of Saturday mornings, he did get a brief cameo in an episode of X-Men: The Animated Series.
Rangers RPM, known as Power Rangers
Engine Force in South Korea,is
the 16th incarnation of the Power
the 17th season overall. It utilized footage from Toei Company, Ltd.’s
Sentai series, Engine Sentai Go-Onger. This
was the final season to be produced in the Disney-era of the franchise in order to
fulfill a contractual obligation with Bandai, producer of Power Rangers merchandise.
Venjix's master CPU with some Grinders.
Set in an alternate timeline, a
computer virus named Venjix (no relation to General Venjix
Force, voiced by Andrew Laing) was created by young genius Dr. K
(Olivia Tennet) to allow her to escape the government thinktank, Alphabet Soup,
when she learned that they had been keeping her there under false pretenses.
Her plot was discovered and she was taken away before being allowed to erect
the firewall to keep the virus contained. As a result, Venjix evolved and grew
more powerful, taking over computer systems around the world and creating a
robotic army, the Grinders, and other more powerful attack bots. The world was overrun, and the remnants of humanity fled to the domed city of Corinth. Corinth was a
fully-functional self-sustaining city with a protective shield over it that
projected a hologram of the sky to keep the population inside calm. Primarily
in charge of the city’s defense was Colonel Mason Truman (James Gaylyn) and his
Dumbell Bot attacking Corinth.
Despite its protections, Venjix’s
forces were still able to find their way into the city to cause havoc. Their
goal was to disable Corinth’s shields so that Venjix’s full forces could
conquer the city. Venjix had three generals coordinating these efforts. General
Crunch (Charlie McDermott) was the least intelligent of the three, but
demonstrated a keen sense of strategy; often questioning holes in Venjix’s
plans that would lead to his destruction (though he was later rebuilt). General
Shifter (Mark Mitchinson) was a Generation 5 Attack Bot who was adept at
designing additional bots, even giving Venjix a body once. Kilobyte (Leighton
Cardno) was an older Attack Bot created by Venjix who took great joy in
sabotaging his contemporaries to make himself appear better to Venjix. The
creation Venjix took great pride in, however, was Tenaya 7 (Adelaide Kane in
her first major role). She was believed to be a Generation 7 Human Infiltration
Attack Bot, resembling a human while actually being a machine. However, it was
eventually discovered that she was a hybrid and was originally human. That
discovery led Tenaya to join the Rangers briefly until she was recaptured,
reprogramed and upgraded into Tenaya 15. Venjix’s robot monsters were typically
enlarged when on the verge of defeat by a download being initiated through
The RPM Rangers.
To make up for her mistake, Dr. K
helped to fortify Corinth and initiated one of the projects she was working on
at Alphabet Soup: the Power Rangers. They were a series of exoskeleton robotic
suits designed to amplify human capabilities by harnessing the universal
bioelectrical energy field that connected the lifeforce of all living things.
The initial recruits were Scott Truman (Eka Darville) for Ranger Operator
Series Red, a fighter pilot who lost his brother during the Venjix attack;
Summer Landsdown (Rose McIver) for Ranger Operator Series Yellow, once a
spoiled socialite who completely changed her way of thinking after being
abandoned by her friends and saved by the sacrifice of her family’s butler, Andrews (Bruce Phillips); and Flynn
McAllister (Ari Boyland, who had auditioned for many other Power Rangers seasons, using an Irish accent) for Ranger Operator
Series Blue, a mechanic who desired to help people but failed miserably at jobs
involving that. Dr. K worked directly with the Rangers, however at first, she
kept her identity a secret and communicated with them through computer monitors
and voice modulation.
Dillon and his car out in the Wastelands.
A suitable user for Ranger Operator
Series Green had yet to be found within the city, while Ranger Series Black’s
biohardware was deemed too much for the average person to handle. Eventually,
the last two Rangers found their way to Corinth. The man known simply as Dillon
(Dan Ewing, who previously auditioned for Jungle
Fury and the role of Scott) was an amnesiac who had his memories stolen by
Sat Bot, one of Venjix’s minions, and was infused with Generation 7 Venjix
hardware to become one of Venjix’s robot/human hybrids until Dillon escaped.
That increased his physical capabilities to superhuman levels, and made him a
viable candidate to become the Black Ranger. However, fragments of Dillon’s
memories remained, including the notion that he had to find a mysterious blind
girl that was somehow connected to a musical pocket watch he carried. That girl
ended up being his sister, who was changed into Tenaya 7 when they were
separated in Venjix’s lair.
Tenaya 7 takes Ziggy captive with some Cogs.
Dillon was led to Corinth by Ziggy
Grover (Milo Cawthorne, who almost didn’t get the role), whom he encountered in
the Wasteland. Ziggy was a clumsy oaf who had the habit of falling in with the
wrong people; including local gangster Fresno Bob. When Ziggy delivered medical
supplies to an orphanage rather than the five main cartels in Corinth, he
escaped the city only to return later with Dillon. Ziggy helped the Rangers try
to find a suitable candidate for Operator Green, but circumstances led to his
needing to don the Morpher and became bonded with the suit.
The engine of the Paleozord.
Unlike other teams in the franchise,
the RPM (which stands for Racing Performance Machines) Rangers had a limited
power supply that needed to be remotely recharged by Dr. K. The Zords were also
controlled by Dr. K and had to be downloaded by her to the Rangers for use.
Each Zord resembled an animal: Red had the Eagle Racer,
Yellow the Bear
Crawler, Blue the Lion Hauler,
Green the Tail
Spinner (which resembled an orca), and Black the Wolf
Cruiser. Red, Yellow and Blue could form the High Octane
Megazord, while Green and Black formed the ValveMax Megazord.
Together, the full team could form the Zenith
Megazord. The Road
Attack Zord was a miniature, self-piloted Zord created by Flynn that could
be launched as a projectile weapon from a wheel-like state and used to attack
foes with a variety of martial arts. Later, Scott would acquire control of the
Paleozord, one of Dr. K’s earliest creations at Alphabet Soup. It was a train
comprised of three cars that could form its own track on either the ground or
in the sky. Because they were based on prehistoric creatures they couldn’t
properly sync up with the Bio Field and were mothballed until they were
accidentally reactivated. The cars could combine to form the PaleoMax
Manning the Road Blaster.
While the RMP morphers all used engine cells to
power them, there were two distinct types. The Cell Shift
Morphers used by Red, Yellow and Blue resembled cell phones. The dial pad
allowed them to summon the Zords, initiate Zord sequences, and control the
Zords. Green and Black had Rev Morphers, which
resembled a gear shift panel and lacked any numerical inputs. They were all DNA
coded and required the security phrase “RPM, get in gear!” to be said to
initiate transformations (although, later episodes would show them transforming
in a quick cut with an accompanying sound effect). The standard Ranger weapon
was the Nitro
Blaster, however each had their own distinctive one: Red had the Street
Saber, a sword whose blade resembled a strip of road; Blue the Turbo
Cannon; Yellow the Zip Charger,
a miniature remote-controlled vehicle; Green the Turbo Axe,
whose blades resembled a suspension bridge; and Black the Rocket
Blaster. Red, Yellow and Blue’s weapons could be combined to form the Road
Blaster, which changes the Zip Charger to the Racing Bullet for a powerful
attack. Likewise, Green and Black could form the Turbo
Plasma Launcher, which fired a plasma beam that took the essence of the
Zord whose engine cell was powering it at the time. All five weapons could be
combined into the RPM
Enforcer. The tread-designs on the Rangers’ suits and boots could also be
used for friction-based attacks, or to speed along the ground.
Scott's car in their garage.
For the first time in the franchise,
each Ranger had their own personal vehicle outside of the Zords for transport
around the city. Scott drove a red and black 1994 Nissan Silvia; Flynn
drove a blue Hummer; Summer
drove a yellow and black dirt bike; Dillon drove a modified 1972 Pontiac Firebird; and
Ziggy drove a beat-up little green scooter when not catching a ride with
Dillon. Both Scott and Flynn’s cars were European style with the steering
wheels on the right side.
The Rangers de-morphed.
Rangers RPM debuted on March 7, 2009 on the ABC
programming block, ABC Kids. It
was the first season that debuted in any other month besides February since Turbo.
The series’ theme was composed by Brad Hamilton and was led into
by an opening introduction from Tenant describing the circumstances of the
series. The series’ music was handled by Leigh Roberts, Wayne Jones and William J. Sullivan. Although
reruns of Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive would run their end
credits over the final scene of an episode, RPM
was the first series to do so initially. Notably, the series included a
behind-the-scenes episode as part of its regular run, rather than being shown
as a separate special.
General Shifter sets out to make his own name.
Eddie Guzelian succeeded Bruce Kalish as executive
producer of the series and was the driving force behind its narrative. While Go-Onger was very lighthearted and
comedic with a beast racing theme (which is why the Zords resembled animals),
Guzelian took inspiration from films like The Road Warriorto
create the post-apocalyptic setting that was employed. Guzelian had pitched the
series with the promise of attracting the lucrative boys’ market as well as an
older audience, since most of Disney’s money came from their Princess line. Since Disney was
planning on cancelling Power Rangers anyway,
they went along with his ideas.
Venjix going mobile in a new body.
Unfortunately, RPM was Guzelian’s first live-action series. He relied on head
writer Jackie Marchand and
story editor John Tellegen
to get him up to speed with the franchise, and also brought in two writers he
worked with previously: Matthew
Negrete and Madellaine
Paxson. Guzelian tended to micro-manage the production, leading to script
delays. As a result, the entire production budget was gone by the first half of
the season and Bandai had to step up and finance the remainder. Marchand was
seemingly fired, delivering to fans the cryptic message “Welcome from the peace
conference”; a reference to where original Rangers Jason, Trini and Zack were written off to
when their actors walked off of Mighty
Morphin. Guzelian was given a chance to get the production back on
track, but was fired despite his success. Negrete and Paxson also left in
solidarity. Former head writer Judd
Lynn was promoted to executive producer that July to wrap up the series. Additional
writers included Jeffrey Newman,
David Garber and Tiffany Louie, as well as Lynn
Halfway through the series, a sixth
and seventh Ranger were introduced: Ranger Operator Series Gold and Ranger
Operator Series Silver, also known as the genius siblings Gem (Mike Ginn) and
Gemma (Li Ming Hu). They were a high-energy pair that often finished each
other’s sentences and befriended Dr. K at Alphabet Soup. After Alphabet Soup
was destroyed, Gem and Gemma escaped with the experimental Ranger Operator
suits and Zords and waged a guerilla-style war on Venjix in the wastelands
before meeting and uniting with the other Rangers. That led to them adopting a
“shoot first, talk later” approach to fights and a thrill of explosions. Their
suits utilized the Sky
Morpher, which resembled a flight stick, which controlled their Falcon
Chopper and Tiger Jet
Zords. They could combine with the other Zords to make the SkyRev Megazord. They
gained a secondary Zord in the form of the Whale
Jumbo Jet, which was a doomsday machine the Rangers took from Venjix. It
was compatible enough with the other Zords to merge with the Falcon and Tiger
to become the Mach
Megazord. When all 12 Zords came together, they could form the
Dillon tries to convince Tenaya of her real identity.
Since this was the final series
Disney planned to make in the franchise, the season skipped the annual
franchise crossover (although an Operation
Overdrive helmet was seen in the Alphabet Soup ruins) and ended on a
cliffhanger that wouldn’t be resolved. Disney also disbanded Ranger
Productions, Ltd., the production company they formed to deal with the
franchise. For the next season, Disney chose to air reruns of Mighty Morphin that became known as a
Entertainment gave the series a new opening sequence and added several
visual effects, but beyond that the episodes were as they aired back in the
Gem and Gemma celebrates Dr. K's birthday.
In 2010, franchise creator Haim Saban formed Saban Brands, a successor to Saban Entertainment.
The company was dedicated to acquiring entertainment and consumer brands, and
one of those acquisitions was the Power
Rangers franchise for $43 million. They then entered into a partnership
with Nickelodeon, which would serve as the
new home for Power Rangers installments.
Because of episode limitations set by Nickelodeon, all future Power Rangers projects would be split
into two seasons, making RPM the
final single-season entry in the franchise.
years ago, the land of Animaria was at war with the evil force known as Orgs,
led by Master Org. Master Org was created specifically for the series, but his
costume was recycled from the main villain of Gosei
Master Org destroyed Animus
Davis), a god-like Megazord who protected the land, but was
eventually beaten back by the Power Rangers and Merick Baliton (Philip Andrew)
after he had donned the legendary wolf mask to achieve its powers. But the mask
corrupted Baliton into the Duke Org (a higher-ranking Org) Zen-Aku
and forced the Rangers to defeat him and imprison him in a tomb. To protect it
from the Orgs, Animaria was elevated above the Earth and became the floating
It left a turtle-shaped lake back on the ground, which served as the
inspiration for the future city of Turtle Cove.
Richard, Elizabeth, baby Cole and Viktor before the expedition.
the more recent past, scientists Richard
Bianco) traveled to the Amazon to find the lost kingdom of
Animaria along with their colleague, Dr. Viktor Adler (Ilia Volok), and their
infant son, Cole. They came upon the remnants of the original Master Org and
Adler, jealous that Richard married Elizabeth, ate seeds found there to become
the new Master Org and exact his revenge against them. They left Cole and lured
Adler away, only to die by his hand. Cole was found and raised by a tribe of
natives who were, in fact, descendants of the people of Animaria.
Adler as Master Org.
Org, now revived, began to reassemble his army. Two of his Duke Orgs, Jindrax
(Danny Wayne Stallcup and initially voiced by Richard Cansino until it was
decided his voice didn’t match the appearance) and Toxica (Sin Wong, sometimes
Rei Saito in Sentai footage), had hidden in human form after Master Org’s
defeat centuries ago. Once they felt the Master had returned, they shed their
human guises and eagerly rejoined his ranks. They provided the seeds to make
the other Orgs grow to giant size. The majority of Master Org’s forces were the
which used clubs that fired energy blasts.
The Wild Force Rangers.
the return of the Orgs and rampant human pollution, Princess Shayla (originally
but replaced by Ann Marie Crouch after filming had started) was awoken from the
slumber she had been in on Animarium. She was tasked with recalling the Wild
Force Power Rangers back into action. Her first recruit was Air Force pilot
Taylor Earhardt (Alyson Kiperman), who had crashed near Shayla’s home after
seeing the Yellow
Eagle Wild Zord flying near her. With her training and
no-nonsense personality, she became the Yellow Eagle Ranger and leader of the
team; even going so far as to write a rule book. The next recruit was Alyssa
Enrile (Jessica Rey), a kind and nurturing university student, who became the
White Tiger Ranger. Next was Max Cooper (Phillip Jeanmarie), a training
professional bowler that became the Blue Shark Ranger after he helped rescue
two women from an Org attack. The last was Danny Delgado (Jack Guzman), a
gentle giant florist who became the Black Bison Ranger. Each gained an Animal
Crystal containing an image of their suit animal before
officially becoming Rangers. This was the first time the Rangers were shown to
be active without a Red Ranger.
Cole (center) acclimating to his new environment.
When he reached the right age, Cole was given
items he was left with as a baby: a picture of his parents and the Red Lion
Crystal. He was sent to find his destiny, which took him to the city of Turtle Cove.
There, he was recruited by Princess Shayla and the Power Rangers to become the
Red Lion Ranger. Because being the Red Ranger meant Cole was automatically the
leader, this put him at odds with Taylor--especially when he tried to offer
different solution to dealing with Orgs, rather than merely fighting them.
Princess Shayla in the temple.
Power Rangers operated out of a temple on Animarium where a magical pool
alerted the Rangers to trouble on Earth and sent them into action. The island
also served as the home of the Wild Zords,
where they were charged with watching over Shayla and who lent their powers to
the Power Rangers when needed. Along with the Yellow Eagle, there was the Red
Bison and White
Tiger. Other Wild Zords would also come to be utilized by
the Rangers, including the Elephant,
Brothers Black Bear and Polar Bear, the Gorilla,
and the Falcon.
The Wild Zords could come together in different variations to create various
Megazords or weaponry for them. This was the highest number of Zords in the
franchise at 22, with each Ranger utilizing 3 (save Max, who only had 2). Even
more Wild Zords were designed in great detail by Toei and some were shown
at the end of the series, although they played no active
role. This was the first entry in the franchise where the Zords were shown in
full CGI prior to their combination into a Megazord. Props were still
occasionally used for close-ups.
Wild Force weaponry.
Ranger transformed through the Growl Phone,
which resembled cell phones and could be used for communication, and exhibited
attributes of their respective animals. They all also had a Crystal
Saber; a dagger with a slot in the hilt for their Animal
Crystals to be inserted and summon their Wild Zords. Independently, they had
their own signature weapons: Red had the Lion
a stylized glove that could be separated and worn on both hands, and the Falconator,
which served as a crossbow; Yellow the Golden
Eagle Sword, which could be used as a blade or fire
feather-shaped dirks, and the Armadillo
Blue had Shark
Fighting Fins, two daggers that were held along the
forearms, and the Sword
of Pardolis, which resembled a gladius; Black had the
and the Rhino
Shooter, which resembled a rifle; and White had the Tiger
Baton and the Deer
Clutcher, a grappler. The primary weapons could be combined to
form the Jungle
Sword, which delivered a devastating savage slash attack,
while the secondary combined to form the Jungle
Blaster which delivered the savage blast attack. Cole
eventually gained the Falcon
Summoner, which could serve as a blaster or bow and could summon
Falcon Wild Zord when docked with his Crystal Saber. The
Wild Zords also gave the Rangers access to the Savage
Cycles, and later Cole was given the Wild
Force Rider and Animarium
Danny and Kendall at work.
Power Rangers Wild Force debuted
on February 9, 2002 on FOX
as part of the Fox
programming block. It ran there for the first 26 episodes to fulfil a
contractual obligation. However, once that contract expired, Disney moved the
show over to Disney-owned ABC
to become part of the new ABC
programming block (which replaced Disney’s One Saturday Morning).Because FOX didn’t want Cole’s parents
to be killed on the show, the producers initially promised them that Jindrax
and Toxica would end up being his parents brainwashed into Master Org’s
service. However, after changing networks, those plans were quickly forgotten. The
recurring character of Kendall,
Mark’s love interest, was played by Sandra McCoy.
McCoy was originally cast as Alyssa, but was given the new role when fight
Sakamoto demanded a role that his wife, Motoko
Nagino, could double for. McCoy’s voice as the White Ranger
was heard in an early
promo for Fox Kids. Wild
Force would be the last time the Yellow Ranger was gender-swapped from the
Sentai, as future Yellow Rangers in the Sentai series would be female.
the course of the series, Zen-Aku was freed from his prison to renew his attack
on the Rangers, complete with three Wild Zords of his own: the Alligator,
and the Hammerhead
Shark. Together, they combined to form the Predazord.
He also had the ability to freeze and steal the Animal Crystals, taking
possession of their Wild Zords and allowing them to merge with the Predazord.
After the Rangers managed to defeat the Predazord, the curse on Merrick was
removed and he was separated from Zen-Aku. In trying to make amends for his
time possessed, the Wild Zords came to Merrick’s aid, giving him the Lunar
Caller and turned him into the Lunar Wolf Ranger. As the Ranger, he had a Lunar
(basically a weaponized pool cue) which could serve as a saber, blaster or
could launch Animal Crystals at foes.
return was the long-thought-dead Animus. Animus’ spirit form helped the Rangers
on several occasions, including in freeing Merrick from Zen-Aku. After Cole
destroyed Master Org the first time, Animus was returned to physical form in
the guise of a boy named Kite
who took his name after seeing a kite flying overhead. Once Kite regained a
sense of his true identity, he could shift between his human and Megazord form
at will, or even into his component
parts: Black Lion, Condor, Saw Shark, Buffalo and Jaguar.
Wild Force and Time Force casts together.
the annual team-up episode, Wild Force was
joined by the Rangers from Time Forcefor a two-part
episode, “Reinforcements from the Future”. Mutant Orgs, called Mut-Orgs,
were created in the year 3000 in the mutant Ransik’s
earliest days before he set up his empire. Freeing the Orgs, they took on some
of his mutantcy to become even more powerful and turned his body into a living
weapon as payment, which was how Ransik was able to turn his bones into
weapons. They traveled back to the past where they encountered Wesley
Faunt) and Eric Myers
The two Rangers tracked the Mut-Orgs to Turtle Cove where they teamed-up with
the Wild Force Rangers, but were easily overpowered until the Time Force
Rangers, with Ransik and Nadira (Kate Sheldon)
in tow, came from the future to help. Originally, the plan was to use the Three
Org Brothers from Gaoranger:
The Fire Mountain Roars,
those costumes were destroyed in a fire. The Mut-Orgs were created by combining
pre-existing suit parts and were named after noted Power Ranger fans: Takach (David Lodge)
Takach, Kired (Lodge) for Derik Sim, and Rofang (Kim Strauss)
for Joe Rovang.
Red” was originally conceived as being an extra-sized special, but the decision
was made to make it a regular episode resulting in several scenes and lines of
dialogue either being cut or scrapped from filming at all. Episode writer
Bhaumik would go on to later reveal several concepts he had to abandon due to
the short running time, including a falling out between Tommy and Jason
following Turbo: A Power Rangers Moviethat would be
resolved in “Forever Red”; a potential prequel episode that would have Jason
meeting and teaming-up with the Silver
Guardians from Time Force;
explanations on how some of the Rangers reacquired their powers after
having lost them or moved on to other powers (a move Bhaumik felt would keep
new viewers from being bombarded with continuity information, but which had led
to fan controversy for years to come); and cameos by either Sutherland or Amy Jo Johnson
to establish one of them as Tommy’s wife. Bhaumik was
also attempting to set up Tommy as a new Zordon-like
character, mentoring the next group of
Rangers while also being active on the field as a 6th Ranger. But
Disney ultimately chose to go in another direction with Ninja Storm and Tommy was brought back much later as a main Ranger
in Dino Thunder.
The Wild Zords ride to battle.
Time Force, the cast of Wild Force didn’t gel as well. No one
was entirely disappointed that there would be no second season as Disney
decided to move production from Los Angeles to New Zealand as a cost-cutting
measure once the season finished. As a result, all of the crew and regular
voice actors were let go in favor of mostly local crews and actors. MMPR
Productions, the company Saban Entertainment had set up to exclusively handle Power Rangers, was dissolved and
replaced by Village Roadshow KP
Productions Limited. Saban itself was also renamed BVS
Entertainment during production.
The Predazord in Legacy Wars.
with other entries in the Power Rangers franchise, Bandai produced a line
of toys and other merchandise based on the show. In 2002, THQ
released a game for the Game Boy Advance
developed by Natsume.
It was top-down action game where a player could choose between each Ranger,
and also assign additional Rangers to call for a powerful team-up attack. They
could even choose between the various Megazords for the boss battles, which
were quick time events. Cole and Merrick were playable characters in the
console version of the 2007 game Power Rangers: Super Legendsby Disney Interactive Studios,
while Danny and Alyssa were playable in the Nintendo DS
version. The entire cast was viewable in the game’s Hall of Legends. Danny was
also included along with the Predazord in nWay
Games’ 2017 mobile game Power
Rangers Legacy Wars,
well as a mission inspired by “Forever Red”. Although they didn’t play a large
role, the Wild Force Rangers were featured in BOOM! Studios’
2018 crossover event “Shattered