A special something for the 30th anniversary of Power Rangers, this will be a sporadic project, with updates potentially coming later in the year.
Growing up in the wilderness years without any new episodes of Doctor Who meant many of us young fans at the time had to grow up on alternatives since all we had home grown at the time was Red Dwarf and a bundle of one-off or niche sci-fi dramas on CITV and CBBC. The void was filled largely by american imports, one of which was a stateside adaptation of a Japanese format called Super Sentai. This adaptation began life, of course, as Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and the rest is history.
It wasn’t long in the show’s run that one additional cast member joined the programme to challenge and ultimately befriend the core five characters, this was Tommy Olive, played by real life marital arts expert and champion Jason David Frank.
JDF was the real deal, with tireless energy and discipline, he raised awareness of his form of martial artistry and brought it to the small screen. Also, unlike many of the other Rangers, his character of Tommy had the most compelling writing of the series, as he gained and lost powers in conflict with Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, ultimately his arc culminated in him ascending to the leadership role for the group, and from there he became the White, Red Zeo, Red Turbo Rangers from 1995 to 1997, before departing the programme.
He would return many times, in 2002 he guest-starred in “Forever Red”, the 10th anniversary edition of the series, where he led a team of ten Red Rangers against the remains of the Machine Empire
The appearance proved such a success, that JDF was invited back two years later as a regular on the 2004 season Power Rangers Dino Thunder, where he became the Black Dino Thunder Ranger, mentoring a then-new team of younger Rangers
JDF would appear a few more times after this, notably for anniversary crossovers and even cameod in the recent 2017 movie, and around this time he began making the convention circuit and dabbling a little in MMA fighting, he steadily built a goodwill reputation amongst convention goers, always spending time with the fans and engaging with them, he always had positive vibes. Sometimes his self-belief proved a turn off for more jaded, cynical fans however, but that’s to be expected when you have a lot of pride and confidence.
Jason died over the weekend at just 49 years of age, almost a week since the passing of legendary Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy. In effect, a large part of what defined the kids TV of the 1990s, have been taken from us. The cause of death was reportedly suicide, demonstrating you can command all the positive attention in the world, but it’s not worth much if you can’t command it within yourself.
Please, if any of you feel trapped, cornered, isolated, reach out to someone you know, let them know you need their help, don’t refuse that help either. You are significant, you are special, YOU have the great power within you to make anything possible. You can change a life, including your very own
May the power protect you Jason.
To honour his memory, I have reuploaded one of the episodes of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Turbo, a project I worked on during the pandemic. This episode features Tommy taking on the Red Turbo Ranger. Several of the other MMPRT episodes are also in the midst of being archived, so feel free to check them out also if you enjoyed this.
(credit for poster: DanLav05)
Back around 2002, there was a proposed plan for a multi-Power Ranger season called ‘Hexagon’, which would have seen Tommy Oliver head up an organization made up of various Rangers over the last decade or so of the programme, battling the remnants of their greatest enemies as well as some new threats. The series would focus on a group of young teenage Rangers recruited by Tommy’s organization who would be gradually caught up in Tommy’s ongoing ‘disagreements’ with the Phantom Ranger and former teammate/rival Jason.
Eventually, there was to have been a mass Ranger civil war, ending with Tommy disbanding his organization.
It is my intention to create, to the best of my ability, my own version of the Hexagon season, though it will not be beholden to the original notes.
Brad Hawkins was the voice of the original Gold Zeo Ranger, and there had been speculation his character from V.R Troopers, Ryan Steel, would join the series. That never happened, and instead we got triplet actors and ultimately the original Red Ranger Austin St. John back as Jason. That said, it’d be great if we could somehow make Ryan the Gold Ranger as intended, which brings up the task of merging some of the V.R Troopers multi-part season two kick off story “Quest For Power” with the debut of the Gold Ranger “The Power of Gold”, with the Gold Ranger powers being Ryan’s new Virtual armour
Surprised nobody’s thought of doing this already, or at least have yet to share anything publicly. Taking a few sequences from my recently attained Zyuranger DVDs, I peiced together my version of what the intended ending for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers might have looked like before the order came down to increase the episode count for the first season, and from there, season renewals that have lasted more or less ever since.
I’ve put together episodic and feature-length cuts of a hypothetical “series finale” for Power Rangers…basically what would have happened if the show had been cancelled in 1997. Loads of treats in this one, including more cameos from classic Rangers, new cliffhangers, the Rangers get to destroy Dark Spectre, and a ‘new ending’ made up of footage that was frankly always begging to be used in a PR series finale, and would not be out of place in a legit or fan made one!
A quick edit of “Day of the Dumpster” that includes an introduction to Tommy, setting him up for later in the series. Also rearranged the first two scenes so we’re introduced to the teens first followed by Rita’s release.
Makes use of less controversial fan films like “Rise of the Green Ranger”, “Sentai” and “The Last Ranger”, enjoy.
As I continue to edit various Power Rangers episodes, the one I’ve been most pleased so far with is the one I’ve done for “Forever Red” the 10th anniversary story from 2002. I’ve repurposed it so it now serves not just as a finale to Power Rangers Wild Force (in place of the “Tnd of the Power Rangers” two-parter) but also a prequel to 2009’s Power Rangers RPM, which at the time was intended to be the last season.
- Added “Previously On…” montage depicting Master Org’s ultimate defeat
- Added Cole saying goodbye to Red Lion
- Forever Red plays as normal
- Added scenes of Cole making peace with his parents’ memory as well as Victor Adlers’ as well Allisa telling the class of what happened to the Rangers afterwards, all taken from “The End of the Power Rangers Part Two”. The scenes where they give up their growl phones and powers has been removed to give you the hope they will eventually return to active Ranger duty.
- Special epilogue created for the ending using footage and audio from the RPM title sequence and the episode “Road to Corinth”
The fifth season of Power Rangers is hailed as the worst of the Zordon era, for the first sixteen or so episodes of Power Rangers Turbo, it can be argued there is a case for this.
Based off a fairly comical Sentai, Turbo took itself far too seriously, the plots often being played straight despite the zanyness of the concpets. It took a showrunner change, a healthy mixture of high stakes storytelling and an embrace of the cheesy lunacy of Carranger, and the sacking of 97% of the established cast in favour of the next generation to create the Turbo season it’s fans fondly remember.
It’s premiere storyline was actually the Turbo movie, and the follow up which started the season proper was the three parter Shift Into Turbo. Many of my ‘fondest’ memories getting into fanediting was trying to repurpose this story as a grand exist stage left for everybody, Zordon, Alpha, Tommy, Kat, Tanya, and Adam. It was ambitious, and it was ultimately a mess.
When remounting projects, you have to take a look at them again and wonder if what you were trying to make up for was worth discarding in the first place? Was there something in Shift Into Turbo that could be spared? The thing about this trilogy is, it that it devotes itself to three essentials…villain and threat, Ranger action, and Zord commercial for the third part. I chose to focus on the Ranger action, on the characters graduation. The wormhole plot is referenced and built upon, but you can just switch to the traditional third part and pretend it’s the second. In this edit, only parts one and two of this story are fused together.
Gone is some of the graduation day preparation, gone is too much time spent on Divatox’s planet, and to the relief of all, there is Bulk and Skull being turned to monkeys. justin still finds his way to the energy plant without homing in on the plight of the chimps, and the reason he’s there is thankfully covered by Zordon.
Turbo’s first half can be salvaged, let’s see if this is more you speed.