Monday, December 26, 2011

Episode Commentary: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode I

Tokusatsu - be it Kamen Rider, Godzilla, or American adaptations such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has a strong basis in both Science Fiction (giant mechs, by definition, are Sci-Fi) and Fantasy. In fact, as far back as I can remember, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers may be the very first show with Sci-Fi elements that I not only watched, but was marketed toward me. Superheroes, Star Wars and Star Trek would come later (among many others), but in the days surrounding my fifth birthday, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would give me a love of giant robots, dragons rising from the depths, and many other tokusatsu and Sci-Fi tropes that I've learned to love. It is for this reason that I join you with my commentaries on first Saban, then Disney's Power Rangers, starting with my brief comments on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 1: The Day of the Dumpster. I initially wasn’t going to do write this down, given Linkara’s excellent retrospective series about Power Rangers, but I felt the need to put my two cents in after watching the first episode for the first time in years last Fall.

The one thing that I don’t believe Linkara covered that I felt the need to comment on was the ending of the first battle of the Power Rangers series. There’s also the fact that the entire episode felt choppy, as though they were doing their solid best to keep it from becoming a two-parter with everything that they needed to explain, and it suffered for it.

The ending of the battle, though, perplexes me. Here we have the leader of Rita Repulsa’s forces, a general who has presumably conquered entire worlds in the past. He may be a bit rusty, sure, but he’s the best his army has and he knows it. He faces the first, and potentially last line of defense Earth has against his types of magic. They’re pulling out all the stops, bringing out the most powerful of their weapons, and he fights them to a stand still.

Put yourself in Goldar’s position now. You may be breaking a sweat for the first time in a century, but you’re facing a one-time chance to defeat your opponents while they’re green, before they can learn who you are or how to make full use of their powers. They’re not beating you- again, it’s a relative standstill. You were actually winning before they pulled out their sword, and guess what? You have a sword, too.

So would you retreat, work out, and face them again after they’ve had time to learn how to use their powers, thereby becoming an exponentially more powerful enemy, or would you take one for the team, risk whatever injuries they may be capable of inflicting on you, to wipe out Earth’s last line of defense on its first day? It’s a no brainer, isn’t it?

I guess they hadn’t yet gained the ability to evolve beyond Sentai footage.

This was originally going to be a one time thing, but after this episode, I felt compelled to watch the first season, then the first series, then the entire Saban line, then the entire run of Power Rangers-related shows. So be sure to stay tuned as I dedicate my next month of posts to the show that keeps introducing new generations of fans to Sci-Fi as it did mine.

Bill Silvia is a regular contributor at Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews. You can find more of his content at


animewookie said...

Can't wait to read your review of the first movie :D

The Man in Black said...

I've been meaning to review that one forever- posting these here might be a good excuse to get to that end.