Power Rangers Zeo
|Power Rangers Zeo|
|Created by||Haim Saban
Johnny Yong Bosch
Jason David Frank
Austin St. John
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||50 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Haim Saban
|Running time||20 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Saban Entertainment
|Original channel||FOX (Fox Kids)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original run||April 20, 1996 – November 27, 1996|
|Preceded by||Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers|
|Followed by||Power Rangers Turbo|
Power Rangers Zeo is an American superhero television series and the fourth season of the Power Rangers franchise; it is a continuation of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which aired in 1996.
This series is based on the Super Sentai series Chōriki Sentai Ohranger. Power Rangers Zeo is also the first season of Power Rangers to follow the Sentai practice of annual Ranger suit changes. It is also the final Power Rangers television series to use "Go Go Power Rangers" in its theme song until 2011.
Power Rangers Zeo begins immediately after the events of Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers where Tommy and the other Rangers witness the destruction of the Command Center. After recovering, the powerless Rangers discover the Zeo Crystal intact in the rubble—apparently dropped by Goldar and Rito Revolto. The Zeo Crystal guided them to a portal, which takes them deep underground to the heretofore unmentioned Power Chamber, in which the building's exterior matches that of the Command Center. There, they found Zordon and Alpha 5 waiting for them. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are no more; however, in their place will rise a new team of Rangers, this time powered by the Zeo Crystal - the Power Rangers Zeo. Tanya Sloan joins the team as Zeo Ranger II — Yellow, while Billy chooses to become their technical advisor rather than continuing as a Ranger.
These events occur as the Machine Empire entered Earth's solar system. Even Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd are forced to flee from them to the M51 Galaxy with the threat of being destroyed. Led by King Mondo and Queen Machina, the Machine Empire seeks to conquer Earth. Armed with new weapons and Zords, only the Zeo Rangers stand in their way. Unbeknown to anyone, Rito and Goldar – now amnesic – are left behind on Earth. They are taken in by Bulk and Skull, who have them serve as butlers. Meanwhile, Bulk and Skull continue to be members of the Junior Police Force until Lieutenant Stone is dismissed, when Bulk tries winning the heart of the chief's daughter. Quitting as a show of support, they join him at his new detective agency.
Over time, the Machine Empire wears down the five Zeo Rangers. Help arrives in the form of the mysterious Gold Ranger. No one knows who he is and while suspicion abounds, it's clear he is there to help the Rangers. It turns out the Gold Ranger is an alien, Trey of Triforia. This revelation comes after he is injured in battle. Split into three separate selves, Trey is forced to temporarily pass his powers to a worthy warrior while healing. They attempt to transfer Trey's powers to Billy, but cannot as Billy acquired a large amount of negative energy during the Command Center's destruction. The ultimate successor is Jason Lee Scott, the original Red Power Ranger and team leader. This event also sees the introduction of the more powerful Super Zeozords, which were used against a tougher generation of machines. The Super Zeo Megazord is powerful enough to even later destroy King Mondo, creating a power vacuum in the Machine Empire.
Secretly returning from the M51 Galaxy, Lord Zedd and Rita seek to become top villains again. Operating out of an RV with Finster, they first restore Goldar and Rito's memories. After King Mondo is destroyed, they launch their first plan: use Louie Kaboom to take over the Machine Empire. Though he succeeds, he breaks free of Zedd and Rita's control. He embarks on his own plans to conquer Earth and destroy the Zeo Rangers. Louie is eventually destroyed by the machinations of Prince Gasket and Princess Archerina, who rule until King Mondo's reconstruction is complete and causes them to flee.
When Billy begins rapidly aging as a side-effect of restoring his proper age before undoing Master Vile's spell in the last series, the Zeo and Aquitian Rangers race to help him, as well as combat monsters from both King Mondo and Rita. Billy leaves Earth for treatment on Aquitar and chooses to stay to be with Cestria. Soon afterwards, it is discovered the Gold Ranger powers are leaving Jason's body and draining his lifeforce in the process. Trey is still in recovery, but a risky gamble with the Zeo Crystal heals and restores the powers to him. Rita and Lord Zedd finally gain revenge on the Machine Empire by crippling their leaders with a bomb.
The Zeo Rangers
- Thomas "Tommy" Oliver
- He was Zeo Ranger V as well as the Green Ranger, White Ranger and White Ninja Ranger. He found his Zeo Crystal in the American Southwest. He is the leader of the Zeo Rangers. Tommy wore a red suit with a star-shaped visor on his helmet and was portrayed by Jason David Frank.
- Adam Park
- He was Zeo Ranger IV as well as the second Black Ranger and Black Ninja Ranger. He found his Zeo Crystal in Korea. Adam wore a green suit with a rectangular visor and was portrayed by Johnny Yong Bosch.
- Rocky DeSantos
- He was Zeo Ranger III as well as the second Red Ranger and Red Ninja Ranger. He found his Zeo Crystal in Mexico. He was second-in-command until Jason returned. Rocky wore a blue suit with a triangular visor on his helmet and was portrayed by Steve Cardenas.
- Tanya Sloan
- She was Zeo Ranger II and the only new member of the core group. When Aisha, former Yellow Ranger, went for her Zeo Crystal in Africa, she decided that she wanted to help the animals who were sick; she sent Tanya back with the Zeo Crystal in her place. Initially returning as a teenager, the Zeo Crystal made Tanya the same age as the other Rangers, which she gradually got used to. Tanya wore a yellow suit with two horizontal lines for a visor on her helmet and was portrayed by Nakia Burrise.
- Katherine "Kat" Hillard
- She was Zeo Ranger I as well as the second Pink Ranger and second Pink Ninja Ranger. She found her Zeo Crystal in Australia. Kat wore a pink suit with a circular visor on her helmet and was portrayed by Catherine Sutherland.
- Trey of Triforia
- He was the original Gold Ranger and also the prince of planet Triforia; planet Triforia was a place that everyone had identical triplets. He gave the Zeo Rangers their Super Zeozords when he had to leave to his planet, again.
Trey of Triforia wore a black suit with a golden vest and had a visor shaped like the kanji for "king". He was portrayed by Ted, Tim and Tom DiFillippo and voiced by Brad Hawkins in his first appearances.
- Jason Lee Scott
- He was the second Gold Ranger and the original Red Ranger. When Trey of Triforia had to return to his home planet, Tommy went and found Jason to take the place of the Gold Ranger while he was gone. Jason became second-in-command upon his return and was portrayed by Austin St. John.
- The Zeo rangers' mentor. Zordon serves as a source of vast wisdom and knowledge for the team. Voiced by Robert L. Manahan.
- Alpha 5
- Zondon's robotic assistant, in charge of keeping the Power Chamber working. Voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz (credited as Richard Wood).
- Billy Cranston
- Former Blue Mighty Morphing Power Ranger and Blue Ninja Ranger, Billy has retired from being a Power Ranger, electing to instead assist Alpha. Portrayed by David Yost.
- Alien Rangers
- Rangers from the planet Aquitar, who helped protect Earth from Zedd and Rita during the events of the previous series. They seek Billy's technological expertise at one point to help defeat new foes, and teach him about their own technology in return; thus the creation of the Red Battle Warrior came about.
- Portrayed by Lesley Tesh-Petersen.
- Portrayed by Richard Genelle.
- Farkus "Bulk" Bulkmeier
- Portrayed by Paul Schrier.
- Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch
- Portrayed by Jason Narvy.
- Lt./Det. Jerome B. Stone
- Portrayed by Gregg Bullock.
- David Truehart
- Tommy's brother, who was adopted by the very same native american (Sam Truehart) Tommy met while retrieving his piece of the Zeo crystal. Portrayed by Eric Frank, Jason David Frank's real-life brother.
- Auric the Conqueror
- Voiced by Derek Stephen Prince (uncredited).
- Portrayed by Koichi Sakamoto and voiced by Paul St. Peter (both uncredited).
- King Mondo
- Voiced by David Stenstrom.
- Queen Machina
- Voiced by Alex Borstein.
- Prince Sprocket
- Voiced by Barbara Goodson.
- Voiced by Barbara Goodson.
- Voiced by Oliver Page.
- Prince Gasket
- Voiced by Douglas Sloan (uncredited).
- Voiced by Melora Harte (uncredited).
- Louie Kaboom
- Voiced by Lex Lang (uncredited).
Rita & Zedd
- Lord Zedd
- Portrayed by Edwin Neal (credited as Ed Neil) and voiced by Robert Axelrod.
- Rita Repulsa
- Portrayed by Carla Perez and voiced by Barbara Goodson.
- Voiced by Robert Axelrod.
- Rito Revolto
- Voiced by Bob Papenbrook.
- Voiced by Kerrigan Mahan.
- Squatt and Baboo
- Voiced by Michael Sorich and Dave Mallow.
After the five rangers lost their powers, Billy and Alpha 5 built the Zeozords with the Ninjazords and Shogunzords rendered dormant. The Red Battlezord was created using Battle Borg technology and can only be controlled telepathically by Tommy (but was once configured for Adam's use). Pyramidas was the Gold Zeo Ranger's Zord and acted as a Carrier Zord. Trey of Triforia also supplied the Zeo Rangers with the Super Zeozords and the Warrior Wheel for the Gold Ranger. All Zeozords were abandoned and kept in storage in the Zeozord holding bay (except for Pyramidas, which Trey took with him when he left).
Identity of the Gold Ranger
Throughout a good part of “Power Rangers Zeo,” a constant teaser was the identity of the Gold Ranger. After many episodes of speculation, it was revealed the Gold Ranger was in fact a new character never seen before: Trey of Triforia. Former Red Ranger, Jason Lee Scott, obtained the powers of the Gold Ranger after Trey lost the ability to transform. Actor Brad Hawkins, who played one of the main characters on similar show VR Troopers, voiced the Gold Ranger early on. Saban had allegedly planned to use him after the end of VR Troopers in another role. However, for unknown reasons (believed to be scheduling conflicts), he was not used as the identity of the Gold Ranger; therefore, Ted, Tim and Tom DiFillippo portrayed the three parts of Trey. There were additional candidates to play the Gold Ranger:
- Billy Cranston was a constant candidate for the identity of the Gold Ranger. When the original identity of the Ranger was still unknown, Billy would consistently disappear, leading fans to believe he was leaving to transform into the Gold Ranger; this proved to be false. However, it is theorized that Billy was actually busy designing the Turbo powers for the following season. When it came time for someone to take the Gold Ranger's powers, Billy is the obvious choice. However, due to absorbing a high amount of negative ions from the season finale of the previous season, he was unable to take the Gold Ranger powers. It is rumored that the real reason that Billy was not made the Gold Ranger was that it was unsure if his actor, David Yost, was going to stay on the show until the end because of problems backstage with Yost and the cast and crew.
- David Trueheart Tommy's brother on the show, was introduced during the episode "Challenges." He was not only trained in martial arts, but already knew the identities of the other Power Rangers. And in the episode "Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise," after he and Tommy save Kat from toxic Cog oil, he disappeared right before the Gold Ranger joins the Rangers in battle and returned later commenting he had "something to take care of." There was some rumor that he was the original Gold Ranger, however, there was even wider speculation that he was the candidate Tommy was trying to bring to the Command Center to accept the Gold Ranger's powers. This was further fuelled by the fact that while disguised, Jason looked a lot like David, leading fans to believe he was purposely introduced to be a red herring.
- Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch in the episode 'A Small Problem', Skull mysteriously disappeared from Bulk's side when the two are near the Power Rangers, with the Gold Ranger shortly thereafter appearing to save Tommy and Kat. Once the threat is neutralized, the Gold Ranger appeared before Bulk, who had blurry vision at the time. After Bulk rubbed his eyes a few times, the Gold Ranger disappeared and he saw Skull running toward him who claimed to have gone for a walk. This was the only case where Skull, a long-time comic relief character, was a suspect.
Image Comics began publication of a Power Rangers Zeo comic in August 1996. It featured scripts by Tom and Mary Bierbaum, and art by Todd Nauck and Norm Rapmund. Four issues were drawn but only one was released before Image Comics lost the license.
- Mifflin, Lawrie (1996-04-10). "TV Notes;New, Improved 'Rangers'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- Griffiths, Ian (1997-03-23). "The famous five power back: A new breed of Power Ranger is eyeing your money, warns Ian Griffiths". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Maurstad, Tom (1996-04-20). "Power Rangers Being 'replaced'". Wilmington Morning Star. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Mangan, Jennifer (1996-05-09). "Costly Changes - A New Generation of Power Rangers Means New Toys". Chicago Tribune. p. Tempo 3. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Willens, Michele (1996-04-20). "Can the Rangers Zeonize Back to Mere Hit Status?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
- Comic By Comic: Rich Interviews Todd Nauck