Power Rangers Zeo
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|Power Rangers Zeo|
|Created by||Haim Saban
|Directed by||Isaac Florentine
Terence H. Winkless
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
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||21 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Saban Entertainment
Renaissance Atlantic Entertainment
Toei Company, Ltd.
MMPR Productions, Inc.
|Original channel||FOX (Fox Kids)|
|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 television series and the fourth season of the Power Rangers franchise, based on the Super Sentai series Chōriki Sentai Ohranger. It is the continuation of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which aired in 1996.
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" for its theme song, until the 2011 series, Power Rangers Samurai.
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 Crystal guides them to a portal, which takes them deep underground to the Power Chamber where they find Zordon and Alpha 5 waiting for them. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers become the Zeo Rangers, a new team of Rangers powered by the Zeo Crystal. Tanya Sloan joins the team as Zeo Ranger II — Yellow, while Billy chooses to become their technical advisor rather than continuing as a Ranger.
The Machine Empire, led by King Mondo and Queen Machina, enters Earth's solar system, seeking to conquer Earth, with the Zeo Rangers serving as the only opposition. Many, even Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, are forced to flee to the M51 Galaxy under the threat of destruction. Unbeknownst 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 respect for Stone, they join him at his new detective agency.
Over time, the Machine Empire wears down the five Zeo Rangers, but they are rescued by the mysterious Gold Ranger. Though his identity is unknown, it quickly becomes clear he is there to help the Rangers. After he is injured in battle, it is revealed that Gold Ranger is an alien, Trey of Triforia. 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 excess 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 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 restore Goldar and Rito's memories. After King Mondo is destroyed, they launch their first plan, to 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 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 and fend off 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 and draining his life force in the process. Trey is still in recovery, but a risky gamble with the Zeo Crystal heals him, restoring his powers. Rita and Lord Zedd finally gain revenge on the Machine Empire by crippling their leaders with a bomb.
Jason Lee Scott 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.
Thomas "Tommy" Oliver was Zeo Ranger V as well as the Green Ranger and the White 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.
Rocky DeSantos was Zeo Ranger III as well as the second and Red 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.
Katherine "Kat" Hillard was Zeo Ranger I as well as the second Pink Ranger. She found her Zeo Crystal in her homeland of Australia. Kat wore a pink suit with a circular visor on her helmet and was portrayed by Catherine Sutherland.
Tanya Sloan was Zeo Ranger II and the only new member of the core group. When Aisha, the 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 young 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.
Trey of Triforia was the original Gold Ranger and also the prince of planet Triforia, a place where everyone had identical triplets. He gave the Zeo Rangers their Super Zeozords when he had to return for his planet. 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 DiFilippo and voiced by Brad Hawkins in his first appearances.
- The Zeo rangers' mentor. Zordon serves as a source of vast wisdom and knowledge for the team. Voiced by Robert L. Manahan.
- Alpha 5
- Zordon'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 Morphin 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.
- Serves as Billy Cranston's love interest.
- 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).
Evil Space Aliens
- 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.
Identity of the Gold Ranger
Throughout much of the series, the identity of the Gold Ranger was a constant teaser and a central plot theme. After many episodes of speculation, with other characters like Billy Cranston, David Trueheart, and even Eugene Skullovitch suspected, it was revealed the Gold Ranger was in fact Trey of Triforia, a new character. 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 Ryan Steele on VR Troopers, voiced the Gold Ranger early on. Saban had supposedly planned to use him after the end of VR Troopers as Ryan and put that series into the continuity of Power Rangers. However, for unknown reasons (believed to be scheduling conflicts), he wasn't used as the identity of the Gold Ranger, and instead Ted, Tim and Tom DiFilippo portrayed the three parts of Trey.
In 2012, Shout Factory announced that it had reached an exclusive distribution deal with Saban for shows such as Power Rangers and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Power Rangers Zeo was released on DVD in August 2012, as part of a Time-Life exclusive boxed set containing seasons 1-7. The show later became available independently of the boxed set in two volumes, each containing 25 episodes.
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.
- Lovatt, Rich (2007-05-07). "Rich Interviews Todd Nauck". Comic By Comic. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2014-05-08.