Day of the Dumpster
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|"Day of the Dumpster"|
|Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Adrian Carr|
|Written by||Tony Oliver
|Original air date||August 28, 1993
May 22, 1999 (Pilot 1)
January 2, 2010 (Re-version)
"Day of the Dumpster" is the first episode of the American television program Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the Power Rangers franchise. It first aired on the Fox Network on August 28, 1993 as part of its Fox Kids programming block, and was later released on VHS and DVD. A new re-version of the episode later aired on January 2, 2010, on the American Broadcasting Company, as part of the ABC Kids programming block. As with the first season Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episodes, most of the scenes featuring the Rangers in costume and the Zords are taken from the Japanese tokusatsu series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the 16th entry of the Super Sentai franchise.
The VHS of this episode ranked #35 in a list of top video sales, and #11 in a list of top kids' video sales, for the year of 1994 as compiled by Billboard. The tie-in 3D read-along audio cassette of "Day of the Dumpster" became the number one seller at Walden Kids, displacing The Lion King.
Two astronauts explore the moon and come across a space dumpster. When they open it, the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa and her minions Goldar, Squatt, Baboo, and Finster emerge from a 10,000-year captivity. Rita decides to conquer the nearest planet, Earth and rebuilds her palace on the moon.
In the city of Angel Grove, California, Jason Lee Scott, Zack Taylor, Billy Cranston, Trini Kwan, and Kimberly Hart are hanging out at Ernie’s Youth Center. The guys are working on karate, while the girls are practicing gymnastics. Farkas Bulkmeier and Eugene Skullovitch (a.k.a. "Bulk" and "Skull") come to harass them, but end up making fools of themselves.
The five teens are later sitting down to some fruit shakes from Ernie’s Juice Bar when Rita causes an earthquake. In the Command Center, Zordon, the wise wizard who battled Rita several years ago, tells his robotic assistant, Alpha 5, to bring him five teenagers to defend the Earth from Rita.
Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini, and Kimberly are then teleported to the Command Center, where Zordon explains the situation and declares them as the first Power Rangers. They refuse to believe him, until Rita sends her Putty Patrollers to attack them. They are overpowered, but Jason suggests using their recently acquired Power Morphers. The five then morph into the Power Rangers for the first time, defeating the Putties in the process. Rita, however, uses her magic staff to turn Goldar into a giant to attack the city, but the Rangers summon the Dinozords and combine them into the Megazord. After an evenly matched battle, the Rangers force Goldar to retreat when they summon the Megazord's Power Sword.
Back at the Command Center, the five teens are finally convinced that they can save the world from Rita's evil, and they accept Zordon's offer and under three conditions: not to use their power for personal gain, not to escalate a battle unless Rita forces them to do so, and to keep their identities a secret. Zordon promises that he will be there to advise them whenever they need it.
- Austin St. John as Jason Lee Scott, Red Ranger
- Thuy Trang as Trini Kwan, Yellow Ranger
- Walter Emanuel Jones as Zack Taylor, Black Ranger
- Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly Hart, Pink Ranger
- David Yost as Billy Cranston, Blue Ranger
- Paul Schrier as Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier
- Jason Narvy as Eugene “Skull” Skullovitch
- David Fielding as Zordon
- Machiko Soga as Rita Repulsa
- Takashi Sakamoto and Kazutoshi Yokoyama as Goldar
- Minoru Watanabe as Squatt
- Hideaki Kusaka as Baboo
- Takako Iiboshi as Finster
- Richard Genelle as Ernie
- Romy J. Sharf as Alpha 5
- Richard Steven Horvitz as the voice of Alpha 5
- Barbara Goodson as the voice of Rita Repulsa
- Robert Axelrod as the voice of Goldar
- Michael Sorich as the voice of Squatt
- Dave Mallow as the voice of Baboo
- Robert Axelrod as the voice of Finster
The original pilot episode, in an edited form, was shown in a 1999 special titled "The Lost Episode," which was hosted by Austin St. John and Walter Jones. It contained the same basic story as the released "Day of the Dumpster," but with several differences. This included actress Audri DuBois in the role of Trini, different voice actors for the villains, and the absence of Ernie's Juice Bar. In its original unaired, unedited form the archetypal Zords are referred to as "Droids", the Power Morphers referred to as "Transmorphers" and Zordon was referred to as "Zoltar". The original "Skull" character was played by Bobby Val then he was later replaced by Jason Narvy.
- Billy's glasses were thick framed - Replaced in the series by wire framed glasses.
- The local hangout was a bowling alley, not a juice bar.
- The roles for Skull and Trini were played by different actors
- Bulk and Skull were members of a gang underneath a more malicious gang leader (and five total).
- Kimberly was far more self-absorbed and had little to no martial arts or gymnastic talent that was shown.
- King Sphinx was the primary monster of this episode and fought alongside Goldar. (in the original series King Sphinx appears in the fourth episode)
- Zordon's name was "Zoltar" and as such the 'Zords' later named after him were called Droids. Both words were borrowed from movies: Zoltar was the machine from the movie Big and Droids were robots from the Star Wars franchise. In the latter case, the word "Droid" was a registered trademark of Lucasfilm, requiring the name to be changed.
- The morphing sequence was different and more resembled the sentai counterpart, as well as when Zoltar is proclaiming their skill for their dinosaur, they photo morph into their respective dinosaur instead of their ranger costume.
- Alpha's appearance was far boxier in this incarnation.
- The teleportation sequence was very different, having the teens suddenly contort and stretch like taffy when they were pulled up into the sky.
- The encounter with the gang had a more violent tone than was present in the official series, where the Rangers never used physical violence on their peers; in this version the Rangers both initiate the fight and deal with their opponents rather brutally.
A second pilot episode was presented in 2007 at the inaugural Power Morphicon convention by Tony Oliver. This featured Thuy Trang as Trini, Jason Narvy as Skull, and Richard Genelle as Ernie, as well as other aspects that made it to the aired series premiere. Scenes from the second pilot would later be used for the episode "Big Sisters".
As part of the 2010 re-versioned broadcast of the series, several visual effects were added to the scenes to produce the effect of new footage being broadcast in addition to some scenes removed. This includes cutting in comic book-referenced graphics similar to the movie Creepshow and adding onomatopoeia words on screen, akin to the Batman show from the 1960s, or possibly even referencing 1994's Super Sentai, Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, which was the source material for Season 3 and Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers.
- "The Year in Video 1994: Top Video Sales". Billboard: January 7, 1995
- McCormick, Moira (October 29, 1994). "Mighty Morphins power up audio sales". Billboard. Nielsen Company. 106 (44): 71. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "The Suffolk Journal » Blog Archive » Power Rangers rebroadcast ‘morphinominal’". February 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27.