Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Re-thinking Power Rangers Turbo

Okay, Power Rangers Turbo is commonly hated throughout the fandom. However, there is only one reason really why it's hated, and it's all because of one character. Everyone's favorite Blue Ranger, Justin.

I'll get to Justin soon, but right now, I wanna start off with the movie. The movie is just, terrible. It just feels like a really boring four parter. You never feel like there is a real threat. Maligore ends up being wasted. Divatox comes out of nowhere and you have no real reason to see her as a threat, Lerigot and his subplot is annoying. Jason and Kim coming back were horribly wasted. And the pacing is terrible it's just so boring. Also, there really isn't a good transition from Zeo to Turbo, unless you count Scorpion Rain as the transition or no explanation on who made the Turbo powers. There is, however, speculation that Billy created the Turbo powers before he left for Aquitar. I have no idea what to believe, but I'm sticking with that and Scorpion Rain.

Now let's talk about the original material, Gekisou Sentai Carranger. Carranger ended up being a parody of the Sentai franchise due to Ohranger's ratings and such. The producers and writers had a totally different plan for Turbo. They thought of a dark season for Turbo. However, it backfired. The first half of Turbo really seemed jarred so much with the Carranger footage. It stripped the comedy out of the Sentai, and attempted to continue the previous year's serious bent. Groundwork was laid for the old villains to continue. Every episode followed the new, grittier Power Rangers formula of searching for bombs before they exploded and killed lots of people. It's just pointless fillers and has one of the worst hand offs in Power Rangers, the episodes "Passing The Torch." And continuing with the old rangers mixing one new ranger together didn't really seem to clique. The second team was better with Justin. Also, Bulk and Skull turned into chimps was a weird subplot.

The second half of Turbo seemed to handle the Carranger footage more properly. Carefully weighted plots, episode-driven yet laying slow groundwork for the next year. It excelled at off-center scenarios that gave the episodes really different flavors, and had the best season cliffhanger for any Power Rangers show, ever.

People tend to blame Turbo's failure because of Justin. However, looking at Justin now, he's not a bad character while not my favorite. Like, I've never understood the massive amounts of hate the fandom has for Justin. So he's a what? It's like hating one for their race and/or sexuality. It's totally dumb. It's not the character's fault that the producers wanted to have a kid for a Ranger. People call him whiny and childish and this or that, but really...what do they expect a 12-year-old thrust into being a superhero to act like? I doubt the haters would've reacted any differently in his shoes. Heck...I think Justin acted remarkably mature for his age, all things considered. I can't exactly say that about the haters.

Was I sad to see Rocky go? Absolutely. I enjoyed his character immensely, and he was part of the great chemistry the team had together, especially in season 3 and Zeo, not to mention the way he was written out really left something to be desired. But I'm not going to begrudge his replacement just because of that. It's the nature of Power Rangers to change in some fashion every year, and you just have to learn to accept it.

I don't like Turbo, but I don't hate it either. It's an okay season, but the second half of Rangers is what really made this season what it was... at least in my opinion. Their episodes dealt with the Carranger footage better and it went from serious to campy, which made it slightly more likeable. Not that it wasn't but there's just something about the campier half that appeals to me more. XD It's still the "resolution" season for me as it leads into the "conclusion" season of Power Rangers in Space. Also, it's got the best theme song for Power Rangers, ever! 8D


  1. Very nice post Kingdom Rider. :D

    Yeah, the Turbo Movie was terrible. From what I heard, Billy making the Turbo powers was actually originally in the script, but was scrapped due to David Yost leaving.

    The 90s sure was a strange time for Sentai. It was when toku got pretty expensive, thus budgets had to be cut (good thing awesome toku was still made). After Fiveman's disaster, and then Head Writer Hirohisa Soda's departure, and then the overly-popular Jetman, and with fans wanting Sentai to be nothing but Jetman-style, it's no wonder the ratings dropped. But good thing Sentai still continued to do a good job. And Carranger just couldn't be compared to Jetman in the same way as other seasons.

    But yeah, the second half of Turbo was much better than the first. When they had to use silly Carranger footage, they used it well, and chose to be silly when they needed to.

    As for Justin, I don't really care much for him. But I think he was a terrible character for the first half. The producers spent way too much time trying to portray him as nothing more than just a "kid playing Power Rangers." And Justin was constantly given all the attention. Like, he was treated as a character who had more common sense than the other four rangers. It was annoying to watch. Thank god for the second half. IMO, that's when Justin got his own personality. He was treated as an equal ranger to the other five, instead of flamboyantly stealing all the spot light like he did in the first half. Justin became a character who was mature, glad to be on the team, and had good chemistry with his teammates. He no longer had the "kid ranger and nothing else" type personality. I think it's a shame that Justin's very own character was used for just half the show. Which is why I like Kou, since he was a good character as well, despite his age (making the comparison between those two, since most fans do that since they are around the same age. Though personally, I don't think they're anything alike). So overall, I don't like "first half Justin." And I think "second half Justin" was good, and that Turbo ended before he had the chance to show off his full potential.

    Like you Kingdom Rider, I don't like Turbo, but I don't hate it either. It's just an okay season. I think it's a little sad that fans often pair Turbo up with Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive as the worst seasons. Turbo shouldn't be anywhere near those two.

    1. I loved mystic force! it was one of the first seasons I watched! (besides MMPR) And I love Justin as a character . Probably because he is close to my age and I have always wanted to be in Power Rangers, but he was a great addition to the team.

    2. Mystic Force is gay.

  2. The original Turbo movie script is online, there is no mention of Billy creating the turbo powers

  3. Hannah, according to IMDB, the Zeo Rangers were supposed to be completely trashed during a fight with Divatox's Piranatrons. Their suits, weapons, and Zords were destroyed as a result, although the Zeo crystal remained whole, and so the Rangers would have to create the Turbo Powers. This is scene was apparently filmed, but never released to the public.

    Billy was supposed to appear in the film. He would have helped co-create the Turbo powers with Zordon after the Piranhatrons destroyed the Zeo Rangers' powers in a battle. However, David Yost walked off the set during filming of the Turbo movie and quit working on Power Rangers Zeo. With Yost's departure, the crew scrambled a re-write which had Zordon, Alpha 5 and the Rangers create the Turbo powers themselves and the scene where the Piranhatrons destroyed the Zeo powers was omitted in the final cut of the film.

  4. Speaking of Justin, I remembered how some of my friends later reacted the same about Kou in Dairanger.

  5. Justin from Turbo = Justin Bieber?

  6. It was rumored that Billy created the Turbo Powers in the movie, but this rumor has never been verified. For me, the movie wasn't that bad. It wasn't good, but it wasn't bad.

    As for Justin, it wasn't so much that he replaced Rocky. There's a couple reasons why I think he's unpopular. The first is that having a kid ranger went against the traditional PR concept of "teenagers with attitude," and the second is that he truely did act like an immature kid during the first half of the season. He matured a little more with Judd Lynn's writing in the second half, but overall I tend to agree it was a big mistake at the time to cast a kid, which wasn't entirely Saban's fault at the time because it was forced on them by Fox Kids executives.

    I would argue there was more bad to this series than just Justin, I didn't enjoy Dimitria.

    I do agree the season picked up during the second half however. Saban managed to bring in a good cast, and there were some memorable episodes from the 2nd half, such as the Phantom Ranger arc and the Pizza episode. I also like some of the music from this series, like the theme song as well as the insert song "Invincible."

  7. i ued to power ranger turbo once my fav is the blue ranger justin

  8. David Yost (Billy) was seen on the set filming scenes for the movie and his character was supposed to help co-create the Turbo powers, using the Zeo crystal. However, when Yost left the "Power Rangers Zeo" TV series (which was filming the same time as the "Turbo" movie), the crew scrambled to re-write the script and they wrote Billy out.
    It's rumored that Haim Saban wanted Walter Jones and Thuy Trang to be involved with the film and reprise their roles as Zack and Trini, respectively. Both actors declined, because actors on the "Turbo" movie didn't have Screen Actors Guild cards and they did not want to give up theirs to work on the movie.
    Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson were originally considered by the crew to become the Red and Pink Turbo Rangers, while Kat would have become the Yellow Turbo Ranger. Rumors insist Jason David Frank and Nakia Burrise wanted to leave the show and the crew thought bringing back two old Rangers would be good for the show to boost ratings. Both actors declined to return as active Power Rangers due to the show's long hours and low pay.
    Internet rumors insist that Haim Saban intended to have the five Mighty Morphin Power Rangers assist the Turbo Rangers on Muiranthias and they would use their original, repaired Dinozords to form Megazord and help the Turbo Megazord destroy a giant-sized Maligore. When Walter Jones and Thuy Trang declined to give up their SAG cards to work on the movie, the script was changed to have Billy fix and use his Power Morpher to go with the Turbo Rangers to Muiranthias save the Liarians, Jason and Kimberly. It is unknown if plans were to have Billy repair Jason and Kimberly's Morphers as well in the finale of the "Turbo" movie. However, David Yost had left during filming, Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson declined to work on "Power Rangers" beyond their guest stint in the "Turbo" movie, and any plans for bringing back the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fell through.

  9. I'm glad that the zeo powers weren't destroyed on-screen, it always leaves them open for a return in one form or another....