Come on, who didn't watch at least a couple episodes of this high-octane action TV show? It had everything we wanted in a series. There was the space wizard, the dinosaur aliens, the kick-ass team that anyone could look up to, and the way they would morph into Zords (mega-rangers) in order to defeat the perils of evil!
Not many people have seen all of the seasons, after all, there are 24 of them so far. Though even the most dedicated fans don't know everything about the origins of this awesome franchise, so here are eight behind-the-scene factoids about how a spunky group of teenagers got to be the prime defenders of Earth!
The Premise Originated From Japan
The show was actually an adaptation from an existing TV series in Japan called, Super Sentai. The show had a similar plot vein, with superhero youth armored with alien technology to fight a lineup of incredibly powered aliens.
The Theme Song Was A Write-Off
Composer Ron Wasserman wrote the original theme in a mere two hours. He also said that because the theme from Inspector Gadget did so well (15 years prior) they should incorporate the word 'Go' as much as possible. Wasserman delivered, and we have to hand it to the producers for being spot-on in such a motivating intro!
The Original Name Was A Little Prehistoric
The pilot project for bringing the show to America had first been named Dino Rangers, which actually makes a lot of sense. However, just before the show was released the creators made the decision to change the name to something more...powerful.
Zordon, the galactic sage committed to stopping the forces of evil in the universe, was played by actor David Fielding. While we saw this wise wizard often, it turns out they got done all the filming for the first saga of Power Rangers in a single day. The rest was done in a recording studio and set to the original video tape.
“They shaved all my hair off and glued my ears back. And used makeup to make my eyebrows stand out, and then painted the top half of my chest and shoulders green. I sat in front of a green screen while they filmed me because they were just going to use my head and that was it. ... If you watch the character in the show, his movements and his actions seem to be really sort of out of sync with everything.”
There's more show secrets coming up! May the Power protect us as we venture further...
The Green Ranger Almost Didn't Happen
The studio already had five Rangers ready to go when Jason David Frank auditioned for the role of the Green Ranger. Initially meant to be a temporary character, audiences loved him, and so they decided to keep 'Tommy' around a little longer!
Saving The World Doesn't Pay
Despite being a huge commercial success, due to a strict budget and manipulation by executive members, the cast were often poorly paid, sometimes even less than minimum wage.
Austin St. John, who played the Red Ranger, actually said “I could have worked the window at McDonald's and probably made the same money the first season. It was disappointing, it was frustrating, it made a lot of us angry … We had a lot of fun. We worked around the damn clock. We worked long, long hard hours on a non-union show. And we'll just never be paid what we should have been paid.”
Break A Leg, Kiddo
Amy Jo Johnson, known for he role as the Pink Ranger, has gone on to speak about the difficult working conditions during filming the beginning of the series.
“It was fun, but it was a non-union show, so I had to do a lot of the stunts, and the helmet had three holes in it, so it was hard to breathe,” she said, “They would hang me over fire pits and things; it was very dangerous ... We did a lot of very scary things.”
Breaking Back Into Show-Biz
The now famous Bryan Cranston had to catch a break in those days to appear in the roles that would lead him to stardom. Power Rangers was one of those shows that offered him a chance at proving his ability.
He starred as two villains in the original series, voicing the evil antagonists in "Foul Play in the Sky" and "A Bad Reflection on You". Apparently they ended up naming the Blue Power Ranger 'Cranston' after him, and he was able to take part in the recent film as Zordon.