Season 1, Episode 11
Date of airing: September 21, 1993 (FOX)
The American producers continued to put the American cast into the superhero costumes of the Japanese heroes, and now it really cannot be such a long time until the writers chose to create an entire story in which the Power Rangers are in their costumes (maybe the morphing grid isn’t functioning properly and they can’t get out of their suits?) and interact with English-speaking guest characters, just so the producers don’t always have to rely on Super Sentai footage and maybe even create some action moves with the American cast. Not that I ever expect to see Super Sentai footage recreated by the American producers (although that could be fun if the case in a random episode of one of the later seasons), but eleven episodes in and MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS sounds like it really wants to create some more original footage. Because at the end of the day, if you copy a television show shot-by-shot long enough, there will be a point you get ideas about a different narrative, which would turn into an opportunity to get away from the shot-by-shot remake and towards original storytelling. As a German who watched a lot of GUTE ZEITEN, SCHLECHTE ZEITEN in my childhood and teenage years, I know that the German soap was originally adapted from the Australian soap THE RESTLESS YEARS for about 200 episodes, before the show went on its own path. There is a chance for MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS to do the same.
This episode was solid enough. Billy and Marge may have looked a little ridiculous as teenagers in love (because Billy and Marge aren’t teenagers), but the fact that two people fell in love during this episode gives me hope that a few episodes of the show will use the pool of guest characters at one point to generate the feeling that MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS has some form of continuity. I might still be waiting for Kimberly’s best friend who is deaf, but Billy getting a love interest seemed more like a way to get into continued storytelling, especially since a little bit of love in one of the teenagers’s lives would bring variety into the American scenes of the show. Eleven episodes in and it’s essentially the same: Something awesome is going on at the gym and juice bar, but Bulk and Skull come along and screw things up. Rita observes from above and gets an idea, which leads to the Super Sentai footage, and at the end of the episode the teenagers are back to deal with Bulk and Skull again. Yeah, it would be nice if Marge is the beginning of some variety here, giving the boys who made this show a cultural phenomenon in 1993 and 1994 something to look forward to when they came home from school.
Madame Woe seemed to be an interesting villain. Not only is she the first female villain of the show, but it almost looked like she had quite the talent to smash up the Power Rangers, as she was putting the Blue Ranger through some serious smoke action. I almost believed that Billy may in fact be in danger, fighting all alone in the smoke of the min explosions, since the joining of the power coins seemed to have done nothing to give Billy extra power (or maybe even the ability to wield the individual weapons of all Power Rangers, which is what I was expecting would happen after Zordon mentioned the coins can be combined). Still, the notion that the Rangers face some of the monsters alone is intriguing to me, and it’s not like it happened for the first time. Zack faced Rita’s monster on his birthday, and in the effort to separate Jason from his friends, Rita sent a monster to distract him as well. And let’s not forget the two seconds Kimberly had all to herself against the Terror Toad. Now there needs to be a moment for Trini to fight against a monster all by herself and that moment should be soon, right?