History Series / CaptainPowerAndTheSoldiersOfTheFuture

30th Aug '17 5:45:21 PM nombretomado
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Around the same time as the show's release, three animated videos were released, ''Future Force Training'', ''Bio-Dread Assault'', and ''Raid On Volcania'', which fans could train on between episodes. These featured the viewer as a new recruit, designated "Pilot-1", who received training from the captain himself in piloting the XT-7 fighter, and undertook some dangerous missions. These episodes were animated by {{AIC}}, one of the companies responsible for ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and many other anime of the late 80's.

to:

Around the same time as the show's release, three animated videos were released, ''Future Force Training'', ''Bio-Dread Assault'', and ''Raid On Volcania'', which fans could train on between episodes. These featured the viewer as a new recruit, designated "Pilot-1", who received training from the captain himself in piloting the XT-7 fighter, and undertook some dangerous missions. These episodes were animated by {{AIC}}, Creator/{{AIC}}, one of the companies responsible for ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and many other anime of the late 80's.
5th Jul '17 3:53:03 PM lalalei2001
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Captain Power action figures interacted with electronic toys based on the show's transformation booth, fighter jets, and other hardware. These could interact with each other: the jets fired a strobe of light which a receptor on another jet could register as a hit. The toys could also interact with the show itself: various things in the show emitted a strobe effect which would register on the toy. Villains and heroes had strobes which the jets would register as targets, weapons fire emitted a yellow strobe that would register as a hit (and viewers were gently reminded that hiding the jets behind their backs was cheating). The "power on" sequence would both reset the damage count on a jet, and activate the "power on" cycle in the transformation booth toy. At the end of each episode, one of the characters would step through the FourthWall to tell viewers what constituted a good score.


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The show's main draw was the merchandise interactivity. Captain Power action figures interacted with electronic toys based on the show's transformation booth, fighter jets, and other hardware. These could interact with each other: the jets fired a strobe of light which a receptor on another jet could register as a hit. The toys could also interact with the show itself: various things in the show emitted a strobe effect which would register on the toy. Villains and heroes had strobes which the jets would register as targets, weapons fire emitted a yellow strobe that would register as a hit (and viewers were gently reminded that hiding the jets behind their backs was cheating). The "power on" sequence would both reset the damage count on a jet, and activate the "power on" cycle in the transformation booth toy. At the end of each episode, one of the characters would step through the FourthWall to tell viewers what constituted a good score.
5th Jul '17 3:52:16 PM lalalei2001
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->''"Earth, 2147: The legacy of the Metal Wars, when man fought machine and machines won. [=BioDreads=]: Monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors and digitize them. Volcania: Centre of the [=BioDread=] Empire, stronghold and fortress of Lord Dread, feared ruler of this new order. But from the fires of the metal wars arose a new breed of warrior, born and trained to bring down Lord Dread and his [=BioDread=] Empire. They were Soldiers of the Future, mankind's last hope! Their leader: [[TheHero Captain Jonathan Power]], master of the incredible powersuits which transform each soldier into a one-man attack force! [[TheLancer Major Matthew "Hawk" Masterson]], fighter of the sky! [[TheBigGuy Lieutenant Michael "Tank" Ellis]], Ground Assault Unit! [[TheSmartGuy Sergeant Robert "Scout" Baker]], Espionage and communications! And [[TheChick Corporal Jennifer "Pilot" Chase]], Tactical Systems Expert! Together, they form the most powerful fighting force in Earth's history. Their creed: To protect all life! Their promise: To end Lord Dread's rule! Their name....[[TitleDrop CAPTAIN POWER]] [[TitleScream AND THE SOLDIERS OF THE FUTURE!]]"''

In the late 1980s, it became clear that in the next couple of decades, cable television was going to allow the number of stations the average viewer received to increase from, say, four to, say, four ''hundred''.

As things turned out, this was not a huge deal, but at the time, this was not an easy thing to get your mind around. Network executives scratched their heads in confusion as they tried to work out how in the world they were going to fill that much airtime.

Given how it eventually turned out, it may be hard to believe that pretty much everyone was convinced that it was going to involve "interactive" TV. In the future, we were told, at every commercial break, you, the viewer, would decide how you wanted the story to play out. If the hero got the girl, turn to channel 127; if he gets killed by the villain instead, turn to channel 138. It is probably not coincidental that this was around the same time that ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' books were a big thing. Early adopters of DVD may recall that there were early promises that it would also lead to this sort of thing. Of course, as it turned out, branching movies and even multiple camera angles ended up a [[TheRuleOfFirstAdopters feature utilized almost exclusively by pornography]].

The thing was, Hollywood had precisely zero experience at this sort of thing, so they figured they'd need practice. There were a number of experiments in this direction in the late 80s, such as a murder mystery where viewers called in between acts to vote on who would turn out to have dunnit. But one of the more radical experiments in interactive television was ''Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future''.

The story followed the adventures of Captain Jonathan Power and his team of freedom fighters on a post-apocalyptic Earth where most of the population had been converted into robotic warriors by the evil Lord Dread. Fortunately, Captain Power and his team had the ability to transform into armored super-soldiers by standing in a special booth and saying, "[[ByThePowerOfGrayskull Power on.]]"

The interactive element was this: the show was clearly and heavily MerchandiseDriven. Captain Power action figures interacted with electronic toys based on the show's transformation booth, fighter jets, and other hardware. These could interact with each other: the jets fired a strobe of light which a receptor on another jet could register as a hit. After five hits, the pilot would be ejected. Though the centerpiece of the merchandise line, the jets themselves only appear in the two-parter "A Summoning of Thunder", in which their appearance is so incidental as to smack of ProductPlacement (The bulk of the episode is a flashback, with the jets appearing in a few seconds of framing story).

But the ''really'' cool thing the toys could do was interact with the show itself: various things in the show emitted a strobe effect which would register on the toy: villains and heroes had strobes which the jets would register as targets (Red for villains, blue for heroes), weapons fire emitted a yellow strobe that would register as a hit (and viewers were gently reminded that hiding the jets behind their backs was cheating). The "power on" sequence would both reset the damage count on a jet, and activate the "power on" cycle in the transformation booth toy. At the end of each episode, one of the characters would step through the FourthWall to tell viewers what constituted a good score. Around the same time, three animated videos were released, ''Future Force Training'', ''Bio-Dread Assault'', and ''Raid On Volcania'', which fans could "Train" on between episodes. These featured the viewer as new recruit, designated "Pilot-1", who received training from the captain himself in piloting the XT-7 fighter, and undertook some dangerous missions. These episodes were animated by {{AIC}}, one of the companies responsible for ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and many other anime of the late 80's, and were surprisingly well-animated (they also [[StockSoundEffects recycle sound effects]] from ''Bubblegum Crisis'').

The show was a relatively early TV example of [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] CyberPunk, and, though ostensibly aimed at children, was so dark and violent (AnyoneCanDie, which means people got KilledOffForReal) that one wonders how many parents were really comfortable letting their children watch it. All the same, it is difficult to believe that Creator/JMichaelStraczynski (later of ''Series/BabylonFive'' fame) was one of the creative minds behind it. (He did leave the show, though, when level of merchandising became ''really'' excessive in his opinion.) Other big Sci-Fi creators involved in the show were Larry [=DiTillio=] (of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' fame), ''New ComicBook/TeenTitans'' creator Marv Wolfman, veteran novelist and scriptwriter Michael Reaves, and Marc Scott Zicree of ''Series/TheTwilightZone Companion'' and ''Literature/MagicTime'' fame. ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' creator Creator/SteveGerber was also slated to write for the unproduced second season. Unfortunately, like mentioned, Mattel pulled the plug on the show after the season one finale; they were pissed the producers wanted to go into even more of a DarkerAndEdgier direction which would've thrown off the MerchandiseDriven aspect of the show, and [[ExecutiveMeddling reacted accordingly]].

Beyond the strobing villains, the special effects in the show made extensive use of CGI, and it was the first TV show to use CGI extensively. Watching it now, one can see why, since the computer-generated characters and sequences are of lower quality than one can achieve on the typical PC of today using only free software such as DAZ|Studio, POV-Ray and Blender. Still, at the time, it ''was'' mind-blowing.

The show was clearly inspired by the {{Sentai}} genre of Japanese toku, probably by ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' specifically (though it had almost as much in common with the related ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'' franchise), and as such is something of a spiritual ancestor to ''Franchise/PowerRangers''.

And before anyone points it out, there were indeed earlier experiments in "interactive television", probably starting with ''WesternAnimation/WinkyDink'', or even on radio with ''Doctor Christian''. But the appearance of an interactive aspect in ''Captain Power'' seems to be part of a specific drive that went on at this time.

to:

->''"Earth, 2147: The legacy of the Metal Wars, when man fought machine and machines won. [=BioDreads=]: Monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors and digitize them. Volcania: Centre of the [=BioDread=] Empire, stronghold and fortress of Lord Dread, feared ruler of this new order. But from the fires of the metal wars arose a new breed of warrior, born and trained to bring down Lord Dread and his [=BioDread=] Empire. They were Soldiers of the Future, mankind's last hope! hope!\\
Their leader: [[TheHero Captain Jonathan Power]], master of the incredible powersuits which transform each soldier into a one-man attack force! [[TheLancer Major Matthew "Hawk" Masterson]], fighter of the sky! [[TheBigGuy Lieutenant Michael "Tank" Ellis]], Ground Assault Unit! [[TheSmartGuy Sergeant Robert "Scout" Baker]], Espionage and communications! And [[TheChick Corporal Jennifer "Pilot" Chase]], Tactical Systems Expert! Together, they form the most powerful fighting force in Earth's history. Their creed: To protect all life! Their promise: To end Lord Dread's rule! Their name....[[TitleDrop CAPTAIN POWER]] [[TitleScream AND THE SOLDIERS OF THE FUTURE!]]"''

In the late 1980s, it became clear that in the next couple of decades, cable television was going to allow the number of stations the average viewer received to increase from, say, four to, say, four ''hundred''.

As things turned out, this was not a huge deal, but at the time, this was not an easy thing to get your mind around. Network executives scratched their heads in confusion as they tried to work out how in the world they were going to fill that much airtime.

Given how it eventually turned out, it may be hard to believe that pretty much everyone was convinced that it was going to involve "interactive" TV. In the future, we were told, at every commercial break, you, the viewer, would decide how you wanted the story to play out. If the hero got the girl, turn to channel 127; if he gets killed by the villain instead, turn to channel 138. It is probably not coincidental that this was around the same time that ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' books were a big thing. Early adopters of DVD may recall that there were early promises that it would also lead to this sort of thing. Of course, as it turned out, branching movies and even multiple camera angles ended up a [[TheRuleOfFirstAdopters feature utilized almost exclusively by pornography]].

The thing was, Hollywood had precisely zero experience at this sort of thing, so they figured they'd need practice.
There were a number of experiments in this direction interactive TV in the late 80s, such as a murder mystery where viewers called in between acts to vote on who would turn out to have dunnit. But one One of the more radical experiments in interactive television was ''Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future''.

Future''. The story followed the adventures of Captain Jonathan Power and his team of freedom fighters on a post-apocalyptic Earth where most of the population had been converted into robotic warriors by the evil Lord Dread. Fortunately, Captain Power and his team had the ability to transform into armored super-soldiers by standing in a special booth and saying, "[[ByThePowerOfGrayskull Power on.]]"

The interactive element was this: the show was clearly and heavily MerchandiseDriven. Captain Power action figures interacted with electronic toys based on the show's transformation booth, fighter jets, and other hardware. These could interact with each other: the jets fired a strobe of light which a receptor on another jet could register as a hit. After five hits, the pilot would be ejected. Though the centerpiece of the merchandise line, the jets themselves only appear in the two-parter "A Summoning of Thunder", in which their appearance is so incidental as to smack of ProductPlacement (The bulk of the episode is a flashback, with the jets appearing in a few seconds of framing story).

But the ''really'' cool thing the
The toys could do was also interact with the show itself: various things in the show emitted a strobe effect which would register on the toy: villains toy. Villains and heroes had strobes which the jets would register as targets (Red for villains, blue for heroes), targets, weapons fire emitted a yellow strobe that would register as a hit (and viewers were gently reminded that hiding the jets behind their backs was cheating). The "power on" sequence would both reset the damage count on a jet, and activate the "power on" cycle in the transformation booth toy. At the end of each episode, one of the characters would step through the FourthWall to tell viewers what constituted a good score. score.

The show was a relatively early TV example of [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] CyberPunk, and, though ostensibly aimed at children, was so dark and violent many parents complained to Mattel about the AnyoneCanDie nature. Creator/JMichaelStraczynski, Larry [=DiTillio=], ''New ComicBook/TeenTitans'' creator Marv Wolfman, veteran novelist and scriptwriter Michael Reaves, and Marc Scott Zicree of ''Series/TheTwilightZone Companion'' and ''Literature/MagicTime'' fame worked on the show, and ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' creator Creator/SteveGerber was slated to write for the unproduced second season. Mattel pulled the plug on the show after the season one finale, as the producers wanted to go into even more of a DarkerAndEdgier direction which would've thrown off the MerchandiseDriven aspect of the show even further.

Around the same time, time as the show's release, three animated videos were released, ''Future Force Training'', ''Bio-Dread Assault'', and ''Raid On Volcania'', which fans could "Train" train on between episodes. These featured the viewer as a new recruit, designated "Pilot-1", who received training from the captain himself in piloting the XT-7 fighter, and undertook some dangerous missions. These episodes were animated by {{AIC}}, one of the companies responsible for ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and many other anime of the late 80's, and were surprisingly well-animated (they also [[StockSoundEffects recycle sound effects]] from ''Bubblegum Crisis'').

The show was a relatively early TV example of [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] CyberPunk, and, though ostensibly aimed at children, was so dark and violent (AnyoneCanDie, which means people got KilledOffForReal) that one wonders how many parents were really comfortable letting their children watch it. All the same, it is difficult to believe that Creator/JMichaelStraczynski (later of ''Series/BabylonFive'' fame) was one of the creative minds behind it. (He did leave the show, though, when level of merchandising became ''really'' excessive in his opinion.) Other big Sci-Fi creators involved in the show were Larry [=DiTillio=] (of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' fame), ''New ComicBook/TeenTitans'' creator Marv Wolfman, veteran novelist and scriptwriter Michael Reaves, and Marc Scott Zicree of ''Series/TheTwilightZone Companion'' and ''Literature/MagicTime'' fame. ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' creator Creator/SteveGerber was also slated to write for the unproduced second season. Unfortunately, like mentioned, Mattel pulled the plug on the show after the season one finale; they were pissed the producers wanted to go into even more of a DarkerAndEdgier direction which would've thrown off the MerchandiseDriven aspect of the show, and [[ExecutiveMeddling reacted accordingly]].

Beyond the strobing villains, the special effects in the show made extensive use of CGI, and it was the first TV show to use CGI extensively. Watching it now, one can see why, since the computer-generated characters and sequences are of lower quality than one can achieve on the typical PC of today using only free software such as DAZ|Studio, POV-Ray and Blender. Still, at the time, it ''was'' mind-blowing.

The show was clearly inspired by the {{Sentai}} genre of Japanese toku, probably by ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' specifically (though it had almost as much in common with the related ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'' franchise), and as such is something of a spiritual ancestor to ''Franchise/PowerRangers''.

And before anyone points it out, there were indeed earlier experiments in "interactive television", probably starting with ''WesternAnimation/WinkyDink'', or even on radio with ''Doctor Christian''. But the appearance of an interactive aspect in ''Captain Power'' seems to be part of a specific drive that went on at this time.
80's.
4th May '17 3:10:11 PM FromtheWordsofBR
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The show was a relatively early TV example of [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] CyberPunk, and, though ostensibly aimed at children, was so dark and violent (AnyoneCanDie, which means people got KilledOffForReal) that one wonders how many parents were really comfortable letting their children watch it. All the same, it is difficult to believe that Creator/JMichaelStraczynski (later of ''Series/BabylonFive'' fame) was one of the creative minds behind it. (He did leave the show, though, when level of merchandising became ''really'' excessive in his opinion.) Other big Sci-Fi creators involved in the show were Larry [=DiTillio=] (of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' fame), ''New ComicBook/TeenTitans'' creator Marv Wolfman, veteran novelist and scriptwriter Michael Reaves, and Marc Scott Zicree of ''Series/TheTwilightZone Companion'' and ''Literature/MagicTime'' fame. ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' creator Creator/SteveGerber was also slated to write for the unproduced second season.

to:

The show was a relatively early TV example of [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] CyberPunk, and, though ostensibly aimed at children, was so dark and violent (AnyoneCanDie, which means people got KilledOffForReal) that one wonders how many parents were really comfortable letting their children watch it. All the same, it is difficult to believe that Creator/JMichaelStraczynski (later of ''Series/BabylonFive'' fame) was one of the creative minds behind it. (He did leave the show, though, when level of merchandising became ''really'' excessive in his opinion.) Other big Sci-Fi creators involved in the show were Larry [=DiTillio=] (of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' fame), ''New ComicBook/TeenTitans'' creator Marv Wolfman, veteran novelist and scriptwriter Michael Reaves, and Marc Scott Zicree of ''Series/TheTwilightZone Companion'' and ''Literature/MagicTime'' fame. ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' creator Creator/SteveGerber was also slated to write for the unproduced second season.
season. Unfortunately, like mentioned, Mattel pulled the plug on the show after the season one finale; they were pissed the producers wanted to go into even more of a DarkerAndEdgier direction which would've thrown off the MerchandiseDriven aspect of the show, and [[ExecutiveMeddling reacted accordingly]].



* DownerEnding: It counts as this rather than BittersweetEnding because [[spoiler:not only is Pilot dead and the heroes' base destroyed, [[{{TheBadGuyWins}} Lord Dread clearly won the day and is last seen preparing for an cybernetic upgrade to make him even less human, meaning the war is about to get worse.]]]]

to:

* DownerEnding: It counts as this rather than BittersweetEnding because [[spoiler:not only is Pilot dead and the heroes' base destroyed, [[{{TheBadGuyWins}} Lord Dread clearly won the day and is last seen preparing for an cybernetic upgrade to make him even less human, meaning the war is about to get worse.]]]]]]]] The show was unfortunately canned before the second season began production because Mattel [[ExecutiveMeddling didn't want the show to get any more darker than it already did]].
21st Feb '17 5:04:19 AM jackgrimm99
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* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Dread Troopers have a really bad aim, including Soaron and Blastarr.
31st Jan '17 12:29:34 PM MarkLungo
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Given how it eventually turned out, it may be hard to believe that pretty much everyone was convinced that it was going to involve "interactive" TV. In the future, we were told, at every commercial break, you, the viewer, would decide how you wanted the story to play out. If the hero got the girl, turn to channel 127; if he gets killed by the villain instead, turn to channel 138. It is probably not coincidental that this was around the same time that "Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure" books were a big thing. Early adopters of DVD may recall that there were early promises that it would also lead to this sort of thing. Of course, as it turned out, branching movies and even multiple camera angles ended up a [[TheRuleOfFirstAdopters feature utilized almost exclusively by pornography]].

to:

Given how it eventually turned out, it may be hard to believe that pretty much everyone was convinced that it was going to involve "interactive" TV. In the future, we were told, at every commercial break, you, the viewer, would decide how you wanted the story to play out. If the hero got the girl, turn to channel 127; if he gets killed by the villain instead, turn to channel 138. It is probably not coincidental that this was around the same time that "Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure" ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' books were a big thing. Early adopters of DVD may recall that there were early promises that it would also lead to this sort of thing. Of course, as it turned out, branching movies and even multiple camera angles ended up a [[TheRuleOfFirstAdopters feature utilized almost exclusively by pornography]].



!!This show provides examples of:

to:

!!This show provides examples of:!!Captain Power and the Tropers of the Future!



* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese intro is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoVHxVOBQQ Furimukeba Danger!]] performed by legendary anime & tokusatsu singer, Creator/MitsukoHorie

to:

* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese intro is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoVHxVOBQQ Furimukeba Danger!]] performed by legendary anime & tokusatsu singer, Creator/MitsukoHorieCreator/MitsukoHorie.



* AntagonistInMourning: Lord Dread visiting Captain Power's father's grave.

to:

* AntagonistInMourning: Lord Dread visiting Captain Stuart Power's father's grave.



** TheLancer: Major Matthew "[[TheAce Hawk]]" Masterson. A [[CoolOldGuy war veteran]] and friend of Johnathan's father, Stuart.

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** TheLancer: Major Matthew "[[TheAce Hawk]]" Masterson. A [[CoolOldGuy war veteran]] and friend of Johnathan's Jonathan's father, Stuart.
31st Jan '17 12:07:31 PM Kooshmeister
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* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: As noted below, Dread is convinced he is justified in converting everyone into robots and/or digitally converting them into data, because he believes he is making them immortal. When called out on his atrocities, he defends his actions: "[[IDidWhatIHadToDo It will be worth it!]]"
18th Dec '16 3:16:17 PM TheShugoTV
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Added DiffLines:

* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese intro is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoVHxVOBQQ Furimukeba Danger!]] performed by legendary anime & tokusatsu singer, Creator/MitsukoHorie
30th Jul '16 5:33:45 PM nombretomado
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* DaveBarry: He brought up the series in one of his columns and in particular noted the toy ship that could fire at enemies on the screen. "[A toy company spokesperson] did not say whether it also would work on Geraldo Rivera."
15th Apr '16 1:44:26 AM R.G.
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Added DiffLines:

* ComicBookAdaptation: from Creator/NealAdams' Continuity Comics. It only lasted two issues, however.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.CaptainPowerAndTheSoldiersOfTheFuture