[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Captain_Power_and_the_Soldiers_of_the_Future_6108.jpg]]

->''"Power on."''

->''"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!]]"''

There were a number of experiments in 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. 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 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.

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.

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 Creator/{{AIC}}, one of the companies responsible for ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and many other anime of the late 80's.

The series celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012 with a long-awaited DVD release. In late 2012, executive producer Gary Goddard announced that a revival of ''Captain Power'' was beginning development under the name ''Phoenix Rising''. Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have been tapped as showrunners.

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!!Captain Power and the Tropers of the Future!
* AfterTheEnd : Via RobotWar.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Overmind went evil after becoming rampant. Mentor, given the personality and appearance of Stuart Power, is fatherly and benign.
* AirstrikeImpossible: The ''Franchise/StarWars''-style trench run against the control center for the Icarus Platform.
** Also all three of the animated videos, ranging from a mad dash down a gratuitous radioactive tunnel to an assault through Volcania itself.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese intro is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZoVHxVOBQQ Furimukeba Danger!]] performed by legendary anime & tokusatsu singer, Creator/MitsukoHorie.
* {{Animesque}}: The videos lean heavily on this. A side effect of being animated by AIC[[note]]and also Creator/AnimeR for the second and third tapes[[/note]].
* AntagonistInMourning: Lord Dread visiting Stuart Power's grave.
* AnyoneCanDie
* ApocalypseHow: The series starts off at Planetary/Societal Collapse, with isolated pockets of civilization still around. Overmind is aiming to convert humans to robots; given the scope and methods of Project New Order, it could end up as a Planetary/Species Extinction for all life.
* BattleshipRaid: The climactic battle of the second training video.
* {{BFG}}: When the team raid Lord Dread's place, everyone except for Tank, switch to bigger laser rifles.
* BigBad: Lord Dread and Overmind
* BrainUploading: Warlord-class [=BioDreads=] are equipped with Digitizers that can reduce a human being to data, which is then stored in Overmind. Although the process can be reversed, victims tend to [[CameBackWrong be irrevocably changed by the experience]].
* ByThePowerOfGreyskull
* CaptainSuperhero
* ChristmasEpisode: [[WhamEpisode The]] [[DownerEnding worst]] [[KilledOffForReal possible]] [[TearJerker kind]].
* ComicBookAdaptation: from Creator/NealAdams' Continuity Comics. It only lasted two issues, however.
* CoolShip: The Jumpship, the [=XT=]-7 fighter (attached to the top of the Jumpship,) and the enemy Phantom Stryker.
* CutShort
* CyberPunk
* DarkestHour: ...at which point, the series [[CutShort ends]].
* DarthVaderClone: Lord Dread. While he doesn't wear a helmet, his black armor and cybernetic body certainly fit the trope.
* 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]].
* TheDragon: The pterodactyl-like Soaron to Lord Dread.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Scout's primary method of infiltration.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove
* EyeBeams: In addition to his hand blasters, Soaron can fire with his eyes.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: Both the Power Team and their enemies use laser guns. Several characters also use firearms, but they don't do a thing against Bio-Dreads.
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: [[StevenUlyssesPerhero Captain Jonathan Power]]. A good strategist and a fine soldier, but impetuous, immature, and still learning what it means to be a leader.
** TheLancer: Major Matthew "[[TheAce Hawk]]" Masterson. A [[CoolOldGuy war veteran]] and friend of Jonathan's father, Stuart.
** TheSmartGuy: Sergeant Robert "[[MasterOfDisguise Scout]]" Baker. Good with infiltration of both enemy bases as well as their computer networks.
** TheBigGuy: Lieutenant Michael "Tank" Ellis. The team's heavy weapon and StoneWall, short on character development.
** TheChick: Corporal Jennifer "[[ImprobablePilotingSkills Pilot]]" Chase. Rescued from the [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Dread Youth]] and quite TheStoic; ironically, becomes [[TearJerker the heart and soul]] of the team.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Everyone use them in the future.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: In the three training videos, there are hundreds of [=BioDreads=] in Soaron and Blastarr's units... [[TheWorfEffect only not quite as durable]] as the real thing. In the actual series, only one of each class exists, but they're much, much more fearsome.
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Dread's army use purple lasers while the heroes' lasers are blue.
* HealingFactor: The warlord-class [=BioDreads=] can regenerate from any damage, even being [[GoodThingYouCanHeal blown to smithereens]].
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Dread Troopers have a really bad aim, including Soaron and Blastarr.
* TheJuggernaut: Blastarr.
* KilledOffForReal
--> '''Straczynski''': "''I've never talked about this before -- said I was in a thoughtful mood -- but I've known several people, friends, who've taken their own lives. In one case, I spoke to her just beforehand. Tried, through the phone lines, to reach her one more time, pull her back from the edge. I couldn't. Years pass. Time comes for me to write the last filmed episode of '''Power'''. Jennifer Chase is going to die, partly of her injuries, partly of her own volition. [[CreatorBreakdown Part of my life went into that scene]], in the way it was constructed, and what was said. And what was not said, what never had the chance to be said, and thus still burns. I knew that, at the crucial moment of that scene, he couldn't be near her, as I wasn't near my friend...it had to be long-distance, hearing but not seeing her, and the terrible pain of arriving too late. I cannot watch that episode without crying. Ever.''"
** This particular case is ''loaded'' with tropes: the character took the time to [[FatalFamilyPhoto go through personal effects and mementos from previous adventures]], her relationship with Jon is ''[[ADeathInTheLimelight finally]]'' [[ADeathInTheLimelight put front-and-center]] (but can't express her true feelings, saying, "[[CanNotSpitItOut It can wait]]," instead,) is (unwittingly) left to HoldTheLine from [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs an enemy invasion]], and has to perform a HeroicSacrifice to save the Power Base's sensitive data when the base is overrun. At least she got [[TakingYouWithMe to destroy Blastarr]] ([[NighInvulnerability we hope]]) along the way.
* KillSat: The Icarus Platform that the Power Team has to destroy before the assault on Volcania.
* LaResistance: The Power Team, along with several groups of allies.
* MachineWorship: At least one sequence shows Lord Dread dictating what seems to be a Bible for the machine empire; and his speeches to the [[strike: Hitler]] Dread Youth seem near-evangelistic. One evil spy actually near-religiously praises "the Machine" and practically describes the team's heroic heel-face-turncoat as a heretic.
* MasterComputer: The Overmind [[AIIsACrapshoot intelligence]], originally designed to stop wars between countries, initiated the Metal Wars against mankind itself.
* MechaMooks: The Dread Troopers.
* MerchandiseDriven
* TheMole: [[PunnyName Laccki]] is this for Overmind, working in Lord Dread's service.
** Laccki is a ''terrible'' mole: he lacks anything even vaguely resembling stealth or subtlety, and Dread is suspicious of him from the very moment of his creation. Laccki is such a terrible mole, in fact, that one suspects his real purpose is not to spy on Dread, but rather to ''remind'' Dread that Overmind doesn't fully trust him.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Lord Dread
* NintendoHard: The BattleshipRaid and StormingTheCastle sequences in the second and third training videos toss the player into the yellow-strobe equivalent of BulletHell.
* NoFourthWall
* OmnicidalManiac: Overmind.
* OneWayVisor: the mooks and the heroes' PoweredArmor have these.
* OpeningNarration
* PoweredArmor: The Power Suits.
* [[PrecisionFStrike Precision "D" Strike]]: Actually occurs in one episode. There's also a Precision "H" Strike in another.
* PunnyName:
** Captain Power's headquarters and stronghold is called the ''[[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/power+base Powerbase]]''.
** The biological androids --biodroids-- under Lord Dread's command? Bio''dreads''.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Dread's Human goons are all dressed as Nazis. Interestingly, the actor playing Taggart/Dread also looks frightening similar to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, sans the iconic mustache.
* RobotWar: This formed the background of the series. There was a war against the machines, and the machines won.
* SerkisFolk
* ShoutOut: To ''Franchise/StarWars'''s Trench Run during the assault on Volcania. The ending credits recycle this scene, presumably to allow kids to interact with it with the toys.
* StormingTheCastle: The Soldiers of the Future must storm Volcania to stop Project New Order.
* TakingYouWithMe: Part of a HeroicSacrifice.
-->'''Blastarr''': Surrender, by order of Lord Dread.
-->'''Pilot''': Go to hell. (pushes self-destruct button of the Power Base reactor)
* TeleportersAndTransporters: The Jump Gates, which the Soldiers of the Future use to get around the country. Ultimately became their own undoing when Lord Dread acquired their access frequency.
* TitleScream
* TransformationSequence: Power On!
* 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!]]"
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Lyman Taggart sincerely thought that humanity would be improved by becoming [[NoTranshumanismAllowed a cybernetic organism]]. After becoming [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Lord Dread]], though...
** The whole idea behind Overmind in the first place was as a computer with which Taggart and Power could take control of all the world's military robots, in order to end the years of stalemated warfare that had followed from the invention of robot soldiers.
* WhatNowEnding: The fate of the Soldiers of the Future after the series finale.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: "The Summoning Of Thunder," a DeathByOriginStory for Stuart Power, and StartOfDarkness for [[strike:Lyman Taggart]] Lord Dread.
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