Power Rangers, Twenty Minutes into the Future. S.P.D. is the thirteenth season of the franchise, based on Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger. The Earth of 2025 is a very different place, where humans and alien immigrants live in relative peace. There's always a few bad eggs, though, and that's where S.P.D. (short for Space Patrol Delta) comes in. Started on the planet Sirius, it's now a galaxy-wide police organization. The Earth branch is based in Newtech City, headed by Anubis "Doggie" Cruger.The series focuses on S.P.D.'s B-Squad. As their name indicates, they're backup to the elite A-Squad. At first, B-Squad consists of the serious Sky (who wants nothing more than to be a Red Ranger just like his father), Cloudcuckoolander Bridge, and the rich former model and pop idol Syd. When A-Squad is forced to leave the planet on business, they're promoted to Ranger status, and given morphers. Sky is not pleased to learn that he's only a Blue Ranger. Their first mission is to track down a pair of metahuman Robin Hoods, Z and Jack. They were probably chosen for the task because they're metahumans, too. Much to the dismay of B-Squad, Cruger decides that the best punishment for Jack and Z is to become the Red and Yellow Rangers. It takes a while, and they often relapsed back to being bitter and angry at each other, but they eventually become a tight unit, and even tighter when they learn why they all have strange, genetic powers...A seriously divisive series among the fandom, S.P.D. boasted an interesting cast of characters played by excellent actors, but also marked the debut of controversial producer Bruce Kalish and suffered from some interesting Executive Meddling. Most notably, as detailed in Trivia page, was the handling of Sam the Omega Ranger and how Tommy was depicted in "Wormhole", and to top it all off, it came after Dino Thunder, which is usually considered to be one of the best. Despite this, it is a strong season, and though it remains divisive it is still widely regarded as being a good one for the Disney Era.Unusually, rather than a two-parter with the previous season's cast, there were two separate episodes with the Dino Thunder Rangers, with each team getting a chance to enter the world of the other. For some reason, those specific episodes seem to flow better if you watch them in reverse order.Succeeded by Power Rangers Mystic Force.Has a character sheet.
Chest Insignia: S.P.D. nameplates on the belt and right side of the chest, and police badges on the right shoulder and forehead of the helmet; plus a personal number taking up the entire left side of the chest.
Family-Friendly Firearms: As usual, but Dekaranger used actual bullets and some edits to hide this ended up kind of questionable. For one, in Omega Ranger's debut he catches lasers single-handedly, and then drops the "energy pellets" at his feet. You can also occasionally catch the Megazord ejecting used shells from its gun, even though it's now supposed to be a laser weapon.
Cool Bike: The boys' Patrol Cycles. Notably, Sky's is an older model with a different design, leading him to complain when Jack and Bridge get new bikes and he doesn't (Kat just points out that he already has a bike). Also Sam's Uniforce Cycle.
Battle Cry: A Power Rangers standard, but S.P.D. parodies it at the same time it uses it in the episode "Shadow pt. 1", when the Rangers scream "BATTLE CRY" as they maneuver their Megazord towards the enemy.
Adaptational Badass: Kat kicked Krybot butt in situations where Dekaranger's Swan didn't and gets to use the acrobatics that are expected from a feline character. Even in one episode where Swan fought as a Ranger, the PR version gives Kat an unmorphed battle before it. Also, that rock in "Abandoned" was considerably less apocalyptic in Dekaranger.
Anachronic Order: A minor example occurred when the series was made available for instant streaming on Netflix due to "Wormhole" being moved three episode spots earlier in order to put the two Dino Thunder team-up episodes consecutively. The only part of it that's really noticeable though is with Morgana being back to Mora (Gruumm rewarding her by changing her back occurs in one of the three episodes originally aired between the team-ups).
Artistic License - Astronomy: Apparently, Sirius is a planet now. Of course, they could have meant a planet in the Sirius system, as some planets are named "[Star name] [Distance from star]" so the third planet from Sirius would be Sirius 3, but... nothing of the sort is ever stated onscreen. It also happens with Alpha Centauri.
As You Know: Used in "A-Bridged" when Bridge tells Kat a fact (relevant to his investigation) about humans breathing oxygen and plants breathing carbon dioxide. Lampshaded when Kat's reaction is "Duh. Second-grade science." and justified because, well, it's Bridge.
Ascended Fanboy: Subverted; it's the season where morphers were handed out like candy (even Dr. Manx got a limited-use one!) and fanboy Boom still didn't get one.
Boom: I'd be psyched if I were Red Ranger!
Jack: You'd be psyched if you were Pink Ranger.
Played straight with Sam/Omega Ranger.
Author Appeal: Writer/Director Greg Aronowitz loves dogs, hence the emphasis on Doggie Cruger and R.I.C. He also had two bulldogs as a child, hence why Bridge mentions his childhood pet bulldog in "Shadow".
Between My Legs: Shows up in a lot of battle scenes, for example, Syd in the episode "Walled".
BFG: The SWAT Flier Cannon. As in, a cannon made out of zords.
Bizarrchitecture: S.P.D. Command has some problems when it comes to Zord storage. Usually the zords are seen in an underground hangar and the building opens a hatch to send them out; this is acceptable. But a few times the entire thing opens up and the zords are shown taking up the whole interior! And just to add to the confusion, the SWAT Fliers also have bays taking up most of the base interior, including places where the regular zords were shown to go.
It's explained later that there's a secret underground Zord bay beneath the Delta Command Base, so presumably only one set of Zords is kept in the base itself at any given time. This likely explains how Bridge knew said secret underground Zord bay existed and Dr. Manx likely sent the SWAT flyers there.
Clueless Aesop: There was an anti-racism episode using discrimination against a Robot Girl as a metaphor. What's the problem? The fact that in the previous episode, she had done pretty much everything one possibly can to look suspicious, and put S.P.D. (and by extension, pretty much everything else) in serious danger by not telling anyone that it was her the bad guys wanted. So then we spend an episode where every single conversation or scene must have at least one line of Anvilicious hammering-in of the whole "We're racist bastards who distrusted her because she was a robot!" thing despite nothing of the sort having happened.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Subtly lampshaded in the final scene. Jack has left the squad and Sky and Bridge have been promoted to Red and Blue Rangers, respectively. When the Rangers visit Jack and Ally, Sky and Bridge donate handfuls of blue and green clothes.
Compressed Vice: Many of the early focus episodes were less "focus on this character" and more "this character acts as we've never seen them behave before as everyone acts like it's normal, and then 'learns a lesson' about said out-of-nowhere flaw." It tapers off as the season goes on, thankfully. In general, an S.P.D. focus episode is much better for getting to know the character nearest the one being focused on, rather than the one whose sanity is taking the week off (for example, "Buttery" comes from a Syd episode, not a Bridge episode).
Danger Takes a Backseat: Played with in "Reflection". While hunting for the escaped criminal, Mirloc, Bridge and Z spot him in the rear view mirror of their jeep and turn around to face him in the back seat, except he's not there. Mirloc reminds them that his the power is to travel through reflective surfaces so he's only appearing to them through the mirror.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Dogged", Kruger tells Syd that RIC's technology is practically obsolete, and that he will soon have to be deactivated, using the same tones one would use when talking of an old dog that will soon have to be put to sleep.
Doing It for the Art: Greg Aronowitz designed a lot of the alien makeup for background characters on his own time and dime.
Double Agent: Piggy is a triple agent who was supplying Emperor Gruumm, Broodwing and the Rangers with information.
Drunk with Power: Jack in "Confronted", as he realizes he can boss the others around.
Dub Name Change: A rare aversion in that Doggie might just have the most similar name to a Ranger's Sentai counterpart ever (who knows why's that). The only differences between him and Dekaranger's Doggie (scales aside) are that SPD's is Anubis "Doggie" Cruger, and Dekaranger's is Doggie "Boss" Kruger.
Evil-Detecting Dog: In "Recognition", RIC's the one who catches on to Sky's and Wootox's body swap.
Expy: A few of the Rangers seem to be throwbacks to their counterparts in earlier seasons, with laid-back but battle-serious Red Rangers (Jack and T.J.) serious, by-the-books Blue Rangers (Sky and Kai), Valley Girl Pink Rangers (Syd and Kim), and quirky, psychic Green Rangers (Bridge and Trip.)
Perky brunette Z is reminiscent of nearly every female Yellow Ranger.
Sergeant Silverback IS R. Lee Ermey, just as an anthropomorphized gorilla with a robot bulldog.
Fake Shemp: As noted in the intro, Sam as the Omega Ranger.
Tommy in the second S.P.D. and Dino Thunder team-up "Wormhole", where he never demorphs and was voiced by Jeffrey Parazzo, who plays Trent. This got backlash from many fans, as Jeffrey's imitation was so off it was fairly obvious it wasn't really Jason.
Fashionable Asymmetry: Gruumm, after Cruger broke one horn in the Battle of Sirius. At least until the finale...
Foreshadowing: at the end of an episode, the Rangers gave a bicycle as a gift to a kid they befriended. A nod to the fact that the kid, Sam, will be the Sixth Ranger, whose personal Humongous Mecha is a motorcycle.
Genre Savvy: In the finale, after Broodwing has taken over the Delta Base and destroyed the Delta Squad Megazord, Bridge guesses that the SWAT Fliers were moved from the base to the secret underground zord bay. Because doesn't every base have a secret underground zord bay?
Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Syd has a stuffed elephant named "Peanuts" that shes had since she was five, and still does close to twenty years later. Used to characterize her pampered upbringing.
Give Me a Sign: In the finale, Piggy's guilty over betraying the Rangers and shouts this. His food cart is promptly struck by lightning, sent careening down a hill, and explodes.
Informed Ability: The MOTWs and their rap sheets; it gets kind of ridiculous as the season wears on, as bad guys with increasingly over-the-top histories of destroying fifty more planets than the last guy show about as much badassitude as... well, your average monster-of-the-week. Especially when the earlier ones were more reasonable, making Willing Suspension of Disbelief easier. Benaag destroyed nine planets, including Doggie's, with massive armies as part of Gruumm's empire, it made him the believable, hateable war criminal villain of a dark arc. When every total loser bad guy has destroyed a thousand you just said "yeah, whatever."
This was presumably done for pragmatic reasons. A lot of crimes committed by the bad guys in Dekaranger probably wouldn't fly for a Disney program, so they had to resort to blowing up planets, and then just escalating how many were destroyed.
Also, Gruumm's empire doesn't seem very... existent. All of his soldiers appear to be the robot grunts that Broodwing will sell to anyone. Monsters of the week don't even work for him, they're criminals who were already doing their thing, hired by him to keep doing it, for him now. Often, it results in a ten-second scene on Gruumm's ship that could be skipped and you wouldn't notice. He very rarely thinks of a plan himself, and even his ongoing scheme turns out to be at the bidding of another. However, count on the characters to talk about him as if he's badder than ten Emperor Palpatines.
Last Villain Stand: After the rest of his forces are beaten and Omni has fallen, Gruumm bursts from the rubble and challenges Doggie to one final duel.
Magic Feather: In "Samurai", Jack makes the classic mistake of thinking the power's in the sword (Cruger's Shadow Saber) and not the swordsman.
Man Child: Morgana. She doesn't show it much in this form, but keep in mind she made a deal with Gruumm in order to stay an actual child.
Meaningful Name: Sky the Blue Ranger with the flying zord, for one. Also, "Doggie"'s real name is Anubis. Plus all of the other alien SPD members: felines Kat Manx and Dr. Felix, simian Drill Sergeant Nasty Sgt. Silverback, and avian Fowler Birdie.
Sky's name borders on Fridge Brilliance (and almost strays into The Danza territory, even if it's not the literal definition of the trope): His actor's name is Chris Violette. Violette is French for "purple". Purple is a combination of blue and red. Sky wants nothing more than to be a Red Ranger like his father. He is eventually promoted to Red Ranger. Blue + Red = Purple —> Violette.
And Boom, who gets blown up a lot.
Sirius is the name of Cruger's home planet. Sirius is sometimes known as the dog star.
Messy Pig: Piggy - he's not porcine, really, but he did get the name for a reason.
Mind Screwdriver: A lot of the things that were poorly handled by the series were explained in interviews.
Doggie apparently owns Andros' cloak and Spiral Saber now (and fans were not amused at what they thought to be the return of Andros proving to be Doggie cosplaying him for no discernible reason. Kalish says that the Spiral Saber wasn't the original prop, but an identical one.) Also, Z's necklace is the same style Z as Lord Zedd's staff.
On the note of Andros, one of the criminals escapes from a penal colony belonging to KO-35, Andros' home planet.
The Time Force suit caused even more of a stir than Andros' cloak and weapon, as when the flashback aired, people naturally assumed that meant Wes Collins was Sky's father, and that S.P.D. was an early iteration of Time Force. While that was never discussed, Jason Faunt himself disapproved of the use of the suit, as he felt the fans would make the obvious assumption, and be subsequently confused when they realized it wasn't him... which is precisely what happened.
Don't forget the Paris Hilton clone in "A-Bridged", complete with pet dog.
Non Indicative Title: For a show called Power Rangers: Space Patrol Delta, they sure don't spend much time patrolling space...
Non-Lethal K.O.: Unlike most Rangers, SPD can't just destroy every evil alien they fight. While Dekaranger just went ahead after getting legal clearance, Power Rangers changed it so villains were captured in a giant explosion.
Kat: Still no word on A-Squad, and...and the Rangers have asked to wear clown suits while on patrol. I've approved them.
Obvious Trap: In "Shadow", when General Benag sends a message that he has Kat, she warns Cruger that it's a trap. Gruumm then comes on saying that heck yeah, it's a trap, but SPD's not going to abandon her, are they?
Trap Is the Only Option: Because, as noted, Kat's life was on the line. Also discussed when A-Squad challenges them in the finale; the Rangers comment that it's likely a trap, but it's also noted that ignoring the challenge and doing nothing may also be a trap.
The Peter Principle: Kat's promotion in "Katastrophe", where she's informed she's going from hands-on research to managing teams to do it for her. They even seem to have copied the "You won't have to get your hands dirty."/"But I like getting my hands dirty." exchange from when Damon faced this in Lost Galaxy.
First, after effortlessly cutting through Mora's monsters (taken from her picture book), she asks "What can you do to me? I'm just a kid!" His response prior to confining her: "Use your imagination."
Then, after having Gruumm at his mercy, he raises his sword to finish him... and then cuts off Gruumm's remaining horn, saying "Now they match!" prior to confining him.
Put on a Bus: Gruumm, a villain who was not in its parent Super Sentai series, stepped aside to work on the project he'd spent most of the season acquiring materials for. This allowed cheaper-because-his-appearances-are-mostly-stock-footage villain Broodwing to be sole Big Bad for a significant number of episodes. Gruumm swept back in just in time for the Grand Finale.
The Rashomon: Done very poorly in the episode "Perspective", with the same three minutes of Stock Footage shown six times with the ADR changed, the changes limited almost entirely to the name of the character everyone else was praising.
Recursive Import: This show is now being dubbed in Japanese (And the 1st Disney-era PR to be dubbed in that language) — the last case of this was Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. The Dekaranger cast will mostly dub their Western counterparts, save for Kat Manx, who will be voiced by Rie Tanaka.
Samus Is a Girl: A-Squad leader Charlie. One guy on the Rangerboard forums guessed ahead of time, leading to an rather infamous case of I Knew It: during Charlie's first pieces of dialogue, the voice was heavily distorted to make it appear male. The forum poster—who had a history of working with sound and sound manipulation—recognized some telltale signs that it was a female changed to a male and voiced his theory. He was immediately shouted down, mainly because there has never been a female Red Ranger in the history of the franchise. Thirty episodes later, Charlie is revealed to be a girl and the forum poster pens a meaningful discourse entitled, "I WAS RIGHT, BITCHES." Complete with flashing gifs and mockery of the people who thought he was wrong. He even got the phrase and a screencap of The Reveal printed on a t-shirt and got the cast members of S.P.D. to sign it. Hey, he deserved it.
Scenery Censor: Non-naughty variant with Matt Austin (Bridge), who always wore gloves to cover a hand tattoo (justified in-universe; it's implied that Bridge focuses his psychic power through his hands and wears the gloves as a Power Limiter).
Secret Test of Character: Cruger does this in the first episode, asking Sky his opinion on Bridge and Syd - his answer is the very thing that lands him in the Blue suit.
Receives a Call Back in the finale, when Cruger asks Sky if he would follow Syd into battle, and Sky responds that he'd trust anyone Cruger chose.
Series Continuity Error: Mostly in terms of naming. First, there's the true final enemy's name. First Gruumm talks to "The Magnificence". Then the creature called The Magnificence is being called Omni as if he had been all along, and "The Magnificence" is something else (the body for Omni, which many of the crimes were about completing, as it turns out near the end). Then the whole shebang is being called Omni.
Also, "Troobian" refers to Gruumm's empire... but said "empire" seems to consist only of two or three guys of different races, and zillions of robots Broody sells to anyone who can pay. It is later used to mean "only" the robots, whether used by Gruumm-affiliated baddies or not. By the end, fans were still saying "and just what is a Troobian, anyway?"
And then there are a few instances of events or terms that happened in Deka but not S.P.D. being referred to as if they had. The online fandom got it, and may or may not have appreciated the moments as Shout Outs, but the kids were probably quite confused when Sky-as-the-criminal worried that he'd be "deleted on sight."
Isinia, Isinia, Isinia... what can be said about you? After an entire season of having it drilled into our heads that Doggie is The Last of His Kind, learning that There Is Another with no warning at the end suddenly throws open the question of whether more Sirians survived as Troobian slaves. Even worse, we learn that she is a captive of Omni, not Gruumm, as would be expected, considering the rivalry Grumm and Doggie had that was equally drilled into our heads.
"Wormhole" doesn't precisely fit into the timeline. It's mostly OK, but involves Mora instead of Morgana, and after Mora returns in the final episodes she's almost immediately brainwashed by Omni. It may be possible to cram it in between the final scenes of "Badge".
Time Travel Tense Trouble: At the end of the second S.P.D./Dino Thunder team-up "Wormhole", when Bridge says this line: "I really wish I could stay. I was born last week, and I could meet myself and become my own best friend. [pause] Wait. What if I met myself and didn't like me?"
The Containment Mode added to the SPD Morphers is demonstrated in on Boom in episode one. It's an instantaneous, non-lethal, painless method of neutralizing and transporting suspect individuals. This would be a miraculous time-saving law enforcement miracle, but the Rangers still attack criminals they catch red-handed with explosive high-powered lasers and giant robots before using it.