Series: Power Rangers Turbo
The fifth season of Power Rangers
, which began with a feature film, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
The movie picks up some time after the last episode of Power Rangers Zeo
. A powerful wizard arrives on Earth to seek their help in stopping the plans of the space pirate Divatox, who intends to release (and marry) the demon Maligore
. Zordon tells the Rangers that their current Zeo powers and Zords are not powerful enough to face this new threat, and gives them new Turbo powers and Zords. With Rocky injured during a training accident, they are joined by a new Blue Ranger, twelve-year-old Justin who stumbled upon their secret. Traveling after Divatox, the Turbo Rangers destroy Maligore, with Divatox swearing revenge.
The show picks up the story from there when Divatox arrives on Earth and begins to wreak havoc. As the season progresses there are many changes to the team: Zordon and Alpha return to their home planet of Eltar to be replaced by Dimitria, an alien with a mysterious connection to Divatox, and Alpha Six, her Jive Turkey
robot assistant. Not long after, Tommy, Kat, Adam and Tanya, having recently graduated high school, each choose a successor to serve in their place on a new Turbo team. T.J., Cassie, Carlos and Ashley join Justin to fight Divatox's continuing threat.
The season concludes on possibly the biggest Downer Ending
of a Season Finale
in Power Rangers
history. Both of the team's Megazords are destroyed, their weapons are lost, the Command Center is blown up (again, but for good this time), and the Turbo powers vanish. The Rangers themselves are spared by a last minute summons for Divatox by the legendarily powerful Dark Specter, suggesting he is the Bigger Bad
behind all other enemies. Utterly defeated, the Rangers leave Justin behind and set off into outer space after Divatox, setting the stage for the next season, Power Rangers in Space
This season is somewhat infamous among fans, mainly because its source material, Gekisou Sentai Carranger
, was actually a parody of Super Sentai
series. Despite this, the writers tried to give the season a serious tone in its first half, leading to jarring mood shifts when the stock footage was used. An episode will be delving into the drama of Zordon and Alpha leaving to Eltar and Tommy reading his Zords instruction manual in battle . Another polarizing point, the twelve-year-old Blue Ranger, cannot be blamed on Japanese footage. Though it must be said there was a precedent for Kid Rangers in Super Sentai; both Kiba Ranger (White MMPR
White) and King Ranger (Zeo
King) were children.
Although the ratings for the first half of the season were at an all time low due to a rating decline that had plagued the show since season three, after a Re Tool
the show's ratings began to pick up again, paving the way for the next season
to ensure that the franchise would survive.
Recurring Power Rangers tropes include:
- Big Bad: Divatox
- Chest Insignia: A triangular team logo patch on the shoulder.
- City of Adventure: Angel Grove
- The Dragon: Co-Dragons Elgar and Rygog
- Five-Man Band:
- Configuration One:
- Configuration Two:
- Home Base: the Power Chamber
- Humongous Mecha
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum
- Made of Explodium
- Make My Monster Grow: Ignoring it's source material, Divatox simply fires a torpedo at the Monster of the Week.
- Mooks: Pirhanatrons
- Never Say "Die": Averted, at least twice in the movie.
Elgar (referring to the imprisoned Lerigot): Uh...I'm no veterinarian but I uh, think it's dying.
Bulk: Lt Stone is already gonna kill us for being late, so turn right!!!!
- Pink Means Feminine: A rangers mainstay, it was played straight with Tanya and Kat, but was subverted with the second team. Yellow Ranger Ashley was the girly fashion designer, while Cassie was a more tomboyish musician.
- Though Ashley did have an episode where she works on cars and proves to be pretty knowledgeable.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Power Rangers with COOL CARS!
- Thememobile: The Cool Cars Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster. The Rangers also got personal Turbo Carts (custom go-carts); they weren't used much outside the Turbo Zord cockpits, however.
- Weapon of Choice:
- Sword and Gun: Turbo Blades (although they were never named, and their "Rev the handle for more power" function wasn't carried over) and Auto Blasters
- Swiss Army Weapon: Turbo Navigator (GPS tracker/blaster (known as Defender Mode); Defender-mode Navigators can combine with an Auto Blaster to form a larger rifle, the rather-clunkily named Auto Blast Defender) and Blue Senturion's Senturion Synergizer (baton/blaster with seldom-seen badge form)
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Tommy's/T.J.'s Turbo Lightning Sword
- Hand Cannons: Justin's Turbo Hand Blasters
- BFG: Adam's/Carlos' Turbo Thunder Cannon and the Turbine Laser
- Wolverine Claws/Power Fist (somewhere between the two◊): Tanya's/Ashley's Turbo Star Chargers
- The Straight and Arrow Path: Kat's/Cassie's Turbo Wind Fire
- Word Power:
"Mountain Blaster Turbo Power!"
"Dune Star Turbo Power!"
"Wind Chaser Turbo Power!"
"Desert Thunder Turbo Power!"
"Red Lightning Turbo Power!"
This subseries contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Dimitria and Divatox possibly being sisters. The next season "finishes" this arc somewhat; when Divatox is "cleansed", she is dressed a lot like Dimitria. This is probably the best resolution we are going to get.
- All There in the Manual: Averted - A good portion of the opening episode to the season is devoted to recapping The Movie, in case the viewer hadn't seen it.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The final episode.
- Arrow Cam: At the beginning of the movie. Also used in the trailer.
- Ascended Extra: The Sentai version of the Phantom Ranger, the VRV Master, wasn't used nearly as much and mostly appeared to give the Rangers their new vehicles. The Phantom Ranger had an entire plotline dedicated around him and including an appearance in the following season.
- Ascended Fanboy: Justin, played by promoted fanboy Blake Foster.
- To a lesser extent, T.J., who said in "Passing the Torch, Part 2" that "When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Power Ranger. Think about it. I mean, the things they've accomplished for mankind. What kid wouldn't wanna grow up to be a Power Ranger?"
- Badass Bookworm: T.J. was one of the more thoughtful and intelligent Red Rangers, which carried over to Power Rangers in Space when he became the Blue Ranger.
- Astral Finale: The season ends when the older Rangers and Alpha leave Justin behind with his father and take off in a rocket ship to pursue Divatox.
- Bad Boss: Divatox. Notably, in "The Accident" when she sends three Piranhatrons disguised as his upset team-mates to demoralize Carlos, the one impersonating the team-mate with a broken leg has really had its leg broken.
- Because Destiny Says So: IMPLIED to be the reason for the unceremonious replacement of the first team with the new team. It was suggested that the Millenium Message revealed that TJ, Cassie, Ashley, and Carlos were the Rangers prophesied. to stop the United Alliance of Evil, which is why they were chosen seemingly at random.
- Bowdlerize: The suit villains (Elgar, Rygog and Porto) were all slightly redesigned for American footage, with their facial features being softened to appear less frightening to children.
- Breast Plate: Divatox in the movie.
- But Now I Must Go: The Phantom Ranger.
- The Cameo: Rita, Lord Zedd, King Mondo and Queen Machina appear during the snippet of the Millennium Message that Blue Senturion shows Divatox.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Millennium Message, which is forgotten immediately, but has serious consequences the next season. However, in an unproduced script called "Rangers in Concert", the Blue Senturion actually shows Tommy, Adam, Tanya, and Kat the full message, which tells them who their replacements are, leading into the next trope...
- Chekhov's Gunman: T.J., Carlos, Ashley, and Cassie, not to mention T.J. and Cassie were introduced to us by BUS.
- Cliff Hanger: Rangers defeated, going into space to rescue Zordon only because they can't just stand idle, the villains have something big in the works...
- Contrived Coincidence: In "Trouble by the Slice", the way that Carlos kept turning around and missing the amnesiac Divatox working as a waitress in the pizza parlor.
- Cousin Oliver: Justin. Thankfully downplayed with the cast turnover when he's treated more like a peer among the new team, and less like a foster son.
- Dance Battler: Once Catherine Sutherland started doing her own fight scenes, Kat's fighting shows a lot of ballet influence.
- Diabolus Ex Nihilo: Goldgoyle. Despite being "the most powerful monster in the universe" and the one responsible for destroying the rangers' zords and weapons (thereby leaving them wide open for Divatox's later attack), he appears in only a single episode, was never mentioned before said episode, and is never mentioned again after his death.
- Made even more glaring by the fact that in Carranger, he was the final Big Bad.
- Well, he was described as the most powerful monster, and he was. He was the most powerful single Monster of the Week ever fought to that point, and he quite likely still holds that title.
- Downer Ending: The Zords are destroyed, the replacement mentor had gone home to help her people, the Command Center is raided and destroyed, and the Rangers have lost their powers as the original mentor has been captured by the being that every Big Bad on the series to this point answers to.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Yes this is the only PR series where the villain manages to legitimately defeat the Power Rangers. It's a fleeting victory, but one nonetheless (Mighty Morphin ended similarly with the power coins destroyed and the Command Center blown up, but it left what we saw kind of vague, which obviously led to Power Rangers Zeo. There is no question what happened in this series).
- To drive the point home farther, more recent seasons have had the rangers lost their zords, base, and/or powers, but they always manage to pull a victory out of it, often by sacrificing their ranger gear as a means of defeating the enemy. Here, they just plain lose. Four of the rangers and Alpha Six leave into space without any powers, and Justin, the blue ranger, willingly stays on Earth to be with his father. The last scene of the series shows the poor, sad kid watching his friends shoot off into space on what is likely to be a vain mission to save Zordon, while he has ended his last day as a ranger (until the teamup episode next season) in utter defeat. It really is as sad as it sounds, but it served a purpose: there was no way anyone who saw the last two episodes of Turbo would miss Power Rangers in Space.
- Ear Worm: In-universe example; it's used as a form of attack in "The Song of Confusion".
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Bulk and Skull were turned into chimps for the first part of the season.
- As part of possibly giving them their own spin-off.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Possessed Kim and Jason in the movie
- Eye Catch: Turbo started using the Carranger eyecatches mid-season.
- Female Gaze: T.J. wore a lot of very tight t-shirts.
- Figure It Out Yourself: Dimitria spent the first half of the series doing this (her species could only talk in questions, supposedly, though fellow "Inquirian" Visceron didn't have this problem), only to drop this practice when the four veteran Rangers- probably more experienced at this sort of thing than she was- were retired and replaced, at which point she got a lot more direct.
- Get it? Because it sounds like inquiry/inquire? Question?
- Flying Car: Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster. Though for some reason only Lightning Cruiser is ever shown flying on earth, though one presumes Storm Blaster can since it travels from space to earth with Lightning Cruiser, and flew Justin through outer space with the Space Rangers in Power Rangers in Space to save Lightning Cruiser.
- Forgot About Her Powers: Kat, in the film. Her series back story established her as a former aspiring champion diver, with Kimberly helping her overcome her fears of diving accidents. In the movie, however, she falls off a very high cliff above a pool of water, and instead of assuming the proper diving form, Kat tries to morph and fails horribly. Tommy, as usual, swoops down to save the day with a perfect dive. Invoked to justify a Damsel in Distress moment and showcase Lerigot's healing powers.
- There are a few other justifications, Tommy intentionally dove, Kat was suffering heat stroke (she did just stop to get a drink after all, was resting and commenting on the heat), was escaping a python and then fell. Then her Zeo Morpher strap comes loose while she is falling, since they didn't know they were getting the Turbo Powers she was at a real risk of losing half of her Transformation Trinket. It's justifiable she would grab that, and finish morphing since it was right in front of her face or grab the morpher, turn around and do a three point dive which would take longer then saying four words.
- Another big one: She probably had no idea just how deep the water was. Diving into shallow water is incredibly dangerous, possibly causing severe head and neck trauma. She might have decided it would be safer to protect herself with her powers (and helmet, lets remember) than to plummet headfirst into potentially shallow or rocky water.
- Forgot the Call: Divatox in "Trouble by the Slice".
- From Bad to Worse: T.J. sacrifices the damaged Rescue Megazord to try to destroy Goldgoyle... it fails. Goldgoyle destroys the Turbo Megazord and the Rangers sacrifice their weapons in a desperate attempt to destroy him. Then in rapid succession, they learn Eltar has fallen, Dimitria and Blue Senturion leave, Divatox destroys the Power Chamber and everyone learns Dark Specter has captured Zordon. Arguably, the worst day for a Ranger team ever.
- Genki Girl: Ashley.
- Grand Theft Prototype: The Turbo Megazord was defeated and taken from the Rangers in one episode, requiring the Rescuezords as replacements.
- Green Thumb: Wild Weeder.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Blue Senturion, who was turned evil in three different episodes: "The Millennium Message", "Stitch Witchery", and "Beware the Third Wish".
- Hilarious Outtakes
- Idiot Ball: Hmm... Let's use the Turbine Laser against Metallasaurus, when we have our own Megazord. Predictably, it doesn't do a thing.
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: The Turbo Rangers (Specifically, Tommy, Adam & Kat) versus the brainwashed Jason & Kim.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: "Honey I Shrunk The Rangers".
- Invisible Main Character: When Bulk and Skull stopped being monkeys in "Honey, I Shrunk the Rangers" as a result of over-radiation from the torpedoes used to blow up a monster, they became these until "Stitch Witchery".
- Ineffectual Loner: Carlos.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Justin
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Divatox. Bonus points for it actually coming from a laser (well, a teleport ray turned Up to Eleven).
- Let's Get Dangerous: Divatox only becomes a competent villain in the finale. Every actual victory or close victory against the Rangers was done only from someone more competent than she is, such as her mother (advice on separating the Rangers from their leader), General Havok (Metallisaurus and kidnapping the Phantom Ranger) or Goldgoyle (effectively a hired mercenary). Her raid on the Command Center at the end was appropriately nasty, but it comes across as a victory she really didn't earn.
- There was a more subtle one earlier on, in the immediate aftermath of The Millenium Message. Her first plot after that episode involves attacking a soccer match featuring Carlos and Ashley, with the implication that she's targeting them because she saw them in the message and wanted them eliminated before the power tranfer. It comes off as a very forward-thinking plan for a villain with the...competence of Divatox.
- The Load: Justin in the movie, less so in the show. Once the torch gets passed, he's often the first person in the room to get a clue.
- MacGuffin: The Millennium Message, Justin's lucky coin.
- Male Gaze: The camera focuses on both Kat and Kim's asses, and Divatox's cleavage, just a bit too much during The Movie. It's averted, however, after Tommy saves Kat from drowning — there's a rather noticeable blurring of Catherine Sutherland's chest, to hide her wet t-shirt clinging to her body.
- The Movie: The series' debut: Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
- Mythology Gag: Tommy wearing all white whilst training for and taking part in a martial arts competition in The Movie, whilst Rocky & Adam both have at least an item of clothing in their Ranger color.
- Quick-eyed viewers will note that Tommy's belt has red bars at the ends for his Zeo colors.
- During a monster tour, Bulk tries to interest the crowd by suggesting they may see Eye Guy, Pudgy Pig or the Peckster - some of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers first season's more memorable monsters. Additionally, their stop is at a lake that was used very often in MMPR, which they even mention. Mechanizer from Zeo also gets a call-back.
- Nice Guy: T.J. Quite possibly one of the nicest and most easy-going Red Ranger in the entire series. Selwyn Ward is this in real life too.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Divatox has the Rangers on the ropes and instead of finishing them off before rushing to meet Dark Specter, she assumes that since they're powerless, they won't be a threat. Cue the next season.
- Dark Specter is really to blame. If Divatox had been allowed a couple more hours that would have been all she wrote.
- Odd Friendship: T.J. and Bulk and Skull in "Parts and Parcel".
- Official Couple: Tommy/Kat.
- Parental Abandonment: Justin. His mom dies and his dad leaves him in an orphanage. Even after his dad comes to live with him again, he's still a workaholic.
- Parental Substitute: Tommy and Kat for Justin.
- Passing the Torch: the episodes were even titled "Passing The Torch".
- Punny Name: The Blue Ranger's initial zord is called 'Mountain Blaster' and was intended for Rocky.
- Put on a Bus: The Phantom Ranger leaves shortly after his spotlight episode later in the season. In the final episode, Dimitria, Blue Senturion, Justin. Two of these four have serious hatedoms, ol' Blue's not exactly popular, and Phanty still presents more questions than answers, so some of this is an Author's Saving Throw.
- And that's not mentioning Rita, Zedd and their forces in The Movie, Rocky, Zordon and Alpha 5 in the opening episodes, the rest of the former Zeo Rangers halfway through the season, Detective Stone at the end of the season... Pretty much everyone who was a member of the Power Rangers Zeo cast, with the exception of Bulk and Skull, when you think about it.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Detective Stone took over running the Juice Bar, because the actor playing Ernie had to leave the series due to health reasons.
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: The in-universe explanation for why the old Rangers left. The basic premise of the Power Rangers since the beginning was that it was comprised of, well, teenagers with attitude. However, Tommy, Katherine, Tanya, and Adam had recently graduated high school and were on the verge of no longer being teenagers. Thus, they had to add youth to the group, removing everyone other than the only high schooler on the cast (Justin) with younger teenagers with attitude (T.J., Cassie, Ashley, and Carlos).
- Re Tool: Because ratings had continued to fall throughout Zeo, Turbo was something of a soft reboot from the very beginning - discarding virtually all of the supporting characters and unresolved plot points from Zeo and not bothering to offer any clean transition, replacing mentors Zordon and Alpha 5 with Dimitria and Alpha 6, redesigning the Power Chamber with no explanation, and most controversially, introducing preteen Justin as the new Blue Ranger in an attempt to appeal directly to a young audience. This didn't work to revive the show, so then...
- ...midway through the season, there was a major shake-up in the writing staff. Along with this came the abrupt replacement of every Ranger except Justin with new characters and the abandonment of several plot points and character traits from the first half of the season (the mystery of Dimitria's long-lost sister, Dimitria's habit of speaking only in questions, Divatox's use of time bombs in her plans, the Millenium Message, etc.). This was finally enough to help ratings recover.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In The Movie, Maligore is freed from a volcano on an island that is sealed in another dimension.
- Senseless Sacrifice: T.J. sacrificing the Rescue Megazord doesn't accomplish anything.
- Sentient Vehicle: Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Blue Senturion. There's debate as to how well he succeeded and/or how spectacularly he failed. The spectrum runs from "thanks to him, Dark Spector was defeated and Rita and Zedd were purified" all the way to "he is responsible for the death of Zordon and (before it was established an Alternate Universe) the rise of Venjix."
- Sliding Scaleof Silliness Versus Seriousness: Perhaps one of the most schizophrenic of Power Ranger seasons, especially in the first half. Plots where the Big Bad planted detonators to blow up and kill people were common, there was a doomsday message prophesying all past villains joining forces, somewhat more mature plots like eating disorder and dangerous drag racing juxtaposed with goofy monsters and pretty silly villains thanks to a parody source footage. The second half while not a parody embraces the inherent silliness, that is except for the finale where things get dead serious the finale barely uses footage from its source Sentai other than a Zord battle.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The last monster the Rangers face outclasses any other monster, destroying BOTH zords with zero effort.
- Divatox herself is a subversion, while Zedd was more evil than Rita, Master Vile more evil than Zedd, the Machine Empire more evil than Master Vile, Divatox is at best Rita levels of evil.
- Space Police: The Blue Senturion.
- Submarine Pirates: Divatox is an intergalactic space pirate whose HQ is a fish-shaped submarine known as the Subcraft.
- Time Bomb: All of Divatox's plans involved these - at least for the first part of the season. After the mid-season Re Tool she suddenly just stopped using them.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Justin suspects the other Rangers of being replaced by robots in "The Robot Ranger". Turns out he's a Robot Me, too.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tanya and Kat (again), then later Cassie and Ashley.
- Totally Radical: Alpha 6, who replaced 5's "Ay-yi-yi" catchphrase with "Yo, yo, yo."
- The title itself also counts, given that "turbo" became a slang term during the early-mid 90's.
- Transformation Sequence: Naturally played straight, but lampshaded once in the movie when Justin is out of position during the initial poses of his first morph, and the others look at him with irritation and shake their heads as he adjusts himself to match.
- Also subverted in the film when Kat is trying an impromptu Zeo-morph in mid-fall to save herself. She doesn't quite make it all the way in time and her morph reverts when she hits the water.
- Trash the Set: The Power Chamber, and done in an appropriately shocking way.
- The Unsolved Mystery: Nothing about the Phantom Ranger is ever resolved, outside the fact that he needs his Power Ruby to survive. We don't even know his actual name or title; "Phantom Ranger" is a term that T.J. coined to describe the mysterious invisible warrior that appeared. Apparently, when the actor needed to make the plan for him happen backed out, The Powers That Be said "screw it" and had him say "well, Earth's in good hands with you guys, bye!" and run off.
- Villain Ball: Double Subverted at the end of the season. Divatox manages to decisively defeat the Rangers, destroying their powers, but before she can finish them off she is ordered to withdraw.
- The Villain Sucks Song: The Piranhatrons' theme 'You're Gone Piranhatrons', talks about how they're goofy and useless; which is quickly proven true whenever it's played. But when it's not...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The biggest, though not the only such situation is the Zeo Crystal. The source of power for the Power Rangers in the previous season gets swiftly brushed aside and replaced by the Turbo powers in the movie. It's given no dramatic send off like when the Power Coins were destroyed. No one lampshades it, nor brings up how the Zeo Crystal continues to grow in power, which would make the need for new more powerful morphers to be pointless. This is strange considering how Kat morphs into Zeo Ranger I in the beginning of the movie, yet Adam doesn't possess his Zeo Crystal during his cameo in Power Rangers in Space. (Out-of-universe, it's obviously so his teamup with Carlos would be of the two Black Rangers; if it had been during Turbo he'd probably have become the green Zeo Ranger IV. In-universe, he used an unstable damaged Power Coin that could have killed him in favor of the Zeo powers.) On top of that, Tommy is powerless in Power Rangers Dino Thunder until the Black Dino Gem is discovered (even though he used his Zeo powers just fine in "Forever Red!") But we don't have to go all the way to Adam's return, let alone PRDT, for a time when it's non-use was Fridge Logic: After the Turbo powers were lost, you'd think they'd have said "didn't those other guys used to be powered by this super-powerful crystal of supposedly planetwrecking strength?" before setting out powerless on a journey to space.
- Smaller mice: Lt. Stone, Bulk, and Skull were back on the police force as of The Movie. Nothing was mentioned of their police jobs after the premiere; taking Ernie's spot was quite a career change that there was known reason for Stone to make. (Bulk and Skull were probably left off the roster after vanishing for months as far as the world was concerned during their time as monkeys, but still, one line about trying to get their jobs back and failing would have been nice.)
- Wrench Wench: Ashley, who took auto-shop in "The Turn of the Wretched Wrench" only as a Take That to her slightly sexist father, only to find herself loving it.
- This plot was done because her Carranger counterpart was a mechanic, and the morphed footage in that episode made that obvious.
Did we ever tell you about that time they got baked into a pizza?