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"Overdrive, Accelerate!"
Morphing call, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive

The fifteenth anniversary season of Power Rangers, taken from GoGo Sentai Boukenger. Legends speak of the Corona Aurora, the Crown of the Gods; an ancient jeweled relic with inconceivable power. According to the myths, millennia ago, two brothers warred with each other in their pursuits of the crown, only for the crown to turn them both into monstrous forms and seal them into planets. Afterward, the crown was taken and its jewels removed, all being sent away to an Insignificant Little Blue Planet...

In the present day, Adventurer Archaeologist Andrew Hartford has at last found the crown - but the discovery frees the brothers, Moltor and Flurious, from their respective prisons. Realizing that they and other villains would come seeking the crown's power, Hartford uses his wealth to assemble and equip a team to track down and claim the crown's five gemstones before they fall into the wrong hands. He assembles a team of four people with unique histories - Rose Ortiz, a former Child Prodigy and a teacher with incredible intellect, Ronny Robinson, an F1 driver, Will Aston, a notorious thief, and Dax Lo, a Hollywood stuntman with dreams of acting. Hartford grants them their Overdrive Trackers and one by one enhances their DNA to have genetic powers. Hartford initially intends to take on the Red Ranger role himself, but he's prevented from doing so by an attack from the villains. His sheltered son Mack transforms himself to save him, earning him the last spot on the team.

Operation Overdrive has a few quirks compared to a usual Ranger season. For one thing, instead of using mainly self-contained Monster of the Week adventures, the season tracked the Rangers and villains as they followed a trail of clues around the world to the location of the jewels. It also had a Big Bad Ensemble instead of just one Big Bad, and they tended to fight each other as much as they fought the Rangers. Over the course of the series, Red Ranger Mack also learned something horrifying about his own origins that nearly destroys his faith in himself and his relationship with his father.

The series also contained the 15th Anniversary special "Once A Ranger" where a new villain comes into play, the son of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, Thrax. Targeting the Morphing Grid itself, they manage to cut the Operation Overdrive Rangers off from their powers. To stop their plan of decimating the entire grid and eliminating all Power Rangers, the Sentinel Knight commissions Rangers from previous seasons to form a new team (all of the Disney-era shows, with one before they took over) Xander Bly, Bridge Carson, Kira Ford, Tori Hanson, and Adam Park (most characters were Ensemble Darkhorses, the return of Johnny Yong Bosch especially was appreciated). In addition, Alpha Six takes on a role. The two-parter involves the Operation Overdrive Rangers worrying about being replaced.

While ratings for this season started out good, they would later go on to crash and burn - a trend that the two final Disney seasons never really recovered from.

Succeeded by Power Rangers Jungle Fury.

Has a character sheet.


Recurring Power Rangers tropes include:

This subseries contains examples of:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Hartford is one of these. Consequently, the Rangers themselves spend the bulk of the season generally following in his footsteps. This unique combination of Big Damn Heroes and Adventurer Archaeologist tends to result in a lot of property damage to ancient temples/exotic locales, not just their City of Adventure.
  • Airplane Arms: Miratrix seems to have pulled her Airplane Arms straight from Naruto.
  • Artifact Collection Agency: Though the rangers are only interested in one specific set of artifacts, the Corona Aurora and its jewels, and only pursue other artifacts when they can give clues to the jewels' locations.
  • Artificial Human: Mack, built by Hartford to be the son he never could get. What this says about Hartford is up to the viewer.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Occurs twice, both in the case of Ronny's being a racing driver. During her introduction, she is shown winning the Italian Grand Prix (a Formula 1 race)... in a NASCAR car. For anyone not familiar with Formula 1, this is functionally equivalent to winning the Indy 500 in a milk float made of concrete. It doesn't happen. However, it gets worse: during the episode "Once A Ranger", Ronny is shown winning the Monaco Grand Prix. Not only is pretty much the exact same shot with a different subtitle and attendant concrete milk float error (perhaps inevitable due to budget restrictions and the thematic context of the episode), in doing so it uses the same strip of tarmac in the middle of an ocean of grass that looked almost nothing like Monza to begin with. The Monaco Grand Prix takes place on a street circuit.
  • Ascended Extra: Zuban the Team Pet becomes the Big Good Sentinel Knight.
  • Avenging the Villain: Thrax, avenging parents Rita and Zedd.
    • Who are, notably, not actually dead, per se. But they pulled a Heel–Face Turn and he didn't, so they're dead to him.
      • Well, their Heel–Face Turn was forced onto them by Zordon's good energy. So, technically, the good guys "killed" who they once were, and what they were clearly like when Thrax was born, given his appearance.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: The Flash Point Megazord.
  • Badass Boast: Mack in the pilot.
    Moltor: Do you know who you're dealing with?
    Mack: Do you?
  • Badass Normal: Lampshaded by Adam in "Once A Ranger", as the only Ranger without a civilian superpower.
  • Become Your Weapon: Sentinel Knight merges with the sword Excelsior. Later both merge with Mack for his Battlized mode.
  • Big Fancy House: The Hartford mansion has a Zord bay beneath the house, 27 bathrooms on the first floor alone, and yet he can't make a security system to keep the villains out.
    • Maybe the sheer size IS the reason it's such a nightmare to secure.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The old rangers in "Once A Ranger" when the current rangers lose their powers. They forced the baddies to retreat in less than 2 minutes!
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Norg the Yeti, his cousin is called sasquatch.
  • Bowdlerize: For some reason, this season really hated CG fire; almost every instance of it was recolored and/or had sparkles over it.
  • The Bro Code: Will makes a fake Face–Heel Turn and joins Kamdor and Miratrix. Dax is especially upset... that Will's with his ex. (Miratrix and Dax dated before she revealed she was running a Honey Trap.) While the girls exchange a look, Dax and Mack explain with "Man law!"
  • Call-Back: In "Once a Ranger," Adam uses a forklift as a battle prop, just as he did in the first Power Rangers movie.
  • Disney Death: In the season finale, Mack uses his full power on Flurious using the Corona Auorora — and dies. Sentinel Knight used it to turn Mack into a human.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The series commonly does a cutaway to the base by showing the aboveground mansion, and then dropping the camera via CGI through several layers of planetary crust. For added hijinks, the Rangers are implied to be sliding down kilometer-length fireman poles to reach said base. And on top of that, they have three Humongous Mecha and a Cool Ship hidden inside.
  • Enfante Terrible: Thrax, who is quite the evil mastermind for someone whose age is between seven and nine.
  • Everything Is Online: Kamdor zaps the DriveMax Megazord with a computer virus, which spreads to the base and to Mack.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Four villain factions fight each other as well as the Rangers: Flurious, Moltor, Kandor and the Fear Cats.
    • Though this is more played as an Enemy Civil War until Flurious kills his brother Moltor when the latter is beaten by the Power Rangers and then proceeds to Collect all the last MacGuffins and becomes the series' Big Bad.
  • Expy: Flurious and Moltor seems to be based on The Miser Brothers, since they are brothers who hate each other as well as the fact that Flurious is ice and Moltor is fire.
  • Fake Defector: Will in "Both Sides Now", complete with Shoot Your Mate (though what Kamdor doesn't know is that he's shooting a teleportation beam).
  • Fiction 500: Andrew Hartford has a mansion with 27 bathrooms complete with a secret cave underneath with genetic scramblers, Ranger technology and Zords, all which he basically designed for his own private use rather than needing to have it go public in any way. He owns a film studio, had Will break into his own bank, has pioneered holographic recording technology and even built his own absurdly lifelike robot just for his own use, and even has time to spend "twice the net worth of New Mexico" just to go treasure hunting in his spare time. It's pretty crazy.
  • Foreshadowing: Despite what most believe, there had been foreshadowing throughout the season involving Andrew Hartford's secret from his own son. In "Kick Into Overdrive Part 2" where Spencer tells Mack to not feel like one of his dad's "possessions". In "Out of Luck", Hartford says Mack should not have been affected by magic that alters luck. A subtle one happens at the end of "Ronny On Empty, Part 2", as the Rangers have a costumed Halloween party. Andrew and Spencer exchange worried looks when Mack shows up dressed as a robot, then decide to shake it off.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Special Hydro Aero Recon Craft is just one Xtreme Kool Letter away from it.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The show revolved around the five jewels to a magical crown Other artifacts empowered by them were clues, but also powerful themselves.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: One of the artifacts is named the "Piedra Aztec del Compás". Following proper Spanish grammar, it should be named the "Compás Azteca de Piedra".
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Norg. One of the bad guys barges in and takes over his arctic home, and Norg is just so happy to meet a new friend and would you like a snow cone? This dynamic lasts all season until the villain finally orders his Mooks to "take care of" both Norg and a Distressed Damsel - said damsel has to spell out the Trouble Entendre to Norg before he gets it.
  • Jumped at the Call: Mack jumps at the call to become Red Ranger. This is against his father's wishes, as said father was originally going to be Red himself before his son snuck the morpher out from under him. This is notable within PR because 95% of Rangers over the course of the franchise either refuse the call initially or accept with I Just Want to Be Normal undertones.
  • Kill It with Water: The Flash Point Megazord's Finishing Move.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted for once; the Drill Blaster/Tri-Laser requires the Defender Vest to counter its recoil.
  • Legion of Doom: Thrax, son of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, uniting the four villain factions in "Once A Ranger".
  • Leitmotif: Each villain faction gets their own theme music.
  • Linked List Clue Methodology: Fridge Logic kicks in though, due to there being five major artifacts the Rangers must find, which they manage to do every six or seven episodes, at which point they just coincidentally find info about the next treasure without any sort of previous clue, leading to the newest linked list. They never find artifacts in the wrong order, not matching up? The Rangers and the four villain organizations are always on the same trail of the same artifact leading to the same jewel at the same time?
    • Maybe the Sentinel Knight didn't anticipate so many different factions going after the crown at the same time? he probably only expected only one group to do it.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The "Home and Away" two-parter has Tyzonn put into one of these by Crazar. He's made to believe that his fiancé is still alive, he was never mutated into a Lava Lizard, and the entire season never took place.
  • Master of Disguise: Spencer
  • Meaningful Name: Rose the Pink Ranger
  • Meet Cute: Weaponized version used by Miratrix to lure Dax.
  • Mjölnir: Thor's hammer Mjolnir (originally in Boukenger as Uchide's mallet, another Public Domain Artifact)
  • Mook Promotion: Moltar holds a deathmatch between his Lava Lizards. The strongest one turned into the Monster of the Week, Volcan.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: The Florida Everglades has mountains. As does the rest of the world, thanks to filming in New Zealand.
  • Mr. Exposition: Rose, the genius, is Ms. Exposition.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Male example with Hartford. He decides his clock is ticking, and so he builds himself a Ridiculously Human Robot teenage son (Mack, who, incidentally, becomes the team's Red Ranger). Being a children's show, why he doesn't use his ungodly amounts of money to get a gold-digger wife is never explored, but it at least gets a lampshade:
    Andrew: I was too busy with my work to find the right woman.
    Mack: Why didn't you make one of those, too!?
  • Mythology Gag:
    • All of Boukenger's monsters were homages to previous seasons' Humongous Mecha. It doesn't fully translate to Operation Overdrive, between homages to seasons that never made it overseas and American-designed monsters that don't homage anything, but still.
    • The One with... Mjolnir seems to have one involving actual mythology: One Norse tale has Thor crossdressing and posing as Freya to get Mjolnir back. Operation Overdrive has Ronny posing as Freya Spencer crossdressing and posing as Ronny-as-Freya to get Mjolnir back.
    • In the same episode we see Thor fighting the large, ice-themed Flurious. In Norse Mythology, Thor is well known for fighting frost giants.
    • During Mack and Bridge's battle with Flurious in "Once A Ranger", Bridge tosses his Delta Blasters to Mack. In the anniversary movie Go Go Sentai Boukenger Vs Super Sentai, AkaRed, the embodiment of the Red Sentai Spirit, does the same thing with Satoru by giving the D-Magnums, the Delta Blasters' Dekaranger counterpart.
    • From the same episode, we have characters saying "back to action" and "morphinominal".
  • Nerdgasm: In-Universe example — Ronny seems to have a "zordgasm" seeing the zords for the first time. And then another one when she checks out the Drill Blaster. All for the sake of adapting Natsuki's genkiness into her...
  • One-Book Author: Caitlin Murphy (Ronny) is actually not a full-time actress, making Ronny her only acting role. After leaving the show, she got married and became a school teacher. As of 2014, her name is now Caitlin Anthony.
  • One True Sequence: Seen in nearly every episode. The Rangers and four factions of enemies are participating in a giant treasure hunt for five mystical jewels, with each individual jewel having another half dozen minor artifacts pointing the way to it in a linear clue-based system... but none of the five groups ever search for different artifacts than each other. Ostensibly, this was because the 32 episode season would've been done in 6 or 7 if they'd all gone after one jewel each.
  • One-Winged Angel: Almost all the villains. Flurious gets the funky chess-piece-looking thing, Miratrix becomes a giant monster bird, the Fearcats get their armored forms, and Kamdor... uh... opens his face mask to reveal another one. Hey, they can't all be winners. But if we don't count Norg as a real villain, Moltor is the only Overdrive villain who never gets an upgrade. Then again, you might consider his usual form the upgrade of his apparently-human form from flashbacks.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Flurious does next to nothing for most of the season.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Brownbeard's ghost has the standard ghostly abilities of turning invisible and possessing someone, but he can also conjure a sword from out of thin air, and seems to be solid most of the time, being able to hold objects, and can even be put at risk from a monster attack. Oh, and he gets a shave at the end of the episode.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: The Fearcats create a giant homunculus called "Agrios" by combining three relics within the Octavian Chalice.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Mack about five seconds after finding out he wasn't human to begin with.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A race car driver, a stuntman, a Classy Cat-Burglar, a perpetual grad student and a Rich Idiot with No Day Job team up and save the world. Then joined by the Elemental Shape Shifter Human Alien from Mercury.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Will. It's never spelled out whether or not he's a Reformed Criminal when the series starts, but during his ten-minute retirement in Once A Ranger, he's shown working as a security consultant. It takes a thief and all that.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Is Mack ever one. Hartford had apparently decided that his biological clock was ticking, and for reasons unknown, he decided to get one from a machine shop rather than a womb. Neither the robot in question nor the viewers were aware of his robotic nature until he picked up a computer virus.
  • Robotic Reveal: Mack is revealed to be a robot built by Hartford after a computer virus that infects the Rangers' base afflicts him as well, and he's forced to be taken off-line and disassembled to get at the problem. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy about it.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: It may be an example; as almost every member of the Big Bad Ensemble was sealed away before the series started. Not that anybody wanted to unseal more: two were released by the discovery of the series' MacGuffin, two were freed by allies and then got caught up in the conflict, and one freed himself.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: All four big bad factions has someone sealed inside a different can. Moltor and Flurious were sealed inside two lifeless planets, one of extreme heat and the other of extreme cold respectively, when they tried to grab the season's MacGuffin, and freed when said MacGuffin was discovered on Earth. Kamdor is initially sealed in a blue gem necklace until he is freed with a stolen device by his partner Miratrix, who incidentally later becomes sealed in same said necklace when Kamdor double crosses her. Then there is the "Prison Mirror" which contains an army of Fearcats, but was destroyed with only Benglo escaping. In another episode, Thrax, the son of Rita and Zedd, repeats the same line his mother made when released from a Space Dumpster, after what could not have been more than two or three years.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Crazar, from the episode "Red Ranger Unplugged", was originally a male Ashu named Ouga who appeared in Tasks 40 through 42 of Boukenger (the "petrified Eiji" min-arc).
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Kamdor's last stand vs. Will. At least, it came down to one of these after an entire episode of fighting it out.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Every monster is designed to look like a previous Megazord, albeit in abstract. This is a carry-over from Boukenger, which was a big milestone celebration series.
    • When the rangers go to St. Lucia (in the Caribbean), they talk about how it's haunted by the ghost of Brownbeard the Pirate. Dax says, "A ghost pirate? That's so cool they should make a movie franchise about that!". Since Power Rangers was owned by Disney at the time, it's pretty obvious what he's referencing.
    • Likely coincidental, but the city San Angeles shares the same name as the one in Demolition Man.
  • Special Effects Failure: The year before, Super Sentai had gone HD. PR was still SD. The solution? Squeeze the 16:9 Boukenger footage, specifically the Zord battles, into 4:3. The result wasn't pretty. Jungle Fury and RPM simply took the 16:9 footage and cropped it.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: At one point, Mack and Moltor pointing their weapons at each other caused enormous explosions.
  • Survivor Guilt: Tyzonn takes the "vengeance" route after his rescue squad, including his fiancée, gets murdered in action.
  • Symbology Research Failure: In mashing up San Diego and Los Angeles into "San Angeles", the creators probably didn't realize they were naming their city "Saint Angels".
  • Take My Hand: Mack has one of these moments with Will, teaching Will an important life lesson about learning to rely on others. We can imagine this particular aesop going badly astray if Will had remembered that Mack is superhumanly strong and could have lifted Will easily. The only reasonable conclusion is that Mack was making it hard (and endangering Will's life) just to teach him a lesson. Or that the writers forgot, which, frankly, is a lot more likely.
  • Teen Genius: Rose was this in the backstory, but by 18 years old, she was already out of Harvard and working in a university in London. If she's 18, she's technically still a teenager.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: The Rangers, ALL of them, after fully reaching their Despair Event Horizon (having to be saved by veteran Rangers) decide to go back to their lives (save for Mack) in the first part of "Once A Ranger".
  • Theme Tune Rap: Complete with such nonsensical lyrics as "Five fingers pointing to the sky in five ways! Five Rangers walking through the sun for five days!"
  • This Is a Drill: The Drill Driver and the Drill Blaster are drill weapons.
  • Time Abyss: Power Rangers has long had aliens who talked about thousands of years ago as if it was yesterday, but the Sentinel Knight takes the cake: the continents were one when he scattered the jewels, which means he was known to be active 250 million years ago, and lived until at least a few years back when he sealed Thrax; doubtlessly a series record.
  • To the Batpole!: The mansion has the standard poles leading from the mansion to the underground base. (And it seems to be a very, very long way down, going by establishment shots.) Suiting up on the way down is optional.
  • To Make a Long Story Short: Bridge in "Once A Ranger" sums up where he's been since the end of S.P.D.:
    Oh, uh, yeah, well, long story short, our mentor who's, well, a dog, got promoted to head of S.P.D. which was run by a bird but he retired to Miami, and Sky got promoted and I got promoted. That's why I'm the Red Ranger, or will be.
  • Villain Teamup: Not frequently, but it's still there. Almost immediately followed by Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
  • Volcano Lair: The villain Moltor heads his operations inside one of these, in sharp contrast to his brother Flurious, who resides inside of an icy cave lair.
  • Wham Line: "We decided to leave Operation Overdrive."
    • (After a computer virus infects the base) - "Good thing. Good thing. Good thing..."
  • Wham Shot: Mack's disembodied head on a table.
  • What Would Zordon Do?: Alpha 6 says this when he has some trouble repairing the morphing grid in "Once A Ranger."
  • Wrench Wench: Ronny's tendency for practically fondling new weaponry with an awed smile on her face makes one wonder how the show stayed TV-Y7. Of course, she had to be the first to test out any new gadget. And apparently, being a race car driver who can work on her own cars has left her qualified to work on giant robots.
  • You Are Already Dead: The aforementioned Single-Stroke Battle ends with Will seemingly collapsing and Kamdor walking away... only to explode on the spot.
  • Younger Than They Look: Mack, being an android, has had the physical appearance of a 17 or 18 year old since his 'birth'; or in his case, design.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Every time the rangers think they've found the next jewel, it turns out to only be the next clue, which led to the next, and the next, etc. Of course, the clues are also often powerful devices on their own.

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