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Series / Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills

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”Moleculon, home planet to the diabolically evil Emperor Gorganus. Gorganus has vowed to use an army of alien monsters to conquer Earth, the focal point of a system of power portals he needs to rule the universe. I am Nimbar, head protector of the power portals. To carry out my mission to stop Gorganus, I have chosen four teenagers from Beverly Hills. I summon them by flashing their tattoos. Then they transform into Galactic Sentinels. The fate of the Earth depends on these Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills.”
Nimbar, providing the Opening Narration.

Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills is a children's series produced by DiC Entertainment that ran for 40 episodes, from 1994 to 1995, on the USA Network. Despite not being animated, it was part of USA's "Cartoon Express" block for a while, as noted in press releases from the time. TTAFFBH is one of several shows that were cranked out to get a piece of the pie when Power Rangers made it big. It is notable for being one of only two not adapted from a preexisting tokusatsu show.note 

Emperor Gorganus wants to take over Earth because it's the nexus of a network of portals that would make universal domination a lot easier for him. To stop Gorganus's monsters from taking over the planet, a blobby alien named Nimbar assembles four teenagers and gives them the power to transform into giant superheroes named after constellations to fight off the aliens. Whenever evil's afoot, the Galactic Sentinels' celestial tattoos flash to alert them.

The Galactic Sentinels are composed of:

  • Laurie Foster (Leslie Danon) – The Leader. Intelligent, beautiful, and very organized, if somewhat bossy at times. As Scorpio, she has light green armor. Her weapon is a slim bladed sword.
  • Gordon Henley (Richard Nason) – A spoiled preppy whose mother is the mayor of Beverly Hills. He starts off arrogant but warms up to the others over time. He becomes Taurus, donning a black outfit. He wields a staff as his weapon.
  • Drew Vincent (K. Jill Sorgen) – A grungy tomboy who works at the coffee shop owned by her aunt that the teens regularly hang out in. She becomes Centaur, wearing a purple outfit. She uses a battle axe as her weapon.
  • Swinton Sawyer (Rugg Williams) – The Black and Nerdy member of the group who is also the friendliest. He wears a yellow suit and holds the power of Apollo. His weapon is a small unnamed double-bladed weapon.

Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Laurie fits this roll being the Cheerleading Captain, a Straight A Student, her skills in running school events and she's also the leader of the Galactic Sentinels.
  • Alliterative Name: Two of them in the series. Swinton Sawyer and Nicole Nash.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Laurie when she is transformed into Scorpio has her baring her midriff.
  • Bespectacled Cutie: Drew is this when she swaps bodies with Swinton.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Drew and Rick at the end of "The Universal Hitchhiker".
  • Brilliant, but Lazy:
    • Gordon has shown multiple times that he can be quite clever, with "How Time Flies" and "The Last People on Earth" showing he can be as smart as Swinton if he wants to, though he's rather laid back and usually bribes others to do his work for him.
    • Drew fits this role to an extent where she shows to be smart when she puts her mind to it and even takes control in Laurie's absence. However, "The Impostor" shows that she tends to borrow notes from other students rather than make her own.
  • Broken Pedestal: Orion and Nimbar are this to each other in "The Universal Hitchhiker". Orion was a former Galactic Sentinel from another world who lost his teammates in battle against Predaraptor, and his planet soon afterwards. He became bitter after surviving, believing that Nimbar didn't really care much about the Sentinels and only used them to fight the battles he himself couldn't fight. In turn, Nimbar feels the same way about Orion since he abandoned his post as a Galactic Sentinel. They do end up in better terms at the end of the episode, though not enough for Orion to stay and stop being The Drifter.
  • The Cameo: Zsa Zsa Gabor, running for mayor in a episode.
  • The Casanova: Gordon is often seen hitting on the female students and attempting to score dates with them throughout the series, though mostly towards Laurie.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Drew's aunt Nicole confronts her about her constant disappearances, Drew reveals her secret. Her aunt takes her to a psychiatrist to help with her "delusions."
  • Cherry Tapping: Knightron does this to Isolus in "The Spy".
  • Christmas Episode: "It's a Gorganus Life". This is ironically also the final episode.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's implied that Gordon doesn't have a father when he bonds with Swinton's dad and starts doing things with him without Swinton, much to the latter's jealousy.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: An octopus monster, actually.
  • The Drifter: Orion, the former Galactic Sentinel from the episode "The Universal Hitchhiker".
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Gorganus wants to conquer it to be able to use a portal network to conquer the universe and states he won't destroy it because the portal network would be destroyed as well.
  • Evil Sorcerer: The Sorcerer.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're teenagers who get their powers from tattoos who are fighters of aliens, and they're from Beverly Hills. What else is there to say?
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The Galactic Sentinels use what appear to be melee weapons, but their only function is to shoot lasers.
  • Fusion Dance: When their tame chop socky isn't enough to get rid of a monster, the Galactic Sentinels can combine into Knightron, a robotic space knight of overwhelming power. Thing is, his power is "finite", and only to be used as a last resort, which doesn't stop them from forming him even when they're winning.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Drew's name fits this perfectly well with it generally being a boy's name.
  • Global Warming: In "Ozone O-Mio", Slaygar eats the ozone layer, causing the world to become unbearably hot.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Nimbar. He cares little for the Galactic Sentinels' personal lives and chides them whenever their mundane conflicts risk interfering with the mission. Professor X he is not, but he's also not wrong about saving the world being more important than their teen drama.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Neragula traps the sentinels in one of these in "Deja Vu" to wear them out so they can't fight anymore.
  • Head Bob: Of course. Gorganus is especially notable.
  • Hidden Depths: In "Take Two Galactic Sentinels and Call Nimbar in the Morning", it's revealed Drew is really good at biology. She mentions it was her favorite subject last semester. Additionally, "It's A Gorganus Life" shows she's got an obsession with the movie It's a Wonderful Life.
  • I Just Want to Be You: The Impostor focuses on Laurie becoming fixated on trying to be like Drew after she lands a role as her in a soap opera. It even caused problems on the battlefield where she tries to fight as Centaur instead of Scorpio then steals her weapon when that fails which drives Drew mad.
  • An Ice Person: Isolus.
  • Iconic Outfit: Gordon is very fond of neckties and always wears one with his day-to-day clothes. Even in "Switch", the episode where he switches bodies with Laurie, he wears one as her.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: An inversion in "The Chocolate War" where Gordon introduces Nimbar to chocolate. At the end of the episode, it turns out Earth is the only planet in the world that makes chocolate.
  • It Came from Beverly Hills: As the title suggests, the series is set in Beverly Hills.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: It's A Gorganus Life serves as this as Nimber puts the Sentinels into a Hologram version of Earth showing what would it be like if the Galactic Sentinels didnt exist. Only Drew seems to figure it out though.
  • Leader Forms the Head: Averted. Even though Laurie is the field leader of the Sentinels, her Scorpio symbol becomes Knightron's left leg, not the head (which comes from Taurus' symbol).
  • Leitmotif: Knightron has one, which can be heard when the heroes combine to form him, and when he stands triumphant after defeating a monster.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Drew's Masculine Girl to Swinton's Feminine Boy.
  • Monster of the Week: Averted. There are about nine or ten monsters that Gorganus sends out again and again depending on which one is best suited for his plan. This was most likely due to the show's shoestring budget. "Emperor for a Day" lampshades this.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The male Galactic Sentinels. Like the females, they're athletic and wear sleeveless uniforms, but their suits show a substantial part of their legs, while the women have their legs entirely covered.note 
  • Never Say "Die": Averted within the first minute of "In the Beginning", where Gorganus sends a goon to 40 years of a "living death" in a mine after failing to kill Nimbar.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Knightron is said to be robotic in nature, which would make him/it a Giant Alien Knight Robot.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: This series ditches the traditional Sentai hero Latex Space Suits for more revealing attires, but the only thing all of them have in common — beside the masks — is the lack of sleeves. Taurus and Apollo wear equal gymnastics-like male leotards that show way more of the legs than Centaur's tank unitard and Scorpio's cropped top and pants, which cover the legs entirely.note  Additionally, due to Apollo's suit having a single long sleeve in the first episode, the team was, for a moment, the first in Sentai with all heroes wearing suits with different models.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Trust", a freak electrical occurrence causes all of the lockers to pop open at school. Drew's diary falls out and the team reads an entry which explains exactly why she doesn't talk about her parents.note  The purpose of this is for Drew to be alienated enough to not join the group in their next fight, but the contents of the entry are never expounded upon.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Unlike in other tokusatsu series, there's no real effort to disguise the fact that the main characters are played by other people when in their full uniforms.note  The suit actors are uncredited, their faces are entirely covered by the masks (except for the eyes), and their hairstyles are similar to the main actors, but they also have a noticeable muscular build, made even more visible by their use of skin-baring uniforms instead of the usual full-body spandex. After the squad's very first morph, there's even a moment of surprise with the physical change.
  • Power Tattoo: Used by Nimbar to alert the Galactic Sentinels.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Unlike in Power Rangers, the Galactic Sentinels don't really like each other at first. This changes when they officially become friends in the episode "Winner Takes All". Their pretending not to be friends when questioned about it is lampshaded in "The Psychiatrist".
  • Red Is Heroic: Surprisingly averted. The only Super Sentai-style series not to feature a red uniform among the hero squad.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Two of the monsters have a reptile theme (a snake and a dragon).
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: In "Nightmare on Rodeo Drive", the Sorcerer casts a spell that seemingly has no effect. It's actually a sleep spell that puts them in a magic-induced nightmare where everything starts going wrong, including Nimbar revoking their Sentinel powers and dying near the end. Throughout the dream, a lot of weird things happen, such as a person in the background riding a bike inside the school building, or a bowling ball falling down the stairs at the coffee shop. There's also a scene where Gordon's mother is mad at him for not getting admitted to Princeton and says, "You're a Galactic Sentinel, for crying out loud!" even though they have secret identities and normally no one knows. The characters do at least catch on the last part, and even point it out as evidence they are dreaming.
  • Right Out of My Clothes: In "A Nightmare on Rodeo Drive," the teens discover that they're in a dream spell. To test if he's really in a dream, Gordon tries to imagine Laurie in her underwear, and her clothes poof away.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Swinton is the Sensitive guy to Gordon's Manly Man.
  • Ship Tease: There are multiple episodes that tease Laurie has a secret crush on Gordon, despite constantly rejecting all his attempts at wooing her.
    • Commitments has a moment between Gordon and Drew where they pretend to be a couple but somehow discover how alike they are, building a level of chemistry between them.
  • Sick Episode: Take two sentinels and call Nimber in the morning.
  • Sixth Ranger: Subverted. Orion temporarily joins the team, but only to replace an injured Laurie, and he leaves at the end of the episode, after which Laurie is back.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Played with. Gordon giving Nimbar chocolate is what prompted him to stay and keep protecting Earth since it's the only planet to have such food.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Isolus is Gorganus's only female monster.
  • Stellar Name: The Galactic Sentinels all use constellations for their names.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: According to "Nightmare on Rodeo Drive," at least, the Sorcerer's powers are actually highly advanced science.
  • Supreme Chef: Laurie is revealed to be a very good baker in "The Quitter".
  • Teenage Mutant Samurai Wombats: Without context, the series sounds like a parody with a random Word Salad Title.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. In the two-parter "The Psychiatrist", Drew's aunt Nicole calls in a shrink because she believes Drew has Complusive Lying Syndrome.
  • Title Drop: The title is only mentioned at the end of "In the Beginning...." as a joke.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Drew's Tomboy to Laurie's Girly Girl.
  • Totally Radical: Some of it, like Drew constantly describing things, including getting her tattoo, as "hinky".
  • Transformation Sequence: Averted for the most part. When they are needed, the heroes will stand in a teleport pad, shout the name of their constellation, and will instantly appear in their Galactic Sentinel form at whatever location the monster is attacking. The only transformation sequence seen is when they merge into Knightron — and even then, it's a rather modest looking sequence, with each of the Sentinels' constellation symbols becoming a piece of Knightron (both legs, the torso and the head) and assembled together into the warrior.
  • Two First Names: Drew Vincent as both Drew and Vincent are general first names given to males.
  • Western Zodiac: Combined with Four-Temperament Ensemble and some artistic license. The Galactic Sentinels take the guardian constellations Aquarius (called Apollo), Sagittarius (called Centaur), Scorpio, and Taurus. Weirdly, in "The Universal Hitchhiker", the episode where they're helped by a Sentinel from another planet, he and his teammates all had Earthly constellations for their hero forms too.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: The villain Ninjabot won't lie, as part of his code of honor. While he's vowed his loyalty to Gorganus, he can still make a deal with the Galactic Sentinels to get rid of Gorganus and steal his throne.
  • Your Size May Vary: It's implied the Galactic Sentinels are Kaiju size when transformed, as the places where they fight are either big cities or desert canyons where they tower over the trees. That said, in one episode, one of the Sentinels gets kidnapped and taken to Gorganus' lair, and the two of them are the same size.