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"Shift into Turbo!"
The fifth season of Power Rangers, which began with a feature film, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
Shortly after the events of Power Rangers Zeo, the Rangers (minus Rocky, who injured his back in training) are charged with defeating the space pirate Divatox, who intends to marry the demon Maligore and gain his power. Zordon tells the Rangers that the Zeo zords are not powerful enough to face this new threat, and gives them new Turbo powers and Zords. Joined by a new Blue Ranger, the twelve-year-old Justin, the Turbo Rangers destroy Maligore, while Divatox swears revenge and heads for Earth.
As the season progresses, 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 her leader, Dark Specter. 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. One episode will be delving into an ominous doomsday message while in another the Rangers are cooked into a pizza. 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/Dairanger White) and King Ranger (Zeo Gold/Ohranger 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 Retool the show's ratings began to stabilize, 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
- Make My Monster Grow: Ignoring it's source material, Divatox simply fires a torpedo at the Monster of the Week.
- Mooks: Pirhanatrons
- 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.
- Recycled in Space!: Power Rangers with COOL CARS!
- Weapon of Choice:
- Sword and Gun: Turbo Swords and Auto Blasters
- Swiss Army Weapon: Turbo Navigator (GPS tracker/blaster) 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 Archer: Kat's/Cassie's Turbo Wind Fire
- Word Power:
"Mountain Blaster 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cool Cars
- 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.
- 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.
- Downer Ending: The Zords are destroyed, the replacement mentor has gone MIA, the Command Center is raided and destroyed, and the Rangers have lost their powers.
- Even worse, the original mentor has been captured by the being that every Big Bad on the series (so far) 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).
- 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
- Eyecatch: 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's shtick, as an Inquirian.
- Get it? Because it sounds like inquiry/inquire? Question?
- Flying Car: Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster.
- 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.
- Forgot the Call: Divatox in "Trouble by the Slice".
- Genki Girl: Ashley.
- Gundamjack: The Turbo Megazord was defeated and taken from the Rangers in one episode, requiring the Rescuezords as replacements.
- 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.
- 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.
- It Got 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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' more memorable monsters. Additionally, their stop is at a lake that was used very often in MMPR, which they even mention.
- 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.
- Odd Friendship: T.J. and Bulk and Skull in "Parts and Parcel".
- Official Couple: Tommy/Kat.
- The Other Darrin: Divatox. She was portrayed by Hilary Shepard Turner in The Movie, but while she was on maternity leave, she was subsequently replaced by Carol Hoyt in the television series for the first half of the series. During the second half of the season, Turner reprised her role, continuing well enough into Power Rangers in Space.
- The change in actresses between the film and the show also brought about a change in costume and personality. Divatox's costume in the film was much more revealing and exposed a lot of cleavage, while her costume in the show was a little more covered up. Hoyt's Divatox was more calculating and evil while Turner portrayed Divatox as more of a hysterical diva.
- 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".
- Promoted Fanboy: Blake Foster was a huge fan of the show and absolutely thrilled when he was offered the part of the Blue Ranger. Even at Power Morphicon in 2010, he said that being a Power Ranger was every kid's dream and that he kept his helmet and costume.
- 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).
- 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."
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Divatox's monster/henchmen qualify as by the end of the season, she sends out her strongest monster, who proceeds to curb stomp BOTH Megazords for the victory. It comes off a bit jarring because of how swiftly it all happens.
- Space Police: The Blue Senturion.
- Submarine Pirates: Divatox is an intergalactic space pirate whose HQ is a fish-shaped submarine known as the Subcraft.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Alpha 6. Justified at least in that Alpha 5 clearly had four similar predecessors, so the trend already existed in-universe.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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 Pirahnatrons' theme talks about how they're goofy and useless; which is quickly proven true whenever it's played. But when it's not...
- What Could Have Been: There were originally plans for Bulk and Skull to get their own Fawlty Towers-esque spin-off series, where they run a hotel with a Mexican Elvis Presley impersonator called "El Vez". Which explains why both Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy left the series so that the producers could add chimpanzees to the show roster (with Schrier and Narvy still providing voices, though).
- Somewhere exists a directors cut of the Turbo movie. I believe it was around forty minutes of footage cut from the final product...
- The fifth revision of the script gave Justin a lot more motivation, explained the Turbo powers, explained why after they didn't pass the powers off to someone else. Oh sure, there are still some plot holes but it mostly patched them all up...
- Originally Adam and Tanya were to stay on and act as mentors to the new Rangers. This was because Jason David Frank and Catherine Sutherland were the only ones requesting to leave the show. They only stayed on for Turbo so they could work out their replacements, and the execs decided on a near entire cast replacement.
- An unfilmed episode called "Rangers in Concert" would have not only focused on Carlos (whose surname was originally "Chavez") and Ashley (who was originally called "Missy"), along with Jenny Hunter (Lt. Stone's niece, from "Cars Attacks", and she would've been called "Ashley") and Tanya's KAGV intern Michael (who was obviously a prototype of T.J.), but also have the Blue Senturion showing the current Turbo Rangers (who would've been fighting the Rockin' Roach) actually see the full Millenium Message, thus knowing who their replacements were in "Passing the Torch".
- Somewhere exists a directors cut of the Turbo movie. I believe it was around forty minutes of footage cut from the final product...
- 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.