Author’s Note: There are likely going to be some spoilers pertaining to this show. If you don’t want to be spoiled about what happens, for the love of the Morphing Grid go to the section aptly named “Final Thoughts”. For those who have watched it consistently and repeatedly, at least you don’t have to worry.
When I first watched Time Force back when it aired on Fox Kids in 2001, I was already in my early teens and I was still into pop culture during that time period. However, my transition into Japanese pop culture at this point was already complete. What took me longer to piece together was the blend of English footage and with what appears to be “dated” footage from Japan (although one could make the argument that technology and budget were somewhat of a non-sensical issue from the Land of the Rising Sun and they made do with what they had). The only time I figured out that the show was made in Japan is when I was taking the time to read the credits, particularly when I was watching the season Ninja Storm (the 11th season of Power Rangers at the time and also what Ranger fans consider the start of the Disney Era).
Over time the show would definitely be cementing its spot as a fan favorite among Ranger fans (including myself). However, I think it’s safe to say that some of the MMPR cast members (particularly JDF) beat us real fans to the punch first. I think the show was a near perfect storm of cast choices, writing, choreography, and editing. The point of this essay retrospective review from a fan’s perspective is to give insight as to how Time Force and the choices specific characters make throughout the show made this a Nearly Timeless Story of Destiny Changed.
A team of rookie Time Force officers must travel back in time to capture a wanted mutant criminal and his lackeys that escaped to the past. Jen, the leader of the group comes across the ancestral counterpart of her fiancé named Wes. As the two sides work together to solve this case, unforeseen ramifications from their actions will cause a change in course of history for the city of Silver Hills and alter the team dynamics within the Rangers themselves. Can differences in time be put aside to stop the mutant criminal Ransik and his army of evil mutants from altering the course of history?
OK, I admit that this isn’t the exact premise that is shown on the DVD itself but I gave it my best shot at least. However, I tried my best to not give too much information away. As I stated on the first page, there is going to be some spoilers pertaining to the show and I admit that I’m going to add some psychoanalysis to this review as well so I ask that you bear with me on that part.
Shift in Leadership:
Before I begin this section, I want to make things extremely clear here. I am in no way, shape, or form against a strong female character (SFC). The reason is pretty obvious. A female character that had to “earn” and “work” to get to where she needs to be is something to be admired and NOT have a position JUST BECAUSE she’s a woman. Clear distinction for those who have never understood such basics in character development and writing in general.
The first time I saw Jen Scotts on screen and noticed how she tried to lead the other Time Force rookie officers, I knew that without a shadow of a doubt she had a commanding presence that asked for respect. However, it also took a different perspective from the past to make Jen understand that there’s more to being a leader than just the position, which is where Wes, the ancestral counterpart of Jen’s fiancé comes in.
The character dynamic between the two would slowly develop into an interesting comparison; however, as a Ranger fan, one could argue that it would make them become a very likeable couple (I know that I did). What was fun to watch however is seeing how Jen’s friends (Lucas, Trip, and Katie) kept making tiny attempts at pushing the two aloof characters together. Despite being headstrong, Jen sometimes forgot that in her blind hatred against Ransik that her friends, including Wes were always there for her. If there’s one thing that I think a few of the characters could learn, particularly overly headstrong characters (regardless of gender or ethnicity) it would be this quote from the late Margaret Thatcher:
“Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny”.
Now before people start going off about ‘But wait a minute, didn’t you say that this was about destiny being changed?’, let me be 110% clear here for those who didn’t read. I have to digress for a moment because I get some people don’t understand about reading between the lines and it shows in responses. The entire show goes on about CHOICES that shape a person’s character and in turn can affect destiny, which in turn can be changed.
Since I now have gotten this little nuance out of the way, I wanted to go a little bit into some character analysis and when I mean character analysis, I really meant a select few; namely Jen, Wes, Eric, and Ransik. There’s a Youtuber by the name of The Disney Brain who makes a decent analysis video and I will be referencing his take on the show as part of my in-depth review (the link will be on the references page).
When Disney Brain first starts off on the two-part episode, he notes that some of the cues that are taken from the show of Lost Galaxy (which he happens to like) felt more like a nod to me about the visual beats if you will. However, Brain does bring up how episode 3 (Something to Fight For) does act like a three-part opener albeit the title of the episodes may not tie indirectly and it does start Wes’ story arc. The one thing that Wes slowly begins to find out that what he experienced in the short amount of time when Ransik does appear and cause havoc in Silver Hills is that his sheltered life is meaningless and that his father despite running a company that directly gets caught up in the changes and ravages of time alteration would have to see things the hard way in terms of why Wes made his choice and how parents who try to plan things for their kids without even asking them what they want to be and doing their best as a parent to nurture that or even being proud of them really brings up the question of whether or not they (the parent or parents) know what the job is. Wes has a different point of view than his father and it took Mr. Collins a while to see that (particularly when he finds out his son is a Ranger) but confronting Ransik when the mutant known as Venomark is released and trying to stop Ransik from taking the serum (which of course I totally agree with Brain and other Ranger fans on how epic that moment is) definitely caused the show to take one heck of a direction in terms of building up the story and character development (Frax’s Revenge). I will mention this a few times and I think a few fans already pieced this together, but I consider Dr. Ferricks to be the “Frankenstein” of the Rangerverse (I’ll explain more when I get into the Sins of the Future graphic novel).
Being Dealt a Bad Hand
Now to start with the interesting villain of the show, Ransik. When I was watching Mr. Venon Wells play the part, I found the backstory interesting with regards to how vain humanity is in the future. Not only was it non-realistic, but also more or less fantasy in and of itself. Ransik didn’t ask to be born, he was just given a bad hand. How he reacted to being shunned by humanity is understandable (again, I have to reference the classic story of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, not just because it’s my favorite horror story but because of how many people can relate to the monster and have some or little pity to the crazy doctor himself). Ransik may have been considered an “accident” by humanity’s mistakes, especially with one so vain as the ones in the year 3,000. However, as Youtuber The Disney Brain tries to make a point with the opening episodes of Time Force, Ransik wasn’t to be trifled with back in the day. Time Force considered Ransik to be the “last mutant” to take into custody but he was not your average criminal. As for how Ransik got his powers, that’s where Wild Force comes in and it adds a critical piece of information to the character’s backstory. Back then, I found the team up alright as a kid…but looking at the team-up years later, I have a much better appreciation for the cast and crew that worked on it. (I’ll go more fanboy mode on my overall thoughts on this later).
During one of the virtual QA panels, particularly with regards to the villains of Power Rangers, I was watching and listening to the way how Mr. Wells explained the original premise was to be almost more in line with the Japanese counterpart (TimeRanger), even though I had a slight feeling that the reference was a double entendre [referencing the Japanese counterpart while at the same time referring to the fact that Jen was a Ranger from Time Force]. What really got interesting over time and I admit there was an episode that was pretty amusing (more on that later) is that Ransik’s obsession with defeating the Rangers and his blind hatred (which one could say is almost equal to Jen’s) later on becomes his undoing. However, fans easily noticed that Ransik has a condition in which he requires the use of a blue serum. As Mr. Wells did point out in a virtual QA panel from Wizard World that the writers did a good job literally putting the two together unknowingly. From a fan standpoint, I think that the two would cross paths almost consistently but for a very specific reason, one that would involve not just opposing viewpoints on implied racism, but the after-effects of blind hate. The only thing that was amusing was during one of the episodes in which Lucas’ journal is found by Nadira and she is given the false impression that Lucas is talking about her, which in turn causes Ransik to tell the Cyclobots to not harm Lucas and he is forced to take her out on a date [Nadira’s Dream Date]. (Although in the villain interview, I don’t blame Mr. Wells for not remembering the episode and the details).
Supporting Cast and A Few Shining Opportunities
Regarding the supporting characters of Lucas, Katie, and Trip…there was very little done on Lucas and Katie respectively and in terms of character development…it was almost nonexistent. Trip on the other hand only had one episode to shine and it was during an episode regarding a mutant that was being non-violent yet it was forced to attack the Rangers against its will through a mind-control device embedded in its very skin (Trip Takes a Stand). When Eric confronts Trip and the mutant, Trip stands his ground and confronts Eric with not only facts but also reality telling him “If you are so indifferent to those who are not like you, then you may as well destroy me too” revealing the gem on his forehead.
Katie has at least a couple of episodes but it doesn’t go much into her as much as fans would think. Besides thinking back to how time might get altered and the possibility of not finding her family (aka ramifications of time displacement or time and history being “ravaged” because of the actions of Ransik and the Rangers) or the possibility of her questioning the issues of time travel itself (which…unfortunately, is not well explored). The second episode was more or less like a stand-alone alternate universe type of scenario (the clocktower ghost episode). This particular episode does in a way describes my ramifications of time displacement/interference. The narrative of the ghost that Wes originally gave changes because of Katie. (As much as I want to use Back to the Future references as an example of “consequences” the show doesn’t do THAT good of a job with it). This now brings me over to Lucas and there’s not much to be said other than the fact that he’s “there”. Hardly much was put into the character besides the fact that he’s a “race car driver” and he had an old racing rival. Disney Brain brings up the exact same points that I mentioned because, in my opinion, they ran up against a wall on this character.
Now in terms of background for what I consider the “main three”, I would think that the show tried to go with the “less is more” approach and they sort of did. Jason Faunt literally had to do double time playing Alex and Wes respectively (and when the actors mention makeup and how long it takes…they do not joke around). While we only get the fact that Alex was the fiancé of Jen Scotts, not much was given in terms of why Alex became…cold after his supposed death at the hands of Ransik. While the graphic novel Sins of the Future attempted to answer that question…I think it was a hit and miss on both the writing and the direction. Wes may have been raised in a “well-to-do family” but the divide between him and his father Mr. Collins was just the starting point of the push for Wes to be with the Rangers. At first, he is naïve about the situation when Jen and Co. arrive in their uniforms and Wes is given the rundown as to why they arrived in the year 2001, but it even gets odder when Jen mistakes Wes for her dead fiancé upon them first meeting (then again who could blame her, Jen and team did travel through time after all). Eric…is an interesting character. Despite being distant and not wanting to cooperate with the Rangers at first, it took numerous attempts from Wes as well as his encounter with a young girl who was watching over his parrots when facing a mutant that could mimic his voice and control the Q-Rex (Conwing from the episode Quantum Secrets) to have Eric learn what it meant to be a Power Ranger (Wes points this out later on in End of Time Part 2). However, there are a few moments where Eric did help Wes and the Rangers out. One was with regards to the Trizirium Crystals and the aftereffects of what they do, and the second was when Alex reappeared, forcefully took command of Red Ranger, and then gives Wes a ride to the hospital because of what happened to his father (the three-part episode regarding the theme of Destiny – Dawn of Destiny, Fight Against Fate, and Destiny Defeated).
Contrast Between Wes and Eric, Wes and Jen, and Ransik vs Frax [A Tale of Opposite Viewpoints]
Originally, I was going to put the subtitle as A Tale of Different Personalities. However, I have come across comments from obnoxious people on social media who seem to twist what Eric and Jen said about Wes even though he came from a “high status”, he was willing to make his own choice over time and it showed despite originally getting his father’s disproval when he finds his son doing lowly jobs to help his friends. The biggest disconnect however turned out to be when Mr. Collins finds out about Wes being a Power Ranger (Worlds Apart). What I am getting at here is that most people have a tendency to look only at the surface instead of trying to get to know the person better. (Wes brings this viewpoint up a few times with Jen, particularly in the episode Trust and Triumph when they’re facing off against Turtlecon who sends the others into pocket dimensions).
Regarding the episode that I just cited…I’ll have to quote what Wes said exactly and if you think about what he tells Jen, he also tries to break through Eric’s stubborn attitude despite his disdain for those who “supposedly have everything”.
It’s right after Jen berates Wes for messing up the attempt to stop a bank robbery right after the Silver Guardians show up and Wes acknowledges that he made a mistake, and then throws Jen’s “talk” about trust right back at her and rightfully so.
“Trust is a two-way street. You expect us to trust you to lead us, no matter what you say, we do it; but you don’t trust us enough to open up. You never let anybody in”.
Jen goes off about her mission to get Ransik that she doesn’t have to “open up” and it is at that moment that she unknowingly proves Wes’ point.
“See, that’s my point. It is all business with you Jen. Now I know you said you liked me, but how am I supposed to even trust you, when I don’t even know who you are”.
Later on, after Circuit points out that the two would have to learn to trust each other to get Katie, Lucas, and Trip out of the pocket dimension that Turtlecon put them in…as Wes and Jen put together the weapon that is supposed to help break one side of the dimension, Jen eventually opens up about how she and Alex met and how she almost quit Time Force back when she was a rookie.
While Wes and Jen do have their strong points as Rangers to a degree and Jen eventually becomes less strict and tries to “balance” being a leader as well as a teammate, the contrast between Wes and Eric was an interesting development albeit the explanation on the animosity between the two is not fully explained that well. In fact, the same can be almost said for Ranisk and Frax in terms of the lack of explanation on how the two met and also as was mentioned in the Wikipedia for Power Rangers, there was a lack of buildup and surprise in how Ransik didn’t recognize Dr. Ferricks and Frax being one and the same, especially with the use of the Cyclobots (I’ll get more to that later).
As for Wes and Eric, I would need to look back as to how the two actually butt heads albeit briefly. The only time Eric showed disdain for Wes and the so-called rich because of how the others looked down on him was during the episode Worlds Apart. In this particular episode after Univolt is unleashed and the Silver Guardians can’t stop it, Wes went to protect their leader but in the process, the attack shatters his visor revealing his identity to both his greedy father and to his former classmate. Despite what Eric originally described Wes as due to his upbringing, Wes kept trying to befriend Eric despite his cold distant attitude at first. Wes ultimately has to bring up the issue during the second episode of the three-part finale End of Time.
“What is it with you? For years I have tried to be your friend, but you don’t want anything to do with me”.
“My friend? You don’t even know the first thing about me. I had nothing. I was dirt poor, and I have struggled for as long as I can remember, to pull my life out of the gutter. No one helped me, not even for one minute. Unlike you, who has had everything handed to him on a silver platter. You and I have nothing in common”.
Of course, Wes proves him wrong again stating that they both went to change their destinies and succeeded and also giving Eric some common sense that despite differences, they need to protect the city and its people.
Switching back to the couple themselves, Wes and Jen had initial differences during the first three episodes of Time Force. Wes was naïve about the whole situation and Jen was trying to have him be an effective leader, whereas he was showing her how to be a good friend as well as a leader. The two reminisce their time together in the episode A Calm Before the Storm. I did find it somewhat obvious when Wes initially told Jen that out of all the things he was going to miss, it was her before rephrasing it and saying that he would miss all of them. That initial “confession” definitely caught Jen off guard considering that their friends knew how aloof they were to a point and tried to hilariously bring them together, which I found amusing.
This now gets to my final comparison of viewpoints which touches upon the theme of hatred and deceit through the lens of Ransik and Dr. Ferricks (Frax). During the episode of Frax’s Revenge the viewers finally get the backstory about Dr. Ferricks however, the attempt on trying to go deeper into explaining how he became the “Dr. Frankenstein” of the Rangerverse as I put it through the graphic novel Sins of the Future was more or less…kinda rushed. The mutant known as Venomark which gave Ransik one of his weaknesses was unleashed upon Silver Hills and the Rangers. Despite Wes having obtained one of the vials to cure the problem, Ransik was looking for Frax long after the Rangers defeated Venomark and found the rest were destroyed. It is here that Frax reveals to Ransik that the abuse he had endured because he was in robot form and how Ransik only saw Dr. Ferricks as a means to an end that the theme of hate comes into play. Ransik was shunned by society because of his deformed manner. Dr. Ferricks hated Ransik for being used as a pawn, destroying his lab, and leaving him for dead considering that he found robots useless. However, despite Ransik’s attempt on Dr. Ferricks’ life, Ferricks used one of the robot skeletal bodies that he had built and transferred what was left of himself into his robot form and the final vial was destroyed as Frax only appeared as a hologram (which realistically would not make much sense). Later on, when Nadira is told by Trip that there wasn’t much of a difference between mutants and humans, she eventually has a change of heart after helping a pregnant woman give birth to a child. Prior to Frax being a total reprogrammed robot, Nadira asked Frax the topic of hate and after apologizing for what her father did to him, Dr. Ferricks is briefly shown as he struggled to tell Nadira that she didn’t have to choose hate and to break the cycle. As a result of this, during the final battle, Ransik learned the hard way of letting hate blind him and not realizing what he had.
Reinforcements from the Future Team Up Tie-In:
OK, some nitpicky fans would likely ask me why I didn’t include the Forever Red team-up episode from Wild Force. I have just as much of a good reason because I recently had a virtual QA Panel chat with both Jason Faunt and Dan Southworth respectively last summer (a few talking points I had were the team-ups during the Wild Force run). Mr. Faunt explained to me simply that they didn’t know much of the actors who played the previous Red Rangers from different seasons (except one respectively, and I KNOW Ranger fans get who I am thinking about but I won’t say it anyway because it’s too damn obvious) and that for the most part they enjoyed the Wild Force team up more except that part he didn’t go into detail as much but Mr. Faunt did mention to me about how he enjoyed the tie in with their season and how it expanded a bit on the backstory. Remember how I brought up Ransik earlier…during this team-up, Ransik reveals how during the so-called utopia of the year 3,000 due to the vanity of humanity and the “need to control things”, an accident occurred. Ransik was shunned by the humans during the year 3,000 just because of his warped appearance alone and prior to creating his mutant crime gang, he was forced to hide in the shadows. He recounts his story to both Time Force and Wild Force Rangers about how the Mutant Org hybrids came about. After explaining what went out, Ransik looks at Jen knowing that she did have anger for what he did to her former fiancé but what she said next pretty much reinforced my admiration of her character.
“No matter how much we want to, we can’t change the past, but we can work for a better future”.
The team-up scenes were alright for the most part and I found the interaction between Eric and Taylor as well as the banter exchange between Eric and Wes pretty amusing considering that both had different militant backgrounds (well…Taylor did at least). I think the same factors of becoming like a family with the other cast members as well as the writing and the bond they shared and being a part of the massive expanding franchise is what made the team-up work pretty well made in my opinion.
Sins of the Future (Overall Thoughts):
Warning: If you haven’t read the graphic novel by now, I am saying this RIGHT NOW…stop reading this section, go into the overall thoughts section, and then read the graphic novel because there are spoilers ahead. I’m not kidding.
While at first when I read about the news for the graphic novel I was initially excited, part of me kept wondering what the connection was with the Black Time Force Ranger to Wes and Jen, and how did Frax play a part in this? Even though the initial pitch was that the graphic novel was supposed to in a way act as a “sequel” to Time Force itself…my interest began to slowly dwindle after revisiting it and my once glowing review began to slowly dim to an above-average viewpoint.
The story seems to focus more on Jen and the so-called consequences of her relationship with Wes. However, despite the two trying to make their “long-distance relationship” work, there are elements of the Hyperforce Team being mentioned early on, and the symbol used for the so-called “academy” is shown a few times. When Wes and Eric are trying to take down rogue Cyclobots despite the numbers supposedly increasing, Jen comes in to help her boyfriend thin the herd. Jen was originally training to have the position of Commander, but Levy says that he thinks she’s more suited for an instructor role because of her experience in Time Force. So when she tries to break the news to Wes, for some reason when she goes to visit him, it’s as if the whole city was “reset” and by that, I also mean the clocktower. Despite the two trying to go on a supposed date, their time together gets interrupted by the appearance of the Time Force Black Ranger who is putting the blame of time being messed up on Jen. However, when I first saw the character, I already knew right away that the gender was female for obvious reasons that I won’t even bother to explain because I know how the Internet is full of morons that won’t shut up to stroke their ego.
Back to the main point at hand, with the appearance of the mysterious Black Time Force Ranger, Jen forcefully cuts everything off with Wes and tries to go back to figure out what is going on, but despite missing her time curfew, she tries to make it to Katie’s house only to be attacked by her former friends and being given the exact same false accusation of time being messed up because of her choices. Just when she was about to be captured, a future Nadira addresses Jen as Instructor Scotts. This happens to be the Nadira from Hyperforce. At this point, prior to Nadira coming in and Jen returning, Wes and Eric were trying to get answers themselves when reporting into Silver Guardians HQ. Before they could begin, the Black Ranger appears and attacks them, supposedly in one timeline killing Wes. Nadira points out to Jen after she saves her that she was from the future and that due to what has happened, she gives Jen a letter written by Wes as Nadira tells her that Wes died. The two have to break into Time Force HQ to get answers regarding this Black Ranger. There are numerous tears in time and space as a result of this strange occurrence caused by the Black Ranger. When Jen and the Black Ranger finally cross paths, Jen is trying to make sense of the whole thing as the two Rangers fight and finally manages to remove the helmet revealing the girl to be the younger sister of Alex, Jen’s former fiancé, named Cyra. Cyra blames Jen for what happened to Alex for some poorly explained reasons (I think the word Disney Brain might use for this point is “pathetic”)
At this point, it then becomes one of those “girl power” moments which eventually kills the mood especially when crap writers can’t put things together to have it make sense. Jen and Cyra makeup and then Ransik, now a director tells the girls about a secret hidden experimental base simply referred to as Outpost One located between space and time. Prior to that, however, Nadira points out that Dr. Louis Ferricks created the Morpher that Cyra is using. There are only two pages that give a general look as to how Dr. Ferricks became what I call the Rangerverse’s “Dr. Frankenstein” for tampering with the fabric of space-time itself just wanting to “be recognized” for his supposed genius, as do most vain scientists who then pervert the craft itself.
The girls manage to get into a ship and manage to reach Outpost One but are temporarily confronted with some failed experiments wandering the wasteland of the place before being able to find a way into the base. It is here that the girls find out what Dr. Ferricks was up to. There are a few possible spoilers and strange references to MMPR particularly with how Zordon became stuck between space and time. All Dr. Ferricks brings up is that in one of his experiments, he managed to find a citizen of Eltar to be one of his guinea pigs. Operation Overdrive appeared to be the name of his project. As the girls travel deeper in the base, Nadira gives a recount of what happened during the Time Force show to Cyra and I found the response from Jen hilarious when she jabs at Nadira saying “Don’t try and summarize my adventures”. By the time they get to the center, throughout their search, they kept hearing a strange robotic voice going on about “trying to fix past mistakes”. The girls stumble upon what appears to be a skeletal half completed robot that resembles Frax. It goes on about trying to “redeem mutants” and that it was left behind to continue Dr. Ferricks’ work. Cyra tries to stop it but Jen warns her that it’s too much for her to take on. As a result, Cyra gets sent back way into the past causing Jen to have to destroy it. However, the morpher gets left behind and Jen somehow is able to piece together that the whole event was a paradox and she goes through time to give it to a younger Cyra and tells her to not let the past control her and goes on about being loving and caring; as a result fixing the paradox and then finding an older Cyra thanking her and how she followed Jen’s advice before destroying the morpher. Afterwards, it appears Jen and Wes try to do a restart on their “date” with Jen trying to explain the issue prior to the attack from the Black Time Force Ranger.
Storywise, the continuity was lacking and plot points were all over the place. Art was not an issue, it hardly was. The writing tends to be the issue especially when fans are involved. While I do give a general take on the graphic novel after given a broken messy review on each “Act” as I put it, the interest in going back and re-reading it seems to dwindle. I did like it initially but overall, it became more like a “fanfiction” of sorts that someone who barely knows how to do character development can work on (some people that I have talked to on the Internet had similar opinions about the comics themselves). The setting itself felt more like an Alternate Universe post Shattered Grid (which by the way is an awesome read). The ending itself was lackluster to a point.
The graphic novel definitely had more plot holes than Time Force itself, but then again, we’re talking about comics here. The flow of the plot is broken and if you have read the Go Go Power Rangers side of the MMPR verse, I have heard that was better than the Mighty Morphin line. Some could argue that SOTF almost falls in line with the way Beyond the Grid went in terms of writing and having gone through the whole thing online…I’m beginning to agree and it’s really sad.
Do I consider Time Force a perfect season? Not even by a long shot. Is it well done? Yes. The characters have some development, a few are interconnected in terms of the story itself. The writing is great, which I can say more than compared to the graphic novel Sins of the Future. As the cast of Time Force points out, they really bonded and became a family of sorts because of the chemistry and how they bounced off each other, plus as Jason Faunt pointed out in the Time Force interview from Wizard World that it was thanks to veteran actors like Vernon Wells who showed them the ropes in terms of acting. Ransik was definitely the perfect villain for the show and fans could see it through Mr. Wells’ performance. While it had some dark themes and touched upon them (implied death, biased viewpoints, segregation, hatred, revenge), the writers didn’t talk down to the young audience as if they were dumb, they treated them like adults, which is more than I can say for most wannabe writers and artists these days, and that’s me saying a lot. It has a few plot holes and some faults, but I think that some episodes more than make up for it. However, the episodes of when the Rangers are in Hollywood and then get trapped in various genres…that one was fun to watch…especially regarding the fact that they found the costume that Vernon wore when he was in Mad Max and one of the vehicle props (I don’t know if that was a coincidence or pure luck). Those that are a fan of the films with Mel Gibson would know exactly who he plays (even though I’ve only seen the second film once). As I found out through Jason Faunt’s IG page when he posted about the Hollywood Madness, they were at Universal Studios doing those episodes.
Regarding the Wild Force team up, I actually agree with Jason and Dan in terms of their assessment on the episodes “Force from the Future”. The flow of going between the two teams and seeing the contrast was enjoyable to watch. Jen sporting what I could only describe as an “Aliens” Ripley inspired look for a bounty hunter was just eye candy. The so-called love hate relationship between Eric and Taylor felt genuine to me that I think they could become good friends. As for anything beyond that…I will leave that up to the “other fans”, but I wouldn’t say that I’m against it. I definitely enjoyed Ransik being the “protective father” when Danny and Max were trying to get Nadira’s attention, but she then went with Lucas (which implied that she does like him – and it kinda looked too obvious from the graphic novel). Forever Red WAS a nice nod to the past but…again, plot armor and lackluster writing combined with reusing characters from the Metal Hero series in Japan (in this case Big Bad Beetleborgs), I am beginning to understand what Jason Faunt meant when he explained to me that he and Dan didn’t recognize most of the other actors (probably aside from JDF and Austin St. John respectively and arguably) and that it was an OK episode at best. I could only imagine the reaction of Kevin Kleinberg (who plays Trip) and his reaction if he watched that episode since he did mention he was a fan since MMPR during that Wizard World virtual QA Panel.
When I was watching the Power Rangers Playback, of which I was a temporary member because of financial issues (hosted by Catherine Sutherland and Nakia Burrise – Zeo and Turbo respectively) episodes regarding Jason Faunt and Erin Cahill discussing about their show Time Force, I found it somewhat amusing watching how they reacted to the episodes chosen (End of Time Part 3 and Fight Against Fate) as well as explain to their fellow Rangers in terms of who was who and what was going on in terms of the show and the premise itself. Catherine Sutherland also explained to me as to why they enjoyed Time Force like many others during one of their livestreams on Youtube (I went under the alias of skyh0und008 – I literally got them tongue twisted on accident because of my name and laughing at one point).
Time Force will always have a special place for me as a fan of the franchise because of the factors that I mentioned earlier when I started this. I still find it watchable even now and it doesn’t get old. Some episodes have a few references to other works (example of an archaeologist named Hammond possibly referring to the late Richard Attenborough during Quantum Quest or the Hollywood Madness episodes – which I briefly touched upon). Ransik’s background and story and how Vernon Wells delivered on his performance not only sold the character for me but also made me respect and like the villain even more which is why he ranks second on my top 5 list. There’s just something about the season that has so much depth, like Lost Galaxy had (also a great season). A perfect storm of casting, directing, writing, choreography, and acting. Definitely a near timeless story of changing destiny.
To close, I have to quote from another pop culture film.
“The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves”
– John Connor (Terminator 2: Judgment Day -1991)
Happy 20th Birthday Time Force. May the power protect you always.
The Disney Brain. Power Rangers Time Force (Changing Your Destiny Part 1) https://youtu.be/zwuOPEm-89g
The Disney Brain. Power Rangers Time Force (Changing Your Destiny Part 2)
Power Rangers Playback, Episode 13 Power Rangers Time Force Fight Against Fate (Part 1) – https://youtu.be/h72O3boTYks
Power Rangers Playback, Episode 13 Power Rangers Time Force Fight Against Fate (Part 2) – https://youtu.be/z1YjAqgSeAA