Watch The Original And Surprisingly Violent ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Pilot [Video]
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If you were a kid in 1993, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re familiar with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and that, if you were called upon to do so, you could probably list off a few of the show’s defining characteristics. Once you got past the dinosaur robots, the monsters, and the color-coordinated karate fights, you’d probably talk about Ernie’s juice bar, Bulk and Skull, Zordon, and maybe even the eternal annoyance that is Alpha 5. But what you might not realize is that there’s a lot of that stuff that wasn’t originally part of the show — at least as it appeared in the original 15-minute pilot.
Obviously, the dinosaur robots and monsters are all in there, but it’s just different enough that it seems super weird in comparison. Check it out and see if you can spot all the differences!
From a tonal standpoint, the biggest change from the pilot to the actual show has to be the amount of violence that they showed. If you go back and watch the first few episodes of the series, Bulk and Skull seem super creepy in how aggressive they are (particularly towards Kimberly), but the pilot explains that by showing that the kids who became the Rangers were originally set up against an entire gang of teenage antagonists, that they actually got into a fight with. I don’t think that ever happened on the show, since regular kids punching each other is way easier for impressionable kids to imitate. Also, note that there’s no Skull and Paul Schrier was a minor character rather than the ringleader.
Also, dude had hair like Haku in that thing.
It’s also worth noting that Trini, the Yellow Ranger, was originally played by a different actress, that “Zordon” was originally “Zoltar,” that the team hung out in a bowling alley rather than a juice bar, and that Austin St. John could not have looked less interested in the original version of the morphing sequence. It’s interesting to try to figure out what the 20-year franchise based on this show would’ve looked like, and whether it would’ve succeeded at all.