Monday, January 27, 2014

Power Rangers In Space Reimagined: A Synopsis

A few years ago, a buddy and I tossed had been working on a fanfic project on the Power Rangers In Space. More specifically, it was going to be our attempt to retell the first couple episodes of PRiS, but with a slightly different flavor. We've had a few chapters outlined before lack of time and interest on both our parts meant the project was shelved.

Some time ago, while digging through some old files, I came across a folder of old Word documents containing some of this material. I can't present the whole thing because there are holes; only a couple scenes were fully fleshed out and there are missing bits with no context. However, I do have some notes and those I could.

The general idea behind the reimagining was less a full-blown remake or reboot, but rather shift the tone somewhat. One of our issues with PRiS was that it had a great premise, but ended up being another season of Power Rangers with some occasional screen filters to give the illusion of alien worlds. The goal of our project was to change the tone so that it'd be less the usual PR-style and make it more like an actual space adventure.

The first chapter is a very abridged retelling of the 2-part Power Rangers Turbo finale, "Chase Into Space." Beginning with a brief synopsis of the episode up until space pirate Divatox blows up the Power Chamber and our story proper begins there. The opening sequence plays out as it did on television, but slightly extended.

The second chapter takes place on the shuttle, where the Rangers have been travelling through the void of space for an indeterminate amount of time. Supplies are running low, things are desperate, and to make matters worse, Alpha 6 is on the verge of a systemic collapse due to damaged circuits. All hope seems lost until a mysterious spaceship tractors them.

Once on board, the Rangers explore the ship, which is devoid of life and running on reserve power. The ship is seemingly adrift, but seems to function properly. After a period of time, the Rangers uncover some tools and Ashley attempts to repair Alpha. Their efforts are interrupted by loud noises in the distance.

The fourth chapter has the Rangers seeking the source of the noise... or perhaps hiding from the source. After some hide-and-seek that is used mostly to explore more of the ship, the Rangers meet with the ship's newest occupant - a Red Ranger of unfamiliar design.

Up until this point, the story is told from the perspective of our former Turbo Rangers. At NO point beyond the brief dialogue do we get an inkling from the villain side of things. No villain conference at the Cimmerian planet, no Dark Specter, no Astronema, no Red Ranger being chased by Velocifighters, none of that is touched on in our story yet. To the best of my recollection and from what I've noted in the notes, none of this was ever intended to be added to the narrative for dramatic effect.

The reasoning for this is pretty simple; maintain an air of mystery by keeping the focus solely on the ex-Turbos. As they explore the ship, we explore the ship with them. When they meet Andros for the first time, it's our first time too. And when Astronema eventually jumps into the picture by attacking the ship, we don't know her by name until Andros brings it up in dialogue.

After a couple chapters that involves a chase that sees the Megaship hide within a nebula and some misunderstandings, introductions are made, Alpha is repaired, and more exposition is deposited on the part of Andros, who just came from the Cimmerian planet after having spent several days spying on the planet. He informs the ex-Turbos that Zordon is no longer at the planet and has been moved to an unknown location, the ship that attacked them is commanded by Astronema, who had been pursuing him and his ship for a long time. TJ suggests working together, but Andros refuses, not wanting to risk the lives of planetary Rangers with limited experience in space on his rescue mission and remains steadfast in dropping them back on Earth once the current crisis is resolved.

Suddenly, the ship is attacked and subsequently boarded. Quantrons enter through the ports and Andros goes off to battle them on his own. TJ and crew follows and attempts to help, but are overwhelmed by the superior strength of the Quantrons. Despite this, they continue to fight and Andros slowly changes his tune about them. He helps the teens out and brings them over to the Power Vault, where four astro morphers sit.

Each of the four pick a morpher and use them to transform in Rangers. After a brief scuffle, the Rangers overcome the Quantrons and expelled them from the Megaship, which soon comes under attack by Astronema's spaceship. Alpha configures the ship to combine with the Rangers' space shuttle to form the Astro Megazord, which makes short work of the enemy attack.

With the attack repelled, TJ makes one last plea to Andros to join them. The Kerovan still has his reservations, but is willing to accept the former Turbos' help and offers them a home aboard the ship. And with that, the Megaship slowly rides into the vast emptiness of space, beginning their search for Zordon.

And that's our take on how Power Rangers In Space would've began.

Had there been inclination to continue onwards, there would've been an attempt to integrate more space-faring adventures and less stops on Earth. One of the nice things about a prose format is that you're not limited to budget, so you can go as far or as fantastical as you'd like within universal constraints. More space battles, more exploring new worlds, more unraveling of the mysteries of the universe, and that sort of thing. I wouldn't say that the action bits take a back seat to the rest of the stuff - this is Power Rangers, after all - but it would've put a little more emphasis on the SPACE part of Power Rangers IN SPACE.

Anyway, this was a nice revisit down memory lane.

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