Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Logo | Agents of Fandom

Power Rangers 30th Anniversary: The Popular Franchise’s Most Definitive Seasons!

As the franchise celebrates a major milestone, we look back at the best it has to offer.

It feels like just yesterday that audiences around the U.S. were introduced to the original “teenagers with attitude” when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted on August 28, 1993. Since that time, the multicolored spandex-clad heroes have become a worldwide phenomenon. With the Power Rangers 30th Anniversary now upon us, there’s no better time to reflect upon three decades worth of morphenomenal action, stories and characters.

Although the franchise’s official anniversary date is only now approaching, celebrations have been going on for months now. A Netflix special, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, released on April 19. Additionally, a comic book special from Boom! Studios commemorating the anniversary was announced earlier this year and is set to hit shelves on August 30. For fans of the long-running series who are also into collectibles, the Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Funko Pops are now available for pre-order.

It’s no easy feat for a children’s show to remain on the air for three decades and counting, especially in today’s day and age. Because it has, the franchise has spawned fans of all ages who continue to cherish it into their teenage and adult years. There have been 21 unique Power Rangers teams over the past 30 years, with several of those squads entertaining fans with multiple seasons worth of adventures. This piece will highlight the best of the best during that time period; more specifically, it will pinpoint the franchise’s ten greatest seasons.

Power Rangers 30th Anniversary: what are the 10 best seasons the franchise has to offer?

As referenced earlier, while most iterations of Power Rangers have been standalone seasons (mirroring their Japanese counterpart series in the process), there are some which span multiple seasons. As such, each individual season is eligible for inclusion on our list, even if it’s connected to another one already listed. With that being said, let’s dive in!

10. ‘Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue’

Original U.S. run: February 12, 2000-November 18, 2000

The team from 'Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue,' from left to right: Joel, Carter, Dana, Kelsey and Chad | Agents of Fandom
The Lightspeed Rescue Power Rangers protect the fictional city of Mariner Bay. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue remains one of the unique seasons throughout the franchise’s run to date, primarily because of how the team is comprised. In the first several seasons, each Ranger team is made up of teenagers (or, as we’ll later discuss, actual children). Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the season directly preceding Lightspeed Rescue, is the first to deviate from this strategy by portraying the Rangers as young adults. This season builds on that theme, as its Power Ranger team is filled with working professionals, including a firefighter, an EMT, and even a stunt pilot!

This particular iteration revolves around a government-style agency known as Lightspeed Rescue, which designs its own Power Ranger technology. The organization’s leader, Captain Mitchell (Ron Roggé), recruits adults with particular skills to protect the fictional city of Mariner Bay from danger. In addition to its sharp costumes and cool zords (colossal biomechanical robots used to defeat the monster of the week), Lightspeed Rescue is also the first iteration to introduce a U.S. exclusive Power Ranger, the Titanium Ranger. Doing so was tricky, as Saban Entertainment relied heavily on the use of Japanese footage to produce each season, forcing them to shoot a number of brand-new scenes of their own as a result.

9. ‘Power Rangers Turbo

Original U.S. run: April 19, 1997-November 24, 1997

The team from 'Power Rangers Turbo,' from left to right: Justin, Kat/Cassie, Tommy/TJ, Tanya/Ashley and Adam/Carlos | Agents of Fandom
The Turbo Power Rangers were the original team of heroes who drove fast and furiously. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

One characteristic of Power Rangers that absolutely endears the franchise to fans is its campiness. Power Rangers Turbo, which serves as the fifth season and depicts the third Ranger team, might be the campiest of all that has come either before or after it. Turbo boasts some of the franchise’s goofiest villains and zaniest storylines, including one particular episode where the Rangers are baked into a giant pizza! It’s also the first and only season that features an actual child as a Power Ranger.

Armed with new powers, weapons, and an arsenal of car-themed zords at their disposal, the Turbo Rangers battle space pirate Divatox (Hilary Shepard-Turner) as she tries to take over the Earth. This season is also noteworthy due to the fact that the team of Power Rangers turns over almost halfway through; veteran cast members Jason David Frank (Tommy), Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam), Catherine Sutherland (Kat) and Nakia Burrise (Tanya) are written out of the show abruptly and hand their powers and responsibilities off to a new team of teens. Young Justin (Blake Foster) is the only holdover, as he remains the Blue Ranger for the entire season.

8. ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ season 2

Original U.S. run: July 21, 1994-May 20, 1995

The team from 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 2,' from left to right: Adam, Kimberly, Tommy, Billy, Aisha and Rocky | Agents of Fandom
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers season two was affected by some serious offscreen drama. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Netflix (subscription), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a 90s pop culture staple, but like any popular program, it certainly had its behind-the-scenes drama. Despite the show’s immense popularity, its actors were woefully underpaid and drastically overworked. The pay dispute came to a head during season two, when Austin St. John (Jason), Thuy Trang (Trini) and Walter Emanuel Jones (Zack) left the show while it was still filming. Through a hastily written story arc and a combination of fill-in actors and archive footage, these three original Power Rangers are replaced by new characters Rocky (Steve Cardenas), Aisha (Karan Ashley) and Adam (Johnny Yong Bosch).

Despite its behind-the-scenes drama, this season remains a fan favorite, as it introduces legendary Power Rangers villain Lord Zedd (Robert Axelrod). It also features the popular character Tommy, and his transition from the Green Ranger into the White Ranger. Because the character is so beloved by fans, Saban used footage from a different Japanese program (Gosei Sentai Dairanger) once their Green Ranger footage was exhausted. This storyline is cleverly written and, ironically enough, directly precedes the much more clunky “Ranger replacement” arc referenced earlier. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was also filmed during the production of this season.

7. ‘Power Rangers Zeo

Original U.S. run: April 20, 1996-November 27, 1996

The team from 'Power Rangers Zeo,' from left to right: Rocky, Kat, Tommy, Tanya and Adam | Agents of Fandom
Power Rangers Zeo still involves many original Rangers, just in new costumes. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Following the massive success of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Saban decided to closely follow the model that its Japanese counterpart, Super Sentai, employed. Rather than shooting multiple seasons with the same team of heroes, each season would involve a new team, along with new costumes, weapons and zords. Power Rangers Zeo represents the start of that trend to a degree, although it still picks up the story where the previous season ends. Zeo also features Austin St. John’s return to the franchise after he originally departed two years prior.

Following Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season three’s cliffhanger ending, the Rangers are left powerless and facing a new threat in the form of the Machine Empire. After their mentor Zordon equips the team with new costumes, weapons and zords (insert Super Sentai footage here!), the team battles King Mondo and his seemingly endless legions of robots. When the mysterious Gold Ranger (Tim, Ted and Tom DiFilippo) arrives and is unable to control his powers, old friend Jason (Austin St. John) returns to take over for him. The season leads into the events of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.

6. ‘Power Rangers Dino Thunder

Original U.S. run: February 14, 2004-November 20, 2004

The team from 'Power Rangers Dino Thunder,' from left to right: Trent, Ethan, Conner, Kira and Dr. Tommy Oliver | Agents of Fandom
Power Rangers Dino Thunder features the return of popular character Tommy Oliver. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Power Rangers Dino Thunder is notable for a number of reasons, the biggest of which being the return of Jason David Frank as Dr. Tommy Oliver. In the seven years following his departure during Turbo, Tommy completes his education, earns a doctorate, and begins teaching high school science! Dino Thunder is also noteworthy for being filmed in New Zealand, which is where Disney moved production of the franchise after acquiring it in 2003. At a time when interest in Power Rangers was waning and ratings were down, Dino Thunder helped revitalize the series and remains a fan favorite to this day.

Retired from life as a Ranger and now teaching high school science, Dr. Tommy Oliver unwittingly returns to fighting evil alongside some of his students. This is the first time (but would not be the last) where the team is mentored by a fellow Power Ranger, which is a cool touch. The Rangers battle Mesogog, a human-dinosaur hybrid who seeks to conquer the world and return it to the era of dinosaurs. They also battle the evil White Ranger (Jeffrey Parazzo) and seek to break the evil spell clouding his mind.

5. Power Rangers RPM

Original U.S. run: March 7, 2009-December 26, 2009

The team from 'Power Rangers RPM,' from left to right: Ziggy, Flynn, Scott, Summer and Dillon | Agents of Fandom
Power Rangers RPM is one of the darkest seasons the franchise has ever produced. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Not only is Power Rangers RPM one of the best seasons the franchise has to offer, but it’s also one of the most ironic. Reason being? Out of all 30 seasons of Power Rangers, RPM is possibly the darkest and grittiest, especially for a children’s show. Its Super Sentai counterpart, on the other hand, is incredibly goofy and lighthearted. Nevertheless, RPM tells an extremely compelling and unique story, as each Ranger’s backstory is extensively explored throughout the season.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future when the Earth has been overtaken by a computer virus, Power Rangers RPM might be best described as Mad Max meets The Terminator, all while wrapped in colorful, kid-friendly packaging. In later seasons, it’s established that RPM actually takes place in an alternate timeline, as opposed to the franchise’s other interlinked installments. What really makes this season stand out is for the first time, the Power Rangers’ primary foe isn’t an entity from worlds away, but rather one of mankind’s own creation.

4. ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ season 3

Original U.S. run: September 2, 1995-February 17, 1996

The team from 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 3,' from left to right: Adam, Kat, Tommy, Aisha, Billy and Rocky | Agents of Fandom
The third and final season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers incorporates a ninja theme. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Netflix (subscription), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Season three of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers initially caused even the most hardcore fans to scratch their collective heads. The reason for this confusion is Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which was released during the 15-week break between seasons two and three. The movie introduces popular villain Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman) and shows the Rangers losing their powers, weapons and even their beloved Command Center! The team then travels to a distant planet in search of a new power source, acquiring ancient ninja skills and attire in the process.

Fast-forward to season three, and it turns out that the events of the film…never happened! The Rangers lose their powers and zords in a completely different manner a few episodes in, which sets the stage for their acquisition of the same ninja powers seen in the movie (it was later theorized by fans that the film takes place in an alternate timeline from the show). Despite the initial confusion, this season is embraced for its goofy villains and multiple creative mini arcs. Its cliffhanger ending transitions directly into Power Rangers Zeo (number seven on our list).

3. ‘Power Rangers Time Force

Original U.S. run: February 3, 2001-November 17, 2001

The team from 'Power Rangers Time Force,' from left to right: Jen, Trip, Katie, Lucas and Wes | Agents of Fandom
Power Rangers Time Force represents the franchise’s first foray into time travel. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

We’ve already discussed alternate timelines within the Power Rangers universe, so how about time travel itself? As its name might suggest, Power Rangers Time Force involves just that. Set initially in the year 3000, the Pink, Green, Yellow and Blue Time Force Rangers travel to 2001 in pursuit of a villain named Ransik (Vernon Wells). The team is initially unable to morph without its leader, Alex (Jason Faunt), who is presumed dead after Ransik defeats him in the season premiere. They soon meet Wes (also portrayed by Faunt) an ancestor of Alex’s whose DNA unlocks their ability to morph.

This season is notable for its depiction of a Power Ranger “dying” in battle (the character is later revealed to be alive), which had been uncharted territory for a kids program. Power Rangers is also notorious for introducing a new team member mid-season, with this character typically established as a foe or anti-hero initially. Time Force is no different, as it incorporates one of the most popular “Sixth Rangers” ever in the Quantum Ranger (Daniel Southworth). This season is widely lauded for its fun storylines, as well as its depiction of the impact and consequences of time travel.

2. ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ season 1

Original U.S. run: August 28, 1993-May 23, 1994

The team from 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1,' from left to right: Billy, Trini, Tommy, Jason, Kimberly and Zack | Agents of Fandom
The original cast of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers built the foundation for the three decades of greatness that followed. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Netflix (subscription), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

The season that started it all! The Power Rangers franchise would have been a flash in the pan, much like many other kids shows, if not for the immediate pop culture impact made by Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The original “teenagers with attitude” quickly became a Saturday morning fixture on Fox Kids, with toy and other merchandise sales from Bandai soaring just as much as the show’s ratings. The original Ranger team of Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson) and Billy (David Yost) not only defeat monsters, but also serve as role models to the masses of children watching.

During the first season, audiences are introduced to Tommy, the iconic Green Ranger. Initially appearing as an adversary, Tommy is eventually freed from the evil spell controlling his mind and fights evil alongside the other Rangers. The character was only meant to appear in a limited number of episodes, but he was so popular among fans that Saban was forced to shoot brand-new footage, with Jason David Frank performing most of his own stunts and fight sequences. This season is truly the foundation upon which the past 30 years of Power Rangers greatness is built!

1. ‘Power Rangers In Space

Original U.S. run: February 6, 1998-November 21, 1998

The team from 'Power Rangers In Space,' from left to right: Carlos, Ashley, Andros, Cassie and TJ | Agents of Fandom
Power Rangers In Space is widely credited as the season that saved the franchise from cancellation. Image Credit: Saban Brands.

Where to watch: Apple TV (for purchase), Amazon Prime Video (for purchase)

Despite the franchise’s vast initial popularity, ratings for Power Rangers were waning during the Zeo and Turbo seasons. With Fox on the brink of cancelling the series entirely, Power Rangers In Space became its savior, and remains one of the most cherished seasons to date. Picking up right where Power Rangers Turbo leaves off, the team is powerless following its defeat at the hands of Divatox. Blasting off into space to try and save longtime Power Rangers mentor Zordon (David Fielding), the remaining team members meet another Ranger named Andros (Christopher Khayman Lee).

Andros, who has spent years battling evil on his own and searching for his long-lost sister, equips his unlikely friends with new powers and weapons. The season’s two-part finale, Countdown To Destruction, is one of the most popular stories in franchise history and successfully ties up all loose ends from the five seasons that precede it. What had been meant initially as a farewell season, instead serves as a springboard for the next two decades of Power Rangers lore. The fact that this season also includes a Ninja Turtles crossover episode certainly doesn’t hurt its case, either.

Happy Anniversary, ‘Power Rangers

Over the past 30 years, the Power Rangers franchise has spawned 963 episodes and three motion pictures. Now owned by Hasbro with broadcast rights belonging to Netflix, there are no signs of slowing down. A brand-new season, Power Rangers Cosmic Fury, is set to debut on September 29, 2023. Additionally, a new film (unconnected to the TV series continuity) remains in development, with Jonathan Entwistle set to direct.

While 30 years is certainly a long time to keep any sort of operation running, the fact remains that Power Rangers doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Fans are hopeful that the new Hasbro-Netflix partnership will put an end to two decades of franchise ownership changing hands, production shifts and, most importantly, the noticeable peaks and valleys in terms of quality and overall enjoyment. The past three decades have given fans a lot to love, so here’s hoping the years to come provide even more fun adventures and great storytelling.

“Let the power protect you!”

Stay tuned to the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest news, reviews, and interviews!

Leave a Reply
Previous Article

5 Incredible, but Underrated Alfred Hitchcock Movies

Next Article
Only Murders in the Building episode 5 review | Agents of Fandom

Only Murders in the Building Episode 5 “Ah, Love!”: Three Lessons in Love

Related Posts