If you've been keeping up with the Power Rangers Marathon on Twitch thus far, then you already know we're through all 145 episodes of #MightyMorphinPowerRangers and recently finished Zeo. Now we're currently in the midst of Turbo (ugh) – and don't worry if you've missed any episodes, or wish to take a break to binge watch Iron Fist while Turbo is playing, you can catch up on any Power Rangers episodes via #Netflix, albeit without the fun of the live stream.
With less than fifty episodes to go until In Space—the best season of Power Rangers—begins, I believe now is as great a time as any to take a look back on what makes In Space the highlight of the series.
Without further ado: Let's Rocket!
1. A More Centralized Plot
Unlike previous seasons that primarily focused on Monster-of-the-week or small three to five episode story arcs, In Space separates itself in that the majority of the season is centered on two intertwined arcs: the Power Rangers attempting to find and rescue Zordon, and Andros, the Red Space Ranger searching for his lost sister all the while battling the forces of evil.
While the Monster-of-the-week formula was never completely abandoned, it took a permanent step back in the middle of the season to keep the show centered on the main story, thus creating a more coherent and enjoyable overarching season. And in turn helped to develop both our heroes and the show's villains.
2. Complex Villains & Backstory
Every season of Power Rangers has featured recurring lead villains, the most iconic is the pair of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, however these two, like many of the series' lead antagonists, were just sort of there to stir up trouble for the Rangers without much cause other than simply being evil.
In Space is the complete opposite and thus has the honor of being the first season to have a fully developed lead villain with Astronema. She's ruthless, fearless, powerful, and willing to fight the Power Rangers head-on, performing well in combat.
The way you'll view Astronema changes when you find out she's Andros's missing sister, Karone. She was kidnapped from her home world of KO-35 as a child by Darkonda whom brought her to Dark Spector and Ecliptor, the later of which became a father figure to her.
She was then brainwashed, losing her memories of being Karone and for years was fed lies about how the Power Rangers killed both her parents and brother. She grew up and adopted the name Astronema, swearing to destroy the Power Rangers out of revenge.
Over time, she began to work for Dark Spector, conquering and enslaving worlds under his rule. However, it was when she discovered whom she really was that caused her to have a change of heart and surrender to the Power Rangers and agreeing to help them rescue Zordon. Unfortunately, she was captured again and given cbyernetic implants that caused her to remain evil until the season's end.
Throughout the course of the season we witness the father-daughter-like relationship of Astronema and Ecliptor. Ecliptor's compassion for his adopted daughter takes center stage when Astronema learns the truth of whom she is. Ecliptor betrays Dark Spector and helps Astronema escape to the join the Power Rangers – until he too receives cybernetic enhancements that force him to serve Dark Spector.
We also get to see a another side of Astronema when she gains feelings for Zhane, the Silver Ranger. The short lived relationship between her and the Power Ranger displayed a softer side of the ruthless villain, to which she exudes a calmer and charming nature. She's actually quite likable here.
3. Psycho Rangers!
Continuing the trend of fascinating villains are the Psycho Rangers. The Psycho Rangers were an independent group of villains whom teamed up with Astronema to destroy the Power Rangers.
These five served as the greatest foes the Power Rangers have ever faced. Each of the Psychos had distinct and exaggerated personalities such as Psycho Red being impatient, Psycho Blue's instability, and Psycho Yellow being manipulative to the point she betrayed her secret alliance with Psycho Pink to achieve her own goals.
Each Psycho Ranger was dedicated to learning their counterpart inside and out, not only did they know each Ranger's identity but they were also capable of changing their appearance to disguise themselves as the unmorphed members of the Power Rangers.
The Psycho Rangers as a whole proved too powerful for the Power Rangers and continued to best them in battle, even with the help of the Silver Ranger. It took the whole of the lessons the Power Rangers learned about teamwork over the years to defeat the Psycho Rangers. Through teamwork they were able to exploit the weaknesses of each Psycho Ranger and take each one down, lowering their numbers each week.
Ultimately, it was the Psycho Rangers' unwillingness to work together that would be the downfall of these recurring villains. So when they did reappear later in the season the Power Rangers were able to defeat them all again.
The Psycho Rangers would later return to fight the Power Rangers in Lost Galaxy and during this battle, they managed to kill the Pink Galaxy Ranger. It took the combined forces of both the remaining Space and Galaxy Rangers to defeat them. After the conflict, Astronema, now going by her real name of Karone, took up the mantle of Pink Galaxy Ranger replacing the deceased Kendrix.
It's like the writers knew how good In Space was so they brought back both Astronema and the Psycho Rangers to better Lost Galaxy.
4. 'In Space' Saved The Series!
When In Space began Power Rangers was in a bad place. The previous season, Turbo saw a dramatic decline in both ratings and fan reception, so much so that #Saban believed if they switched out the cast mid-season it would improve the show, it didn't.
As a result of this continual decline, the following season, In Space was set to be the series's last. However, it was this that gave birth to all the aforementioned greatness.
With no intent to produce another season, the writers were given significantly more freedom to do what they wanted with In Space. They elected to create a show that was not based on it's Japanese counterpart, Denji Sentai Megaranger, which was about monsters that were escaping from Cybersapce and the leader of the team was someone whom enjoyed playing arcade games – I think changing the plot was the right call.
These decisions led to Saban having to shoot more scenes with the American actors than in previous seasons of the show, rather than use copious amounts of stock footage. This further helped to create a more cohesive show and a better conclusion.
Since In Space was meant to serve as a series finale, the two part final episode, Countdown To Destruction was an all out war across the universe, featuring cameos from past Power Rangers such as the Gold Zeo Ranger and the return of villains Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and Divatox. In Space saw the defeat of all the enemies of seasons past and put an end what's been dubbed by fans as the "Zordon Era" of Power Rangers.
The positive fan and critical reception of the finale along with the boost in ratings, was enough to convince both Fox and Saban to produce more seasons, saving the show from cancellation.
Sure, there's plenty of fans out there who would claim Mighty Morphin is the best season of Power Rangers simply because it's where the show started, plus everyone's favorite Power Ranger story arc of the Green Ranger. However, having watched both, and many other seasons, it's In Space's centralized plot, great villains, and the simple fact that its success allowed the show to go on, I cannot see it any other way: Power Rangers In Space is the best season.
Is Power Rangers In Space your favorite season or am I the only one? Be sure to let me know what your favorite season is and as well as your thoughts on the new movie!