Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here contains spoilers for this episode only; future spoilers are not included.

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT - Season 2

Episode 4: "Dig Deep, part 2"

Writer:  Joe Rovang

This two-parter was completed on July 16, 2009 and released on July 25, 2009.

[ Sentai footage is primarily from Liveman #43, but all sources are noted. ]

In Liveman #43, Gildos, one of two generals introduced mid-series, creates a robot monster (nicknamed Terra Toad here) which he resurrects each time Green Ranger destroys it; ultimately Gildos dies from overexertion, and the monster is dispatched for good.

I chose to use this monster here because his battle featured the Gaia Megazord, and his leap and horn attacks could be reinterpreted as taking place against the individual Gaia Zords.

In addition to using Liveman #43, this episode takes footage from a wide variety of Liveman episodes and combines all the Stinger battles into one.  There is very little Stinger footage left untouched after this episode.


[ Fade in to EXT. SPACE - We see the planet Kadix, a remotely Earth-like planet with purple-tinged waters ("Survival of the Silver" may be referenced loosely).  Moments later, the Rangers' STARSHIP (see previous episode) appears from a warp in space and proceeds toward the planet below. ]

Continuing from episode 3, this episode takes place on Saturday, September 11, 1993.

I chose to set the Rangers' Zord quest on Kadix (the setting of "Survival of the Silver" from Power Rangers in Space) because I thought the locals (called Hideons in that episode) would allow me to demonstrate the amulets' powers of translating languages and seeing through illusions, and I naturally enjoyed the idea of working in a reference to Power Rangers rather than creating a new entity similar to something that already existed.

I wasn't especially concerned with this version of Kadix looking identical to the one in Power Rangers in Space because the appearance of planets in Power Rangers are notoriously inconsistent anyway.  (In some sense, it's consistent with the show to be inconsistent here!)


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - The five TEENS (still wearing their black uniforms) man their seats in the cockpit.  BRAD is at the helm. ]

BRAD:
Well, here we are!  The planet Kadix.

APRIL:
This is so crazy.  We're actually looking at an alien planet!

This may happen a lot in Power Rangers, but I figured the novelty shouldn't be lost on the teens.

SLADE:
Well, you can look all you want, but I was planning to walk around on it.

LANDON:
I'm taking a rock home.

He never gets the chance, due to the plight of the Kadeons, and the returning Stinger ships.

TRINI:
A giant robot's not good enough, huh?


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - The STARSHIP flies over a coastline, the terrain below containing forests, mountains, and a large desert.  (If the sky in this episode's sentai footage can be consistently tinted likewise, the sky here should be more purplish than on Earth; otherwise, it should remain blue.) ]

Power Rangers in Space depicted Kadix as having a purple-tinted sky, but I allowed that this might be costly for a hypothetical post-production crew to apply to every sentai shot used this episode.  Therefore, the sky here could be left blue in a pinch, creating a potential conflict between this version of Kadix and In Space's.  I see it as fairly minor, though.


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - BRAD continues to fly the ship. ]

BRAD:
We're approaching the target zone.

Apparently Argus sent word of approximately where they could find the Zords.

[ An alert tone begins to sound.  BRAD checks the controls. ]

APRIL:
What's that sound?

BRAD:
Huh.  Apparently somebody's approaching us.  I wonder if it's that friend Dr. Bering mentioned.

[ The ship is shaken violently.  The TEENS cry out in alarm. ]

LANDON:
What the heck was that?!

SLADE:
Doesn't seem too friendly if you ask me.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - The STARSHIP is being tailed by a STINGER, a four-winged attack ship with sharp fins and a flexible tail (compare with sentai).  The STINGER fires a red energy bolt (compare with sentai), but the STARSHIP narrowly evades the blast. ]

I introduced US versions of the Stingers here to shoot down the Rangers' ship.  Beyond this, though, they're just Zord fodder in the sentai footage later.


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - The TEENS are jostled in their seats from the evasive maneuver. ]

BRAD:
I'm gonna try to dodge his attacks.

Of course, Brad was chosen as a Ranger specifically because he won the Liveman Pentathlon's aerial combat event.

LANDON:
Yeah, why don't you do that?


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - The STINGER pursues the STARSHIP while firing periodic red bolts.  The STARSHIP manages to dodge them all. ]


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - Continuing to be slung around in his seat, LANDON interjects: ]

LANDON:
Uhh, you know, not to put down Brad's piloting skills or anything, but you think we might wanna morph just in case we're blown out of the sky?

Seemed reasonable to me.

TRINI:
Good idea, Landon.

[ All but BRAD remove their AMULETS from their suit pockets. ]

APRIL:
What about Brad?  He's got his hands full.

[ BRAD continues to concentrate as he pilots the ship. ]

BRAD:
Don't worry about me!

How tritely heroic.

[ TRINI thinks. ]

LANDON:
I could take over...  I didn't do too bad in the flight event...

I just wanted to show I hadn't forgotten that some of the teens had secondary skills.  I haven't yet revisited Slade's martial arts, though.

BRAD:
There's no time!  Morph already!

[ Reluctantly, TRINI aims her AMULET at herself.  Morphs follow: ]

TRINI:
Power of the lion.  (morphs)

APRIL:
Power of the dolphin!  (morphs)

LANDON:
Power of the rhino!  (morphs)

[ SLADE eyes BRAD.  He then reaches over with his free hand and fishes into BRAD's pocket. ]

SLADE:
Don't take this the wrong way, man.

This may be Slade's most admirable moment to date.

[ Armed with the red AMULET, SLADE aims it at BRAD. ]

SLADE (cont'd):
Power of the falcon!

[ As per his normal morph effect, the spectral red falcon bathes BRAD in red light, morphing him into the RED RANGER.  The amulet vanishes from SLADE's hand at the same time, appearing on Red's belt. ]

There's a reason I wanted to establish the possibility of morphing someone else, beyond that it was useful for this episode.  I won't say more.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Whoa!

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Thanks, Slade!

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
How'd you know that would work?

SLADE:
Didn't.

But don't the Rangers have innate knowledge of what they can do with their powers?  Well, yes, but I'm not sure the Ranger instincts would have brought this idea to mind, and further, the instincts only work for morphed Rangers, and Slade isn't morphed yet.

[ He aims his own AMULET at himself. ]

SLADE (cont'd):
Bison.

This is Slade's first semblance of a morphing call.

[ He morphs into the BLACK RANGER. ]


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - Two more STINGERS emerge from behind a cloud. ]


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - RED RANGER glances at a side readout. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Uhh, uh oh.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - A pack of five more STINGERS fly up from the desert. ]


[ INT. STARSHIP COCKPIT - RED RANGER quickly scans the controls. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
This wouldn't be quite so tricky if the ship had some weapons.

I don't know how implausible it is that a starship wouldn't have weapons, but it was a plot device for this episode.  I mean, I can think of a lot of passenger craft that don't have weapons, but then they aren't being sent into hostile alien empire territory.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - The STARSHIP comes under fire from a total of eight STINGERS, though rarely all at once.  The ship performs dazzling evasive maneuvers at great length, but eventually an energy bolt connects, breaking a few pieces off the starship.  More bolts hit, sending the ship into a tailspin.  A final blast obliterates the ship in midair just as the five RANGER streaks scatter from it like a colorful firework. ]

I didn't see this as a fault of Brad's skills, but I figured there's a certain point at which even the most skilled pilots or combatants are overwhelmed.


[ EXT. ALIEN FOREST - The five RANGERS materialize from different directions above.  They appear jarred from the event.  (The plant life around them may appear somehow non-Earthen.  No birds are heard.) ]

I considered having the Rangers land in different places and starting their individual journeys immediately, but I found I couldn't reasonably replace the group Kadeon encounter and Acolyte battle.  Therefore, they had to land together.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Whoa!

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Cows a million, that was close.  I don't even remember teleporting.

"Cows a million" is another of April's minced oaths, maybe my favorite yet.

Did the Rangers' instincts make them teleport to safety automatically?

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Is everybody all right?

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Well, I've got all my arms and legs.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Sorry they got the best of me, guys.

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Well, it saved us the trouble of, you know, landing... and walking out of the ship...

Slade's way of reassuring Brad.

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Let's try out this lens power Dr. Bering mentioned.

[ YELLOW RANGER turns her POWER AMULET a quarter-turn counterclockwise and detaches it from her belt.  The others do the same.  Each RANGER holds his or her amulet out like a lens. ]

[ The yellow surface of YELLOW's AMULET gives way to an image of the scenery beyond, as though the amulet were transparent. ]

[ GREEN turns his lens-like AMULET over and finds the back side is still just an opaque surface with a POWER COIN inserted. ]

In this episode, the lens function helps the Rangers find their Zords, but I had another use in mind for the future.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Huh.  Nice trick.

[ The RANGERS survey the area through their respective lenses.  Soon, each finds a different direction in which a glowing spot can be seen through the lens, its color matching his or her Ranger color (Slade's being purple). ]

I found it vexing to try to decide between black and purple for Slade's energy colors at times.  So far, I've decided that everything non-physical should be purple, with the exception of the translucent black Bison spirit described in episode 2.

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Got it.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Me too.

[ BLUE RANGER is distracted by a tree nearby.  She compares the view with and without her lens several times. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Uhh, you guys...

[ When the lens is raised again, we see Blue's perspective: the lens shows that the tree is actually a KADEON standing still.  Kadeons are humanoids in brown cloaks with dark material covering their appendages and faces (compare to Hideons in "Survival of the Silver"). ]

The Kadeons are meant to be the Hideons from Power Rangers in Space, but I found their original name (written into the script for "Survival of the Silver" but never spoken) too disparaging, given that I was reinterpreting them in a more sympathetic light than their Power Rangers appearance; there, they assaulted the Space Rangers and the Astro Megaship, but only after the Rangers had taken a pod (an unhatched alien creature of some sort) from their planet for unspecified research.  I propose that the beings attacked the Megaship to try to rescue the pod creature, or perhaps just as revenge for kidnapping a juvenile alien that was somehow important to them.  (It's worth noting that this encounter led to the Megaship crash-landing and awakening Silver Ranger Zhane from cryogenic sleep.)

The name "Kadeon" is a cross between Kadix and Hideon; this seemed more appealing than "Kadixian" or any other classically-constructed demonym.

[ Now seen from a normal vantage point (not through anyone's lens), the tree fades away to reveal the KADEON, who has apparently noticed he's been spotted. ]

The Hideons were seen disguising themselves as desert trees in "Survival of the Silver."

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Whoa!

[ The KADEON scrambles to get away. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Wait!  Who are you?

[ The KADEON pauses and peers back curiously. ]

KADEON:
H-- How do you speak our language?

The Kadeons apparently aren't used to extraterrestrial visitors speaking their local language; clearly they don't speak Galactic Common.  They didn't speak in "Survival of the Silver," but their monster compatriot spoke an alien language (rare for Power Rangers).

BRAD (Red Ranger):
What...?

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Uhh... your language is English?

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Wait...  Am I the only one who just heard him talk in Japanese?

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Japanese?

KADEON:
I don't know of either of those languages, but your mastery of Kadish is astonishing.

My apologies if this language name reminds anyone of a certain disastrous executive producer.

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
I'm a little confused.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Wait, I'm hearing him speak Japanese, you're hearing him in English, and he's hearing us in his language.  It sounds like we're all hearing our own native languages.

I hadn't planned on Japanese being Brad's first language, but it was useful for this scene.  I was wary of making English his second language, given that he seems especially Westernized, but I'm told this isn't particularly uncommon among immigrant Japanese families, especially for someone born in the 1970s.

KADEON:
You also saw through my disguise.  Are you sorcerers?

A reasonable guess.

SLADE (Black Ranger):
I guess we might as well be.

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Maybe our amulets are translating for us...

Indeed!  I introduced this power because I thought it would be helpful against alien enemies who might or might not have an interest in learning English (unlike Dillik and Trask, who opted to learn English as they approached to raid the space station).  Of course, this isn't generally given much thought in Power Rangers as far as I'm aware.

KADEON:
I beg of you, you must help us.  An armada from another world has invaded our planet.  Their soldiers and beasts have destroyed entire villages.  Please, we're simple Podling farmers.  We've done nothing to deserve this.

The soldiers are the Acolytes.  We'll learn more later about the beasts (of which Terra Toad is a member).

I wanted the Kadeon to come off sympathetic to contrast with In Space, so I chose to have him describe his people as "simple" somethings, and perhaps something that would explain their relation to the pod creature in "Survival of the Silver" (nicknamed Lunatick in that script).  It was around this time I noticed that Lunatick's nature (a pod which later grew into an alien with just a few insectoid traits) was quite similar to the Podling of the season 1 pilot (note that Podling's pod grew alien moss to collect solar energy in season 1, while Lunatick's pod form resembled a large-rooted plant bulb).  Therefore it was an easy choice to refer to Kadeons as Podling farmers.  This had the side effect of resurrecting the Podlings in my continuity, as the Rangers previously destroyed what Dillik had described as the last surviving Podling.  I made Dillik note their survival accordingly at the end of this episode.

There is a mild contradiction introduced by calling the Kadeons Podling farmers, in that Lunatick (whom I've now retroactively categorized as a Podling) seemed to give the Hideons an order at one point in "Survival of the Silver."  Make of that what you will.  I'm not terribly bothered by it.

[ GREEN RANGER looks to the others. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
You figure he's talking about the empire?

[ Footsteps are heard approaching through the brush.  The KADEON whirls around. ]

KADEON:
They're here!

[ The KADEON crouches and fades into the image of a BOULDER. ]

The Hideons from In Space were only shown disguising themselves as trees.

[ Just then, more than a dozen armored alien warriors, the ACOLYTES, arrive.  They wield blade weapons and appear particularly hostile. ]

I have nothing non-spoilery to say about the Acolytes at this point, except that for some reason they make me think of Piranhatrons.  (That's just a random note, not a hint.)

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Dr. Bering said something about unnecessary battles.

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Yeah, let us know when we come across one of those.

Zing!

[ The ACOLYTES charge, and the RANGERS attempt to defend themselves with martial arts.  (Whenever a blade weapon strikes a Ranger, he or she experiences a burst of sparks.) ]

[ During the fight, YELLOW makes brief use of her finger-slash attack, causing her victim to spark, but she finds herself outnumbered. ]

Trini first used her slash attack last episode.

[ At one point, BLACK RANGER notices he appears particularly resistant to being knocked around, akin to a sumo wrestler assailed by smaller foes.  He seems pleased with this discovery but is nonetheless overwhelmed in time. ]

This is Slade's bison power, comparable to Landon's headbutt and April's enhanced swimming.

[ The RANGERS continue to appear overwhelmed, but they do manage to steer the action away from the BOULDER.  Shortly, the BOULDER reverts to its KADEON form, who dashes away to safety. ]

[ YELLOW RANGER calls out to the other RANGERS. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
How about those Power Weapons, guys?

Oh yeah!

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Right!  Falcon Sword!

[ RED summons the FALCON SWORD and fends off several ACOLYTES successfully. ]

[ YELLOW and BLUE find themselves surrounded by more ACOLYTES. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Lion Cannon!

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Dolphin Bow!

[ The LION CANNON and DOLPHIN BOW appear in their respective hands.  They fire yellow energy blasts from the cannon and glowing blue arrows from the bow.  ACOLYTES in all directions are sent reeling with bursts of sparks.  As they land, they shrink into nothingness accompanied by sparkles of white light. ]

That special effect signifies something.

[ Near each other, GREEN and BLACK fight ACOLYTES of their own. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Rhino Cutter!

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Bison Lance!

[ With a green gleam, GREEN summons a boomerang known as the RHINO CUTTER (compare with sentai). ]

In the sentai, Green Ranger occasionally (but not always) wielded two identical boomerangs.  They began in a straight form and were then angled into their boomerang forms.

[ A purple gleam brings the BISON LANCE, a pole weapon (compare with sentai), into BLACK's hands. ]

[ Noticing each other's weapons, GREEN and BLACK react in unison: ]

LANDON (Green Ranger) / SLADE (Black Ranger):
You did practice!

They pretended not to have practiced last episode.

[ BLACK pummels numerous ACOLYTES with his weapon. ]

[ Meanwhile, GREEN charges his boomerang with green light and hurls it.  The weapon cuts a path through numerous ACOLYTES before returning to GREEN's hand. ]

[ BLACK's assault continues.  He pauses momentarily to note: ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Oh sure, give the shooting expert a pole weapon.

I noticed this, so I thought I'd point it out.

[ An additional ACOLYTE charges for BLACK from some distance away.  BLACK charges his lance with purple energy and swings the weapon, hurling an energy blast one end.  The blast swiftly fells the charging ACOLYTE, who then ceases to exist. ]

This energy attack was borrowed from the sentai.  I figured it slightly helped justify giving sharpshooter Slade a lance.

[ BLACK shrugs. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Ah well, good enough.

[ BLACK then slashes his still-glowing lance through the remaining ACOLYTES around him. ]

[ RED RANGER is left facing the last remaining ACOLYTES.  He readies his sword. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Last chance!

Brad is the only Ranger to give the Acolytes a last warning.  Because of the amulets, the Acolytes should have understood his warning but chose not to heed it (assuming they're capable of independent thought).

[ The ACOLYTES attack.  RED performs a gleaming red sword strike (compare loosely with Liveman #21), dropping his foes.  They shrink away with the same sparkles. ]

[ The RANGERS are now alone in the woods.  They dispel their respective weapons. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
That could've gone worse.

SLADE (Black Ranger):
The hooded guy ran away.

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Poor guy.  He seemed pretty scared.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
We should help his people somehow.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Uhh, are we really ready to take on a galactic empire right now?

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Landon has a point.  Let's stick to the plan for right now.  We find the Zords and get them home.  Then we'll figure something out with Dr. Bering.

Trini appears to be a more level-headed leader than Luke.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Hmm...


[ INT. BUNKER, COMMAND ROOM - STRIFE enters from the machine room, seemingly lost in thought.  He is alarmed to take notice of the command room's new appearance: all over the walls and the edges of the consoles are tomato vines (including some tomatoes and yellow flowers).  A particularly impressive array of tomato flowers grows over a metal dome enclosure which has been fitted over the Mindsphere. ]

Not long after I wrote early plans for Tomato King to team up with Strife, I decided to have Tomato King decorate Strife's lair to give it traits of both villains.

The metal dome was added over the Mindsphere by Strife not long after Tomato King suggested it last episode (because he was fascinated by its glow).  Now the dome gets some flowers.

STRIFE:
What the --

[ TOMATO KING cheerily hops out from nearby. ]

TOMATO KING:
Ta-daaaa!

STRIFE:
What have you done to my control room?!

TOMATO KING:
Well, I added a lot of tomato vines, clearly.  What do you think?

STRIFE:
I think you'd better prove extremely useful against the Power Rangers.

Strife's outward reason for keeping Tomato King around.

TOMATO KING:
I know, I like it too.  Hey, you think we could install some sort of skylight?  It's kinda gloomy in here.

STRIFE:
That will have to wait until after the vegetable garden.

Hey, Strife knows sarcasm.

TOMATO KING (eagerly):
You're installing a vegetable garden??

STRIFE (harshly):
No!  Now get out of here!

[ TOMATO KING pouts on his way out. ]

TOMATO KING:
Oh, fine.  (ponders)  Hmmm... vegetable garden...

It remains to be seen whether we'll see an actual vegetable garden.

[ STRIFE sighs. ]


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - A red streak lands and materializes into RED RANGER, his POWER AMULET in hand.  He stands in an alien jungle that apparently grows up the slope of a mountain.  RED consults his AMULET, aiming it further up the mountain, and then zips away as a streak once again. ]

My only sentai footage of the Falconzord was in the air, so I set its rock form somewhere high and relatively in the open.


[ EXT. ALIEN CAVE - YELLOW RANGER's AMULET guides her into a cave in the desert mountains. ]

I had footage of the Lionzord breaking out of a mountain, so I set Trini's discovery in a mountain cave.


[ EXT. ALIEN PLATEAU - GREEN RANGER explores with his AMULET.  He pauses at the edge of a chasm in the earth, his amulet apparently pointing him down in that direction. ]

The footage of the Rhino emerging from underground prompted this placement.


[ EXT. ALIEN SHORE - BLUE stands overlooking the ocean.  Her AMULET is by her side. ]

It only made sense that the Dolphin would be found underwater.


[ EXT. CREVICE / INT. CAVERN - With his AMULET, BLACK navigates a long crevice bordered by high rock walls.  Finally, he reaches an enormous cavern.  He looks up at something large in front of him. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Huh.

[ Before him is an enormous rock structure shaped like the BISONZORD (compare with sentai).  It appears that the tank-like Zord has either turned into stone or been entombed within it. ]

I could have placed this one anywhere remotely desert- or rock-related, as footage showed the Bison driving in from the horizon in the desert.


[ EXT. ALIEN OCEAN (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER swims down beneath the ocean with almost superhuman grace.  She then stops, apparently having spotted something. ]

April's individual Ranger power is swimming (and breath-holding).

[ Below lies the stone form of the DOLPHINZORD (compare with sentai). ]


[ INT. CHASM - GREEN RANGER drops down onto a rocky ledge.  In the dark chasm below is the outline of the stone RHINOZORD (compare with sentai). ]


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - RED RANGER materializes atop a rocky peak at the zenith of the jungle.  As he surveys the area, we zoom out to see the peak itself forms the shape of the stony FALCONZORD with its legs down (compare with sentai). ]


[ INT. CAVE - YELLOW RANGER studies her rocky LIONZORD (compare with sentai) sitting at rest in the center of an enormous cave.  Her AMULET remains in her hand but not in use. ]

BRAD (from amulet):
Uhh, Trini...?

[ She notices the voice coming from her amulet and looks into it.  RED RANGER appears within. ]

The amulets serve as visual communicators between Rangers, not just to the space station.

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah, Brad.


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - RED is now standing at the base of the FALCONZORD rock.  He speaks into his AMULET. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Well, I think I found my Zord, but it's... it's like it's made of stone or something.

This might remind some readers of the Rangers' Zords being encased in stone on an alien planet in MMPR season 3, but those Zords were not discovered in such a state.


[ INT. CHASM - GREEN continues to stand on his ledge. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Roger that.  My Rhinozord seems deader than a doornail.


[ INT. CAVE - YELLOW ponders. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Hmm.  There's something missing...


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - RED looks up at his Zord once. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
You know, let me try something.

[ RED braces himself, then aims the AMULET at the stone Zord above. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger, cont'd):
Power of the falcon!

[ The red falcon spirit flies out from the amulet and streaks into the stone figure.  The stone begins to crack, revealing bright red light within. ]

The Gaia Zords are inert without the animal spirits from the Rangers' amulets.

[ RED shields his eyes and takes a few steps back. ]

[ In close-up, the stone crumbles away from the stone falcon's head, revealing the restored FALCONZORD underneath. ]

Hopefully a close-up of the Falconzord's head isn't too much to reproduce in US footage.  I don't expect to call for any further US footage of the Gaia Zords, but I suppose this could change.

[ RED lowers his hand and gapes at the Zord (off-screen).  He finally remembers to speak into his AMULET. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Uhh, yeah, that'll do it.  Use the animal spirits.


[ INT. CAVE - YELLOW looks at her AMULET, then points its yellow face at the stone LIONZORD.  The lion spirit leaps out and dives into the Zord. ]


[ EXT. ALIEN OCEAN (UNDERWATER) - BLUE shines her AMULET at the DOLPHINZORD, freeing the dolphin spirit. ]


[ INT. CHASM - GREEN unleashes the rhino spirit into the RHINOZORD. ]


[ INT. CAVERN - BLACK looses the bison spirit upon the BISONZORD. ]


[ ASSORTED - In a four-way splitscreen, the four RANGERS watch as their Zords transform (off-screen). ]


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - RED speaks into his AMULET. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Well, did it work?


[ INT. CAVE - YELLOW gapes at the Zord above (off-screen). ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Wow.  I'll say.

How distracting would it be that the Zords aren't actually shown at this point?


[ INT. CHASM - GREEN stares down at his Zord (off-screen) for a moment, then happily attaches his AMULET back onto his belt. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Oh, I am so getting inside this thing!

[ He leaps down and out of frame. ]


[ EXT. ALIEN JUNGLE - RED RANGER hops up onto the FALCONZORD's head.  His AMULET is back in place on his belt. ]


[ INT. DOLPHIN ENTRANCE (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER swims down into a mechanical chamber through an open access panel in the ceiling.  The panel then slides shut, and the water begins to drain from the chamber.  BLUE eventually lands on her feet, and the water is soon gone.  (Her AMULET is on her belt.) ]

I don't see that Liveman addressed the issue of water in the Dolphinzord.

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Wow, good to know.  Apparently I can hold my breath forever.

I don't expect the other Rangers to exhibit this ability.  I guess this means they can't go floating around in outer space like their predecessors.

[ She explores the chamber further. ]


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER enters a single-pilot cockpit.  It shimmers with soft blue light from unseen water ahead.  BLUE looks around and takes a seat. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Okay, I'm totally having deja vu right now.


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER takes a seat and examines his controls. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Me too, actually.  It's like I'm already familiar with everything.

As in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.


[ INT. LION COCKPIT (BURIED) - Her cockpit dark as though the front isn't exposed to daylight, YELLOW RANGER (her AMULET likewise on her belt) examines her controls.  She then begins to operate it.  The lights come on, and her Zord suddenly lurches forward. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Whoa!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - The yellow LIONZORD, a giant robot lion, bursts forth from a mountain face. ]

Lion emerges Lion emerges Lion emerges

In the sentai, the Lion merely crashed into a mountain and then burst out to attack the Stingers that had chased it into the mountain in the first place.


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT (BURIED) - His cockpit dark as well, GREEN RANGER listens. ]

BRAD (over radio):
Trini?  Are you okay?

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Yeah, man, was that a good whoa or a bad whoa?

TRINI (over radio):
A good one, I think!  My Lionzord's online!


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER activates his Zord, turning the lights on. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Well, let's give this a try...  Falconzord, online!


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT (BURIED) - GREEN RANGER activates his Zord. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Rhinozord, online!


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER activates her Zord. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Dolphinzord, online!


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT (BURIED) - BLACK RANGER activates his Zord with little exuberance. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Seriously, you guys, it works just as well without announcing everything.


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE responds. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
But this way we know how everybody's doing!

And it may be instinctual.


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT (BURIED) - BLACK grudgingly accedes. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Fine...  Bisonzord online.

I expect Slade to be yelling things like everyone else before long.


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT (BURIED) - The lights are now on in the Rhino's cockpit, though the viewscreen in front of him (off-screen) remains dark.  GREEN RANGER looks around. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Okay, now what?

[ The Zord suddenly lurches forward with a rumbling tremor, plastering GREEN against his seat. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger, cont'd):
Whoooaa!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - A curved golden horn of some sort cleaves its away through the earth. ]

horn

This was the Rhino's first appearance in the sentai; its horn proceeded to trip the as-yet-unrevealed Zettazord before the Rhino emerged.

BRAD (voice-over):
Was THAT a good whoa?


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT (BURIED) - GREEN pulls up on the controls. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
I dunno yet!  Gimme a second!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - Up from the earth springs the RHINOZORD, a wheeled green and silver vehicle sporting a rhino horn in front and two missile launchers on its back.  It lands with a thundering crunch. ]

Rhino emerges Rhino emerges Rhino emerges


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER is shaken. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
All right, well... I think I'm in one piece.


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #35) - The DOLPHINZORD, an underwater craft sporting two dolphin-shaped heads, travels through the depths. ]

Dolphin Dolphin

Many of the following Zord sequences were assembled from distant, unrelated episodes to make a more complex battle than ever appeared in Liveman; notably, the Bison and Rhino never fought in their individual forms alongside the other three Zords.

Also note that the film quality of certain stock shots tended to vary over the course of the sentai series (though the general trend was a gradual darkening of the footage for some reason).  To that end, even in instances where a sentai episode actually did contain a full Zord sequence that I wanted to replicate, I sometimes took shots from different episodes (if the sequence appeared more than once in Liveman) to use what I considered the very best quality version of each shot.  So although a number of Zord sequences were invented for Take Flight by splicing unrelated shots together, you won't be able to identify them just by seeing different Liveman episode numbers juxtaposed.


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER happily pilots her Zord. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Oh, this is so cool!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #2) - The DOLPHINZORD heads for the glimmering surface above. ]

Dolphin rises Dolphin rises

APRIL (voice-over):
Check this out!

The Dolphin doesn't have a lot to do underwater unless Stingers come after it, so I had April play around to show off the Zord to the audience.  The Zord is amphibious, but there's only so much footage of it doing interesting things on land.


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (Liveman #35) - The DOLPHIN shoots up from the water.  Its momentum carries it in an arc through the air. ]

Dolphin leap Dolphin leap Dolphin leap Dolphin leap


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (DAYLIGHT) - BLUE RANGER briefly becomes weightless in her seat as her Zord begins to fall. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Woohooo!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (Liveman #4) - The DOLPHIN arcs downward.  It then plunges back into the water. ]

Dolphin returns to water Dolphin returns to water Dolphin returns to water Dolphin returns to water


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER gives a wickedly deep laugh before remarking: ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
(deep laugh)  This is so much better than driving a car.

Good to know: April drives.


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED agrees: ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Or a starship, even!


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #7) - The FALCONZORD, a red falcon-shaped jet, does a barrel roll as it flies by. ]

do a barrel roll do a barrel roll do a barrel roll

BRAD (voice-over):
Yeah!


[ EXT. ALIEN FOREST (Liveman #1) - The LIONZORD is seen running through a forest, partially obscured by passing trees as the camera follows along. ]

Lionzord Lionzord

This was the Lion's first reveal in the sentai.

TRINI (voice-over):
All right, you guys, settle down...


[ INT. LION COCKPIT - YELLOW RANGER glances at her controls and mutters amusedly: ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
...although it is pretty cool.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - The LIONZORD runs across open terrain. ]

Lionzord Lionzord


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - We see the RHINOZORD driving over open terrain as well. ]

Rhino Rhino


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN appears satisfied. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Well, guys, I've tried out the Rhino, and I've decided I'm going to keep it.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - The RHINOZORD drives past. ]

Rhino Rhino Rhino Rhino

LANDON (voice-over):
Hey, anybody seen Slade?


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #28) - On the horizon, the black and gray BISONZORD emerges amidst a cloud of dust.  It is a wheeled vehicle with its front shaped like a bison's head. ]

Bisonzord Bisonzord Bisonzord

This was the Bison's first appearance in the sentai (following a close-up of its wheels which I show afterward instead).

[ We see the BISONZORD's wheels and head in close-up.  The Zord snorts puffs of steam from its mechanical nostrils. ]

Bisonzord Bisonzord

SLADE (voice-over):
Oh, I'm just out for a drive... IN MY GIANT BOVINE TANK.

More lampshading, I suppose.


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN laughs. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Dude, embrace your inner bovine.


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER inquires: ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
So that's it, then?  Time to rendezvous for our pickup?


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER continues to fly his Zord. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Yeah, but do you think those fighter ships are gonna let us leave in peace?

Oh yeah.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #4) - The FALCONZORD flies by. ]

Falconzord Falconzord


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #28) - A cluster of six STINGERS swoops upward. ]

Stingers Stingers Stingers


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - The LIONZORD runs through the mountains. ]

Lion

TRINI (voice-over):
Careful, Brad!  Here comes your answer!


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #48) - The FALCONZORD swoops by, firing a barrage of blue lasers. ]

Falcon lasers Falcon lasers

BRAD (voice-over):
Guess we have to do it the hard way.

[ Liveman #2 - A STINGER is struck with a laser and promptly explodes. ]

Stinger explodes Stinger explodes Stinger explodes Stinger explodes


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER banks in his cockpit. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
One down, a lot more to go!


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #7) - As two groups of STINGERS split up, the FALCON does a barrel roll and pursues four toward the mountains below. ]

Falcon chase Falcon chase Falcon chase Falcon chase

The FALCON chases two STINGERS down toward rocky peaks.  An explosion signals the destruction of the Stingers, but the FALCON flies out unscathed. ]

Falcon chase Falcon chase Falcon chase Falcon chase

This harkens back to Brad's victory in the triathlon's aerial event (episode 1), though in that instance he was the one being pursued.

[ Another STINGER swoops through the air. ]

Stinger Stinger Stinger

[ The FALCONZORD closes in. ]

Falconzord Falconzord Falconzord


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER fires. ]

[ Switch to sentai (Liveman #7) - From Red's viewpoint within the cockpit, we see the blue lasers strike the STINGER in front of him.  The STINGER glimmers and begins to go down in flames.  Another volley of lasers detonates the ailing STINGER. ]

Stinger shootdown Stinger shootdown Stinger shootdown Stinger shootdown Stinger shootdown


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #2) - The FALCONZORD flies away as the STINGER's remains go down in a fireball. ]

Stinger shootdown Stinger shootdown

BRAD (voice-over):
Got 'im!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #7) - The DOLPHINZORD passes by. ]

Dolphin Dolphin

APRIL (voice-over):
Way to go, Brad!

And way to do nothing, April.  But should we really expect the sentai (a 1980s sentai at that) to give the girl's Zord a lot of cool things to do?


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER replies but then notices something ahead of him. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Heh, thanks.  Uh oh, here comes some more of 'em.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #29) - A fleet of six STINGERS swoops in through the clouds (image mirrored from sentai). ]

more Stingers more Stingers

[ Liveman #4 - The FALCONZORD flies by. ]

Falconzord Falconzord


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT (Liveman #48) - The fleet quickly flies by, as seen from Red Ranger's perspective. ]

Stingers fly by

[ Switch to US footage - RED RANGER looks sharply over his right shoulder.  He then banks to the right and hits a lever which causes his engines to sound as though they are decelerating. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Hey, where are you going?


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #7) - The FALCONZORD opens its wings and veers off to the right. ]

Falcon veers Falcon veers Falcon veers Falcon veers

The Stingers veering past Brad, making him slow and bank right, was a constructed sequence.


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (Liveman #7) - Elsewhere, a STINGER folds back its two topmost wings while tilting its nose down.  It then plunges into the sea. ]

Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive

[ Another STINGER folds its wings (image mirrored from sentai).  Yet another does likewise and then goes underwater as well. ]

Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive Stingers dive


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER remarks: ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
They went underwater!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (Liveman #2) - The FALCONZORD pulls up over a series of rocky outcroppings in the sea, narrowly missing the water. ]

Falcon pulls up Falcon pulls up Falcon pulls up Falcon pulls up

BRAD (voice-over, cont'd):
Watch out, April!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #4) - Two groups of four STINGERS each descend from the shimmering surface into the depths of the sea. ]

Stingers underwater Stingers underwater Stingers underwater

[ Liveman #4 - Below, the DOLPHINZORD hovers over the sea floor. ]

Dolphin Dolphin Dolphin

APRIL (voice-over):
I see 'em.

[ A cluster of five STINGERS approach, firing red bolts (image mirrored from sentai). ]

sea battle sea battle

Sometimes the sequences seemed to flow a bit better when I mirrored a shot or two.

[ Explosions erupt around the DOLPHIN. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - Rattled, BLUE RANGER grunts but continues manning her controls. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
(grunts)  Missed me.


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #4) - The DOLPHINZORD slips into a narrow sea cavern as a final explosion erupts behind it. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle

[ The five STINGERS turn and proceed away from the rocky embankment.  Meanwhile, however, the DOLPHIN emerges from behind them. ]

sea battle sea battle


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER presses a button on her controls. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Now let's see how you like it!  Dolphin Missiles!


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (UNDERWATER) (Liveman #4) - Now at rest on the sea floor, the DOLPHINZORD fires four torpedos from its top side, two from each dolphin head. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle

[ Two torpedos strike an isolated cluster of STINGERS, blowing them up in a large explosion. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle

[ Four more STINGERS swoop down near the sea floor and pull up.  Just then, the other two torpedos sail in and strike the group of STINGERS from behind.  They explode as well. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle sea battle sea battle sea battle


[ EXT. ALIEN SEA (Liveman #4) - From above the surface of the water, we see bubbles and thunderous flashes of light from underwater. ]

sea battle sea battle sea battle

This underwater battle was essentially the same in Liveman.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - A fleet of six STINGERS flies down over a mountain ridge, firing their energy bolts. ]

Stingers Stingers

[ Switch to Liveman #1 - Explosions erupt around the LIONZORD as it runs through the mountains. ]

Lion Lion

[ Three STINGERS swoop in through the mountain valley. ]

Lion chase Lion chase

[ The LIONZORD leaps and begins running up a nearly vertical mountain face.  A STINGER in pursuit crashes into the rock and explodes. ]

Lion chase Lion chase Lion chase Lion chase Lion chase Lion chase Lion chase

I cut a shot of the Lion coming to rest on the mountain peak above and roaring triumphantly because I didn't wish to slow down the action just yet.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (ELSEWHERE) (Liveman #1) - Four STINGERS swoop down through the clouds as they fire red bolts. ]

Stingers Stingers

[ Liveman #29 - The slow-moving RHINOZORD is inundated with explosions. ]

Rhino blasted


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER is shaken in his cockpit. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
All right, come on, guys...


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #48) - Six STINGERS swoop down from another direction, firing as well. ]

more Stingers more Stingers

[ Liveman #29 - More explosions erupt around the RHINO. ]

Rhino blasted


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - A small burst of sparks flashes from his controls as GREEN RANGER is shaken more heavily. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Oh, come on!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - Amidst a large explosion, the RHINOZORD drives right off the edge of a cliff and plummets. ]

Rhino jumps Rhino jumps

In the prior episode of Liveman, the Bison likewise drove off a cliff while being blasted.  I didn't include that shot in this Zord battle because it would have seemed redundant.

[ Below, the BISONZORD happens to be passing by as the RHINOZORD flies right over it and lands beyond. ]

Rhino lands Rhino lands Rhino lands Rhino lands


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - Bouncing in his seat from the residual impact, GREEN RANGER looks over his right shoulder. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Oh, hey, Slade!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #28) - The BISONZORD fires blue lasers from its horns. ]

Bison lasers Bison lasers

[ Liveman #2 - A STINGER is struck and explodes in mid-air. ]

Stinger explodes Stinger explodes

Good thing they gave the Bison blue lasers, because that explosion shot is recycled from the Falcon shooting down Stingers (it was recycled in the sentai as well).


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT - BLACK RANGER nods. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
... Landon.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - In the sky, a STINGER curls its spiked tail down.  Descending to the mountains below, it drags the sharp tail through the earth. ]

tail draggers tail draggers tail draggers tail draggers

I don't quite know the point of this maneuver, but it looked fairly cool anyway.

[ Their tails seemingly supporting them, three STINGERS glide over the terrain while firing red bolts. ]

tail draggers tail draggers tail draggers

[ Liveman #28 - Explosions erupt around the BISONZORD as it proceeds forward. ]

Bison blasted Bison blasted


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT - Shaken slightly, BLACK RANGER nonetheless accelerates in his Zord. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Oh, you wanna play chicken?  All right, let's see what happens.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #28) - Two STINGERS flee (one of the three in the sentai footage is to be airbrushed out with a US effect) as the BISONZORD emerges from a fiery explosion. ]

Bison rams Bison rams Bison rams Bison rams

I don't know the exact nature of the explosion here in the sentai, because all three Stingers seemed to survive it (so what blew up?).  This scene was more negative in the sentai, because Black was getting into a bad predicament fighting by himself.


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT - BLACK RANGER remarks: ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Oh, whaddya know, I won!


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER quips: ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Hey, save some for me!


[ INT. BISON COCKPIT - BLACK RANGER nods toward the sky. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Be my guest.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - Six STINGERS fly around a mountain (image mirrored from sentai). ]

Stingers Stingers

[ Liveman #29 - The RHINOZORD swerves to its right and comes to a stop (image mirrored from sentai). ]

Rhino swerves Rhino swerves Rhino swerves Rhino swerves


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER studies his controls and presses a few buttons. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
All right, let's see here...

SLADE (over radio):
Take your time, why don't ya?

LANDON (Green Ranger):
I got it, I got it!  Launching Rhino Rockets!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #29) - The RHINOZORD fires two large rockets from its rocket launchers. ]

Rhino Rockets Rhino Rockets Rhino Rockets Rhino Rockets Rhino Rockets

[ Liveman #28 - All six approaching STINGERS are obliterated with a single explosion (shown twice). ]

Stingers blow up Stingers blow up Stingers blow up Stingers blow up

[ Liveman #29 - The RHINO then proceeds forward (image mirrored from sentai). ]

Rhino goes Rhino goes Rhino goes

[ As the BISON and RHINO drive across the terrain, the RHINO appears to tag along behind the BISON in a playful manner. ]

tagalong tagalong tagalong

It was this shot alone which inspired Landon's exuberant personality, as compared to Slade's cool exterior.  In the sentai, Green was younger and regarded Black as a big brother of sorts.

LANDON (voice-over, eagerly):
Hey, Slade, did you see me back there?  I just totally blew up all those ships.  There was, like, ten of 'em!

[ The BISON continues undeterred, but the RHINO then races up alongside it. ]

tagalong tagalong tagalong

SLADE (voice-over):
You exaggerate.  But nice job.

LANDON (voice-over):
Aww, you're such a softy.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #1) - The LIONZORD bends down and grasps a STINGER in its jaws.  It then spins the attack ship around by its tail. ]

rowr rowr rowr rowr rowr rowr

TRINI (voice-over):
Hey, come here, you!  (spins)  Let's go for a spin!

[ The STINGER, released off-screen, tumbles through the air and smashes into a rock face, where it explodes. ]

rowr rowr rowr


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #7) - Flying overhead, the FALCONZORD lowers two silver extensions from its underside. ]

Falcon talons Falcon talons Falcon talons


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER is working his controls. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Let's give these talons a try.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #7) - Landing gear shaped like bird feet unfold from the silver extensions, completing the FALCONZORD's legs. ]

Falcon talons Falcon talons Falcon talons

[ The FALCONZORD then passes over the top of a STINGER, slashing it with a flash of sparks. ]

Falcon talons Falcon talons

[ Liveman #2 - The FALCONZORD lowers its feet to the ground, where it begins to skid to a stop.  Meanwhile, a large explosion erupts in the background. ]

Falcon victory Falcon victory Falcon victory Falcon victory

There would seem to be little point to skidding along the ground, but again, it looked cool.


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (UNDERWATER) - BLUE RANGER continues to man her cockpit. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Well, nuggets!  You guys are having all the fun up there!  Converting to tank mode!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #2) - The DOLPHINZORD drives up onto dry land, now in wheeled form. ]

amphibious Dolphin amphibious Dolphin

Might've been nice to use that sooner.

[ Liveman #7 - Six STINGERS fire from above as they fly down. ]

Stingers

[ Liveman #2 - Explosions break out around the DOLPHINZORD as it continues driving. ]

Dolphin blasted Dolphin blasted


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (DAYLIGHT) - BLUE RANGER is shaken in her cockpit.  She presses several buttons. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
Dolphin Missiles!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #7) - Now stationary, the DOLPHINZORD fires two sets of twin missiles.  (The white letters in the "Liveman" decal on the side of the Zord are to be airbrushed out in this shot or any subsequent shots in which they appear clearly.) ]

Dolphin Missiles Dolphin Missiles Dolphin Missiles Dolphin Missiles

These images are cropped slightly, but this shot might conceivably show the letter L on the Dolphin's "Liveman" decal.  That of course has no place on the Gaia Zords.

[ The incoming six STINGERS are all engulfed in a large explosion. ]

Dolphin Missiles Dolphin Missiles Dolphin Missiles


[ INT. DOLPHIN COCKPIT (DAYLIGHT) - BLUE RANGER shakes her finger. ]

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
That's right, they work in the air too!

...in case anybody thought they were torpedoes that should only work underwater.


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #2) - The LION fires its cannons while running (image mirrored from sentai). ]

Lion cannons Lion cannons

I almost left this shot out of the battle, but I added it late in the writing process because I wasn't sure I'd have another opportunity to feature the cannons.

[ Liveman #28 - More STINGERS explode. ]

Stingers blow up Stingers blow up

[ Liveman #1 - The LIONZORD roars and begins to turn to its right, but it then quickly turns left (image mirrored from sentai). ]

Lion looks Lion looks Lion looks

TRINI (voice-over):
Anyone else want to play?  (Lion turns)  Oh, you do?

[ The LION chases after three retreating STINGERS. ]

Stingers retreat Stingers retreat

TRINI (voice-over, cont'd):
No?  Too bad...

In the sentai, this shot preceded the Lion's bite-and-spin attack.  I didn't think that flowed very well, so I put it to better use as the end of the battle (it also afforded me the chance to follow up on Dr. Bering's foreshadowing last episode about Dillik getting himself in trouble).

[ Liveman #29 - The BISONZORD drives through the mountains, followed by the RHINOZORD. ]

Bison and Rhino Bison and Rhino Bison and Rhino

SLADE (voice-over):
Uhh, I'm picking up something big headed this way.

I considered inserting a shot of Terra Toad growing prior to his arrival in battle, but I didn't see a good place for it, and I would have had to spend undue time detailing the monsters' transformative growth process (see episode 5).

LANDON (voice-over):
Is it a tow ship?

[ Liveman #6 - The LIONZORD runs over the terrain, followed by the DOLPHINZORD, as the HAKWZORD flies over both. ]

Zord trio

BRAD (voice-over):
Uhhh, that's no tow ship!

[ Liveman #43 - A monster described here as TERRA TOAD leaps through the air for what may be a head-butt. ]

headbutt headbutt

The monster was attacking an unintroduced Zord combination here.

Terra Toad's name is a nod to the Terror Toad, an early MMPR monster.

[ Liveman #7 - The LIONZORD continues to run. ]

Lionzord

BRAD (voice-over):
Watch out, Trini!

[ Liveman #7 - The FALCONZORD dives down, firing its lasers. ]

Falcon fires Falcon fires

[ Liveman #43 - Following a residual burst of sparks in the foreground (US effect), TERRA TOAD crashes to the ground as he rolls back.  He quickly rises with a curved horn in hand.  He charges it with blue electricity and hurls it. ]

horn attack horn attack horn attack horn attack horn attack horn attack

Terra Toad was still fighting that other Zord formation at this point (his headbutt followed).

[ Liveman #2 - As the FALCONZORD swoops down near the ground, an explosion erupts around it. ]

Falcon swoops Falcon swoops Falcon swoops

[ Liveman #6 - The FALCON flies away unfazed. ]

Falcon flies off Falcon flies off Falcon flies off


[ INT. FALCON COCKPIT - RED RANGER looks back over his shoulder, seemingly relieved. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Whew!  That was a close one!


[ EXT. ALIEN MOUNTAINS (Liveman #28) - The BISONZORD drives alone. ]

Bison Bison

SLADE (voice-over):
Gee, if only we had a Megazord or something...

[ Liveman #1 - The LIONZORD continues to run. ]

Lion

TRINI (voice-over):
Very funny, Slade.  Are you guys ready?

[ Liveman #29 - The RHINOZORD rolls along. ]

Rhino

LANDON (voice-over):
Well, yeah!  But... uh... how do you make a Megazord?

It seems as though their instincts don't make them omniscient; they sometimes aren't sure what to do, at least for a while.  And some of the Rangers may be more sure than others.

[ Liveman #2 - The DOLPHINZORD wheels by. ]

Dolphin

APRIL (voice-over):
Just follow your instincts!

As in episode 3, April seems to be the instinct expert.

[ Liveman #7 - The FALCONZORD flies overhead. ]

Falcon

BRAD (voice-over):
Here goes nothing...

[ Liveman #2 - The LIONZORD leaps into the air. ]

Lion leaps Lion leaps Lion leaps

This reminds me of the Sabertoothed Tiger jumping in MMPR season 1.

[ In mid-air, the LION folds its legs back as blue energy ripples over its surface. ]

Lion transforms Lion transforms Lion transforms Lion transforms

I trimmed a number of shots and omitted others in this assembly sequence so as not to give the impression that the Falcon, Lion, and Dolphin could form a standalone Megazord at this point.  Of course, they could in the sentai.

[ The LION's back section then splits apart and transforms into robot arms, the Zord's head and front portion thereby becoming a chest. ]

Lion transforms Lion transforms Lion transforms Lion transforms

[ The FALCONZORD swoops in, approaching the transformed LION from behind.  At the last moment, it pulls back into a vertical alignment and combines with the LION to form the lower torso and thighs. ]

Falcon attaches Falcon attaches Falcon attaches Falcon attaches Falcon attaches Falcon attaches Falcon attaches

[ Liveman #38 - Elsewhere, the DOLPHINZORD's body bends upward while its dolphin heads remain in place, transforming the Zord into feet and legs. ]

Dolphin transforms Dolphin transforms Dolphin transforms

[ The combined LION and FALCON then descend toward the waiting legs. ]

trio assembles trio assembles

[ Liveman #35 - As the BISONZORD drives along, its rear panel flies off, and the wheeled Zord begins to levitate. ]

flying Bison flying Bison flying Bison

[ Liveman #31 - The RHINOZORD then lifts off as well. ]

flying Rhino flying Rhino


[ INT. RHINO COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER looks around somewhat apprehensively. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Whoa...  Flying rhino...


[ EXT. ANYWHERE (Liveman #30) - As an existing robot framework shines with blue light, the similarly glowing components of the former BISON and RHINO Zords fly forward and attach to the robot's forearms and legs (the Rhino's components forming the arms and the Bison's forming the legs). ]

components attach components attach components attach components attach components attach

I had to do some creative editing at this point, because in Liveman, the Bison and Rhino never formed what I'm calling the Gaia Megazord without first forming an intermediate configuration.  Instead, it was more preferable for my story that the five Zords simply all come together to form a Megazord.

[ Switch to Liveman #33 - The heads of the RHINO and BISON Zords then attach to the robot's shoulders. ]

components attach components attach components attach

[ Finally, the remaining panel from the Bisonzord flies down, its rear portion folding down to become a helmet. ]

components attach components attach components attach

[ The panel locks on to the front of the robot, completing its chest and head. ]

Megazord complete Megazord complete Megazord complete Megazord complete

[ Electrical bolts crackle behind the robot.  The GAIA MEGAZORD is complete. ]

Megazord complete Megazord complete

RANGERS (voice-over, in unison):
Gaia Megazord!

My original name for this formation was the Earthforce Megazord, to contrast it with last season's Skyforce Megazord.


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS seem mildly astonished to find themselves in the group cockpit.  YELLOW sits front center; going around the cockpit clockwise from front, they sit YELLOW, RED, BLACK, GREEN, BLUE (same as sentai but with Red and Yellow swapped).  The Liveman emblem is surely seen somewhere. ]

Last season, I started out trying to stick with sentai cockpit footage, but I later found I needed US footage, which necessitated a full replica of the sentai cockpit (no doubt a costly endeavor, if the series were produced).  Because of this experience (and because Liveman had such a sparse assortment of cockpit stock footage), I went with a US-original cockpit from the start.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Whoa... so this is what a Megazord looks like inside...

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Monster, twelve o'clock.

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Oh.  Right.


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #30) - The GAIA MEGAZORD assumes a ready position. ]

Megazord ready Megazord ready Megazord ready

[ Switch to Liveman #43 - TERRA TOAD growls with a curved horn in either hand.  He rears back and hurls them both. ]

horn toss horn toss horn toss horn toss


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER mans his controls. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
I got it!


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #41) - In close-up, the MEGAZORD turns its head to look straight ahead (footage reversed and sped up from sentai). ]

Megazord eyes Megazord eyes

I added this shot and the subsequent US shot to try to extend Terra Toad's brief Gaia Megazord battle.


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - In GREEN RANGER's monitor, we see a computer analysis of the incoming projectiles twirling through the air in slow motion (US footage). ]


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #43) - The MEGAZORD deftly catches the horns, one in each hand. ]

horn toss horn toss

I guess I can't credit Landon's dodging skills here, given that catching is a different skill.  Both require good reflexes, though.


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS react.  GREEN RANGER then works his joysticks. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
All right!

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Not bad.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Here, big fella, you dropped these!


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #43) - The MEGAZORD throws the horns.  They fly through the air (shown twice) and then strike TERRA TOAD with an eruption of sparks.  The monster staggers back. ]

horn toss horn toss horn toss horn toss horn toss horn toss horn toss


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS confer. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Man, my intuition's terrible.  I'm not picking up any special weapons or anything.  Just one super-beam attack.

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
That's all I'm feeling too.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Yeah, man, looks like that's it.

I debated whether to establish so definitively that the Gaia Megazord had no weapons (later configurations may make me wish I hadn't), but I felt I needed to explain the lack of weapons in the footage, especially compared to the Megazord's impressive arsenal last season.

BRAD (Red Ranger, sadly, to himself):
Not even a rocket punch...?

A reference to last season.

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Look, how about we just blow him up and be done with it?

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
I'm on it.  Gaia Beam!


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #33) - Shown in profile, the LIONZORD's head roars. ]

Lion roar Lion roar

[ The MEGAZORD's chest then charges with energy, and the robot fires a mighty blast of energy (enhanced with US effects) from the LIONZORD's mouth. ]

Gaia Beam Gaia Beam Gaia Beam Gaia Beam

This attack didn't really impress me in Liveman, so I hoped a US effects team could beef it up.

After the Megazord fired its blast (more like a fireball in the sentai), Liveman showed the fireball flying by the camera.  I didn't feel this type of shot was necessary.

[ Switch to Liveman #43 - The blast (enhanced with US effects) strikes TERRA TOAD in the midsection.  He reels a moment, flickering with red energy, and then begins to fall backward. ]

Terra Toad destroyed Terra Toad destroyed Terra Toad destroyed

[ As the MEGAZORD stands in the background, the crackling monster falls to the ground and explodes in a mighty fireball. ]

Terra Toad destroyed Terra Toad destroyed Terra Toad destroyed Terra Toad destroyed


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - GREEN RANGER crosses his arms smugly. ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Well, heck, who needs a rocket punch?

For now, anyway.  Incidentally, this mighty attack could be seen as analogous to the Mega Kestrelzord's Gemini Beam in season 1.  "With this new attack, we're unstoppable!"  Uhhh, right...


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Liveman #49) - In close-up, the LIONZORD's head roars. ]

Lion roars Lion roars

[ Liveman #33 - The MEGAZORD stands victorious. ]

Gaia Megazord victorious Gaia Megazord victorious Gaia Megazord victorious


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - A bulky TOW SHIP flies down through the clouds.  In hot pursuit are three STINGERS, which fire on the TOW SHIP.  The armored ship appears to take only slight damage. ]


[ INT. TOW SHIP COCKPIT - DILLIK (see previous season) is piloting the ship, but he appears distracted by a side display. ]

DILLIK:
Wow, for real, they have Podlings here??  I thought they were extinct!

I thought this was necessary so the earlier mention of Podlings wouldn't be seen as an error.

[ The ship quakes.  DILLIK looks up. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Ow, hey, who's shooting at me?


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - RED RANGER points up. ]

BRAD (Red Ranger):
Look!  Our tow ship is here!

APRIL (Blue Ranger):
He's under attack!

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Darn it, I shouldn't have let those ships get away!

Oh well.

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Well, let's go help him already!

[ The cockpit rumbles as rockets can be heard igniting. ]

SLADE (Black Ranger):
Apparently we can fly.

It seems most Megazords don't fly; this one does (thanks to the sentai footage).


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #49) - The MEGAZORD flies straight up. ]

flying Megazord flying Megazord flying Megazord

Liveman #49 was that show's finale; here, the Megazord was flying up to crash into the villains' space station base.  Incidentally, the concept of the villains in a space station has an obvious parallel in season 1, but I felt it would be monotonous to resurrect that idea for season 2.

[ The MEGAZORD flies through the air, glinting in the sunlight. ]

flying Megazord flying Megazord flying Megazord


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - YELLOW RANGER grips her controls resolutely. ]

TRINI (Yellow Ranger):
Hang on, guys.  I'm gonna ram 'em!

[ GREEN remarks to BLACK: ]

LANDON (Green Ranger):
Hey, she's crazy.  I like her.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY (Liveman #49) - The flying MEGAZORD smashes unfazed through the STINGERS (US addition), obliterating the fighter ships. ]

flying Megazord (not shown: US Stingers) flying Megazord (not shown: US Stingers)

Quick way to dispose of the Stingers without footage of the Megazord battling in the air.


[ INT. TOW SHIP COCKPIT - DILLIK appears pleased. ]

DILLIK:
Hey, way to go!  (works the controls)  Activating tractor beam.


[ EXT. ALIEN SKY - The TOW SHIP emits a broad yellow beam. ]

[ Sentai (Liveman #49) - The MEGAZORD continues to fly forward but is now enveloped with a yellow shroud of energy. ]

Megazord beamed up Megazord beamed up Megazord beamed up

In the sentai, the Megazord just plain glowed before it hit the space station.

[ The glowing MEGAZORD is beamed into the TOW SHIP. ]

No need to recreate the Megazord in any detail in the US footage; it's obscured by the yellow energy.


[ INT. TOW SHIP CORRIDOR - We pan through a corridor deep within the alien ship.  The five RANGERS explore cautiously, their helmets removed and under their arms. ]

LANDON:
Hello?

[ A door slides open, revealing DILLIK. ]

DILLIK:
Hello, Rangers.  My name is Dillik.  Thanks for your help out there.

TRINI:
Thank YOU for helping us get our Zords home.

BRAD:
Wait, you're THE Dillik?  The one who helped the Rangers destroy Mainframe?

The teens learned about him off-screen in episode 3.

[ DILLIK chuckles bashfully. ]

DILLIK:
Well, I tried to, anyway.  Thank goodness for that Red Falcon guy.

My first draft of this scene had Dillik remarking on the similarities between Brad and Argus, but then I realized that Dillik never actually saw Argus during the season 1 finale; he showed up immediately after Argus had left with the Thadian Rangers.

[ DILLIK curiously eyeballs BRAD's suit.  Meanwhile, BRAD seems to wonder if he heard Dillik correctly. ]

BRAD:
Red... falcon?

DILLIK:
Yeah, you know, that ghosty guy who went off with the Thadian Rangers.

TRINI:
Thadian Rangers?

Apparently not a topic outlined by Dr. Bering.

[ DILLIK amusedly rolls his eyes. ]

DILLIK:
YOU KNOW...!  Those dinosaur Rangers from the planet Thadia?  Off looking for the guy who made all of your Power Coins?

Referring to events from the season 1 finale.

BRAD:
You mean Ninjor...

At least Dr. Bering did actually mention Ninjor.  Gee, I wonder if he'll be important this season...

DILLIK:
Yeah, sure.  So anyway, they're off scouring the galaxy, and they go check up on that planet we just left, because the ghosty guy - Argus is his name - tells them his team buried some Zords there a long time ago.

Why did they bury them?  Unknown.

BRAD:
Interesting.

DILLIK:
And then of course they find the empire moving in, so they call Dr. Bering, and she calls me, and you guys come, and then I beam you up, and --

SLADE:
So this empire's pretty bad, huh?

DILLIK:
Well, they had a change in leadership not too long ago.  They're supposedly more democratic, but that's no guarantee they'll play nice with others.  Anyway, these warlords on the fringes are really the ones to watch out for.  They're always competing to conquer the most territory...

The change in leadership was Magda's ousting (see season 1, episode 9).

APRIL:
What's going to happen to the local people back there?

DILLIK:
Hmm, that's hard to say.  It all depends on whoever's in charge of those armies.  The good news is I have a spy satellite in orbit around Kadix, so I can keep an eye on them if you'd like.

It took me a while to figure out how to get the teens to calm slightly about Kadix's fate, and then I realized Dillik should have already had a satellite in the area already.

BRAD:
Wow, that'd be great!

SLADE:
You just happened to leave a spy satellite back there?

DILLIK:
Well, how else was I going to watch for you guys?

SLADE:
Hmm.

[ DILLIK beckons them through the door. ]

DILLIK:
Come, relax.  You guys like menonberry jam?

A favorite of Dillik's, revealed in season 1, episode 17.

[ As they follow DILLIK, SLADE nudges LANDON. ]

SLADE:
Hey, where's your rock?

The rock he planned to take as a souvenir at the beginning of the episode, of course.

LANDON:
No worries. We'll be back, right?

Actually, it doesn't look that way by the time the episode ends.


[ Dissolve to EXT. UNDERWATER (Liveman #2) - A massive SEA FORTRESS travels underwater. ]

sea fortress sea fortress sea fortress sea fortress

In the sentai, this fortress was the Rangers' headquarters.  Could it become their headquarters in Take Flight at some point, or would that be too similar to events in season 1...?


[ INT. SEA FORTRESS, THRONE ROOM - In a dark, ominous-looking throne room (yet still befitting of a futuristic sea fortress), GENERAL DREYDEN bows subserviently on one knee.  He is an alien warrior wearing a more advanced version of the Acolytes' armor, though he does not appear to be the same species as the Acolytes.  The throne room bears at least one EMPIRE SIGIL (see season 1, episode 17). ]

General Dreyden was intended to be a general for a short time and then be bested by Strife.  This may or may not still happen, because I've come up with a more interesting secret about Dreyden than I imagined originally.

[ Before Dreyden are two thrones.  His seated masters remain in shadow.  One of them, ERIS, speaks an eerily gentle female voice. ]

Eris is one half of my intended villain couple for this season.

ERIS (unseen):
General Dreyden, it would appear that both your Acolytes and Stinger drones have proved useless on the very same day.

I considered having the Acolytes pilot the Stingers (thus the ships wouldn't have been "drones"), but I opted against this for a reason I won't disclose yet.

The Stingers may not reappear.

DREYDEN:
I beg your forgiveness, Lady Eris.  Ah, if I may, your excellences... were those not Power Rangers?

[ The other master, GANT, speaks with a deep, guttural voice. ]

Gant is the other half of the villain couple.

GANT:
Power Rangers!  (snorts derisively)  Magda's phantoms.

In a slight retcon of her previous aversion to Ranger technology (see season 1, episode 9), I assert that Magda was widely derided in the empire for pursuing Power Rangers at length.  We don't know exactly what triggered her hatred of Rangers, but she mentioned encountering some in season 1, episode 38.

DREYDEN:
Yes, it is true Magda exhausted vast resources in her search for Power Rangers, with no success.  Yet they do exist.  There are even rumors Magda met her end at the hands of Rangers after fleeing the empire.

I further retcon that a primary factor in her ousting was her wasteful nature, especially in hunting Rangers across the galaxy, but also presumably in her tendency to render worlds useless (season 1, episode 10).

We don't know exactly how this rumor surfaced, but it apparently references her "demise" in season 1, episode 10.  I thought it was a fitting end for Magda, at least as far as empire legend is concerned.  (But she may well be alive still in the Jinnsects' dimension; see season 1, episode 38.)

ERIS:
As always, your knowledge appears limitless, Dreyden.

How DOES he know so much, hmmmmm...?

[ GANT stands from the shadows, revealing him to be a bulky humanoid with bestial properties remotely resembling Goldar (MMPR). ]

Now why would I ever describe him that way?

GANT:
What does it matter whether there are Power Rangers?  They've abandoned the planet after a single battle!

I tried my best to make the villains somehow proud of the monster's defeat.  Uhh, yeah, they ran scared!  That's it!  Ironically, Dillik will speculate that these villains ran away from Kadix because of the same battle.

[ DREYDEN stands politely. ]

DREYDEN:
Of course, Lord Gant.  We would be foolish to use the Rangers against the council.

Some sort of moderately democratic council has apparently been set up after Magda's ousting.

[ ERIS quickly rises.  She is a slender female humanoid in ornate vestments, yet beneath it all, her body is stark white and devoid of detail, even any facial features. ]

We'll learn more about Eris next episode.

ERIS (demandingly):
General Dreyden, are you harboring treasonous schemes to upend the order established by the Empire Council?

[ DREYDEN bows his head. ]

DREYDEN:
I must confess I am, your excellence.

[ ERIS sits contently. ]

ERIS:
Go on.

Wow, who'd have figured anyone would want to take charge of the empire again?

Dreyden became savvier and more important as I wrote this episode.


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. SPACE STATION - The TOW SHIP, nearly two-thirds the size of the space station, is docked to the station's top airlock. ]

TRINI (voice-over):
They left?  How is that possible?


[ INT. SPACE STATION CORRIDOR - The TEENS (again in their black uniforms) and DILLIK walk through the halls of the space station. ]

DILLIK:
I don't know.  These warlords are hard to predict sometimes.  Maybe you scared them off.

Or they've followed you, like Divatox at the start of Power Rangers Turbo or Scorpius at the start of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.

APRIL:
So everyone on Kadix is completely fine...

DILLIK:
Yes.

BRAD:
For how long?

DILLIK:
I have no idea.

Well, that's reassuring.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - As DILLIK and the TEENS enter the command center, DR. BERING lights up and gives DILLIK a warm hug.  The TEENS look on. ]

DR. BERING:
Dillik...  It's so good to see you again in person.

DILLIK:
You too, unfrozen scientist.

[ DR. BERING laughs.  The TEENS remain puzzled. ]

DR. BERING (to the teens):
Inside joke.

DILLIK:
So where's Lisa?  Off doing Blue Ranger things, I guess?

I'd been waiting to reveal Lisa's identity in a somewhat suspenseful way, but I didn't know how best to do it, and Dillik seemed like a decent enough means of revealing it.  I thought I'd best take advantage of this chance rather than hold off for something undefined down the road.  Of course, its effect is comical here rather than suspenseful.  I thought that was okay.

[ DR. BERING shakes her head apprehensively. ]

DR. BERING:
Uhhh...

LANDON:
What does that mean, "doing Blue Ranger things?"

DR. BERING:
It doesn't --

DILLIK:
You know, since she's the Blue Ranger?  (to April) Not the dolphin-headed Blue Ranger, of course.  The bird-headed Blue Ranger.  Lisa Ward.

Just to make sure it would be obvious enough that the Lisa Dillik was describing was Ms. Ward.

[ The TEENS are speechless.  DR. BERING closes her eyes. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
You know, she took over for Maggie when --

I figured I might as well reveal Maggie's identity now too, given that the "counselor is former Ranger" revelation seemed less potent than the "administrator is current Ranger" revelation.  No sense learning the big news and delaying the lesser news.

[ DR. BERING grabs DILLIK by the arm and drags him out of the room. ]

DR. BERING (loudly):
Uh, Dillik, why don't I show you what we've done with the lab!

DILLIK:
Oh, okay!

The last Dillik saw of the station, it had a gaping hole where the Star Handle blew up (and almost killed him) in season 1, episode 32.

[ Left alone in the command center, the TEENS gape at one another. ]

[ DILLIK suddenly pokes his head back in the room. ]

DILLIK:
See, it all started when Maggie and her friends lived in an apartment together --

[ DR. BERING tears DILLIK away.  He yelps. ]

For added humor and to quickly tell the teens the senior Rangers' connection to each other.


[ EXT. OCEAN - We see the ocean from high above. A large green streak of light flies down. ]

[ Sentai (Liveman #6) - The SEA FORTRESS sinks into the sea (footage reversed from sentai). ]

sea fortress sinks sea fortress sinks sea fortress sinks

In the sentai, this footage was stock footage of the Rangers' base rising to deploy a ship that in turn deployed the Zords.  Judging from the motion of the waves, it appears that scene was reversed in the sentai, so I've now apparently flipped it back to its real-life play order.

[ Liveman #42 - The fortress vanishes beneath the water (footage reversed).  The last we see is a green glow from the top of the fortress. ]

sea fortress sinks sea fortress sinks sea fortress sinks

This shot, however, was not originally reversed in the sentai; it would look a bit strange to see water gathering over the top of the dome as it descends here.  Still, I felt the shot was necessary to sell the US green glow featured later.

This scene reminded me of Divatox's ship descending into Angel Grove Lake.  This is the Pacific Ocean, though.


[ INT. BUNKER, COMMAND ROOM - TOMATO KING is merrily strolling through, humming to himself, when he catches sight of something on a monitor.  (Fortunately, the added plants don't obscure the displays.) ]

Tomato King got over Strife's scolding pretty quickly.  That's Tomato King for you.

TOMATO KING:
Hello, what's that?

[ On the monitor is a blinking pulse off the coast of California - near the Bay Area, specifically. ]

TOMATO KING (cont'd):
Hey, Strife, what's this blinking light here?

[ STRIFE enters from the machine room and takes a look. ]

STRIFE:
Some sort of alien craft has landed in the ocean.

TOMATO KING:
Oo, alien craft...  Let's go say hello!

STRIFE:
Not yet.  Let's watch it a while.

TOMATO KING:
Oh, hey, do you have any of those cool flying cameras?

Tomato King probably saw a Hoverbird or two while watching the ten Rangers confront the Nobots last episode (he wasn't seen at the time, but it was later inferred he was there somewhere).

STRIFE:
Not since they changed their frequencies again.  We'll make do with the Nobots.

Changed their frequencies, you say...  Incidentally, the frequencies were changed once when Dr. Bering began helping the Rangers in season 1, episode 31, and apparently again some time after the season 1 finale.

[ TOMATO KING crosses his arms. ]

TOMATO KING (inwardly):
Humph.  The RANGERS have flying cameras...

[ STRIFE continues to study the monitor. ]

STRIFE:
I don't like this...

It remains to be seen how Strife will get along with Gant, Eris, and Dreyden.  Incidentally, Strife probably doesn't have a language in common with them.


[ EXT. OCEAN - Just under the surface of the water, the green glow of the SEA FORTRESS passes by (parallel to shore).  We pan over to see San Francisco from sea. ]

I found this glow to be a convenient way to use the sea fortress in US footage without requiring a US replica.

Do you suppose Gant and Eris may play a somewhat important role this season?