To celebrate the UK release of Power Rangers, which morphs into cinemas on Friday 24th March, we tasked some of the Filmoria crew to delve deep into their pasts, and uncover their most beloved childhood television shows. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is a fond source of nostalgia for so many people, so we felt the time was fitting to have a good ol’ fashion reminisce!
Power Rangers – which is one of our 20 Must-See Movies Still to Come in 2017 – is directed by Project Almanac’s Dean Israelite, and stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, and Ludi Lin.
Batman: The Animated Series – Scott Allden
As an 80’s baby, I was spoilt for television. But growing up with such singular toned shows, it was Batman: The Animated Series, that broke the mould and became my overall favourite. Gone was the camp, cheesiness and shark repellent Bat-Spray of the 60’s. This show meant business. Sumptuous backdrops, haunting music, and complex subject matters are just to name a few of its magnetic aspects. Batman was a force to be reckoned with again. But not without allowing Bruce Wayne, his alter ego, to be explored as well. Some of the show’s best episodes focussed on Bruce’s psyche and the relationships around him.
Conceived by Paul Dini and written by Bruce Timm, this show reinvented the DC hero for our generation. Taking cues from Tim Burton’s film series and film noir aesthetics, this was nothing like I had ever seen before in an animation. Headed by stellar voice work from Kevin Conroy as Batman, and of course Mark Hamill as The Joker. Both now synonymous with their respective roles – and with good reason. Try reading a Batman comic without hearing Kevin Conroy’s voice in your head. Batman: TAS also boasts the very first appearance of Harley Quinn – a character that has since become a part of the main comic continuity, and one of the most popular figures in DC. It also served to be a great introduction to several lesser-known villains.
Although the show was primarily aimed at kids, it could be argued that it really was a show for maturer audiences. Tackling topics such as murder, mental health, political/police corruption and other philosophical themes. Naturally difficult to comprehend as a 7 year old. Incredibly, Batman: TAS only two seasons. The first comprising of 65 episodes, with season two totalling at 20. Unfortunately, several minor changes were made during the transition and the show began to feel considerably toned down. However its design, writing and subject material have all stood the test of time for nearly 25 years. Its influence on future incarnations of Batman continuing to this day. It’s a show I revisit frequently and have grown to love and respect even more.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – Ria Amber Tesia
“By the power of Grayskull”… I still feel a nostalgic chill down my spine when I hear those immortal words uttered by one of the greatest comic book heroes that I ever clapped eyes on. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was one of THE best thing about the 1980s.
What was so great about him? Everything! In real life (cartoon land, if you will), he masqueraded as Prince Adam, a benign royal who was always keen to do the right thing. Out of office hours, he was the man with a plan, as he magically transformed into He-Man. What was his purpose? He-Man’s driving force was the innate need to help others and his mates in Eternia. Of course, being superhuman (this guy could smash boulders) was just an added bonus. Enduring memories of He-Man include those of him fighting with the evil Skeletor. What a name for a villain, you can’t get more camp-kitsch than a muscular skeleton intent on world domination.
If He-Man existed today in the year of 2017 he would have an Instagram account where he’d attribute his bulging physique to protein shakes and myriad work-out sessions that’d put David Hayes to shame. There have been various film adaptations throughout the years, but the 1980s animation remains the best. If you didn’t get around to seeing it the first time, I suggest you hop onto YouTube or Netflix stat – you won’t be disappointed.
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons – James Thompson
For all the properties that Gerry and Sylvia Anderson brought to our television screens, the one that resonated with me most was Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Telling the story of the indestructible agent who was tasked with taking on the Mysterons and their leader Captain Black, Captain Scarlet felt ultimately grown up to me at the time of my youth and was certainly part of the reason why I loved it so much.
Here was a programme that offered up plenty to entertain each and every week, with the devilish Captain Black scheming in the background and a real dark edge to characters dying and being brought back to life with those famous green rings by the Mysterons. I simply loved everything about this show, from the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle, to the Angels, to Colonel White at his big desk on Cloud Base, it ticked all the boxes and also still to this day has an awesome soundtrack to boot.
Also, I still firmly believe that no television show has better end title credits than Captain Scarlet. Period.
The Transformers – Chris Haydon
A constant in one’s life has been his undying love for Transformers. Even the Michael Bay film franchise just fills me with unprecedented glee, despite every fibre of my being telling me they aren’t exactly “good” movies. This passion for the Robots in Disguise developed when I was a youngster, who’d dash home from school to watch re-runs of the 1980s classic cartoon, The Transformers (or Generation 1, as they are commonly referred as).
Based on Hasbro’s popular toy line, in which vehicles shape-shifted into intergalactic battle machines, The Transformers followed our beloved gaggle of Autobots including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Ratchet, all of which originate from home planet Cyberton. However, sanctuary is under threat from the evil Deceptions, lead by the power-hungry Megatron, who’ll go to extreme lengths in order to maintain his dominating status; even if that means wiping out members of his own kind.
The iconography of Transformers in popular culture is quite frankly unparalleled. How an action figure managed to spawn such a vast legacy across so many different facets of media is almost unbelievable, but for fans like me, it is a dream come true. Even to this very day, the sound of Peter Cullen’s command as he bellows “Autobots, Roll Out!” still feels one with a boyish sense of joy. There is a lot more than what meets the eye with The Transformers, and they’ll forever be an integral part of my youth.