Courtesy: Shout! Factory
The third season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers sees this classic children’s series at its peak. The show reached its apex in its third season primarily because of its writing. It is also just as impressive as Shout! Factory has presented these original episodes exactly as they aired on Fox Kids’ weekday afternoon programming block in the 1990s. This includes the short “squeezeback” segments (say that three times fast) that accompanied each episode’s credits. This season is the peak for the original Power Rangers series as it presents the season in its entirety instead of being cut up into half seasons as was done with the show’s first two seasons. These three aspects together make Season Three of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers one that any original fan of this show a must have.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season Three presents the Power Rangers franchise at the top of its game first and foremost because of the show’s writing. Whereas the show’s first two seasons only saw a small handful of extended story arcs, this season was made up almost entirely of broad multi-part story arcs, beginning with a voyage to the planet Edenoi in the three-part episode, “A Friend in Need.” This was an important way to open Season Three as it served as a solid filler that helped keep the franchise “fresh” and thus keep viewers. Viewers had become rather familiar with Rita and Lord Zedd over the course of the show’s first two seasons. The show’s writers obviously knew that the pair couldn’t do but so much against the Rangers by themselves before audiences got tired of them. So, what better way to keep the franchise alive than trying out a new villain? The new villain—Count Dregon—only lasted a short time before the show’s writers transitioned in the appearance of more new foes for the Rangers. Those foes were Rita Repulsa’s brother and father, Rito and Master Vile.
On a side note, many fans of the Power Rangers franchise might recognize the name of the Masked Rider within this season’s opening story arc. That’s because this story arc would eventually lead to a short-lived spinoff that lasted less than a year from September 1995 to August 1996. In later years, the show on which this was based, Kamen Rider Black RX would be introduced to American audiences. Though it too, would only last a short time.
The new villains introduced into the show’s canon in Season Three were just part of what helped keep the show fresh. Three of the original Rangers left the show in its second season. This season, another Ranger passes on her powers. This transfer makes up its own story arc. The story arc in question was the three-part episode, “A Different Shade of Pink.” The episode’s story happens in a fashion that harkens back to the Green Ranger sage from the show’s first season. It crosses that with the simple passing of the torch, and once more helps to move the show forward and keep it fresh for yet another season. Along with a new member of the team, there is even a new set of Zords for the Rangers in their fight against Rita and company. It all leads up to the season finale, “Rangers in Reverse.” “Rangers in Reverse” leads into its own extended story arc that would become a mini-season of its own in Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers.
The extended story arcs that largely made up Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season Three did a lot to help keep the Power Rangers franchise fresh for its audiences. From another change in the team’s lineup to new foes, powers, Zords, and even armor, a lot changed this season. And the show’s writers did a commendable job of keeping it all straight and believable. Looking at this season from a wider vantage point, Shout! Factory is to be commended for presenting Season Three exactly as it was originally aired. That includes the squeezeback segments included with the show’s end credits. These segments feature loads of bloopers from each episode’s gag reel. It’s a minor piece of the puzzle. But it adds its own element of enjoyment to the overall presentation of the show. And any purist Power Ranger fan will appreciate the Shout! Factory made certain that this was included for fans.
The writing of the episodes in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season Three made this season the best yet for the franchise. That Shout! Factory would make sure that each episode was presented exactly as it was in its original broadcast makes this new set all the more enjoyable for the show’s original fans. There is still one more factor to which audiences can credit this latest set’s success. That factor is the set’s packaging. The first two seasons of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers were split up into two halves each. This time out, Shout! Factory opted to reward loyal Power Rangers fans with a complete season in one box. And as become the standard from Shout! Factory, the packaging is praise worthy. All three discs are placed in their own spot inside the slim case. Shout! Factory has highly impressed again here as this standard is safe for the discs, and ergonomic. This is the final touch on what is already another impressive release that will take the show’s original fans back on a great trip down memory lane. And for the children of the show’s original fan, it will serve as one more lesson in what once made children’s commercial programming so great.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season Three is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/?q=node/217378. After ordering Season Three, audiences can also go to the official Shout! Factory website and Facebook page at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial to stay up with the latest releases from Shout! Factory.
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