|By Atlee Greene|
In 1993, The Mighty Morphin Powers Rangers television show debuted on Fox and became a children’s sensation that took the world by storm.
Twenty-four years and seventeen incarnations later, the franchise has stood the test of time, while those who were there from the beginning still hold a deep reverence for the series that started it all.
Fans who attended Rhode Island Comic Con this past weekend had the opportunity to attend a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers panel. The guests of honor included David Fielding (Zordon), Richard Horvitz (Alpha 5), Karen Ashley (2nd Yellow Ranger), and Austin St. John (The OG Red Ranger).
Men, women, and children of all ages lined up with joy to ask those pivotal questions such as an inquiry from a ten-year-old girl who asked St. John if he and Amy-Jo Johnson, The Pink Ranger, were dating. That alone speaks to the timeless nature of the show since the young lady was born long after the original series was off the air.
There was a well-rounded camaraderie with the quartet on stage as they were laughing, joking and sharing stories of days gone by. Austin reminisced how often times, celebrities would bring their bright-eyed and bushy-tailed children to the set and specifically recalled when Demi Moore brought her kids to meet the Rangers.
Ashley vividly remembered the time when she and the rest of the cast bumped into the entire Beverly Hills 90210 cast in downtown Los Angeles, with both groups appearing to be star struck with each other. David Fielding talked about meeting U2 backstage at one of their concerts, only for a surprised St. John to be reveal that he was also at that show.
The questions and comments kept coming as one fan asked the panel when they realized that that were a part of something special.
Richard Horvitz, who was extremely funny throughout the event as he randomly yelled out Alpha’s signature nervous response of “Ai Yi Yi”, stated that he knew he had hit pay dirt when he filmed the holiday special Alpha’s Magical Christmas.
Fielding said he felt the warm, tingling feeling of success when he entered a Kaybee Toy store and saw a gigantic image of his face over a massive Power Rangers action figure display.
The wave of stardom can shift in many different directions and it was refreshing to see how appreciative the actors are of their contemporary admiration from people all over the world.
Horvitz stated that he originally entered the Command Center for a paycheck of fifty dollars that was paid to him by a friend who was editing the original pilot episode.
|St. John with another hero at RI CC|
This friend ensured him that the show wouldn’t go anywhere, citing it was the stupidest thing he had ever seen.
St. John shared details about a conversation that he had with Walter Jones, The OG Black Ranger, while on his tour of duty as a paramedic in Kuwait was coming to an end.
Jones enthusiastically told him about the Power Ranger’s popularity on the convention circuit. St. John dipped his toe in the convention waters, got an agent, and within five months has appearances booked through 2016 and has been signed for three movies.
If you had to qualify how much the original cast has in the lexicon on the Power Rangers, it was exhibited when a young lady, who was in costume as the Red Ranger from the current series, Megaforce, turned into a puddle of shyness in front of a humbled Karen Ashley and Austin St. John, who pulled the question with TLC that only a putty could love.
|Fielding and Ashley|
David Fielding just took it all in with an indebted smile, marveling at the appreciation in the room considering, admittedly, he was just a face in a tube.
This was a super-fun experience to partake in as seeing fans from all walks of life made this a worth while experience for this longtime Power Rangers fan who like many, hid his Zord cheering fandom for the brand in fear of ridicule from his middle school compatriots.
The joy, reverence and inspiration felt inside of Room A of the Rhode Island Convention Center left everyone screaming “IT’S MORPHIN TIME!!!”