Power Rangers

Season 5 Episode 1

Shift into Turbo (1)

Aired Saturday 12:00 PM Apr 19, 1997 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Divatox brings her Subcraft and her evil crew of monsters back to Earth, intent on making the Power Rangers pay for ruining her wedding plans with Maligore by ruining their lives. It just so happens that Adam, Tanya, and Kat are graduating from Angel Grove High today (Tommy got his diploma early and is helping his uncle on his stock car racing crew), and use the time to bring fellow graduate and former Ranger Rocky (and the viewers who missed the Turbo Movie) up to speed on their adventure on Muranthius. In an effort to spoil their graduation, Divatox sends Elgar to the Angel Grove Power Plant with a detonator, where he encounters Bulk & Skull, and proceeds to monkey around with their genetic structures! With his teammates busy with the most important day of their teenaged lives, Justin is alone as the Blue Turbo Ranger to defend the plant!moreless

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  • Not the train wreck it first seems. Turbo makes a terrible first impression and then improves tremendously.

    Zeo was such a well oiled machine. The Power Rangers had never been better. That the franchise fell so quickly off a cliff is mind-blowing, but potentially understandable. Ratings plummeted during the Zeo season. I was one of those who stopped watching at that time. The natural knee jerk reaction is to make changes in hopes of revitalizing the product. That's exactly what happened, and although the following season 'Space' might have worked better, the beginning of Turbo is turbulent.

    For starters, there is Justin. Nevermind that morphing causes instant puberty. The decision to include a child ranger makes sense at first. Include a hero in your target demographic to improve the viewers connection with the franchise. It's an understandable choice, except that it's just plain awkward. Still, if you can suspend your many disbelief's about how this all makes any sense, it really works out OK. Blake has a decent head on his shoulders and never makes the Justin character terribly annoying. He may be out of place, but he plays the part well.

    With regards to this opening arc in particular, Largo is just about the creepiest thing i've seen on a TV screen in all my life. It's like Tommy is staring at it thinking, 'yup, it's time for me to leave this show'. The good news is that once Largo is gone, it's gone. Continuity damage control i suppose. Bulk and Skull as chimps is actually pretty funny. Choosing to extend that across the longer term though takes away the shows best comedic duo from having screen presence. It's a bad idea for that reason and shouldn't have been done, but it was. The good news is that the running gag offers good comedic relief, even if it's not as good as Zeo. Better still, it only goes on for half the season.

    Change is fine, and it is understandable that this show is moving towards a seasonal overhaul format. Therefore, moving on from Zordon and Alpha is an inevitability. But seriously, a hack job fake mobster accented Alpha 6? This show is trolling us now. Sadly, this hurt never really goes away, maybe more than any other aspect, but the show doesn't really shove it in our faces either. Alphas role remains relatively small within the context of season screen time. The writers also seem to tone him down as time goes on. Dimitria ... i think that's her name, the shawled woman, stops asking only questions about midway as well and becomes more of a Zordon copy in spirit. This goes a long way as well.

    What complicates matters more is that the remaining Power Rangers cast members are not as strong as those who have left, or really the cast as a whole.. Jason and Tommy and Billy were the better screen presence. The new rangers at mid season are genuine upgrades though. Rita and Goldar in a Winnebago is superior to Divatox. Now they are all gone. Divatox and her crew really aren't terribly annoying though. I mean, none of them screech. In some ways, i like them best of the three villain groups.

    There is one aspect in which Turbo seems to be the best of the 5 first seasons, and that is editing the flow of a 20 minute episode. It is very difficult to do. The first season of Mighty Morphin in particular, despite having some tremendous outings, suffered at times learning how to balance the flow of a story into 20 minutes. Turbo does an excellent job by comparison of keeping the plot formula at even keel from start to finish. Also, the car themes are pretty cool at times.

    It is understandable why these changes were made, but t the same time completely baffling, because the brains behind this show made so many good decisions in Zeo just months before. Was the entire crew replaced in the offseason? Did they suffer brain damage? They didn't always make the best choices, but they were light-years better than this start.

    My best advice for anyone reading this who is looking to fill in their Rangers history season by season... the public opinion that Turbo is a disaster is a half truth. The season makes a terrible first impression. On account of all the great characters lost in transition, and that they haven't been replaced yet by new awesome characters, Turbo can't really be as good as Zeo or MMPR1, but it's not really a disaster either. It has some great episodes and some duds. I'd put it above MMPR3 and about equal to MMPR2. Get past the wreck of a start and check some episodes out. The good ones are as good as anything.moreless
  • It's like watching a slow train wreck.

    It took me nearly forever to forgive the fact that

    someone had the idea to use a child ranger in the Power Rangers series. In this episode, we were painfully introduced to what is perhaps the biggest zit on what is otherwise a squeaky clean series. Instead of getting someone experienced like Rocky or Jason to become the Blue Turbo Ranger...We Got Justin!!!! The Worst Power Ranger in History!!!! That's How He Got His Nickname

    "Justin, The Worst Power Ranger in History!" By this point in time I stopped watching Power Rangers on a regular basis and switched to "Pop-up-Video."moreless
Blake Foster

Blake Foster

Justin Stewart, Blue Turbo Ranger

Carol Hoyt

Carol Hoyt


Nakia Burrise

Nakia Burrise

Tanya Sloan, Yellow Turbo Ranger

Catherine Sutherland

Catherine Sutherland

Katherine "Kat" Hillard, Pink Turbo Ranger

Gregg Bullock

Gregg Bullock

Lt. Jerome Stone

Jason David Frank

Jason David Frank

Tommy Oliver, Red Turbo Ranger

Steve Cardenas

Steve Cardenas

Rocky DeSantos

Guest Star

Royce Herron

Royce Herron

Ms. Appleby

Recurring Role

Lex Lang

Lex Lang

Rygog (voice)

Recurring Role

Scott Page-Pagter

Scott Page-Pagter

Porto (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Elgar wonders how to get out of the Energy Center, however in the next episode he simply teleports out.

    • The majority of the close-up shots of Zordon show the old Power Chamber interior (this would continue throughout the next two episodes).

    • Why is it that Alpha and Zordon are entirely unaware of Bulk & Skull's encounter with Elgar? Usually, the very minute an alien sets foot in the city, they're alerted to it. Was Alpha too busy baking the cake and Zordon too busy planning his retirement?

    • Skull has especially long hair, entirely not up to the regulations of the Junior Police Patrol.

    • One of the flashbacks to the Turbo Movie features a shot of Katherine shrieking at a skeleton found on the Ghost Galleon's dock, a scene which never made it into the theatrical release of the movie.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (13)

    • One of the meters in the car that Tommy is driving around the racetrack is sideways

    • Starting here, all Power Rangers episodes would change in structure to give the show a "cold opening", aka a scene before the opening credits. This would last until PRWF.

    • Aside from in clips to the movie, none of the Rangers appear morphed in this episode.

    • Divatox (Carol Hoyt, and later again Hilary Shepard Turner) is the first villain to be featured in the opening credits.

    • Due to them being turned into chimps, this is the last time that Tommy, Kat, Adam, and Tanya will see Bulk & Skull as humans before passing on their powers. However, Adam will (presumably) see them in PRiS' "Always a Chance". While Tommy will see them sometime before and including "Forever Red". Also, this is the first episode of PR to ever NOT feature Bulk & Skull in the opening credits.

    • Originally, it was planned that Bulk and Skull's transformation into monkeys would give Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier time to work on a proposed spin-off series for their characters, which would have seen them operate a hotel and feature El Vez, the "Mexican Elvis", a local personality in Southern California. The attempts never made it to a final production and the actors soon returned full time to the series.

    • The monsters who appear on the cliffside during Divatox's speech (all of which will be used in later episodes of this season): Amphibitor, Terrortooth, Shrinkasect, Voltmeister, Torch Tiger, Wild Weeder, and Strikeout.

    • This episode features the first appearance of Porto (Divatox's science officer), and the Piranahtrons (though the movie featured warrior characters identical to them, their faces are now fully covered and are more robotic & fish-like in nature than those).

    • First P.R season to premeire in Britain under ITV's jurisdiction, having split from GMTV the previous year to make room for constant re-runs of Disney cartoons, the series would not return to GMTV until it was bought by Disney

    • Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull (Jason Narvy), de-evolved in the Turbo Movie into Junior Police Patrol officers again, are de-evolved more literally here, turned into chimps starting with this episode. They would provide voices-only on the show until "Stitch Witchery", when they were returned to normal.

    • Clips from "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" dominate five minutes of the episode as the Rangers recall thier adventure to the departing Rocky, the full version of the "Power Rangers Turbo" theme is heard as the clips are presented

    • Carol Hoyt (who also plays Dimitria) takes over as Divatox from Hilary Shepard Turner, who was pregnant at the time and unavailable. Turner returns later in the series. Both actresses play Divatox very differently. Hoyt plays her evil and calculating whilst Turner plays her as a bit of a loon. Carol Hoyt, technically, played Divatox publically first, during a set of "hosting" bumpers in Fox Kids' "Weird Week" during the middle of February 1997.

    • POWER RANGERS TURBO begins with this episode. It follows directly from the events in "TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE".


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