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Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive (February 1/08)

As the fifteenth series to carry the Power Rangers name, Operation Overdrive possesses all of the elements one has come to expect from the long-running program - including spunky heroes, broad villains, and sporadically indecipherable fight scenes. It consequently goes without saying that the show has been geared almost exclusively towards fans of the series, as there's exceedingly little here to catch the interest of neophytes to the Power Rangers universe.

The premise of Operation Overdrive is a familiar one, undoubtedly; five relatively normal teens are recruited by a thrill-seeking billionaire to save the planet from demonic monsters bent on world domination. The five scrappy youths - Will (Samuell Benta), Mack (James MacLurcan), Dax (Gareth Yuen), Ronny (Caitlin Murphy), and Rose (Rhoda Montemayor) - find themselves forced to track down five coveted jewels before the bad guys can get their hands on them, with help sporadically provided by a Mercurian named Tyzzon (Dwayne Cameron).

Power Ranges: Operation Overdrive - Brownbeard's Pearl collects the first six episodes of the series: Kick Into Overdrive I and II (in which the aforementioned billionaire assembles his genetically-altered team), The Underwater World (Will's independent spirit results in a clash with his teammates during a pivotal mission), Heart of Blue (Dax's crush on a girl starts to affect his on-the-job performance), Weather or Not (Mack has doubts about his abilities), and Pirate in Pink (the Rangers must battle a fierce pirate called Brownbeard).

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Toru Diamond features episodes 7-12: At All Costs (Ronny must learn to work as part of a team), Both Sides Now (Will briefly switches sides after being fired from the Rangers), Follow the Ranger (Mack is captured by the evil Moltor and Flurious), Lights, Camera, DAX (Dax must choose between the Rangers and his dream to become a movie star), and Face to Face I and II (Tyzzon joins the group as an ally as a result of his friendship with Mack).

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Blue Sapphire assembles an additional seven episodes: Man of Mercury I and II (Tyzzon embarks on his first mission with the group), Behind the Scenes (various villains attack the Rangers during an on-camera interview), Just Like Me (the Rangers must reach a mystical hammer in Norway before Moltor), It's Hammer Time (the Rangers embark on a mission to Mexico), Out of Luck (Mack finds himself cursed with bad luck), and One Gets Away (the Rangers briefly grab ahold of the third crown jewel).

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Star of Isis comes equipped with the following episodes: Once a Ranger I and II (the various Rangers temporarily lose their powers after the Evil Alliance is formed), One Fine Day (the Rangers' day off goes awry after the Fearcats make an unexpected appearance), Ronny On Empty I and II (the Rangers must rescue Ronny after he's kidnapped by the Fearcats), and Things Not Said (Mack learns that he's actually an android created by his father).

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive - Pink Emerald collects the final seven episodes of the Operation Overdrive saga: Red Ranger Unplugged (Mack continues to deal with the revelation that he's an android), Home and Away I and II (Tyzzon inadvertently returns to his home planet and is reunited with his fiancee), Way Back When (the Rangers attempt to locate the final jewel), Two Fallen Foes (Miratrix is imprisoned in the same manner as Kamdor), Nothing to Lose (the Rangers head to Japan to locate the key to the Sarcophagus), and Crown and Punishment (the Rangers battle Flurious in one last confrontation).

It's clear that the show isn't meant for anybody over a certain age (say, eight), but it's just as obvious that viewers within the target demographic will probably get a real kick out of these three episodes.

 

About the DVDs: All episodes are presented with crisp full-frame transfers, while supplementary features are limited to behind-the-scenes featurettes and an assortment of interactive games.
© David Nusair