|This article is about a/an ally in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, and Power Rangers Turbo.|
- For the movie version of this character, see Alpha 5 (1995 movie).
- For the 2017 version of this character, see Alpha 5 (2017 movie).
- For the Boom Studios comic version of this character, see Alpha 5 (2016 comic).
- ― Alpha 5's catchphrase[src]
Alpha 5 (Alpha for short) was the robotic assistant to the rangers during Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo, as well as the first few episodes of Power Rangers Turbo. Alpha was an important factor in the Power Rangers' battle against evil and acted as a secondary mentor to them, under his friend, the wise sage Zordon of Eltar. Alpha would use the exclamation "Ai yi yi" in moments which invoked emotions of any kind, from panic to elation (most commonly panic); in more extreme situations, the exclamation could contain four "yi"'s, five "yi"'s or, in rare cases, six or seven "yi"'s; this has become a well-known catchphrase for most of the Alpha robots. He worked in the Command Center most of the time, only getting out on a few occasions, and almost always obeyed every command and order that Zordon issued. Surprisingly, while Alpha 5 is a robot, he has an amazing range of emotions that make him very humanlike.
Who knows how many thousands of years he's been in the service of Zordon, but he still maintains a sort of wonder while looking out at the world. As mentioned throughout this article, Alpha, though he is programmed for good (and evil, if only for two hours), is fully sentient and autonomous and therefore has independent thought, just like the humanoid robots of today (Pepper, NAO, ASIMO, and more).
When it came time for him and Zordon to return to Eltar, he left the Rangers in the hands of his "brother" Alpha 6.
Alpha was a fully-sentient multifunctional automaton built by King Lexian on the planet Edenoi thousands of years ago; his memory banks contain many fond memories of that planet, but we never see those memories so we don't know what his "childhood" was like there. He is the second Alpha automaton to be in the service of Zordon, succeeding Alpha 4 (presumed to also have been built by the Edenite king). Zordon later befriended him and took him in as his trusted assistant, serving as a father figure in place of his creator and "father", King Lexian of Edenoi. Alpha 5 thus assisted Zordon in the creation of the original Power Rangers as well as the Command Center. Alpha was an adviser, mechanic, tech-wizard, and overall friend to the Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin leading up to Power Rangers: Turbo, where he departed for Eltar. Alpha was loved by the Rangers and Zordon. However, because of their duties as the protectors of Angel Grove, the Rangers rarely spent any quality time with Alpha, which devastated him. His despair and need for the love of Zordon and the Rangers only came up to the surface when he was turned evil by Finster's personality-altering disc, whereupon his inner rage consumed his central processor. Alpha is constantly left alone in the Command Center/Power Chamber, and very rarely gets to leave; as a result. This serves as a catalyst for his later conversion to evil. He is the sole architect of the Command Center as well.
During the events of Rita Repulsa's return and subsequent sham wedding to her boss Lord Zedd, Finster and two-Z-Putties ambushed Alpha and reprogrammed him with orders to imprison the Rangers in the Specter Theater, a power vortex that drains away the energy of the Morphin Grid, and to cut Zordon off from our dimension so the Rangers could not be warned of the danger they were about to encounter. This was accomplished by a CD infused with a computer virus that corrupted his programming and warped his personality and memories. Thoughts of killing the Rangers for ignoring, abusing and neglecting him also consumed his programming. Luckily, the Rangers break free and remove the CD from Alpha's systems, restoring him to normal with little memory of his corruption. Thus, if only for a short time, Rita gained a valuable ally in her quest to defeat the Power Rangers and conquer Earth. The thoughts and feelings he had of killing the Rangers were thoughts put into him when he was under a spell that Rita cast as part of her plan to destroy the Rangers and rule the universe.
In Power Rangers: Turbo, when the opportunity presented itself, Alpha 5 left with Zordon to the planet Eltar and was replaced by Alpha 6, his "brother" whom he programmed in the Power Chamber before leaving. His last known appearance is in the episode Passing the Torch, where he and Zordon returned to witness the veteran rangers passing on their powers, and oddly, he is in his old robot body rather than his shinier, more advanced one. He hasn't been seen or heard of since. Wild Force writer Amit Bhaumik has said that he takes the view that Alpha was destroyed in the battle when Dark Specter invaded the planet Eltar, but there's no official confirmation of this whatsoever. However, Richard Horvitz can still do Alpha's voice, and Alpha is still remembered and loved by cast and fans alike. It was implied by Bhaumik that Alpha 7 was in fact Alpha 5, but rebuilt with a stronger body and tuned up with a database function.
Alpha's personality throughout most of his appearances was kind, loving, and innocent. He is also quite panicky, quoting his iconic 'ai yi yi yi yi yi yi!' when in a panicked state (but as mentioned above, he uses the phrase for any emotion). In "The Wedding", however, thanks to Finster's personality-altering computer virus (inside of a compact disc) and Alpha's subsequent reprogramming for evil, Alpha was transformed into an angry, obnoxious and megalomaniacal brat bent on destroying the rangers and becoming famous for their deaths as a result. He even silenced Zordon three times, once by simply muting him, by commanding him to be silenced, and again by cutting him off from our dimension (though not by un-anchoring him the way Tommy did in Green With Evil, due to repeated footage recycling) and repeatedly insulted and mocked him. He also, while he is in this brainwashed state, has complete fealty to Zedd and Rita, as he declares that the Command Center would be all his when the Rangers become Zedd's prisoners in "The Wedding" ("With the Rangers prisoners of Lord Zedd and no Zordon, the Command Center will be mine! ALL MINE!").
In relation to the above statements, Alpha also gets very sad when the Rangers leave him alone; this is shown in "The Wanna-Be Ranger", "A Friend in Need" and "The Wedding". This is also shown in Alpha's Magical Christmas and its audio book adaptation Lord Zedd's Holiday Humbug.
At times, Alpha can also act very paternalistic, making him sort of the "mother hen" to the Rangers and some others (such as the children in his Christmas special, when he paternally reminds the kids not to open the gifts he gave them until the next morning).
Powers and Abilities
Alpha does not have much in the way of attacking enemies, but in "Power Ranger Punks" and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live, he can shock enemies with electrical charges of white energy. However, this does little damage to enemies, only stunning or shocking them briefly. His movie counterpart attempted to fight in a more traditional fashion, but did not defeat Ivan Ooze.
Through the power of the Universal Morphin Grid, Alpha has the ability to create organic matter, such as flowers; he can also utilize its power to create clothing and, in his Christmas special, decorations, toys and Christmas gifts. In the same special, he also can rearrange the lights in the Command Center to form various shapes. It is unclear if he used his powers to create weapons for himself and the Eltarians during the war on Eltar before Dark Specter conquered the planet.
Alpha is a young robot that is only about four feet high, and has a red-and-gold casing over a black body. His head is flying saucer-shaped, and his "eyes" are a red bar that flashes across its front, similar to the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (the 1978 to early 1980s versions). He has a gold lighting bolt on his chest that flashes. On Alpha's arms are two golden "elbow caps" that limit the movement of his arms. He also has big and clunky feet. On Alpha's back is a golden badge-shaped CD compartment that was used to put a virus into Alpha 5 on two occasions.
The Alpha 5 costume was constructed in such a way that Sharf, Sellner and Kistler could not sit down while wearing it, similar to the C-3PO costume in Star Wars. Any scenes where Alpha sits down would have required the costume to be partially disassembled first. This principle is true for Alpha 6 too, but Alpha 6 appears to walk much more freely.
Alpha, in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live, resembles his design from stock drawings of the character as he appeared on merchandise during the show's early years. He appears to walk much more freely in this appearance, but he still does not fight in traditional methods.
In Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, he was upgraded with a shinier, more advanced version of his body, this one being much "beefier". His body is now blue instead of black. His arms are bigger, his flashing lightning bolt now points straight down and is arrow-shaped, and the small dome on top of his head is gone. He is also now much shinier and more reflective. Gone also are the gold elbow caps as well, allowing for more greater movement of the arms. This body was later used for Alpha 6, and parts of it were used for Alpha 5's upgraded form Alpha 7.
Behind the Scenes
Alpha 5 was voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz and suit acted by Romy J. Sharf, Sandi Sellner and finally Donene Kistler. As an homage to Alpha 5, the character Alpha 7 that appears in the anniversary special "Forever Red" has the same voice actor and personality (and even the 'ai yi yi yi yi yi yi!' catchphrase in a deleted scene), but has pieces of the the Alpha 6/Turbo-movie Alpha 5 body and is suit acted by an uncredited performer. The identity of Alpha's voice actor remained a mystery for several years because Richard was credited under a different name at the time for most of the series; Alpha's Magical Christmas credits him under his actual name. Richard spells out the first part of Alpha 5's catchphrase as "ai" (like the Japanese word for love) when he does autographs for fans; when asked to do his voice he often says "Ai yi yi, Zordon, the Power Rangers are in trouble!".In fact, in another recent interview, Richard has confirmed that he himself came up with "ai yi yi" as Alpha 5's signature line when filming for Day of the Dumpster began.
- On Alpha's chest was a yellow stylized lightning bolt similar to the Power Rangers' stylized lightning bolt symbol but inverted. His head is always in the shape of a golden flying disc with a red visor on the front that flashes when he is speaking.
- Despite his departure to Eltar, Alpha 5 makes an appearance in the Power Rangers Funniest Moments special in the form of archived footage.
- During the pilot and the first several episodes of season 1, Alpha frequently referred to the Rangers as "dudes" and "dudettes". This was dropped in the later episodes for an unexplained reason.
- In one of the Zeo bloopers, Alpha noted that he was voted "Best Supporting Actor" on the Internet.
- Alpha 5 is named after a letter in the Greek alphabet. "Alpha" (Greek: άλφα) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, represented by the symbol A in uppercase, and α in lowercase. In the system of Greek numerals, Alpha has a value of 1. According to Etymologicum Magnum, alpha was derived from álphō (άλφω) "to invent": thus alpha is the "first invented letter." The closest attested words are alphánō (αλφάνω) "I yield, produce" and the noun derived from it, alphē (αλφή) "produce, gain." Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something. "Alpha" (Greek: άλφα) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, represented by Α (uppercase), and α (lowercase). In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 1. It was derived from the Phoenician letter "Aleph", meaning "ox." Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, mostly for the first or most significant occurrence of something.
- In keeping with his childlike nature, Alpha was occasionally seen holding a teddy bear with a metallic head somewhat resembling his own. An episode of Zeo, Inner Spirit, had him coming out of a room in the Power Chamber (presumably a bedroom for him) wearing a nightcap while keeping this teddy bear in that room. The teddy bear appeared on two occasions; the first was during the earthquake following Rita's release, and the second was during Jason's battle with King Sphinx. It is unknown officially who gave him this teddy bear or when it was given to him.
- The episode "Clean-Up Club" reveals that Alpha is unlike most robots on the fact that he can feel physical pain, as Alpha groans in pain when he falls over after being wrapped in computer readout paper. This occurs again in "Island of Illusion" during the first Command Center scene, where Alpha is repeatedly electrocuted by the control consoles. This electrocution occurs several more times, such as in "Ninja Quest".
- Alpha's programmed gender (male) was confirmed by Trini Kwan in "The Wanna-Be Ranger", though it was confirmed several times before this.
- In the VHS Power Rangers special, Alpha's Magical Christmas, Alpha sings Christmas carols with a large group of children that are mysteriously teleported away from their homes to the Command Center. Some of the songs are:
- Oh Christmas Tree
- Good King Wenceslas
- Here We Come A-Caroling
- Jingle Bells
- Deck the Halls
- Up on the Housetop
- Silent Night.
- He also sings We Wish You A Merry Christmas with Kimberly Hart (Amy Jo Johnson), Billy Cranston (David Yost), and Thomas Oliver (Jason David Frank) who mysteriously is shown throughout the special as both the Green and White Rangers. Some of the songs have a few of Alpha's special "ai yi yi" touch-ups.
- Alpha was succeeded by Alpha 6 (his successor in Turbo) and Alpha 7 (perhaps his upgraded and rebuilt self after his destruction on Eltar).
- In one episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he became evil by the forceful insertion of a disk containing a computer virus that rapidly spread into his systems. While on the side of the forces of evil, he banished Zordon and sent the Rangers to the Spectre Theater. Billy fortunately removed the disk and Alpha instantly returned to normal. However, while evil, Alpha expressed his immense jealousy and envy of the Rangers, saying that they are getting all the glory and fighting the monsters instead of him. The reason why he acts this way while he's turned evil is because they frequently leave him alone to go battle Rita and Zedd's forces, as implied in "The Wanna-Be Ranger" and confirmed by Alpha himself in the non-canon holiday special Alpha's Magical Christmas, and this could be said to serve as one of his motivations for turning evil even though we never saw an actual all-out conversion take place (Finster just puts a disc into Alpha's badge-shaped disc drive, rather than him being brought before Rita and Zedd, infused with evil energy and having his memories manipulated in some fashion). The other motivations may also be the constant insults and mistreatment he had received up until that point (e.g. being called a "tin can", "talking tin can", "bucket of bolts", etc.) However, since most of Alpha's "evil" scenes are comprised of stock footage rather than original footage, he does not engage the Rangers in battle himself to finally finish them off. However, he does attempt to torture Bulk and Skull by teleporting them to the Australian wilderness. Alpha also did not attack any of the rangers personally (though he did threaten to ionize the Command Center, which would have destroyed not just the Rangers but himself as well in the process).
- In the episode "Teamwork", Alpha made an attempt at learning how to dance Zack's dancing/fighting style, hip hop kido. He didn't do very well, as he kept causing static in the communicators.
- In the "Green with Evil" miniseries, Alpha was given a virus by the Green Ranger and ended up feeling weak. He was later turned off by the Green Ranger, but his back-up system kicked in. He then orders the computer to activate a force field around the Ranger.
- In the episode "Life's a Masquerade", Alpha's desire to "party" with the Rangers caused him to leave the Command Center temporarily and attend a costume party with them, using his robotic body as a "disguise" of sorts. At the end of the episode, he won first prize for his "costume", and had a lot of ladies flirting with him. In another episode, Alpha again teleported down to a Halloween party in Angel Grove, but we never see him go there.
- In Power Rangers S.P.D., a planet named "Alpha 5" is mentioned; however, this planet may or may not have a connection to Alpha himself, other than the name.
- Alpha may be secretly envious and resentful of the Power Rangers. In the episode The Wedding, when Zordon referred to the Rangers as Alpha's friends, while consumed with his inner jealousy evil Alpha laughed at the idea, since the Rangers were always teleporting here and there, having all the fun and getting all the glory, but now he would be famous for destroying the Rangers as revenge for shutting him out and not being there when he needed them the most. He even says he would go down in history as the one that terminated them once and for all.
- Alpha has a secret wish to spend time with other fellow robots, as shown in "Trust In Me" when talking about the possibilities of making Defector a member of their team. When he noticed the Rangers were looking at him funny, he then corrected himself by saying "no offense, Rangers". Despite this, however, the Machine Empire never directly wanted to capture him.
- In "The Wanna-Be Ranger", Alpha proclaimed himself to be the "Alpha Ranger" when he teleports down to save Dylan. This stems from his secret wish to be just like the rangers and to be able to fight.
- Alpha appears on the 404 Error page at powerrangers.com, with this message: "ALPHA-5 ERROR ALERT Ay-yi-yi! My sensors tell me that the page you are looking for does not exist. Sorry!"
- Alpha 5 was planned as a character since Power Rangers' earliest incarnation Bio-Man, as a promotional folder reveals Alpha's name (written as Alpha-5) over a picture of Peebo. This opens the theory Alpha was inspired by Peebo's role in Choudenshi Bioman.
- Knowing Saban tried to adapt every series between Bioman and Zyuranger, as well as Alpha ultimately appearing despite Zyuranger not having a robot to serve as his counterpart, this means Mag, Colon, and Arthur G6 could have potentially been Alpha's counterpart had Choushinsei Flashman, Choujuu Sentai Liveman, and Chikyu Sentai Fiveman, respectively, been adapted in place of Zyuranger.
Popularity and Legacy
Alpha 5 is considered a beloved favorite character by fans; Alpha's Magical Christmas was made to give him a starring role in a Power Rangers project, as he had a supporting role during most of his appearances. Years after Alpha's departure for Eltar, Bandai America issued a Gosei Morpher/Power Rangers Action Card Game card bearing Alpha's image. The image however features several minor discrepancies from the original costume from later season 1 but more resembles his body from season 3/Alien Rangers/Zeo, such as additional segments on his shoulder pads and pelvic parts, as well as additional plating beneath his visor, although most notably is Alpha's hands; they resemble the robotic, segmented hands that Alpha 6 possessed, rather than the foamlike hands that Alpha 5 originally possessed in his first two bodies.
- Peebo, the robotic ally of the Biomen and inspiration for Alpha 5.
- Tensou, the robotic assistant of Gosei who serves a similar role and personality to Alpha 5 in Power Rangers Megaforce.
- Alpha 6 - his successor
- Alpha 7 - perhaps his rebuilt and upgraded form
- Circuit, the robotic assistant of the Time Force who serves a similar role and personality to Alpha 5 in Power Rangers Time Force
- Assist Robots - Similar non-combat assisting robots appearing in Super Sentai.
- Alpha 5 Online (now defunct, archived by Wayback Machine)