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Day of the Dumpster

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This article is about a/an episode in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Day of the Dumpster
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Season 1), Episode 1x01
MMPR The original
Air date August 28, 1993;
January 2, 2010 (reversion)
Written by Tony Oliver
Shuki Levy
Directed by Adrian Carr
Episode Guide
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High Five

"Day of the Dumpster" is the first episode of the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the series premiere of the Power Rangers franchise. It was initially broadcast on August 28th, 1993 on the Fox Network, as part of the Fox Kids programming block.

Summary

Following the accidental release of long-imprisoned evil space-sorceress Rita Repulsa, a benevolent sage known as Zordon drafts a group of five teenagers to help protect the planet as dino powered warriors of goodness.

Plot

Somewhere in the Solar System, two astronauts are surveying the landscape when they find what looks like a dumpster. When they open the dumpster, the astronauts are knocked to their feet as Evil Space Aliens come out of it. Goldar, Squatt, Baboo, Finster, and their leader, the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa, exclaim their gratitude to the astronauts for freeing them after 10,000 years of imprisonment and announce their plans to celebrate by conquering the nearest planet -- Earth!

In the city of Angel Grove, California, five teenage friends named Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Jason are at the local Youth Center. Jason and Zack are sparring in front of a karate class, and the less-than-athletic Billy is among the students. Kimberly is practicing gymnastics and Trini is demonstrating breathing exercises, but they are interrupted by a pair of rude bullies named Bulk and Skull, who try to hit the girls up for a date. When they start getting physical, the girls flip the bullies to the floor and leave them out cold.

High above Angel Grove on Earth's moon, Rita and her monsterous allies have taken over an ancient Moon Palace as their lair, where Rita sets up her telescope and eagerly anticipates her conquest of the blue, defenseless planet as she observes its beauty. To facilitate her conquest, her loyal servant Finster has established a laboratory where he is at work molding clay into humanoid dolls called Putty Patrollers. By running them through his Monster-Matic machine, the dolls come to life as human-sized soldiers.

Back in Angel Grove, Bulk is cutting into Jason's karate class and demanding that he be taught how to beat people up. Jason explains that karate is not about violence, but he nonetheless demonstrates to Bulk and lands him on the mat again. The class over, Jason meets up with his friends at the adjoining Juice Bar. Suddenly, a large earthquake rocks the Youth Center and everybody panics. Before any of the five friends can react, they are teleported out of the Youth Center in beams of light.

As their vision recovers, the five teens find themselves in a high-tech facility unlike anything they've seen. A strange humanoid robot comes out, which amazes Billy at how technologically advanced he is, but their attention is then turned to a booming voice coming from a glowing head in a nearby tube. He introduces himself as Zordon and his robot aide as Alpha 5, then explains to his guests of Rita Repulsa and her plans to conquer Earth. Though Zordon had defeated Rita long ago, he is no longer able to fight due to her sorcery and thus has chosen five "overbearing and overemotional humans" (teenagers, in other words) to becomes Earth's defenders in his stead. The teens are incredibly skeptical at this information, but Zordon grants them Power Morphers that will allow them to summon the incredible power of the dinosaurs and fight Rita's forces.

Leaving the Command Center, the teens are still unable to fully believe what they had just seen, but their attitudes change when Rita's Putties arrive to destroy them. Though they are able to hold their own with their fighting talents, the clay creatures prove too much and they are forced to gamble their lives on their Power Morphers. As this power is summoned, the teens are given colored costumes and helmets, and their strength increases, allowing them to defeat the Putties.

They are then teleported back to Angel Grove, where Rita's warrior Goldar awaits them with more Putties. As the Putties fall, Rita throws her magic wand down to Earth and uses its power to make Goldar grow to colossal size. Driven by inherent instincts granted through their powers, the young heroes summon giant robots in the shape of the dinosaurs, the Dinozords, and use them to fight Goldar. They eventually join their Dinozords together into a single robot, the Megazord, which overpowers Goldar and forces him to retreat. On the moon, Rita comes down with a sudden headache over her loss and blames Goldar for it.

Back in the Command Center, the teens have now fully accepted Zordon's request to protect Earth from Rita's evil plans. As per Zordon's rules, they are required to never use their powers for personal gain, to never escalate a battle with them unless forced, and to keep their identities a secret from all. With Zordon and Alpha guiding them, a new team of superheroes is born -- the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

Cast

Behind the Scenes

Production History

The was the first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to air in the United States. The footage of Rita escaping from the space dumpster (as well as some basic story elements) was taken from episode 1 of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, titled "Tanjou" (The Birth). The footage of the battle between the Megazord and Goldar was taken from Ep. 6: Stand!! Daizyujin, Ep. 17: The Sixth Hero and Ep. 20: Daizyujin's Last Day.

The premiered version of "Day of the Dumpster" was actually the third version of the episode produced. The original version was produced in late 1992 and was Saban's second attempt at bringing Sentai to the US, after a failed attempt in the 1980s. After being turned down by various networks, the pilot was picked up by Margaret Loesch at FOX Kids. However, the network ordered revisions, and after some casting and cosmetic changes, another version of this episode was produced.

This new version of the pilot also underwent scrutiny. It was felt that the cast was being too mean to the bullies during their initial introduction so these scenes were re-shot. Also changed from the second pilot was the morphing sequence. In the second pilot, the Rangers called out their respective avatar while the color of their morpher would overlap the screen. The aired version changed this to the familiar lightning bolt sequence.

Fandom

A common misconception among fans of the show is that Rita's space dumpster was located on the Moon. While her palace is on Earth's moon, this episode (or subsequent ones) never explicitly state where her dumpster was located. In fact, there are several contradictions between the Moon and where her dumpster was found. While the Moon has no atmosphere, a clear blue sky is seen when Rita escapes. Also, when the planet is first shown, the astronauts are clearly seen bypassing Earth's Moon and heading to a large desert planet with some traces of water. In real life, the closest analogue to the planet seen would be Mars, but it is worth noting that in Zyuranger, Rita's counterpart, Bandora, was actually on a planet whose slanted orbit would cause it to come near Earth once every 230,000 years.

Notes

  • Jason in his Karate class uses the words "Choombi" and "Paro", which are 2 Korean terms, not Japanese which is where Karate originated from.
  • Goldar is shown flying with Rita, although he did not receive his wings until Lord Zedd arrived in the second season episode "The Mutiny part 1." Zedd states that he restored to him what was once taken away. This clip of Goldar flying may have been before his wings were taken from him.
    • However, through all the episode his wings appear and disappear sporadically.
  • After first leaving the Command Center the Rangers' Morphers are on their belts with the Power Coins facing out. Once they've fallen during the fight with the Putties and decide to morph their Morphers are reversed.
  • Rita's tricycle that she can fly on can be seen hanging on a wall in her palace
  • This episode was deemed as the "Red Ranger"s episode for the original VHS Line.
  • This Episode Title was Parodied in the first episode of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, titled Day of the Dino.
  • This episode was homaged in the first episode of Power Rangers Megaforce, the 2013 series and first of two seasons of the 20th anniversary series. Entitled Mega Mission, Zordon's protégé, Gosei, and his robotic assistant, Tensou, reminiscent of Alpha 5, recruit a team of five teenagers to become the Power Rangers Megaforce to fight a new invasion of Earth, just as Zordon and Alpha recruited the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
  • The Power Rangers are able to form the Megazord from the first episode, prior to the acquisition of the Power Crystals. (the American equivalent of the Dinocrystals which are instrumental in merging the five Guardian Beasts into DaiZyuJin)

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