I idolized the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. If you grew up in the 90s, how could you not? But not only did I love the original Rangers, I loved all the other shows that bore even a remote resemblance. There was always something so fascinating about teenagers with intergalactic powers fighting evil alien forces.
Unfortunately, most of them were never quite strikingly unique, or worth remembering to this day. I know that at least a couple of these shows had some precedence in Japan (like the Rangers) before their import to American programming. But in hindsight, it was essentially the same idea rehashed for every series that ran alongside the Power Rangers. Here are some of the almost forgotten Power Ranger-esque shows of the 90s.
This show capitalized on the curiosity of “virtual reality,” which at the time was a relatively new idea everyone either theorized or fictionally ran amok with. The Troopers were a teenage team of three who attended the same dojo. Their names were Ryan, Kaitin and J.B. On a search for Ryan’s long missing father, they stumbled on a secret lab, where they uncovered the ass kicking technology and VR dimension that parallels the real world, but has crazy mutant things trying to conquer both worlds. The Troopers’ consulting Zordon figure happened to be very Morpheus-like. There was also a talking dog.
The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog
Definitely a show I can remember emerging during the wake of the original running Power Rangers. It was weird. It was basically a medieval, Celtic version of the Power Rangers. An evil sorceress/queen wanted to take over a kingdom somewhere in Ireland, and used a stone to summon mythical beasts to carry out her will. The king of the land in peril assembles a team of knights to defend the land. This show lasted only several months.
Big Bad Beetleborgs
This was a series pretty out there with its premise details. The Beetleborgs were a team of kids who were probably about my age when the show was being filmed. They free a ghost that grants them their wish to be their favorite comic book heroes. The portal the ghost comes out of is neglected, and it spawns their enemy. The ‘borgs also kicked it in a haunted house (yeah, strange) with a mummy, vampire and franken-guy.
Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad
Looking back on this one was pretty funny. It was about a band of teens lead by Matthew Lawrence (Boy Meets World, Mrs. Doubtfire) that “accidentally” came into their cyber powers. They fight some evil prescence that lives inside computers, and with the help of a bratty asshole of a supernerd, they create viruses to attack all things electronic. I feel bad for every other team member of the Syber-Squad because they were just accessories to Lawrence’s empowering virtual suit.
I distinctly remember this one because the character of the Masked Rider crossed over to a couple Rangers episodes. He was an alien that traveled to Earth because his evil uncle wanted to conquer it. Upon his Earthly arrival, he gets taken in by a goofy, interracially adopted family. His Alpha-like assistant is a giant Furby.