Power Rangers: The Lost Era Details Surface
The lost ending to Power Rangers' Millennium Message nearly changed the whole show.
There’s an era of Power Rangers we never got to see. An era that contained different characters, different plots, and perhaps a cast that would have been with the show as long as the famous Tommy had. It all began (and was quietly cut short) with something called The Millennium Message.
The Millennium Message has perplexed Power Rangers fans for years. Originally appearing in the Power Rangers Turbo episode of the same name, the message was brought from the future by Blue Senturion. He was tricked by the season’s main villain, Divatox, into revealing its contents. The part of the message the audience got to see was all about how the universe’s greatest evils would join forces to destroy the Earth.
Another part of the message however played off screen as Blue Senturion said, “there’s only one force that stands in their way.” Divatox reacted in disgust and growled, “I can’t believe it!”
Power Rangers fans never got to see what Divatox saw at the end of the message. The original plan for the Millennium Message was approved by producers Doug Sloan and Ann Austen, who seemingly planned for it to lead into a bigger story arc. However, the two left the Power Rangers franchise very soon after that episode aired and a whole new writing staff was brought in. They chose to not follow up on the Millennium Message and to this day it’s never been officially revealed what was the last part of that message.
Well, we’ve got the next best thing. We’ve discovered an unmade Power Rangers Turbo episode entitled “Rangers in Concert” that contains the last part of the message.
To fully understand what the message contained, we first have to give some background on the episode itself. It’s set just before the famous cast changeover that left only the kid Ranger Justin as part of the team. In the actual filmed episodes, Tommy, Kat, Adam, and Tanya gave up their powers to TJ, Cassie, Carlos, and Ashley respectively.
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However, “Rangers in Concert” contains several different or early versions of the characters that eventually took over for the team. The new team would have still included Justin and Carlos but several other characters are mentioned, including Missy, Ashley (not the same one as in the show), and Michael.
“Missy” is an early name for the character that became the Ashley we know. “Ashley” in the script is actually Jenny, Lt. Stone’s niece, from the Power Rangers Turbo episode, “Cars Attacks.” Michael is an early version of TJ, albeit it with some big differences like being described as a martial artist, dancer, and a “ham.” (An actual edible ham was not going to be a Ranger, sadly, they meant in terms of personality.)
With that in mind, “Rangers in Concert” involves the Turbo team along with Carlos, Missy, Ashley, and Michael all being sent tickets by Divatox to a concert so she can blow them up. Sounds like a standard first half Turbo episode, right? Something very key however is that Divatox specifically sends tickets to Carlos, Missy, Ashley, and Michael. Why would she do that if they weren’t Rangers?
Because the end of Millennium Message showed their faces. In an earlier scene of “Rangers in Concert” Justin is working on fixing Blue Senturion so they can finally see the message and at the end they finally get it working. Below is exactly what’s described in the script.
“Alpha presses some buttons and Blue Senturion comes to life. The hologram tape from the previous episode plays, but this time it is uninterrupted. Slowly, the faces of the future Rangers are revealed. Our Rangers look on in awe. The final shot of the tape freezes on the four new Rangers in spandex with helmets off.”
Reading “Rangers in Concert” with that in mind, it makes sense why Divatox would target Carlos and the other new characters. They were the ones she saw in the message.
This gives a glimpse into a totally different path Power Rangers could have taken. First off, we’d have a different team take over from Tommy, Adam, Kat, and Tanya. It would have been fascinating to see “Ashley” aka Jenny be part of the team, especially with her troubled past and bad attitude.
There’s not enough to get an idea of “Michael” aka TJ here but since we know Carlos would have taken over as the Red Ranger (hence him wearing red in his first appearance in the episode “A Drive To Win”) there’s a good bet he wouldn’t have been the TJ we know and love.
Curiously in “The Millenium Message” Blue Senturion said the message originated in the year 2000. Was this new team of Rangers supposed to last until then? Power Rangers Turbo aired in 1997, which would have kept that cast in place for at least another three seasons. For reference, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue aired in 2000 and that was the eighth season of the franchise.
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Can you imagine that new cast carrying over for another three years? We don’t know if that was for sure the plan, after all there was text in the Millennium Message itself that said it was only an “Estimated Future”, but it’s still fascinating to consider.
Imagine it, instead of changing the cast out every year we had casts that could last up to four or five years, just like Tommy. The whole course of the show’s history could have changed! Whole season’s plots would need to be altered! We could have had more continuity between seasons! More, hopefully, developed characters!
That, or they would have just said the year 2000 was at the end of Power Rangers Turbo, they would have had a big fight with all the bad guys, and that would have been that. Who knows? After all, the United Alliance of Evil attack in the Power Rangers in Space finale “Countdown To Destruction” (which seemingly took place in 1998) was basically retconned to be what the Millenium Message was talking about, so the date could have changed.
It should also be noted that the message only shows “the four new Rangers in spandex with helmets off.” Would this have been the Turbo suits or a future team’s outfit? Most likely it would have been the Turbo outfits, since the next season’s costumes were more than likely not available. Still, it makes you wonder how the Turbo suits would have appeared in the year 2000 if the original stated intent of the Millennium Message were kept intact.
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Power Rangers is filled with lot’s of “what ifs” and dropped plotlines and this is easily one of the biggest fans have never widely known about. Make sure to stay tuned to Den of Geek for all of our Power Rangers coverage, including more looks into unproduced Power Rangers episodes.
Thanks to Project Hexagon: The Power Rangers Script Archive for scans of the script pieces included here.
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Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! Read more articles by him here!