Captain Power Turns 20!
October 30, 2007
I’ve been meaning to post about this for awhile. Trouble is, this could get to be a very long post, because it’s about my favorite TV show from when I was 14. That would be Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. Never heard of it? Not surprised. It was a 1/2 hour live action kids show that ran in syndication. It was a pure, unbridled marketing gimmick: The show was interactive. You were supposed to go out and buy these toy guns that you could use during the show, like it was a video game, and score points on the bad guys — and the show could shoot back! They did it with this flickery little light thingies in the film. Parent groups hated it.
But here’s the thing. The show was brilliant. Really, really smart stories, great, complex characters, an ongoing storyline that made you pay attention. And intensely real. It was a war and people died, in every episode. The show didn’t pull punches at all. You may find this hard to believe and insist that I must be remembering it all wrong, except that I still re-watch the show. You see, the story editor was a guy named J. Michael Straczynski. The Babylon 5 J. Michael Sraczynski, and it’s cool because you can see that he’s trying out ideas in Captain Power that would come to fruition in Babylon 5 10 years later.
Anyway, I could talk a lot more about CP, its great role model for girls in the character of Pilot, the horribleness when Pilot died in the last episode, the kookiness of the out and out cyberpunk episode, my favorite episodes, my favorite lines, etc. etc. But instead I’m just going to send you to the Captain Power 20th Anniversary Website. This was put together by a group of fans for the sheer love of Captain Power (and, um, yeah, I might have worked on it a little…). It is filled with awesome. My favorite bit: the interviews with the actors, twenty years later.