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.

4 Responses to “Captain Power Turns 20!”

  1. Janice Says:

    She’s being modest folks. She came up with the idea for the whole thing! 🙂

    And a darn fine idea it was indeed!

    (Wow, that took me all of 2.7 seconds to post, didn’t it? I’m in a lull at work.)

  2. carriev Says:

    But Janice did all the interviews. You know, the hard stuff. 🙂

  3. TesubCalle Says:

    I was one of those people who discovered CP on re-runs. This was quite the feat for me, since I don’t have cable (and didn’t at the time CP was being re-run on YTV in Canada.) I’d somehow manage to see an episode here and there at friends’ homes.

    I found myself being totally amazed by the quality of the plots. This was a kids’ show? Had to be; it was on the same channel that was showing ReBoot…

    And I recognized Jessica Steen, who’d long since moved on to Earth2, among other things. (Steen, who in my opinion, is one of Canada’s most underrated actresses, but I digress.)

    Later, when access to the Internet made it possible for me to actually find out whatever became of CP, I was so shocked to learn what happened in the series finale.

    Thanks for the tribute site, Carrie. Hope to see more stuff there soon. (And thanks, too, for the awesome CP fanfic!)


  4. […] by the cheesiest pop culture the 80′s had to offer.  Given how much I talk about GI Joe and Captain Power, this should come as no surprise to anyone.  But what does the literary side of that look like?  […]

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