Episode Title: Crystal of Nightmares
Original Airdate: February 14, 1994
The pressures of creating episode after episode of a hit TV series can be pretty high. Most weekly shows end up churning out about 24 episodes each season, but in the case of a daily show like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the producers had to come up with 60 episodes. So, you can’t really fault them for turning to that tried and true method of making a quick cheap episode…the clip show. Here it comes in the form of Crystal of Nightmares.
The episode begins with Kimberly and Trini feeling a bit bummed about a big science test they’re going to have to spend all weekend studying for. Luckily, the guys have a plan. They suggest heading up to Billy’s uncle’s cabin in the mountains to study, free from distractions. Okay…so teenage boys invite teenage girls to a mountain cabin to study? Uh-huh, there’s going to be a lot of studying going on. Oh, and Bulk and Skull overhear all this and decide to sneak up to the cabin to soak up some of the knowledge so they can pass the test too.
Meanwhile,Rita sends Goldar out to play with the rangers’ minds. He uses something called the Crystal of Nightmares to make all the rangers dream about past struggles in battle. This is where the clips from past shows come in. Even Bulk and Skull end up having a weird dream. By the time our heroes wake up, they have no confidence in their abilities, which means their powers will begin to slip away. Zordon then contacts the rangers to inform them that they must destroy the crystal in order to keep their powers from vanishing.
Upon teleporting to the cave where the crystal resides, the gang first has to deal with some putties. Though they struggle, they manage to get into the cave and destroy the crystal. In a last ditch effort to win the day, Rita makes Goldar and Scorpina grow to giant size. Of course, the rangers morph and summon the Mega Zord to quickly get rid of them. Oh, and they end up passing the science test, too.
Though this is a clip show, at least it doesn’t get too bogged down in recycling old footage. It really only factors into one sequence. Several of the clips used make a lot of sense when it comes to making the rangers lose their confidence. We get the time when Kimberly was trapped in the Fan Man’s jug, Zack battling the Black Knight, and Jason in another dimension battling Goldar, among others. If you’ve got to do a clip show, this is pretty decent way of doing it.
There are some really weird aspects of this episode, though. The premise of going up to a cabin to “study” for the weekend sounds like something that belongs in a Porky’s sequel. Of course, this is an afternoon kiddie show, so raging hormones don’t factor into things. However, there is a bizarre moment at the cabin where Jason, Billy and Zack end up in a pillow fight with feathers flying all over the room. Call me crude if you want…but who would rather see the two ladies pillow fighting instead?
As for the action in this episode, most of it is the puttie battles. Again, the best moments come from the American footage, where we get to see the actors battling without donning their superhero outfits. A nice twist on this sequence is that since the rangers are losing their confidence, they bumble their way through the battle, somewhat.
One other interesting bit of trivia with this episode is that we see a bit different take on the Goldar costume this time. Of course, he’s the same as he’s always been in the Japanese footage. He shows up in the American footage, though, which is a bit unique in and of itself. There are certainly differences in this version of the costume from the one we usually see. The face especially is a different sculpt, looking much more vicious, with snarling jowls and a lot more bared teeth.
This one is definitely not one of the top episodes, but for a clip show it ends up being pretty good. Next time the rangers are going to do battle with a nasty flea. Maybe they should just run down to Petco and get a flea collar. We’ll find out what happens next time in To Flea or Not to Flea.