Auckland takes a starring role in special episodes of Power Rangers Dino Charge, the newest season of Saban’s iconic television series currently airing on Nickelodeon in the U.S.
In the 22nd season of the Power Rangers series, Power Rangers Dino Charge, the Rangers travel to New Zealand for two CHARGED-UP episodes, World Famous (in New Zealand), which aired this past weekend, and Deep Down Under, premiering this Saturday.
Power Rangers is one of the longest running and most-watched kid’s action series in television history and has become a pop culture phenomenon with a 22+ year legacy. The series first launched with Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 1993 and follows a group of ordinary young people who “morph” into superheroes and save the world from evil. Twelve of the 22 seasons have been filmed in New Zealand, and the current season, Power Rangers Dino Charge, began shooting in Auckland in 2014.
The most recent episodes’ adventures centre on a visit to the home country of the Black Power Ranger, Kiwi Chase Randall (played by New Zealand actor James Davies). Recognisable landmarks include Auckland’s Sky Tower, Piha and Takapuna beaches, and a dolphin sighting from the Waiheke Ferry.
Executive Producer Judd “Chip” Lynn says, “Shooting a show like Power Rangers demands passion and innovation. We have an amazing crew, which is 95% Kiwis, and they never let us down. There's a reason we've been filming here for so long!”
He also explains that the diversity of locations Auckland has to offer is another big plus. “We don’t just need cityscapes for Power Rangers, we need forests, volcanoes, hills, beaches – things that aren’t always easy to find near an LA studio.”
New Zealand Film Commission Communications and Marketing Director Roxane Gajadhar says the fact that Saban’s Power Rangers has continued to return to shoot in Auckland year after year is a nod to New Zealand’s internationally renowned crews and screen businesses, and in turn the show has been a strong supporter of the local industry.
“Over the years, the Power Rangers series has played an important part in giving Kiwi actors an opportunity to showcase their talents to international audiences, and for the first time this year, writing and on-set internships have offered a valuable training ground for talented New Zealanders,” Gajadhar says.
New Zealanders involved in the show in the past include television directors; Charlie Haskell, Jonathan Brough, Peter Salmon, Mike Smith, Peter Burger, Vanessa Alexander, Mark Beesley and John Laing, producers; Sally Campbell and Janine Dickins and actors; Stig Eldred, Kate Elliot, Ian Harcourt, Anna Hutchinson, Rene Naufahu, Rose McIver, Antonia Prebble, Donogh Rees and Holly Shanahan, many of whom have gone on to international careers.
Brett O’Riley, Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, which has supported the production through its Screen Auckland team, says having the Power Rangers’ production based in Auckland for more than a decade has provided a major boost to the region’s global reputation for fast turnaround TV expertise.
“Saban’s Power Rangers has provided great career development opportunities for Auckland crew through the years, boosting their level of expertise and helping Auckland land other important international productions.”
“It is fantastic to have Power Rangers Dino Charge actively featuring Auckland in the season’s storyline and showcasing our beautiful city to fans around the world.”
Kiwi fans will have to wait a little longer to see the New Zealand episodes on screen as Power Rangers Dino Charge just premiered locally this spring, with new episodes airing on FOUR every Saturday at 9:20 a.m.