Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Morpheus: The Sinister Sentinel

Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again!

It’s pretty well-known that the ’90s live-action MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS series adapted most of its designs and tons of stock footage from the Japanese SUPER SENTAI franchise. But I may have stumbled upon the source for the non-Japanese elements…

A multiracial group of kids granted superpowers and directed by an alien intelligence in the form of a giant, bald, holographic floating head assisted by a dwarf-sized comic relief robot. Sounds a bit familiar, right? Only the YOUNG SENTINELS did it sixteen years before the Power Rangers.

One of only a handful of Filmation productions not based on licensed properties, the Sentinels were already on the air when STAR WARS hit popular culture like an anvil dropped on a coyote’s brain-case. So, to emphasize the sci-fi nature of the series, it was re-named SPACE SENTINELS partway through its run. But that run wasn’t particularly long. Thirteen episodes, which is about par for the 1970s Saturday Morning game. It takes more than superpowers to beat both MR. MAGOO and SCOOBY-DOO, who were in the same time slot with new programs.

But the oddly Nordic “Hercules” from this show would be incorporated into Filmation’s even shorter-lived superhero offering the next year. From September 1977. More from the OldHorseman.

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