Auckland takes a starring role in the latest episodes of Saban Brands’ Power Rangers Dino Charge airing on Nickelodeon in the US.
The first of two episodes set in New Zealand, World Famous (in New Zealand) aired this weekend to the delight of fans, and will be followed up by Journey Down Under on Saturday.
Power Rangers is the longest running and most-watched kid’s action series in television history and has become a pop culture phenomenon. Launched as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in 1993, the series follows a group of ordinary young people who ‘morph’ into super-heroes and save the world from evil. Twelve of the 22 seasons have been filmed in New Zealand, and the current season began shooting in Auckland in 2014.
Both of the new adventures are centred on a visit to the home country of the 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.
Producer Judd (Chip) Lynn says, New Zealand has played a big part in the production, and he’s delighted to see New Zealand featuring in Power Rangers Dino Charge celebrating the show’s long association with New Zealand.
"Shooting in New Zealand, a crazy show like Power Rangers demands passion and innovation, and we need it fast! Our crew is 95% Kiwis, and they've never let us down. There's a reason we've been filming here so long.
He says the diversity of locations Auckland offers are another big plus. “We don’t just need cityscapes, we need forests, volcanoes, hills, beaches - things that aren’t easy to find within half-an-hour of an LA studio.”
New Zealand Film Commission CEO Dave Gibson says, “It’s great to see Power Rangers returning to Auckland for so many years, a testament to the expertise and skill of the talented crew working on the show.
“Over the years Power Rangers has also 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.
Brett O’Riley, chief executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, which has supported the production through its Screen Auckland team, says having Power Rangers’ productionbased in Auckland for more than a decade has provided a major boost to the region’s global reputation for fast turnaround TV expertise.
“Power Rangers and Saban have 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 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 local broadcast of the new Power Rangers Dino Charge has not yet been confirmed.