For any of you who, like me, grew up during the ‘80s, I’m betting there will be some of you who remember a series called Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. Running for one season from 1987 – 1988, the show is probably most memorable for the fact that it regularly included segments that would allow kids to actually interact with the show using the tie-in toys, but it also featured surprisingly “grown-up” concepts and storylines. It also introduced J. Michael Straczynski, Douglas Netter, and John Copeland, who would go on to put together a little show called Babylon 5. That single accomplishment more than earns Captain Power a respectable footnote in the annals of science fiction history, but now the show is looking to add more to its short history: its getting a second life in the form of a project called Phoenix Rising.
As reported by the folks over at Ain’t It Cool News, Phoenix Rising is in the works from the Goddard Film Group, which includes original Captain Power co-creator Gary Goddard. They’ve also hired two names genre fans will almost certainly recognize: Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who will be developing the series. In the past they’ve worked on series such as Batman: The Animated Series, Star Trek: Enterprise, and the upcoming spin-off, Primeval: New World.
So, for those of you who don’t remember or were too young to see the show, what was Captain Power all about? It mixed live-action and CGI — impressive for a “kid’s show” at the time — to tell the story of a 22nd century human resistance in the aftermath of “the Metal Wars,” which was basically the robopocalypse. Captain Jonathan Power used his pluck, bravery, and improbably heroic surname to battle the machines, along with his team of “Soldiers of the Future.” Although you wouldn’t think they would call themselves that, since for them the future is the present…but I digress.
Details are still pretty sparse at this point, but the Goddard folks have released a promotional video looking back at the original show and providing some hints at its future as Phoenix Rising. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
In the mean time, if you’re curious or just looking for an excuse to revisit a slice of your childhood, you can pick up the original Captain Power series on DVD.