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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Power, Sci-Fi's Most Misunderstood Gem!
First things first, lets get the most important point out of the way. Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was NOT a childrens program. The producers never entended nor claimed otherwise. Unfortunately, like all sci-fi/genre TV programming of the '80's, it was treated as one no matter the content. In all fairness, having a title like "Captain Power and the...
Published on October 11, 2011 by J.P. Schultz

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a review, but a question.
I was thrilled to get this set in the mail a couple of days ago, and couldn't wait to begin watching it. The video quality is about what I expected, but I have to admit that I'm more than a little surprised (and disappointed) about the audio mix. I've watched two episodes thus far, and the music/sound effects are SERIOUSLY drowning out the dialogue. And without any...
Published on December 9, 2011 by Jim Alexander


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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Power, Sci-Fi's Most Misunderstood Gem!, October 11, 2011
This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
First things first, lets get the most important point out of the way. Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was NOT a childrens program. The producers never entended nor claimed otherwise. Unfortunately, like all sci-fi/genre TV programming of the '80's, it was treated as one no matter the content. In all fairness, having a title like "Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future," being bankrolled mostly by money from Mattel, and being saddled with a Saturday AM timeslot in most markets didn't help the situation.

Having said that, if your looking at this as some kind of prehistoric "Power Rangers" for the kids, look elsewhere. Though more than tame by todays family viewing standards, it's important to note their is blood, violence, character death, four-letter language, and even some implied sex. I'm not saying this is sci-fi Sopranos here, but it is very much a product of the syndication market of the time.

Now if your looking for an engrossing series with a backstory that brings to mind the works of Asimov and Ellison, with a writing staff including the legendary J. Michael Straczynski (listen for a clever reference to Straczynski's Babylon 5), and Larry DiTillio you're in the right place.

There are also stellar performances by a predominately Canadian cast of (then)relative unknowns including Tim Dunigan (who originated the role of Timpleton "Faceman" Peck in the pilot of the legendary "A-Team" television series) as Captain Jonathan Power, 19 year-old Jessica Steen (years before Armageddon and Earth-2) as the tragic Jennifer "Pilot" Chase, and Sven Thorsen (close friend, fellow body-builder and frequent collaborator with Arnold Schwarzenegger) as Michael "Tank" Ellis, a genetically engineered killing-machine who has abandoned his violent past for a life of peace.

Great cast, great writers, great story. In my opinion, some of the best science-fiction to come out of the late 80's.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so much a review, but a question., December 9, 2011
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
I was thrilled to get this set in the mail a couple of days ago, and couldn't wait to begin watching it. The video quality is about what I expected, but I have to admit that I'm more than a little surprised (and disappointed) about the audio mix. I've watched two episodes thus far, and the music/sound effects are SERIOUSLY drowning out the dialogue. And without any subtitles or closed captions available on the disc, it's sometimes impossible to tell what the actors are saying. There don't seem to be any audio options on the set, so I can't really modify the sound setup. I'm quite curious if anyone else is experiencing the same problems as I am. Anyone?
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Disappointed, December 11, 2011
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
This review is of the DVD set itself, not of the series.

I am extremely disappointed with the DVD set. I watched the series as a child and as I got older and watched again recorded episodes, the quality of the writing and acting only became more apparent. So when I learned of this DVD set, I was very excited.

I got it in the mail and put the first disk into my DVD player... No closed captions, no subtitles... Bad, very bad. Having lost my hearing in the intervening twenty-five years, not having captions or subtitles for one of my favorite childhood series was depressing, especially given my VHS tapes don't have captions either, so I've been holding out hope for years for a DVD release.

I can't recommend this DVD set at all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD Quality Control Issues, December 20, 2011
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
This DVD set receives 4 stars because of the strength of the quality of the scripts, from such writers as contributors to Babylon 5, Beast Wars, Real Ghostbusters, and He-Man. I deducted 1 star for some quality control issues in the official release of the DVD set.

The video quality is okay, although there are places where the occasional artifact pops up. It looks like the producers just fed the masters into encoding software and didn't check the results afterwards to manually clean up any effects left behind.

The audio is a disappointment, too. The music and sound effects drown out the dialogue on many occasions.

Some episodes are missing title, writer, and director credits.

I had difficulty removing and then reinserting the 3rd and 4th discs into the packaging. They could have come up with a better way to package the DVD's so you don't risk damaging them. In fact, after some attempts to reinsert the discs where they belong, the case would not fit back inside its slip cover.

In many ways, the unofficial fan made DVD sets that came out before VSC's official DVD release are better in this aspect. What this set has going for it though is a fine collection of bonus features that only an official studio release can obtain. There's a 90 minute documentary about the making of Captain Power. There's actor, writer, and creator commentary on 6 selected episodes. There's The Legend Begins, the compilation TV movie shown in markets mostly outside of the US around 1989. There's a bonus that offers glimpses into the future of Captain Power had it continued on to a 2nd season, with many previous only before hinted at revelations about what that 2nd season would have been like.

Bottom line is, the package isn't the best it could be, but, it could be a lot worse. The main strength of this DVD release is the fine quality of the writing from such authors as J. Michael Straczynski.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad case design, December 15, 2011
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
I am disappointed with a few things about this set. The case design is pretty bad. The discs overlap each other inside the case. The two top overlapping discs of the set were really hard to remove. I was afraid I was going to break them and they gave me such trouble that I won't be putting them back in the original case. Also, beware of the flipper that two of the discs are housed on because it has some large holes on the bottom and if you aren't careful, you will be touching the bottom of your discs.

The audio in the episodes leaves something to be desired. The sound effects/background music can drain out the dialogue a bit much at times and you are left straining to hear what they said. The picture quality is about what can be expected for a show from the 80s.

As for the show itself, I still enjoy watching these episodes. The storylines were pretty good for a kids show.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally...how about a series return, too!, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
OMG, I thought this day would never come.

Firstly, I'd like to say when I got this boxed set, Parts 1 and 2 of "The Summoning of Thunder" absolutely refused to play. Amazon had already sent out my replacement copy before I had my mailing label printed out to return the poorly functioning set back. The replacement set works fine, big kudos for a trouble free exchange with amazon.

Now back to the series...

When this series first came out, like a lot of other sci-fi fans, I was chased away by the title. Then I heard reviews and decided I had to watch for myself,...and was I ever glad I did. The storytelling was amazing and created a Nazi era style world of machines bent on the destruction of all flesh and emotion.

In the distant future, wars were fought by robots called bio-mechs. Human casualties became virtually non-existent which made war commonplace and easy. Enter Captain Power's Father, Dr Stuart Gordon Power and Dr Power's friend and colleague Dr Lyman Taggart. Their plan was to create a supercomputer named Overmind that could override and take control of all the warring biomechs on the planet, thus ending all war once and for all. But where Dr Power felt more testing was necessary, Taggart impatiently went behind his back and hooked himself up to Overmind. The experience changed both Taggart and Overmind, and the next day bio-mechs were marching into cities worldwide.

The series was the first to have CGI characters. For those used to the Digital age with smoother looking integrations of computer animation with real life, this is the series that started it all. Younger impatient types might call it cheap or even primitive, but they weren't generating the CGI characters of this series with the small hand held devices we have today. It took hard work, multiple camera angles, and multiple, slower, computers.

The fight scenes were also not the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon kind of today. It was the 80's afterall. But the storytelling came from the likes of J Michael Straczynski (Babylon Five), Gerry Davis (the original 1963 Dr Who), Larry Ditillio (He-Man, Shera, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, B5, Bionic 6...take your pick), Christy Marx (JEM, B5, GI Joe, and the 1978 Fantastic Four), and Gary Goddard (Star Trek...the ORIGINAL Star Trek).

These same writers would go on to write the (at the time) new Star Trek: The Next Generation and Babylon 5 series. And you see hints of Captain Power in those series. People look at Lord Dread and comment on how he looks exactly like a Borg. Why did they copy from Star Trek, is what is often asked. They didn't. Dread came first, the Borg second. People were digitized in Captain Power first, assimilated by the Borg later on. When Tank talks about his escape from the genetic engineering lab, the name of the lab is Babylon 5.

And then there are storylines with horror taken from history...mass genocide of humanity, a Dread Youth, much like the Hitler Youth, people being taken to places they don't come back from...in the episode "Pariah", Mitch talks about being in a lab where he was experimented on with others, and where he saw lifeless bodies being carried out, never to be seen again. In the episode "Judgment", Pilot confronts her former life as a member of the Dread Youth and the uniform she used to wear. She is put on trial by a group of townspeople who survived the fiery destruction of her first outing with her Dread Unit. Like Holocaust survivors pointing out Nazi oppressors, "It was you...It was you." There was an unaired, unproduced episode that had Dread ordering the burning of all books, destroying human culture. Historical memories with a very personal, emotional touch. That is what made this series great.

This packet does have some equally nice gems in it. The Making of Captain Power (Out of the Ashes) had fantastic info of behind the scenes of the first season and what was contemplated if a second season were produced.

There is also an original, unaired (in the US) TV movie called "The Legend Begins." Essentially it is the entire first season compressed into a movie format. It's very rough editting, and Soaron has a different sounding voice, but it has some interesting moments. There are two in particular:

1. In Retribution Pt II, after giving false info to the Power team on orders of Lord Dread, Locke strikes the Overunit Commander. Locke's obviously disgusted with the betrayal he just committed but we don't know why. In the unaired movie, Locke asks the Overunit commander, "What about my kids?" It's a bit hard envisioning Locke married, never mind with kids, but interesting none the less.

2. At the very end of Retribution Pt II, we see Pilot finally confess her love to Jon Power as she presses the self destruct blowing up the Power base, destroying Blastarr, and keeping resistance info out of Dread's hands. What we don't see in that episode, but do in the unaired movie, is Jon Power responding to Pilot over the com silently mouthing the words "I love you" just as Pilot blows up the Power Base.

Gary Goddard has hinted that one day Captain Power might return as a TV series or movie...half of me is excited at the prospect, the other half leary given some of the horrible remakes I have seen. But I have also seen the proposed storylines if the second season were produced, and I would love to see this series return, if it lives up to the original.

Power On.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the Past, February 22, 2013
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
I remember being a first grader, having recently moved to a new place without friends for the third time and just starting elementary school. It was the time when Thundercats and Captain Power were the central topics of conversations for boys and yes; the CGI is laughable by today's standards and some story details are dated as hell, but only those of us who lived during time that time can comprehend how revolutionary and amazing this little underrated sci-fi gem truly was.

Russian Deception said it best; this is my childhood in a box and if anyone who hasn't seen this yet is willing to give it a chance, just remember it's old, awake your inner child and enjoy the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great series, terrible packaging!, February 22, 2013
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
Let me just say that this show was ahead of its time, and is a joy to watch today, even if you can't find a power-jet to play with on your CRT screen. I would happily extol its virtues in a future update. A somewhat derivative science fiction series that blended live action with (state-of-the-art at the time, especially for TV) CG effects along with interactivity at home, delivering a positive message through an action-packed post-apocalyptic war each week before it was prematurely cancelled after only one season over complaints about manipulative marketing and perceived concerns over violent content (in that area, this show seemed a lot more appropriate for kids than another popular sci fi show of the time, "Star Trek the Next Generation" which regularly featured sexual themes, gore, violence, etc).

However, sadly this set lacks in one area... the packaging! The discs are crammed together unnecessarily and are a pain to get out of the package, I thought I was going to break the discs. Somebody really dropped the ball here. Good luck finding a replacement that doesn't feature the annoying disc removal requirement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My childhood in a box, June 7, 2012
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This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
Well, if I were to call one single TV series as The series of my childhood - that would be it.
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was one of the first amercan sci-fi serials to make it on Russian television. Even with our VCR and saving the broadcast episodes on the tape I was unable to fully experience the show later on due to both failings of the tape cassetes and missed episodes. Than internet happened and I learned that unlike more well known stuff, like Knight Rider or The A Team, it would be pretty much impossible for me to be able to download it anywhere. thoug that eventually happened.

And now, somewhat accidentally I stumbled upon captainpowerreturns.com and learned of the DVD release. Ordered immediately.

As complete series editions go, this one is rather simple - a clamshell with four discs, small booklet with episode guide, some concept art and foreword from the creator of the series and a cardboard sleeve with nice foil applications on the phoenix logo and Power himself.

Video quality is decent, even excellent considering the age of the source material.
Audio is of good quality but a bit too quiet - I had to dial the volume all the way up.
Bonus features are very extensive, author commentary tracks for multiple episodes on each disc, extensive documentary on the creation of the series, a TV movie serving as abridged version of the series and more.

And yes, the Borg were copied from the Big Bad of the series - lord Dredd.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Earth 2147 . The Legacy of the Metal Wars. When man fought Machine & Machines WON" - My Captain Power DVD review (epic edition), January 2, 2012
This review is from: Captain Power-Complete Series (DVD)
Earth January 1st 2012,

The Legacy of the Metal Wars ...

I walk into Waterloo Records in Austin TX and on the front counter is this beautiful DVD of my all time favorite show CAPTAIN POWER and The Soldiers Of The Future. The first time I have ever seen this show in a legit non fan made format. Complete with bonus features and commentaries. I could not wait, I placed it on the counter and simply said NOW! I didn't even care that it would be more expensive than on Amazon... I had to have it NOW! (I bought another copy for friends Amazon you're welcome) This show, is by far, a true founding brick of my life. I watched it as a little boy in Lansing MI religiously, not He-Man, not GI JOE, not Transformers, but Captan Power.

Gary Goddard, visionary behind Captain Power, set off on a journey to make a profound science fiction show for both adults and children to entertain and educate while at the same time with help from MATTEL pushed the television medium to heights never seen at the time from interactive jets that were affected by the lazer blasts coming from the screen, to the first ever all CGI characters interacting with human beings. Captain Power is one of those gems, one of those rare jewels that elevated the world of entertainment and took no credit. Let's strip away for a moment the costumes, the technology, the toys and all the other fluff that goes with it. This show was about HUMANITY! How humanity even when faced with annihilation, slavery, digitization will hold strong and persist. Lord Dread with all of his vast armies of Dread Heads, BioDreads and flock of other humans "Dread Youth" who had lost their way on their journey in life ... could still not end the goal of a small band of rebels dedicated to their creed "to protect all life" ... their name was Captain Power and The Soldiers of the Future.

I have had life long friendships that began with a simple question "Have you seen Captain Power?" ... "yes" .... I owe Captain Power that. My imagination and love for science fiction I owe to Captain Power. My art and music has been inspired by Captain Power ([...]) my song "Lament for Jennifer Chase". I even have the BioDread logo tattooed on my arm out of adoration and respect. Thank You Gary Goddard for bringing this into my life and thank you for this DVD release. The documentary alone had me almost in tears realizing that some of the core values I have learned I learned from Captain Power. I never stopped watching this show and never stopped loving it. To hear from Tim Duggan, Jessica Steen and Peter MacNeill recount their days on set with never before seen production shots, tales of visiting children at Toys R Us and hanging onto a picture with a fan and their excitement of being immortalized as action figures truly enhanced my appreciation for the depth of this show. I can watch this show now and see where the roots of amazing shows like Star Trek TNG, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica came from.

I can not say enough good things about this show! Sure the special effects look dated, the DVD menus don't blow my mind, the conversion isn't Blu Ray awesome quality, but you know what ... I DON'T CARE! why? because this little gem is like finding a dinosaur fossil to me ... sure its old and past its time but its history and our way of life or at least the way we view it on tv was molded and shaped by shows like Captain Power. And now I finally have an official digital copy to hold and cherish for all time. Now maybe you're reading this review and asking questions like "Is the show coming back" or "is Jessica Steen still hot?" or "Are the Training videos on the discs".... Let me finish the answers are "maybe", "smokin'" and "no! buy em on VHS"

now can I finish?

CAN I FINISH?

Ok I'm Finished

ps. Gary Goddard rules! Have JJ Abrams remake Captain Power and let me write the music .... POWER ON!!!!!
[...]
[...]
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Captain Power-Complete Series
Captain Power-Complete Series by Tim Dunigan (DVD - 2011)
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