CAPTAIN POWER AND THE SOLDIERS OF TOMORROW, a sci-fi television series that ran for 22 episodes in the late 80s, was ahead of its time during its original seven month stint. With its futuristic TERMINATOR-esque setting, comic book-ish mythos, and its use of groundbreaking special effects technology, it’s the kind of thing would have definitely caught people’s attention had it arrived a few years later. The property may now get a chance to capture the imagination of a new generation of fans thanks to a planned reboot.
Series co-creator Gary Goddard is all too happy to refer to CAPTAIN POWER as “a sci-fi series that was ahead of its time,” and his co-conspirators for the upcoming reboot of the property agree with him. The men in question are Thomas Vitale- who ran SyFy and Chiller’s programming departments for 22 years- and producer Craig Engler (Z NATION). They’ve hired Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE) to write the pilot for the new series, which will be titled PHOENIX RISING.
In a statement, here’s what Vitale and Engler had to say about their hopes for PHOENIX RISING:
“As fans of both science fiction and the Captain Power series, weâ€™re excited to help re-imagine this iconic TV show for todayâ€™s viewers. Although the surprisingly dark themes, serialized storytelling and shocking character deaths featured within the series were well ahead of their time in 1987, theyâ€™re exactly the kind of story elements a modern viewing audience craves.”
Here’s an announcement teaser for PHOENIX RISING:
The original CAPTAIN POWER series took place on earth in the year 2147, and featured a band of rebels fighting a war against the evil Lord Dread- a once-human cyborg who turned traitor against mankind during the cybernetic revolt known as the Metal Wars. PHOENIX RISING will take place 15 years after humanity has lost a war against Overmind- a sentient piece of artificial intelligence. The new series will center on Jonathan Power, son of the man who caused that war, learning the truth of his father’s involvement and discovering a special kind of armor that has the potential to turn the tide in mankind’s battle against the machines.
Writer’s Note: In researching this story, I realized that I inadvertently supported the original CAPTAIN POWER. While I have no recollection of the series, I recognized the titular character and realized that one of my favorite action figures as a kid was…Captain Power!
I don’t know how this PHOENIX RISING reboot will go, but I wish them well. While the series may have been ahead of its time in 1987, it might just be white noise in 2016. The TV landscape is very different these days, with viewers having more entertainment options than ever vying for attention. So something like this, especially at a time when comic book/sci-fi/fantasy properties are everywhere you go, will only hit if it’s phenomenal. Even then, it’s going to need to be seen by the right eyes.
To that end, Goddard and his crew are going to be at San Diego Comic-Con this year in an attempt to raise awareness of the return of CAPTAIN POWER in PHOENIX RISING.
What do you think?