Instantly Dated: October 2016 – By Chris McHugh

 

 

Captain Power and the Soldiers of the future was a technologically amazing show with adult themes and a complex story arc.

The 1987 show was best known for its interactive element. Where you could fire at select objects on screen and rack up points. They’d also fire back at you, causing you to lose points. If your meter got down to zero, your cockpit would eject your figure!

The first toy released in the series was the XT-7 jet, which came with a video cassette.

The show was the first TV series to integrate live action, CGI and digital effects.

In one episode, a character reveals that he was genetically engineered at a place called Babylon 5. Of course they were. That’s because the show’s story editor, Joe Straczynski, would go on to create the TV show Babylon 5.

And that was the problem with Captain Power. You had this great writer with these grim post-apocalyptic stories, with themes such as nazism and one of the lead characters dying.

A lot of parents didn’t want their kids seeing this stuff, while simultaneously shooting at their TV screens. And parents didn’t want to watch the show because, after all, it was geared towards kids, bankrolled by Mattel.

So with all these factors in play and a one-million dollar per episode price tag, the syndicated show only lasted one season. Despite the cancelation, a number of season two episodes were written and a few toys from that season were supposedly released in small numbers.

The video game came out for the PC and Commodore 64. There’s 1st person spaceship action, as well as side scrolling. The game can be easily found to download online. But keep in mind, you will need a PC with 286 PC with 256K of RAM, DOS version 2.0 or higher and at least a
CGA monitor. Ya heard?

And for an amazing review of the game see Jan Compton’s article on emuparadise.me. It’s a pretty awesome read.

There was also a comic book series published by Continuity Comics that concluded in 1989. The cool part is that the stories were written by the TV show’s editor Joe Straczynski.