How Power Rangers Dino Fury Season 2 Looks to the Future

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This Power Rangers Dino Fury interview contains spoilers for the second half of the second season.

Power Rangers Dino Fury ended on a bigger high than when it came in, which is saying something because Dino Fury was a huge fan favorite right from the get go. Over the last two years the series has earned wide approval and love from the Power Rangers fanbase and entering into these final episodes fans were eager to see if the show could stick the landing. It was able to do that and so much more.

Returning villains, huge twists, and of course a final scene that will keep fans talking for months if not years to come, were all highlights of this season. We spoke with Dino Fury executive producer Simon Bennett on the day the final episodes were released to the public (and before the Hasbro Pulsecon 2022 panel for Cosmic Fury) to discuss all that and, of course, a certain new Ranger suit design.

DEN OF GEEK: In our last interview you spoke about how Dino Fury was originally planned as one season then became two. Was that decision made before filming had started or was it made after production began?

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SIMON BENNETT: It was made before filming started. It takes, more than a year to write a season. And once filming starts you haven’t finished (writing) all the episodes. But you need to be at least two thirds of the way through all the scripts. Otherwise, production will catch up with the writing process and you’ll run out of things to film. We did know about (the two season order) before we went into production.

The arcs across all 44 episodes are the same arcs that we had planned across 22 episodes. We just had to create new little scenarios to flesh out the big arcs like Lord Zedd’s arrival. The three episodes that featured Lord Zedd were not part of the original plans, as an example of that.

One of the one of the running threads that finally came to a head at the end of the season was Amelia being revealed as a Rafkonian. How did you and the writers develop that plot and seed it throughout the show?

That was always our plan from the very first conception of the series. I posted to my Instagram a picture of a whiteboard which had our very early character relationships and sketches from which all the stories flowed. All the names that changed apart from Amelia, Pop-Pop, and Mucus. But the relationships and the characters, by and large, stayed as originally envisioned.

The idea was always that Amelia was looking for her parents or wants to find out who they were, and that there was a mystery surrounding them. Pop-Pop was the friendly woodcutter, in fairy tale trope language, who had rescued her and brought her up as his own, and that she never knew her parents. We knew exactly where that story was heading.

The decisions you make once you’re underway (on writing the season) is how you ration the story. Where you actually place things within the season. It all came out in those last two episodes, the story of Amelia’s parentage and Pop-Pop rescuing her from Area 62. It’s good because it makes it climactic. But we did have the option of releasing that information a little bit earlier in the season. But there’s something to be said about all the threads coming to a head in that finale. What happened with the Rafkonians was dealt with in the third to last episode.

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Everyone realized going into the last 11 episodes that we had a lot of loose ends and a lot of questions to answer. So that’s what makes those last 11 episodes action packed and high stakes. It’s the end game of the entire season.

A co-host on the Power Rangers podcast, No Pink Spandex, had noticed that right before production started, Amelia was going to be blonde but it was changed at the last minute. Was that to hide the connection between her and her real mom?

No, no. It was simply a consensus was that Hunter (Deno) didn’t suit blonde hair as well as she suits dark hair. It’s one of those decisions you make when you’ve got actors in front of cameras doing makeup tests and camera tests in the last few days before shooting starts, I felt very sorry for Hunter because obviously that was quite traumatic for her hair having to do that to it.

I can’t interview you without giving some love to Jane and J-Borg. One of my favorite scenes of the whole season was that Nerf gun fight in the Buzz Blast offices. How did you all come up with that and did Hasbro hook you up with those Nerf guns?

Well, no, they weren’t Nerf guns. You’ll notice there’s no Nerf gun branding on them. We actually adjusted and tweaked through art department paint and additions the actual darts guns that we were using because we’re not supposed to overtly advertise within the show.

And where that idea came from? (Writers) Becca Barnes and Alwyn Dale had stories in their past about office Nerf gun fights. I knew what I worked on a different long running show years that the post-production people, to allay the boredom, would occasionally launch into Nerf gun fights up and down the hallways of the building. (Those scenes) was an extension of our experiences there.

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But from a practical production point of view, we needed cut away from the Ranger story because they were all in every scene on Rafkon. We needed stuff that main unit could film while the Rangers were shooting fight scenes. It actually came from a production necessity and luckily it’s one of those unconnected to the main plot comedy scenes that was intrinsically entertaining enough in itself to hold people’s attention.

All credit to Chris Graham, who directed that episode. He made it epic with all the slow motion visual effects, foam darts flying through the frame and the Trojan horse. It was very, very well executed and earned its place, but had nothing to do with the story line altogether.

As long as it’s funny! That reaction Jane had of, “really, again?!” when her teammate got hit and she just dropped her? Incredible.

You get the sense it’s an annual thing and that Jane gets so worked up about these things, probably more than anyone else in the office.

In the last episode of the season we saw Santaura was pregnant. Was Siobhan Marshall (Santaura/Void Queen) really pregnant while filming? How did you deal with that challenge?

She was nine months pregnant while we were shooting those last two episodes. We were shooting in the dunes, 45 minutes away from the nearest medical facility. There was a certain amount of nervousness involved. She was an absolute trooper. We had a body double, so we only actually filmed Siobhan, the actress, when it was essential. Then we could only film in close up because we didn’t want to give away that she was pregnant until the final scene six months later, when we could reveal that she actually was pregnant. It was a happy ending kind of scenario.

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All that stuff and the flashbacks with her and Tarrick in the cell and the explosions and the rubble, we were just very careful to Siobhan safe. She’d be sitting, watching, while I was blocking and working out the action with her double and she’d make suggestions to the double but the only thing we actually shot of her was a close ups. She stayed comfortable and safe right the way through.

This back half of season two was filled with a ton of references and callbacks to previous Power Rangers seasons but the one that stood out the most to me was the back filling of continuity for Super Megaforce and Beast Morphers with the use of the Morphin Masters. What made you and the writers want to go back and do some continuity tidying?

The starting point for that episode was really that we have to do two clip shows a season. It’s really about buying additional shooting days to be able to allocate to the pilot and the finale, both of which have bigger production demands than the rest of the season. I really hate clip shows and I know Becca and Alwyn do as well.

Both the bike episode from last season and the Morphin Masters episode in this season were clip show episodes that were heavily disguised as not being clip show episodes. We tried to give them a story purpose. I was anxious about the Morphin Master’s episode because it’s basically a courtroom drama.

It also makes it cheap because it’s all in one location.

It’s all in one room. It’s a courtroom drama with lots of talking and lots of flashbacks to things that happened in other seasons. It has the potential of being very dry. It’s also complicated by the fact that the Morphin Masters have no facial expression and the suits are populated by suit performers with assistant director’s feeding the lines from off camera when you’re shooting it.

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The challenge was to make that interesting and keep it interesting. What made it interesting to fans of the show who know the history and the lire was that it did answer lots of questions and cross the T’s and dot the I’s of stuff that was never quite resolved. But of course, we’ve created a rod for our own back with the Morphin Masters because they kept out of human and Ranger affairs, apart from naughty Green who kept being involved across the years. Now they’re on our side. What’s not to stop them floating into any situation and saving the day? They’re a deus-ex problem. In the future we have to find creative ways of actually taking them off the table so that they’re not the automatic go to as soon as any any particularly threatening villain turns up.

Are you saying that could be a plot line or story element in some upcoming seasons?

I’m saying it’s an ongoing problem that has to be resolved creatively in any season, which is why don’t the Morphin Masters intervene? There must be creative ways of dealing with that. I’m not saying any more than that.

Lord Zedd was obviously a major force throughout the season but I found it interesting when you said earlier you created the three episode arc with him to add into the series when it got extended. Was he originally only going to appear in season one and that was it?

No, he was never originally part of the plan for the season. Then 22 episodes became 44. So we had to create a whole lot of new material. I think it was the Hasbro brand people who said, why don’t you bring back Lord Zedd? We’d love to see Lord Zedd in the show again. And we thought, well, why not?

He’s an iconic villain from Power Rangers history. We had the costume made and brought him back and it worked.

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They’re very much a little standalone series of episodes. They don’t interface very much with the Ranger arcs. I mean, the Halloween episodes is a one off. Then the two episodes in this (second season.) I guess what they do is they involve the Morphin Masters which feeds into the finale a little bit, but you could pluck those episodes out and the story wouldn’t be affected too much. But it does give us a great cliffhanger. In the very last episodes. Lord Zedd’s back! We’ve got to do something!

What I loved about your use of Zedd was you treated the character with such respect. Only a Morphin Master can seal him away, they couldn’t even blow him up. He is a really powerful villain.

We worked to set up the Morphin Masters so that they were vulnerable. They have great power and they’re guardians of the grid but they’re also vulnerable. They retreated into the grid and the reason they didn’t get involved was self-protection. It’s useful having them not indestructible, like Mucus, so that if a villain like Lord Zedd were to set his sights on the Morphin Masters, they could cause them quite a lot of damage. You saw in the fight between Green Morphin Master and Zedd that if it wasn’t for Aiyon’s intervention, Zedd could have almost gotten the better of the Green Morphin Masters in that fight.

And the Dino Fury Rangers needed a weapon that could effectively kill them if they wanted to stand up to Zedd.

Yes! The ultimate weapon, which is pretty dark and bleak for a kid’s show. We were allowed to do it but we had to bring Zayto back at the end. You can’t leave your Red Ranger permanently dead. It’s just not a good look.

You’ve taken some time to categorically state online that no alternate endings were shot for the season, despite fan rumors circulating. The ending we got was the ending. When did you decide that, even if you weren’t getting another season, to have a “the adventure goes on” type ending?

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When we were writing the concepts for the last half of season two, we knew how we wanted to end it. There was a lot of heated discussion about the Red Ranger sacrificing himself and there was quite a lot of opposition to that. The only way we were allowed to do it was that if he was resurrected by the end of the episode. It had always been the plan.

The cliffhanger ending, what we wanted to do if that was the end of this (Dino Fury) team or the end of Power Rangers, we just didn’t know. We wanted to give the sense that the team was continuing on and fighting on and still together so that in kids minds and imaginations the Power Rangers still existed out there somewhere. Doing good, fighting the good fight, and defeating evil.

But also it set us up if there was going to be another season, and we didn’t know at that stage, we had a really good springboard. We had our fingers firmly crossed and we were allowed to do it so that was great.

So was Dino Fury, at one point, going to be the end of Power Rangers?

No! No, we just never know. We never know what’s going to happen beyond the season that we’re currently working on. I was as much interested in the fan speculation and the rumors that were circulating online as anyone else, because I had no official insight or information. You’ve just got to assume that whatever you’re working on is the last and make it as amazing as you possibly can. So amazing, in fact, that no one could possibly cancel it because they just want to find out what’s going to happen next.

That final scene also gave us Zayto’s new suit. It’s one of the few American exclusive Ranger designs in the show’s history. What went into making it?

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It got mistaken on Twitter that Tracey Collins made the new suit, she designed the Morphin Master suit. Sarah Voon, our costume designer, designed (Zayto’s new) suit. A the time we weren’t thinking, you know, costumes for a subsequent season or anything like that. It was a one off costume for one scene only. It was because towards the end of the season, productions under quite a lot of pressure in terms of resources and time because scripts are coming out quite late, much, much closer to shooting. The further you get into production, the less time there is to plan.

That plus the hoard of Rafkon costumes put a huge weight on our costume department that was actually winding down at that stage of production. In an ideal world if we’d know much earlier that (the suit would be used for more than one scene) a lot of research and design would have gone into designing that suit if it was going to be something that was going to be continued through another whole season or be a template for a whole new Ranger look. It was never designed as that.

The second half of Power Rangers Dino Fury’s second season is now streaming on Netflix.

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