My thoughts on Space Patrol Delta!
All right, the season ended with the Troobians’ defeat and Jack leaving the organization to help out on a smaller scale. The others (save Sam and Nova, who returned to their own time) remained at SPD to continue combating interplanetary/intergalactic criminals.
It makes sense for the DVD case to be pink, since Syd and Z are the only members of B-Squad to have not changed their color (or simply stop being a Ranger). Yellow would have made just as much sense, but Syd’s pretty awesome. The theme song was good, but nothing special for me.
This season is unusual in that it’s not concurrent with its airing year. Instead, it’s taking place in the near future of 2025, albeit with lots more aliens and advanced technology (with the odd bit of magic).
Jack Landers was a truly reluctant Red Ranger. He was content helping out individual homeless beings, even if it meant theft, until caught by SPD alongside his little sister figure Z. Only when he saw her in danger he did accept being a Ranger at all. There were several missteps made during Jack’s process to learn how to be a leader, hindered by Sky’s disregard towards him.
In the end, Jack learned he was happier helping on a smaller scale as well as having a less demanding job so he could date as well as work. Jack was the focus in “Confronted”, “Samurai”, and “Resurrection”. He and Sky shared focus in “Impact” and he shared it with Syd in “Stakeout”.
Sky Tate had the most clear character development out of all the characters. He started out chilly towards his teammates- particularly Jack- and unyielding in general. Sky’s arc entailed him learning how to unbend and better balance work and play. He also learned to respect his squad-mates, which led him to be a viable option to lead them. The Blue Ranger was the central figure in “Walls”, “Idol”, “Recognition”, and the “Reflection” two-parter.
Bridge Carson is my favorite on the team and I will miss having him on my screen. His unique worldview led him to say many funny things, but he was also a kind, sweet guy. A lot of humor from Bridge’s commentary came from his sincerity. He wasn’t trying to be funny, he was earnest in his statements. He himself didn’t have an arc, but there was a subtle arc of his squad-mates learning to respect that just because his perspective was different didn’t make it wrong. Bridge was the focus in “Abridged”, “Robotpalooza”, and “Missing”.
Z Delgado prefers helping on a large scale opposed to small acts of kindness, in contrast to her big brother figure Jack. Unfortunately for her, Z didn’t really have any episode focused on her. She and Sam shared a two-parter but it was named for him. Although altruistic and wanting to help others, she isn’t always the best people person as seen in most of her interactions with Bridge.
Syd Drew is both unabashedly girly and truly heroic. She has a plush elephant she adores and admires diamonds, but is willing to get dirty if it’ll get the job done and isn’t afraid of taking on monsters. She tries to be aware of her privilege as an upper class pretty white girl, even if she doesn’t always succeed. The only episode that centered exclusively on the Pink Ranger was “Dogged”.
Anubis “Doggie” Cruger led SPD Earth firmly yet fairly. At times he did ‘play’ the Rangers, but it was always with their and Earth’s best interests in mind. He fought Gruumm in the past, and rightfully holds Gruumm responsible for the loss of his wife, squad, and planet. Occasionally he could be a bit short-tempered, usually when his PTSD from the Battle of Sirius has flared up. His wife Isnia was revealed to be alive in the finale, but I’m worried that after such a long time apart (although no exact date was given, it’s implied to have been a long time since the Battle) and the understandable changes to their personalities over that time will mean a lot of couple’s therapy in their future. Doggie was the focus of the halfway point, “Dismissed”. He and Kat Manx more or less shared the two-parter “Shadow”.
Kat Manx and Boom are the source of the Rangers’ technology. They each got an episode named after them- “Boom” and “Katastrophe”. The two are very different. Boom is a male inept human, whereas Kat is a female uber-competent alien. Boom occasionally has misguided notions about what it means to be a Power Ranger, but has figured out the truth by the finale. Kat is about the only character to be close to Doggie and to stand up to him when he’s in one of his snits.
An adult Sam returned as the Omega Ranger, but was usually a ball of light. This means he didn’t get any character development, although a few scenes implied he and Z retained a special bond. Nova showed up from the future in the last episode to help fight off the army of robots.
Jack, Sky, Bridge, Z, Syd, and Sam each have a genetic power thanks to their parents doing unusual research prior to their births. They do tend to be tied in to the person’s personality. Jack doesn’t seek out attention and can become intangible. Sky shuts out others and can create force fields. The empathic Bridge has psychic abilities. The active Z can replicate herself so she can be in multiple places and doing multiple things literally at the same time. Syd can take on elemental properties once touched- possibly she’s concerned with herself and others fitting in. And Sam often wants away from bullies or to be with his friends, so he can teleport.
Piggy was a rare morally grey character on Power Rangers. The alien’s priority was usually his own survival, no matter what. This led him to lie and work for every faction. In the end, with the help of a well-timed lightning strike, Piggy proved to have an inner hero.
Emperor Gruumm was the main threat to Earth throughout the season. He was properly intimidating and spent most of the season as a competent villain. But then he got overconfident regarding the Rangers in the final few episodes, albeit not to the point A-Squad did. Also, he got a little too focused on getting revenge on Doggie- had he snuck off in the aftermath of Omni’s defeat, he might have kept his freedom to fight another day.
Mora/Morgana spent the season as his right-hand woman. As the youthful Mora, she drew him monsters to battle the Rangers and helped in brainstorming sessions. As the adult Morgana, she was a capable warrior who retained her brains in scheming. Broodwing started out as a loyal if well-paid ally to the Troobians, but eventually got fed up with Gruumm blaming him for his tech’s failures and occasionally taking technology without paying for it. Their squabbling only helped the Rangers achieve victory since they couldn’t provide an united front.
Omni was revealed late in the season, presumably the source of Gruumm’s power and drive. He wanted to conquer Earth to be part of the Troobian Empire as well as use its resources to conquer more planets. Since he actually did brainwash Mora into obeying him, it is plausible that A-Squad was brainwashed as well. I wish a little more emphasis on the A-Squad as individuals opposed to them being powerhouses was given. Then again, maybe that was the point- they focused on how powerful they were opposed to their humanity.
SPD In Conclusion
I have to appreciate how nearly half the season is team-centric (seventeen episodes). And of course, the fact that most pre-SWAT episodes didn’t feature a lot of positive interaction between B-Squad made their squabbling all the more plausible. All five core Rangers were enjoyable, although my favorites are Bridge, Syd, and Sky in that order. The bond between Doggie and Kat was great, even though I doubt I was supposed to find it potentially romantic. Sam should have been a proper character and not a ball of light.
The plot was well-structured, with build-up to Gruumm’s ultimate plan to turn his ship into a vessel for Omni (opposed to the space-faring one it already was). Rarely did monsters attack ‘just because’, but for an actual reason. The uniforms were professional and emphasized the Rangers’ role as official peace-keepers/officers, although they were worn an awful lot. But at least the uniforms are understandable as constant attire. They were a good balance between grey, black, and their Ranger’s color.
In order of most liked to least, here are the nine Rangers of Space Patrol Delta: Bridge Carson, Syd Drew, Sky Tate, Doggie Cruger & Kat Manx, Z Delgado, Jack Landers, and Sam & Nova. To be fair, I got spoiled by some Youtube videos about just how enough Bridge said something adorkable (a lot) so I already knew he’d end up being a favorite Ranger of mine in general, not just for this season.
But yes, I’d give SPD a nine out of ten. It had scary villains, a well thought-out plot, well-done heroes, lots of explosions, and even a morally grey character. Now that SPD is done, I can at last re-watch Mystic Force for the first time since it stopped airing ten years ago.
… Has it really been that long?!