The year was 1998. The Power Ranger crazy, and the many pretenders that followed, had begun to fade. Saban, needing their next cash cow, decided to try something slightly different. Eschewing the popular (?) sci-fi genre, they went in the opposite direction, fantasy. Saban crammed their Power Ranger formula into Irish myths and crapped out The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, with the best CG dragon this side of ReBoot.
Some evil queen wants to take over
Ireland Kells (which may or may not be a kingdom) and beats up some fairies and takes their magic to create trolls and stuff. Four heroes, Rohan, Deirdre, Ivar, and Angus embark on a journey to find the mythical hero, Draganta (not a Pokemon). The heroes fall into a magic hole, landing them in Tir Na Nog. Conquering some challenges, they earn elemental powers to fight the evil queen. Shock and gasp and total spoilers, the leader, Rohan, is actually the hero Draganta they’ve been searching for!!!!
This is Fantasy Rangers, no two ways about it. Saban deserves recognition for not relying on a recycled Japanese show, filming everything from scratch. Fear not, the same poor quality remained. This show had it all, knights, mystics, Tir Na Nogs, dragons, and fairies. The latter two looked fantastic!*
*Note: Untrue statement.
As the show progressed, Saban tried to capture lightning in a bottle twice by introducing a fifth knight. In a completely original and never seen before move, Garrett joined the crew after being freed from the evil queen’s magical control. He traveled with the knights for a time, leaving, and returning for the climax. His magical element came from the forest… green… oh my god he’s just like the Green Ranger!!! Tommy was controlled by the bad guy before her was freed and joining the Power Rangers!!!
Initially, I took umbrage with Ivar, who stuck out as the only non-white character (he’s black). This is, what, 6th century Ireland? Smack in the middle of the Dark Ages? I doubt they knew there were black people in the world, let alone any other race. However, there was a solid explanation for his presence. He’s a prince from a foreign land, searching for his country’s missing
grail chalice. Good job on that one.
The show lasted 50 episodes, having a conclusion. A second season, Mystic Knights: Battle Thunder, was planned, but ultimately abandoned.
Honestly, if your age is quantified in single digits, you’d probably enjoy the crap out of this show. Knights questing, using elemental powers, dragons, blah blah. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this again.
Who was your favorite Mystic Knight? Fantasy or sci-fi? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
Pronounced No-g. Also, really freaking hard to find any descent images.