This show was filmed in my hometown
of Toronto Canada
on a shoestring budget
. For example, the episode where Hawk
meets up with his old company the Wardogs
and they storm a Dredd installation, that was actually a TTC streetcar carbarn
. Similarly, the episode with the fever
passed by contaminated
water was filmed in the abandoned Lower Bay
subway station, as have numerous other films and television shows. Finally, the episode where Corporal Jennifer 'Pilot' Chase
breaks into the Dredd Youth
installation and crawls through tunnels was filmed in the access ducts of the Toronto-Dominion Centre
The opening titles went thus:
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future!
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines, and machines won.
BioDredds, (something) who hunt down human survivors (dramatic pause) and digitize them.
Volcania, centre of the BioDredd Empire, stronghold and fortress of Lord Dredd, feared ruler of this new order.
But from the ashes of the metal wars arose a new breed of warrior, born and trained to bring down Lord Dredd's rule!
Their leader, Captain Jonathan Power, master of the incredible powersuits which turns each soldier into a one-man attack force.
Major Matthew 'Hawk' Masterson, fighter in the skies!
Lieutenant Michael 'Tank' Ellis, heavy assault unit
Lieutenant Robert 'Scout' Baker, espionage and communications.
and Corporal Jennifer 'Pilot' Chase, tactical systems expert.
Together they form the most powerful... (note: at this point the narrator himself seems to get carried away and unfortunately I can't remember the exact words, except something about 'their creed - to bring down Lord Dredd's rule', for which I apologize. I've got videos of it lying around somewhere).
For a kid's show, there were some very adult themes dealt with. One episode saw the squad visiting 'Tech City', a smoky place filled with the finest goth chicks, punk rockers and bad disco lighting the late 1980s could provide, where the be-mohawked residents fight over an addiction to a cyberspace drug that appears to cause a 15 minute orgasm.
Another was an allusion to the Hitler Youth (note: ph33ring Godwin's Law a bit here) in the form of the Dredd Youth, right down to similar uniforms and even propaganda posters. In one episode 'Pilot' Chase is tried by an Amish-style community for her vicious past in the Dredd Youth where she brutalized several villagers.
In fact, you could almost consider it a kiddie Terminator 2029.
The backstory was that Lymann Taggart and Overmind, who had created the machines, were at war with the rest of humanity. This was revealed through several flashback episodes where we witnessed the last few days of society, with groups of soldiers being hopelessly outmatched by the robot soldiers and especially Sauron, the airborne BioDredd. I recall a comment from Jonathan's father Stuart to one of his assistants regarding a raise, along the lines of "give yourself one if you want, money won't mean much soon anyway". When Stuart goes off to convince Lymann, his old friend (ding! cliche!) to stop the war there is mention of a final order that should he not return, to contact 'The President' and order a massive airstrike on Volcania.
Naturally nothing goes right and Major Masterson is forced to don the first powersuit, and fly out to Volcania to rescue Jonathan (Stuart dies). Lymann meanwhile is blown up and rebuilt by Overmind into Lord Dredd.
Lord Dredd's aim was to 'digitize' the surviving humans, which involved either Sauron or Blastarr shooting them with a digitiser and some fairly suspect CGI effects (surprising given Sauron and Blastarr were stunning for the time) showed them being sucked in, a supposedly intensely painful experience which lasts the whole duration they're inside the machine... I'm unsure whether it is possible to undigitise someone.
The show would indeed have made a good video game, except it sorta already was. The Captain Power toys consisted of action figures of the assorted characters, and five vehicles: The Powerjet XT-7, a Lord Dredd equivalent, Lord Dredd's throne the 'Interlocker' (which you aimed by looking through a scope), Captain Power's laser pistol, and the platform where Captain Power energized his suit (this particular item produced deafening noise for 20 seconds).
These toys interacted with the show by enabling you to fire at certain flashing patterns on locations such as Sauron and Blastarrs' chests and shields, the armour of the robot soldiers, and the exhausts of the various flying vehicles. This scored you 'points'. Strobe-like patterns, meanwhile, would cost you points should the vehicle's emitter detect them. You started with 5, 25 was 'victory', and 0 resulted in the vehicle's ejector seat engaging and flinging the unfortunate occupant out. The power-up platform could be used to practice or 'charge' your ship with points, and the vehicles could also be used to battle each other.
I'm fairly sure there actually was a second series. I recall the following changes to the show:
-First Blastarr and then Sauron's flashing targets changed from white to beige over the course of the show.
-The Robot Soldier's target areas got smaller and smaller.
-Captain Power's face mask originally covered only his eyes, but was later covering his entire face.
I also recall a multiple-part episode where Power and the others fought their way into Volcania and possibly destroyed Overmind, although I didn't have these episodes on tape.