Yes, it's that time again. As promised in the battle of T.E.N.T.A.C.L.E.R.A.P.E. versus Helicoptor Robotcock, I give you a Sathien Spotlight. However, this isn't a copout, flash in the pan job to keep my promise. Originally, I wanted to do an article on the awesome beat cop-turned voice actor that is Norio Wakamoto (Father Anderson, Charles Britannia, Chiyo's feline father, M. Bison, Rugal Bernstein, etc. etc.) but technical problems coupled with not being able to do embedded videos on my current machine forced me to cancel the project. Then
, I planned on doing a Where Are They Now on EVERY actor to protray a Power Ranger, but too many people I discussed it with brought up Linkara's video. Thus, inspired by various cirucmstances, I've decided to shine a light on some series we all watched, some maybe just for one episode or even less, others maybe every episode. I present to you fine people a Where Are They Now: Lesser Tokusatsu show actors.
To be more specific, this article is about the various tokusatsu "live action shows" licensed for the US (with one surprise at the bottom...no jumping!).
The Mystic Knights of Tir-Na-Nog
The first Saban fantasy series to involve knights, dragons, and faeries was put out to pasture after only 9 months on the air (9/1/98-5/7/99). A second series was planned but ultimately scrapped, with its budget being absorbed into Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy. Sort of a shame since it was the first attempt by Saban to do a non-Japanese special effects series rather than from actual tokusatsu. Also, distinct in that all 5 main characters were played by actors of Irish descent.
Lochlainn O'Mearain (Rohan, Fire element knight)
Pretty much stuck to Irish television judging by show names like Nollaig Shona and An Dioge Is Faide and Glenroe. Played "Militia Captain" in Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor (credited as Loughlainn O'Mearain) and "Messenger" in the 2007 ep of The Tudors "His Majesty, the King."
Lisa Dwan (Deirdre, Air element knight).
First movie role (Oliver Twist) had her working with Elijah Wood and Richard Dreyfuss. After Mystic Knights, she played Orla in 8 episodes of "The Big Bow Wow" on Irish Public Broadcast. Zoe Burke in 21 episodes of Ireland's #1 soap opera Far City, and Angel Islington on "Rock Rivals." In January 2009 she starred opposite Martin Sheen as "Marika" in Bhopal: Prayer for Rain.
In 2005, She performed in Samuel Beckett's "Not I" a one mouth play with the actor performing immobilized, blindfolded, and with no time to swallow from lines. This performance, at London's Battersea Arts Centre, was clocked in at 9 minutes, 50 seconds--when the play usually takes 15-20 minutes to deliver.
Justin Pierre (Prince Ivar, Water element knight, but weapon fired electricity)
Originally wanted to be a cameraman at age 14, but turned to acting when he wasn't good at physics. Played Detective Sergeant Dave Summers on the British police show "Burnside" as well as Mike on BBC's "Attachments." Has appeared several times as a supporting artist on the UK drama "Casualty" and even in Hellboy 2: The Golden Army as a policeman. Currently he switches between professional acting and teaching. Lastly, he worked as a voice actor for the Sci-Fi animated series Godkiller.
Vincent Walsh (Angus, Earth element knight)
I couldn't find a picture of him from the show, but I think he's the one between Lisa Dwan and Justin Pierre in the group shot.
Prior to Mystic Knights, he was on 3 eps of the original Degrassi as Patrick, played Rigid in Space Truckers, Vincenzo in 3 eps of "Chef!," a drunken sailor in a TV version of The Tale of Sweeney Todd, and Soldier On The Beach in Saving Private Ryan. After Mystic Knights, he did one ep of Ballykissangel, an ep of Mutant X, Earnest Hemingway in Hemingway: That Summer in Paris, 5 episodes of ReGenesis in the role of Colin Digby, Sgt. Gabe Galloway in 3 eps of The Eleventh Hour, and Lian Fenway in 12 episodes of Instant Star.
Ben Palmer (Garrett, Wood element knight).
Couldn't find a picture of him from the show.
Prior to Mystic Knights, he played Judge's Driver in The Informant. Post-Knights, he seems to have been paired up with a few of his coworkers with the show, appearing as a stunt coordinator in the same episode he played Richard Southwell in The Tudors, a Courier in Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor and Peter McDermott in 5 eps of "The Big Bow Wow". Also did a Hyundai commerical for Hyundai Getz Cars.
Big Bad Beetleborgs
A tokusatsu series that used younger actors for the human portions. It aired for two seasons on Fox Kids between (9/7/96 and 3/2/9
With reruns airing on UPN Kids during 1998-1999. Stock footage for the show was taken from the same genre of shows used in producing VR Troopers.
Wesley Barker (Drew/Blue Stinger/Chromium Gold)
Other than Beetleborgs, he was in an episode each of Malcolm in the Middle and Boston Public, with his last on screen role being "Dave" in The Bro Code.
However, it looks like he's been busy as a PA on things like Angels & Demons, 2 eps of Deadliest Warrior (Viking/Samurai and Gladiator/Apache), Rush Hour 3, and visual effects data coordinator and art department assistant with 2011's Green Hornet.
Shannon Chandler (Jo/Red Striker/Platinum Purple)
Other than Beetleborgs, she was nominated by the Hollywood Reporter as Best New Young Actress for her performance in Casper: A Spirited Beginning. Also appeared in 2000's You're Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley's School Dance.
Brittany Konarzewski (Replaced Shanon Chandler as Jo)
Nothing else, that is all.
Herbie Baez (Roland/Green Hunter/Titanium Silver)
Outside of a voice part in one episode of Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue, the only thing he's done was a bit part as Guy #1 on 7th Heaven.
Warren Berkow (Josh/White Blaster)
Just like Brittany who was a later addition, Warren also seems to have disappeared from acting.
The first and only tokusatsu made from multiple shows similar to Voltron and Robotech. Though a success, stock footage ran out quickly to the point some of it was used multiple times in the same episode. As indicated above, VR Troopers and Beetleborgs both used footage from the Japanese Metal Hero genre of sentai, specifically Space Sheriff Shaider, Dimensional Warrior Spielban, and Super Machine Metalder. The stock footage is also the oldest of any Saban takusatsu adaptation: Shaider was aired from 1984 to early 1985, making it 10 years old when first used for VR Troopers in 1995; Spielban was aired from 1986 to early 1987, making it eight years old when originally used in 1994; and Metalder was originally aired in 1987 to early 1988, making it seven years old when it was adapted in 1994.
Brad Hawkins (Ryan Steele)
After playing the lead hero in VR Trooper, Brad did an episode of Step By Step, got to be the Gold Ranger in 7 episodes of Zeo, 2 eps of Walker, Texas Ranger, Touched By An Angel, voice work for 5 eps of One Piece for background voices, Crossing Jordon, 2 eps of JAG, Fastlane, 3 eps of American Dreams as Brian Kessler, one ep of NCIS, CSI, Monk, Charmed, 3 different roles in 3 eps of Prison Break, Wire in the Blood, voices for 1 ep of Soul Eater, and 6 episodes in Pink as Dante.
It seems he's starting to transition into game work, having provided "Additional Voices" for GH: World Tour, Halo Wars, GH: Metallica, and GH 5.
Sarah Brown (Kaitlin Star)
Mostly a soap opera actor, performing on both General Hospital and Bold and The Beautiful. Had a 3 episode stint on Power Rangers: Zeo before winding up on VR Troopers. She's won a total of 9 awards/Emmys related to soap operas. After leaving General Hospital, she appeared on shows such as Crossing Jordon, Strong Medicine, The Sopranos and Without a Trace. She eventually returned to soap operas with As The World Turns, appearing in 109 episodes. Getting away from soaps again, she played the lead role of Kate Vignatti in The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story, became a regular on Cold Case. Her first feature film was Big Momma's House 2 and she has appeared in an episode of Monk the same year. Brown was most recently seen in the second season finale of The Closer and on an episode of Fox's K-Ville.
She hasn't completely forgotten her initial work with VR Troopers however, she has one daughter fathered by Shuki Levy (a former exectuvie producer for VR Troopers and Power Rangers).
Pretty hot nowadays at that:
Michael Bacon (J.B. Reese)
The actor with the least work after the show, Bacon's only other piece of work being The Tao of Karate in 1996 and appearances in Toni Braxton's "You Mean The World to Me" and Miss Jones' "2 way Street." Apparently he's spent the rest of his time honing his martial arts work. As can be seen at harmoniousfist.com
Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad or SSSS
Distributed by Tsuburaya, Ultracom, DIC Entertainment, and All American Television, running for two seasons from 9/12/94-7/15/95 on ABC, as well as in syndication. It was an adaptation of Denkou Choujin Gridman, an offshoot of the Ultraman series of tokusatsu shows. Originally it was going to be named PowerBoy but was renamed Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad to avoid confusion with Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Also known as the only tokusatsu adaptation with Tim Curry providing a voice, that of the nefarious Kilo
ullity or Kilokahn.
Matthew Lawrence (Sam Collins)
The middle brother between Joey "Whoa!" Lawrence and Andy Lawrence. Before SSSS, he played Little Neil in Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, Matthew on Gimme a Break!, Tombo's dubbed voice in Kiki's Delivery Service, DJ's first boyfriend on Full House, Walker in Drexell's Class, Mrs. Doubtfire, Young Joey in 3 eps of Blossom. After SSSS, he was Jessie Harper in Angels in the Endzone, Matt Roman in Brotherly Love (alongside his brothers), Jack Hunter on Boy Meets World ('97-'00), Tom Sawyer in an ep of Advntures from the Book of Virtues, Victor in Cheats, Billy opposite Rob Schneider in The Hot Chick, and lastly on both CSI: Miami ("Hard Time") and Boston Public ("Chapter 80")
Kevin Castro (Tank)
Castro had previous rubber monster show experience, having made a single appearance as "Rick" (power of Orion) on Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills (which was also his first acting job), after which he did several background voices in the Carmen Sandiego cartoon, before getting work as Tank. His only other work seems to have been Quetzal in The Crystal Skull (a '96 video game), Jose Morez on General Hospital ('94) with the only post-90's work being 2001's My Life As a Troll.
Robin Mary Florence (Sidney "Syd" Forrester)
Prior to SSSS, she had a bit part in the movie It's Pat. Post-SSSS, she's been on episode each of Party of Five, Boston Common, Frasier, and Nikki. Delivered her baby at home, but taped for television.
Troy Slaten (Amp Ere)
Started out on 1980's Cagney & Lacey as Michael Lacey. Also played Jerry Steiner on Parker Lewis Can't Lose. Graduated from UCLA, then earned a law degree from Pepperdine University's School of Law, and, as of 2005, is an attorney practicing criminal law and litigation in Southern California. He serves as an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Floyd, Skeren, & Kelly, LLP in the firm's Calabasas headquarters location. He also functions as the managing attorney of the firm's criminal defense practice.
Rembrandt (Lucky London)
Pretty dry well here, the only stuff that comes up is an episode each from Boy Meets World and Beverly Hills 90210.
And now for my little surprise:
An American bastard of a show. A low-budget attempt at capturing the Power Rangers audience by USA Network, done by DIC Entertainment. Notable for having the large but lovable Glen Shadix (Demolition Man, Beetlejuice, the Mayor's voice in Nightmare Before Christmas) voice the show's equivalent to Zordon. It also had Zsa Zsa Gabor as a guest star. Churned out 40 episodes over the course of less than 3 months (10/3/94-12/8/94).
Leslie Danon (Laurie Foster, light green armor of Scorpio w/ slim sword)
Other than serving as Writer/Producer of The Whispering (which she also acted in as Lisa Smyths) the year after this show. Most of her work seems to have been one-two episodes in various sitcoms including Charles in Charge, Doogie Howser, M.D., Weird Science, Step by Step, USA High, The Steve Harvey Show, 2 eps of Boy Meets World, 2 eps of Silk Stalkings (5 years apart of each other as different characters), 2 eps of MTV's Undressed, Shasta McNasty. Movie roles have included Patricia in A Million to Juan and Lisa Porter in Sometimes They Come Back...Again, Celia in Bloodthirsty. She also voiced Faith Gage in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
Richard Nason (Gordon Henley, black armor of Taurus w/ staff)
Couldn't find any pictrues of him so the video will have to do.
TTAFfBH was his first showbiz gig (though he was a contestant on the Price is Right the same year it was on the air), after which he played Hutch in East Meets West, Ross in My Indian Special (CBS Schoolbook Special), an ep of Pacific Palisades, Andy Swift in An Eye for Talent. His most current work is playing himself in We Gotta Get Buscemi (last year) and as the Hotel Manager in Do Not Disturb (currently in post-production).
K. Jill Sorgen (Drew Vincent, lavendar armor of Centaur w/ battle axe)
Couldn't find any pictures of her so the video will have to do.
Not a whole lot to report here. Seems her entire body of work is tied with USA as the only other show she's done was 2 episodes of Weird Science, playing different characters.
Rugg Williams (Swinton Sawyer, yellow armor of Apollo w/ double bladed weapon)
Before doing the show, Rugg had done en ep of Growing Pains, Hunter, Silk Stalkings, Chris in Crosses on the Lawn (CBS Schoolbook Special), and NINE episodes of In The Heat of the Night as well as minor roles in Family Prayers and Victor One. Post-Alien Fighters, he's done Real Ghosts, 2 eps of Beverly Hills 90210, Dangerous Minds, 2 eps of Family Matters, Walker Texas Ranger; Sister, Sister; Michael Jordon: An American Hero, Trippin', Unbowed, Social Misfits, Biker Boyz, and Maniac McGee with two works In-Development: Enemy of My Enemy and Bad Girlz.