April 20-22, 2018
Written by Chris Daniel
From the colourful spandex to taunting villains, and even the deep life lessons that we have embedded into our minds, the Power Rangers continue to pave the way decades after their inception.
As the aftermath of the 2017 film finally settles, we launch ourselves into the 25th anniversary of the show this year.
To celebrate, Bandai America is releasing red and white legacy helmets later in the year and BOOM! Studios are bringing together a host of talented artists responsible for the Go Go Power Rangers comic series for an artist tribute.
But beyond the memorabilia, we welcome one of the original cast members to the 2018 Supanova line-up. Walter Jones, known for his portrayal of Zack Taylor aka the Black Power Ranger, will be joining fans to answer some of the burning questions they have suppressed for over two decades.
Before our Gold Coast and Melbourne conventions host the highly acclaimed actor, we have compiled a list of things you may not know about Walter Emanuel Jones.
Three is not always a crowd
When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was in its early stages, a casting call was announced. It was reported that thousands of eager actors from around the country flooded into the building in order to become part of the team.
Actors recall the audition being stressful and slightly embarrassing, though that soon formed the foundations of the show. Due to the number of actors who auditioned, multiple callbacks were held to determine potential leads, pairing actors together to test chemistry. Walter Jones was paired with two other actors, Supa-Stars Austin St. John and David Yost, becoming close friends and later becoming part of the official Power Rangers team.
Walk the walk
If you’re going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. It’s no secret that being part of the Power Rangers was a very physically demanding job, which is why it comes as no surprise that producers wanted to hire actors who already had particular backgrounds.
As an experienced dancer in addition to his martial arts training, Walter Jones was able to translate his own persona into the character of Zack Taylor. Jones remains as one of the few members who choreographed his own fight scenes that were not only compelling but looked impressive on camera.
Age is no limit
Despite the overwhelming attraction that the MMPR auditions received, producers struggled to find actors who met the requirements of the role and were of an appropriate high school age. At the start of the series, Thuy Trang (the Yellow Ranger) was 19, Jason David Frank (the Green Ranger, who joined later) was 20, Amy Jo Johnson (the Pink Ranger) and Walter Jones (the Black Ranger) were 23 and David Yost (the Blue Ranger) was the oldest at 24. Portraying teenagers in crisis, the five actors joined Austin St. John, who was 18 at the time, the only one of high school age.
Jones spent a season and a half playing Zack Taylor before he retired from the role. Jones is one of the few that has not returned in character, but instead lent his vocal talents to the villains of Nightmare and Gerrok in proceeding seasons.