The early and mid-'90s were ruled by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Both shows had numerous imitators, but only one that turned the insanity up to 11. In 1996, Power Rangers producer Haim Saban tried to recreate his success by remixing the Japanese tokusatsu series Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto into something more appealing to American audiences.
The result was two seasons of Big Bad Beetleborgs.
Within the world of the show, the Beetleborgs were actually fictional characters while monsters were completely real. Three kids found their way into Hillhurst Mansion, an infamously haunted house that was filled with ghouls and creatures. However, the kids also had the good fortune of freeing a friendly ghost named Flabber (who looks like a cross between Jay Leno and Elvis). Long story short, Flabber gave the kids their ultimate wish and transformed them into their favorite superheroes.
Naturally, this power didn't come without a cost. When the Beetleborgs became real, their enemies became real, too.
From there, the show became more of a sitcom than an action show. Almost all of the scenes filmed for the U.S. added a more comedic element to the series, many of which featured ineffectual monsters like Count Fangula, Frankenbeans, and Mums. Incidentally, David Fletcher pulled double duty by portraying Frankenbeans and writing episodes for the show!
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Beetleborgs is the way that co-star Vivian Smallwood stole her scenes as Nano Williams. Years later, Smallwood appeared on America's Got Talent as Rappin' Granny. In a word, she's awesome.
For more Big Bad Beetleborgs knowledge, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know!