Billy Cranston is a fictional character in the Power Rangers universe. He is the Blue Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers , portrayed by David Yost . Billy is the only original Power Ranger to remain for the entire MMPR series, and is the third longest-serving Ranger overall behind Tommy Oliver and Adam Park . Until his departure, he was considered the brains of the power rangers team, creating many gadgets with which to solve problems that not even Zordon foresaw, and even invented the first team's wrist-worn communication devices (it is believed, though not proven, that he created every other communicator up until his departure from the show).
The character was also played by Yost in the unaired pilot as "Billy" (the surname didn't come until the series). Billy also appears in the video game Power Rangers: Super Legends.
In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Billy (following Jason Lee Scott , Zack Taylor , Kimberly Ann Hart , and Trini Kwan ) was was one of the five "teenagers with attitude" selected by Zordon to become the original Power Rangers. Billy became the Blue Power Ranger, and was given both the Triceratops Power Coin and the Triceratops Dinozord.
Billy began the series as the stereotypical "nerd." His closest friend throughout the series was Trini, to whom he could communicate most comfortably and effectively. He is initially very insecure about himself, making him an easy target for people like Bulk and Skull, who torment him often in the beginning. The other Rangers, especially Trini, defended him loyally, but Billy later evolved to become a stronger individual. He was one of the top members of Angel Grove High's science club and often helped its younger members with their experiments. One such example was with Willy, a young boy he helped to create a virtual reality simulator for a Science Fair. In the episode "High Five", Billy not only created the communicators, but also the interface that allowed the devices a remote access to the Command Center's teleportation unit. It revealed that, due to an experience in his youth when he was bitten by a fish during an experiment involving whirlpools, Billy developed icthyophobia: fear of fish. This fear would affect him well into his teens and Rita would use a spell to exacerbate this fear. When he is the last Ranger left able to contend with the Goo Fish monster, Billy overcomes the spell and then, after helping to free his friends and defeat the monster, completely overcomes the fear itself on a fishing trip with Ernie, the owner of the Youth Center. Each of Billy's teammates have a unique skill to offer the team and, in Billy's case, it was his vast intelligence. He sought out to improve himself physically, and the audience would see him transition over time from the suspenders-wearing "brain" to a confident, hyper-intelligent athlete with appreciable fighting skills, thanks in great part to Trini's Uncle Howard. Jason and later Tommy helped graduate Billy to the red belt level in karate.
Billy's intelligence would help the Rangers save the world on many occasions. When the Command Center was damaged, Zordon lost and Alpha incapacitated, it was his invention, a car called the RADBUG, that allowed the Rangers to travel to the Command Center. He performed a wide array of tasks, ranging from creating the method for which the Ranger's would use initially to infiltrate Rita's Dark Dimension, to disarming the lock-out mechanism for Alpha's activated self-destruct, and many other achievements. Though Billy did manage to attract girls earlier in his "nerd-like" persona, it was after he began his journey toward self-improvement that he would garner more attention from romantic interests, even more so than the other members of the team.
Billy is accepted into the Young Scientists of America program. In Season 2, he befriends Zack's cousin Curtis when he becomes the newest student at Angel Grove High. Curtis' musical interests, particularly in playing the trumpet, sparks Billy's interest into the rhythmic patterns of jazz music. Later in Season 2, a time-traveling Kimberly would recruit Billy's ancestor William in the 1880s to become the first Blue Ranger when she assembles and takes command of the Wild West Ranger team in a battle against Goldar and several other time traveling foes.
In season 3, Billy gained new powers from Ninjor, who gave him the Wolf Power Coin, and became the Blue Ninja Ranger.
The Rangers are de-aged by a time reversal spell performed by Rita Repulsa's father, Master Vile (which was in later season 3, part of the MMAR miniseries. Billy devised a plan to restore the rangers' ages using a machine that runs off of the power coins. Billy restored himself, but Goldar steals the machine and Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa destroy all six Ninja Power Coins. With his Wolf Ninja Coin destroyed and his Triceratops Power Coin damaged beyond use, Billy's role changed. He no longer fought as a Power Ranger, but rather acted solely in an advisory and supporting role. In fact, Billy was the only Ranger in this period to be portrayed by his regular actor - the others had been replaced temporarily by child actors after Master Vile had used the Orb of Doom to revert time by approximately ten years. Billy acted in this period as a liaison between the Aquitian Rangers and Earth. It was the cure for Billy's reverse-aging that eventually served as the plot device by which he was removed from the show. When Power Rangers Zeo began, Billy officially retired from active Ranger service, allowing Tanya to take his place while he continued his support role by creating and maintaining most of the weaponry, gadgets and Zords the Zeo Rangers would use.
In Power Rangers: Zeo, Billy officially retired from active Ranger service, allowing Tanya Sloan (who was sent back in Aisha Campbell 's place) to take his place while he continued his support role by creating and maintaining most of the weaponry, gadgets and Zords the Zeo Rangers would use. He traveled briefly to Aquitar to assist the Aquitian Rangers in battling with a race of aliens called the Hydro Contaminators. To do so, he completed a prototype device that Cestro started to defeat them. Upon his return, his ship was diverted by King Mondo to fly straight into the sun. From the Power Chamber, Zordon, Alpha 5, and the Rangers were able to rescue him. Before the Gold Ranger's identity was revealed as Trey of Triforia, several red herrings mislead the viewers into believing that the Gold Ranger was Billy, but when Rocky confronted him with this theory he assured the team that he'd never have kept such a thing secret from them, and had simply been busy working on a never-specified project. When Trey returned to Triforia on sabbatical to try to unify his three selves, Billy was selected to assume Gold Ranger's powers. However, the "negative proton energy" that his body had absorbed in the Command Center's explosion prevented him from taking the powers. Instead Jason, the former Red Ranger (who, being nowhere near the Command Center at the time of it's explosion, was a safe choice), received the powers.
Billy was last seen to be suffering from accelerated aging because the regenerator he used to restore his proper age had a side effect. To counter this, he traveled to Aquitar for a cure from their Eternal Falls (analogous to the Fountain of Youth), and opted to remain there with Cestria, a female Aquitian with whom he had fallen in love.
In Other MediaEdit
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The MovieEdit
Billy appears in this movie. Due to the alternate timeline of this movie, it is unknown if Billy had control of the Triceratops Dinozord or the Unicorn Thunderzord, although he still had the Triceratops Power Coin. He also used a weapon that did not exist on the show: the Stega Stinger. Billy was depowered by Ivan Ooze and had to travel to Phaedos. There he gained the power of the Ninjetti and the Wolf Ninjazord. His alternate differences are that he doesn't wear glasses and his Blue Ranger helmet's lens are slightly different.
Interactive CD-ROM and Fan Club vidEdit
- Billy's birthday was given as April 1, making him an Aries.
- Billy's birthplace was given as Chicago, Illinois.
- Agreeing with the later Fan Club Video, Billy's favorite food was guacamole cheeseburgers.
- Billy was developing theories on gravity manipulation.
- Billy was a member of the debate team, the science club, the math club, the chess club, Mensa, and the William F. Buckley Vocabulary Society.MMPR fan club video.
- Being interviewed, Billy sat in his lab; he had light brown hair and wore a blue shirt and his thin-framed glasses, using absolutely no technospeak, and furthermore using the occasional bit of incorrect grammar; whether he wore a communicator is unknown.
- As a child, Billy had started reading very early and had read the newspaper with his dad; then when he went to school, he became interested in science and the world.
- Recalling a frightening experience, Billy described fighting Madame Woe to save Marge, his girlfriend at the time; he said it had been hard and scary, but he'd done it.
- Billy gave his favorite food as guacamole cheeseburgers, adding that he liked a lot of fast food, such as pizza, french fries, and hamburgers.
- Billy said he tried to use his mind over muscle in his normal state, and even when fighting Putties, he'd try to outsmart them to make them injure or destroy themselves; if he had to get physical, he said, he would do it, but he used it only as a last resort.
- Billy remarked that being smart could take you anywhere in life, and he said that his intelligence often allowed him to help devise solutions to problems, since Zordon and the other teens didn't always have the answers.
- Billy said he was a straight-A student, which would take him somewhere after high school; he planned to move on to college and hopefully become one of the world's leading scientists.
- Billy listed honor, respect, and courage as the most important things he'd learned from Zordon.
- Talking about her friends, Kim said that Billy was great, because he was so smart, and she would always go to him for help with homework; he was such a giving person, he always helped out.
- Billy received a tribute in the credits of his last episode.
- Billy was the first Ranger with a Wolf based Zord, followed by Maya, Merrick Baliton, Leanbow, Robert James and Dillon.
- Billy was also the Red Herring for the identity of the Gold Ranger.
- Billy is the only Ranger to keep a single power for the first three seasons without giving it away or switching colors, and the only "original Ranger" to not be replaced, as he stepped down from his position at the start of Zeo. (Technically, Billy's powers were replaced once (going from the Tricera powers to the Wolf powers between season 2 and 3. Even though his suit remained the same, the different coin could be considered as a new power.)
- Billy is the only Ranger to retire from being a Ranger, but not immediately leave the show.
- Because of the absence of Yost (he had left the show a few episodes prior to his character's departure, hence his lack of appearance in them), stock footage of Billy was used for his departure and his character was voiced by someone else. He was also the last of the original Power Ranger team to leave the show, although his former teammate Jason would later reappear in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (alongside another former teammate Kimberly Hart) and in the Wild Force episode Forever Red. Also of note is that, backstage, David Yost (Billy's actor) left the show on bad terms, causing the writers to change the Turbo movie's plot so that the Rangers created the Turbo powers themselves w/ Alpha 5's assistance rather than by Billy himself. Some fans conclude that during Billy's absences during the misleading plots that made him seem like the Gold Ranger, Billy was creating the blueprints for the Turbo powers.
- He was supposed to return in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie but the idea was scrapped. His role in the movie was to create the Turbo powers using the Zeo Crystal, though much like him being the Gold Ranger, this was scrapped due to Yost leaving on bad terms.
- Billy was the first known Ranger to wear glasses followed by Kendrix Morgan, Danny Delgado and Cameron Watanabe.
- Billy was the longest running Blue Ranger of all time (3 Seasons).
- Interestingly enough, Billy along with Jason were the only two Rangers capable of handling the Gold Zeo powers in the 4th Season. This means that, due to his experience and skills, that Billy should have been on par in strength and fighting/leadership ability with Jason, the original leader of the Power Rangers before leaving to Aquitar. This theory is further backed by the fact that Adam Park, another non-Red Ranger (Black), was able to lead the Retro Rangers during Once A Ranger.
- In Power Rangers: Zeo, his teleportation color is white, as it is the teleportation color for all civilians and/or white rangers. In Rangers of Two Worlds Part 2, his last episode, his teleportation color is a black molecule, to match the Aquitians teleportation.
- Billy has been a kid twice along with Tommy, Adam, Aisha and Rocky.
- According to IMDb, Walter Jones was originally cast as Billy. However, when he auditioned, he said he thought he'd be more recognizable as the Black Ranger, so he was recast.
- Billy frequently dressed in clothing that was oversized or otherwise baggy or frumpy, in an effort to cover David Yost's well-defined physique (as since he was supposed to be a nerd, and thus, not entirely athletic). This effort was dropped by the second season of MMPR.
- Billy is the first Blue Ranger to turn evil. The second one was Kevin, from Power Rangers Samurai.
- Billy is the opposite of his Sentai counterpart in which he is a serious, analytical nerd, while Dan is the immature comedy relief.
- Billy is the longest lasting original ranger, excluding Tommy.
Character Drop IssueEdit
The writers left the choice open as to whether or not Billy would become a Zeo Ranger, with him musing at the start of Zeo that he could always assume the Zeo power in an emergency. He graduated earlier than the rest of the team in "Graduation Blues," and then left the Earth for a brief period to address problems on the planet Aquitar. In "Mr. Billy's Wild Ride," he returns to Earth, although he is attacked by hostile forces along the way.
Because of the absence of Yost (he said had walked off the show a few episodes prior to his character's departure, due to repeated and ongoing homophobic slurs by the creators, producers, directors, and writers of the series, hence his lack of appearance in them; shortly after, however, producer Scott Page-Pagter denied these allegations and said Yost left over a salary dispute and got along with no one in the crew), stock footage of Billy was used for his departure and his character was voiced by someone else. He was also the last of the original Power Ranger team to leave the show, although his former teammate Jason had returned as the Gold Ranger at that time.