A Conversation with ‘Power Rangers Playback’ hosts Catherine Sutherland & Nakia Burrise

‘Power Rangers’ actresses Catherine Sutherland and Nakia Burrise are taking fans back in time on their YouTube channel: ‘Power Rangers Playback.’ (Logo courtesy of Catherine Sutherland and Nakia Burrise)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome Power Rangers Playback hosts Catherine Sutherland and Nakia Burrise to Jake’s Take.

I remember racing back from Indian Valley Elementary School to my family home in Overland Park, Kansas, so that I could watch Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Power Rangers Zeo, and Power Rangers Turbo.  A majority of my favorite episodes featured Catherine and Nakia. Catherine portrayed Katherine “Kat” Hillard, who was Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ second Pink Ninja Ranger and the Pink Zeo Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo. Her final stint with the franchise was as the first Pink Turbo Ranger in both Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie and Power Rangers Turbo. In 2018, Catherine returned to the franchise for a special twenty-fifth-anniversary episode: “Dimensions in Danger.” Meanwhile, Nakia portrayed Tanya Sloan, who was the Yellow Zeo Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo and the first Yellow Turbo Ranger in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie and Power Rangers Turbo. 

Now, Catherine and Nakia have decided to share several behind the scenes secrets from their time on the long-running television franchise on their YouTube channel: Power Rangers Playback.  They have watched episodes from not only their seasons but also welcomed several of their fellow Power Rangers family members to the series.  In recent episodes, they welcomed fan-favorites Erin Cahill and Jason Faunt (Power Rangers: Time Force’s Jen and Wes) to watch their season finale: “End of Time, Part III” and Karan Ashley (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ Aisha), where they discussed the Kat and Aisha-centric episode: “The Sound of Dischordia.”

In this edition of “A Conversation,” Catherine and Nakia shared the Power Rangers Playback’s origin story, revealed the fans’ feedback, and how they connected with their fans and colleagues during comic-cons.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get the idea of Power Rangers Playback? 

Catherine Sutherland: We were at a convention in Scotland with two voiceover actors, Troy Baker and Nolan North. They have a YouTube channel, and we watched how the fans were interacting and excited about that. Nolan and Troy are great friends, and their channel (Retro Replay) features them playing video games and commenting on them. Nakia and I have always wanted to do a project together. After putting our heads together, we decided to focus on our time on the show. We came up with the idea of re-watching episodes because we never watched our episodes. We only saw snippets of them, but we never watched full episodes. We thought that is what our fans would enjoy. 

Jacob Elyachar: As both of you watched episodes from Mighty Morphin’ and Zeo (and hopefully in the future Turbo), what have you two noticed about these episodes? 

Nakia Burrise: (Laughs) A lot of the styles that we wore in the 1990s have circled back around to the 2000s. We see a lot of 90s fashion trends that have resurfaced. We also remembered a lot of moments. For example, in one of the scenes of episode three that we did where I had completely forgotten about it until we saw the episode. When we were filming, production had forgotten about a particular scene that needed to be filmed, and they did not realize it until months later. All of our hair was different, and we had to go back and film that missing scene. What the producers decided to do for my character was put a wig on me. I looked like a cavewoman. I remember walking out of my dressing room with the wig on, and all of us were dying of laughter. When Cat and I recorded the episode, we remembered that moment and laughed about it for 10 minutes straight. There are a lot of really fond memories that we had completely forgotten about when re-watching the episodes have just really resurfaced and just been very pleasant.

Jacob Elyachar: What have been some of the challenges that you faced creating these episodes? How did you overcome those obstacles? 

Catherine Sutherland: Right now, we have been dealing with a lot of challenges. I will be really transparent and say I absolutely suck at technology. Because of what’s happening in the world right now, we are forced to not be able to film together. We are trying different ways of connecting and watching episodes. In fact, one of our episodes is all done through Zoom, and it is quite amusing watching Nakia and I figure it out. 

Nakia Burrise: We have also received questions about the footage that we show. Catherine and I experienced some copyright issues. Even though we were actors on the show, that doesn’t matter. We do not own the content of the show. We do not want to offend anyone or cause any problems for any company with the footage. But, we also need to be able to create a great show for our fans. We want them to see what we are watching without having any copyright claims from those that own the footage. In addition to watching Power Rangers episodes, we have also decided to take suggestions from our fans to comment or review other things. 

Catherine Sutherland: We have some really fun ideas on commenting and reacting to non-Power Rangers materials, but items we think our fans would enjoy. 

Jacob Elyachar: Awesome! I cannot wait to see those episodes. I want to talk about the feedback that you received about Power Rangers Playback. I love this channel. What have been some of the feedback that you have received from the fans?

Nakia Burrise: We have received a lot of love, support, and excitement regarding Power Rangers Feedback. People have stated they are reliving their childhoods and the 1990s. They have made requests for certain people to appear on our show. It has been great!

Catherine Sutherland: I think the thing that has been really heartwarming is that we have been able to bring a lot of laughter to people. Especially right now with things being so heavy in the world. It has been really lovely to just laugh together and bring some joy. Every time Nakia laughs, it’s contagious.

Jacob Elyachar: And I love your “Nakia-isms.” 

Nakia Burrise: I have to give that credit to Ms. Caterina. We were still trying to format the show and try to figure out what we were doing. Sometimes, I speak a different language, but Cat seems to always know what I am talking about regardless. When we were re-watching the episode before we finished our final edit, Cat told me: “You need to have a Nakia-ism.” I thought it was a great idea, and then I told her: “Well, we can’t have a Nakia-ism without some kind of Cat-ology or something.” (Catherine laughs) During the videos, Cat will explain terms or things that could only be labeled as a Cat-ology. So it had to be even, but thank you so much, Jacob. 

Jacob Elyachar: You are so welcome, guys. Before we go on, I want to let you know that I am a huge Power Rangers fan, and both of you and your characters are on my all-time favorite Power Rangers lists. Both of you were a huge part of my childhood. 

Nakia Burrise: Aww, thank you! 

Catherine Sutherland: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. 

Power Rangers: Time Force actors Jason Faunt & Erin Cahill joined Cat and Nakia to watch “End of Time, Part III.” (Video property of Power Rangers Playback)

Jacob Elyachar: Another Power Rangers season that was one of my favorites was Power Rangers: Time Force. I was thrilled when you brought on Erin Cahill and Jason Faunt to discuss “End of Time, Part III.” What was it like watching the episode with them? 

Catherine Sutherland: Erin and Jason are very good friends of ours. We always have a great time when we are together. It was really fun watching it with them. We had never watched one of their episodes. We were learning all about their season, and I was really impressed with it. The special effects were great, and the show seemed a little bit more serious and not as campy as our seasons. We had a great time watching the episode. 

Nakia Burrise: Power Rangers: Time Force had Vernon Wells (as the villain Ransik). He is very well known for so many wonderful pieces of work, such as Mad Max. His resume is amazing, and the fact that he was in Power Rangers is incredible. 

Jacob Elyachar: I have to add that Vernon Wells’ Ransik, Hillary Shepard’s Divatox, Amy Rolle’s Trakeena, the late Robert Axelrod who voiced Lord Zedd, and both Barbara Goodson and Carla Perez’s takes of Rita Repulsa are some of my favorite Power Rangers villains of all-time. 

Catherine Sutherland: I definitely agree. 

Jacob Elyachar: After having Erin and Jason on as guests, do you think it opens up the possibility of your colleagues coming on Power Rangers Playback? 

Nakia Burrise: We already have some in the mix. That’s a done deal. We have to. 

Catherine Sutherland: We interact a lot with the fans on our YouTube channel. They have been great about sharing which actors they want to see and episodes that they want us to us. We plan on bringing on a lot of our Ranger family members on the show.

Jacob Elyachar: Both of you traveled across the United States and around the world to numerous conventions, including multiple Power Morphicons. What have been some of your highlights of connecting with the fanbase and reconnecting with your colleagues? 

Nakia Burrise: It’s amazing. Who would have thought 26 years ago this show this little Tanya being on television would have made somewhat of an impact on the world. Coming to these Comic-cons, you really realize how much it affected so many people. It is such a blessing and an honor to be a part of the Power Ranger family. It is such a blessing and honor to be able to travel the world and meet people that have looked up to you since they were little kids, that come to your table in tears because our characters inspired them to get into karate or to stand up to their bully, or just things that they would not normally do. It’s very overwhelming in such a positive way, and I just feel very blessed to be a part of it.

Catherine Sutherland: I feel like it is a tremendous gift, and I would never have expected it all these years later. The first time we were ever contacted about a convention, I remember thinking, “What do they want to see us for? Like, they’re still watching the show?” So it’s a gift, and we’ve been, it’s so fun because I’ve been able to travel the world with my best friend. You know, we got to take our families to London with us.

Nakia Burrise: Yes! 

Catherine Sutherland: We visited Paris, and I was just in Brussels in February. I just feel like, “Oh my gosh, this is so amazing.” People across the world watched our show and care and want to meet me and are excited. It never gets old.

Jacob Elyachar: Why should my readers check out Power Rangers Playback? 

Nakia Burrise: If your readers want to enjoy friendship, love, laughter, and action, then our show is the show that they should watch. It is family-friendly. If they are ready to laugh, enjoy themselves, and see pure love and friendship that Cat and I have, we bounce off of one another. I am so grateful to be able to do this show with her. I think that all of that combined just creates a very great show.

Catherine Sutherland: I think it’s been nice to hear from people that are not even Ranger fans that are watching it because they enjoy the dynamic that we have together. It’s a very lighthearted and uplifting show, and that’s what we need more of that out in the world. There’s enough of the nasty stuff. We want to make people laugh and smile and be happy.

Want to watch episodes of Power Rangers Playback, head over to their YouTube channel!

You can also connect with Cat and Nakia on Power Rangers Playback’s Instagram and Twitter channels.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar