|This article is about a/an monster in Power Rangers Zeo, the second installment in the Zordon Era.|
- ""Rock-a-bye Rangers in the tree tops.""
- ―Somnibot's signature lullaby. It's shorter than Rock-A-Bye Baby since she usually hums the rest of it.[src]
Somnibot is a female lullaby-singing, sleep-themed monster who serves as the main antagonist of the episode "Rock-A-Bye Power Rangers."
Somnibot was created when King Mondo and his wife Queen Machina were impressed that their plan to wear out the Rangers (with two weeks worth of Cog attacks) was working. Mondo asked Klank and Orbus to assemble her as a way to finally finish the job and, the following afternoon, she was presented to the Gadgetry Family. Mondo asked Klank to ask a Quadrafighter pilot to send her to Earth to begin singing her cradle song to the citizens of Angel Grove, which she agreed to before boarding her flight.
While flying to Earth on the back of a Quadrafighter, Somnibot decided to practice using her spell. She sang the lullaby "Rock-a-Bye Baby" as a way to practice using her spell, which caused the pilot to almost fall asleep. Realizing this, she woke him back up and told him not to fall asleep at the wheel, but she herself began to fall under her spell's effects, telling the pilot to wake her when they got to Angel Grove.
When she arrived at the park, several citizens were about to run away, but she cast her spell and put them to sleep with her song. She briefly boasted about her spell's strength before laughing.
Later, she, Klank and Orbus were at a riverbank outside of the city, along with several Cogs. After the Cogs and the Rangers engaged in battle for a few moments, Klank gave Somnibot her cue to sing. She began casting her sleeping spell, her eyes and hands glowing violet as she sang her cradle song to put the Rangers and Cogs to sleep. After a prolonged period of time, the Gold Ranger showed up to stop her. Somni unleashed her pink energy projectiles at the Ranger, but he attacked her with one of his own and she was blasted apart.
Machina fretted over her destruction, and Mondo ordered Klank to not only rebuild her, but boost her power. Thus, her spell was amplified to a more powerful state than before. She used it on Bulk and Skull when they were arresting a burglar (who also was subjected to her spell) and then on the Rangers when they arrived at the parking lot to confront her. The Gold Ranger arrived to fight her, but Somnibot used her spell on him as well. After a prolonged period of time, she was finally shorted out by a power surge initiated by Alpha 5; her spell, to her anger, was broken and her frequency was terminated. This presumably woke up everyone that she had placed under her spell. Declaring that she can stop the Rangers even without her spell, Klank summoned the Cogs to aid her in fighting the Rangers. After a bit, the Rangers fired on her with the Zeo Cannon which defeated her once again. Klank flew Orbus to her, and he re-energized her and made her grow. This forced the Rangers to summon the Zeo Megazord. It is discovered that not only did Somnibot herself grow, but also her arrogance did as well. After the Rangers beat her around for a bit, they call forth Pyramidas and form the Zeo Ultrazord. Unimpressed with their "fancy contraption", she declared herself to be invincible before laughing again. But she is proven wrong, and with a cry of surprise the Rangers fire on her, destroying her for good this time.
She later appeared in Prince Gasket's Machine Arena, none the worse for wear and back in her original nightcap-wearing form. She is not among the monsters that receives the Neo-Plutonium Armor, however.
In her first form, Somnibot wears a large pink nightcap with white trim on her head and her voice is rather yawn-heavy on occasion, as if her singing puts her to sleep as well. True to her motif, she also makes various sleep- and bedtime-related puns and metaphors in her first form as well, specifically during her battle with the Gold Ranger at the riverbank, making her quite punny. In her second form, however, her puns become a little more dark and sinister. As explained, in her first form she is very narcoleptic. Overall, she has a very adorable-looking appearance in her primary form, resembling a cute cartoon robot with a round face, a "nutcracker"/"puppet"-esque mouth, big sleepy eyes and a white torso. This form, however, is meant to deceive you into thinking that she is using her powers to help others when in fact she is working for the forces of evil and is in fact using her powers to hurt others, as Zordon implies to the Rangers.
After her initial defeat, she returns with a giant, megaphone-shaped speaker where her face used to be, losing her cute, cartoony appearance and her characteristic narcoleptic mannerisms. Even the Gold Ranger is no match for her powered-up sleeping spell and her attitude is much nastier, her characteristic sleepiness and sweet-looking nature entirely gone.
Unlike other monsters that have come before her and since (with the exception of Waspicable), Somnibot's personality is very childlike, playful and yet despite her sweet-natured appearance she is pretty deceptive in her first form, due to the fact that she has a very nurturing, non-threatening initial appearance and lullaby-based powers. However, she was putting people to sleep with her singing (and sending them to the Dream World) against their will, which is wrong and she clearly didn't care given her enthusiasm on continuing to do so rather than have second thoughts on her mission. In her second form, however, she is far more sinister and overconfident after she has been given a power boost and an upgrade to her appearance. In both forms, she is very dedicated to her mission of singing the Rangers to sleep. She also is very proud of her singing ability, though she understands whether or not to sing and cast her spell (as she almost put a Quadrafighter pilot to sleep, which would have spelled disaster for her). However, her confidence got the best of her when she arrogantly declared to the Rangers that she was invincible before getting destroyed by the Zeo Ultrazord, which she called a "fancy contraption" before laughing. To this end, she takes her power very seriously and isn't above boasting about her spell's powerful nature, proclaiming "This is too easy!" and laughing wickedly when she puts several Angel Grove citizens to sleep against their will in Angel Grove Park. When her spell is finally stopped, she is not at all distraught, wanting to take on the Rangers directly "with her own powers" despite her being rendered powerless due to her frequency being terminated and her power broken. Her hubris proved to be her literal undoing when she is destroyed by the Zeo Ultrazord.
She is also quite punny, making various sleep- and bedtime-related puns and metaphors in both of her forms (most monsters built on a certain "theme" tend to make many puns and metaphors, and she is no exception).
Somnibot was later seen as an audience member in Prince Gasket's Machine Arena. It is unexplained how she got revived from the Zeo Ultrazord finisher, but she was resurrected from the assault with no permanent injury.
She has not been seen since and was not seen among the monsters in King Mondo's monster army, leaving her final fate unconfirmed, but it can be assumed that she was destroyed by Zordon's Energy Wave because, despite her docile and harmless initial appearance, she had used her sleep induction abilities only for evil. Alternatively, she may have been redeemable enough for it to spare or even purify her.
Modus and Arsenal
Somnibot's powers are based on music and song, specifically the singing of lullabies. Her main ability is possessing a singing voice that makes anyone, whether organic or machine, fall asleep upon hearing her cradle song - similar to how the Sirens of Greek mythology used their beautiful singing to lure sailors and their crew to their doom. In other words, her powers are essentially based on song. However, Zordon states that the main source of her powers is her delta wave frequency (which somehow matches that of the human brain), which must be altered in order for the spell to be broken. Her singing just serves as the incantation and as a method of focusing the delta waves to her victims, and thus has the power to control a human's or robot's circadian rhythm and delta waves, creating the intended effect of falling asleep during the daytime. Her singing appears to harmonize with the delta waves (the pink energy and twinkle dust that she spreads) to force relaxation and sleep on her victims. Her lullaby singing and twinkle dust spreading is keyed solely toward that purpose, and her glowing eyes serve as a fixation point. However, even she too can fall under her spell's power, as she yawns and tells the Quadrafighter pilot to awaken her once they get to Angel Grove, taking a short power nap.
Despite her cartoony appearance and gentle, childlike voice, her powers make her a hazardous threat, especially on moving vehicles like cars, buses and trucks, and on planes and trains too.
The Rangers' Zeo power frequencies, which somehow match hers, are said by Alpha to have been altered by him (prior to them morphing and teleporting to the riverbank) to protect them from her spell, but the spell is so strong that little can be done to stop the Rangers from going to the dream world. The Power Chamber's computer systems also apparently cannot pick up her song's amplitude when she is casting her sleeping spell, as this is mentioned twice by Alpha and Billy. Thus, Billy and Alpha are unaffected by Somnibot's singing. Her power and abilities change and evolve as she goes through multiple forms:
- In her first and most recognized form, she sings and hums the lullaby "Rock-a-Bye Baby" (or a song to the lullaby's melody, as is the case with the Rangers), making anyone within a short range fall asleep and are drained of their energy while hearing it; this form affects the Zeo Rangers, several civilians and several Cogs. She can also fire pink energy spheres from her mouth as projectiles. Her eyes glow a brilliant red to violet when she sings, her eyes resembling twinkling stars. Her victims also glow as well, being drained of their energy as they slowly fall asleep. She also waves her arms as well, sending a blanket of warm, red to violet energy and sparkling twinkle dust (resembling red to violet beams of twinkling starlight) that spreads over her soon-to-be-dreaming victims, specifically the Rangers.
- In her final form, granted to her by Klank after being blasted apart by the Gold Ranger, her head has become megaphone-shaped and her sleeping spell is much stronger than before, to the point where her victims glow white instead of red or violet as they are being drained of their life force. Her body is now a stronger golden color as her way of mocking the one who blasted her apart. She finally gets shorted out by a power surge courtesy of Alpha 5, terminating her delta wave frequency, stopping her concert and returning the Rangers' energy to them. Before the shortout, the spell is powerful enough to even affect the Gold Ranger. She stops singing after a short while, however.
Powers and abilities
Somnibot has three special abilities that she uses as part of her attack on the Rangers.
- Lullaby-singing Voice: Somnibot's singing voice seems to possess magical abilities. She primarily uses her voice in song to put people and other robots to sleep. Her primary lullaby is "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and she often sings to the song's melody. Somnibot's singing is a talent that she utilizes as part of her spell.
- Twinkle Dust and Energy Waves: In addition to her singing, Somnibot has the ability to entrance anyone into a deep slumber, using the red to violet twinkle dust and energy waves that are emitted from her hands. She uses both of these things in tandem for her spell to work correctly (when she is in both forms), though she seems to struggle a bit in her second form as it took a bit longer for her to put Bulk to sleep. Her twinkle dust is also now colored white, like that of the brightest stars in the night sky.
- Energy Balls: Somnibot can fire concentrated pink energy spheres from her mouth (in rapid succession) as projectiles to attack her opponents, with them taking down all five Rangers with one blast.
- Fists: Somnibot has no weapons of any kind and relies solely on her voice and fists to defend her in battle.
- Her Frequency: According to Zordon, the main source of Somnibot's powers is her brainwave frequency, which can work on both humans and machines alike. It must be altered or terminated, according to him, in order for her to be defeated. By blocking it, her hypnotic music was nullified.
Behind the Scenes
- Her name comes from the Roman Latin word somnus, which means "sleep, drowsiness". She is thus named after the Roman god of sleep, Somnus.
- Somnibot is voiced by Barbara Goodson, both singing and speaking. She is suit-acted by an uncredited suit performer in the original PR footage.
- Bara Gūsuka, Somnibot's Japanese counterpart, was originally male (voiced by a female, veteran voice actress Kazue Takahashi), but she herself was changed to female (albeit her voice sounding a bit like Prince Sprocket's on occasion, due to Barbara Goodson providing her singing and speaking voices). However, King Mondo accidentally refers to Somnibot as male when he orders Klank and Orbus to reassemble her and boost her special powers (most likely due to confusion on David Stenstrom's part, as he and the other voice actors likely watched the Ohranger episode before going into the recording room to do the ADR dubbing). This makes her a part of the somewhat extended list of Power Ranger characters (usually monsters) that were gender-swapped from their respective/original Sentai Series counterparts, such as Flame Head, Photomare, Wedding Dress Org, Octoplant, Somnibot herself, Florabundacus and Crazar among others.
- It's most likely because Bara Gūsuka speaks and sings with a voice that sounds like a young girl and that he wears a pink sleeping cap that Saban opted to change the monster's gender when the episode was being produced.
- Somnibot also had a second form before her megaphone speaker face - a windup version of herself (complete with winding key) combined with two phonograph horns on top of her head (to project her singing towards longer distances), a computer module on her stomach (likely to check the equivalent to her vitals) and a baby doll taped to her back. This form was never shown due to time constraints and problems with the source footage, as there were too many Japanese people in the footage and that said footage showed pileups, car accidents and mass deaths (even a gas station exploding), which is against Saban Entertainment's rule of never showing or even mentioning death in PR. The form she would have taken would have made her resemble a cute wind-up toy robot or a music box.
- According to the 1996 TV Guide magazine (when Zeo was under development), Somnibot's name was originally going to be Slumber before the production team decided to change it to her current name.
- Barbara was offered the role by Scott Page-Pagter and Tony Oliver when Rock-A-Bye Power Rangers was being written. When coming up with Somnibot's voice, she used her highest voice possible and tried to make it feel like it was really Somnibot speaking and singing. She also likes her initial "cute" appearance.
- Somnibot's name comes from the Latin prefix somni- and the second part of the word robot. It actually makes sense due to what she is based on, as well as what her abilities are.
- In some respects, she resembles the Sandman, as the Sandman puts people to sleep and sprinkles sand on their eyes, but Somnibot includes a lullaby into this while the Sandman doesn't sing.
- Somnibot reappears as an audience member in King for a Day, having reverted to her sleeping cap-wearing first form. However, her voice is drowned out by the loud cheers of her fellow monsters. Somnibot can be seen when Tommy is about to fight Jason, after saying "starting for you, Gold Ranger". She has not been seen or heard from since.
- Barbara Goodson, Somnibot's American voice actress, was uncredited in the episode.
- Somnibot's eyelids are articulated—that is, they can open and close. She opens her eyes really wide when she fires her pink energy orbs at the Gold Ranger.
- Her mouth, however, is not articulated despite her ability to sing. Several shots of her face reveal that several versions of it were constructed showing her mouth open at different points.
- In Mondo's Last Stand, she was described as one of King Mondo's finest monsters. However, her counterpart in Ohranger was deemed "lazy" and "worthless" and ordered to be sentenced to death for making the entire Royal Family fall asleep.
- Somnibot's pink nightcap is in a different position on her head in American footage than in the Ohranger footage.
- The lullaby that Somnibot sings throughout her episode is Rock-a-bye Baby, a lullaby with, according to theory, possible origins during the colonial period of North America. However, Mondo implies that Somnibot could sing other cradle songs as well. Brahms' Lullaby, for example, is played in the musical score after she puts Bulk, Skull and a burglar to sleep.
- The lyrics to Somnibot's cradle song to the Rangers go like this:
- Rock-a-bye, Rangers, in the treetops
- When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
- When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
- And down will come, Rangers, powers and all
Later, she sings more lyrics when she is given her upgrade. They go like this:
- Say good night, Rangers, time to go flop
- I will keep singing until you drop
- Yoshiro Harada is her character designer.
- Back in early 2003, shortly after the series changed hands from Saban Entertainment to Disney, some of the monster costumes, including Somnibot (minus her hands, head spikes and feet), were auctioned off by ABC Auctions. Her costume had fallen into a state of disrepair after Rock-A-Bye Power Rangers and King for a Day were filmed, which is why she was never seen again. The only part of her not damaged is her face. Additionally one of her hands was sold to an unknown buyer. It sold for $484.99.
- Bara Gūsuka - Super Sentai counterpart in Chouriki Sentai Ohranger. See comparison page.
- The song that Somnibot sang in the episode, Rock-a-Bye Baby