Monday, September 30, 2013

Ep 116 A Blast for Buck, January 17, 1980

Director: David G. Phinney
Writer(s): Richard Nelson, John Gaynor
Guest Star(s):
Hieronymus Fox .... Gary Coleman
Twiki .... Patty Maloney
Complete List of Cast and Crew
Riddle me this. What is more annoying than a poorly written episode? A Flashback episode that requires no writing at all. The entire Earth Directorate Complex is under alert. 10 minutes ago the orbital defense system registered the presence of hundreds of alien objects in Earth's orbit. Squadron Fighters were put on alert and sent out to intercept these objects. Unfortunately, they didn't see anything. Buck, Wilma, Twiki, Dr., Theopolis and Dr. Huer are trying to find out what is going on when a tune beings to play, and a tightly focused energy beam, that was able to penetrate their defenses, transports a yoyo looking thing onto Huer's desk. It's strange appearance set's plans in motion to secure the entire building.

Buck suggests that it could be a touch activated communication devise. Sounds like a reasonable deduction from a object that cannot be penetrated by Theo sensors, and is unidentifiable to Huer's scans. Well Buck touches it anyways and the large yoyo shoots an energy beam into Huer's computer. Basically downloaded a program straight into the Earth's Directorate system. Could it be a virus? Or something worse and more devastating to all New Chicago's Environmental controls? Nope, just a Riddle.

"The man out of old Earth's past...
...Has the key to the next and the last.
But you wont solve this riddle...
...Till the end is the middle...
...And the Terran sands disappear with a blast."

Feeling that the riddle is linked to Buck, they strap him to a chair and use psych-probes to recall his memories. His first thoughts immediately go to all the women that he had a thing for from previous episodes. Wilma snickers at this, almost as if she is amused by Buck's indiscretions. Back to the riddle, Buck thinks about the key...key...Sinalola is the first flashback. Then Unchained Woman.

Alarms start to go off as the communications yoyo disappeared from Huer's office. It apparently did it's job, and was taken back by the one who sent it. Buck insists on getting back to the mind probing. Next flashback is the episode Cosmic Whiz Kid. Hmm, the end is the middle...the riddle is almost byzantine...byzantine...Zantia! Now to Planet of the Amazon Women. Nope, nothing worth looking at there. Oh, No! The Alarms are going off again! What now? Another energy beam is being sent that transports an hourglass. Time must be running out. What are they going to do?
Time to switch things up. Wilma is now undergoing the psych-probe. Her first thoughts go to Return of the Fighting 69th. Course after all that time, Theo tells them that Roxanne and Corliss are both in the Detention-Rehabilitation complex on Lycaste Alba. Information that may have been helpful before they wasted time with that mind probe! Now let's revisit Planet of the Slave Girls. No, that is a dead end too. OK, time for Buck's turn again. This is getting fun now. a trip down memory lane. The threat no longer seems to loom over them. This time, Buck goes to The Plot to Kill a City. Course after that probing, Buck himself concludes that was not the right avenue to go down.

Unable to get any information from Buck and Wilma, Huer connects the mind probe to Twiki. Course Twiki instantly goes to Tina in Cruise Ship to the Stars. Twiki seems to come up with a lot of memories that he was never around to acquire, but let's not dwell on that. Buck's last choice is Princess Ardala in Escape from Wedded Bliss. Wilma shoots that idea down believing that even Ardala would not kill thousands of innocent people without a reason. Course who is to say there is no reason for this threat? Alarms are going off again. A new Directional beam is locking in on their coordinates to materialize in Buck's apartment. Off to the Buck Cave! They all arrive in Buck's room just in time for a table cloth, four bottles of 2490 [Genesian] champagne, three champagne glasses, three milkshakes, a bowl of french fries an a (Rigellian lizard) hamburger platter to materialize on Buck's table.

Now Buck is starting to realize who is responsible. Buck asks what day it is. Huer responds that it is Deckel 31. Or December 31st by our Calendar. It would seam that we went back to December from Buck's Birthday episode that was supposed to be January. Buck indicates that New Years is no longer celebrated at midnight of January 1st. Course Buck finally figures it out that it was Hieronymus Fox who sent the riddle only because of the place setting and realizing what day it was. Nothing to do with the riddle.

Apparently Hieronymus Fox got a new Matter Transmitter and wanted to try it out. So he sent the riddle and the present of the party favors. Why did he have to trick their sensors to detect hundreds of alien objects in space, or why he had to put the entire Earth's Defense on high alert, who feared a intimate attack or bomb scare? Oh just some magnetic field bug. All in good fun. Now to explain the riddle...

First line is about Buck (they figured that one out themselves). The next line is about the hourglass that was the "next" thing sent, before the "last" thing sent. The next is the end of the old year at the middle of the night, midnight. Lastly, when the sands disappear from the hourglass, then it is midnight that's cerebrated with a blast of fireworks and party noises.

References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Lymrics, hourglass, cross-word puzzle, 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ep 115 Happy Birthday, Buck, January 10, 1980

Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
Writer(s): Martin Pasko
Guest Star(s):
Ms. Raylyn Meritt .... Morgan Brittany
Dr. Delora Bayliss .... Tamara Dobson
Lt. Cornell "Corey" Traeger .... Peter MacLean
Rorvik .... Bruce Wright
Carew .... Chip Johnson
Lt. Garth .... Eric Mason
Miss. Bennentt (Woman) .... Gina Gallego
Niles .... Tom Gaden
Marsden .... Clay Alexander
Olvian Squadran Leader .... Harry Gold
Security Agent .... Abe Alvarez
Complete List of Cast and Crew
Buck is hanging a winter painting of a small town with a horse pulling a sleigh. It is almost identical to a George Henry Durrie painting titled "Winter in the Country, the Old Grist Mill". He looks at it and says "You're never more nostalgic than for the things you once knew and have no more." Sounds like he is quoting someone, but it is an original Buck Rogers. Buck is having a mental breakdown thinking about his own time. Dr. Huer and Wilma enter his room hoping to invite Buck to see the new Holographic Dance Group, but Buck just dumps all his depression on them instead. Poor Buck. He misses home.

A old Starfighter, piloted by Lieutenant Traeger, (have you noticed that everyone is either a Lieutenant or a Dr. in this show?) is being pursued by two Olvion Immigration Patrol ships as his departure from Olvion was unauthorized. The Patrol ships are requesting his surrender or his destruction. Luckily Traeger was able to make it to the nearest Stargate and escape the system. After exiting the Stargate, his ship craps out on him and leaves him drifting through space. His starboard defense shield are down, and the star drive is dead. He comes across the Capellan Survey Ship No. 077 and sends out a Priority Blue distress call. Survey ship acknowledges his distress and uses a tracker beam to bring his ship in for repairs. Traegers uniform appears to the same as those in the Fighting 69th.

On Earth, Dr. Huer and Wilma are discussing Buck's depression being related to his birthday. It's not everyday that someone turns 534 years old. But, not wanting to dwell on it too long, Dr. Huer gets down to business. Dr. Theopolis informs him that he has a message from Lt. Garth at Security Directorate. The message indicates that Lt. Garth will be coming over from the New Detroit Complex to discuss an urgent matter. Dr. Huer dismisses the urgency of the message right away because Mr. Garth has a tendency for theatrics whenever it comes to Huer's safety. Well enough about that, let's get back to Buck's Birthday. Twiki suggests a surprise Birthday. Dr. Huer puts Wilma in charge for inviting all his friends, who include Jen, Joella, Marla, Alison, Tangi, Falina, Miss Cosmos...time to create a list of 'Roger Girls', kind of like Bond Girls.

Huer and Wilma meet with Garth. Garth brings in Captain Querlu of the Capellan survey ship 077. Traeger restrained the captain and left him in a storage compartment. From there, Traeger impersonated the Captain so he could land at the New Detroit Spaceport. The real Captain was later found, delirious from systemic poisoning. He died 12 hours later. Somehow, Captain Querlu experienced a bizarre form of molecular transmutation that changed half his body into pure silicone. I think what is more bizarre than that, is how he could survive as long as he did after half of his body basically was severed from the other half. This threat is what Garth fears that Traeger has in store for Dr. Huer. Speaking of Traeger, still disguised as Capellan Captain, is walking down the halls to see a Dr. Delora Bayliss in Office Space 37042. The Reception-Quad on the wall informs him that he should be able to see the doctor a week from tomorrow. With a touch, the computer is fried and the door opens to reveal several women all seated and being treated by Dr. Byliss at once with psychic machines. It would seem that they use a computer for each woman programmed with Dr. Byliss's voice or thoughts. She hears your problems and talks back to you. One such woman is Miss. Bennett who is complaining about depressing dreams that she was an 'accident'. Looking around she shows how little privacy the women have for their therapy. Traeger is looking for a mind probe from Delora (what good will this do him in killing Huer?), but Delora tries to buy him off instead. She offers him 5,000 then 15,00 credits to pretend they don't know each other. Delora states that she spends that kind of money a week on incidentals. I guess then she isn't really offering all that much compared to what she could be offering. Traeger picks up the credits and turns them into anthracite, diamonds, and Elysium to show Delora that he doesn't need money. Delora shows Traeger a modified psychotherapy chair that is supposed to pick up on the subconscious. It will work very similar to a psych-probe. Just what the doctor ordered.

Wilma and Huer are back to planning Buck's party, but are concerned about the extra amount of Directorate Security that will be around the building. Buck, hearing about the threat on Dr. Huer, asks if he could help. Huer declines, and mentions that he is making up an itinerary of his schedule for the next two weeks that will be delivered by an IAC (or InterAgency Courier), who will take it to the Security Building. There they will assign body guards for Huer around the clock. Ms, Meritt, (the IAC) reports in to Huer for a briefing. She is scheduled for a mind-implantation procedure that is to take place at 1600 hours (4:00pm). After completion, Ms. Meritt is to go to Security Directorate Headquarters at the New Detroit Complex where the information will be extracted with a psych-probe. Ms. Meritt's procedure is completed after all the Data for day 13 is assimilated. She will be then escorted by two Security Directorate Headquarter's agents, Marsden and Niles (part of the Security Escort Detail). They will contact Ms. Meritt at at her table in the restaurant on the Federal Concourse at 1900 hours (7:00pm). Their identification code will be Blue-11. Once identified, she will be led to a turbo-lift in the federal building where she would then be transported to the SDH.

Rorvik and Carew are Delora's assistants. She requested their help to impersonate the two Security Escorts assigned to Ms. Meritt. Delora has an informant inside the Communications Office of the Security Directorate Headquarters that is providing her all her Intel on the current situation. The Directorate is never short of spy's in their midst. This informant was able to provide Delora with all the necessary information to intercept Ms. Meritt. Delora provides Rorvik and Carew with synthaflesh masks that are setup to mimic Agents Marsden and Niles features exactly. Why does Delora have these kind of men in her employment in the first place? Well, the fake Marsden and Niles enter the Restaurant and locate Raylyn and escort her out. Buck, has a flashback to what Dr. Huer said "They will identify themselves as Security Escort Detail". That was enough to make Buck worried. Why didn't he recall the part where they were supposed to use the ID Code Blue-11? Well, at least Ms. Meritt remembers (a little late), that they were supposed to use the security code. Rorvik and Carew panic when confronted with this information and attack.
Buck runs right by the security check point without any effort (good job Security Agent!) while Raylyn Meritt takes out both guys all by herself. Well, almost anyways. She is injected with some kind of sedative and taken into the turbo-lift to the sub-levels. Traeger asks the stupid question if he was followed. I think what he was really asking was if anyone is behind him. Carew says no, but the truth is, yes, he is being perused. Buck grabs a discarded pistol and heads down the turbo-lift. Traeger is still dragging Raylyn away when Buck gets down to the sub-level, but Carew is waiting for him. They fight, Traeger gets away with Raylyn, Security Agent shows up just in time to save Buck. Buck finds a Delocking Disk (aka a key) for Office Space 37042 in the Med Wing of the building. Carew must have dropped it. Buck heads for the Med Wing. Security Agent approaches Carew cautiously, but ends up getting shot by Carew anyways (good job Security Agent!).

Traeger brings Raylyn into Delora's office and tells her that the sub-level was crawling with security. He sure does like to exaggerate things. I don't think two men constitute as "crawling with security". Not to mention that the sub-levels where empty until they were being chased. Traeger asks Delora how long the procedure will take. She indicates that it could be at least a half hour. Are you kidding me? Why would they not discuss how long it would take before they decided to kidnap the courier? Wouldn't they think that she would be missed and go looking for her in a half hours time? I assume that Traeger was hoping that they could kidnap Raylyn, copy Huer's itinerary from her subconscious, and put her back before she was missed. I mean, once the directorate knew that Huer's itinerary was compromised, they would change it immediately. Course, now it just seems ridiculous to go through with their plan, because the information has been compromised. So, Traeger wants to use Delora's informant to forge a Priority One Communication. An InterDirectorate Memo canceling the Blue-Code Alert. The Memo will read:
"The Assassin has been caught, Dr. Huer is safe, and there is no need for the I.A.C. after all."
That should put them off the scent. I mean, why would this memo be looked at with any kind of suspicion immediately after and IAC agent went missing?

Wilma is decorating Buck's room with party favors that Huer brought from the Archives. Dr. Junius had them recreated from old photographs specifically for this party. Carew calls in to Delora to give her the heads up that Buck was on his way to her office. Traeger decides that the psycho-probe is taking too long and suggests to Delora to disregard Raylyn's safety, and do what she needs to to get the information out. Now they are going to kill the IAC agent? This must be Plan 'B'. Buck is already at Delora's office, and instead of going through the front door with the Delocking Disk, he goes through the air vents. Sucsses! The psycho-probe has retrieved the itinerary. The first thing that comes up on Huer's scheduled is hanging out with friends at Buck's place. I am sure this information was a surprise to Buck, because he wasn't expecting Huer or a bunch of people at his apartment this evening. Oops, Buck slides into the room head first. This entrance was better than going through the door, how? Traeger approaches Buck with his hand out, ready to tough him. Buck grabs a nearby cloth, covers Traeger's hand with it, and pushes him into the wall. Traeger's glasses are knocked off and broken. Hear the sizzle and popping of Traeger's eye's as they are exposed to light. Delora feels deep sympathy for Traeger's condition so much that she cry's out that Buck has blinded the poor man. Fortunately for Traeger he didn't go blind, and with a minor light adjustment he can see just fine.

Traeger leaves after he orders Delora to kill both Raylyn and Buck. Instead, Delora turns on her Sonic Hypnosis machine to wipe out Raylyn's memory of being intercepted and brought to her office. She can then substitute new memories of completing her task. That really doesn't sound thought out as it seems. The Security Directorate Headquarters is still expecting her to show up and will know that she never completed her task. For Meritt to believe that she did, doesn't benefit anyone. Back to Plan 'A'. So, a nearly blind Traeger gets into his ship and fly's to New Chicago to be there for Buck's Surprise Birthday. We see his ship launch, not one, but twice? Speaking of Buck's Birthday Party, it would seem that everyone is already there and having fun waiting Buck. Wilma tells Huer that the Code Blue Alert has been lifted, much to his relief. Then she suggests that Buck must have persuaded Raylyn for some good old fashioned sex.
This must be the only explanation for their tardiness. The fake Marsden and Niles bring Ms. Meritt back to the Security Directorate, none the wiser. Buck is now strapped in the Sonic Hypnosis chair while Delora prepares to wipe his memory. Using the Delocking Disk, Buck cuts through is restraints and subdues Delora. He finds Raylyn and fly's off in their Starfighter for New Chicago. Straeger, already having arrived, stumbles around, still half blind from the bright lights. He manages to find a light switch on the wall in the middle of the hall. A well thought out place to place a light switch for any architect I am sure. Traeger sets off a motion sensor that was set up to detect when Buck was arriving. The party prepares for Buck's entrance. The lights are dimmed, and the cake is lit. Traeger steps into the room, blinded by the intense light of all 534 candles on the birthday cake. Traeger flips the cake onto the ground as all the electronics and battery packs for the candles is revealed showing how fake the cake really is. Go Prop department!

Dr. Huer recognizes Traeger. Traeger bent on revenge approaches Huer with his red glowing hand. All the party guests just look on, making no attempt to stop Traeger from killing Huer in front of them. Wilma, remembering her duty, attacks Traeger just as Buck rushes into his room to help. Buck raises his pistol and shoots. No questions, no hesitations, no "tell me your master plan before I shoot". He just shot first. Traeger falls on his own hand and turns himself into pure silicone.

To wind things up, Dr. Bayliss is arrested and the Computer Council will charger her. Huer mentions that they need to contact the Adjudication Board to inform them of bizarre details of the case. Buck opens his presents with only Twiki, Huer, Wilma and his new friend Raylyn. I wonder what he got?

Character Facts learned in this episode
Buck Rogers: His Birthday is in January, on, or several days after, the 7th. Being January, and assuming they still celebrate the New Year in January, it should be now 2492. By Celebrating his 534th birthday puts Buck's birth year in/around 1958. His middle name is Anthony. Says he is a slow eater.
Lieutenant Traeger: Spent the last 15 years on Olvion. First met Delora Bayliss on Regulus 4. Was later being treated by her. Learned how to change the molecular property of objects to anything he wants while on Olvion. After he joined the Space Exploration Division, Huer sent him on a routine exploration mission. He was shot down over an unknown planet at the time (Olvion). The Olvion's charged him with espionage and imprisoned him 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) below the surface. Is forced to wear a visor to protect his eyes as he is no longer used to seeing the light. Eventually learned how to change things into anything he wanted. This trick allowed him to escape. He blames Huer for his capture because he was the one who sent him on the mission. The Directorates official report was that Traeger was lost and presumed dead.
Capellan's: All are telepathic.
Delora Bayliss: Used to sell quadrillium (highly radioactive material) on Regulus 4 resulting in the lives of many people. Has psychic abilities that she now uses in the Directorate Security building in New Detroit as a therapist.
Dr. Elias Huer: Was originally with the Science Directorate, Space Exploration Division.
Raylyn Meritt: Used to be a record keeper in the Archives due to her love for history. She is now the most experienced government InterAgency Courier.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Pick my Brains, a shrink, a balloon
My Favorite Lines:
Deaths: 2
Miniatures: (1) Vintage Starfighter (2) Bigfoot (1) Capellan Survey Ship 077 (1) Starfighter (1) Launch Tube

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ep 114 Space Vampire, January 3, 1980

Director: Larry Stewart
Writer(s): Kathleen Barnes & David Wise
Guest Star(s):
Twiki .... Patty Maloney
Commander Royko .... Christopher Stone
Vorvon .... Nicholas Hormann
Dr. Ecbar.... Lincoln Kilpatrick
Technician .... David Moses
William Helson .... Phil Hoover
Demeter Captain .... Jeannie Fitzsimmons
Full list of Cast and Crew

I got to say, this is probably one of darkest episodes. It seems more appropriate for Halloween, but being aired in January, the studio missed that mark. The Vorvon Shuttle enters through Stargate 9 just as Wilma and Buck are practicing flying around in a Sled. Or is that what is happening? The miniature of the Vorvon shuttle is the exact same one used for Princess Ardala's Private Shuttle, but with a new paint job. Their destination is the Theta Station, where they plan to drop Twiki off so he can get his microdisc repaired. Buck and Wilma are planing on visiting Genesia, to see President Hieronymus Fox and Lt. Dia. Cyrton for the next five days. The editors cut back to the Vorvon shuttle while Wilma is talking, giving me the impression that Buck, Wilma and Twiki are not on the sled, but the shuttle instead. The next shot is their ship docking with the station, however the miniature ship doesn't look like the sled in this shot, but the back of the Vorvon Shuttle. I guess that they FX shot of the sled was an error, as it wasn't meant to be the ship Buck and Wilma where flying at all. So, the shuttle isn't the Vorvon Shuttle, but an Earth Directorate Shuttle. How Buck knows how to fly it when Wilma does not is a strange writers faux pas. They dock on the station and Wilma is saying something so quietly it is hard to make out. It sounds like "Let's, control, left, confusing what the hang up on aisle three was really quite easy" Wilma has been telling Commander Royko all about Buck that he now feels he has known Buck for century's. Are the writers really that stupid? A Century is a 100 years. He basically said that it feels like he has known Buck for at least 200 years. Are we to believe that Royko is over 200 years old? Royko assures that he could get Twiki fixed fairly quickly and leaving him wouldn't be necessary. Buck however, makes it clear that he doesn't want Twiki with him and Wilma on Geneisa.

Just at this moment, an out of control Freighter ship passes through Stargate 9 on a collision coarse with Theta Station. It would seem the only defense the station has are Meteor Deflector shields. Commander Royko orders that the deflectors in Sectors "G" "H" and "I" receive as much power as possible to boost these shields power. Too bad the deflectors where useless as the freighter collided with the station anyways. Commander Royko orders all Code Red Units to Sector "H" with emergency equipment. Buck and Wilma volunteer to help and they all head to Sector "H". Dr. Ecbar is already there scanning for life and evaluating the air from the freighter as it mixes with the stations. Unfortunately there is a magnetic field interfering with his equipment. A red pulsing light exits from the freighter, a Vorvon.

Buck, Royko, Wilma, and Ecbar enter the cargo freighter. Wilma indicates that the ship is 20 to 30 years old, which is meaningless to the story but makes the audience think that perhaps this ship has been traveling through space for years in this condition. But it didn't. They enter the crew quarters, and find a servo drone (a personal data storage unit). Royko instructs that the pick it up later. The team finds three bodies in the control room and Royko finds six more in the sick bay. Unsure of the cause of death, Royko orders a quarantine on the entire station. No one can leave or enter. Suddenly the laws of physics are broken when the cargo freighter, after being stopped by Theta Station, starts to move forward again. In space. What happened to when an object is at rest it will remain at rest?

Buck finds a personal log from the Captain of the Class "G" Cargo Freighter. It is identified as the I.S. Demeter, headed for Tazwell. The Freighter contained eight crew members and one passenger, Mr. William Helson. Mr. Helson was returning from Deneb 5 after delivering a shipment of barbarite. Or at least that is the official story. At 52 hours from Stargate 9 Helson was found dead in his quarters along with his servo drone. At 37 hours from Stargate 9, three more crew members have died. At 24 hours from Stargate two more crew are dead. The on-board Paramed contributes the deaths to EL-7 (a highly contagious virus from the Deneb system. Symptoms include fever, mental deterioration, hallucinations, convulsions, and death), but the Captain doesn't believe the virus is present on her ship. At 17 hours the Paramed is dead. Pearson and the Captain are the only two still alive. Last log entry. Pearson is dead and the Captain is now certain that the deaths are caused by an intruder on their ship, not a virus. She is seen confronting someone who is off screen, giving the impression to the crew on Theta Station she could be hallucinating.

Still uncertain if the Demeter fell victim to EL-7, Dr. Ecbar is ordered to inoculate the crew with his current supply of serum (doesn't he mean 'Vaccine'?). Ecbar indicates that he will need more from Earth to inoculate the entire Station, which should arrive in 24 hours. Buck notices that Wilma isn't looking to good, so he requests that she go to the Lounge for something to eat. Buck requests Twiki to take the servo drone to his cabin so they could repair it and see what happened to Mr. Helson. Dr. Ecbar tells Buck that all nine bodies contain some discoloration around their necks. None of them are alive, but they are not dead either. The bodies are in some kind of cellular suspension. Buck seems to make a huge leap and suspects some kind of Vampire to be the culprit after eliminating EL-7 from being a possibility.

Dr. Huer somehow killed the India rubber plant that Buck gave him in Cosmic Whiz Kid. I guess watering it, feeding it, and talking to it wasn't enough. Perhaps it needed sunlight? Theopolois suggests having an Argo-Drone take a look at the plant. The plant however is beyond all hope, so Dr. Huer replaces it with a Ficus benjamina that Huer calls a philodendron. Buck and Wilma call Huer on a subspace channel to fill him on what's happening on Theta Station. Wilma sees the Vorvon after feeling its presence, but tells no one. Dr. Ecbar, while analyzing a victim is approached by the Vorvon. And instead of panicking, or calling for help, he stands there all calm and asks who the Vorvon is. While the 'dead' body he is attending, rises and grabs him around the neck, holding him. Ecbar seems to not even notice that he is being manhandled by someone he thought to be dead. No reaction at all. Buck, Wilma and Royko enter sick bay only to find their dear doctor dead. Wilma get's all scared, feeling cold as if she is experiencing the very presence of death. The large red pulsing light enters the room under the door way (does this mean that it is solid enough that it cannot pass through walls and such?), making all kinds of noise, but no one sees or hears it.

Buck enters his cabin where Twiki plays a joke on him that almost gets himself shot. Twiki managed to repair the drone and Buck turns it on by the top left button. The servo drone recorded its owner getting killed by an invisible creature. Buck notices that Helson drops a weapon of some kind (the power lock), and goes back on the Demeter in hopes in finding it. Buck gets attacked by Dr. Ecbar, the Vorvon, and his army of the undead. With some fast thinking Buck pulls the Security Alarm that frightens off the his attackers, who walk back to the sick bay and back into their beds. Buck himself wakes up in Sick Bay where Wilma tells him not to try to sit up, but helps him up anyways. Royko tells Buck that they discovered three bodies in Sector "G". On a subspace channel, back in his cabin, Dr. Huer tells Buck about the Vorvon. He calls it a myth, but has a clear photo of the Vorvon anyways. I guess you can take pictures of Myths in the future?

The Vorvon has found a fascination with Wilma, and tries to control her with his mind. She runs away from him in terror, but he follows in evil villain fashion...slowly. Nothing like the monster walking towards their victim while the damsel in distress runs away frantically calling for help, trying every door only to find them all locked. After all her efforts to get away, the monster still manages to catch up to her. It's just a sport with the Vorvon. He is enjoying the fear created in Wilma. Buck comes to the rescue and shoots the Vorvon, but still manages to escape. Royko shows up with two security guards who are wearing the same Helmet and vest that was used in 'Return of the Fighting 69'. Royko has Buck locked up believing that he has been infected with the EL-7 virus. Buck in a very modest way tries to convince Royko that if they lock him up, the Vorvon will kill everyone aboard the station. So Buck is their only hope in defeating the Vorvon. Out of 100 people aboard Theta Station, Buck is the only one capable of killing a creature that is out of his century. OK, I can believe that.

Royko confines Wilma to her quarters where she is trapped when the Vorvon returns. She gives into the Vorvon's conversion as he does something with his finger nails at her neck. She made a deal that if the Vorvon left Buck and Royko alone, she would be his forever. The irony is that as soon as she was changed, the first place she went was Buck's cell to harm him anyways. Just goes to show you, don't promise to do what a maniac wants thinking you are making a deal in your favor. Wilma, acting all sexy and vorvon-ish, wants to feed off Buck. When she gets close enough that Buck uses the power lock on her, she recoils in pain and says that Buck tricked her. How did he do that? He wasn't luring her in under the disguise that he was going to allow her to feed off him. If anyone tricked anyone, she tricked Buck that she was normal to get close to him in the first place. She runs off in defeat back into the Vorvon's arms. She tells the Vorvon that she failed because Buck knows about them now. Huh, what? Like she somehow thought that her actions was going to deceive Buck enough where she could convert him too? That now, because he knows she has been changed, they can no longer stay? With Vorvon and Wilma somehow defeated, they make plans to leave Theta Station and visit other worlds to feed off. So, that's what they do.

Buck and Royko fight off his own security forces who have been changed, while the Vorvon and Wilma escape on Buck's ship. Buck booby-trapped his ship that once it passed through Stargate 9 it would be on autopilot with a direct intercept course with a star. That is a lot to assume on Buck's part. That, one, the Vorvon would steel his ship, and two, that it would through the Stargate. Security is called to Corridor 12, Sector "A". Buck hops into one of Royko's Thunderfighters in hot pursuit of Wilma. Catching up to the Shuttle, Buck radios in to contact Wilma. She responds, no longer under the Vorvon's power, and flips the switch that separates the shuttle in two. She has only 20 seconds to before separation. She escapes in the rear section of the ship as the cockpit, along with the Vorvon himself, fly's into the star. The full scale ship that Buck gets into is the four seater Thunderfighter, but the FX miniature is the 2-seater Starfighter. I am still pondering why Buck was so important after he was locked up. I mean he did say that if he was locked up then all the people on the station would die. But he was locked up and all the people on the station did not die. In fact, the Vorvon escaped in Buck's shuttle and fell into his trap without much effort on Buck's part. It would seem that his imprisonment was actually the best thing for everyone as far as how things played out.

With the Vorvon killed, all his victims were freed from their cellular suspension. So, I guess that means that none of the nine people aboard the Demeter actually died. Dr. Ecbar is fine, and all Theta's security guards are fine too. Nice and convenient for a happy ending for a TV show, but I would think that if the Vorvon drained a person of their life force (or soul), that it would not return to them when the Vorvon died. Otherwise it might imply that the Vorvon collects souls, and feeds off fear. Once the Vorvon dies, the souls are released from his captivity, and find their way back to their original bodies. Hopefully those bodies where not cremated or buried in the meantime. Either way, everyone is alive, happy and back on Earth. Buck invites everyone over for dinner after pointing out to Dr. Huer that he noticed the new plant. Que smile and end show.

Character Facts learned in this episode
William Helson: From Cygnus 5, later moved to New London. Became a bounty hunter specializing in alien fugitives only five years ago after his family died. His family was killed in a shuttle accident where he was arrested for their murder being the only survivor. He was tried then acquitted. Vowing vengeance against the Vorvon, Helson gave up his life as an Argo-Station Farmer and spent the next five years hunting him.
Vorvon: Originated in the Rumaine Star System. Is a half-dead creature who drains the living soul from its victims. A power lock is a talisman that can harm the Vorvon. The only thing that can destroy a Vorvon is a tremendous overload of power (or being too close to a large star). A Vorvon appears in humanoid form to its intended victims. Can transform into a pulsing red orb to travel undetected. Undetectable on surveillance footage. Feeds off ones fear.
Theta Station: 100 people stationed there under Commander Royko. Theta Station is the best compufacturing facility in the quadrant. It is equipped with Meteor Deflectors, and the exterior hull has a self repairing core.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: gimme five, Vampire, Muhammad Ali, Aspirin, Lazarus
My Favorite Lines: "I've had better conversations with a Roto-Rooter you know." -Twiki
Deaths: 1
Miniatures: (1) Vorvon Shuttle, (1) Sled (1) Theta Station (1) I.S. Demeter Cargo Freighter (1) Mini I.S. Demeter (1) Launch Tube (1) Starfighter

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ep 113 Cruise Ship to the Stars, December 27, 1979

Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
Writer(s): Michael Bryant & Cory Applebaum
Guest Star(s):
Jalor "Jay" Davin .... Leigh McCloskey
Sabrina Michaels .... Trisha Noble
Cruise Ship Captain .... Brett Halsey
Alison Michaels .... Kimberly Beck
Tina .... Patrica Anne "Patty" Maloney
Tina (voice) .... ?
Gurney Langston, Jr .... Timothy O'Hagan (Young Man)
Tara A.K.A. Miss Cosmos .... Dorothy R. Stratten
Gammon .... ?
Marek .... ?
Full list of Cast and Crew

Miss Cosmos (a perfect genetic example of a woman in this Quadrant of space), fearing she is being stalked by someone informs the Ship Captain of the Lyran Queen. The Captain however informs her that as a cruise ship, they have no special security detail to provide. Seems strange that they do not have any kind of security on the cruise ship. The Captain then invites her to dinner at 1800 hours (6:00pm) as a special guest. As soon as the Captain leaves, Miss Jekyll, I mean, Sabrina comes out of hiding and heads for Miss Cosmos's room. Just at that moment, Miss Cosmos bodyguards exit the room and bump into her. A fight ensues. Sabrina is too strong for Miss Cosmos's bodyguards who quickly become overwhelmed. The Captain, hearing the commotion rushes back and informs security to come at once. Is this the same security that the Captain just got done telling Miss Cosmos he did not have? Luckily Miss Cosmos is a fast thinker and closes her door. Sabrina is stumped on what to do now with the door closed and retreats.

The following day Buck, Wilma, Twiki and Dr Huer are playing poker using a deck of cards that Twiki made for Buck. Buck sees Wilma's 20 credits, and raises her 10 more. Huer "spindles", "Fold" Buck corrects him. Wilma Folds. Buck lays down a three nines, a two and an ace for a three of a kind. Twiki lays down an ace, king, queen, jack, and 10, all black clubs for a Royal Flush. The deck definitely appears to be custom made for this scene. The back of the cards have the Directorate Logo and the letters and numbers are all in the font of the show, with upper and lower case letters with sides added or removed to give it a funky appearance. A fun deck of cards that would be great for the card collector.

Wilma and Huer begin discussing the Lyran Queen, kind of loudly, as if they are trying to make sure Buck over hears them. The Lyran Queen left Earth two days ago with Miss Cosmos aboard. This will definitely get Buck's attention. Dr. Huer suspects a group of thieves that collect inanimate objects of considerable value (most things that robbers would steal). However, he feels that they moved up to people of considerable value. Kind of like a collector of rare, one of a kind items. They could freeze her body and sell her genetic tissue at a staggering profit. The Stellar Authorities would get involved, but being unable to go undercover due to their agents all being too well known, they are enlisting the aide of the Earth Directorate, whom Dr. Huer has already selected Buck for the job, but is trying to be subtle enough to get Buck to Volunteer for the position. Which he does as the idea of meeting the perfect woman on a cruise ship is quite appealing to him.

Instead of flying in a Directorate Starfighter, Buck travels in the Canaris Shuttle. The miniature was originally built for Battlestar Galactica, but was redressed and painted. This is the second time this miniature has been used. It was also in Unchained Woman, as ship ILM-4. For the trip, Theopolis created a devise that puts out a coruscating light curtain that is strong enough to stop a bull elephant. Light itself isn't useful as far as an effective weapon, and I cannot fathom how a pulsing light can stop an elephant. The Captain escorts Buck to Miss Cosmos's room where they make formal introductions. The Captain prepares to leave when Miss Cosmos requests that he bodyguards, Gammon and Marek, leave with the Captain so that they could get a tour of the ship. Tara comes on to Buck pretty hard. A genetically perfect woman and a 500 year old man, just think of the permutations. Buck is more than whiling to uh, provide Tara with children, but he requests that they wait till after the danger is gone. He leaves, probably 'cause he has a situation that he needs to try to walk off.

Alison is expressing her concerns to her boyfriend, Jay, that she hasn't been enjoying herself on the ship, and she isn't sure what they are going to do for the next three weeks to stay entertained. Jay reminds her that the Neuromed was the one who recommended that she rest. Jay requests that Alison meet him at their table in 10 minutes for dinner. Alison begins to get flashes of her attacking the Captain of the ship and Miss Cosmos's guards. I never like it whenever we see flash backs, or TV surveillance videos, because it is always the exact same footage that was used when we the Audience saw it happen. Not only should it be a different point of view but it shouldn't be edited either.

Down by the swimming pool on the Lyran Queen, Miss Cosmos sits by the pool side enjoying her time. The Captain announces that they will be traveling at light-speed (18,6282 miles per second?), for a slow leisurely cruise to Stargate 1. From the Stargate, they will enter the Vega system to their first stop, Sutter's World. Wilma enters the pool area at this time where is is immediately stopped by Gurney Langston, Jr. Wilma introduces herself as Rhea Durant, from Manhattan. I think this is the first time being undercover that she used a false name. Well, Mr. Langston is rewarded for his persistence as Wilma agree's to have dinner with him. A colorful Ambu-Quad named Tina comes up to Buck and Twiki's table asking if they need anything from the bar. Twiki says a few things in his robotic language, and the two quads leave together. Could they be going into some dark broom closet to have robot sex? Twiki's libido is becoming more active. I don't know about you, but that is certainly the impression that I am left with. Time to prepare for the patter of little metal feet.

Miss Cosmos, or Tara, gets up to leave the pool area and heads back to her room. The P.A. announces that there is a lecture on the origins of Sutter's World in the Observation Room 3 on Level "J". Sabrina follows Miss Cosmos but is thwarted by Theopolis's coruscating light curtain. The energy curtain drains Sabrina's powers enough that she stumbles away and transforms back into Alison. The FX effect for this transformation reminds me of the FX transformation of the Police officer to a Zandozan in The Last Starfighter.  Buck, searching the State Room area, finds Alison on the ground and escorts her to her room. Alison asks if she could see Buck again tonight at the Banquette. Buck agrees to stop by her table. After Buck leaves, Alison goes into a fit and transforms back into Sabrina. Sabrina suggests that she is going to steal Wilma's, er, I mean, Rhea Durant's Denebian Moon crystals. Jay requests that Sabrina bring Alison back for their dinner in 20 minutes. Sabrina, in a fit transforms back to Alison.

Buck sits down at his table where Twiki and Theo are already waiting for him. Buck comments that his suit feels a bit outdated, but Twiki assures him that it is the latest fashion on Klosef 3. Buck isn't familiar with the new 'fork' used for eating. Theo instructs him to point it at the food and activate the switch at the base. The food is drawn to the 'fork' like a magnet. Buck instructs Twiki to tell Wilma to meet him in his cabinet at 2200 hours (10:00pm). Tina stops by Bucks table and wisks Twiki away to the Dance Chamber. Buck see's Alison and Jay and gets ready to go over to them to say hi, when Theo requests that Buck turn him 60 degrees to the left. Buck turns him more like 180 degrees. I guess Theo wanted to do some crowd watching.

Jay says that he isn't feeling well and must lie done. That's some strange "headache". This is Jays excuse to leave the table and go disarm the energy curtain that is shielding Miss Cosmos's room. Buck sits with Alison to keep her company. Jay makes a stop at the Disposal Room, where we find that one of the ships technicians is also in on the theft. Jay tells the man that they will be installing an antispectrometer, that will render the life scanners useless. Miss Cosmos walks by Buck with a look of "meet me in my room in five minutes". P.A. announces that the Formal Dining Room will be available for seating after 1830 hours (6:30 pm). Jay, in his employee coveralls and strange glasses, finds an Electromag[netic] sensor, that he suspects to be programmed for only a few specific patterns, one being related to Miss Cosmos's Light Curtain. The best way to disable it, of course is to shoot the control panel. I mean, naturally if you destroy a light switch itself, then the power to the light will fail...right?

Buck's watch alarm is going off and excuses himself from Alison's company. Cocktails are being served in the Astro Lounge on "F" Deck. Buck confronts Jay as he is attempting to deactivate the curtain outside Miss Cosmos's room. I cannot help but notice the black scorch mark on the wall already where Jay will eventually shoot. Jay escapes using a green smoke screen that he throws at the ground, that appears to affect Buck's vision temporarily. Buck regroups and discusses the situation with Dr. Huer on the subspace transmitter. Buck suggest that Huer send him some sonic pistols smuggled in the next cargo shipment. Oh, and some ear plugs.

Down in the Dance Chamber, Twiki and Tina are still going at it. Everyone seems to be doing the rubber-band dance. Being tied to your partner with a giant rubber-band shows the audience their new unique way of dancing in the future. It does look a bit ridicules now, but I cannot help but wonder how it would feel to be a human String Game.Wilma appears to have ditched Gurney and hooked up with two other men that she is dancing with. There is a lot of pelvic thrusting that gives me the impression that he dance is very sexual in nature. Sabrina is sitting at a near by table, watching Wilma, hoping to get her Denebian Moon crystal necklace. Wilma leaves the dance chamber while Sabrina follows. Somehow she cuts Wilma off and subdues her with a red energy beam fired from her finger tips. Jay's background check into Rhea proved Wilma to be an impostor. Sabrina however, seems undeterred as long as she was able to obtain the necklace. Wilma regains her composure and goes in for another attack. Sabrina is too quick and strong, throws Wilma into the wall, knocking the wind out of her yet again.

The P.A. announces that you should make for reservations for the Sightseeing Shuttle with the Ambu-Quad relations director. Sabrina walks away and right past Buck. Turning the next corner, Buck finds Wilma on the ground and takes her back to his room. The halls of the Lyran Queen appear to the exact same setup as the on the Draconia, just repainted. Theoplois assures Buck and Wilma that Buck's monitor should be able to pin point the location of the crystals due to their unique molecular structure. Buck places the monitor on the table next to Theo so he could take a look at it. It wasn't getting the signal that Theo promised that it would. In the next shot of Theo, the monitor disappears, then reappears later. Oops. Buck and Wilma determine that Sabrina must be a mutant that is some how two people. How Buck came to that conclusion seems awfully convenient for the plot, but in a real life situation seems highly improbable. There has been no evidence whatsoever to give Buck even a hint that conclusion may be even worth considering. Or is there?Was it Buck recognizing Jay being with both Alison and Sabrina what tipped him off? Buck leaves as Twiki enters exhausted. Wilma indicates that he should not be tired at 0300 hours (3:00 am). Twiki leans agains the wall and shut himself down.

0900 hours (9:00 am) Breakfast is being served on the Observation Deck. That is a late breakfast. Most hotels that I have stayed at (or even Bed and Breakfasts for that matter), Breakfast starts as early at 6:30 and ends around 9:00. I guess they waited till that hour so the guests could watch William's Comet as it past the ship. What did Buck do between three in the morning till now? Buck heads to Alison's room. Jay leaves Alison, while Buck looks the other way. Nothing like waiting till the boyfriend leaves before entering a desperate girls hotel room. Alison is freaking out that she is going insane, but Buck assures her that she is fine. I mean, sure he suspects that she is a mutant who transforms into a dangerous monster who steals for fun, and who could ultimately condemn her to a life sentence in prison. But there is nothing to worry about. Buck leaves her so he could get Theopolis to help her. But just after he leaves, Alison turns into Sabrina. It would seem that Sabrina has some consciousness while as Alison. She transformed for self preservation. She wasn't going to allow Buck to bring her a doctor what could help Alison get rid of Sabrina.

Sabrina blows down a door to get Bucks attention. Just then Jay conveniently pops out of nowhere, like they planned this little trap from the beginning. Which might explain why this hallway is completely empty of all guests. But that might also be explained by the fact it's breakfast time, and they are all in the Observation room. Sabrina and Jay take Buck to Miss Cosmos's room so he could deactivate the Light Curtain. When Buck refuses, Sabrina threatens Buck that she will do something to Wilma if he doesn't do as they ask. Trying to stay in character, Buck deny's knowing her. Sabrina then orders Jay to kill Rhea. Buck betrays himself and agree's to help Sabrina and Jay. He deactivates the Light Curtain allowing them to kidnap Miss Cosmos. Buck suggests that the Captain not permit any ship from leaving the Hanger, and any incoming shuttle vessel is to be searched for life forms. A useless precaution because they do not plan on Miss Cosmos to be alive when they leave the ship with her remains.

Back in the Disposal Room, Jay and Sabrina have tied Miss Cosmos up to a table where they plan to use a Microtomic laser to cut her up for transport and sale. The scene is very reminiscent to Goldfinger. The base of the laser appears to be the same one that was used in Planet of the Amazon Women for the Credit Display during Bucks Auction. Sabrina puts a antispectometer by the door to mask their life signs. Like all good villains, they leave Miss Cosmos alone in the room. No need to watch her. I am sure no one will interrupt their plans. The technician that is helping Jay and Sabrina demands that he receive the second half of his payment by tomorrow so he can leave before getting caught. They agree to his request, but plan on killing him instead. Alison forces herself back, suppressing Sabrina, and insists on heading back to Earth as soon as she can so she can get better. Jay indicates they are still three days off still from Sutter's World. If she waits till then, she could get a shuttle back to Earth. Unfortunately for Alison, the ship wont make any unscheduled stops to allow her to leave the ship. With each passing moment, the laser warms up.

Buck and Wilma are dancing on one of the Styrofoam cylinders first seen in Cosmic Whiz Kid. It's a good thing that Buck has learned some new dance moves, Otherwise he might look stupid. Buck and Wilma stop dancing and sit down with Alison and Jay. Buck confronts Jay about his previous conviction and tells Alison about her transmute ability and how Jay is using her. Angered, Alison turns into Sabrina, hurls Jay across the room, then walks off. hot on her heals, Buck, Wilma and Twiki use their sonic pistols to force her into the reactivated Light Curtain. Sabrina leaves, and Alison returns. Buck asks Alison where Miss Cosmos is (Wouldn't it be more logical to ask Sabrina that question, as Alison appears to have no memory of what she does when she is Sabrina?). I totally have forgotten about her being strapped down to a table getting ready to be dissected by a laser. It's a good thing that it takes so long for the laser to warm up or Miss Cosmos may already have been shish kabob by now. After some psychic flashes of the laser finally turning on (that she no way could have seen before), Alison tells Buck that Miss Cosmos is in the Disposal Room on Level "B".

Buck, finding the door locked to the Disposal Room, blasts the control panel, allowing the door to fly open. Another defiance of consistency for the sake of the plot. Shoot the panel to keep a door from opening, or shoot the panel to open it. Buck rushes in just seconds before the laser was about to cut into Miss Cosmos shoulder. The first time I saw this shot I thought that the laser had indeed sliced into her. Upon closer examination, Miss Cosmos has a reflection in the table that made it appear that she was being cut into when in fact the laser had not reached her shoulder yet. Once Tara is removed from the table, the laser automatically shuts down. Seems like a backwards safety feature to me...

Alison Michaels is checked into the Directorate clinic where she will endure several scans and tests. And after some modicum therapy, all of Sabrina's powers will be gone forever. Jalor Davin was picked up by directorate police. Dr. Huer requests that Buck and Wilma return to Earth on the next shuttle. Buck and Wilma instead plan on staying aboard the Lyran Queen just a little longer. Miss Cosmos plans on 'repaying' Buck for saving her life, and Wilma seems to have taken a liking to the young Mr. Langston, Jr. Twiki kisses Tina, and everyone laughs for a happy ending. Always got to end the show with a smile.

Character Facts learned in this episode
Miss Cosmos: Tara is a genetically perfect woman. She likes to paint as one of her hobbies.
Gurney Langston, Jr: From the Boston Complex. Family owns Rigel 3.
Rhea Durant of Manhattan: 82 year of old Woman. Owns Rigel 2. A recluse. 
Alison Michaels/Sabrina: Orphaned at a very young age. A Transmute who can split between herself and Sabrina, a kleptomaniac during times of stress. Boyfriend is Jalor Davin. They met at a bar almost a year ago. Went to New Chicago to see a female NeuroMed. She complained that she has been blacking out and waking up in strange places, dizzy spells, and nightmares. She was diagnosed with hypertension and prescribed to get some rest. Someday she hopes to one day see New Phoenix.
Jalor Davin: Was previously convicted for selling stolen property. Currently using Sabrina to steel for him.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Shuffleboard, the Bump Dance,
My Favorite Lines: 
Deaths: 0
Miniatures: (1) Canaris Shuttle (1) Lyran Queen (1) Lyran Queen Set Piece