Friday, July 19, 2013

Ep 103 Planet of the Slave Girls, Part 1 September 27, 1979

Director: Michael Caffey
Writer(s): Steve Greenberg, Aubrey Soloman & Cory Applebaum
Guest Star(s):
Major Duke Danton (Scout Leader).... David Groh
Governor Tabor Saroyan .... Roddy McDowell
Regis Saroyan (Scout Three) .... Michael Mullins
Ryma (Slave girl) .... Brianne Leary
Dr. Mallory .... MacDonald Carey
Stella Warden (Mallory's assistant).... Karen Carlson
Carl (Voice) ....
Major Fields .... Sheila "DeWindt" Wills
Julio .... Don Marshall
Female Pilot .... Diane Markoff
Woman .... June Whitley Taylor
Husband .... Borah Silver
Worker .... Michael Masters
Guard .... Don Maxwell
Technician .... Nathaniel Brian Wine
Special Guest Stars:
Kaleel .... Jack Palance
Full list of cast and Crew

I'd first like to start off that the title is very deceptive. It makes me think that the entire planet is all women, slave women, who would probably be wearing skimpy outfits to please their master. But in reality this show has nothing to do with Slave Girls. It's about nomads falling into a cult to over throw the governor. There are as many slave men as their are girls or women. Calling it Planet of the Slave Nomads would have been more accurate, but of course not as appealing.
Buck and Deering are flying to Stargate 4 to get back home. According to Buck, Stargate 4 is about 26 minutes from Earth. Star Gates allow ships to travel through space warp to different parts of the galaxy light-years away. Kind of like a teleportation unit. This is the only episode that gives the audience a feeling of that it is like to travel through the gate.

Four Scout Star Fighters are out on a Directorate Training mission. Scout Three falls behind and becomes a target for two Pirate ships. Being fired upon, Three is hit on the starboard side. The ships themselves are identical to the Draconian Bombers. So, perhaps the Draconian's did disguise their ships to look like Pirate ships after all, or the Directorate created Replicas of the ships from their previous experience with them, and was using their likeness for this training mission. Either way Buck and Deering end up coming to Three's rescue, destroying both Pirates. However, when we see the FX shot, there is a little explosion in front of the Directorate Star Fighter which I assume was supposed to be the first Pirate ship (how it got in front of the Star Fighter in the first place, I have no idea), and then Deering destroys the second Pirate ship. I feel that there is something missing in this fight scene that wasn't edited quite right.

Buck identify's himself to Scout Leader as Earth Recon 1. Major Danton however doesn't appreciate Buck's "interference" and thus begins the rift between the two men for the majority of the episode. A hostility that really plays out during one of Danton's Combat Technique Sessions were Buck was a guest speaker.

I honestly had to rewind this portion and turn on the Subtitles to see what it was that Buck said to Danton, 'cause what I heard isn't appropriate for TV. Funk and Wagnill's is a dictionary, like Webster's. Buck was making a reference to Danton's definition of "interference" and nothing more. However when you say "Funk and Wagnills" as quickly as Buck did, it sounded like he said "F%@#in' Wagnills" like an insult. I wounder if the writers did that intentionally. The FX shot of the Star Fighters heading home has a slight inconsistency. We see the Star Fighters flying towards the camera and in front is 4-Seater Thunder Fighter that has the larger canopy and cockpit. However, when the camera angle changes to the rear view, all the ships are combat Star Fighters again.

Governor Tabor Saroyan, sent his son, Regis, to train in the Directorate to be a pilot. While on Earth he was poisoned, among hundreds of other pilots by contaminated food discs. Such an unappetizing looking thing too. Do these disks get eaten straight, or do they required dehydration like in Back To The Future II with the pizza? From Colonel Deering, we learn that all food processing and distribution is controlled and monitored by the Food Directorate, who periodically send Investigators to Vistula to check up on the food processing and handling.

Stella Warden, Dr. Mallory's assistant, destroys Carl, a large talking box, as he attempts a nitrogen breakdown of the contaminates of the food discs. While Carl calls for help, I cannot help but thing he is referencing Lost In Space, with his "Danger, Danger" lines. Possible Easter egg? The devise that Stella uses reminds me of something out of Knight Rider. Meanwhile Buck is teaching Wilma Judo. So, now we know that Buck does indeed know a form of martial arts.

Dr. Huer calls Buck and Wilma to the Hospital Research Lab, where they discover that Carl has been put out of commission, setting back their search for an antidote, days or even weeks, behind schedule. Colonel Deering seems to freak-out in a nonchalant way making an exaggerated claim that this setback means Earth, the entire planet, would be next to defenseless indefinitely. I hardly consider days, or weeks as indefinitely. Nor do I think that a couple hundred pilots and cadets being sick, means that the Earth is defenseless. Isn't that the point of the Earth Defense Shield? Maybe I'm over thinking it.

Vistula: Is an agricultural planet, just beyond Stargate 5, in the Epsilon Ludi system. Most of the vegetables in Earths food is grown there, and various other proteins. The barren portion of the Planet is called the Sea of Stone where nothing can grow. The nomads live here, under a mountain, with their leader Kaleel.

Stella Warden contacts Vistula 2, to inform Kaleel (is this a modified version of Kal-El, a Superman Easter Egg?) that Earth will be defenseless when it's time to attack. Why do the nomads follow Kaleel is beyond me. He sells them to the governor, and kills them with his 'touch of truth' that is powered, not by god, but the peoples own fear of him.
Little did Jack Palance know at the time that he would later play a role in Tim Burton's Batman

Kaleel is able to kill those who fear him with his touch. The power itself is fueled by fear alone, so if you do not fear Kaleel, you would be immune to his touch. However Kaleel states that his power is from god, and if your heart is good and true you shall live, if not then you will die. What a very manipulative thing to say to a bunch of gullible believers. It's like saying, "Drink this poison, if god spares you, then you are a good person, if you die, then you must have been a traitor."  How do you argue with the results? So, the slave woman outs her husband, who is then killed, and everyone praises Kaleel for it. Psycho!

An assassin his sent to kill Dr Huer with a poisoned boomerang. The interesting part of this scene is how Buck is "crouching" on what clearly feels like a small stage set, and looks around without going anywhere. In real life his 'sneaking' around to find the assassin would be a bit more involved. But the way it's shot and edited, it does kind of give you that moving around feel. But he really isn't. So the assassin is wearing all black with little reflectors on his outfit, and is throwing around a weapon that gives off a lot of noise as it fly's through the air and only works if the victim is standing. Clearly this assassination attempt is being done by the lowest bidder.

Regis is placed in a Sick Suit for his transportation home.

Twiki made two wrist bands for Buck and Wilima that will give each of them a visual warning if the contaminate enters their system. It also monitors the telemetry of its corresponding wrist band, or in layman's terms, they are Radio Directional Finders (or R.D.F.). They are powered by body heat.

So, Wilma, Buck, Danton, and Fields fly off to Vistual with Regis from New Chicago, but the FX shot is them exiting the Draconia lower launch bays as if they were currently in space. Another inconsistent FX shot, is that we see that both Majors are flying their own Star Fighers, while Buck, Wilam and Regis are in the 4-Seater Thunder Fighter, but when we see a rear flyby, the 4-Seater Thunder Fighter turned into the Sled, then back to the 4-Seater.

The Governor, Regis, Danton, Fields, Buck, Wilma, and Julio are all seated together celebrating Regis's return. The food was brought in from Dionysin. Ironically, the Governor has all his food brought in from other planets as he is too tired to constantly be eating soy products. Chatting a bit they get onto the topic of slavery. It's funny how the director (or someone anyways) chose an African-American to be the one who didn't understand the word "slavery". It was like the writers or director was trying to give the audience the impression that Earths history with slavery has been all but forgotten, that the word itself has no meaning.

Buck is naked taking a bath singing Strangers in the Night, another Frank Sinatra song, when Ryma enters his room. She was sent there to not only bring him towels, but to be his lover for the night. Danton later makes a crack remark about this later. Does that mean that Danton, Wilma, and Fields all had someone come to their rooms to be their lovers for the night? It seems very possible. Getting out of the bath, Buck seems to have no modesty as he stand ups fully nude in front of Ryma, a woman he literally just met at dinner, and she doesn't blink an eye either, like this kind of thing is pretty normal for her.

Ryma's brother worked at Processing Plant No. 347 and learned about the contaminate in the food discs. He was going to tell his sister, who works in the governors house, what he found, but Kaleel, had him killed before he had the chance. Buck tells Ryma that he will leave for the processing plant by the window so he could maintain his reputation. Reputation for what exactly? Being a ladies man? Being promiscuous? He definitely holds to the stereotype that it's attractive for a man to be flirtatious and promiscuous with other women while he may or may not be trying to develop a real relationship with Wilma Deering. The men in the audience now want to be like him and the women want to be with him.

Buck sneaks into the processing plant and ends up in a fight with the night crew. At first I am thinking that these guys must be regular staff, but now as the scene plays out, they must be security, cause who else would risk personal injury, if not their lives, then those sworn to protect and serve right? I mean, if I was working late at the plant and saw a man dressed all in black sneaking around, I wouldn't go up to him, I'd call the police or security.

Back at Buck's room, Julio is interrogating Ryma on Buck's whereabouts. Curious thing though, if Buck and Ryma were supposed be going at it, Julio should have known this, so why did he knock and enter Buck's room in the first place, and why would Ryma have let them in? Perhaps he got a call from the processing plant that someone had broken in and Julio already suspected Buck may be gone and came to his room to confirm it. However if that was the case, then he wouldn't have been surprised at the idea that Buck was at the plant, as it appeared that the thought had not occurred to him yet. Too many questions...

Wilma activates her R.D.F. wrist band so Buck can locate her. The two lights on the display screen somehow tell Buck that she is Northeast from his position, 3 kilometers (1.864 miles) away. Being unsafe for a subspace communication between Vistual and Earth, Major Fields takes the contaminated packing material (bubble wrap) back to Dr. Huer.

Ryma, Wilma, and a bunch of other slaves are all aboard a shuttle that is taking them back to Kaleel. The FX shot for the shuttle itself is the same model used for Princess Ardala's private shuttle. The FX shot is most likely the exact same one used in The Awakening Part II, but with the Launch Tube miniature for the new background. The next time we see the shuttle the camera angle is of the top flying through the desert, however it is a different model altogether. This shuttle is actually the Colonial Shuttle from Battlestar Galactica.

Buck suggests using the Retro-Gravity Valve to slow their decent. What is a retro-gravity valve? Isn't the word 'Retro' used for something that is old, outdated, that happened before hand or past tense? So, would that be then a release valve that let out outdated gravity to give the ship more buoyancy? Whatever it was, it canceled out and Danton's Star Fighter crashes anyways.

Facts Learned this Episode:
Power Leech: A type of force shield that drains or redirects a ships energy making it uncontrollable, ultimately forcing it to the ground. 
Sick Suit: Monitors vital signs, and administers the proper treatment intravenously
Kaleel: Has The Touch of Truth (the kiss of god) that he uses to kill those who fear him just with his touch. The power itself is fueled by fear alone, so if you do not fear Kaleel, you would be immune to the "Touch of Truth". 

References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Funk & Wagnalls, Football, Red Dogging, sacking the Quarterback, having a thing for someone, a crush.
Deaths: 3
Miniatures: (2) Pirate Ships (5)Star Fighters (1) 4-Seater Thunder Fighter (1) Launch Tube (1) Scorpion (1) Draconia Set Piece (1) Sled (1) Ardala's Private Shuttle (1) Colonial Shuttle (1) Docking Bay

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