Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ep 104 Planet of the Slave Girls, Part 2 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
Galen .... Robert Dowdell
Special Guest Stars:
Brigadier Gordon .... Buster Crabbe
Kaleel .... Jack Palance
Full list of cast and Crew

Buck and Major Danton crash about 18 kilometers (11.18468 miles) from Colonel Deering’s location. Wilma and Ryma are being escorted to the place where Kaleel puts people who are a threat to him. The guards escorting them seem to be enjoying their job too much, needlessly keep pushing the women, to keep moving, despite that they obviously are. This force from the guards does create a threatening situation for the girls, but it really was just an excuses for Wilma to show off the Judo she learned from Buck, allowing her to escape.

After Twiki solders Carl's broken connectors, Theo asks Mallory to send an light current through Carl’s higher levels of associative circuits. To Dr. Mallory's disbelief, Carl is up and running again. Now they can get started working on an antidote from the sample that Major Field's brought to them. Mallory is such a downer. Having a computer fix another computer is how things are done these days, it seems to have caused humans to loose their basic understanding of computers and electrical components. Any computer can be rebuilt. Just need new parts. Silly Dr. Mallory.

Wilma somehow found some extra slave girl outfit that she changed into. I can only assume that she changed her cloths to blend in. Luckily she was also able to find a large stick that she uses as a club to beat a guard over the head with. I imagine that the blow was just to knock the guard unconscious, however she could have fractured his skull, causing swelling that would end up ultimately killing him. The second question is, where did the stick come from? The Sea of Stone is said to be a place where nothing can grow. Nothing. Meaning no plant life at all. In other words, this stick had to of come from the other side of the planet, then carelessly discarded. Perhaps it was a souvenir from a slave that once worked for Governor Tabor Saroyan, but was sent back to the Nomads for punishment. One of Kaleel's guards confiscated the stick, tossing it to the ground, as they escorted the slave to their doom. I guess that could make sense.

Discovering an armada of ships, Duke and Buck make plans to hijack one of the ships and fly back to Dr. Huer, so they could launch a secret assault before the ships can take off. Buck asks the question that the audience is now asking, wouldn't the Energy Leach bring the ship down just like the Star Fighter? No, of course not, the writers come up with Trans-Light Velocity, that will make him so fast, that the Nomads would never be able to catch him. Now, if Duke was aware of this Trans-Light Velocity, why didn't they use that in the Star Fighter? Would using it have caused them to travel too fast so flying in planet would be impossible? Duke Danton steals a Scorpion Fighter and is in space pretty quickly. However, when we cut back to the same computer graphic of the Energy Leach, his ship is just taking off and clearing the mountains. Back in space is the same FX shot when Stella Warden first approached Vistula. This same shot gets used a couple more times during the end battle scene.

Dr. Huer is only able to provide 6 pilots, plus Twiki and Theo (who volunteered). The pilots consist of Major Fields, retired Brigadier "Flash" Gordon (who also played the original Buck Rogers), two women, and two men. With Major Duke Danton as leader, it makes eight in the squadron They are going to attack Kaleel's 100 Scorpion ships while they were still on the ground and vulnerable. They set out on course 7X490, towards the Stargate. The FX shot of all the ships flying towards the Stargate only shows six out of the eight ships. Where are the other two? In fact, all the FX shots of the Star Fighters only show six ships. The editing room must be recycling film. Anyways, back to the action, Danton states that they will reach Stargate 5 in 12 minutes. Before they enter the gate, Danton instructs the pilots to punch in a new destination, 4807K, to Vistula.

After both Buck and Wilma are captured, they are thrown into the same cell where Ryma is. Awfully convenient for out heroes, don't you think? Don't they have more than one cell? Somewhere along the way Wilma was given a gold headband that she wasn't wearing before. She just keeps picking discarded cloths off the floor, I guess. Buck pulls out the flash grenade that he salvaged from some crazy attackers in the desert. He places it under a rock to shield himself from the blast, as well as to boost him up high enough to a shaft that leads to a cool storage room. This grenade trick I commonly use playing HALO. Throw a couple of frag grenades down, run and jump just as they go off to give yourself that extra boost up to reach high places. If it works for a Spartan, why not Buck? The trick works, and Buck, using some rope he found, manages to escape with the two women.

Kaleel sits in his command room and watches his armada approach the Star Fighters with great pleasure. The screen shot is the almost the same one that is used later for the inside of the Star Fighters, but is just zoomed in to hide the computer console lights and buttons around the screen.

Now outside, Wilma takes out the two guards that are guarding the last two Scorpion fighters still grounded (Buck is in 9-3 and Wilma is in 9-4), while Ryma goes back into the Mountain to rally her people to fight, using the weapons and explosives they have stolen over the past months. Galen (Greek name that means "Calm"), unawares that the two fighters joining the armada late where being piloted by Wilma and Buck, and orders them to rejoin formation via sequence 309. Buck basically tells Galen to piss off, and switches to Danton's radio frequency, Vector 92.4, to let him know that he and Wilama where there to help. Kaleel, back in is viewing room with Stella, counts 8 fighters that are going to attack his armada of 15. I thought there was supposed to be 100 Scorpion fighters, but 15 I think is the same thing right? The view screen shows the 8 Star Fighters, plus 2 Scorpion fighters joining them, making it 10, not 8, against his armada.
Perhaps Kaleel cannot count, or that he doesn't know yet that the two ships joining the squadron are Buck and Wilma. Now we see Buck's football plan come into play, as they use it here to get at Galen. A couple quick FX miniature shots are thrown in that show Pirate Ships instead of the Scorpions, and even a 4-Seater Thunder Fighter instead of the 2-Seater Star fighter. Why make new consistent shots, when you can use some old film, add explosions and no one would notice, right? The pilot is even the same guy for each shot. Even after we seem him brace himself for death, he is back in the next shot. Are these guys clones, or could they not film multiple guys piloting the Scorpions? Duke and the other pilots are able to create an opening in the armada for Buck to fly in and take out Galen. After Galen's death, the entire armada breaks up and retreats. Buck, Wilma, and Danton fly to the surface and arrive pretty quickly, 'cause as soon as Kaleel encounters the first rebel slaves, he also meets up with Buck. How he landed, got out of the ship and ran into the mountain into the exact corridor that he needed to be in to cut off Kaleel is the magic of film, not reality. But it makes good TV.

Tim Robbins noted first film role was a slave extra in the scene where Ryma was convincing her people that now was the time to attack. He has no lines, just has a mean scowl on his face. I tried finding him in more shots, but I think that this was the only clear shot of him. You gotta start somewhere, and how many people can say that they got started on the set of Buck Rogers?

Slaves attack Kaleel before he is able to reach his private cruiser. Being cut off, Kaleel threatens to kill Buck with his touch of death, and everyone seems to let him. Guess Kaleel's fear over the nomads was still too great that they would not interfere. Buck stands up to Kaleel, and Kaleel's power dwindles, allowing him to be taken prisoner. Back on Earth, the Governor of Vistula and his son agree to fix Vistula's problems together, and Buck, Wilma, and Danton walk off together to celebrate their victory. The End.

Character Facts learned in this episode
Major Danton: was instructed by Brigadier Gordon in pulsar cannon 15 years prior. Pulsar cannons's are the guns on the Star Fighters, so I presume that Danton was making a comment then that the Brigadier taught him how to shoot.
Galen: the best military strategist that Earth had. Disappeared from Earth's military seven years ago, when it was learned that Galen would sell his skill to anyone for the right price.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: "Who's the Juice?" reference to OJ Simpson
Favorite Lines: "Ah, got away." - Stella Warden, "Ryma! She's still alive. Whatever that's worth." - Deering
Deaths: 14
Miniatures: (2) Pirate Ships (6)Star Fighters (1) 4-Seater Thunder Fighter (1) Launch Tube (15) Scorpion (1) Draconia Set Piece (1) Sled (1) Ardala's Private Shuttle (1) Colonial Shuttle (1) Docking Bay

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