Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ep 106 The Plot to Kill a City, Part 1 October 11, 1979

Director: Dick Lowry
Writer(s): Alan Brennert
Guest Star(s):
Rafael Argus .... Victor Argo
Seton Kellogg.... Frank Groshin
Jolen Quince .... John Quade
Varek .... Anthony James
Sherese .... Nancy DeCarl
Joella Cameron .... Markie Post
Marcos Marcilka .... Robert Tessier
Barnard "Barney" Smith ....James Sloyan
Argus On-Board-Computer (Voice) .... ?
Technician .... Mitch Reta
1st Cop .... John Furlong
1st Rowdy .... Richard Reed
Pirate .... Seamon Glass
Woman .... Sena Black
Full list of Cast and Crew

Buck enters a bar and approaches Rafael Argus claiming to be someone (or something?) named Harper 5. Assuming the persona of Harper 5, Buck explains that three months prior Argus had killed his brother, Gleeson. An obvious fabrication, but we cannot be sure if the story was based on some truth. Or perhaps Buck's cover was based on the hope that Argus kills so many people so often that he would not be able to keep track of them, and any name or date Buck thought up could have been true as far as Argus was concerned. Either way, it was enough to get Argus riled up and attacks Buck. With the old shoot-the-chandelier-crash-on-bad-guy routine, Buck knocks Argus out cold. Dr. Huer uses a mind prop to determine that Rafael Argus was about to become a member the League of Interstellar Mercenaries, who specialize in Political Assassinations. Dr. Huer so colorfully describes them as the League of Death. Which I think has a much more sinister ring to it than League of Interstellar Mercenaries. Apparently Morgan Deneva, a member of the league, was killed by Earth's Directorate personal the month prior, and now the League is looking for a new member to replace him, and Rafael Argus was their choice. In addition, the League is now seeking revenge against the Directorate for Deneva's death. The League had already bought off one of the Directorates employees, who has been setting off bombs here and there throughout the building.

Buck is volunteered by Dr. Huer to impersonate Argus, fly to Aldebaran II, infiltrate the League, learn what the League is planning against the Directorate and stop them. Such a dangerous mission, that the odds that either Wilma or Buck will not succeed in their mission is highly probable.

Quince meets Sherese at the local bar. Our first introduction to these villains shows that Sherese takes her job a bit more seriously than Quince. Sherese informs Quince that Kellogg is coming from Tau Ceti, and that Rafael Argus was coming in from Earth. Sherese stops in mid thought and picks up on an old friend of hers, Joella. Sherese develops for the the audience that the two have known each other for a long time when she brings up an old boyfriend, Beechim, from Rigel (same planet that Kellogg is from).

Buck, wearing Argus cloths, flys Argus' ship (N2-453), and flirts with Argus' on-board computer, takes off to the Stargate that will take them to Aldebaran II. The sexy voice of the computer informs Buck that the Stargate is 20 minutes away. The on-board computer calls Buck by Rafael's nickname, Rafe. She alerts him to a Squadron of approaching Police Cruiser Starfighters who intend to capture the infamous Rafael Argus. Buck wants to out run them, but the on-board computer informs him that if he goes any faster he would rupture the star drive. Buck takes a direct hit to his starboard force shield. The computer warns that if they take another hit like that they would be defenseless. She suggest using the Pulsar Cannons, but Buck intends to get of this little jam without firing a shot. Unfortunately, he is captured and taken to a holding cell.

Kellogg comes out of the Spaceport, while the overhead P.A. announces that Flight 723 to Altair IV [Argus' home planet] is leaving from Gate 20 in 15 minutes. Quince meets up with Kellogg and his bodyguard Varek. This little segue permits Kellogg to tell Quince, and the audience at the same time, about Varek and how he is able to walk through walls. Combined with Varek's height, he becomes a very menacing figure.

The miniature used for the Stellar Authorities Detention Center is the Flattop ship from Battlestar Galactica) Buck is placed in a cell with Barney, who when Buck introduces himself as Rafael Argus, he pretends not to know him. Playing along, Barney helps Buck escape from the Detention Center. Barney yells for help from the guards and calls Buck an Arcturan, someone who has psychic abilities. Barney accuses Buck (Argus) to have tried to have psychic commune with him. That he tried to get into his head and connect with Barney on a very personal level. The guards take down the shield to separate Barney and Buck, but both prisoners attack and subdue the guards. Buck uses his first Black Light Bomb, and escapes. Buck and Barney are able to make it to Buck's ship without much resistance. Three Police Cruisers are quickly on Buck's tail, but he manages to reach the Stargate before they are able to intercept him.

Wilma's plan is to seduce Quince so he will reveal their plans to her. She is wearing a Pure Denebian silk dress to grab Quince's attention. Quince leaves the woman he was currently flirting with to approach Wilma. She asks if it is true what they say about Telekinetic's, and whispers it in Quince's ear, to which they both laugh and end end up in her room. What is it that they say about Telekinetic's? I am sure it was something very sexual or dirty that they could not say on TV, or at least that is what I think she must  have whispered to Quince, knowing the type of man that he is. He pulls in for a kiss, and Wilma pulls away. She starts to prepare Quince a drink and grabs a syringe, while Quince picks up her overnight bag and just rummages through it. How rude. A closet catches Quince's eye and he opens it to reveal Wilma's subspace transmitter, pistol, and other items so neatly placed, almost as if it was a display case. Strangely enough, Quince isn't concerned about the pistol, he is more curious about the transmitter. As if that was the strangest item in her closet. Wilma takes her opportunity and sticks Quince with a hypodermic needle. The contents of the injection was probably the same stuff Buck used on Velosi's goon in Vegas in Space, 'cause all of the sudden Quince is quite happy and feeling very talkative. Unfortunately, Quince doesn't seem to know much more than the Directorate about the plans. All he is able to provide of any real value was their meeting place, Solar Energy Collector (in the hotel), at 1400 (2:00pm) hours tomorrow (the same day Buck arrives).

(Did you know: the Matt Painting for the spaceport was reused in Star Trek: The Next Generation for Episode 19 Coming of Age in 1988) Buck and Barney arrive at the Spaceport together, and the overhead P.A. is announcing the same Flight 732 to Altair IV is leaving from Gate 20 in 15 minutes. It could have been just a repeated sound bite (more likely) or it could mean that Buck and Barney arrived at the Spaceport at the same time Kellogg was leaving. Hmmm. However this time the P.A. continues with "Government regulations prohibit the transport of sub-humanoid life forms to Aldebaran. For information, contact the Department of Alien Immigration. A reminder that all robots..." Sherese attacks Buck as he exists the Spaceport, flipping him onto his back. In a split second Buck is up on his feet just missing being shot, and stuns Sherese with one shot. Walking off with caution now, Buck is fired on again from above. As he ducks behind the wall, he pulls out his pistol. The camera goes back to Quince, Kellogg, and Varek, then back to Buck who takes out his pistol for the second time. Oops. Continuity error. Quince takes Buck's weapon with his telekinesis, so Buck runs off and encounters Varek. Now, I've always was curious, if someone could change their molecular structure so as to pass through solid objects, as well as objects to pass through them, what keeps them from falling through the floor? Does gravity no longer have any pull on them, or do they simply keep the bottom of their feet solid to remain on the ground? However if their feet were solid, then they wouldn't be able to walk through walls with the rest of his body. So that has to mean that gravity no longer has any force on them, causing them to fly, so to speak. So with no gravity and no solid resistance, they would actually be unable to move at all. Right?

Explosions and sirens are going off back at New Chicago Directorate building. The P.A. announces that Hangers 3, 4 and 9 must be evacuated immediately due to an overload in once of the launch tubes causing the whole hangar system to misfire. Fire control is called to Hangars 7 and 12. Dr. Theolopolis is instructing some maintenance men to sever the input rods to allow a gradual loss of power instead of a instant one. Cutting the last rod, the overload was neutralized. Theo saved the day again. Theo tells Dr. Huer that this overload was no accident and that they have a saboteur in their midst. Now enters the spy in their midst, overseeing his handiwork. Just look at him, standing there in the midst of the chaos he created with a smile on his face. Clearly an bad person.

Sherese invites Joella to the party so she can confirm Rafael Argus identity. I swear I was thinking, "Oh crap,
how's Buck going to get out of this one?". With some quick thinking on Buck's part, Joella quickly falls inline with the story and plays along. Phew. That was a close one. Buck heads out to catch up with the rest of the group down in the hotels substructure. Finally, Markos enters the scene. Wilma, still on target with her mission, is down in the substructure with a audio device allowing her to listen in on the conversation. With all good TV Shows, she is in clear sight of the bad guys, with no real effort to conceal herself. Kellogg finally reveals that he wants to destroy the Terran capital - New Chicago (a city of 10 million people). Course right as Kellogg is going to explain what firepower he plans to use, Sherese detects Wilma's presence. "A woman! A Dangerous woman!" shouts Sherese. I never thought of Wilma as Dangerous, but I guess she was dangerous to their plot to destroy New Chicago.

Buck and Markos run after Wilma. Wilma trips and makes enough noise that Buck and Markos come back and find her. Buck turns the tables on Markos and tries to stun him. Unfortunately the stun feature only works on ones nervous center, and since Markos had all his nerve endings severed, the shot had little to no effect on him. But with a second Black Light Bomb, Buck blinds everyone, but is still able to knock Markos out. Wilma and Markos go to Argus's ship, and Buck says he will be there at 1500 hours. Since it is 1400 hours now, it means he plans to be there in less than an hour. Hope that is enough time to learn how Kellogg plans to destroy New Chicago. Now I have no idea how Wilma was able to carry the unconscious Markos all the way through the Hotel and to Argus's ship by herself. She is like bionic woman.

Theo reports that all systems in Flight Hanger 5 have turned to equilibrium, and Starfighter Patrols are double shifting in Hangers 3 and 7 until repairs can be made. To help find the culprit who set off the explosives, Theo narrows it down to 1,227 employees with a level 9 clearance that had access to the areas bombed.

Markos, awake and 100% compliant, is being directed by Wilma by the neck into the Sled. Then she pulls some sort of neck pinch that puts Markos to sleep. Wha? Huh? Why would a martial arts expert not be able to take Wilma on when he awoke? And how did Wilma knock him out with a neck pinch? Did she use her own version of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch? But that cannot be possible since Markos had his nerve endings severed! It doesn't make sense. At least Argus' computer is more resistant to Wilma than Markos was. So, Buck goes back up to the room, where everyone else is waiting for him. Two things come to my mind right now. Why did they have to meet in the Solar Energy Collector to discuss their plans in the first place? There they could be overheard and seen? Not to mention that they all end up discussing the plans in the privacy of Kellogg's hotel room. Couldn't they have had Markos meet them in the room instead of the basement? Second, why has Sherese not picked up on any of Buck's emotions? He was lying about Markos, but Sherese could not detect that. Nor could she detect his lie about being Argus, or his fear that Joella would reveal his true identity. Buck must be really good and shielding his feelings.

Finally, it is revealed that Kellogg intends to use an Antimatter explosion to wipe out New Chicago. The perfect 'Act-of-God' so no one would suspect it was deliberate! Once the League of Death escapes, then they will claim responsibility for it's destruction. The plan is perfect, especially since New Chicago is apparently powered by such a reactor. The antimatter is held in an invisible electromagnetic bottle within the plant. The explosion would atomize 200 sq kilometers (or 77.22 square miles) instantly. Now is that a radius of 77 miles or the diameter? Something tells me that if we were able to create and store enough antimatter to power a large city. The explosion from the combination of so much matter and antimatter may be larger than a 77 square miles. How do they League of Death plan on escaping fast enough to clear the blast radius?

Wilma disables Rafael's on board computer to allow her to power up the engines, to be ready for take off.
Markos is still unconscious. Buck runs to the hotels bar looking Joella. Unfortunately, Sherese received a phone call from Barney, telling her that he has some information that they would find very valuable about Argus. How Barney got their number, or how he knew that Argus (Buck) was meeting with the League is something I guess we don't have to think about. Just accept it. Wilma takes off, and heads back to the Directorate with her prisoner. Buck and Joella are taken back to Kellogg's hotel room, where Barney sells Buck out, telling the League of Death that he met Rafael Argus two years ago on Sutter's World. Of course, we know that Buck's cover has been blown, but as far as the League goes, how do they know that Barney's information is true? Plus they already have one witness that they do know who confirmed that he was Argus. Now, Argus is supposed to be a man who assumes different appearances and names, so why couldn't the Argus that Barney met look different? How do they know that Argus doesn't hire men to impersonate him to maintain his identity? But none of things come to mind for the League, just that he has been called out. Look's like Buck's in trouble now. Where did Buck get that scab on his forehead, above his left eye?

Character Facts learned in this episode
Rafael Argus: From the Planet Altair V. Assumes various names and appearances so no one would have a clear idea of what he looks like. Carries Black Light Bombs that creates a darkness for thirty seconds. Knows Joella Cameron, and even meet Barney two years prior on Sutter's World.
Jolon Quince: IDENT: GAC[7A324] From the Planet Cygnus III. A heavy gravity planet allowing humans to develop telekinetic abilities to survive. However, can only focus on one thing at a time. A flirtatious man, who enjoys the company of women constantly. Has a thing for Denebian silk.
Seton Kellogg: IDENT: KLM[4L623] & CMJ[HB468] From the Planet Rigel IV. Brilliant scientist and strategist. Plans engineered by him have lead to the death of a dozen planetary leaders. Personal Bodyguard is Varek.
Markos Marcilka: IDENT: BLM[3CB47] & DRB[6BH7C] From the Planet Vega 12. Martial arts expert. Had his nerve endings partially severed to reduce his ability to feel pain.
Sherese: IDENT: JLB[K346D] & FHD[M7138] Home planet unknown. She is an Empath.
Varek: Kellogg's personal Body guard. Comes from a planet where the people thought they won a nuclear war. However, the radiation caused the people to be deformed and mutate. Varek can alter his molecular density, allowing him to pass through walls. Varek talks about his people being a proud race, as if they were alien to Buck and the rest of them, but in reality Varek, and his people, where human.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Grilled cheese Sandwich
Favorite Lines: "Fourth floor, Ladies' clothing and lingerie." -Twiki "Don't go getting sentimental on me Barney. I mean, it was fun, but nothing I wanna press into my scrapbook, if you know what I mean" -Buck
Deaths: 0
Miniatures: (3) Police Starfighters (1) Launch Tube (1) Sled (1) Detention Center


  1. I'm pretty sure the line is "a saboteur in our midst" not mitts. Good recap, though.

  2. Replies
    1. Patrick, is there any means to contact you directly via email? (sorry, I don't use Wordpress all that much, and I think that's the venue here.) As Buck's approaching its 40th anniversary next year, I was wondering if you'd want to pen a guest column for my website over at SciFiHistory.Net. Any interest?