Friday, August 16, 2013

Ep 107 The Plot to Kill a City, Part 2 October 18, 1979

Director: Dick Lowry
Writer(s): Alan Brennert
Guest Star(s):
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
Richard Selvan .... James McEachin
Hartsteen .... Whitney Rydbeck
Ticket Clerk .... Gwen Mitchell
Katrina .... Nonice Williams
1st Cop .... John Furlong
Full list of Cast and Crew

Oh good, at least Buck has some sense to ask how they can believe some guys word that they have never met before. I mean seriously, it's two against one. But I guess you can never be too paranoid. Buck pulls out his third Black Light Bomb and manages to escape with Joella. Now, I always get the feeling that the black smoke or whatever, makes it impossible for the bad guys to see, allowing our hero to slip past them. However our hero would also be unable to see, and would feel pretty stupid trying to feel for the door when the blackness cleared. Luckily, Buck is too smart for be blinded by his own devices, and escapes once again. While the League of Death chase after Buck and Joella, Barney takes the opportunity to rob Kelloggs hotel room.

Downstairs, in what looks like the hotels parking garage, Buck and Joella are being chased by the League of Death. Buck turns to fire and with his shear strength is able to hold onto his blaster as Quince tries to pull it out of his hands with his mind. Bang, Piggy goes down. Ha. His mind powers where no match for Bucks
physical strength. Buck now activates some sort of robot (No. 13) and hurls it down the hallway at his pursuers, who turn tail and run away in fear at the approaching...thing making sucky noises. Buck and Joella split up. They plan to meet in the Main Terminal in the Spaceport in 10 minutes. What Buck's plan was, who really knows, but he is captured by Varek and brought back to Kellogg's Hotel room where they plan to interrogate him. Sherese asks if he works for the Stellar Authorities, whom I assume it was who arrested Buck in part one of The Plot to Kill a City. She has some sort of injection tool that contains a chemical which affects the Thalamic region of the Brain causing immense pain. Before the chemical is injected, Buck confesses he is someone named Aron Wist, his secondary cover name. The only way that could Quince could heard of Aron Wist, is that the Directorate has been using that name for years, when ever they need an cover for one of their agents. They would just swap out the agents photo each time and maintain the identity.

Kellogg contacts his informant that the Directorate with his transmitter case to validate Buck's new cover. Kellogg refers to Dr. Huer as Elias Huer. Is this the first time we learn Huer's first name? Why would Kellogg use his first and last name as opposed to just calling him Dr. Huer like everyone else? Perhaps the two knew each other a long time ago, before Huer was a Doctor, and they where on a first name basis. There may be a interesting back story there. Buck has only 30 minutes before they will know if Aron Wist is who he says he is. That means that Buck is going to be at least 20 minutes late to meet up with Joella at the Main Terminal. What does she think when he doesn't show? Will she just sit on a bench and read the paper waiting?

Wilma brings Markos to Dr. Huers office where Markos tells them they will be all blown to bits in a short time. Believing he is lying, Dr Huer instructs the Stellar Police to take him to Dr. Nowlan to probe his mind. Seems rather invasive to me. I mean, if I wasn't on the Directorate's side, I would think that their methods and treatment of prisoners sometimes seems just as inhumane as any bad guys. It's great seeing Markos' face when Wilma tells him that when the city is blown up, he would be killed in the blast as well. It does seem that the idea had not dawned on him.

Mr. Hartsteen, entering Data room 4, sends a photo of Aron Wist to Kellogg's transmitter, confirming Buck's cover. Sherese wants to kill him anyways, but both Kellogg and Quince want him to join the League
instead. So they agree that Buck will fly with Quince to Earth. Hartsteen's new job is to make sure that Huer has no idea on what they are planning. A job that Hartsteen is sure to be very dangerous. Not sure how, but it sounds dangerous now that he said it would be. Kellogg gives Hartseen 20 minutes to get back to him. Buck is now going to be at least 40 minutes late in meeting up with Joella. Hartsteen plants a listening devise under Huer's desk to determine if Huer suspects anything. Instead, he learns that Aron Wist is a fictional bad guy, wich he quickly passes to Kellogg. Hartsteen, plans on catching a shuttle to New Phoenix to escape the blast zone. An account has been set up there for Hartsteen, where his money is waiting for him. Or at least so he is told.

Back at the Spaceport; "Flight 723 to Altair V now boarding at Gate 20..." repeats over the P.A. system. Joella notices Barney, who is trying to leave with a Starfighter docked in Hanger 9, that he purchased with the few hundred thousand credits of tainted (fraudulent?) money that Kellogg gave him. "Arriving passenger Dr. Adam Strange from Alpha Centauri, please report to the reservation desk." "Flight 82? to Thanagar, Thimble(?) and Tantless(?) IV ready for departure" is heard over the P.A. system as Kellogg and Varek enter the Spaceport. Buck is cornered, with his cover blown, Joella takes a page out of Buck's handbook, and pushes a robot at Quince, knocking him to the ground allowing Buck to escape once again. Buck finds his way into a Hanger to evade the League of Death. The set appears to be the exact same set as Earth's Directorate Hanger, but with some large red crates placed here and there, and filmed from the opposite direction.
Buck is once again cornered inside one of these red crates, where only Varek can enter. Buck pulls out a little hand pistol that looks identical to the one Sherese was using (was it her pistol?). We get to see a good closeup of the gun as Buck increases its power in hopes to stop Varek. Unable to shoot Varek, Buck's gun is taken from him. Now why Buck couldn't shoot Varek now that he was solid again to take the pistol, I don't know. Anyways, Varek shoots a fourth shot at the wall behind Buck to make Kellogg and the others believe Varek shot Buck. Strange that they would think that particular shot meant Buck's death after the last three shots could have meant Varek's death. But Varek allows Buck to live, and takes off his mask. Oh, not as scary as I had imagined. I mean, they described earlier that he didn't have a face left, but it just looks like he has a bad case of burns, boils, and scabbing. Buck hiding in the rafters above Varek hands Sherese the pistol Buck had. Perhaps when Buck ran into Sherese a little earlier, when he dashed off, he swiped her pistol from her. Another possibility, is that the pistol was Buck's all along (same one he used to stun Sherese in the beginning) and Varek handed it to Sherese because he knows she likes to collect trinkets (blasters) from her enemies.

Hartsteen is preparing to leave for the day, when he is arrested by the Stellar Authorities. Theo was onto him before he made the call to Kellogg. Now crazy man is going to detention. Buck is trying to make a subspace call to Earth, but the woman at the desk informs him that he needs two forms to ID. Annoyed, Buck walks off and runs into Joella, who says she hasn't had this much fun in months.This is the same line that Quince used when the League was testing Buck when he first arrived. "Flight 723 to Altair V..." "Flight 731 to Ariquis (?) is to depart in 12 minutes" Kellogg, Sherese, and Quince fly off in Scorpion Fighters and head to Earth. By the time they arrive at Earth, Buck and Joella are entering Hanger 9, where Barney is with his newly purchased Starfighter. "Flight 262 to Regulus V now boarding at Gate 42" "Flight 666 to Lavas Planet will be leaving from Gate 6 in 30 minutes" I assume that his last P.A. announcement was a joke, referring to the sign of the devil going to a planet that is all lava. Joella takes Buck to Barney who is still prepping his Starfighter. With Barney's ID Plate, Buck and Joella take the fighter to Earth, leaving Barney behind.

The League of Death find Mr. Selvan playing in the park with his two children, in his uniform. I guess he isn't
one who likes to leave work at work when he is off duty. Why did the costume department make his engineering outfit make him look like he is in the armed forces? With the threat to his family, Selvan agrees to help the League of Death enter the plant. Course if he knew they plan on wiping out the entire city, he would realize that he wasn't saving his family from harm by agreeing to help, but putting them in harms way. The irony. Buck comes out of the Stargate, still unused to its effects. He contacts the Directorate, informing them that he is 40 minutes away. Wasn't the Stargate 20 minutes from Earth when Buck first entered it in Argus ship?

The three Scorpion fighters plan to land a few kilometers away, along the plants Northern perimeter. Varek is flying with Kellogg, and Selvan is flying with Quince. Sherese is flying alone, and for some reason, the only one wearing a helmet. Well, the League lands and with a touch of Selvan's right hand to the upper right hand corner of the door, he lets the L.O.D. into the plant.

The first security baffle is able to determine how many people have entered by how many heart beats it
detects. Presumably, each person who enters would have to do so one at a time, or all would have to place their hands on the door at once for clearance. As they all enter at once, the alarms are sounded and five maintenance androids all armed, cut off their path. The androids tell them that they are in violation of statue 0605 in an...Kellogg fires something that hits all the androids (except the one in the middle) at once, blowing their circuits. They press on, undeterred.

Buck helps Joella out of the 4-Seater Thunder Fighter, which is a continuity error, as they were flying the standard 2-Seater Starfighter. Wilma runs up to Buck relieved he is still alive. Buck introduces Joella to Twiki and Theo, who appeared out of nowhere, and they walk off as Twiki makes his attraction to Joella obvious. Three Starfighters are powered up and ready for Buck, Wilma and Lt. Murphy.

The second security obstacle they encounter back at the plant is a Neutronium Vault Door. A door that would be impossible for the L.O.D. to get through. But with Quince's mind powers he rips the door off its hinges. Why have Varek walk through the door and open from the other side, when you can use telekinesis to bust the door down? The Third security feature are defense lasers that are triggered by the slightest change of air density.
Varek does in fact set the lasers off, but with his molecular density changed, he his unharmed. Which leads them to their final security defense. A 50-50 choice of which button to push. The bottom button allows access to the main control room, the top button releases a potent paralytic nerve gas. Kellogg threatens Selvan again that their "associate" would harm his family if he did not provide the information to which was the correct button to push. Who this associate is, we have no idea. It probably was an empty threat, because the last time Kellogg mentioned that his associate would harm his children, he was referring to Varek. Since Varek is with them now, and we have not seen anyone else, I speculate that there is no associate. Selvan, unlike Buck, is not good at hiding his feelings, and Sherese is able to sense that he is lying about which button to push.

The automated signal has been going off for the last 20 minutes and apparently no one has noticed it until Buck and Wilma where headed to the plant already. Huer and the Stellar Authorities are 10 minutes away and are ahead of Buck and Wilma. The Plant itself is only manned by Maintenance Androids, who also double as guards. All the plants controls are operated by remote technicians at the Energy Directorate. Everything else is computerized. So, where does Selvan fit in? Is he the only one who actually visits the plant? Selvan finally learns that their plan is to wipe out the whole city. He knocks Kellogg to the ground and quickly starts to undo the commands that Kellogg has started that would cause the bottle of antimatter to erode. Kellogg tells Selvan that no one touches him, no one. The price for doing so is death. My thoughts instantly goes to Danny Vermin from Johnny Dangerously. Kellogg commands Varek to kill Selvan, but Varek refuses. Thus begins the fight. Sherese shoots Selvan, and Kellogg shoots Varek with some devise on his belt, temporarily stunning him. Sherese then shoots the main computer, setting off the alarm. "Alert, Alert, this is a Code 5 Emergency" Kellogg calculates that it will be only 5 minutes before a chain reaction begins destroying all of New Chicago. Which I guess then that all three of them will be able to run out of the plant, run to their ships, prepare them for flight, and clear 77 miles in less than 5 minutes. That's not much room for error. Their plan then is to rendezvous on Sutter's World in 36 hours, where they will claim credit for the destruction.

Dr Huer and two Stellar police arrive at the plant first, while Buck, Wilma and Murphy are just 30 seconds behind. Unfortunately, by the time Huer and company arrived, the assassins had already taken off. Luckily Buck, Wilma and the Murphy had not landed yet, so they were able to pursue them as they were leaving the scene. By the time Huer reaches Selvan, who survived being shot, two minutes and 30 seconds had passed since the L.O.D. had left. With only two minutes left, it is decided that Varek will enter the chamber and attempt to stop the terminal reaction.

In space the battle of three Starfighters against three Scorpion Fighters ensues. Quince uses his mind control to jam Bucks controls. This however leaves him vulnerable to an attack that comes from Wilma, killing him. Lt Murphy ends up killing Kellogg. What happened to Sherese? I didn't see anyone kill her. Did she fly off? Lt. Murphy tows the debris back to Earth, while Buck and Wilma head back to the plant somehow in only 45 seconds. Buck and Wilma arrive with only 45 seconds left on the clock. So in 4 minutes 15 seconds, the assassins left the plant, entered orbit, battled with Buck, Wilma and
Murphy, where destroyed, then Buck and Wilma were able to reenter Earth's atmosphere, land, and run back to the Main Control Room to watch Varek as he attempts to stop the terminal reaction. With two seconds to go, Varek is able to neutralize the threat. Code 5 is no longer in effect. Varek leaves the chamber and is hit by some matter and antimatter. He instantly falls through the floor to save himself, but was unable to escape injury.

Back in Buck's room, he serves Dr. Huer and Wilma Burgundy Wine to celebrate. Buck was able to make it by taking some fruit that looked like grapes from the hydroponics lab, squeezed them into juice, then Theo hit it with delta radiation to speed up the fermentation. Ahh, here we go. Buck inquires about Sherese. Apparently she did run away before being destroyed. Theo was trying to track her down, unsuccessfully. He states that he is probably halfway to Arcturus by now, which I guess is like saying she is so far away that he doesn't expect to hear from her again. Joella and Twiki come in and it would seem that Joella is fluent in the language of Ambuquads. Everyone laughs. End show. Buck in his Han Solo outfit.

Character Facts learned in this episode
Aron Wist: From the Planet Alpha Centauri. A strictly local assassin (small time). A non existent criminal invented by the Directorate.
Mr. Hartsteen: Cataloger at the Earth Defense Directorate. Has at least a level 9 clearance, and access to the Directorate's data banks. Spy.
Richard Selvan: Engineer at the Energy plant. Son Mateo, Daughter Katrina, Wife Therese, Father-in-law Mateo.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Cought between a rock and a hard place, wine
Favorite Lines: "I like my Thalamic regions just they way they are, thank you" "Remind me to give you a call the next time hell freezes over" -Buck
Easter EggsDr. Adam StrangeThanagar
Deaths: 2
Miniatures: (3) Scorpion (1) Sled (3) Starfighter


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  2. I love this episode. Thanks for posting it!
    Going by Dungeons & Dragons alignments, I think of Varek as Lawful Neutral. Does as he's told with no malice, just following orders. However he leans towards good since he helped Buck and co. to prevent Kellog's murderous plan.

    As for the Assassin Laser, it's, in my estimation, like a phaser from Star Trek, with stun to kill settings. I have a homemade version - made from a small squirt-gun - that I call a PTKAC - Pulsed Tetryon Krellide-powered ACcelerator. An homage to Plot To Kill A City (PTKAC).

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  5. Good on you to pick up on the bad sci-fi physics. There is no such thing as a Stun Laser. A beam of intense, irradiated light will always be lethal as it will eventually burn a hole straight through you. A slightly more realistic concept for a non-lethal light-based weapon with the ability to incapacitate a target would be something like the hypno gun from the movie, Looker that works similarly to today's tactical strobe lights. Naturally, a non-lethal weapon like that would only work on a target close enough to the light and the target would also have to be able to see the pulsating light in order to suffer any debilitating effects. Best defense is either to simply turn your head or have vision impairment so severe that the strobe stimuli does not register.