Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ep 109 Unchained Woman, November 1, 1979

Director: Dick Lowry
Writer(s): Bill Taylor
Guest Star(s):
Jen Burton .... Jamie Lee Curtis
Marlary Pantera .... Michael Delano
Sergio Sanwiler.... Bert Rosario
Majel .... Tara Buckman
Lt. Zimmerman .... Charles Walker
Ambassador Ted Warwick .... Robert Cornthwaite
No. 1 "Hugo" .... Walter Hunter
Shuttle Captain .... Jim B. Smith
Gymon .... Danny Ades
Complete List of Cast and Crew

Prison Shuttle ILM-4 approaches the Zeta Prison on Moon Three with Val-Zhan. It is suddenly attacked by two Directorate Starfighters, Buck, Wilma, and Lt. Zimmerman. They announce false charges of transportingILM-4. Buck's flawless plan is to infiltrate the prison, locate Jen Burton, break her out, and rendezvous with Wilma in four hours outside the prisons defense shield at Station Post 7. All without provoking an interstellar war. ILM-4 will arrive at Moon Three in 15 minutes.
illicit contraband and demand that the shuttle prepare for boarding. The robotic pilot informs Deering that he is in Zetan Territory, in a Zeta Government ship, and that the Directorate has no jurisdiction in this area (aka, no legal reason to do what Wilma is requesting). Wilma fires another warning shot that finally gets the robot to comply. Lt. Zimmerman disables the pilot and erases his memory of the Directorates interference in a prisoner transport. Wilma and Lt. Zimmerman take Val-Zhan back to Earth, while Buck takes his place on board

Ambassador Warwick has been trying to negotiate with the Zetan Government for Jen Burton's extradition. Unsuccessfully, I might add. Dr. Huer is desperate for Jen Burton's release because Malary Pantera's raids on their shipping lanes are crippling the outer colonies. Someone, inside the Directorate is leaking their shipping schedules to Pantera. Jen, who happens to be Pantera's ex-girlfriend, knows who the leak is. Dr. Huer hopes that if they get Jen released, she will provide the name they need to stop the leak.

The prison on Moon Three is 200 meters (about 656 feet or 1/8 of a mile) underground, carved out of solid bedrock, making it impregnable. On Zeta, they do it right. Buck is taken down to the prison where he is decontaminated, and processed. Believing he is Val-Zhan, the guards prepare Buck for life in prison. Meanwhile, Pantera and Majel (Pantera's new
girlfriend) meet up with Warwick in the hangar, pretty much out in the open. I mean, they didn't exactly pick a low security area to discuss their treachery. Warwick informs Pantera that an agent will break Jen out of prison and meet up with Wilma Deering at Station Post 7. Where did he get Wilma's name? Huer never mentioned it. Twiki let loose that the Agent was Buck, but otherwise, both Buck's and Wilma's names were kept from Warwick. I suppose he went to the directory and looked it up. Pantera and Majel leave for Moon Three to kill Jen, Buck and Wilma.

Prison Guard No. 1 (who Buck nicknames "Hugo") takes Bucks 'keepsake', a medallion with the Star Trek logo on it. The medallion is actually a bomb. A bomb so cleverly disguised that all the prison scans could not detect it being any kind of threat. The guard uses the ol' "Dramatic Necklace Removal" by yanking hard on it, breaking the chain off Buck's neck, and tosses it in the trash next to the elevator among some other contraband. Buck is escorted into the Dayroom, where a small group of men and women are lounging about. Buck is counting backwards, timing his plan of escape. Luckily, Jen Burton is also in the Dayroom and locating her took just as long as he planned. 30 seconds later, the bomb goes off, taking out the two guards at the door, the elevator itself, and by shear force and pressure, blows off the door to the Dayroom, providing everyone the chance to escape. Malfunctioning on the ground is one of the guards, repeating "Prisoners will report to the Dayroom. Escape is not possible." Buck, Jen, and a dozen or more prisoners all manage to escape. It's a good thing they are all stuck on a moon, otherwise they might get away...

Twiki and Theo begin to find Warwick's behavior to be suspicious and check out Central Data to review the
shipping schedules. Buck, dragging Jen by her arm, have only two and a half hours to meet up with Wilma at Station Post 7. That means Buck was able to get in and out in only an hour and a half. That's some fast work. Guard No. 1, still functioning, emerges from the wreckage of the prison. He scans the horizon in search of his missing prisoners. He spy's a hill that has six escapees, but he ignores them. He continues to search the landscape and spots another six prisoners running over the hills. He ignores them too. Then, he spots Buck and Jen. The real people he was looking for. Two prisoners. Ignores 12, and goes after two, one of which is known to be innocent of her sentenced crime...Did No. 1 know that Buck was responsible for the explosion and out of shear anger decides to track him down for revenge? The wrist band on both Buck and Jen allow him to locate them, but why track them specifically? Other than the fact they are the heroes of the show, to blatantly see 12 other prisoners and pass them by to go after two doesn't seem like a logical choice for a robot to make. Maybe I'm over thinking things.

Majel pays Gymon, I assume a bounty hunter, 400 credits as a down payment to kidnap Wilma from the docking port and to take her to the Service Area, where she is to be held there till further notice. Once he has completed his task, he will receive another 600 credits (1000 total credits). In the mean time, the malfunctioning robot, No. 1, is in hot pursuit of Buck and Jen. He kicks two rocks out of shear frustration, sending them high into the air. The rocks fly like Styrofoam blocks. I know they wanted it to look like the android had strength, but this little trick is a bit more comical than anything. It is so clear that the rocks are fake. Regardless, No. 1, with determination and fast walking, closes the gap between himself and Buck and Jen. Jen gets entangled with a Sand Squid. Buck, with his quick thinking, grabs a long stick and starts to stab at the squid until it releases Jen. But just when they thought it was safe, No. 1 is upon them and attacks. This time Jen and Buck work together and manage to knock No. 1 into the sand squids bed, where he is pulled under the sand to be digested. Jen looks away in horror as the thought of a android being eaten by a creature of the desert is too much for her senses. Never mind that she was dating a murder, this is too gruesome for her to watch.

Twiki and Theo, in the Central Data room review the Freighters that where attacked by Pantera. The first
five ships intercepted where headed to the Rigel system. The next three for Vega. Two other freighters where headed for Space Station L-20. All these systems are located in the Third Quadrant; the area Warwick has jurisdiction. Theo suggests that they need to tap Warwick's computer. Turns out, they don't need Jen Burton after all. With a little
research and investigating, they where able to prove that Ted was leak. The Central Data room appears to be the exact same as the Hospital Research Lab from Planet of the Slave Girls. I think the Data computer is the same computer prop used for Carl.

Buck and Jen arrive at Station Post 7, only to find that Wilma isn't there. They either arrived an hour late, or they waited for an hour for Wilma to arrive. Either way, they leave the post to check if Wilma's ship even landed on the planet. Walking around town, the two quickly realize they must change their attire to not be so noticeable. Jen suggests mugging a
couple and taking their cloths. Down town, in the Service Area, Wilma is being held by Gymon  He wonders if she is the smuggler that has been smuggling all the quadrillium. Playing along, Wilma states she is carrying 12 kilograms (26 lbs) of quadrillium. The foolish goon releases Wilma, hoping that she will show him where she has hidden her cargo. Wilma, however has other plans and without much effort turns the tables on the would-be kidnapper with her learned Judo moves. Notice the Colonial Shuttle parked there on the left?

Buck and Jen enter a bar, hoping to find Wilma. Instead they meet Sergio Sanwiler. Sergio notices Jen's prisoner wrist band and instantly assumes they are escapees. A natural conclusion since no one has ever escaped from that prison. One would assume that if Sergio recognized a prison band, he himself must
have been in prison at some point in his life. Coincidence Sergio just happens to have a tool on his person to remove the bands. For a charge of course. Jen pulls out credits that must have belonged to the couple they mugged. Currency, it would seem, is more valuable based on its condition. Course removing the wrist bands wasn't as helpful for them, so much as getting rid of them would have been. While they still carried the wrist bands, they could still be tracked by No. 1. Who we thought was destroyed by the Sand Squid, but appears to be quite resilient to bomb explosions and sand quids. Is there anything that can stop him? Just toss that sand squid tentacle on the ground. It tastes better with a little sand.

Sergio Sanwiler, eager to make more money, rings Pantera's door. He comes information he is sure Pantera would be interested in. Turns out that Sergio was aware that Pantera was looking for two escaped prisoners before he saw Buck and Jen come into the bar. Pantera must have put out feelers and a location on where he could be found if anyone heard anything. That would be the only logical explanation on how Sergio would know all this. Unless, he just happened to overhear Pantera talking about it, then followed Pantera to his apartment at the Boarding House. Sergio, asks for 40 credits for his information. Pantera gives Majel his stun ring and instructs her to give it to Jen.

One of Pantera's henchmen enters his apartment and gives him an update on his ships status. The coolant
units are empty and need to be recharged. Pantera demands that his ship be ready to leave in an hour. Pantera calls someone, who I assume must be Warwick, to provide a progress report. Wilma overhears that Buck is walking into a trap and Jen will be killed. Jen, now armed with the stun ring, activates it and points it at Buck. A high pitched noise is emitted and Buck falls to the ground, unconscious. No. 1, continues his pursuit, and in his anger pushes down a tree. Now we know this robot is strong and just plane mean.

Jen Burton enters Pantera's apartment (that she found some how) and makes a strange comment "I thought I would never see you again". Why did she say
that? She was sitting in prison for almost 10 months waiting for Pantera to break her out. She was so confident that Pantera would come for her and not leave her, that she refused to help the directorate. As she and Buck walked the desert, she would constantly tell Buck that she would not go with him and would seek out Pantera. At no point did I ever believe that she wasn't sure she would see Pantera again. Her whole motivation depended on it. I guess, deep down she knew that Buck was telling her the truth, but she was too blinded by love. Love that Pantera didn't share.

Sergio Sanwiler, trying to pick-up a woman, tells a tail of his mast wealth. That he asked his valet, Javin, to hyperthyroid. Sergio goes back to flirting with the woman at the bar.
give him a pair of cloths and a shuttle, so he could explore the galaxy as a peasant. Buck and Wilma enter the bar again looking for Pantera, but Buck decides he want's to shake down Sergio for information. Sergio gives up the information that is shuttle is being prepped for departure in Service Building 3. Sergio then insults Buck after he leaves, calling him a

Back in the Service Area, Buck and Wilma take Gymon and Pantera by surprise. With some sharp shooting, which should have destroyed their blasters, Buck and Jen knock the guns from the bad guys hands. But their
victory is short lived as Majel distracts Buck and Jen by sticking up Wilma, allowing Pantera to retake the upperhand. Buck's luck holds out, and at that moment, No. 1 crashes through the wall. All those with pistols take a shot at him, but he still doesn't go down. Well, that's nothing good old hand to hand combat cannot fix. Buck just discards his pistol like it was worthless. I mean, so what if he can smash through a solid wall unharmed, take four rounds of blaster fire, get blown by a bomb, and even attacked by a sand squid and keep on ticking. I'm sure Buck's Judo chop is what's needed to take this guy out.

Wait a second? Did I just see Buck still had on his prisoner's wrist band on? Didn't he get that removed by Sergio earlier in the episode? I am quite positive that he did. Oh man, the best part of this fight scene is how obvious the props being thrown around are empty painted cardboard boxes. The prop department didn't
both painting the bottom of the boxes. Wilma informs Buck that No. 1 is only going after him because of his bracelet, so he breaks it off on the side of the table and locks it onto Pantera's wrist. There are so many things wrong with this I don't know where to begin. First, the bracelet was already removed from Buck a while back, he should not have been still wearing it. Second, the bracelet would not
have so easily come off by banging on the side of a table, since that could have easily be done in prison, not to mention that Sergio need a special tool to cut them off. Third, if Buck broke the lock by smashing it on the
table, it could not have locked itself on Pantera's wrist. Majel, fearing for Pantera's life, enlists Buck to help rescue a criminal from being take to prison. I don't follow that logic, but we are meant to believe that this No. 1, or "Hugo" as Buck still calls him, is the bad guy here. Buck's new plan of attack is the old one. Everyone is to shoot No. 1 at his Control Center, all at the same time, on full power. Poor ol' No. 1. He was just doing his job. Those Zetan's, when they make their androids, they make them right.

Warwick stuns a hanger technician in hopes of making a quiet escape. Dr. Huer has been following him and catches him in the act. Warwick, just gives up an hands over his pistol to Huer. Wilma pilots Buck and Jen back through the Stargate and heads to Earth. Jen, keeping her prison bracelet as a souvenir. Buck, assures Jen that there was no way that android would be able to still track her with it. But we see that No. 1 is still not out of commission. Perhaps he very well could. So, after all that, they didn't end up needing Jen's help to capture the leak at the directorate. They were able to catch Pantera, which stopped the raids on their shipping all together, and they are harboring two criminals that they helped escape Zetan punishment. Not a bad days work for the Directorate.

Character Facts learned in this episode
Ambassador Ted Warwick: Federation Officer. He is the Directorates diplomatic liaison in the Third Quadrant. Long time friend of Dr. Huer's. When he was young, he was compassionate, brash and full of himself. His aspirations in life was to become a great leader. Is paid (1/5th of the profits) by Pantera to leak the Directorates shipping schedules to him.

Jen Burton: Confessed to a murder that Pentara committed and spent the last 10 months (9 1/2 really) in prison. Zetan Government knew she was innocent of the crime but incarcerated her anyways on principle. Jen believes that Pantera will come for her.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Piece of Cake, bumper sticker, moroccan flavor,  to mug someone
Easter Eggs: ILM
Deaths: 0
Miniatures: (1) Starfighter, (1) 4-Seater Thunder Fighter (1) ILM-4 (Canaris Shuttle)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this ep

    For music score lovers the riff played as the ship was boarded at the beginning was used in Lost in Space, The Derelict when Maureen rescues John from drifting off on his first spacewalk

    Other music is reused from an episode of Land of the giants.

    No coincidence as this Buck score was done by the same composer revisiting his original material from a decade or more earlier.

    Another riff from the Derelict was reused in the composers score for 'the Trap' episode of Planet of the Apes series