Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ep 110 Planet of the Amazon Women, November 8, 1979

Director: Philip Leacock
Writer(s): Michael Richards & Clayton Richards
Guest Star(s):
Ariela Dyne .... Ann Dusenberry
Cassius Thorne .... Jay Robinson
Prime Minister Dyne .... Anne Jeffreys
Jayel .... Antoinette Stella
Renna .... Wendy Dates
Nyree .... Liberty Godshall
Dr. Macon .... Darrell Zwerling
Linea .... Teddi Siddall
Major Norris (Pilot) .... Wally K. Berns
Karsh .... James Fraracci
Captain Parker .... ?
Complete List of Cast and Crew

This episode better not be like Planet of the Slave Girls. Catchy title that imply's one thing but delivers something totally different. When I hear "Amazon Women" I imagine very tall and primitive women, living off the land, where men are not present or in very limited numbers. An Amazon Woman is very assertive and aggressive. A woman who takes charge and dominates over all men. I also imagine Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. Well, let's find out if the episode holds true to it's title this time.

Buck is out flying his Starfighter in Ruathan space. The Directorate made a truce with the Ruathan's that will allow ships through their blockade as long as they follow a designated corridor. Buck was checking to see if the Madrean people followed the designated corridors that they would get their supplies of barbarite out through the blockade. Wilma, along with Theo are still in negotiations with the Ruathan's regarding their blockade around Medrea. They fear that if the Ruathan's stop talking and reinstate a full blockade, the Directorate will have to declare war against the Ruathan's. To ease Wilma's stress a little, Buck asks Wilma to dinner, his place, at 1900 hours (7:00pm). Buck terminates the call as he picks up a distress call from the space yacht Aurora. Buck identifies himself as Earth Starfighter 1314 and approaches at 50 degrees.

The seemingly disabled ship (the space yacht Aurora) is floating in space with no power, and its orbit is decaying. With no repair equipment, the Aurora is stuck in space, drifting. Linea bets Nyree 10 credits that Buck is fat and has a nose like a subspace relay. Buck switches on his visual video to the relief of both women. I cannot help but notice the eggcrate foam glued to the back of their chairs as a headrest. The two women ask for a tow back to their Colony, Zantia. Zantia is closed to the Directorate, making Buck not authorized to enter Zantian space. The two sisters insist until Buck agrees. Buck contacts the Zantian Landing Control. Landing control permits Buck to land and instructs him to follow the yellow landing tracer to Docking Area 2. Any deviation would result in Buck's destruction. A routine Buck is all too familiar with when he approached Earth for the very first time. The spaceport for Zantia is the exact same matte painting that was used in The Plot to Kill a City.

Linea (red suite) and Nyree (yellow suite) talk to their "uncle", Cassius Thorne, regarding the condition of the Aurora. The three thank Buck for his help and insists that he stay so they can "thank him". Cassius, using is influence with the Spaceship Authority, allows Buck to stay for at least the night. Cassius instructs Linea to make the dinner arrangements, and Nyree to show Buck around. After Buck and Nyree walk off, we learn that there is a more sinister plot in bringing Buck to the Planet.

Mr. Devronin, the Ruathian leader, is in negotiations with Dr. Huer and Theo regarding the ownership of Madrea. Mr. Devronin and the Ruathian people want to be allowed to control Madrea, a planet they settled on first. The Madreain people, however do not want to Ruathian's on their planet. Earth has been trading with Madrea for its barbarite, a mineral that powers Earths generators, and the Ruathian blockade is preventing that. Theo calls for a recess, and Devronin heads back to his shuttle, docked in the Main Hanger, so they may resume in 12 hours. Karsh, Mr. Devronin's body guard, puts on Devronin's chain to carry him out, but not before being goosed (or "Tweaked") first by Twiki.

Back on Zantia, Buck is brought to the Prime Ministers quarters believing it was Linea and Nyree's room.
Linea serves her favorite drink, Centauran brandy and tries to slip a little something into Buck's glass. Cassius brought Buck to the Prime Minister's room so she could evaluate him for her daughter, Ariela. Her daughter, has other plans instead of being married to Buck, like leading the opposition against her mother's policies. The Opposition is against: The policies isolating Zantia from the outside worlds. Maintaining the illusion that the world is inhabited by men to avoid being invaded. The passing of Laws that allow the kidnapping of men and selling them at auction to be the husbands of the local women. Buck, being too smart to be drugged by the two flirty sisters, his held up at gunpoint by Cassius. With a slow roundhouse kick, that misses, Cassius's gun is
knocked (more like thrown) from is hand, and the next thing I know, the sisters are up on their feet ready to fight. Cassius suggests shooting Buck with their weapon. So Linea pulls out some stick out of her money changer located on her belt and fires some kind of lasso energy beam around Buck, causing him to black out. Cassius then scolds the women for having to shoot Buck that caused a wound. Wasn't that his idea to shoot Buck? Anyways, as long as Buck remains undamaged, Cassius is hoping to bring in at least 10,000 credits for selling him to the Prime Minister.

Buck wakes up in a holding cell, with five other men, Captain Parker, Dr. Macon (professor) and three other men whom we never learn their names. The force shield holding them in their cell is triggered by body heat. The closer one is to the door, the more solid the energy beams become.

Back at Earth, Wilma checks with Central Data to investigate Buck's disappearance. The last known coordinates for Buck's ship also coincides with the disappearances of the Morning Star, Clarion, and an Arcturan cargo freighter. Wilma suggests that Major Norris take her place in the negotiations so she may search for Buck. Dr. Huer agrees.

Buck and the rest of the men are escorted to be auctioned off. As they arrive, an auction is already in progress. The unseen man was sold for 400 credits. Parker is first up on the auction block. Parker sold for 800 credits. Buck is lead into the room to be auctioned after Parker. Around the room stands some numeric displays for the current bidding number. I cannot help but think that they have a striking similarity to Crighton, from Season 2. Buck is introduced as a first-class specimen, an obvious leader in great physical shape. Thorne rips his shirt to the pleasure of the women in the room. Bidding starts at 400 credits. The man who sold for 400
must have been pretty low quality of a man. Bidding begins on Buck. Starts low, and slowly gets higher and higher. Thorne assures Buck that he would not sell Buck for anything less than 5,000 credits (5,000 less than what he is hoping to get for Buck from the Prime Minister) and is ultimately won by bidder No. 4 for 20,000 credits. The highest bid ever for any man. The writers are still trying to force Buck on the audience as a gift from God when it comes to his sex appeal. Thorne pockets 15% (or 3000 credits) of the sale. Nice little pocket change since he had to do nothing for it personally. I am sure Nyree and Linea see some of that 3000, but probably not much.

Wilma reported in to Theo 20 minutes ago. She had just left Stargate 20 and entering the Tauran system. Wilma identifies herself as Earth Starfighter 4332 to the Aurora, who is up to its old tricks again. Linea and Nyree state they had a temporary flux in their starboard engine, and replaced their faulty discharge tube. They are quickly trying to get out of being helped because their "rescuer" was a woman. Taking a page out the Aurora's book, Wilma pulls out an electronic box, crippling her stabilizers. She requests an emergency landing permit on Zantia. All Earth ships are categorically denied clearance to land at the Zantia Spaceport so Landing Control denies her request. Ignoring Landing Control, Wilma lands her ship anyways.

Buck is led into Ariela's home, where he is wearing his black leathers, the same costume he wore as Rafael
Argus, but with a few modifications here and there as to not look exactly the same. Ariela asks Buck to follower her outside because her home is bugged with listening devises. Cue music after Ariela's "please" as if asking Buck politely means Ariela is different from everyone else. Ariela spells out her plan to Buck. The leader of the Ruathian's is on Earth for the negotiations. She wants Buck to fly her through the Stargate and to Earth, where she would kidnap the leader. From there she will let Buck go and she will negotiate the return of all Zantian men. Buck agrees to help with her plan. He then notices a small rock of barbarite. A woman from the auction over hears Ariela and Bucks conversation and runs off to tattle to the Prime Minister. Buck and Ariela peruse on horse back (do women not know how to drive on this planet, or do they not have the technological advancement to create automobiles?). Buck and Ariela are cut off by a laser fence that was triggered by the woman's passing. How convenient.

Wilma "borrowed" a uniform to get past the guards at the space port. She found Buck's ship, still docked. Wilma spots Cassius Thorne wearing the necklace that Buck was going to give her, and thinks that he may be able to lead her to Buck. The auction woman tells the Prime Minister all that she heard and wants Buck Rogers in exchange for her services. The Prime Minister agrees. I guess 20,000 credits is no big deal to the Prime Minister to just give Buck away. Buck enters Docking Area 2 where his ship
is... well... docked. He makes a great leap over the guards who where facing the wrong way, and takes their pistol. He gets off a few quick shots at nearby equipment and the ground to scare the women. This tactic seems to work extremely well as all the women just seam to fall the ground unconscious. I guess the rounds exploding near them was so terrifying that they all fainted. Buck and Ariela hop in his 4-Seater Thunder Fighter, only for it to change into the 2 seater Starfighter for the miniature FX shot. Yeah for inconsistency! Buck escapes just as Wilma and Cassius enter Ariela's home. Jayel pops out to tell Wilma she is too late, only to run away again once the Prime Ministers guards show up. Luckily Wilma has experience negotiating, as he negotiates with the Prime Minister for her own release so she can stop Buck from kidnapping Mr. Devronin.

Buck comes insight of the Ruathian Star cruiser . It is 570,000 kilometers (354,182.5 miles) away at 50
degrees starboard (The image displayed on the monitor is Princess Ardala's Private Shuttle). Mr. Devronin's shuttle (Same ship used in Battlestar Galactica for the Astral Queen) is 165 degrees port. The shot of Karsh in the cockpit is the exact same cockpit in Unchained Woman for the shuttle ILM-4. Major Norris is leading the escort of the Ruathian shuttle with two other Starfighters. Wilma shows up just before Buck is able to dock with the Ruathian shuttle, and informs the escort squad to open fire on Buck. Escort leader takes the first shot. His pulsar cannons change color from yellow to blue between the two FX miniature shots of the Starfighter shooting, and Buck's ship dodging. The film negative also gets flipped so it appears Major Norris is flying the other direction. Buck is hit, loosing is starboard defense shield. Wilma calls off the attack and changes her tune for some reason. She now instructs the Squad to board the Ruathian shuttle. I cannot tell if that was her plan all along, or if she decided to trust Buck instead of killing him. Mr. Devronin responds that he will have all seven of the Starfighter pilots executed for this attack on his ship. I am not sure where the number seven came from. I mean, there was the original three escorts, then Buck and Wilma. That makes 5 ships, not seven. Did Mr. Devronin psychically know that Buck had a passenger (making it 6 people)? Well Wilma and Buck board the shuttle to hash out a new negotiation.

Twiki enters Huers office and informs him to pick up subspace channel L-3. Huer joins in the meeting with Buck, Wilma, Ariela, Devronin, and Karsh via intercom. Buck proposes that the Ruathians relinquish all prisoners of war to Zantia, in exchange of complete control over Medrea (cutting off Earths barbarite supply). Devronin agrees, while Theo and Huer bite their tongues. Back on Zantia, Docking Tubes 5 through 10 are cleared for the Ruathian transport of the Madrean miners. The Zantian men are entering through Docking Area 2. The overhead P.A. system instructs to keep the docking area clear and to remain in the Main Concourse. Something that all the women seem to ignore because as the men enter Docking Area 2, they are swarmed by lonely women. Buck reminds Wilma about their dinner date and suggests that he will be making sweetbreads. Sounds good, but I think you need to look it up if you are not familiar with sweetbreads to understand Buck's joke.

Character Facts learned in this episode
Linea: Sister is Nyree. Lives in Tower 4. Favorite brand of brandy is Centauran.
Parker: Captain of the Morning Star. Was on an archaeological survey to Timbil.
Buck Rogers: Spent summers in Colorado.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Stiff, Chutzpah, sweetbreads
My Favorite Lines: "[Buck]'s cooking dinner for me tonight" "Oh, I'm sorry. My, my, my" -Huer to Wilma
"There's a little man running around inside my head screaming in pain. It's me." - Buck
Deaths: 0
Miniatures: (5) Starfighter, (1) Thunder Fighter (1) Aurora (1) Zantian Launch Tube (1) Ruathian Shuttle

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