Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ep 111 Cosmic Whiz Kid, November 15, 1979

Director: Les Martinson
Writer(s): Alan Brennert & Anne Collins
Guest Star(s):
President Hieronymus Fox .... Gary Coleman
Roderick Zale .... Ray Walston
Lt. Dia Cyrton .... Melody Rogers
Koren .... Albert Popwell
Selmar .... Earl Boen
M.D. Toman .... Lester Fletcher
Guard "Curly Joe" .... Tobar Mayo
Casino Drunk .... Tony Epper
Robot Supervisor (voice) .... ?
Full list of Cast and Crew

The President had an appointment with the Science Counsel in 20 minutes to discuss redesigning the aqueducts. Apparently this is something that the President gets called on to do quite frequently. If not the aqueducts, then it's the sewage system, or the transport tubes. To escort him to the counsel meeting is his bodyguard, Lt. Dia Cyrton, who could be mistaken for an actual escort. I mean, what is she wearing? Not to dis the outfit, but it certainly is not business appropriate. Does the President himself require his women to wear such clothing around him? Their elevator passes their scheduled floor, while Monolithium oxide gas is pumped into their car. A gas that will render anyone unconscious within minutes, with no serious aftereffects. Roderick's goons grab the President and take him to Aldebaran II, the same planet in Plot to Kill A City.

After years of shunning any diplomatic relationship with Earth, the Genesian Government makes a formal request for help in the recovery of their President. The Earth Directorate turned the request down. Undeterred, Lt. Dia Cyrton makes a personal appearance on Earth to ask Dr. Huer in person, hoping to change his mind. She doesn't have much luck with Huer, and storms out of the room, but not before Buck comes in. Leave it to Buck to flirt with any woman that crosses his path. Cyrton has heard of Buck. She references the episode Unchained Woman as she talks about his heroics. Course the flirting goes both ways. She looks up and down Buck as she turns to leave, and Buck turns to watch her go and checks out her...uh...assets. Unbeknownst to Cyrton, Genesian's, and the Directorate, Dr. Huer is already planning an unofficial Directorate mission to recover the President. Off the books of course. Completely against Directorate Law. Wilma's undercover alias is as a technician with a degree in Electronics. She will work for the General Service Center in the capital city of Barony. Her mission, is to use a voice print of Roderick Zale to pinpoint his location. She only has one week to find the President before Roderick Zale will kill him.

Before Buck leaves for his vacation, he brings Dr. Huer a present, a Ficus decora, or rubber plant. He had to search three different hydroponics labs to find one. All Dr. Huer had to do to take care of the plant was to water it twice a week and feed it once a month. Finding the task too daunting, Huer tries to pass off the gift to Wilma. I mean who does that? Now, I am sure that Buck gave the plant to Huer 'cause he wanted to be funny. Kind of like when the guys from Top Gear give each other gifts when they are on a road trip. It is purely to inconvenience Dr. Huer. But for him to try to pawn it off to Wilma just minutes after he received it just shows how little Huer appreciates gifts. Or perhaps it is a cultural thing?

Koren brings Fox in front of Roderick Zale. Fox know's exactly who Zale is, and assures him that everyone in the galaxy already probably knows that he was the one who kidnapped him. Fox uses the Latin term "modus operandi" (translated as "method of operation") when talking about how obvious it was that Zale was involved. Now, if the whole galaxy can figure out that it was indeed Zale who kidnapped the President, then Zale's comment about Fox being perceptive doesn't mean anything. Fox basically said:

"Even an idiot could tell that you where the one who kidnapped me"
"You clearly are as smart as everyone says to figure out that it was me" - Zale

Uh, what? Didn't he just say...aaaa, never mind. I blame the writers. Anyways, the ransom that Zale is asking for is 6,000 kilograms (13,227.74 lbs) of pure quadrillium. A sum that the President straight out laughs at. The quantity is so ridiculous that even if the Genesian's gave Roderick all the quadrillium on the planet, it still would not be enough to cover his demands. Roderick Zale however, thinks that his asking price is quite reasonable. This is the second time we hear of "quadrillium". The first time was in Unchained Woman, when Wilma was accused of smuggling quadrillium onto Moon Three of Zeta Minor by the would-be bounty hunter. Fox seems unconcerned about his predicament, knowing his full value to Roderick Zale. He requests to be fed some 20th Century delicacies, such as a Cheeseburger. Since cows are extinct in this day of age, Fox suggests using a Rigellian mountain lizard (The same planet that Seton Kellogg comes from in A Plot to Kill a City).

Buck, in his room, is packing his suitcase and getting ready for his weeks long vacation with Tangi (Is this the same Tangi that Buck rescued from Sinaloa?). Annoyed with his radio, he demands it to play "some of [his] music". A selection of music that Buck was able to obtain via. Dr. Junius in the Archives. The radio beings to play Shambala by Three Dog Night. Lt. Dia Cyrton walks into his room and sticks him with some kind of hypodermic needle that makes him very accommodating. Basically, she kidnaps Buck to help her rescue Hieronymus Fox, the President of Genesia, who was kidnapped by Roderick Zale. While at the same time Wilma Deering is going undercover to rescue Hieronymus Fox as well. When Dia tells Buck that he will be returning to Aldebaran II, he scuffs and refers to it as the Barbary Coast of space. However, with the prospect of meeting someone from his own time, and being able to go back to Aldebaran II, his tune has changed from victim to volunteer.

Insert FX shot from A Plot to Kill a City of Argus' ship leaving the Spaceport and now you have a new spaceport with flyby traffic. Wilma is being shown around the General Service Center by a rather egotistical robot supervisor. The Central Core (or nervous system) of the Service Center is responsible for dispatching food, supplies, fuel and power to all the surrounding territories. The robotic supervisor yells at Nolan and Caulkin to get back to work, then proceeds insults all organic's by calling them scum ("Bounty Hunters, we don't need their scum"). I guess the laws about in the work place bullying is no longer in affect. Deering's job at the Central Core is to monitor the rate at which the sewage flows under the city. Sounds like a job that you could feel like you are making a difference in the world with.

M.D. Toman is hired to kill Dia and Buck after they arrive at the spaceport. Roderick Zale has Toman for one week, so hopefully, sometime during that week he will be able to accomplish his task. After Dia and Buck check into the Hotel Barony, they enter a casino on Darkover Street. Dia indicates that her informant told her that Roderick Zale's compound was within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Barony. Which isn't saying much since all transport tubes end at that point anyways. It's like being on an Island and told the person you are looking for is somewhere between here and the ocean. Thank you Captain Obvious. Dia finds her information broker, Selmar, by the Trylon Table, who tells them nothing. Yea Selmar. Back at Zale's, Fox is listening to some music in his room on a vid-player, that he turns into Sonic-Pacifier. Fox refers to the guard watching him as "Curly Joe", who doesn't appear to like his new nickname. Fox hands "Curly Joe" his headphones to check out, because Fox complains that they are defective. Instead Fox cranks up the decibels resulting in the guard loosing consciousness. Fox sneaks into the food robot that entered his room, and tells it to go Thirty-Fourth and Lexington (An actual intersection in New York). However, since Fox ends up in the transport tube room, I guess he was just making a 20th Century joke. For some reason this scene feels awfully familiar...Cannot quite put my finger on it...hmmm.

Buck and Dia are hanging around the casino for some reason, when Toman enters. A fight soon ensues and the actor who plays Toman being too old to do his own stunts, uses a younger man in a wig to do his fighting for him. Not only does the surrounding crowd not do anything to stop or help the fight, they almost seem to ignore it all together. Does this kind of thing happen so frequently that when someone pulls out a pistol, that finishing your game is the best thing to do? Buck manages to fend Toman off long enough for the two of them to escape. Selmar cuts them off outside and provides them with the exact location where Fox is being held for a mere 3,000 credits. Selmar implants the exact coordinates in both Dia and Buck's mind using telepathy that sounds strangely like a computer transfer. I think the sound department should have chosen a different sound byte for this scene. The current one gives me the impression that Selmar is somehow bionic.

Spaceport Matt Painting is used for the General Service Center. Wilma, who still has not located Zale, sits at her work station early in the morning to do her search. Various communications fill the room in an attempt to filter out Roderick Zale's voice. Residence 473, Sector "I" requests to order 40 cubits (isn't a cubit a measurement of length, not weight?) of soy supplements. Resident 742, Sector "J" is complaining about it taking 4 days to... Resident 439, Sector "C" complaining that is the third time he had to call to (this voice sounds like Zale's)...Residence 747 Sector "D"...Zale comes over the communication complaining about his shipping schedule. The computer calculates a 0.007 Divination from this voice with the one Wilma provided. Delta Voice Pattern 6J87. To triple check the results, Wilma uses a tracer. Just at this moment her robotic supervisor enters and accuses her of trying to learn when all the wealthy people are not home so that she and her partners could rob them. A cover that Wilma acts is a better reason for using the computers than admitting what she was really using them for. Her super doesn't seem to care one way or the other and leaves her to her business. Insert recycled shot of an unconscious Fox in a bin of painted foam cylinders here. I guess traveling 22 miles in the airtight vacuum of the transport tubes might render you unconscious. If he was traveling at 70mph in the tube, it would take 19 minutes to make the distance. That would be too long if he didn't have any air to breath, not to mention to receive ones groceries via the tubes. To make that distance in 5 minutes, he would have to be traveling at 264mph. I would venture to guess that it isn't safe to travel through these tubes. But with his genius mind, he makes the venture not once, but twice.

Buck and Dia, walking through the foliage come across a maintenance droid vacuuming up the leafs. Buck sneaks up on the droid and hops into his transport. The droid however see's Buck and switches from Maintenance to Attack mode. Dia forces the droid out, and off they go. The vehicle is a six-wheeler RTV. It's funny how Toman was able to get back to Roderick Zale's house faster than Buck and Dia where able to. I guess there was a faster way to get there than walking or steeling a maintenance droids RTV. Buck and Dia come up to their first obstacle, several light poles generating a force-shield. Buck get's an idea from the Flying Wallenda's and hurls Dia up and over the fence. Replace Melody Rogers with stunt double with a crazy wig, and you have a woman flying through the air like a pro. On the other side of the fence, Dia just walks up to one of the posts, and turns off the the shield. It's a nice feature to have the on/off switch of a security fence on the fence itself. I mean, it's not even password protected. Just off and on. Roderick Zale must have been on a tight budget when he ordered these.

Wilma just happens to be walking past the Incoming Parcels Room when Fox regained consciousness. Being such a genius he comes up with such an unbelievable  story that he is a preprogrammed cybernetic doll named Ken. Since Fox was able to escape all by himself, the voice card Huer gave to Wilma to locate Zale was pointless, along with Dia kidnapping Buck, and them breaking into Zales home. The President managed to escape all on his own. Buck and Dia, unaware their attempt to break into Roderick Zale's is pointless, come up to a Photon Shield. A blue pool really. Instead of following the path around the pool, they decide the only way past it is to use the energy dampening devise that Dia keeps in her purse. Now, why is a Body Guard caring around a purse in the first place? Koren, Toman and a couple of body guards capture Buck and Dia before they make it across the grass. Toman suggests killing them, but Koren makes the stupid suggestion to interrogate them because they might know where Fox is. I guess he forgot the part that Buck and Dia are only there to rescue Fox. If they knew that he was safe someplace, they wouldn't still be there. The fact that they are still strolling through the defenses should indicate that they do not know where the kid is. Someone needs to fire this writer...

"There are many ways to die. Long and short". Sounds like only  two ways to die...Toman snaps something in two to threaten Buck and Dia, that they too could be snapped in two if they do not tell Zale where Fox is. "You know Rogers, I really don't think you know where the President is". So quickly did he change his mind. I guess he thought Koren's idea to ask them sounded logical at the time, but now what he has some time to think about, realizes how stupid that suggestion actually was...No, the writers couldn't do that. Instead he instructs that Buck and Dia take the long walk to the flight hanger where they would be placed in front of the Ion Stream from one of his Starfighters. I guess he meant the engines? Fox drops in the room inside a food tube and breaks out of it like a super hero. I mean why use the lid when you can break out of it, making it obvious to anyone who sees the debris that something (or someone) was inside the tube and broke free?
Toman is escorting Buck and Dia to the flight hanger. They are only a few hundred meters (over 328 feet) from it when Buck makes his move.

After Fox disables the security system just in time for Wilma to enter through the fence, he is soon recaptured. The PA system announces that Security Androids are to report to their guard post. Toman seem's very confused about what a PA system is. Buck pulls the ol' "Your shoes are untied" fake out, side kicks Toman in the gut and takes off running. Toman does a power jump where his stunt double comes back in. The wig is a dead give away that it is not the same guy. Roderick Zale comes out of no where and Dia somehow jumps from the right side of the hall to the left side (and backwards as well) to she could kick the gun out of Zale's hand. She then proceeds to beat Roderick Zale against the wall until he's knocked out cold. Wilma pulls out the little hand pistol that was used by the Assassins in The Plot to Kill a City to shoot Koren. Finally, Wilma was useful in this episode. With everyone knocked out, and the security guards at their post, the President, Buck, Wilma and Dia all manage to escape back to Earth. In Buck's apartment, Buck cooks Mexican Chili for everyone (a mix of herbs, spices, vegetables, mountain lizard meat...). Twiki pokes fun of Fox's height. Fox, upset, jumps up from his seat and gets in Twiki's face challenging him to say it again "Transistor Face". Theo apologizes for Twiki trying to avoid a war with the Genesian's that could end up killing thousands. Theo doesn't want that much blood on Twiki's pinchers. Dia suggests that Buck take his vacation, that he never got to have, on Genesia. Never mind that he was supposed to see Tangi. Now, he has a new woman to spend a couple weeks with.

Character Facts learned in this episode
President Hieronymus Fox: Child Genius of age 11. Graduated collage at age 9 (2007). Received his PHD in Physics at age 10 (2010). When the Holocaust began on Earth sometime in the next year, Fox created a prototype Cryo tube that he used on himself. After the war, his tube was stolen by Aliens and passed around until the Genesian's finally got a hold of him. He was thawed out and willingly helped the Genesian people. Being grateful for his help he was made President of the Genesian government. He currently is 493 years old. If the year is still 2491, that means Fox was born around 1998. He turned his presidential estate into a civic center a month ago. Currently owns a condominium with a sauna, hot tub, and tennis court. For breakfast he likes scrabbled eggs with peppers and onions.
Roderick Zale: Specialty is Political Abduction. Owns a squadron of Starfighters in a private hanger. His home is 36 kilometers (22.4 miles) south-southwest of Barony. Defenses include a force-field fence, and a Photon Shield (a paralytic field).
M.D. Toman: From Lansing XII (heavy gravity planet). On Lansing XII, he is considered a weakling. Specializes in "Pest" control off world, may have been a librarian on his home planet.
Selmar: Telepathic Information Broker from Dyson III. His psionic range extends to 50-60 meters (197 feet)
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Piece of cake, French Fries, Milkshakes, Cheeseburgers, cows, Flying Wallenda's, being wasted, Curly Joe, comic books, Saturday morning cartoons
My Favorite Lines: "Just do me a favor, will you? When you keel over try not to fall on me" -Fox
Easter Eggs:
Deaths: 0
Miniatures: (3) Starfighter, (1) Thunder Fighter (1) Sled

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