Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ep 114 Space Vampire, January 3, 1980

Director: Larry Stewart
Writer(s): Kathleen Barnes & David Wise
Guest Star(s):
Twiki .... Patty Maloney
Commander Royko .... Christopher Stone
Vorvon .... Nicholas Hormann
Dr. Ecbar.... Lincoln Kilpatrick
Technician .... David Moses
William Helson .... Phil Hoover
Demeter Captain .... Jeannie Fitzsimmons
Full list of Cast and Crew

I got to say, this is probably one of darkest episodes. It seems more appropriate for Halloween, but being aired in January, the studio missed that mark. The Vorvon Shuttle enters through Stargate 9 just as Wilma and Buck are practicing flying around in a Sled. Or is that what is happening? The miniature of the Vorvon shuttle is the exact same one used for Princess Ardala's Private Shuttle, but with a new paint job. Their destination is the Theta Station, where they plan to drop Twiki off so he can get his microdisc repaired. Buck and Wilma are planing on visiting Genesia, to see President Hieronymus Fox and Lt. Dia. Cyrton for the next five days. The editors cut back to the Vorvon shuttle while Wilma is talking, giving me the impression that Buck, Wilma and Twiki are not on the sled, but the shuttle instead. The next shot is their ship docking with the station, however the miniature ship doesn't look like the sled in this shot, but the back of the Vorvon Shuttle. I guess that they FX shot of the sled was an error, as it wasn't meant to be the ship Buck and Wilma where flying at all. So, the shuttle isn't the Vorvon Shuttle, but an Earth Directorate Shuttle. How Buck knows how to fly it when Wilma does not is a strange writers faux pas. They dock on the station and Wilma is saying something so quietly it is hard to make out. It sounds like "Let's, control, left, confusing what the hang up on aisle three was really quite easy" Wilma has been telling Commander Royko all about Buck that he now feels he has known Buck for century's. Are the writers really that stupid? A Century is a 100 years. He basically said that it feels like he has known Buck for at least 200 years. Are we to believe that Royko is over 200 years old? Royko assures that he could get Twiki fixed fairly quickly and leaving him wouldn't be necessary. Buck however, makes it clear that he doesn't want Twiki with him and Wilma on Geneisa.

Just at this moment, an out of control Freighter ship passes through Stargate 9 on a collision coarse with Theta Station. It would seem the only defense the station has are Meteor Deflector shields. Commander Royko orders that the deflectors in Sectors "G" "H" and "I" receive as much power as possible to boost these shields power. Too bad the deflectors where useless as the freighter collided with the station anyways. Commander Royko orders all Code Red Units to Sector "H" with emergency equipment. Buck and Wilma volunteer to help and they all head to Sector "H". Dr. Ecbar is already there scanning for life and evaluating the air from the freighter as it mixes with the stations. Unfortunately there is a magnetic field interfering with his equipment. A red pulsing light exits from the freighter, a Vorvon.

Buck, Royko, Wilma, and Ecbar enter the cargo freighter. Wilma indicates that the ship is 20 to 30 years old, which is meaningless to the story but makes the audience think that perhaps this ship has been traveling through space for years in this condition. But it didn't. They enter the crew quarters, and find a servo drone (a personal data storage unit). Royko instructs that the pick it up later. The team finds three bodies in the control room and Royko finds six more in the sick bay. Unsure of the cause of death, Royko orders a quarantine on the entire station. No one can leave or enter. Suddenly the laws of physics are broken when the cargo freighter, after being stopped by Theta Station, starts to move forward again. In space. What happened to when an object is at rest it will remain at rest?

Buck finds a personal log from the Captain of the Class "G" Cargo Freighter. It is identified as the I.S. Demeter, headed for Tazwell. The Freighter contained eight crew members and one passenger, Mr. William Helson. Mr. Helson was returning from Deneb 5 after delivering a shipment of barbarite. Or at least that is the official story. At 52 hours from Stargate 9 Helson was found dead in his quarters along with his servo drone. At 37 hours from Stargate 9, three more crew members have died. At 24 hours from Stargate two more crew are dead. The on-board Paramed contributes the deaths to EL-7 (a highly contagious virus from the Deneb system. Symptoms include fever, mental deterioration, hallucinations, convulsions, and death), but the Captain doesn't believe the virus is present on her ship. At 17 hours the Paramed is dead. Pearson and the Captain are the only two still alive. Last log entry. Pearson is dead and the Captain is now certain that the deaths are caused by an intruder on their ship, not a virus. She is seen confronting someone who is off screen, giving the impression to the crew on Theta Station she could be hallucinating.

Still uncertain if the Demeter fell victim to EL-7, Dr. Ecbar is ordered to inoculate the crew with his current supply of serum (doesn't he mean 'Vaccine'?). Ecbar indicates that he will need more from Earth to inoculate the entire Station, which should arrive in 24 hours. Buck notices that Wilma isn't looking to good, so he requests that she go to the Lounge for something to eat. Buck requests Twiki to take the servo drone to his cabin so they could repair it and see what happened to Mr. Helson. Dr. Ecbar tells Buck that all nine bodies contain some discoloration around their necks. None of them are alive, but they are not dead either. The bodies are in some kind of cellular suspension. Buck seems to make a huge leap and suspects some kind of Vampire to be the culprit after eliminating EL-7 from being a possibility.

Dr. Huer somehow killed the India rubber plant that Buck gave him in Cosmic Whiz Kid. I guess watering it, feeding it, and talking to it wasn't enough. Perhaps it needed sunlight? Theopolois suggests having an Argo-Drone take a look at the plant. The plant however is beyond all hope, so Dr. Huer replaces it with a Ficus benjamina that Huer calls a philodendron. Buck and Wilma call Huer on a subspace channel to fill him on what's happening on Theta Station. Wilma sees the Vorvon after feeling its presence, but tells no one. Dr. Ecbar, while analyzing a victim is approached by the Vorvon. And instead of panicking, or calling for help, he stands there all calm and asks who the Vorvon is. While the 'dead' body he is attending, rises and grabs him around the neck, holding him. Ecbar seems to not even notice that he is being manhandled by someone he thought to be dead. No reaction at all. Buck, Wilma and Royko enter sick bay only to find their dear doctor dead. Wilma get's all scared, feeling cold as if she is experiencing the very presence of death. The large red pulsing light enters the room under the door way (does this mean that it is solid enough that it cannot pass through walls and such?), making all kinds of noise, but no one sees or hears it.

Buck enters his cabin where Twiki plays a joke on him that almost gets himself shot. Twiki managed to repair the drone and Buck turns it on by the top left button. The servo drone recorded its owner getting killed by an invisible creature. Buck notices that Helson drops a weapon of some kind (the power lock), and goes back on the Demeter in hopes in finding it. Buck gets attacked by Dr. Ecbar, the Vorvon, and his army of the undead. With some fast thinking Buck pulls the Security Alarm that frightens off the his attackers, who walk back to the sick bay and back into their beds. Buck himself wakes up in Sick Bay where Wilma tells him not to try to sit up, but helps him up anyways. Royko tells Buck that they discovered three bodies in Sector "G". On a subspace channel, back in his cabin, Dr. Huer tells Buck about the Vorvon. He calls it a myth, but has a clear photo of the Vorvon anyways. I guess you can take pictures of Myths in the future?

The Vorvon has found a fascination with Wilma, and tries to control her with his mind. She runs away from him in terror, but he follows in evil villain fashion...slowly. Nothing like the monster walking towards their victim while the damsel in distress runs away frantically calling for help, trying every door only to find them all locked. After all her efforts to get away, the monster still manages to catch up to her. It's just a sport with the Vorvon. He is enjoying the fear created in Wilma. Buck comes to the rescue and shoots the Vorvon, but still manages to escape. Royko shows up with two security guards who are wearing the same Helmet and vest that was used in 'Return of the Fighting 69'. Royko has Buck locked up believing that he has been infected with the EL-7 virus. Buck in a very modest way tries to convince Royko that if they lock him up, the Vorvon will kill everyone aboard the station. So Buck is their only hope in defeating the Vorvon. Out of 100 people aboard Theta Station, Buck is the only one capable of killing a creature that is out of his century. OK, I can believe that.

Royko confines Wilma to her quarters where she is trapped when the Vorvon returns. She gives into the Vorvon's conversion as he does something with his finger nails at her neck. She made a deal that if the Vorvon left Buck and Royko alone, she would be his forever. The irony is that as soon as she was changed, the first place she went was Buck's cell to harm him anyways. Just goes to show you, don't promise to do what a maniac wants thinking you are making a deal in your favor. Wilma, acting all sexy and vorvon-ish, wants to feed off Buck. When she gets close enough that Buck uses the power lock on her, she recoils in pain and says that Buck tricked her. How did he do that? He wasn't luring her in under the disguise that he was going to allow her to feed off him. If anyone tricked anyone, she tricked Buck that she was normal to get close to him in the first place. She runs off in defeat back into the Vorvon's arms. She tells the Vorvon that she failed because Buck knows about them now. Huh, what? Like she somehow thought that her actions was going to deceive Buck enough where she could convert him too? That now, because he knows she has been changed, they can no longer stay? With Vorvon and Wilma somehow defeated, they make plans to leave Theta Station and visit other worlds to feed off. So, that's what they do.

Buck and Royko fight off his own security forces who have been changed, while the Vorvon and Wilma escape on Buck's ship. Buck booby-trapped his ship that once it passed through Stargate 9 it would be on autopilot with a direct intercept course with a star. That is a lot to assume on Buck's part. That, one, the Vorvon would steel his ship, and two, that it would through the Stargate. Security is called to Corridor 12, Sector "A". Buck hops into one of Royko's Thunderfighters in hot pursuit of Wilma. Catching up to the Shuttle, Buck radios in to contact Wilma. She responds, no longer under the Vorvon's power, and flips the switch that separates the shuttle in two. She has only 20 seconds to before separation. She escapes in the rear section of the ship as the cockpit, along with the Vorvon himself, fly's into the star. The full scale ship that Buck gets into is the four seater Thunderfighter, but the FX miniature is the 2-seater Starfighter. I am still pondering why Buck was so important after he was locked up. I mean he did say that if he was locked up then all the people on the station would die. But he was locked up and all the people on the station did not die. In fact, the Vorvon escaped in Buck's shuttle and fell into his trap without much effort on Buck's part. It would seem that his imprisonment was actually the best thing for everyone as far as how things played out.

With the Vorvon killed, all his victims were freed from their cellular suspension. So, I guess that means that none of the nine people aboard the Demeter actually died. Dr. Ecbar is fine, and all Theta's security guards are fine too. Nice and convenient for a happy ending for a TV show, but I would think that if the Vorvon drained a person of their life force (or soul), that it would not return to them when the Vorvon died. Otherwise it might imply that the Vorvon collects souls, and feeds off fear. Once the Vorvon dies, the souls are released from his captivity, and find their way back to their original bodies. Hopefully those bodies where not cremated or buried in the meantime. Either way, everyone is alive, happy and back on Earth. Buck invites everyone over for dinner after pointing out to Dr. Huer that he noticed the new plant. Que smile and end show.

Character Facts learned in this episode
William Helson: From Cygnus 5, later moved to New London. Became a bounty hunter specializing in alien fugitives only five years ago after his family died. His family was killed in a shuttle accident where he was arrested for their murder being the only survivor. He was tried then acquitted. Vowing vengeance against the Vorvon, Helson gave up his life as an Argo-Station Farmer and spent the next five years hunting him.
Vorvon: Originated in the Rumaine Star System. Is a half-dead creature who drains the living soul from its victims. A power lock is a talisman that can harm the Vorvon. The only thing that can destroy a Vorvon is a tremendous overload of power (or being too close to a large star). A Vorvon appears in humanoid form to its intended victims. Can transform into a pulsing red orb to travel undetected. Undetectable on surveillance footage. Feeds off ones fear.
Theta Station: 100 people stationed there under Commander Royko. Theta Station is the best compufacturing facility in the quadrant. It is equipped with Meteor Deflectors, and the exterior hull has a self repairing core.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: gimme five, Vampire, Muhammad Ali, Aspirin, Lazarus
My Favorite Lines: "I've had better conversations with a Roto-Rooter you know." -Twiki
Deaths: 1
Miniatures: (1) Vorvon Shuttle, (1) Sled (1) Theta Station (1) I.S. Demeter Cargo Freighter (1) Mini I.S. Demeter (1) Launch Tube (1) Starfighter


  1. The freighter that collides with the station is the same ship used as the Gemenon Freighter in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

  2. Errors the author of the blog made.

    While Col. Deering is a member of the Earth Directorate (i.e. Earth's military), Buck is not. Buck is a USAF Captain, a rank that he never stopped identifying with. Since Buck is effectively an unofficial special agent and his rank is likely honourary. Furthermore, while Wilma will be on countless missions, Buck isn't hampered by that. When you consider Buck's natural piloting ability, it wouldn't be surprising that he's quickly learn the flight systems of vehicles that Wilma hasn't yet needed to learn herself.

    The author also doesn't listen to monologues, apparently. Buck figured that when the creature (he didn't know it was called a Vorvon yet) would need a ship to escape the station on, and the logical ship to use would be the first one in launch position which Buck ensured would be the ship he and Wilma arrived on. And since the stargates have been shown to require course settings to determine destination of transit, settings which the pilot must enter, Buck merely preprogrammed the flight path and over-rode the manual flight controls. When you've set an elaborate trap properly, the variables will have all been taken into account.

  3. A couple more errors on the part of the author of this blog.

    Ryoko said that because of everything Wilma had told him about Buck, he FELT LIKE he'd known Buck for centuries. It's a sly joking reference to the fact that Buck had been frozen for nearly five centuries. Learn to listen. Better yet, turn up the volume and pay attention.

    As for the Vorvon, it arrived on the freighter I.S. Theta when it crashed, under power, into the station. Which is how the ship can still move further into the station. Especially if the Vorvon wants more access points for it to move about between the ship and the station. Furthermore, since the Vorvon arrived via the freighter I.S. Theta, this means it did NOT arrive in a separate ship.