Friday, September 27, 2013

Ep 115 Happy Birthday, Buck, January 10, 1980

Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
Writer(s): Martin Pasko
Guest Star(s):
Ms. Raylyn Meritt .... Morgan Brittany
Dr. Delora Bayliss .... Tamara Dobson
Lt. Cornell "Corey" Traeger .... Peter MacLean
Rorvik .... Bruce Wright
Carew .... Chip Johnson
Lt. Garth .... Eric Mason
Miss. Bennentt (Woman) .... Gina Gallego
Niles .... Tom Gaden
Marsden .... Clay Alexander
Olvian Squadran Leader .... Harry Gold
Security Agent .... Abe Alvarez
Complete List of Cast and Crew
Buck is hanging a winter painting of a small town with a horse pulling a sleigh. It is almost identical to a George Henry Durrie painting titled "Winter in the Country, the Old Grist Mill". He looks at it and says "You're never more nostalgic than for the things you once knew and have no more." Sounds like he is quoting someone, but it is an original Buck Rogers. Buck is having a mental breakdown thinking about his own time. Dr. Huer and Wilma enter his room hoping to invite Buck to see the new Holographic Dance Group, but Buck just dumps all his depression on them instead. Poor Buck. He misses home.

A old Starfighter, piloted by Lieutenant Traeger, (have you noticed that everyone is either a Lieutenant or a Dr. in this show?) is being pursued by two Olvion Immigration Patrol ships as his departure from Olvion was unauthorized. The Patrol ships are requesting his surrender or his destruction. Luckily Traeger was able to make it to the nearest Stargate and escape the system. After exiting the Stargate, his ship craps out on him and leaves him drifting through space. His starboard defense shield are down, and the star drive is dead. He comes across the Capellan Survey Ship No. 077 and sends out a Priority Blue distress call. Survey ship acknowledges his distress and uses a tracker beam to bring his ship in for repairs. Traegers uniform appears to the same as those in the Fighting 69th.

On Earth, Dr. Huer and Wilma are discussing Buck's depression being related to his birthday. It's not everyday that someone turns 534 years old. But, not wanting to dwell on it too long, Dr. Huer gets down to business. Dr. Theopolis informs him that he has a message from Lt. Garth at Security Directorate. The message indicates that Lt. Garth will be coming over from the New Detroit Complex to discuss an urgent matter. Dr. Huer dismisses the urgency of the message right away because Mr. Garth has a tendency for theatrics whenever it comes to Huer's safety. Well enough about that, let's get back to Buck's Birthday. Twiki suggests a surprise Birthday. Dr. Huer puts Wilma in charge for inviting all his friends, who include Jen, Joella, Marla, Alison, Tangi, Falina, Miss Cosmos...time to create a list of 'Roger Girls', kind of like Bond Girls.

Huer and Wilma meet with Garth. Garth brings in Captain Querlu of the Capellan survey ship 077. Traeger restrained the captain and left him in a storage compartment. From there, Traeger impersonated the Captain so he could land at the New Detroit Spaceport. The real Captain was later found, delirious from systemic poisoning. He died 12 hours later. Somehow, Captain Querlu experienced a bizarre form of molecular transmutation that changed half his body into pure silicone. I think what is more bizarre than that, is how he could survive as long as he did after half of his body basically was severed from the other half. This threat is what Garth fears that Traeger has in store for Dr. Huer. Speaking of Traeger, still disguised as Capellan Captain, is walking down the halls to see a Dr. Delora Bayliss in Office Space 37042. The Reception-Quad on the wall informs him that he should be able to see the doctor a week from tomorrow. With a touch, the computer is fried and the door opens to reveal several women all seated and being treated by Dr. Byliss at once with psychic machines. It would seem that they use a computer for each woman programmed with Dr. Byliss's voice or thoughts. She hears your problems and talks back to you. One such woman is Miss. Bennett who is complaining about depressing dreams that she was an 'accident'. Looking around she shows how little privacy the women have for their therapy. Traeger is looking for a mind probe from Delora (what good will this do him in killing Huer?), but Delora tries to buy him off instead. She offers him 5,000 then 15,00 credits to pretend they don't know each other. Delora states that she spends that kind of money a week on incidentals. I guess then she isn't really offering all that much compared to what she could be offering. Traeger picks up the credits and turns them into anthracite, diamonds, and Elysium to show Delora that he doesn't need money. Delora shows Traeger a modified psychotherapy chair that is supposed to pick up on the subconscious. It will work very similar to a psych-probe. Just what the doctor ordered.

Wilma and Huer are back to planning Buck's party, but are concerned about the extra amount of Directorate Security that will be around the building. Buck, hearing about the threat on Dr. Huer, asks if he could help. Huer declines, and mentions that he is making up an itinerary of his schedule for the next two weeks that will be delivered by an IAC (or InterAgency Courier), who will take it to the Security Building. There they will assign body guards for Huer around the clock. Ms, Meritt, (the IAC) reports in to Huer for a briefing. She is scheduled for a mind-implantation procedure that is to take place at 1600 hours (4:00pm). After completion, Ms. Meritt is to go to Security Directorate Headquarters at the New Detroit Complex where the information will be extracted with a psych-probe. Ms. Meritt's procedure is completed after all the Data for day 13 is assimilated. She will be then escorted by two Security Directorate Headquarter's agents, Marsden and Niles (part of the Security Escort Detail). They will contact Ms. Meritt at at her table in the restaurant on the Federal Concourse at 1900 hours (7:00pm). Their identification code will be Blue-11. Once identified, she will be led to a turbo-lift in the federal building where she would then be transported to the SDH.

Rorvik and Carew are Delora's assistants. She requested their help to impersonate the two Security Escorts assigned to Ms. Meritt. Delora has an informant inside the Communications Office of the Security Directorate Headquarters that is providing her all her Intel on the current situation. The Directorate is never short of spy's in their midst. This informant was able to provide Delora with all the necessary information to intercept Ms. Meritt. Delora provides Rorvik and Carew with synthaflesh masks that are setup to mimic Agents Marsden and Niles features exactly. Why does Delora have these kind of men in her employment in the first place? Well, the fake Marsden and Niles enter the Restaurant and locate Raylyn and escort her out. Buck, has a flashback to what Dr. Huer said "They will identify themselves as Security Escort Detail". That was enough to make Buck worried. Why didn't he recall the part where they were supposed to use the ID Code Blue-11? Well, at least Ms. Meritt remembers (a little late), that they were supposed to use the security code. Rorvik and Carew panic when confronted with this information and attack.
Buck runs right by the security check point without any effort (good job Security Agent!) while Raylyn Meritt takes out both guys all by herself. Well, almost anyways. She is injected with some kind of sedative and taken into the turbo-lift to the sub-levels. Traeger asks the stupid question if he was followed. I think what he was really asking was if anyone is behind him. Carew says no, but the truth is, yes, he is being perused. Buck grabs a discarded pistol and heads down the turbo-lift. Traeger is still dragging Raylyn away when Buck gets down to the sub-level, but Carew is waiting for him. They fight, Traeger gets away with Raylyn, Security Agent shows up just in time to save Buck. Buck finds a Delocking Disk (aka a key) for Office Space 37042 in the Med Wing of the building. Carew must have dropped it. Buck heads for the Med Wing. Security Agent approaches Carew cautiously, but ends up getting shot by Carew anyways (good job Security Agent!).

Traeger brings Raylyn into Delora's office and tells her that the sub-level was crawling with security. He sure does like to exaggerate things. I don't think two men constitute as "crawling with security". Not to mention that the sub-levels where empty until they were being chased. Traeger asks Delora how long the procedure will take. She indicates that it could be at least a half hour. Are you kidding me? Why would they not discuss how long it would take before they decided to kidnap the courier? Wouldn't they think that she would be missed and go looking for her in a half hours time? I assume that Traeger was hoping that they could kidnap Raylyn, copy Huer's itinerary from her subconscious, and put her back before she was missed. I mean, once the directorate knew that Huer's itinerary was compromised, they would change it immediately. Course, now it just seems ridiculous to go through with their plan, because the information has been compromised. So, Traeger wants to use Delora's informant to forge a Priority One Communication. An InterDirectorate Memo canceling the Blue-Code Alert. The Memo will read:
"The Assassin has been caught, Dr. Huer is safe, and there is no need for the I.A.C. after all."
That should put them off the scent. I mean, why would this memo be looked at with any kind of suspicion immediately after and IAC agent went missing?

Wilma is decorating Buck's room with party favors that Huer brought from the Archives. Dr. Junius had them recreated from old photographs specifically for this party. Carew calls in to Delora to give her the heads up that Buck was on his way to her office. Traeger decides that the psycho-probe is taking too long and suggests to Delora to disregard Raylyn's safety, and do what she needs to to get the information out. Now they are going to kill the IAC agent? This must be Plan 'B'. Buck is already at Delora's office, and instead of going through the front door with the Delocking Disk, he goes through the air vents. Sucsses! The psycho-probe has retrieved the itinerary. The first thing that comes up on Huer's scheduled is hanging out with friends at Buck's place. I am sure this information was a surprise to Buck, because he wasn't expecting Huer or a bunch of people at his apartment this evening. Oops, Buck slides into the room head first. This entrance was better than going through the door, how? Traeger approaches Buck with his hand out, ready to tough him. Buck grabs a nearby cloth, covers Traeger's hand with it, and pushes him into the wall. Traeger's glasses are knocked off and broken. Hear the sizzle and popping of Traeger's eye's as they are exposed to light. Delora feels deep sympathy for Traeger's condition so much that she cry's out that Buck has blinded the poor man. Fortunately for Traeger he didn't go blind, and with a minor light adjustment he can see just fine.

Traeger leaves after he orders Delora to kill both Raylyn and Buck. Instead, Delora turns on her Sonic Hypnosis machine to wipe out Raylyn's memory of being intercepted and brought to her office. She can then substitute new memories of completing her task. That really doesn't sound thought out as it seems. The Security Directorate Headquarters is still expecting her to show up and will know that she never completed her task. For Meritt to believe that she did, doesn't benefit anyone. Back to Plan 'A'. So, a nearly blind Traeger gets into his ship and fly's to New Chicago to be there for Buck's Surprise Birthday. We see his ship launch, not one, but twice? Speaking of Buck's Birthday Party, it would seem that everyone is already there and having fun waiting Buck. Wilma tells Huer that the Code Blue Alert has been lifted, much to his relief. Then she suggests that Buck must have persuaded Raylyn for some good old fashioned sex.
This must be the only explanation for their tardiness. The fake Marsden and Niles bring Ms. Meritt back to the Security Directorate, none the wiser. Buck is now strapped in the Sonic Hypnosis chair while Delora prepares to wipe his memory. Using the Delocking Disk, Buck cuts through is restraints and subdues Delora. He finds Raylyn and fly's off in their Starfighter for New Chicago. Straeger, already having arrived, stumbles around, still half blind from the bright lights. He manages to find a light switch on the wall in the middle of the hall. A well thought out place to place a light switch for any architect I am sure. Traeger sets off a motion sensor that was set up to detect when Buck was arriving. The party prepares for Buck's entrance. The lights are dimmed, and the cake is lit. Traeger steps into the room, blinded by the intense light of all 534 candles on the birthday cake. Traeger flips the cake onto the ground as all the electronics and battery packs for the candles is revealed showing how fake the cake really is. Go Prop department!

Dr. Huer recognizes Traeger. Traeger bent on revenge approaches Huer with his red glowing hand. All the party guests just look on, making no attempt to stop Traeger from killing Huer in front of them. Wilma, remembering her duty, attacks Traeger just as Buck rushes into his room to help. Buck raises his pistol and shoots. No questions, no hesitations, no "tell me your master plan before I shoot". He just shot first. Traeger falls on his own hand and turns himself into pure silicone.

To wind things up, Dr. Bayliss is arrested and the Computer Council will charger her. Huer mentions that they need to contact the Adjudication Board to inform them of bizarre details of the case. Buck opens his presents with only Twiki, Huer, Wilma and his new friend Raylyn. I wonder what he got?

Character Facts learned in this episode
Buck Rogers: His Birthday is in January, on, or several days after, the 7th. Being January, and assuming they still celebrate the New Year in January, it should be now 2492. By Celebrating his 534th birthday puts Buck's birth year in/around 1958. His middle name is Anthony. Says he is a slow eater.
Lieutenant Traeger: Spent the last 15 years on Olvion. First met Delora Bayliss on Regulus 4. Was later being treated by her. Learned how to change the molecular property of objects to anything he wants while on Olvion. After he joined the Space Exploration Division, Huer sent him on a routine exploration mission. He was shot down over an unknown planet at the time (Olvion). The Olvion's charged him with espionage and imprisoned him 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) below the surface. Is forced to wear a visor to protect his eyes as he is no longer used to seeing the light. Eventually learned how to change things into anything he wanted. This trick allowed him to escape. He blames Huer for his capture because he was the one who sent him on the mission. The Directorates official report was that Traeger was lost and presumed dead.
Capellan's: All are telepathic.
Delora Bayliss: Used to sell quadrillium (highly radioactive material) on Regulus 4 resulting in the lives of many people. Has psychic abilities that she now uses in the Directorate Security building in New Detroit as a therapist.
Dr. Elias Huer: Was originally with the Science Directorate, Space Exploration Division.
Raylyn Meritt: Used to be a record keeper in the Archives due to her love for history. She is now the most experienced government InterAgency Courier.
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Pick my Brains, a shrink, a balloon
My Favorite Lines:
Deaths: 2
Miniatures: (1) Vintage Starfighter (2) Bigfoot (1) Capellan Survey Ship 077 (1) Starfighter (1) Launch Tube

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