Friday, October 4, 2013

Ep 118 Twiki is Missing, January 31, 1980

Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
Writer(s): Jaron Summers
Guest Star(s):
Kurt Belzak .... John P. Ryan
Pinchas .... David Darlow
Stella Breet.... Eddie Benton (a.k.a. Anne-Marie Martin)
Clare .... Janet Bebe Louie
Dawn .... Eugenia Wright
Oto Anad ... Ken Letner
Complete List of Cast and Crew
Colonel Deering and three other pilots are escorting a Spaceberg through Stargate 9, destination, Earth. The Spaceberg is 10 billion tons of frozen oxygen that will be delivered to the North Pole. From there it will melt and help to replenish the oxygen depletion of the entire planet. This is the third Spaceberg the Directorate has done this with. The danger is if the Spaceberg doesn't pass through a frictionless window in the atmosphere exactly, the friction will case the oxygen to explode that could scorch a third (maybe as much as half) of the Earths surface.

Chief Operations Officer, Pinchas, has been talking with several agents on Earth regarding their situation. 5,000 miners are threatening to leave their posts, causing a shortage in production of Blazium. Kurt Belzak wont be able to fill the back orders from Xynon. Oto Anad was elected to represent the miners. They provided Kurt Belzak with a list of grievances that they wish to be rectified. They include long hours, low pay, unhealthy working conditions, low morale, and unrest. Kurt Belzak calls in the Omni Guards, who have kept the mines open using cruelty and force. The girls, with their powers combined throw Anad up into the air and hard against the wall. Pinchas offers Kurt Belzak another plan, to buy Twiki, dissect him, and mass produce his one-of-kind processor to program more Ambuquads to work in the mines along side the minors. Or was it in place of the minors?

Wilma calls the Spaceberg the "Oxygen mass" as she leads it through space towards the window in Earths atmosphere. The Temperature of the Spaceberg is holding at minus 250 degrees Celsius (-418 degrees Fahrenheit). That's 20.425 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than space itself. Stella Breet approaches Buck Rogers and offers him a Million credits for Twiki. Buck declines, so Stella goes to Plan "B". She tells Buck she has a friend who runs a Biostereometrical Facility (3D Photographer) that could take pictures of Twiki's internal circuity. Buck agrees to do it and meet Stella at the facility at 9:00pm. Wilma is detecting an increase in the frequency of ionized particles. Huer orders a detailed Radio Scan of Quadrant Four. Buck arrives at Suite 2209 of a Glenn Henning. Upon entering the room, the Omni Guards use their power to incapacitate Buck Rogers, and steel Twiki. They take him to the Directorate Hanger and load him in a Thunder Fighter, digital reference H270. Clare sets an autopilot to coordinates 446. It's a strange plan to announce what company you work for, where your company is located, then steel something from them. How can they not expect to deal with some repercussions? Buck takes off in hot pursuit, and quickly catches up to Twiki. Kurt and Pinchas are listening in on Buck and Twiki's conversation and Kurt actually sounds surprised that Twiki's owner has come out to reclaim his stolen property. Radius vector 33 degrees left off the elliptical plane and elevation 40 degrees north. How did he get so far away so quickly? Buck finds him, tractor beams him into his Starfighter and returns to Earth.
Kurt remotely flies Twiki's Starfighter (wait, wasn't it originally the Thunder Fighter?) and open fires on Buck's ship. Now Kurt is guilty of theft, extortion and attempted murder. Buck orders Twiki to abandon ship, and is lost in space. FX shot of H270 Starfighters pulsar cannons change from yellow to blue. Buck eventually destroys the unpiloted ship. Buck radios in to Earth Control and New Tulsa Tracking Station responds. Buck requests help in locating Twiki before he crashes into a heavy gravity body. New Tulsa Tracking Station picks Twiki up Distance 33,000 mega-Ks from Alpha Centauri (wasn't Dr. Adam Strange from Alpha Centauri?)

Stella and the Omni Guards (why is Stella, the only white girl in the bunch, the only one with lines?) radio Kurt Belzak on the status of Twiki's arrival. Kurt informs them that Buck intercepted Twiki and brought him back to Earth. Stella basically responds that she expected that from Buck based on the information in his Biofile. Yeah, thank's for the freakin' heads up there Stella. Wilma, is encountering a Ion Storm causing the Spaceberg to change it's course. Buck heads out to help Wilma despite Huer's objections. As soon as Buck enters the Hanger, the Omni Guards round the corner and use their psychokinetics on him. The the technicians in the hanger just stand there and do nothing to help or sound alarm. They just watch as Buck is kidnapped. He awakes on board a Sled Starhip just three minutes outside Stargate 23, and an hour from Toros. Toros Approach Control radios in to Shuttle 9281 to inform them they are clear for reentry over the outer marker.

The Spaceberg's current angular displacement is around 3 degrees off center. It will miss the atmosphere window by 633 kilometers (393 miles). That would put the Spaceberg approximately 12,067 kilometers (7,498 miles) from Earth. Balzak calls Huer and informs him that he has Buck Rogers captive. Balzak wants to exchange Twiki for Buck. The Directorate polices forbid Dr. Huer to make any such deal, and requires him to turn the case over to the Stellar Authorities. Dr. Huer tells Twiki that he doesn't think it would be a good idea to tell Wilma Deering about Buck's situation. I mean, it's not like she was expecting him to come to her aide in making sure the Spaceberg doesn't explode, taking out half of the Earth. Oh, wait, yes she is! With his hands tied, Dr. Huer is unable to help Buck. So Twiki takes it upon himself to rescue his owner, er friend. Other than looking cute, why does Twiki need to wear a helmet?

Kurt Belzak shows Buck around his headquarters in hopes to change his mind about Twiki. Belzak brings him to a room where they dissolved to the raw ore in hydrochloric acid reducing it to a pure crystal form. The crystal is the quickest burning substance that produces the highest amount of heat known in the coldest of space. Belzak tosses Buck enough Blazium to destroy a small moon (or the entire asteroid) to show how stable the crystal is. Balzak continues his sales pitch trying to get Buck to agree to Twiki's sale. Belzak takes Buck into a chamber where Twiki is being held captive. I guess his rescue attempt failed. "Prepare the Ambuguad for disassemble" "No disassemble!" Buck jumps into action, takes out all the guards, and runs off with Twiki. Time for the ol' shoot the control panel to lock the door routine.

Buck is looking for the Blazium storage room when he walks into a Sonic Chamber located in Subsection 9, Corridor 3A. Buck lifts Twiki to short out the highly accessible sonic device. With that obstacle taken care of, he walks into the storage room and grabs a block of Blazium. All the miners and technicians don't question his presence nor his unauthorized removal of product. I mean, why would Belzak need security to guard his product supply? Buck and Twiki manage to make their way to the Hanger with no problems until they are blocked from the Thunder Fighter by some kind of energy field. Buck solicited Stella's help. At first she refuses to help fearing her son's life would be put in jeopardy, but agrees to deactivate the energy wall for him. Woh, wait...did Buck actually ask her to deactivate the energy wall? All he said was that he needed her help. Maybe he mentioned it off screen. She leads Buck back into the hanger where Kurt, Pinchas and four guards were waiting for them (wouldn't have Buck and Stella seen them before they made it down the stairs?)

Buck appears to have gotten himself captured yet again, when Twiki pushes some large canisters onto the Toros security. This was just what Buck needed to take them all out and escape with Twiki in his arms. I got to say, this episode is the only one where Buck has to pick Twiki up the most. Everywhere there are stairs he has to go down, or has to run fast to keep up, that it was just easier for Buck to pick him up. Buck gets cornered in the acid bath room. The Omni Guards use their mind-meld power against Buck (or do they? I mean, they had no problem tossing him across the room earlier, but now it seems like getting him to move a couple feet backwards is a struggle) to try to push him into the hydrochloric acid. Buck grabs the framework above the pool of boiling acid while the Omni Guards continue to struggle to get Buck to fall in. "Stella! Hey Stella!" Buck tries to convince Stella to help him. Why do the other two in the Omni Guard not do anything? Do they not have any conscious? Well Stella finally gives in to Buck and helps him back to the Hanger. A ship is cleared to land at the Asteroid as they get ready to leave it.

The Spaceberg is beginning to heat up as it approaches the outer limits of Earth's atmosphere. It is now minus 243 degrees Celsius (-405.4 degrees Fahrenheit) a difference of 7 degrees Celsius (44.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Dr. Huer fears that if the Spaceberg reaches -217 degrees Celsius (-358.6 degrees Fahrenheit) it will become unstable and agitation of the oxygen will become inevitable. Buck and Twiki make it back through Stargate 23 and their ship changed into the 2-seater Starfighter. Buck calls the Earth's Defense Directorate from the backseat of the Starfighter. Buck asks about the status of the Spaceberg. Huer informs him that they have been unable to alter its trajectory and it is only one minute and twenty three seconds from entering Earths atmosphere. Wilma chimes in that the Spaceberg is on the wrong trajectory. Didn't Dr. Huer just say that? Well it's a good thing that they didn't get it fixed yet, 'cause that would make Buck's plea to Stella feel a little pointless. Now Buck, Stella and Twiki are in the Four-Seater Thunder Fighter again when he explains that he has a way to fix the bergs path back to normal. So, in less than one minute 23 seconds, they calculate the correct amount of Blazium and the proper placement needed to blast the Spaceberg back on track just in time to make it through their hole. Being the most explosive material that burns the hottest, I am surprised
that it didn't just disintegrate they whole berg. Or even ignite the Spaceberg all on its own. Dr. Theopolis calculates the volume, mass, distance from the Earth, angular differential, and presents the coordinates Buck needs on the C-6000 computer. The angle differential is 3 degrees, 4 minutes and 22 seconds (3^4'22" or 3.073 degrees). He must reduce the bergs mass by 4.0923 (what? percent? pounds? tons?). Wait, why do they need to reduce the bergs mass? I thought they just needed it to get back on track? Buck has to cut the two-kilo (4.4 lb) brick in half and place it at coordinates M23.11 and D17.9. Buck requests that everyone get clear of the Spaceberg at a safe distance of 20,000 kilometers (12,427 miles. Are you kidding me?). From there, Wilma has to shoot the 1 lbs Blazium brick, full power. The Spaceberg is now -225 decrees Celsius (-373 degrees Fahrenheit) and at 22 seconds of the critical range. Buck eye balls the coordinates and fires the Blazium out. Wilma takes the shot and the Blazium explodes. Spaceberg is now in the correct trajectory and all done in 2 minutes and 40 seconds, er I mean 1 minute and 23 seconds. Huer cheers that Buck did it! He doesn't know how he did it, but is grateful that he did it. Uh, wasn't it with a 1 kilo brick of Blazium placed in the provided coordinates provided by Dr. Theopolis and detonated by Wilma? Doesn't seem like much of a mystery to me. Then Stella gives Buck the same compliment. What does she have to thank Buck for? He has not helped her save her son yet. In all this time he could have been killed already since no one knows that he needs protection yet.

Kurt Belzak was overthrown by the miners on Toros, then exiled to the 6th Quadrant. Lucas was found alive and well and is being transferred to Earth as they speak. Congrats go all around. Twiki get's the last comment in and the show ends with a scowl from Buck, not a smile. When all is said and done, I don't think there ever was a time where Twiki was missing. I mean, he was kidnapped, but Buck knew where he was going and caught up to him before he arrived at Toros. Then he was floating in space but not for very long before Buck picked him up. He was recaptured by Kurt, but that was short lived when Buck found out and from there, he never was out of Bucks knowledge. A title that Twiki is missing brings up images that they don't know where Twiki is for the majority of the episode only to find him at the end of the show.  But that is just not the case here.
Character Facts learned in this episode
Twiki: Serial No. is N22-23-T. He is equipped with Subspace Communication N46325. Manufactured at the Ambuquad facility in New Chicago. Programming has been augmented by Buck Rogers, giving him resourcefulness, courage, loyalty, and imagination.
Stella Breet: Married Toros General Breet (of the Chosen Class) and had a son, Lucas. Was a Paranormal. Marriage was never condoned by the Ruling Class and despite her husbands protests, he was executed as a traitor. To keep her son from being killed, she became a member of the Omni Guards using her psychokinetic powers. Is the Contract Administrator for Kurt Belzak.
Lucas Breet: Condemned to executed as a traitor due to his father's Marriage to Stella. Was spared by Belzak. Was sent to Remus II (a Directorate controled planet).
Kurt Belzak: Owner of a dozen of intergalactic corporations. Civilian Head of the Ruling Class on Torors. His headquarters is on Toros. The headquarters specializes in mining, manufacturing and distribution exclusively with the explosive Blazium. Signed the death order of Stella Breet's husband
References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: ham
My Favorite Lines:
Miniatures: (1) Spaceberg (4) Starfighters (1) Thunder Fighter (1) Shuttle 9281 (1) Launch tube (1) Asteroid Toros

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ep 117 Ardala Returns, January 24, 1980

Director: Larry Stewart
Writer(s): Chris Bunch, Allan Cole
Guest Star(s):
Princess Ardala .... Pamela Hensley
Kane .... Michael Ansara
Tigerman .... Hard Boild Haggerty
Pilot .... James Emery
Technician .... Betty Bridges
Guard .... Bob Minor
Full List of Cast and Crew:
Hatched Fighter stabilized at one-quarter power. "Hero" No. 7 dropped his power to half but lost control, causing to the ship to explode. Ardala scolds Kane that his design is killing all her pilots and she may have to order more Posthumous medals for the deceased. Ardala has been given permission to destroy any Terrian city she wishes to rectify the insult she received in "Escape from Wedded Bliss". Ardala, faced with either scrapping Kane's project or getting better pilots, she concludes that with Lab 23 she will be able to use Buck Rogers to pilot her ships.

Good ol' Twiki builds Buck a Ping-Pool Table. Course the table just looks like it has a flag or table cloth draped over it. Buck try's to show both Wilma and Twiki how to play ping-pong, but the little gold ball that Twiki provided for the game seems to be too heavy and doesn't bounce. I would have thought that Buck should have noticed right away when he picked up the ball that it wouldn't work. Huer calls Wilma and Buck to his office as they just discovered a Space Ship from the year 1996. They notice a Pilot in the ship and ask Buck if he may know who he is. Buck indicates that the ship was flying Recon in his time. So, sometime in 1987 before Buck disappeared, this ship was flying Recon, and in 1996 it was sent into space for the last time with an Astronaut aboard that they think that Buck should know? Wasn't Buck's ship the LAST deep space shuttle making this one highly suspect? Perhaps Buck and this Astronaut trained together at NASA? Buck and Twiki fly up to the time capsule and open the hyper chamber that the Astronaut is "asleep" in. Twiki pushes the green button and slides off the lid. Buck for some reason, reaches in and tries to pick up the Astronaut, only for its head to fall off. They have been duped! It was a trap set by Ardala. If it wasn't though, wouldn't Buck have to be a bit more cautious with a 496 year old cryogenically frozen?

The Time Capsule blasts off to the Draconia. Buck is escorted into Ardala's room, and as soon as they are alone the music changes to something more, risque. Well, their reunion is short lived, as she takes Buck to Lab 23 where she shows him their prototype of Buck Rogers himself, Zygot Mark I. The Mark I has an Alloy skeleton, vat-grown protoplasm, a microcomputer brain. They ready Buck for the Nero Duplicator to download Buck's Nero Responses into the Zygot. Buck makes a break for it, and the P.A. announces that Buck is in Sector B. Buck is overwhelmed by several Draconian Guards. One guard appears to have lost his helmet in the struggle.

New Chicago Command tries to contact Starfighter 1314. No response. Buck seems to have disappeared. Fearing something is wrong, Wilma checks-out a Starfighter to search for him (Does she not have her own assigned Starfighter that she has to check one out like a library book?). Buck is tied to a chair wearing a Neural Capacitance Suit. Buck refuses to volunteer his Nero memories, but Ardala plans to proceed anyways. They stick a helmet on him and Anesthetize Buck. Wilma finds Buck's shuttle, but not Buck or Twiki. Theopolis analyzes the ship and indicates that the Capsule left 20 minutes after Buck and Twiki arrived. Theo finds a electromagnetic pattern of the engine drive system that is characteristically similar to that of a Draconian imperial drive units that came from the Time Capsule. Why didn't they make this scan before boarding the Capsule?

Buck awakes to see a Scorpion Fighter shooting at him. He quickly returns fire upon the ship that turned into a Starfighter. Three Starfighters to be exact. Buck seeing they are hostile, destroys all three ships no questions asked. Kane and Ardala are impressed with his reaction times being twice as fast as their pilots and terminate the illusion simulator Buck is in. Now, what if it wasn't a simulation? Wouldn't three Directorate Starfighters shooting at a Hatchet Fighter be pretty normal? How would they know Buck was in the ship? Why wouldn't Buck recognize his own ships shooting at him and try to convince them of a cease fire? Luckily Buck didn't ironically kill Wilma and two other directorate pilots as they attempted to rescue Buck. Huer and Theo are able to locate Twiki from his EM Transmissions. Huer sends a transmission through Subspace to communicate through Twiki to Buck. How Dr. Huer knew that Buck was sleeping is a mystery to me. Unfortunately, Kane and Ardala bugged Twiki and distorted elements of Buck's transmission so Huer would not learn of their plans. Huer tells Buck to escape his cell, and steal a Hatchet Fighter so he could rendezvous with Wilma, who is only half a parsec away. If Buck could do all that, why could he not keep going all they way to Earth by himself? How come that Wilma's presence is enough to motivate him to try to escape?

Twiki touches the door controls, allowing Buck and him to escape. It's not along before the alarms are triggered, Guards reporting to their stations, and Sector B is flooded with security. Buck runs out of Twiki's visual range, a Zygot comes out from around the corner who Twiki thinks is the real Buck. The Zygot tells Twiki to wait in the Cargo hold while he warms up a Hatchet Fighter. Why does Twiki think that separating, and waiting in a room down the hall from the hanger is a good idea? How would he know when Buck was ready to go? Too many things could happen that being separated is a bad idea. Luckily, the real Buck is already in the Cargo hold. Yippee, they are reunited instead. The fake Buck Rogers, or Zygot, rendezvous with Wilma on the other side of a Stargate and they both fly home. Three more Roger Zygots are to fly Hatchet Fighters through Earths defenses and destroy New Phoenix. The Prototype (Mark I), is armed with a one-ton nuclear device that will detonate when it is in the same room as New Chicago's three top leaders, Dr Huer, Dr. Theopolis and Wilma Deering. But not instantly of course.

Buck taunts two Draconian soldiers training with Stun Sticks. Insulted, they challenge the Earth Trash, Buck Rogers. With some quick moves, Buck takes out the two soldiers and walks up to the two guards and takes them out too with no effort. But just when Buck thinks he is in the clear, Tigerman and four guards await him on the other side of the door. Poor Buck, he just cannot catch a break. Back in his cell, Buck finds the Bug hidden on Twiki and discards it. Then they plan to create a "flaw" in Buck by sending a low voltage current through his body to jangle his neural responses for 20 minutes or so. With this flaw, the Zygots will be flawed when they copy his Nero-responses again. How and why would he know that? Secondly, why would Kane need to go through the neural duplicating procedure for each Zygot? Kane notices these jangled responses and thinks that he may have drunk Antaraen brandy. But no matter. A Drunk Buck Rogers wont affect anything right? Why is Ardala facing the camera when she is talking to Kane, who is standing behind her?

Huer and Wilma both are convinced that Buck is not the same. Almost like his spirit has been stolen. Theopolis suggests that Buck may be a victim of Psycho-Surgery. Buck enters and miss quotes an old 21st Century Saying, then corrects himself in an off handed robotic way. It would seem that Buck's prototype is flawed all by itself. Now that the Zygot has all three of the top leaders alone in one room, it now activates its internal bomb. The Scanners in the building have detected the device and alert faculty to evacuate Level 3. Theopolis determines that it is a Draconian bomb. A Red Alert Search is being conducted at that very moment. A Technician walks with a scanner looking for the bomb. In the last few seconds, Wilma realizes that Buck is the Bomb and disintegrates him. Ardala's Plan "A" failed. Oh well. Ardala has three more Buck Roger Zygots. She orders Kane that they be sent to her chamber for a personal inspection. I guess the idea of three sex toys is too much for Ardala to pass up. Buck No 2 is all romance, Buck No. 3 is all about himself, Buck No. 4 is depressed and cannot get out of his own stupor. Buck No. 3 talks about one "honey" at Clark, when he was flying F-16's with the Widowmakers. The woman was fine, but he had more interest in the F-16's. Oh man, Ardala is in for a long boring story. On one mission, Wild Weasel's ship said there was a Sam-12 on Buck's tail. Buck then hit right rudder and grayed out. After two hours of listening to Buck No. 3 talking about F-16's, Ardala turns him off. Buck No. 2 goes in for a kiss. Ardala turns him off too after she see's his mechanical eyes. She goes to her communication mirror and contacts the real Buck. She longs for the real thing. She is actually crying. She orders Kane to launch the attack on Earth immediately with the three Zygots.

Ardala's plan: Two Zygots will engage all the Earths Starfighters, while the third is to fly through the defenses and destroy New Pheonix with an Anti-Mater bomb. "For the Empire". The real Buck and Twiki have hatched a plan that Twiki isn't to convinced will work. Ardala enters Bucks cell and informs him that the Zygots where launched 10 minutes ago and New Phoenix will be all but a memory. Buck's plan was to pretend to be a Zygot, so Ardala would leave him be, but took the chance that she would not shoot him in her anger.

The first wave (or only wave) of Ardala's attack enter Earth's sensor range. Huer orders to Scramble all Squadrons. Penetration Section Oboe 3 (what does that mean?). Colonel Deering is to lead the first Squadron and intercept the hatchet fighters. Dr. Huer wants her and her squad to destroy all of the ships. I guess if she did, there wouldn't be a need to a second or third squadron right? Or as a precaution that Deering and the first squad fail (i.e. DIE), then he has more squads to take her place. Buck escapes in a Hatchet fighter and fly's even faster than Kane's Zygots. Wilma orders Echo Element to deploy as High Squadron, and Victor Element to Fingers-four (originally sounded like gibberish to me). The real Buck radios in to any Earth outpost available and Wilma answers back. Buck is only half a light second (149,896,229 metres) behind the other three Zygot Bucks. Buck instructs Wilma and her squad not to close. Avoid getting the Zygots on their tail (good advice for anyone). The Zygots will try to bounce them from the rear quarter. The battle begins. Three of the Directorate Starfighters are destroyed, allowing one Zygot into Earth's defense shield. Buck, hot on his tail, destroys the Zygot before it can bomb New Phoenix. Turning around, Buck takes out another Zygot. Just one left, Wilma takes a risky shot and destroys one of the two Hatchet fighters fighting each other. As luck would have it, she got the Zygot and not the real Buck Rogers. I cannot believe that she just took that risk.
In Buck's apartment, Buck pulls off the table cloth to reveal a more accurate Ping-Pong table. He plays Dr. Huer, who scores two points. Buck then plays a joke on them, making them believe he could be a Zygot after all. It's a good thing they don't shoot first and ask questions later. Ha ha, all in good fun.

References to the 20th Century that the 25th does't get: Ping-Pong, Pool (bilards), hustled
My Favorite Lines: "Love isn't something that two people can try to make happen" -Buck "What can she concivably do with three Buck Roger's for an hour and a half?" -Kane
Princess Ardala's No. of Outfits: 4
Deaths: 4
Miniatures: (1) Draconia (1) Draconia Lower Launch Bay (5) Hatchet Fighter (1) Time Capsule (1) Canaris Shuttle (6) Starfighter (1) Scorpion