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

1 comment:

  1. Eddie Benton also appeared in the 1979 Canadian sci-fi film "H.G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come", a fairly weak entry in the post-"Star Wars" craze and a kinda sorta sequel to the classic 1936 version of the Wells story. Interestingly, Benton looks a bit like Erin Gray, and the film was released only a few months after the theatrical version of "Buck Rogers."