Gatchaman Episode 37 - Renzilla, the Electric Monster by TransmuteJun
Summary:

Part of TJ's and LB's episode reviews.

A scientist and his dog are kidnapped by Galactor, and it's up to the Science Ninja Team to rescue them. But will the dog save the day?


Categories: Gatchaman Characters: Berg Katse, Dr. Kozaburou Nambu, Goon, Jinpei, Joe Asakura, Jun, Ken Washio, Other Canon Character, Phoenix/God Phoenix, Ryu Nakanishi, Sosai X
Genre: Episode Review
Story Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Violence, Strong Language, Violence
Timeframe: Episode Rewrite
Universe: Canon
Challenges: None
Series: TJ's & LB's Episode Reviews
Chapters: 8 Completed: Yes Word count: 7784 Read: 16554 Published: 09/09/2010 Updated: 09/09/2010
Story Notes:

This is a Gatchamania Episode review. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

This episode review is image intensive.

1. Gatchman Episode - Part I by TransmuteJun

2. Gatchaman Episode - Part II by TransmuteJun

3. Gatchaman Episode - Part III by TransmuteJun

4. Gatchaman Episode - Part IV by TransmuteJun

5. Gatchaman Episode - Part V by TransmuteJun

6. BOTP Episode - Part I by TransmuteJun

7. BOTP Episode - Part II by TransmuteJun

8. BOTP Episode - Part III by TransmuteJun

Gatchman Episode - Part I by TransmuteJun

Gatchaman Episode 37 - Renzilla, the Electric Monster

 

A helicopter flies over snowy mountaintops. In an icy valley, surrounded by mountains, lies a lake. The narrator tells us that this is Lake Mountaintop. A flying dragon that survived the Ice Age is hiding in its depths. It is usually frozen solid throughout the seasons of the year, however this year the icy lake has melted into flowing water.

Inside the helicopter, a man studies the suddenly not-frozen lake.

 

And he brought his dog with him! What kind of dog would you bring to snowy mountaintops? Why, a St. Bernard, of course!

I'm looking for the little barrel they're supposed to carry on their collars, but all this dog has is a golden tag.

 

The man is Dr. Miwa, and he is studying the lake, hoping to use it to generate solar energy. When he heard the news that the lake was no longer frozen, he rushed to investigate. He is taking pictures of the area.

"I've never seen the lake like this." he says, as the dog howls.

 

But one of his pictures turns up something very interesting!

 

The dog's name is Taro, and he begins barking. Other helicopters are surrounding Dr. Miwa's helicopter!

 

"We're in trouble, Boy." Miwa says grimly.

The other helicopters begin broadcasting loudly enough for the Doctor to hear them.

"Welcome Dr. Miwa!" they say. "Our Master, Lord Katse, is expecting you!"

Miwa quickly realizes that these helicopters are from Galactor. Not too surprising, given what you saw with your camera, is it Doctor?

"This is an order from Lord Katse. You have no choice but to come with us!" the Galactors demand.

Miwa pulls on his stick, lifting his helicopter up and away from the Galactor helicopters.

"You can't get away! Resistance is futile!" the Galactors shout. I'm wondering if the ADV scriptwriter was a fan of the Borg.

But Miwa doesn't listen. He opens the door to the cockpit.

 

Then he gives Taro the camera, in the dog’s mouth.

"Deliver it to Nambu." he orders. "Go!"

Well, at least Miwa knows Nambu, and knows where the information he has would best be sent.

Taro jumps from the helicopter, and the Galactor helicopters begin shooting at the dog.

 

Hey, these helicopters are piloted by goons! I'm wondering if they're cold. They're in the mountains, and Miwa is wearing a super thick coat and enclosed in his helicopter. These goons are out in the open and have no special warm clothing.

And perhaps because they are cold (or perhaps because they are goons) the shots all miss Taro, who simply rolls down a hill in the snow.

Seeing that Taro survived this, the goons begin shooting again. Taro jumps, but misses, sliding off a cliff, the camera still in his mouth.

 

The dog falls down into the crevasse, a canine whimper echoing behind him.

Miwa is distraught, and allows the goon helicopters to lead him away. But no one sees that Taro has survived. He barks after the departing helicopters, the precious camera lying by his side.

We cut to the Crescent Coral Base, where fish swim by in their ever-present parade. Inside the base, a green-gloved hand catches a pair of bolas.

 

Ah, it's Jinpei of the amazing color-changing gloves!

 

The Swallow complains that Nambu is late. Jinpei really wants to meet the Doctor's 'special guest'.

A loud bark sounds, and Jinpei is so shocked that he hits himself in the head with his bolas.

 

Then he leaps into a surprised Jun's lap.

 

A large St. Bernard approaches the Swallow. It's Taro!

"Oh man! He's coming for me! Help me, please!" Jinpei screams in fear.

 

So, let me get this straight. Jinpei loves bugs and whales, but puppies and dogs are on the 'do not care for' list.

"Jinpei, what's the matter with you? It's just a dog!" Jun says calmly.

 

"G...g...g...g... good doggie..." Jinpei gibbers, in a vaguely Keyop-ish manner.

I have to say, this little scene strikes a personal chord with me. I, like Jinpei, have a deathly fear of dogs, and I can completely sympathize with his reaction, because this is pretty much what I do whenever a dog comes near me. At the same time, I can appreciate Jun's calm reaction, because it's how I wish I could be. But instinctive fear is a terrible thing to overcome.

Nambu calls the dog Taro, and Taro leaves Jinpei unmolested.

Ken isn't scared of Taro, but he is so surprised to see that the 'special guest' is a dog that his upper lip drains of all color!

 

Jinpei is so relieved not to have the dog near him anymore that he falls off of Jun's lap.

 

Nambu tells the Team that Taro belongs to Dr. Miwa, a world-famous solar energy research scientist. Taro is so special to Miwa that Nambu was surprised that the dog delivered Miwa's latest results. Nambu shows the Team what Miwa sent. We even get to see the 'filmstrip countdown'!

 

Notice how the screen has just 'appeared' in front of the door through which Nambu and Taro entered.

First, Nambu shows the pictures of Lake Mountaintop, which has great potential to produce powerful solar energy. It could possibly even surpass nuclear power.

"But how can that lake make solar energy?" Ryu wants to know. Thanks for asking, Ryu, because I was wondering the same thing!

 

Fortunately, Nambu has a helpful diagram.

 

The lake stays frozen throughout the year. If the ISO uses its surface as a polarization lens, then the sunlight can be stored, and converted into solar energy.

Jun thinks this is a wonderful invention.

 

But Nambu points out that the project has yet to be completed. Dr. Miwa has disappeared. Apparently, he rushed out of the research center when he heard about the lake being unfrozen. Remember, the lake has to be frozen solid for the solar energy project to work.

Ken wonders if someone is trying to interfere with Miwa's research.

 

"I think it may be more sinister than that!" Nambu replies. "I think that someone is trying to produce powerful destructive energy, by stealing the Doctor's research!"

Of course, by this point in the series, we all know who is behind anything like this.

"Galactor's at it again!" Jinpei shouts.

 

"Galactor?" Jun gasps.

 

Nambu agrees. Only Galactor would do this. And to confirm his assessment, Miwa's picture of the Galactor base in the lake comes on the screen.

The picture on the screen shifts to an image of the real underwater base. The eyes on the devil logo are windows, and through one of them we see goons lounging around.

 

Obviously these are some overworked goons. Clearly they're ready to be promoted to 'ninja-fodder' status.

The inside of the base glows with bright, powerful conduits stretching down seemingly endless metal tube-corridors. This looks like a solar energy project to me!

In another room, a bruised Miwa is rudely awoken by goons. He is face to face with Berg Katse.

 

Katse shows Miwa images on a monitor. We see a mecha dragon flying through the sky.

 

Gatchaman Episode - Part II by TransmuteJun

The dragon's eyes emit beams, and the beams incinerate nearby peaceful mountaintop towns. It looks to me like Katse is trying to obliterate Heidi.

"The legend of Mountaintop Lake has come true, thanks to Galactor's electric monster, Renzilla!" Katse cackles. "However, we are dissatisfied with our creation. It just takes too long to conquer the Earth with nuclear power. Therefore, I'm afraid that we must usurp your research, Doctor."

 

Katse wants Miwa to supply Renzilla with solar energy. The Galactor can begin a path of destruction that will terrify the entire world!

"You're crazy..." Miwa mutters.

 

"Say what you may, but soon the world will grovel before Renzilla and Galactor!" Katse promises. "The day has come where Galactor will finally be able to rule the entire Earth!"

 

"No!" screams Miwa, before a goon knocks him out with a rifle butt to the back of the head. The Doctor slumps to the floor.

Back at Crescent Base, Nambu sums up the moral for the episode, nay, the entire serie. If scientific research can be used to help the Earth, then that is wonderful. However, it can also be used for evil.

Nambu orders the Team to rescue Dr. Miwa immediately. The fate of the world depends on it!

 

"Besides, that's the least I can do for such a dear old friend." the Doctor adds. Nepotism, thy name is Nambu.

Ken is so moved by this speech that he stands up, offering Nambu his hand as he accepts the mission on behalf of the Team. Nambu is so shocked that he forgets to make his usual prayers for their success, and just shakes Ken's hand.

 

Cue stock footage of the God Phoenix launching from the Crescent Coral Base.
 

It seems only a second or two before the God Phoenix is flying over Lake Mountaintop. Ken gasps in awe.

 

Ryu brings the God Phoenix down to take a closer look. Something glimmers on the lake as they set down, and a goon helicopter passes by the viewscreen.

 

Completely ignoring the goon in the helicopter, Joe comments that this must be an entrance to Galactor's base.

Ken stands up, telling everyone that the God Phoenix can't get any closer, so they'll have to make their approach in their individual vehicles. And since Ryu's vehicle is the God Phoenix... well, we all know what that means.

 

Joe agrees, and comments that Dr. Nambu 'improved' the vehicles to accommodate the snow.

"Listen, Ryu, once we land, I want you to cover the God Phoenix with snow." Ken says to the Owl.

"What kind of superhero shovels snow?" Ryu moans.

 

And Ryu is right to complain. For on this mission, he has less action than... the dog. Yep, that's right. Taro has come along, and is going with the rest of the Science Ninja Team! Ken tells Taro that he has to be their guide.

 

And the Team is off, going through the snow! And... oh my.... Joe said that Dr. Nambu made 'improvements' to the vehicles, but he has completely redesigned the G-1! Instead of a jet, it is now a snowmobile!

 

 

Taro is one fast dog. He is managing to run ahead of the Ninja Team vehicles, and they don't seem to be going extra slow.

Ooh, Ken has a sidecar! Holy Passenger-Carrying-Capacity, Gatchaman!

 

Everyone speeds through the snow.

 

And Taro is still in the lead, guiding them on their way!

 

The Team spots a huge hole in the ground, through which goon helicopters are exiting.

 

They hide in the snow, and as the hole begins to close, they leap out one by one, Taro in the lead.

 

 

 

Taro is some super St. Bernard! He's flying through the air like a ninja!

 

Everyone jumps through the hole and into the base.

 

Taro jumps right onto a goon and viciously kills him.

 

See? Jinpei was right to be afraid of this dog!

Not content with killing one goon, Taro goes for a second.

 

Not to be outdone by a dog (even if that dog is the 'special guest star of the week') Ken throws his boomerang and takes out the rest of the goons.

 

Meanwhile, Miwa is being forced, literally at gunpoint, to draft plans for his solar energy invention.

 

But he suddenly stops, refusing to construct a prism for such evil! The goons press their guns closer, and Miwa dares them to go ahead and kill him.

But Katse (who can apparently hear everything that goes on in the base) appears on a small monitor on Miwa's desk. He says that Miwa should reconsider, because...

The monitor shows Taro moving through the base, and the Science Ninja Team as well.

 

"The fate of their lives is in your hands now." Katse threatens.

Meanwhile, unaware that they are being observed, the Team runs down the hall. Ken stops cold and gasps!

 

He sees Taro reuniting with Dr. Miwa. Jun wonders if it could truly be happening.

 

Jinpei thinks it could. He rushes forward in excitement... and right into a glass wall.

 

"No!" Ken screams, running up to the wall.

 

"Hello, Caped Canaries!" Katse laughs as another glass wall closes behind the Team. The Galactor Leader's voice is coming over some kind of speaker. Joe tries to break down the glass door, to no avail.

 

"Behold the power of Galactor!" Katse smirks. "We dispose of anything that gets in our way. That goes for your little dog, too!" The last is said in a very 'Wicked Witch of the West' kind of way.

The lights come on from behind the other glass panel, and we see that the Miwa Taro is 'reuniting' with is actually a projection in a glass bubble.

"It's just reflecting the Doctor's image!" Jinpei says.

 

"Hey, let's see if Slobchops can swim!" Katse says gleefully, as lake water begins to pour into the chamber housing Taro.

It turns out that Taro can swim, but he swirls around as the water gets higher and higher.

Jun is horrified as the water rises.

 

Ken can't watch as Taro is swept away.

 

Gatchaman Episode - Part III by TransmuteJun

After a commercial break, a pair of devil logo double doors opens to reveal Renzilla. Katse is observing the preparations for the mecha's next mission, but then he leaves to go report to X.

X wants to know if Renzilla has been perfected. Katse says that everything is complete. Well, nearly everything. All they're waiting on is Dr. Miwa's solar energy. Then they will be able to control the entire planet.

"Well done, Berg Katse." X says, and Katse smirks as he bows and thanks Sosai.

Meanwhile, Jun is trying to blow apart the glass wall.

"That must be a super thick piece of glass!" she says sadly. "My Yo-Yo Bombs aren't even scratching it!

"Well how about I give it a whirl?" asks Jinpei, twirling his bolas.

 

Ken and Joe are just sitting on their butts. Yes, really.

 

"It's not going to work. We've done all we can." Ken says. When did he pick up such a defeatist attitude?

"We can at least try!" Jinpei urges. "I mean, we can't stay locked up in here forever!"

 

Even Joe is disgusted by Ken's attitude.

 

But Ken pulls out a device from his wings.

 

"If Taro is still alive out there, I can call him back to us with this device." Ken says, pressing the button.

Wait a minute.... how long has it been? Why didn't Ken use this device right away?

"But what if he's dead, huh?" Jinpei wants to know.

 

"If it's been less than an hour, this device will trigger a mechanism implanted in his brain, and resurrect him." Ken explains. Okay, so now I'm really wondering... if there's a time limit, why didn't Ken activate this device right away?

We see a brief shot of a seemingly-dead Taro washed up on the shore of the lake. We zoom in, and a silhouette of his head appears, highlighting the mechanism in his brain. It kind of looks like one of those mini-bombs, which the Ninja Team carries in their belt pouches. It sparks and activates.

 

And Taro awakens.

"I think I'm getting a response!" Ken says.

 

"But I don't understand! Why didn't you tell us about this device earlier?" Jinpei wants to know. Good question! I am waiting eagerly for the answer to fill up this little plot hole...

But we don't get an answer. Instead, we cut to a shot of Taro running across the snow. What a cop out!

Taro jumps through the same entrance he came through before, but this time he sneaks by the goons on guard, not attacking anyone until he gets to the goon guarding the Ninja Team.

The guard goon screams in horror, and Ken turns around.

 

Taro is attacking the guard!

 

"Listen, you Tiptoe! All it takes is one order from me and that dog will rip you wide open!" Ken threatens. I don't know why Ken calls him a 'tiptoe'. I listened to this multiple times and still couldn't figure out what ADV was trying to get in there.

 

"I suggest you let us out of these glass walls if you want to save your sorry hide!" Ken adds, as Taro gets closer.

 

The guard replies that he can't do it, because if he does, he'll be executed. So Ken says he'll give the order. Finally, the goon agrees. He pulls a lever...

 

Okay, why couldn't Taro just pull the lever? Seems pretty simple to me...

We cut to the sunrise over Lake Mountaintop, accompanied by the 'hopeful sunrise' music. But I don't get it. Taro just recovered from death and ran to the base during daylight hours. Did it really take all night for him to enter the base, threaten the goon and release the Ninja Team? I guess he was just a little slow, after dying and resurrection and all.

The prism at the bottom of the lake sparkles, and Renzilla rises into the air. Inside the base, we see Katse watching over Miwa's shoulder as he works.

 

"Well, it looks like the sun's cooperating with our plans, Doctor, almost as if it's wishing Renzilla a happy beginning!" Katse says.

Miwa quietly begs forgiveness from Nambu and Gatchaman, for allowing himself to be coerced by Galactor.

Goons report that everything is ready for activation, and the 'prism is solarizing'. The solar beam reflection angle is at 0.088. The countdown begins at 16 seconds, while Katse watches smugly.

 

There's even a visual countdown on the monitors!

 

But as it gets to 1, a boomerang flies through the air and strikes the control panel, causing it to explode!

 

Cut from BOTP:

 

The boomerang goes around the room again, slitting goon throats as it passes. A pair of bolas wraps itself around a rifle, disarming a goon.

"Oh no! It's Gatchaman!" shouts one of the goons, as the weapons return to their owners.

 

Cue big fight scene.

Everyone gets in on the act, including Taro!

 

 

 

 

 

Taro has a joyful reunion with Miwa, much to Katse's disgust.

 

Ken spots Katse across the room and throws his boomerang.

 

The boomerang gets close enough to slice off Katse's mask!

 

 

Remember, when this episode was created, it was only meant to air on TV once. There were no VCRs, or ability of the audience to run this frame by frame. This entire thing takes about a second, and in that respect it's a horrible tease to viewers who were eager to see Katse's true face.

That being said, there are hints here. Katse's face looks very feminine in this last shot. But take a look at this next one, as he covers his face from view.

 

Definitely a manly body!

The unmasked Katse flees the room. The Condor places a Time Bomb in a control panel.

 

Remember they used these in the Whale episode and we wondered if we'd ever see them again? Well here they are!

Then the Condor flees the scene.

 

The bomb explodes, cutting the power. Random goon bullets fly everywhere.

Katse is now in a different control room, still trying to hold his mask together. He orders the goons to go after the Science Ninja Team immediately, because the prism can't be controlled without Dr. Miwa.

 

We cut to goons on snowmobiles, racing through the area outside the base.

 

The Science Ninja Team is on the run with Dr. Miwa! Look, he's riding in Ken's sidecar!

 

 

Notice that once again, Taro is fast enough to keep up with the speeding vehicles.

Miwa asks Gatchaman to forgive him. Even though he was threatened, Miwa never should have sold his soul to Galactor.

 

Ken says that it's okay, because Galactor can't control Renzilla without Miwa.

Gatchaman Episode - Part IV by TransmuteJun

Jun sees something up ahead, and shouts out a warning to Ken.

 

"Those guys are flying!" Jinpei says, as he sees the goons on snowmobiles.

 

The Condor pulls up alongside the snowmobiling goons.

 

"Keep the pedal to the metal until we reach the God Phoenix!" Ken yells.

 

I'm not sure how he expects anyone (other than possibly Jun) to hear him, though. After all, he's just shouting, not speaking into his bracelet, and Joe and Jinpei are in enclosed vehicles.

And this is confirmed, as only Jun shouts 'Roger!" in acceptance of this order.

 

Or maybe Joe and Jinpei say 'Roger' too, but being inside their vehicles, I can't hear them.

Snowmobile goons are pouring down the mountainside, closing in on our departing heroes.

 

One bullet gets too close for Ken's comfort!

 

One of the goons starts spouting off about killing anyone who gets in his way. He shoots more at Ken and Dr. Miwa.

The G-2 gets a little 'Galactor War Wound'.

 

The goon-mobiles close in on the G-2.

 

Joe swerves rapidly.

 

He knocks a goon-mobile, and it crashes into a number of others, sending them all flying off the cliff.

 

Jinpei watches all this admiringly, then declares that it's time to show what he can do.

 

The mouth of the G-4 opens, letting out some rolling bombs. The bombs move underneath the goon-mobiles, and attach themselves to the bottom of the Galactor vehicles, before exploding.

 

"Not too shabby for a kid, huh?" Jinpei laughs to himself.

The goons have now upped the ante. Four goon helicopters come flying over with a net. Jun sees them from her G-3.

"Never underestimate a girl!" she declares.

 

She stands up on her moving motorcycle...

 

Then puts on a hand-held blade.

 

She jumps off of her motorcycle...

 

Then proceeds to cut the net with the blade...
 

Sending the goon-copters spinning out of control...

 

Before returning to her motorcycle.

 

But one of the goons is shooting at the connector between Ken's G-1 snowmobile and his sidecar.

 

Ken is horrified when he realizes that the sidecar has been cut off and is flying away from him!

 

Dr. Miwa screams for Gatchaman as he gets further away. But Ken is kind of busy...

 

His G-1 snowmobile has been hit and it's on fire! Goons are passing him easily as he slows down.

 

Taro is still running by Dr. Miwa, and a goon-mobile closes in on the runaway sidecar. The goon leaps out, landing in the sidecar and threatening Miwa with his gun.

 

But Taro doesn't like that. He leaps into the sidecar and...

 

The goon sticks his gun into Taro's stomach and shoots. But Taro keeps going.

 

Ken is concerned for Taro.

 

But Jun is concerned for Ken, as she sees his G-1 snowmobile burning. She throws him her yo-yo.

 

He catches it.

 

And is pulled away just as his G-1 snowmobile explodes!

 

Ken is literally hang-gliding from Jun's motorcycle!

 

He swoops over to the runaway sidecar and is able to pick up Miwa.

 

But Taro and the goon are left in the runaway sidecar, which goes hurtling over a cliff, much to everyone's horror!

 

Even Jinpei is upset by this turn of events, and screams out Taro's name!

 

Taro, the goon, and the sidecar fall to the bottom of a deep crevasse. To emphasize that Taro is really and truly dead this time, there is a small explosion when they land. How a sidecar with no gasoline in it explodes on impact, I don't know. Maybe it was the goon's gun that exploded?

Ken's face quivers, on the brink of tears, as he witnesses Taro's death.

 

Meanwhile, during all of this excitement, Ryu is... sleeping.

 

I guess he didn't learn his lesson from episode 26! Or perhaps he did, because he is wearing his bracelet, and he wakes up immediately when Ken contacts him.

"I was so bored I was sleeping! What took you so long?" Ryu asks.

 

Ken apologizes, and says that they rescued Dr. Miwa. Ryu is on the way to pick them up. We cut to an outside shot of the God Phoenix...

 

Which is clearly not covered in snow. I guess Ryu was really slacking off!

Meanwhile... we have a mecha still in the air! I nearly forgot about that! A goon onboard is asking Katse what to do.

Katse says that they have no choice. Leader X must not be kept waiting. They're going to proceed without Dr. Miwa.

 

The goon protests. It's too dangerous!

 

He gets a smack from Katse for his trouble.

 

So Renzilla powers up, taking solar energy from the prism in the lake. When he sees this, Dr. Miwa is distressed.

 

Without Miwa's supervision, Galactor won't be able to control Renzilla, and it will explode!

 

Renzilla incinerates more Heidi homes. Uh... mountaintop villages.

 

Katse is thrilled. He knows that Leader X is sure to be pleased.

 

But a goon points out that the emergency light has been flashing non-stop!

 

The pilot jumps up and shouts that he can't control Renzilla!

On the God Phoenix, Miwa realizes exactly what's happening. He says that Renzilla is going to 'go beserk and destroy everything'.

And sure enough, Renzilla overloads.

 

The remaining goon-mobiles are disintegrated, similar to what might happen in a nuclear blast.

Cut from BOTP:

 

Gatchaman Episode - Part V by TransmuteJun

The God Phoenix tries to escape, but it is caught, and begins to glow orange. Inside, everyone is in agony.

 

Ryu reports that they're at 2,800 degrees.

 

Remember, the God Phoenix can only withstand 3,000 degrees. But in case you've forgotten, Ken reminds us all.

 

Notice how Ryu and Ken seem to be insubstantial here? It's a neat effect, showing how the solar energy beam is trying to pull their matter apart, like it did to the goons on snowmobiles.

Miwa crashes to the floor, but no one is in any condition to help him, especially not Jinpei.

 

The ice on the lake (Hey, when did it refreeze? Just the night before it was water as a 'dead' Taro was washed up onshore!) begins to crack, and Renzilla explodes.

 

Katse can't believe what's happening!

 

Then the underwater base explodes. A massive mushroom cloud forms above the surface of the lake.

 

I guess this makes sense, since Renzilla was nuclear powered before being solar powered. So they must have left Renzilla's old nuclear reactor at the base.

The God Phoenix slowly turns back from orange to blue, and everyone onboard has survived.

Ken holds Dr. Miwa, and the Doctor opens his eyes. Everyone is glad to see that he is alive.

 

 

Ken tells Miwa that Galactor was defeated by their own creation.

 

"If you guys hadn't rescued Dr. Miwa, we would have been in some big trouble, my friend!" Ryu says to Ken. Ken agrees, but he points out that they never could have done it without 'one very special friend'.

 

"Taro..." Jun whispers.

 

"The only dog who was able to save the whole world." Ken adds.

 

Jinpei cries at losing the dog that once terrified him.

 

And the God Phoenix makes one last pass over Lake Mountaintop, as it heads for home.

 

The narrator says that the legendary lake now holds the remains of Taro, a dog who fought courageously, and died bravely. We are reminded that this is the Science Ninja Team's first 'hollow victory' they have ever experienced.

BOTP Episode - Part I by TransmuteJun

BOTP Episode 36 – Orion, Wonder Dog of Space

Zark tells us that they are in a state of emergency at Center Neptune, 900 fathoms beneath the sea. Planet Spectra has launched a full scale ecological attack against Earth. They’ve invented a powerful new Suprathermal Dynamo capable of altering the climate and global temperature.

And Zark tells us all of this while flying across the room.

 

A worldwide drought has resulted! Earth faces a biospheric crisis!

1-Rover-1 barks loudly.

 

Apparently, he is reminding Zark that there are dogs working with G-Force now. Ah, so now Rover gets to feel Zark’s pain of having a live creature replace him on a mission, while he stays behind at Center Neptune. Awww…

Zark says that the dogs are all very helpful, and some, like Orion, actually go out on dangerous missions. Rover is so proud the be modeled after a creature that goes out on dangerous missions that he stands up and lets some sparks fly.

 

Then he dances and rolls around on the floor. Really. I’m not kidding.

“Oh, I know you’re very clever, and know all kinds of tricks.” says Zark. “But Orion is a human dog, you know.”

So, since when are dogs humans?

“He’s a real St. Bernard, so of course he’s especially good in the mountains and the snow.”

Rover starts barking madly.

“You’re hungry! Run off and get your din-din!” Zark tells Rover. And this begs the question… since when do robots get hungry? Or need to eat?

“I’ve got a whole bucket of mixed nuts and bolts waiting, just the way you like them:” Zark says, “good and crunchy.”

 

Now that that’s taken care of, it’s time for Zark to try and contact the Federation’s ‘top solar scientist’, Dr. Baxter. He’s been sent along with Orion, the ‘Wonder Dog of Space’, on a top secret mission. So top secret that Zark is telling us about it. I guess he trusts us.

Dr. Baxter has created a Solar Reflector that magnifies the sun’s rays, that may be able to melt a part of the polar ice cap, and pipe water to a thirsty world.

So, we’re going to save the world by melting the polar ice caps? Call Al Gore! He’s got it all wrong! Just ask Zark! pound

Zark contacts Dr. Baxter, who is in a helicopter (with Orion) over the Danielson Pass region. He’s found a natural ice lake they could use as a reservoir to store melted snow. The terrain is perfectly suited to runoff.

“If the lake has a deep bottom, we could expand the output of the Solar MagnoReflector to pipe out 2 million gallons a day!” Baxter reports. “I’ll take a closer look. It appears to be a freshwater lake and ideal for our project.”

Dr. Baxter tries to end the transmission, but 1-Rover-1 barks loudly, wanting to say ‘hello’ to Orion. Orion barks in response.

Dr. Baxter is taking photos of the lake, and sees an underwater base with the devil logo of Spectra. He instantly recognizes it, but realizes that it’s too late. The Spectrans have spotted his helicopter. And oh, those nasty Spectrans! They have jammed Dr. Baxter’s signals, and he can’t get through to Zark!

The Spectrans demand that Dr. Baxter set his craft down immediately. He has 30 seconds before they open fire. They know that Dr. Baxter is in the helicopter and they warn him not to try anything foolish.

Well, that only gives Baxter one choice… to do something that is not foolish. He pulls up his helicopter, escaping long enough to send Orion jumping out of the craft with the camera, with instructions to ‘give them to G-Force’.

Orion jumps out and races across the snow, to the strains of ‘Old West/Little House on the Prairie’ style BOTP music. I’m not sure how that fits, since he’s racing across the snow. It’s a bizarre choice…

But it’s heroic-sounding… at least until Orion falls into a crevasse. I’m not sure why this happened, as the Spectrans didn’t even bother to chase him, much less shoot at him. So much for being a ‘wonder dog’!

Baxter is distressed to see Orion fall, and the Spectrans tell him to give up, or he’ll ‘be down there too’. So Baxter lets himself be taken prisoner.

Back at Center Neptune, Keyop is doing tricks with his bolas for the rest of the Team. I guess this is regular entertainment ‘deep under the sea’. But he is surprised by barking, jumping into Princess’ lap.

Orion enters with Chief Anderson, but Keyop is not scared. Mark asks where Dr. Baxter is. For some reason, Keyop is now on the floor. Wink

Anderson says that Orion was picked up by Arctic Patrol, but Dr. Baxter is missing. He had told Zark that he wanted to investigate a lake, and that was the last they heard.

Anderson shows the pictures on Baxter’s camera to the Team, saying that the scientist likely stumbled onto a Spectran secret base.

“Or maybe the Abominable Snowman!” Tiny suggests. Sorry, Tiny, wrong episode.

Anderson says that if the Solar Reflector should fall into Zoltar’s evil hands, it could be disastrous. Princess smiles a little too happily as she says that the Reflector is not a weapon.

The Chief says that the Reflector can focus a beam of solar energy equal to a 10 kiloton nuclear charge. That’s a lot of power! It could melt the entire North Pole and cause terrible floods and tidal waves. Okay, I’m thinking we need to call back Al Gore again…

The G-Force Team has to find Dr. Baxter and stop Zoltar. Mark says that they’ll take Orion with them, because he has a cerebonic implant. Anderson confirms that it’s the same type of cerebonic power booster that the Team members have.

You know, given what the dog does in this episode, I totally buy this. He’s doing incredible things (for a ‘normal’ animal) and it makes a lot more sense to think that he’s got some kind of cybernetic/cerebonic parts.

“You’ll find he’s a very special dog indeed.” the Chief says.

“Can bite too!” Keyop broops, a grimace on his face.

Meanwhile, in the secret Spectran base, Zoltar wants Baxter to tell him the secret of the MagnaSolar Reflector, so he can add it to Spectra’s newest weapon: the giant Space Vulture!

We see the Space Vulture incinerating Heidi-Town. Zoltar says that they allowed the inhabitants of this village time to evacuate. Wow… Zoltar’s such a nice guy!

Or maybe not. Zoltar says that the next village won’t be so fortunate. But Baxter can stop this destruction by telling them how the Solar Reflector works.

Zoltar repeats this offer, adding that he will learn the secret of the Solar Reflector one way, or another, because if Baxter doesn’t talk now, Zoltar will melt the North Pole and flood the entire Earth!

Let me get this straight. Anderson is worried that if Zoltar gets his hands on the Solar Reflector, he will melt the North Pole. But Zoltar is threatening to melt the North Pole if he doesn’t get the Solar Reflector. What am I missing here?

Baxter calls Zoltar ‘mad’, but we don’t see a goon bash him on the head for it. Instead we see…

 

Yep, Zark. He’s far more horrifying than a gun butt to the head, but apparently Sandy Frank doesn’t think so.

Zark is worried about what will happen if Zoltar gets his hands on the Reflector. But G-Force is ‘ready to go’ now, and hopefully they can find Dr. Baxter in time.

1-Rover-1 barks that Orion is a superdog. Zark agrees, and he’s glad Orion is going with G-Force on this ‘dangerous mission’. He contacts G-Force, telling them that they are cleared to launch.

Suddenly, Mark is in civvies, saying that they are ready for takeoff. This is bizarre, seeing as he’s not on the Phoenix already, and (even more) in the previous scene everyone was in uniform.

 

Everyone else shouts ‘G-Force!’

 

And then Mark transmutes. Ooh, everyone else does too! It’s stock footage time!

G-Force finds the lake easily, and Tiny lowers the Phoenix for a better look. Unlike Ken, Mark notices the enemy helicopter leaving the base, calling it a ‘Spectran Battle Chopper’. The Commander deduces that the base ‘must be down there somewhere’. Uh, Mark, do you recall the picture you looked at back at Center Neptune? The one Orion risked his life to bring you? It’s in the lake… remember?

“With all of that snow, it’s going to be like finding a meteorite in a galaxy!” Jason says.

“Drop us off behind that ridge, Tiny… and keep in touch.” Mark orders.

“I stay home again.” Tiny sighs.

“Hang loose!” Mark tells him. But even though Tiny’s staying behind, Orion is going with the others.

And they’re off, racing across the snow, with Orion in the lead! Mark has his G-1 snowmobile with sidecar, but we have no idea where it came from. Still, the Team is able to hide in the snow and leap into the base as the entrance closes.

There is no fight of any kind when they enter.

Meanwhile, Dr. Baxter is drafting, but then he slams his hands on the table, saying he won’t do it. We do not see anyone else in the room with him. However, Zoltar must have it bugged, because he immediately appears on a small monitor on Baxter’s desk. He says that Baxter will ‘change his tune’. Zoltar shows Baxter images of Orion and G-Force in the base.

“If you don’t value your own life, then think of your dog, and your friends!” Zoltar urges.

Wow, this is some security camera! We can even hear G-Force talking as they go through the base, following Orion.

BOTP Episode - Part II by TransmuteJun

The G-Force Team comes across Orion, presumably in a reunion with Dr. Baxter. But it’s a cruel trick, and a glass wall comes down, shutting them off. Oops, sorry, it’s ‘an invisible barricade’.

“You are all sealed up tightly now!” laughs Zoltar’s voice. “Not even your invincible powers can break through my invisible shield! You’re like so many sour gherkins squeezed in a jar!”

Interesting choice of idiom… but I’ll chalk it up to Zoltar being from an alien planet and therefore not a native English-speaker.

Also, if their powers truly are ‘invincible’, they’d be able to break out, wouldn’t they?

“Pretty pickle!” broops Keyop. I guess he liked Zoltar’s phrasing.

“Now see how your ‘snow dog’ takes to the water!” Zoltar cackles, as the lake pours in.

Princess and Keyop scream out for Orion as the water rises, but Mark confidently says, “He’s gonna make it!”

Problem is, Mark is hanging his head and looking upset as he says this, so he’s clearly lying through his teeth.

Orion is washed out into the lake, and we’re off to a commercial break!

When we come back, Zark assures us that he saw Orion escape from ‘Zoltar’s cruel water tank’. Clearly the crisis is over, because Zark is on his way up to take a ten second oil break.

Zark says that Orion is a superdog, and more than a match for ‘those evil Spectran minds’. But for a minute there, if Zark had had a heart, it would have been in his mouth! If he had a mouth…

Zark admits that he feels guilty taking a ten second oil break while G-Force is still being held captive by Zoltar. 1-Rover-1 barks loudly, interrupting the break.

Rover is hungry again. Zark doesn’t like to see him snack between meals, but he gives 1-Rover-1 a wrench to chew on anyway.

 

“He’ll probably just run and bury it someplace.” Zark giggles, as Rover walks off.

 

Zark wishes that he would get a signal or a flash on his monitor screen to figure out what G-Force is doing to escape Zoltar’s base.

 

We see Princess trying to blow their way out.

“The Fuse Bomb didn’t even dent the invisible barrier!” she says. Um, if it’s invisible, how do you know if it is dented or not?

Keyop wants to try, but Mark says that Orion is out there somewhere, and he can help them. Keyop thinks that’s asking a miracle.

Mark pulls out a device, and apparently everyone already knows what it is.

“I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking, Mark.” Jason says.

Ooh, it’s a communicator! Mark talks into it, trying to contact Orion.

“Try barking!” Keyop suggests.

“I know he’s only a dog, but he has cerebonic powers just like us.” Mark explains. “Maybe I can reach him.”

Orion is lying washed up on the beach. He sure looks dead! But an electric impulse floods through the cerebonic implant in his brain and he wakes up. Mark says that he’s picking up Orion’s brainwaves. The Wonder Dog of Space is on their wavelength, and he’s coming. And we’re back to the Old West music as Orion runs across the snow!

Orion arrives in record time, growling at the guard in front of the invisible shield.

“Atta boy, Orion! Let him know what will happen if he doesn’t do exactly as we tell him!” Mark orders.

“His bite is meaner than his bark. Open that invisible shield now!” the Commander threatens the terrified goon.

“Zoltar will never forgive me if I do that!” the goon protests.

“Orion will never forgive you if you don’t!” Mark replies, as Orion growls viciously.

The goon pulls the lever to open the shields, and suddenly the sun is rising in the mountains. And the Space Vulture is now on its way to one of Earth’s major cities. Zoltar says that this is Baxter’s last chance.

“Never!” Baxter replies. “And I don’t believe you’d stop that flying monster anyway!” Hey, he’s a smart guy! No wonder he’s a scientist!

The goons activate the Space Vulture, and for some reason Dr. Baxter puts on a pair of headphones. A countdown begins, and Zoltar smirks. But as they reach ‘1’…

“Orion, go!” shouts the G-Force Team as one, and they leap into the room. Orion knocks a goon to the ground, biting his arm. Then he runs over to Baxter.

The G-Force Team disappears. Nothing has happened. And suddenly, Zoltar is inexplicably running out of the room with his hands over his face!

“See that they don’t escape!” he says, in a calm voice that is at odds with his hands over his face.

Next, we see Zoltar at another set of controls, his hands over his face.

“Our guidance system isn’t working, and you let G-Force slip through our grasp!” he berates his goons. Although how G-Force managed this, we have no idea.

“Activate all Robot Snow Units, and pursue G-Force!” Zoltar orders.

As you might have guessed, the Robot Snow Units are the goon snowmobiles. They are chasing the Team!

In Mark’s sidecar, Dr. Baxter thanks the Commander for his rescue, saying that Zoltar was trying to learn the secret of the Solar Reflector.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, Doctor.” Mark replies. “The Phoenix is still a long way off.”

Princess notes that the robots are gaining on them… fast!

Did you hear that? It’s been confirmed. All of the goons on snowmobiles are robots. Not people.

Mark orders Princess to get to Orion and cover him if she can.

“Big ten, Commander!” she replies, pulling up alongside the Wonder Dog of Space.

The Robot Snow Units surround the Spacemobile.

“One robot… disconnected!” says Jason, as he bumps his car into a snowmobile, sending it flying and crashing into other cars. It looks like the drivers might have gotten hurt… but it’s okay, because they’re robots, remember?

“Lights out!” says Keyop, but he doesn’t do anything else.

Princess sees helicopters flying overhead with a net.

“So now it’s Robot Choppers!” she exclaims. She stands on the back of her Galcticycle and holds up her hand, which has a blade on it. She jumps through the air and cuts the net in half, then flies back down to her vehicle. But the Robot Choppers don’t seem to crash.

“Hang on!” shouts Mark, as Dr. Baxter’s sidecar drifts away. We don’t see why this is happening, and I’m left with the vague impression that Mark purposely disconnected from it.

A robot from a snowmobile jumps into Baxter’s sidecar, but Orion jumps in to help. We see Orion attack in silhouette only.

“Princess!” shouts Mark.

“Mark!” shouts Princess. “Catch!” she cries, throwing out her yo-yo. Mark catches it and does his hang gliding thing, rescuing Dr. Baxter in the process.

But Orion and the robot goon and the sidecar go over a cliff.

Mark calls Tiny in the Phoenix for a pickup.

Back in the Spectran Base, a goon tells Zoltar that the ‘Space Vulture is waiting’.

“Destroy the mountains and forest! Then give the vulture full power, and send it after the Phoenix!” Zoltar orders. “G-Force must not escape with Dr. Baxter!”

Um, if the top priority is not letting G-Force escape, then why are you going after the ‘mountains and forest’ first, Zoltar? For that matter, I’m confused as to why Zoltar would want to destroy mountains and forest to begin with.

The sun shines, and a beam extends down from the Space Vulture to the lake. Dr. Baxter is explaining to the Team that this is Zoltar’s newest weapon, and it can destroy whole cities. The only way to stop it is to force the Spectrans to overload their Radial Projectors.

The Space Vulture’s eyes light up, and lava runs down the mountains from the resulting beams.

“How exquisitely evil!” Zoltar cackles. “Now order the Vulture to attack the Phoenix! We must not fail!”

“The Vulture is out of control! All systems gone!” warns a goon.

“The crew has already abandoned it!” reports another.

How nice. Even the Spectrans are going to escape the destruction of their own ship.

The Space Vulture’s circuits are overloading. It can’t withstand the powerful laser thrust!

“Patch in the Servo Circuits!” Mark orders. “The giant Space Vulture is attacking Spectra Headquarters!”

Okay, I guess the thing really is out of control if it’s attacking its own headquarters, and while the G-Force Team watches, no less!

But Tiny shouts that he can’t change course, and they’re locked in the Projector Beam of the Space Vulture! Mark tells him to kick in the Emergency Power Boosters.

“It’s suffocating!” Princess says, as the Team struggles to make it through the Beam.

“Yeah, and this is the Arctic!” adds Mark.

“The Phoenix can’t take much more of this, Mark!” a strangely insubstantial Tiny says.

“The Thermostatic Regulators, Tiny!” insubstantial Mark orders. “Turn them on!”

Back on the Spectran base…

“It’s attacking our own base! Order the crew to abandon!” Zoltar cries.

And now it’s safe for us to see the base and the Space Vulture blow up.

We didn’t see Dr. Baxter fall, but he’s unconscious and in Mark’s arms once the Beam goes away. The Commander reports that he has the Doctor’s pulse.

“Are you all right, Doctor?” Mark asks, as Baxter opens his eyes. “That was quite a jolt. We barely got through!”

“Not much left but a pile of junk on the bottom of the lake!” Tiny says.

“And Zoltar didn’t get the plans to Dr. Baxter’s Solar MagnaReflector.” Mark adds.

“But poor Orion!” says Princess, bowing her head.

“Maybe his cerebonic superpowers pulled him through.” Mark says optimistically.

“He’s a great dog! I know he made it… somehow.” Baxter agrees.

“Dog hero!” Keyop broops as he cries.

BOTP Episode - Part III by TransmuteJun

But even though they’re all convinced that Orion made it through… the Phoenix leaves. Yep, it’s gone, abandoning Orion without a second thought. Zark’s voice comes on, saying that he hopes Mark is right; that Orion’s cerebonic powers helped him survive. Zark’s long-range receptors are picking up strange vibrations in the area above the lake. Why, there’s something down there! It’s a hopeful sign! And there are paw prints in the snow… Zark confirms that they were made by Orion, and that they’re fresh.

And we see Orion, climbing up a gorge and barking, as the music swells triumphantly.

Zark says that he must notify security at once, so that they can send out an Arctic Patrol to pick up Orion.

 

1-Rover-1 wants to go along on the rescue mission, but Zark says that he can’t. Rover hasn’t had his antifreeze shots yet!

 
“But don’t worry! The patrol will find Orion and he’ll soon be back at work with Dr. Baxter!” Zark assures everyone.

Zark is really proud to be associated with all of the people and dogs who work for G-Force. So proud that he salutes. Rover stands and joins him, as we fade out.

 

This story archived at http://www.gatchfanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=1166