Episode Review: 'Mission to Inner Space' by UnpublishedWriter
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Mission To Inner Space
Battle of the Planets, Episode Twenty-Seven
Gatchaman Episode #83, A Deadly Ring of Fire
DVD and Veoh episode #69


Review/Summary: [We have this one because it’s still on Veoh for some reason.]

So, we have our establishing shot, and the three orange fish, and Zark in Voice-Over: “Here at Center Neptune, far down in the ocean depths, we keep constant watch on the entire universe. Always on the lookout for space pirates and invaders from alien galaxies.” [Yes, the scriptwriters are still using the 1950s SF TV Scriptwriters Manual.]

And now for the chipper Zark theme music, and the little tin worrywart reclining in his ready room. Wearing that ridiculous sweater. Making it all about him. “It’s a grueling task. Twenty-four hours a day without sleep. Oh, in case you think I have a cushy job, I’m just on my 10-second oil break, and I don’t fritter away that idle time, believe me.” [I’m pretty sure that took longer than ten seconds just to say.] He pokes a button on the console beside him, and the show dates itself by having a book slide out of the slot beside him. “I have to keep up on all the latest books on astronomy, space travel, intergalactic communication, computer systems – it’s endless.” He reads the book in an eyeblink. “I do wish they’d write books faster. Some humans can read a page at a glance, but I’m programmed to read a whole book at a glance.”

And guess who calls. Today, I’m going to share the pain:

Zark: “Center Neptune Control.”

Susan: “7-Zark-7.”

Zark (with antenna erection): “Ooh, hello, Susan. I was just reading a book, on the anatomy of computerized robotoid circuitry, called The Perfect Robot. It made me think of you.” [Bleargh.]

Susan: “That makes me – blush.”

Zark: “I wish I could blush, but I’m not programmed for it.”

Susan: “That – could be arranged.” [Whimper.]

Zark (eager): “I’m ready to undergo any” – [No. Please. No.]

Susan: “I’m sorry to interrupt this pleasant chat, but the Space Patrol just sent a warning of an alien object approaching from another galaxy.” [Okay, I’m glad the flirting is over, but once again, the scriptwriters allowed the ‘bots no sense of professionalism.]

Zark (sounding casual): “Oh, thanks, Susan. Put it on my monitor here, please.”

And he looks at one of his monitors, which seems to be displaying a rejected version of Tetris. “There it is. It is already in our solar system, and heading straight for Earth.”

Sandy Frank space footage of Earth, and Zark VO: “It seems to be targeted for our Nuclear Complex 9.”

Gatchaman footage. At last. Even if it is of a desert. “If you have to deal with nuclear matters, it’s best to do it far away from people.” [Not In My Backyard is exactly what we do not want to promote, Zark. Too many claimed back yards, and not enough rational thought.] “Planet Earth’s most productive plutonium plant is 200 miles from the nearest city, and frankly, sometimes I worry that even that’s too close.” [Problem is that there can still be a lot of people two hundred miles from a city. Plenty of small towns, villages, farms, separatist groups, and so on. Plus prevailing winds to carry fallout, and perhaps an aquifer underground…. Class, today’s homework is to research the production of plutonium.]

Now the camera pans up what looks less like a plutonium production facility than the sort of drilling rig used to tap oil deposits. It even has gas burn-off at the top.

Cut to the crescent moon in the sky. Three dark objects fly into the foreground. They look like bug parts. They land in the desert, and assemble into a giant beetle-like mecha.

The mecha’s mandibles start to spin, and it burrows into the ground.

And now to a shot of the drill-head, as Zark tells us that the drilling goes on continuously. It’s constantly monitored electronically (except that we see three guys watching screens). Nuclear Complex 9 is more than just a mine. [We know, Zark. You told us about the plutonium.] It’s a self-contained factory, where plutonium is processed, and turned into nuclear devices for civilian and commercial purposes. [So, no military contracts, eh?]

And there’s a close-up of a spherical object that has a lot of heavy-duty portholes. The camera moves in closer, until we apparently get a look at the interior.

And back to the drill, boring its way into the earth.

Then the beetle mecha breaks through and slashes its mandibles through a pipeline of some sort, and fires energy beams from its antennae. The pipeline explodes.

My bad: that’s the shaft for the drill bit. The mecha enters, and crawls up, presumably causing more damage.

The earth splits, and the drill head falls into the crevasse.

Then the drill rig pancakes in the background, as the mecha digs out of the sand in the foreground.

And now to our favorite 8-sided building (housing both laboratories and Galaxy Security offices, to judge by previous episodes). Zark assures us that the miners got out safely, and that he alerted Security Chief Anderson.

Punch-tape emerges from a machine, as Zark says that G-Force should be alerted if Spectra is behind this attack. [Not much chance that Spectra’s innocent, Zark.] Anderson picks up the punch-tape. “Only 12 hours to go,” and he does not sound happy as he says it.

He enters another room, and addresses G-Force. They’re in full Birdstyle. He’s glad they’re all here. Mark comments, “This is where the fun is.” Princess is equally sarcastic: “Why haven’t I noticed?”

Anderson tells them of the latest attack. Keyop strikes a pose and burbles, “Let’s fight.” Anderson tells him to just listen, and Keyop apologizes.

Spectra, Anderson says, designed the attack to break loose a powerful explosive intended for commercial use. [It looked like a giant drill bit to me. Conical, with grooves, and it rotated. That’s either a drill or a screw.]

[And why is a powerful nuclear device like that stored in a drilling rig?]

Even worse, the explosive is falling through the drill shaft (which has remained intact despite the explosions) towards the mantle of the Earth. If it explodes there, the result will be as powerful as a magnitude 9 earthquake. (You know, the kind that not even Lloyd’s of London will ensure against.)

[And I’m thinking that a shaft that reaches the mantle is already trouble. Heat and pressure increase as one gets closer to Earth’s core, and there’s this little hole poked into the planet’s crust. Shouldn’t there be lovely hot, semi-liquid rock forcing its way up, causing earthquakes, already?]

He knows that outer space, rather than inner space, is their specialty. They’ll need extra help for this. Anderson has sent for their top geologist. He will be in complete charge. [Galaxy Security has geologists on the payroll?]

The door opens, and a well-dressed man with either an infant chimpanzee or a monkey enters the briefing room. [Suddenly, I’m thinking of Chim-chim on Speed Racer.] Dr. Kerrig is too well-dressed for this mission. Greenish-blue jacket, what looks like a grey (with a hint of blue or purple) ruffled shirt, and a little bow tie. He’s scowling.

Anderson introduces the team, and Kerrig is dismissive. “A child and a woman. You didn’t say” –

The Chief cuts him off: “It’s true she’s a woman, but he’s not a” – and is interrupted by Kerrig’s “I’ll take your word for their courage and competence.” But in his opinion, you don’t invade a hostile environment with these sort of people. [Yeah, insult and dismiss five people who can kill you with their pinkies while blindfolded and sick with a bad case of flu, Doctor. Remove your cranium from your rectum.]

“Maybe he’d rather go without us,” Mark suggests. I can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic or not.

“Some of you will do,” the doctor allows. He’ll just have to make do with the rest.

Keyop, looking a bit peeved (to understate things), asks about the monkey. Kerrig tells him that Cindy is a chimpanzee. [Oh, dear. In another couple of years, Cindy will be old enough and strong enough to rip his arms out of their sockets.] She’ll probably be the most valuable member of the crew. Maybe she can’t speak, but neither can Keyop.

Arrogant bastard, isn’t he? Guess nobody ever taught him humility.

As the jerk walks out, Mark reassures his teammate: “We understand you, Keyop.”

“He’s a little eccentric, but he’ll get the job done, and that’s the bottom line,” Anderson says.

The team salutes. “G-Force!”

Next thing, we see Keyop’s buggy flying along, followed by a rather odd-looking contraption that doesn’t look like it should be able to do anything, much less fly. It looks a bit like an oversized Jetsons flying car, with a smaller dome stuck on top. From now on, it’s the Jetson-mobile. Tiny’s piloting in the upper dome, while everyone else is in the larger lower section. Dr. Kerrig is now more appropriately dressed in what looks like modified safari gear.

Kerrig is really working on his ‘act like an asshole’ quota for the day. He gets on the communicator and says, “You’re our guide dog to the bottom. Think you can handle it – little boy?” [Alan Young did a wonderful job making him unlikeable. Arrogant, contemptuous, sexist – you know the team’s wondering how to covertly draw lots on who gets to hit him first.] And Keyop looks ready to bust him across the chops at the first opportunity.

With a lot of sounds, he says, “Big Tarzan – and his ape. Climb a tree.” Sounds ready to bust him across the chops, too.

“Just because he’s rude, you needn’t be,” Princess chides. “Watch your language, Keyop.” I’m sure she wants to ‘accidentally’ whack Kerrig with her yo-yo.

“He doesn’t have much language to watch,” Mark comments, although he looks ready to use his sonic boomerang in an unauthorized manner.

Jason’s on Keyop’s side in this one. Kerrig’s a kook. [Family show, or we know what our favorite Condor would really say.]

Mark puts a finger to his lips. They’ve survived a lot up to now, he thinks. They’ll survive Kerrig.

They arrive at the still-smoking ruins of the plutonium plant.

And Zark voice-over, telling us that Anderson, in order to be closer to the action, moved his headquarters to Excelsior, a city of 5 million people. It will be the most threatened if the disaster occurs. [So, naturally, he’s in a top-heavy building that looks like someone’s vision of the future: a hamburger-shaped structure on top of a tower.]

In a room full of instruments and men in lab coats, he watches the team’s progress on computer screens.

Keyop is heading DOWN the drill shaft. His buggy is pointed downwards, and in defiance of the laws of physics, its jets are venting UPWARDS. They should be venting downwards to control his descent.

The Jetson-mobile, jets firing in the correct direction, follows him down.

Mark asks how much longer on the descent. Kerrig tells him they’re about to reach what he calls an anteroom. They’ll turn there, and start drilling.

“Ante room? Uncle room,” Keyop says. “Where.”

And now, suddenly, he’s at the bottom, with a drill poking out of the mouth of his buggy, turning this way and that. He picks a direction, and drills into the rock. [Where does he keep all those attachments?]

The Jetson-mobile deploys wheels and follows him.

Okay: Keyop’s buggy is smaller than this vehicle, but he manages to drill a tunnel large enough for both his buggy and the Jetson-mobile to use?

Judging from the side-view, yes.

Then we get a shot of Keyop’s buggy from behind, and it looks as if he’s simply following an already - existing tunnel.

Jason comments that the drill is getting hot. He doesn’t like that.

Princess suggests they ask Keyop to slow down.

Marks asks Kerrig, who says the speed is correct. If they’re any slower, they risk the tunnel collapsing behind them. [More homework: the proper drilling and shoring of tunnels.] Leave the drill alone. That’s an order.

He is way too vehement about that.

G-Force all look at him in exactly the way you would look at someone who spoke to you like that. “Yes, sir, boss,” Mark says, and he does not sound at all submissive.

And they break through into a large, spectacular cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

G-Force is impressed. Keyop burbles, awed, “That’s a cave.”

Mark, rather more calmly, says, “So that’s inner space.”

“It’s wilder than outer,” Princess adds.

Kerrig says these are his favorite spots on Earth, far away from greed and violence. He wishes they could stay.

Keyop leaves his buggy to look around.

Princess spots a track on her monitor, and reports that something’s coming.

The Spectran beetle mecha bursts out of the cavern wall, almost nailing Keyop with falling rocks.

To fill in the mouth-movements, Tiny says, “That’s a beetle.” [To be honest, what can you put there on a family show?]

Mark deduces that it must be from Spectra.

The beetle drops to the cavern floor and clanks towards them.

Jason wonders if it lives here, or is just visiting. [Oh, come on. There could definitely have been a better line.]

The mecha attacks, firing energy beams that Keyop dodges and heading for the whatever-they-call-it carrying the rest of the team. Tiny takes evasive action.

Keyop, annoyed, retracts his drill and extends the circular saw blade. He cuts through the stalactites, which drop between the mecha’s legs, trapping it. The kid’s rather proud of himself.

Mark tells him to get out of there.

Just then, the head of the mecha detaches and goes after Keyop. He ducks into a smaller tunnel.

For some reason, the mecha part does not follow him. Yet we saw the thing boring its way through the ground earlier. Perhaps it needs the rest of its body to be effective.

And now we see the Captain of the Episode. He’s wearing a green one-piece with yellow trim and some sort of grey panel over his abdomen. His cloak is black, lined with a red that looks a bit more orange. His helmet is also his mask, and it’s black with green horns. He wonders how he could botch such an easy job.

Zoltar comes on the screen, and it’s obvious that he heard everything. “Overconfidence,” he says. “You think all you have to do is make an appearance.”

The CotE ducks his entire body in submission.

Now, Zoltar commands, “Extricate yourself from that mess and try to employ a little strategy and cunning.”

Yes sir, right away sir. The mecha is reunited and frees itself.

Which means a commercial break.

And the obligatory post-commercial Zark scene. He’s pacing, and telling us that maybe he does worry too much, but it’s not easy to keep a cool head with G-Force sitting on top of molten magma. [Pun. Bad.] The explosive is due to reach magma in less than an hour. Doctor Kerrig’s sight-seeing has put them behind schedule.

He flies over to his console as he frets, then wipes one of the monitors. It doesn’t help much: they’re used to looking at outer space, not inner space. [Do I really need to comment on that?] It’s so dark down there. If only they’d keep in touch with him, he might be able to help in some way. [Oh, how?]

He tries to call them.

Back to our heroes. Inside the Jetson-mobile, Kerrig calls the team to a circular thing he’s been mostly using to lean on dramatically. There’s something he wants them to see.

On a map, he points to the tunnel they’re in. This will take them to a point just above the magma stratum. They will see little spirals of flame, which they must endure to intercept the explosive.

Tiny, unheard by the others, comments that they can endure the little flames, but wonders if they can endure Kerrig?

Now they’re flying above what looks like a stream of lava. Keyop, rather wilted at the controls, says (with burbles), “Gotta endure.” [Endure, nothing, kid: in the real world, you would be ash by now, or crushed by pressure.]

Jets of magma burst out of the ground beneath, and Keyop’s forced to dodge. Kerrig orders him (or is it Tiny?) to slow down and try to steer around them.

Tiny does keep them from being fried, and Kerrig actually compliments him. The universe does not collapse into a singularity in response.

Princess cries out that Keyop’s in big trouble.

Which he is: the mecha comes out of the cavern ceiling in front of him, blocking his path. It fires and misses, starting more magma spurts.

Mark says that Keyop needs help. It now turns out that the circular desk thing also conceals an exit from their larger vehicle. Over Princess’s objection, Mark prepares to leave. Kerrig lets him go.

[And again, in the real world, they should all have been crushed or fried. Even if they were protected by their vehicles, Mark would be dead the moment he left his.]

Mark’s assistance seems to consist of jumping down onto a rock in the middle of the lava stream and calling for Keyop to pick him up. The heat does not seem to affect him at all. Once inside, he compliments Keyop’s piloting.

Back in the Jetson-mobile, Princess asks if they shouldn’t go back and help. Jason is all for it. Kerrig refuses: they have a job to do. [If this is supposed to set Kerrig up as truly nasty, it doesn’t work. Not only do we already know he’s a jerk, he actually has a point: remember that nuclear bomb headed for the mantle?]

Meanwhile, the mecha tries to catch Keyop’s buggy. Keyop avoids it, and the mecha’s mandibles get caught in the ground, again releasing magma jets.

Mark says, “Let’s jet.” To which Keyop is more than eager to oblige.

Kerrig notes, “20 minutes more.” Princess reports that they’re almost on a direct line with the explosive.

Alternating shots of Our Heroes on their way, with the bomb [drill!] sliding down the drill-shaft.

Then back to Mark and Keyop. Mark wants him to get close to the mecha, which is still stuck. [Finally. I was wondering if the scriptwriters had forgotten why Mark went out there.]

As Keyop buzzes the trapped mecha, Mark drops onto its carapace and jams his sonic boomerang into the metal.

The rest of the team close in on the bomb.

And there’s a cliff [sic] in their way. Tiny can’t fly around it, so he lands. [A cliff? In a tunnel?]

Kerrig identifies the rock as igneous, formed from molten lava. Tiny asks him how they’re going to get around it.

“Climb it, plant a charge, and split it down the middle.” [Again, the guy has a valid point. Don’t you just hate when the resident asshole has a point?]

Tiny wonders who’ll do it. The cliff goes straight up, and they’re grounded. [They are? The Jetson-mobile can’t hover nearby while one of them plants a charge, then land a safe distance away?]

Princess says that Cindy could do it easily.

I smell a turning point in the episode.

Jason agrees.

When asked (nicely, by Princess), Kerrig refuses: “Nobody touches this animal but me.” Something about his manner does not suggest warm and fuzzy feelings.

Princess clarifies that all Cindy has to do is tie off the rope so one of G-Force can climb up.

Kerrig still refuses.

There’s quite a standoff. The man who had been urging them on, despite everything, is now willing to abort the mission, while Jason and Princess (who wanted to stop and help Keyop and Mark) argue for continuing. For some reason, Jason doesn’t cold-cock him and take the chimp.

It’s Princess who acts. She snags Cindy with her yo-yo and drops her into Jason’s arms.

Kerrig pulls out a pistol.

And we hear Zoltar’s voice, coming from Cindy’s collar. He wants to know why Kerrig hasn’t left yet. Only seven minutes remaining.

Group chorus: “Zoltar!”

Well, now we know part of the reason why Kerrig’s been such a dick.

Yes, he’s with Spectra. They understand him and his feeling for animals. They asked why he was so careful with Cindy, and learned she had just recovered from an operation. G-Force, though, was completely insensitive. [Let me get this straight: his pet chimp has just had some type of surgery, and is still recovering. So he takes her on a dangerous expedition into the deepest accessible reaches of Earth’s crust, where the temperatures and pressure could turn her, him, and everyone else into carbonized streaks. When my cat got spayed, I took her home and let her hide under the bed. I didn’t go camping with her.]

Okay, now the team members feel bad. [Of course, it could all have been avoided if he had just told them in the first place. But it still doesn’t explain why he’s with Spectra. He had turned traitor long before meeting G-Force.] Jason lets Cindy go.

Kerrig demands their weapons, which they drop. He orders Cindy to “Bring the toys.” She obeys.

After she rejoins him, he adds, “You can see why I wouldn’t let her do anything strenuous – like climbing.” He climbs up to the pilot section of the Jetson-mobile. “The way we treat our animals is a measure of ourselves.”

Mark (who’s back, with Keyop) says it: “Traitor.” And jumps on him, knocking him to the ground.

He wonders what Spectra paid Kerrig for defecting. It doesn’t matter: he’ll never collect.

Back on the surface, Anderson asks if there’s any reading from G-Force. A tech responds that it’s as if they disappeared.

G-Force has to do something fast. They only have five minutes.

And back to the drill shaft, where Keyop’s buggy and the Jetson-mobile are heading upwards. [So all that futzing around in caverns was to get past the falling bomb? Makes sense.]

Princess, looking at a monitor, says the explosive is right over them.

Hoo-boy.

Keyop opens the jaws of his buggy and the bomb [drill!] lodges in it. Its weight counters the buggy’s jets and treads. Keyop can’t hold it back.

The bomb continues its slide. Somehow, Keyop gets his buggy loose, and the bomb [drill!] crashes through the piloting dome of the Jetson-mobile into the main body, just missing Tiny.

Keyop gets under the Jetson-mobile. Inside, Jason and Tiny fire their cable-guns into the surrounding rock.

Where’s McGyver when you need him?

Yep, the only thing between the city of Excelsior and total destruction is an orange buggy with more attachments than a Swiss Army knife, and two cables. Which hold. [I’ve worked construction. I have some idea what it takes to anchor cables to hold weight. Firing those anchors from two hand-held airguns is not it.]

On the surface, tremors. Not caused by graboids.

And in the sky, the flying machine we saw previously in Fastest Gun in the Galaxy. Inside, Zoltar wonders why the tremors are not worse. He calls his captain for an explanation.

The captain says he tried to use cunning. Zoltar snaps that cunning does not mean waiting for something to happen. So the captain tries the ‘I thought Kerrig was going to help us’ excuse, to be told that Kerrig has been exposed. [No, won’t say it.] The explosive is being held by two lightweight aircraft. [How does Zoltar know this? A deduction based on information from Kerrig?] Destroy them.

“Easy for you to say,” the captain gripes, after Zoltar signs off. “Abandoning ship!”

The mecha heaves onto its feet. In its carapace, Mark’s boomerang ticks down.

Meanwhile, down the shaft, Kerrig places Cindy on the rocks. After assuring her that it won’t hurt her, he commands her to climb up to the reactor. When she reaches it, he verbally guides her to the proper cable, and orders her to pull it out.

Princess comments that she’s glad Kerrig decided to rejoin the team. [Well, I suppose the scriptwriters couldn’t have her say something about him wanting to save his own ass.]

They’re heading for the magma.

Cindy’s still working, to judge by Kerrig’s lines.

Anderson’s ready to pull his hair out. Mere seconds stand between them and disaster.

The Spectra mecha explodes, fortuitously sending a huge boulder to jam the tunnel under Keyop. But the bomb [drill!] pins Kerrig to the deck of the Jetson-mobile.

Cindy, cable in her mouth, joins her master, who tells her everything will be all right. [Not with a large, heavy bomb on him, it isn’t.]

A red-gloved hand smashes the covering over an old-fashioned analogue timer. “Stupidity. I live with it every day,” Zoltar hisses. “Why must I be the only oasis in a desert of incompetency?” [You haven’t exactly been batting .400 yourself, old boy. But your average is still pretty good. You’re sane.]

Now a shot inside a building, as Anderson pulls aside the drapes and the ‘sunrise theme’ plays. He gets a rather overdramatic line about thinking he’d never see the sun again, as he wipes sweat away.

At a smoking hole in the ground, a crane with what must be the world’s longest cables is pulling something up. The Jetson-mobile and Keyop’s buggy are beside the hole. [The bomb was on top of them. Shouldn’t it have been brought out first?]

Keyop is calling Cindy a nice monkey. Princess reminds him Cindy’s a chimp, setting up the line, “Not chimp – champ.”

As the bomb [drill] is revealed, we naturally have Zark VO: “The explosive Cindy disarmed is now safely above ground, and G-Force has proved that they are inners as well as outers.” [Does that sound as suggestive to you as it does to me? Suggestive of what is the next question.]

Then we see Zark. “Doctor Kerrig will be out of the hospital soon, and he’ll be back at work on our side.” [Okay, folks, that’s taking the whole ‘All’s well that ends well’ thing a bit too far. Actions have consequences. He should be under arrest for his treachery. Saving the day at the last minute does not wipe out his disloyalty, whatever his reasons for it. I know this is a children’s show, but that’s no reason to dodge the issue.] And he babbles on a bit more, ending with G-Force taking care of Cindy. Then he has to reassure a nervous 1-Rover-1 that nobody else will ever have to take care of him: if anything happens to Zark, they’ll repair him on the spot.

Fic Alert: What’s the real reason Kerrig turned traitor? He was with Spectra before the mission. If Cindy was so fragile, why did he take her on such a dangerous mission?

Science question: What would happen if anyone succeeded in drilling a hole all the way to Earth’s mantle?

As I understand it, nukes can’t be detonated simply by dropping them, even into lava.

Heat and pressure would make the mission too dangerous for G-Force (or anyone else). They would have to go after the bomb almost as soon as it dropped, to have any chance of stopping it safely.

Is speed that important while drilling a tunnel? Will one collapse if the drill is too slow?

While we’re on drilling: the tip of the drill does the actual damage. The threading moves the debris away from the tip and back behind the drill. And yet the buggy is followed closely by the Jetson-mobile, which does not have so much as a scoop on front.

Nobody involved with this episode (either version) seemed to realize that there aren’t sharp divisions between Earth’s layers. At one point, we’re treated to an image of the mantle as if it were a lava pool inside a cavern.

Bizarreness alert: Since when are nuclear weapons stored inside drilling rigs? Although, given the U.S. military’s tendency to pay big bucks for all the wrong things, I can almost imagine the same nonsense happening with Galaxy Security.

Gatchaman plot: In the Salasa Desert (which can reach 140 F during the day), the ISO is searching underground for useful energy sources. A tunnel is being bored 2000 meters underground to build Mantle Project energy reserve. Because of the heat, the process is entirely controlled by computer. The transuranic element Californium is used to power the huge bit. [Some bad grammar in the dub, making it sound like the tip itself is made of Californium.]

Galactor’s beetle mecha attacks, and now this nuclear-powered drill bit is on its way to Earth’s mantle. Not good. At all.

The ISO investigation reveals that Galactor caused the disaster. Dr. Nambu tells the team that, before they can go after Galactor, they have to stop the drill bit. The nearest city would be obliterated by the resulting explosion. Only the SNT can do the job in time. They’ll be advised by Dr. Kalig.

Kalig’s a jerk, but not as dismissive of the team as Karrig. Although he takes a dislike to Jinpei (which is returned).

The city is evacuated, and the ISO sets up an emergency center there.

Any and all detours are to facilitate digging through the rock, or so we can hope.

Once they hit the big cavern, the BotP episode follows the original fairly closely.

Ken’s suspicious of Kalig. The team starts to suspect he diverted them into meeting that mecha.

At the second confrontation with the mecha, Ken goes out to help Jinpei divert the mecha while the rest of the team presses on.

Oh, and it isn’t a cliff blocking them, but a giant boulder that they can’t get past or through.

Oh, and Kalig is a Galactor agent who was sent to kill the SNT. He’s captured, and we even see him tied up. When he can no longer escape, Katse leaves him to die.

He orders the mecha captain to ram the drill bit. They all die in the explosion from Ken’s bomb.

Kalig became an agent because Galactor held his family hostage. He takes the opportunity to redeem himself. It’s pretty obvious he’s dead after the drill lands on him.
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