Dr. Brighthead as narrator: “At a chemical plant near the coast, workers are unaware that another plot against planet Earth has just been launched by the alien Galactor.
Camera pans over a chemical plant, then switches to a ship at sea.
Narrator continues: “And not far off the coast, a gigantic oil tanker steams toward the plant, never suspecting the danger lurking just below the surface of the sea.” I’ll take ‘steams’ as figurative.
Aack!! Cardboard box backbeat!
A waterspout arises from the sea in the tanker’s path. There are glowing eyes in the waterspout!
Scary music plays.
The captain and crew of the tanker are shown close up, shock on their faces. Than a farther view of the tanker shows an insectoid head very close in the foreground.
A distress call from the oil tanker out even as two metal tubes extend from the insectoid head and plunge into the tanker. “This is the captain of the oil tanker Magenta. Mayday! Mayday! We are under attack by what appears to be a gigantic centipoid robot. I’ve never seen anything like it! Repeat, Mayday! Mayday!”
The Centipoid mecha than smashes the ship to bits, causing a violent explosion. No life rafts. The Centipoid mech than ‘tunnels’ through the water and into the ocean bed.
Dr. B. as narrator’s back. He begins as the Centipoid (and its lots of legs) tunnels through the earth. “Such an evil destructive force could only be the work of one being, an alien bent on possessing Earth for his own. Galactor!”
Switch to the Captain of the Week talking to Galactor on a large telescreen. “The Centipoid has drained the tanker and destroyed it as you commanded. Sir.” Geez, Galactor, micromanage much?
Galactor: “And before long my Centipoid robot will bring all the earth’s energy under my control. And the G-Force team will be helpless to stop me!” Scene switches back to the tunneling terror. Galactor gives an Evil Villain Laugh™ as his image is overlaid over that of the mecha on screen.
Switch to Ace running into a high-tech room. “Ace Goodheart reporting, Dr. Brighthead.”
“Hmm.” Brighthead seems less than impressed.
Ace: “I’m sorry if I kept you waiting, sir. I came as soon as I got your transmission.”
Dr. Brighthead: “If you’ve been reading your monthly reports, you should be aware that natural mineral deposits have been disappearing from the globe and major earthquakes have occurred simultaneously with these mysterious events.” Nice detail of how G-Force is kept advised.
Ace looks like his right eye is a black eye here. Bleeding ink or paint on the cell? Or maybe it has to do with why he’s late… ;p
“You want me to call the G-Force team to investigate?” Ace asks.
Brighthead: “Why don’t you pay a quiet little visit to the Seismic Research Center first?”
Ace nods. “All right, but it doesn’t take an expert to tell that Galactor is behind this.” He runs for the door.
“Be careful, Ace.”
Pausing, Ace answers, “I will sir. And next time you send me an emergency transmission, I promise to be here on time.” His voice is good-humored, teasing, as he leaves.
Scene switch to a comfortable-looking room. A blond guy with smiley-eyes enters the room. He greets his off-screen visitor and apologizes for keeping them waiting. Ace’s voice comes from off-camera.
“Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Dr. Johnson. I’m Ace Goodheart, an associate of Dr. Brighthead’s.” This from a scruffy teenager in T-shirt and bell bottoms. ;)
Dr. Johnson: “I respect his work a great deal.”
Ace thanks him. They bow slightly to each other, and Ace tells the doctor that Brighthead sends his best wishes. They sit.
Johnson takes out a cigarette. “My secretary says you have some questions for me.”
Ace: “Well, I’m curious if you have any idea what’s been causing the recent earthquakes in different areas of the world.” (For those who might be interested, the clock on the wall behind Ace says 2 minutes to 1.)
Dr. Johnson: “Well, we’re doing our best to avoid a general state of panic regarding this matter.” He lights his cigarette. “But despite all our best efforts, we haven’t even been able to trace the seismic centers.” As scenes of broken equipment roll by: “We couldn’t get accurate readings because the local seismometers had been sabotaged.” He stubs out his cigarette.
“What do you think the relation is, Doctor?”
Dr. Johnson: “I’ve become convinced that whoever sabotaged those seismometers is also responsible for the recent series of earthquakes!
Ace is stunned. Leaning forward, he asks, “Can I examine your data, Dr.?”
Aaaannnndddd… cue the earthquake.
Ace and Dr. Johnson run outside. Lots of other people also run outside. Dr. Johnson can be heard calling for everyone to get out of the building and to open ground. (I hope that’s not the limit of their evac procedures.) Ace yanks Dr. Johnson out of the way of some falling architecture.
“Just a little further, Dr. Johns-“ A huge fracture splits the ground. Ace grabs Dr. Johnson, but they both slide down the crack.
Ace calls, “G-Force Transform!”
(I’m not surprised that an energy burst that can shred most regular clothing would kick G-1’s grip loose.)
Aagh! Cardboard boxes.
In uniform, Ace dives after the doctor. Dr. Johnson calls for help, and Ace tries to grab his arm and pull him out. As two bright lights shine out of the chasm, Dr. Johnson’s panicked voice is heard: “I-it looks like a-a gigantic centipede!” He slips loose, and Ace is left holding the doctor’s watch. G-1 can do nothing but haul tail out of the abyss as it closes. Even then, he tries to force open the crack with his hands. “I’m sorry, Dr. Johnson!” More softly, “I’m sorry.”
“I wish I could have saved your life. But you can rest assured that I’ll get Galactor for this.” Ace is furious, which is not good for Galactor and his goons.
I wonder, was the Centipoid’s attack to assassinate Dr. Johnson, to destroy the data and equipment at the Seismic Research Laboratory, or both?
Scene opens at a graveyard. Ace is standing before a gravestone. He lays Dr. Johnson’s watch on it.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m even on the G-Force team. When I joined, I thought I’d be helping people. But on days like this it’s hard to see the end of the tunnel, Ace thinks. People like Dr. Johnson never hurt anybody. They only want to do their jobs and enjoy their lives. But if Galactor is able to take over the planet, we will all be slaves. I owe it to your memory to keep on fighting. I won’t let you down, Dr. Johnson. Ace bows his head in grief.
Someone sneaks up on Ace. A thin leg in bell bottoms steps in front of the camera. A small hand karate chops at him. Ace dodges aside just in time. The hit is followed by a kick. He jumps out of the way.
The attacker is a little girl, maybe ten, eleven years old.
Little girl: “Get up! Get up and fight, you murderer!”
“Huh?” Ace is rather surprised. “I’m no murderer!”
Little girl (angrily): “I know you’re one of Galactor’s men, so don’t try to fool me! I know your boss is responsible for the death of my father!”
Ace (astonished): “You’re Dr. Johnson’s girl!?”
Little girl: “Yes I am, and I’ve been taking karate lessons, so look out!” She launches into an attack.
(Sad part is, she probably is good enough to kick a goon’s rear.)
Ace ducks and dodges. “Hey now! Hey! Look out yourself. You could hurt somebody!” But this girl’s not giving up.
“Settle down,” Ace urges. “I’m your friend!” But the girl takes more swings at him.
“Do you expect me to believe that?!”
Ace punches his right fist into his hand. Oh no, he’s not…
Little girl: “Now fight me, you chicken!” She charges for him.
He did. Ace punches her right in the diaphragm and knocks the little girl cold. “Sorry, kid.”Ace looks back at the gravestone. “Don’t worry, Dr. Johnson. I’ll be sure to take care of her for you.” He carries her away. Then he turns back again. And while I’m at it, I’ll take care of Galactor. Your efforts won’t be in vain, sir. You have Ace Goodheart’s word on that.
Even with the amount of control a team member can apply, hitting someone eight to ten years younger doesn’t sit right. Couldn’t he have kept ducking until she wore herself out? Ace’s training has got to have given him way more stamina then she has.
And cut to… Aggie’s place. (Tell me you’re surprised.)
Aggie is speaking. “I’ve consulted the general computer records, Ace. Her name is Tanya Johnson, and she’s the doctor’s only child.” Apparently those records also showed she has no immediate relatives worried about where the child is.
Sounding guilty, Ace says, “I can’t stop thinking that there must have been something more I could have done for her father.”
Aggie comforts him. “I know how you feel, Ace, but please don’t torture yourself about it. We have far too much work ahead of us to waste time feeling guilty.”
Ace (sounding happier): “Always the practical one, Aggie.” He looks at Tanya. “One thing I know for sure is that she’s suffering more than I am.” Turning back to Aggie, he asks (politely), “Can you watch her until I get back here?”
“On one condition. That you include me in the mission.” Translation: If you wind up doing stupid, you’ll need someone to save your tailfeathers. :p
“You got it, Agatha. See ya later.”
“The name is Aggie and don’t you forget it!”
“Oh no you’re not!”
Cut to Ace flying his cute little civilian plane.
Cardboard boxes. Gag…
Switch from outside the plane to interior view. Ace speaks into his communicator. “Right, Dr. Brighthead. Are you tracking me there?”
Brighthead: “You’re on the screen.”
A button is pushed. “Activating,” Ace states. A beam comes out and starts scanning the ground. I guess it’s a futuristic ground-penetrating radar.
Ace, for some odd reason, is leaning to peer through the glass of the cockpit instead of watching the radar’s progress on a screen.
The big screen back at the Dr.’s shows a line, presumably the trace of the scanned area. (Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a bunch of planes flying a search pattern? Or maybe there’s just the one extra-fancy radar set.)
Brighthead: “There are even greater mineral deposits under the mountain.” At least we know one of their search criteria now.
Ace is flying over mountains. And more mountains. And more mountains. Than something gets his attention. “Something tell me I’m getting warm. I’m heading up toward the coal reserves now, Dr.” The word sounds like either ‘core’ or ‘coal’ to me, but my son says it’s ‘coal’ and he’s closer to the TV with the younger ears.
A light on the airplane’s control panel flashes. “Hey, I think I’ve finally got something down below!” He turns the plane.
Brighthead’s voice comes over the wrist radio. “Can you see it clearly enough to see if it’s the Centipoid robot?” Somehow, this scanner makes it possible to see shapes through rock. I’m confused.
“Yes,” Ace affirms. “And I’m tracking it all the way back to its nest. I have a notion that this is the little devil who’s been causing all those earthquakes.”
Switch to a side shot of the Centipoid tunneling.
Control room of the Centipoid. A goon informs the Galactor Captain Cannon Fodder (okay, that’s not his real name) that “Radar indicates an unarmed light aircraft tracking the Centipoid with infrared.” Last I checked, infrared was filters, not beams. And the Galactor Captains mask does look like a cow’s skull.
Captain: “What?! Well, I’ve got a little surprise for it! Aim and fire an aerial missile right away!” Um, what other kind would you be using? You’re not in water…
Ace sees the missile emerge from the ground headed right for him. He dodges just in time.
Here comes another. And another.
Corny line alert!
“That Centipoid seems to be carrying a little bit of a sting!” Ace comments.
The fourth missile gets him. Hmmm… judging by shots of Ace working on his plane, I’d say that gash is about six to eight inches long. At least. And not only is the plane nearly out of control, but the detection system is off-line, so Ace can’t even see where the enemy’s coming from. “Emergency, Doctor!”
Switch to Dr. Brighthead. “What is it!?”
Back to Ace. “The Centipoid is surfacing and I barely got control of the plane!” I don’t expect good grammar in an emergency. Dramatic shot of the Centipoid, too.
Man that bug is huge! Who’s got the tanker full of bug spray!?
The bug tries to zap the G-1 with its lasers.
Ace calls, “G-Force Transform!”
“All right, Centipoid, prepare to meet your match!” Isn’t it going to be another sixty episodes or so until they get weapons on their vehicles?
Some really fancy flying, then Ace heads into a dive and pulls up at the last minute. “Okay, kid, now let’s see how you like a crash landing!” But the Centipoid just goes into tunneling mode and escapes.
G-1 reports in. “Dr. Brighthead, I’m sorry. The monster escaped underground.” But it hasn’t escaped for long.
The scene opens to a picture of the scan of the Centipoid’s movements taken earlier. Dr. Brighthead and Ace are examining them. “You’ve brought back some important pictures of the Centipoid monster and we’d better examine them minutely. My theory is that Galactor is using this monster to bring all Earth’s energy under his control.” I don’t know about the “all Earth’s energy” bit, but if you cut off an enemy’s fuel and power supply, it can really mess them up. Galactor has a decent strategy here. Even if he’s using a odd method to accomplish it.
Ace (angrily): “And I let him escape!”
Dr. Brighthead: “We can arrange another chance.” He turns off the projector.
Ace: “I’ll get the lights.”
“What’s our plan of attack, Dr.?”
Dr. Brighthead points to an X on a map. “The Centipoid disappeared here, right?”
“Now it’s reasonable to assume that Galactor’s monster will be heading for the nearest possible underground mineral beds.”
“Hey, that reminds me of something!” Ace points to another spot on the map. “The Mineral and Geological Research Station is only fifty miles from where the Centipoid went underground.” He traces his finger over the map.
“Good thinking! There’s a priceless collection of gems and other rare minerals stored in the underground vaults of that building and we have to protect them!” Turning to Ace, Dr. Brighthead says, “I’ll call the UN immediately and get armored tanks into battle formation. You get the G-Force team together and rendezvous at 1600 hours.”
Ace cracks his knuckles. “This time the Centipoid isn’t going to get away from me.”
Brighthead has something else to say. “One more thing, Ace. I know you’ve been taking care of Dr. Johnson’s daughter, but under no circumstance is she to know that you belong to G-Force. Remember, G-Force is a secret organization.”
Cut to Ace flying his plane. He’s thinking of Dr. Brighthead’s words. Then Aggie contacts him.
Aggie (worried): “Ace, if we rendezvous, I’ll have to bring Tanya. She’s too young to be here all by herself, but if she comes with me, we’ll break our veil of secrecy. It’s up to you, Ace. What do we do?” Knowing Aggie, this call would come after failing to find a trustworthy last-minute babysitter.
Ace wrestles with himself for a moment. “All right. Bring her along. It’s my decision.” His eyes narrow.
Cut to a really big building. The camera moves to show tanks lined up outside.
Cue one Very Hungry Caterpillar. (As Ayako called the Centipoid in her Production Diaries.) As per its contract, it starts making scrap of the tanks. Then it breaks apart into lots of segments. That take out more tanks. Some of the segments start to melt the chain link fence. Not as quickly as all that, though. Maybe the relatively light construction of the fence aids greater heat dispersal, so that the laser can’t mow down too large a section at once.
The fighter planes are called in. And added to the Centipoid’s scoreboard.
Then the goons aboard the Centipoid head notice the G-1 approaching. Which Galactor points out to them from his telescreen (where he is very badly drawn). “How could you idiots have let them hunt us down again?” Maybe G-Force finding you has something to do with your choice of targets?
The Captain and goons apologize. Galactor orders G-Force shot out of the sky. The Cowskull Captain assures Galactor that the Phoenix is no match for Galactor’s Centipoid.
Galactor: “If you fail on this mission, your punishment will be severe!” Purple Villain does have a gift for understatement.
The Cowskull Captain says he understands. He orders the attack, which begins with the mecha reassembling itself.
Ace: “This time you won’t escape, Galactor.” Galactor’s not even there, fella. G-1 plays ‘duck and dodge’ with the Centipoid’s lasers until the Phoenix shows up.
“G-1 docking in main port of Phoenix.” And Cowskull Captain lets him do this. Idiot doesn’t attack while the Phoenix is relatively vulnerable!
Ace comes onto the bridge of the Phoenix. Gently: “Hello, Tanya. Remember me?” And while you’re at it, an apology for the fist to the gut would be good.
Tanya: “Oh! Why didn’t you tell me you were G-Force? I wouldn’t have attacked you.”
Ace (sternly): “You must never tell anyone about our team’s identities.” He turns Tanya to the big viewscreen. “Now take a good look. That Centipoid caused last week’s earthquake.”
Tanya has tears in her voice. “Then Galactor was behind the earthquake after all.” She (tries to) cover her face with her hands. “Oh poor father!” She begins to cry.
Ace: “All right, everybody, we have a job to do!”
Hootie’s turn to duck and dodge lasers. He smashes through the Centipoid, but it puts itself back together.
In the Phoenix: “The early bird catches the worm,” Hootie says. (Where’d that come from?)
Ace orders: “Then let’s go!”
They try to smash the Centipoid again. It doesn’t work any better this time.
Hootie: “That’s the first worm I’ve ever seen build itself back up again!”
Pewee’s not happy. “Now I’m mad!”
Dirk: “They only way we’ll escape in one piece is if we fire the Bird Missile.” Surprise. But this time he has a point.
“I’ll do it.” Dirk actually lifts the glass cover entirely off the panel with the Big Red Button. (A loose glass panel in a warship? Whose idea was that?)
Pewee grabs onto Dirk. “It’s against regulations!” *bangs head on wall* The kid gets this line?
Aggie: “Ace, he’s going to fire it!” The background indicates she’s seated on the right of the ship’s bridge, in the third forward-facing chair.
Now, Ace is standing to Dirk’s left. But behind G-2’s left shoulder, there is a shape that looks very very much like G-1’s helmet!
Back to the show…
Ace starts struggling with Dirk as well. “Dirk, don’t do it!”
Pewee: “Don’t. Get away!”
And I have to give the Owl major credit for flying so well with all this going on right next to his ear.
As the Phoenix dodges, G-1, 2, and 4 hit the floor. As they struggle back up, Ace manages to get ahold of Dirk.
“Are you pulling rank on me, Ace?!” Dirk demands.
“No, I’m not! But I won’t let you let you fire that rocket!” He turns. “Tanya, you do it!”
And my son is spazzing out at this turn of events. This isn’t one of my favorite eps, (low Condor time, and the ‘permission to fire missiles is stupid), so I haven’t watched in a while. So parts of it are 'new' to my kids.
Pewee and Aggie gasp.
Dirk: “But Ace, she’s a little girl!”
Ace ignores him and contacts Brighthead. “This is the Phoenix calling. Dr. Brighthead, are you there?”
Brighthead: “Yes I am. What’s the problem, Ace?”
Ace uses his authoritative deep voice: “We have no choice, sir. We’re firing the Bird Missile.” If it weren’t for wanting Tanya to fire it, I’d call this a good field decision.
Dr. Brighthead spazzes: “Don’t do it, Ace. The Bird Missile is only to be uses for emergency defensive purposes.” (What does he think this is, Mardi Gras?) “Besides, we can’t let Galactor know we have it! As Agent 1 on the team, you ought to know better than that. I won’t allow you to impetuously break regulations. Now I insist that you obey!”
One: He sounds like an unreasonable parent. Two: I don’t see anything ‘impetuous’ about Ace’s decision. Three: If they aren’t going to use the missile, WHAT’S THE POINT OF HAVING IT!?!?!
Ace cuts off transmission.
Hootie: You heard what the man said, Ace.
Aggie: “Oh, Ace, you’re not going to disobey a direct command?” Considering Ace’s personality is more like Ken’s then Mark’s, I’d say… yes.
Ace reaches gently for Tanya and puts his hands on her shoulders. “We have to do what we have to do.” He points to the Big Red Button (BRB). “You can avenge the death of your father by pressing that red button.”
Tanya gasps. “But I’m scared, Ace.”
Dirk is NOT looking happy about this. There’s also some serious concern in there, too.
“Don’t be scared,” Ace tells Tanya.
But Tanya is trembling.
She reaches for the BRB, then stops. “I-I don’t know.”
Ace: “Fire it, Tanya.”
Tanya shivers and gasps.
The Phoenix is getting closer and closer to the Centipoid. The mecha fires at the Phoenix, but the warship dodges.
On the Phoenix’s bridge, Tanya and Ace have moved back from the BRB. (Hootie and Pewee are in the front seats.)
Ace: “Push the button and avenge your father, Tanya! You’ve been waiting for this!”
Tanya: “But I don’t want to hurt anyone!” Ace, just leave her alone and let Dirk do it!
The Phoenix approaches the Centipoid again.
Bridge of Centipoid:
Captain Cowskull gloats, “We’ll let them get all the way in, and then we’ll hit them with the laser.” Looking at the Phoenix on the viewscreen, he snarls, “Just a little closer…”
Bridge of Phoenix:
Hootie announces: “In range at a 1000 meters.”
So intense his cowl has turned white, Ace asks Tanya, “Tanya, how did you feel after the earthquake? Do you remember how you felt when you attacked me?”
Tanya’s scared and unsure.
“C’mon Tanya, we’re depending on you!” Oh, just load that on a little girl, why don’t you?
Tanya looks down.
“Don’t be a coward!”
Ace slaps Tanya. What a minute… they left that in!? They took out the time Ken and Joe hit Jun! And I hope Dirk or Aggie decks Ace for this later. >:(
The Phoenix is getting really close to the bug…
The look on Dirk’s face say that if that missile doesn’t get fire soon, he’s going to do it!
Pewee’s trying to cover his eyes through his visor.
Ace gasps and drags Tanya by her wrist to the BRB. “C’mon, Tanya, now! Push the button!”
G-1 holds Tanya’s hand over the BRB and ‘helps’ her push it. The missile launches.
Captain Cowskull: “Laser ready…”
And the missile hits! Bye-bye, Centipoid!
Aagh! Cardboard box backbeat!
Back on the bridge of the Phoenix, everyone’s relieved. Pewee’s cheering, “All right! We did it! We did it! We did it!”
Ace: “Uh oh!” (You’d better be concerned!) He catches her. “It’s all right, Tanya,” Ace says gently. “Try to smile.”
Somehow, she does.
“There now. It’s all over and the Centipoid is gone.” He wipes her tears with his glove.
“Can I be your girlfriend when I grow up?” *smacks forehead*
“Well, sure.” Ace then bows his head. He knows he’s in big trouble. How many regulations and orders did he smash?
Aaaaannnndddd commercial break!
Sad music is playing. Tanya is putting flowers on her father’s grave as Ace stands behind her.
Ace starts to walk away.
“Ace.” It’s Brighthead. “I’d like to have a word with you.”
G-1 bows his head. “I know that you’ve come here to strip me of my command, Dr. Brighthead, and I can’t say that I blame you. But I also don’t regret any of the decisions I made. I had to tell Tanya about our team so that she could avenge her father, and I trusted her not to tell. And I disobey your command not to use the Bird Missile, although I still maintain that it was in the best interests of my fellow crewmembers for me to do so.” He removes his wristband and lays it on the ground. “Here is my transformer, Dr. Brighthead. I resign.” Yes, Ace can angst with the best of the Eagles.
Aggie speaks up. “Stop being so bull-headed, Ace. That’s not what he came here to tell you.”
Music changes to something more upbeat.
“As commander of the G-Force team, it’s your job to make tough decisions, Ace.” Brighthead actually sounds proud of Ace. “And besides, we need you to fight against Galactor. You’re the right arm and the life-blood of the G-Force team.” (Yes, I think it’s a little corny.)
“Huh!?” Ace is stunned.
“I hope you’ll reconsider your resignation.”
Ace turns around, and Dr. Brighthead is smiling at him. “Really, Dr.? Can I take it –back!?”
Dr. Brighthead nods. “There’s nobody quite like you, Ace Goodheart.”
Ace, you ought to be glad you’re so darn irreplaceable, though I suspect it’s just as much because the training and resources that have been sunk into you as anything!
Tanya smiles. She picks up the wristband and holds it out to him. “Here’s your transformer, Ace. I sure don’t know how to use it. And I promise not to tell your secret to anybody ever!”
“Thank you, Tanya.” Ace takes his wristband and replaces it. The team gathers around him.
Aggie: “You’re so silly, Ace.”
Pewee: “We wouldn’t let you go.”
Aggie calls, “Hey let’s go!”
Pewee adds, “Hurry up, Ace!” The four run off.
“Hey you guys, wait up!” Ace hustles to catch up. “Come on, wait for me!”
And they all run off into the sunset.
I think that this ep is the first time they show Dirk in civvies. Possibly Aggie, Pewee, and Hootie, too. I’ll have to check, but I also think it’s the first ep a Bird Missile is fired. And I’m think Brighthead better enjoy getting out while he can. He’s going to be on Galactor’s ‘Most Wanted’ hit list soon enough.
I’m hoping Brighthead has a nice, Institute of Science Security-screened foster home waiting for Tanya. And counseling.
Awww, Brighthead gets stuck finding homes for all sorts of orphans: human, seals, whales, puppies… yes, that ep made it into GoS. :p