Battle of the Planets, Episode Twenty-Nine
Gatchaman Episode #87, Patogiller, The Triple Combined Iron Beast
DVD and Veoh episode #72
Review/Summary: Another review cadged off another.
As usual, the writers get their science wrong. Zark is pacing his Nerve Center, telling us that he has to monitor ‘our’ security perimeters, which means the entire universe. After which he tells us that he has to guard Earth from invaders from ‘outer space.’ [Shall I list the absurdities in the previous dialogue?]
And now 1-Rover-1 makes his presence felt, wanting to be fed. Feeding a robot dog. Okay. Anyway, Zark (without doing a thing) says he’s put out a bowl of nuts and bolts, covered with gravy. What are they smoking at Quanto Tobor Labs?
And now he gives us the backstory for this episode. G-Force is vacationing in a mountain city, and Keyop is flitting around in his Space Buggy (for some reason referred to as a ‘Space Bubble’ this episode).
Now a rant about how impulsive Keyop is. Which is rather more justified than some of the complaints about Jason. The boy does rush off whenever he wants.
In the buggy, Keyop is bored.
He flies over a castle, and spots a cute girl sunbathing. Now he’s not so bored. A thug comes out and pulls the girl indoors while Keyop’s turning.
Cut to a television newscaster, telling us about the family of a Julie Lester. They’re in seclusion. She’s been kidnapped, and there’s been no word.
However, her father represents Earth in the Intergalactic (sic) Federation, so perhaps the ‘outlaw planet’ Spectra has kidnapped her.
And here I thought Spectra was an enemy power, instead of a criminal one.
The announcer speculates that Spectra may use her to force a seat in the Federation.
When did Spectra go from wanting to conquer the Federation to wanting to be a member?
Now we find out that the television is at Jill’s, and the whole gang is watching. When Keyop says that Julie is the girl he saw, nobody believes him. [Really, a kidnap victim sunbathing?]
Now, back to the castle, where Keyop (in civvies) is lurking about and harpsichord music plays in the background. He sees Julie close the curtains.
He climbs up to the balcony using the ivy on the wall and looks in the window. Whatever he sees startles him so much that he leaps back and knocks a flowerpot off the balcony, beaning a curious thug below.
Somehow, this alerts Julie, who comes out wrapped in a towel and scolding Keyop (and throwing a shampoo bottle at his head). Keyop, through all the burbles and broops, tells her he’s here to help her. Her kidnapping made the news.
It turns out she hasn’t seen any newspapers, so she didn’t know that. [Although she should have figured that out, given her father’s position.]
One of the kidnappers is outside the door to her room. He demands to know who’s with her, and breaks down the door.
Keyop does – something – and kidnapper’s down. Yes, an edit.
There’s a bit of gushing on Julie’s part, and Keyop getting a bit silly before rescuing her.
[In the original, G-4 has a lot of lines, so Keyop’s dialogue is lots and lots of burbles, with a few words here and there.]
They climb down the wall, to a few more silly lines, then the vine breaks and they fall to the ground.
Yes, there’s a thug. Yes, Keyop handles him, although it’s so edited it looks as if he falls over because he got dirt kicked in his face.
Suddenly, we have Zark telling us that Keyop rescued Julie and took her home. A shot of Julie with her parents, and Zark tells us that reporters are coming from all over the galaxy to interview her. And the police are interrogating the kidnappers. [So, I guess Keyop called 911 at some point.]
At the police station, the Chief of Police takes over the interrogation. Yep, you guessed it: he lured the real chief away and took his place. [Because a corrupt police official is not allowed by the moral guardians.] While the thugs are confident that everything’s still okay, the fake Chief knows it isn’t.
In his office, he contacts Zoltar, using a communications device hidden behind a copy of the Mona Lisa. The Big Z isn’t very happy about losing Ms. Lester, but the fake police chief has a plan to kill two birds with one stone.
Zoltar asks if it has anything to do with a ‘small G-Force member.’ And it does. The agent says that Julie and the aforementioned G4 should be receiving letters right about now.
[And how did they know it was G4 who rescued Julie? Keyop was in civvies the whole time. How did they know where to find him?]
At Jill’s, Keyop moons over Julie’s picture in the paper, including hugging and kissing it. He gets so wrapped up he imagines Princess is her and gets smacked for trying to kiss her.
Movement at the door distracts her, and she goes out to find a heart-sealed letter in the letter-box. Addressed to Keyop.
Around the corner, the thug from before (who must have made bail or something) calls to report that he’s delivered the letter.
In the restaurant, Keyop reads the letter, which is apparently from Julie. It asks him to meet her at Fun World Amusement Park. His pleasure turns to annoyance when he sees Princess reading over his shoulder.
[The letter names him. How did the agents know it was him?]
Keyop goes to the amusement park, and is let in by the goon who’d been hit by the flowerpot earlier. [They all made bail?] The goon reports that the kid’s here, and that he’s locked up the park.
Zoltar and the fake police chief are watching everything from somewhere.
Keyop and Julie meet, and she thanks him for his romantic letter. He’s confused: he didn’t send her any letter. She says that she slipped out and her parents don’t know she’s here.
Then he realizes they’re the only people in the park. [Guess he was so distracted he didn’t notice the lack of, oh, crowds, activity, and noise.]
Back to Zark, who’s going on about how people want to give him extra hands and arms, but he’s resisted that change. [Since when can a robot resist an upgrade?] He likes the way he looks. [Bleargh.]
On the other hand, the changes would help him keep an eye on everything.
Back to the real action.
Zoltar and the fake Chief are watching Keyop and Julie. The Z has a plan to ensure that G-Force don’t interrupt.
Down below, Keyop is trying to get him and Julie out of the park. The gates slam shut in front on him. [I thought the goons had locked up?] For some reason, they don’t try to climb it.
Back at Jill’s, Mark asks Jill where Keyop is. She tells him the amusement park, and the team finds that a bit odd, since the place is closed.
Then there’s a loud noise outside and they rush out to see a huge red lobster mecha attacking the city. [Where was knows-all, sees-all Zark in this? Hmm? Too busy watching Keyop? Or was his FOSDIC down?]
G-Force heads to the Phoenix and takes off, to stock footage from the very first episode. They engage the oversized lobster.
They can’t raise Keyop. Mark’s a bit miffed that he doesn’t answer. But, under the circumstances, they can’t look for him. There’s a mecha destroying the city. [Why hasn’t Zark evacuated the city?]
At the park, police cars arrive, but we don’t see the drivers.
Inside the park, Keyop and Julie are on the roller-coaster track. A goon starts up the coaster. Our Hero raises his arm to transmute – and spots Zoltar watching in a high tower. So much for that idea.
He grabs Julie and leaps off, doing at least one somersault, landing on a tent or pavilion. Zoltar praises the skill, and says they have the best seats. All they need is cotton candy.
Keyop and Julie run into a glass building and take the elevator up, evading ground pursuit.
Zoltar orders the ‘caterpillar ride’ activated. The police cars that stopped earlier link up into a giant mechanical caterpillar. [Wait: they called it a caterpillar. Goodness me, correct taxonomy. Can we stand it?] It starts smashing up the amusement park. At one point, it strikes the tower, breaking the glass. A piece strikes Julie and she passes out.
Meanwhile, G-Force is dealing with the lobster mecha. They’ve chased it underwater, dodged squid-missiles, and now the Phoenix is grabbed by seaweed. Wait, we’ve seen this before. In Siege of the Squids. So, yes, they escape by forcibly jetting out the grasp of the seaweed, so that the lobster mech crashes into a rock and explodes.
They head for the park, where Keyop and Julia are still endangered by the giant caterpillar. The Phoenix buzzes Zoltar in his tower, breaking the glass.
Mark heads for the dome with a life-size Keyop doll. This confuses Zoltar and the fake police chief, who thought they had G4 already trapped. Mark chucks the doll to Keyop. (For some reason, they talk about delivering Keyop’s uniform – even though he’s wearing his G-Force civvies.)
The caterpillar robot tries to shoot down the Phoenix, without success.
Unseen, but mentioned, Keyop’s ‘plane’ arrives, and Mark tells Tiny to lower the pickup.
Meanwhile, Zoltar and the fake police chief get away. There’s a rocket in the tower. Guess this means that Spectra controls the amusement park.
What happened to the caterpillar mecha?
Well, the team gets Julie to the hospital, where she’s recovering nicely. Keyop comes to visit her. She tells him that her father’s been transferred to the Andromeda Galaxy. So maybe, one day….
Keyop’s bummed. He puts on a brave face for his teammates, then lets his feelings show when he’s out of their sight.
There’s some Zark stuff, as he tries to convince us that he’s a robot who doesn’t form personal attachments, and Susan calls him on it. This is somehow different, but the episode ends before then.
Fic Alert: What happened with Julie and Keyop afterwards?
Science question: None for this episode.
Bizarreness alert: If the Spectra agent replaced the police chief, where did the police cars come from?
Gatchaman plot: This time, they didn’t do too much damage to the plot. Keyop’s excessive brooping and burbling is because Jinpei has a lot of lines that are more appropriate for a boy of 12 or 13 (which is about his age) than the moral guardians could stand. He acts like an idiot when he sees the girl (whose name is Maria), and then apologizes (perhaps to God?) for being a bad boy. When he goes back to rescue her, he gets an eyeful of her naked in the shower (and is fumblingly embarrassed).
Maria was kidnapped to extort a billion dollars from her father. Jinpei put a kink in that plan.
Patogiller, the mecha created by linking the police cars together, is plainly destroyed.
Jinpei has to stop seeing Maria, to avoid compromising his identity. (No explanation how Galactor found him, either.)
(And the red lobster attack is borrowed from Little Gatchamans.)