harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Review: Planet of the Slave Girls, Part I of III

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Season 1

Episodes: 1.3 & 1.4

"Planet of the Slave Girls"

Blurb: It's Buck to the rescue of the entire planet when Earth's defense squadron becomes incapacitated after eating poisoned food discs. Buck traces the dangerous goods to another planet where a man named Kaleel has been selling slaves to the planet's governor in order to build a massive attack fleet ready to conquer and destroy. Warning: Not only are spoilers present - but I have to mark this review as not safe for work ... my mind kinda wandered inappropriately. It's all that Spandex the men are wearing.

Scene 01: We open on Buck and Wilma in a starfighter. They're returning from somewhere unspecified that requires travel through a stargate, a constructed spatial warp. Wilma jokes about how different space travel is now than Buck's time.

Coming out of the space warp leaves Buck disoriented and ill, but Wilma assures him that after a few times, his system will adjust.

Commentary: We can look back now and make fun of some of the tackiness (the costumes tend to look like different colors of foil) and the painful ridiculousness (space rockers, the ambaquad, Tina & space disco), but the special effects were not at all bad coming from a television show. The stargate visual effects are nicely done and I like the thunder clap sound effect, even though that should be completely silent in space.

Scene 02: Wilma looks at her scanner and mentions that she sees a few Directorate fighters ahead in a possible dogfight.

We see a young pilot, obviously out of his league, being pursued by two hatchet fighters with things looking grim.

He radios for assistance, and his squad leader berates him for falling behind his teammates! He gruffly tells him to pull himself together and take evasive action until they circle back for him.

Buck and Wilma fly in to assist and Wilma is able to use her gun control (from the back seat) to blast one marauding vessel and the other flies off.

Commentary: The dogfight scenes are also usually well done with the lasers and the explosions, and this - short as it is - isn't bad, either. However, the reuse of the Hatchet Fighters is problematic. You see, in the movie/pilot episode, we learned that the Hatchet's were really Princess Ardala's troops pretending to be pirates in order to weaken Earth enough to force them into a diplomatic treaty. The treaty itself was a pretense for annexing Earth into the Draconia Empire. Here, however, the Draconian's  possible presence in Earth space following their defeat by Earth forces isn't mentioned at all. We're supposed to take this as further pirate attacks against lone or weakly protected vessels coming into or leaving the Sol system.

But-but-but... The pirate attacks were a ruse! Those forces were destroyed with the flagship, or driven off... what are they doing out here?!

This is never really explained, but one can only think these are Draconians who, having been failed by Ardala's leadership, chose to stay behind or had to stay behind because of limited range of the fighters. We'll see in at least one future episode that some asteroids have been given artificial environments, so it is possible they found like-minded criminals in the belt and joined one of these rogue operations.

It just would have been nice if this had been made explicit, rather than forcing us to weave a tale to justify these fighter craft's remaining presence.

Squad Leader thanks Buck for the assist, but then informs him rather grumpily that he's interfered in a training mission. Buck is a bit miffed, since it appeared the 'training' was going to involve young, sweaty cadet being vaporized. Words are exchanged. Wilma finds the exchange amusing....

Scene 03: Back in New Chicago, Earth, the Squad Leader barrels out of his starfighter, looking all confronty-ready. He tries to look bad ass, but can't manage it due to the skin-tight, white spandex and those adorable boots. He tries to make up for his unfortunate wardrobe by acting very alpha-male with the aggressiveness.

He rushes over to his young, troubled cadet where the young man tells him he felt disorientated (Buck, Cadet... it's goin' around). Squad Leader, whose name is Duke, so I'm going to switch to calling him that, asks if he's alright as he ain't lookin' so hot. Buck intervenes with a snotty "of course not, he's white as a sheet" ... yeah, well, he was almost blown up, so....

But Buck, as I should know, is naturally correct. There is something more going on than a case of the nearly-becoming-space-debris vapors.

Young Cadet collapses into Buck and Duke's arms.

Commentary: Obviously, I'm in a mood. This so completely looks like the set up to a science-fiction flavored gay porn vignette... I'm telling you, it's the spandex. The Blinding White Spandex does things to your mind while you're watching. I also like how two background guys have to be yelled at to come over and, you know, help out.

Duke orders them to take passed out guy to the clinic, because otherwise who knows where our mindless extras might have lost him.

Duke is still bellowing at their retreating backs and we learn that more than half of his squad is out of commission. Buck takes this moment to be a bitch. He suggests that Duke's training technique might be to blame.

The Buck/Duke penis-measuring that started in space now continues (why does Buck make me think gay-porn thoughts), until Wilma gets between them (now, bi-porn). She informs Duke that it was her decision to intervene in his mission because in her judgement his trainee was in real trouble. Now, when Duke first saw her, he smiled and called her 'Wilma', before switching to 'Colonel Deering', with a grin - so we know they have some sort of previous history.

Buck and Duke, having gotten off on the wrong foot, continue their verbal sparring. Wilma tries to soothe the tension, but this crashes when she suggests that Buck might give a lecture to his flight class about 20th century air combat techniques. As we've seen in the Pilot Episode, the 25th Century relies far too much on combat computers to make decisions and their ability to adapt, respond and pull unexpected maneuvers have suffered greatly.

Duke is, naturally, appalled. Wilma makes it a direct order. She excuses herself to check on the condition of Sweaty Cadet.

This leaves Buck to smirk at Duke and Duke to glare back. Buck has also picked up on something between Wilma and Duke, so "reminds" Wilma about drinks at his place that evening, giving the impression that there is something else going on between he and Wilma as well (Buck can be an a-hole, too).

Scene 04: Wilma and Huer arrive in the medical room, which is a huge but strangely underequipped place. Young Cadet is sweaty and muttery. It's probably because he's worried that he hasn't been hooked up to anything and there are no medical personnel in the room.

Wilma is looking very concerned (probably because she's also wondering why there isn't any medical equipment hooked up to the patient and why there isn't even a nurse in there trying to help him) and Huer is looking grave (those damned cut backs, if only they could afford to staff this clinic properly).

Huer mentions that sick cadet is the son of Vistula's governor, an ally planet of Earth.

Doctor Huer informs Wilma about the growing crisis that has been hidden from the general public under orders of the Computer Council. They now have 25,000 pilots down with some odd ailment that causes a lack of muscle control. This is in only three days, so the outlook for Earth's defense is looking pretty horrible.

New Chicago isn't the only city hit by this new plague, though it is the hardest hit of them. Huer also points out that it may be a deliberate action as it seems that their quadrant defense forces have been the worst hit of anyone.

Scene 05: Wilma and Huer go to visit the science lab where they're working to identify the cause of the affliction.

Science has determined that a bio-contaminant has been slipped into the food disks distributed across Earth. They've managed to come up with a way to detect the poison and are working on a counteragent. In the meantime, stylish assistant is given shifty looks. Wilma asks about the pilots and Science Guy (rather than say, the physicians) tells her they're making a recovery, but can't yet be released to return to flight.

Scene 06: At flight school, Buck is giving his lecture. He mentions that in his time, they used football terms as a way to explain strategy. The class finds this really funny for whatever reason. In the back of the class, Duke is pacing and alternately being amused by and irritated with Rogers.

Buck isn't have a lot of fun himself, as his class can't seem to stop laughing at his every 20th century utterance and thereby are missing his point about finding the 'quarterback' and 'sacking him' rather than wasting a lot of energy trying to blast everyone at once.

With Danton being smug and condescending, all it takes is for one woman to ask him what 'sacking the quarterback' means for him to offer a demonstration. Buck leaps from the dais and tackles Danton into random containers that seem to be left in a lot of rooms in the 25th Century.

Everyone is shocked and appalled by this moment of barbarity ... except Danton himself, who is ready to get into the swing of things (chika-chika-bow-wow). Danton returns his recently learned lesson, by tackling Buck as his back is turned and knocking him to the floor to more bewildered exclamations from the student pilots.

Buck points out to Danton that he didn't perform a 'true' tackle, so much as he clipped, which is frowned upon. He gives him another demonstration by knocking him off of the stage causing him to take some flight suit wearing mannikins with him.

Danton, still under the guise of trying to get this lesson correct for his class, next sends Buck into the rapidly emptied spectator chairs.

Scene 06: In the meantime, Twiki is carrying Theo around and they hear the commotion coming from the classroom.

Inside, it is Buck's turn to sack Danton - again - this time into a shelving unit. Theo insists on finding out what is going on and he has Twiki go in just in time to watch Danton tackle Buck into a shelving unit of his own, which he drags down on top of himself as he falls to the sound of breaking glass.

Danton insists that he must have gotten it right, that time. Danton releases his class and stumbles out past Theo and Twiki. Buck takes some time to gather his wits under the shelving unit.

Commentary: And we have one of the most irritating musical motifs known to mankind. The 'Twiki-komedy-music' note as he's about to say something witty or do something amusing. I hate Twiki's music so deeply, it is like fingernails down a blackboard. It is so... sitcom? No, that isn't quite right... It's so... childishly sitcom-sounding? Yes. Yes, that is it. It's an electronic-music, sitcom-for-kids, 'oh, that Twiki'-broad musical wink travesty that no decent person's ears should have to hear repeated at least once every show.

Anyway, Theo is completely appalled by this display of 20th century violence. Buck assures them, in his jokey manner, that they were just performing a demonstration.

Scene 07: In the science lab, the doctor is complaining about his computer's temperamental mood to his assistant and decides he needs a break. He leaves her in charge of monitoring until he returns.

As soon as he's out of the door, she immediately springs into action against CARL. Stella puts a future-doo-dad into Carl's innards. Understanding immediately that he is in danger, but unable to do anything since he's just a computer with no body, he cries out for assistance. Stella makes her getaway.

Dr. Mallory comes in to the distress call (though how he heard it is another thing - was he taking his break in the hallway?) only to see Carl go up in a shower of sparks and smoke. Carl tells him "Too late. Good-bye Mallory".

Scene 08: Over in Buck's apartment, he's standing quite close to Wilma, adjusting an arm around her. This isn't what the scene wanted to suggest to us we should think, however. It's actually Wilma's practicing a judo-throw that Buck has been teaching her. She makes a sly joke at his expense about the scene earlier during his tactics lecture.

Like all rooms in the 25th century, Buck's apartment is huge, but sparsely furnished. He has added a few touches, like a (presumably faux)wood table and a picture of someone he knew once a long time ago - which we won't see, but will probably be Jennifer, his girlfriend. We will meet a doppleganger of her in a later episode.

An audio/visual call interrupts before Wilma can ask more about the photo. It is Doctor Huer looking for Wilma to summon her to the medical lab. Buck accompanies.

Scene 09: In the lab, they see the remains of Carl. Dr. Mallory is all lamenting that without this single computer in this single room in this single city on this single planet, there is no way to find a cure for the poisonings.

Commentary: I feel like I should apologize here for the sparseness of the screen caps. Until we get a scene in space or looking over a planetscape, there isn't a lot to take a cap of. Everyone stands in virtually empty white spaces in New Chicago, giving the eye nothing interesting to gaze on. There's Wilma's penchant for wearing shiny jumpsuits of course, but even those don't hold the attention like Ardala's space bikini-tops & cape look. I promise - next scene you'll get a cap.

Huer reports that it was apparently the assistant, and Wilma correctly guesses she disappeared soon after. Huer tells Deering that their efforts to find an antidote to reverse its effects will now be days, if not weeks behind. He tells her that he has a plan, when Buck budges his way into their two person shot.

Doctor Huer looks slightly annoyed. Huer tells Buck that this is a direct Defense Directorate matter, and since he has declined their invitation to officially join, he'll have to ask him to step away.

Buck does so, but is more than close enough to hear the entire exchange. This is, of course, a complete set up by Huer who has no intention of cutting Buck out as his shared smirk with Wilma shows. Huer tells Wilma further, that all of the food disks, no matter where they were actually manufactured have a passage through Vistula on their itinerary.

Buck asks what Vistula is, and Huer shoots him a faux-imperious look, which is really all Buck needs to immediately voluteer for a temporary assignment in the Directorate so he can help.

Huer then fills us in on the agricultural planet that is an ally and provider of food stocks for Earth....

Scene 10: In the meantime, Stella is making her way through space toward her HQ, which will happen to also be Vistula. She radio calls to the planet.

Scene 11: In an arid region of the planet, in a mountain cave, the nefarious forces of evil are gathered and receive her call. Stella reports in that she has some good news to share with Kaleel.

Scene 12: Kaleel, himself, is currently occupied right now with a fiery sermon. You see, he'll be a religious nutter heading a cult for the weak. He's also this episodes highlight.

Commentary: Ah, Jack Palance. He is never so entertaining as when he's already eaten every piece of scenery not nailed down and is now looking hungrily at his fellow actors. Now, one could certainly call this badly-overacting, and it would be hard for me to argue against that point too strenuously. But, there are times when munching on the scene is actually the best choice. In this role, Jack is funny and fun and energetic and lifts what could have been relatively flat, boring scenes with his manic energy. This bit of casting was perfect and much more fun than another 'name guest star' coming up.

So, Kaleel is sermonizing to the desert people that he's managed to talk, or simply enslave, into following him on his nutter's crusade. You'll not be shocked to learn that it is he who has been arranging the stripping of Earth of its already meager defenses (which never the less has managed to defend itself against an empire spanning "three quarters of the galaxy").

Kaleel rants about readying for a holy fire to sweep down on Earth, so that they will have the fruits of their labors to themselves. He complains against Vistula's resources being spent abroad to feed the starving when their own people are hungry. He intends to over run Earth with his rather sad sack looking army of, presumably, former farmers.

But, he warns against the weakness among them - those who don't believe in their holy mission... those who are disloyal and afraid of the Glory Of Vistula: Look, let's short hand it -- Kaleel is a Neo-Con.

In the crowd, one woman has become so enraptured in his cult of personality, that she turns in her husband as a doubter to the faith. [And, because Buck Rogers, the series, never took anything that might have been mistaken for subtle and not raised it by a factor of 5, we've seen husband rolling his eyes, looking skeptically, dripping with contempt for his fellows and basically making himself such an easy target, it's shocking it took his wife to uncover his disbelief in Kaleel's vision to the rest of the crowd.]

Husband tries to flee, but is quickly captured. Kaleel has some sort of mystic-hand-glowing thing going on that he calls his "touch of truth". He touches disloyal husband's forehead and after only seconds the man drops to the floor, apparently dead. This leads to shouts of Kaleel's name.

Commentary: His exactly ability is unclear however, as we'll visit later when he pulls out the glow-hands again. The point here is that at least the producers put enough extras in the scene to give a sense that there is a movement afoot and that there is a cult-like pall over the whole thing. The wife does a nice job of denouncing her husband for being a disbeliever.

Scene 13: Kaleel leaves the hall to visit his command center and asks after Stella, his agent. He's informed by general guy that she'll be landing shortly.

They quickly fill us in on what we've already guessed: Kaleel's cult is behind the poisonings of Earth's Defense Directorate pilots. The general happily reports that their chances of curing the poison's effects before Kaleel's troops storm Earth are remote at best. Kaleel welcomes this news, but also states that the head of an organization is just as important as the number of troops in it. General guy informs him (overactingly) that Dr. Huer is about to be taken out.

Smug smiles all around.

Scene 14: In New Chicago that evening, Buck is being briefed during a private stroll by Wilma and Huer. Buck tells them that the governor deliberately poisoning the food supplies they send to Earth wouldn't make sense, as long as his own son is in the pilot program.

In the meantime, we've seen a leather and metal-stud covered assassin stalking them. He pulls out a triangular silver case, which catches every bit of light in the scene and bounces it around... quite the slealthy choice.

Anyway, assassin pulls out a 25th Century boomerang of death and gives it some smoky acid/poison on the blade.

During his stalking maneuver, assassin has chosen to step of every twig on the grounds. Buck's hair raises on end and just as the assassin strikes, he's able to tackle his companions to the ground. He orders them to stay down, while he goes after the attacker.

There is much exciting music and Gil throwing himself at the ground as the boomerang of death zips over his head.

After a bit more stalking, the assassin makes a mistake of embedding the boomerang into the trunk of a tree. The would be killer is able to escape back into the city, however.

Commentary: This actually isn't a badly filmed scene either. The music is engaging, the boomerang is kind of neat & silly all at once and the whine of it flying overhead is a nice touch. In fact, in general, I like the directing job done on this episode.

Scene 15: The following morning, Buck, Wilma, Danton & a 'Major Fields' are readying for their trip to Vistula with the governor's son in a 'sick suit' for the trip back home. They plan on doing some undercover investigating while there, but officially, they're just providing an 'honor guard' to accompany the boy.

Buck and Danton are still glaring daggers at one another, which Wilma finds amusing.

Scene 16: On the travel toward Vistula, Buck and Wilma have a chance to talk about Danton and we find that Wilma and he did have a relationship that hadn't worked out. Buck seems slightly jealous, but it could just be his personal dislike of Duke.

Anyway, Buck & Wilma's spacecraft changes shape and type depending on the scene. Either it is some sort of small transport, which would make sense, or it is a starfighter which can accommodate three people.

Commentary: Even as a young teen, the amount of times that they've reused other footage and ergo couldn't be bothered to keep track of which ship should be in any particular shot used to drive me nuts. I'm a bit more mellow about it now, but it still grates that they were being so cheap after going through the effort to make the ship themselves look so good. The way the scene is shot you'd think there were 4 ships total, but actually there are only three: Wilma's, with Buck and sick kid, Duke Danton's and Major Fields'.

Now, unless Wilma's ship is a Transformer with a spasm, this is appallingly lazy editing. And that sort of thing is irritating.

Scene 17: The three arrive on Vistula, where special note is made of the 'Sea of Stone', a vast desert in which nothing of consequence can grow and where coincidentally enough (okay, not really a coincidence) Kaleel is hanging out in the Cult Cave.

Scene 18: In fact, in that cave, Stella is reporting in about the Governor's son arriving under escort. Kaleel is unconcerned as long as the fool remains ignorant of what is happening under his nose.

Commentary: Nicely, Jack Palance continually paces around the small set like a man possessed, in keeping with his cult leader intensity even in this small and relatively inconsequential scene. I'm not sure about Stella's get-up though -- It seems like tracking through the desert to get to the hide out would be awfully uncomfortable in that body suit. On the other hand, she isn't bathed in sweat from head to toe, so maybe its that futuristic material that keeps her cool and dry.

There is a moment of discomfort when Kaleel is informed of Huer's survival, but he quickly resumes his madman confidence.

Scene 19: Back with Wilma's team, they're enjoying a meal of honor with the Governor Saroyan (interesting table design), who seems like something of a jackass straight off.

Commentary: He's also our second guest star of note, Roddy McDowall. Roddy was last scene around these parts wearing very tight pants in The Poseidon Adventure. He's somehow more and less disturbingly dressed now. I'm also going to say that the waiter in the background dressed in green foil is traumatizing me. But, this is about Roddy, or rather his part here. I'm not sure why it is, because I really liked him as Acres in the ship disaster flick, and I'll like him again in Fright Night (we'll be reviewing that here), but in this episode, I can't quite buy him as a planetary governor. We should address too, that despite the title of Governor, he apparently has more like Emperor powers. But, anyway, next to Jack embracing his role with gusto, I find Roddy's acting somehow both overacted and flat at once, but I can't put my finger on where the problem is. I'll have the same issue when we review "Legend of Hell House".

Saroyan is... arrogant, prissy, 'royal', condescending toward the Vistulans, an outsider from Earth appointed to this planet (which is just weird, since technically Vistula was presented as independent... it now sounds more like a semi-autonomous colony answerable to Earth, and that has uncomfortable historical shades of colonization in Earth's history that no one - even Buck - manages to notice), clueless, spoiled and entitled.

We also briefly meet one of our other main players in the story, Ryma. She's a waitress serving the Governor's table. Actually, the servers are treated exactly as what they are: purchased slaves.

Buck is naturally appalled by this notion, as should everyone be.

Commentary: However, I'm also shocked by this story turn of events because (1) It is suddenly casting our villain as possibly the anti-hero of this tale, which would be much more subtle and subversive than this show usually ever was - apparently it was dumbed down later, alas. But (2) it also seems like Earth would have been keeping much more closer tabs on what their appointed Governor was doing as far as governing, especially since he is a repeat office holder and he is constantly complaining about the Food Directorate's constant visits to oversee his operations. Surely in some report or another, the Vistulan's 'purchase' by the government would have come up?!

So, really we're caught in a bit of story incompatibility here. First, either Earth has to be this remote body beyond the Star Gate that has little day to day interaction with the planet and its appointed overseer, or it has to be a meddlesome presence in operation of the planet. If it's the former, this scene would make more sense. If it's the latter, then the show really needed to embrace this by having Duke (as the foil to Buck, he would be the obvious choice to voice these thoughts), Wilma and Major Fields express surprise at Buck's shock at the realization of indentured servitude/slavery as a daily and normal reality in this century.

Now, they do have Fields question what 'slavery' means, but Wilma and Danton are kept silent, when one of them (Danton, obviously, as surely Wilma wouldn't be allowed as the main heroine) should have pointed out to Buck that many of Earth's colonies practice this form of labor with a shrug and without understanding why he's upset about this fact.

The scene is good, but it doesn't stretch far enough into the topic of how this could be the state of affairs in a 'civilized' century. And, it's more to allow Buck to give a speech and to show that Saroyan's son is more progressive, but whose opinion is consistently ignored by his father.

Anyway, Ryma spills a bit of wine on Buck's hand on accident and the Governor threatens her with field work. This only raises Buck's ire. The table conversation goes quiet as a pall of discomfort over Buck's outburst sits in the air over the 'celebration'.

Scene 20: Outside of Buck's guestroom, Ryma holds an armful of towels. She's looking hesitant about entering, but another - and we'll have to assume he's another 'servant' - glares at her from the hallway, so she goes in.

Buck is sitting in a tub, singing to himself. Ryma turns on some music as a pretext to speak to Buck quietly as she informs him that someone is waiting in the hallway listening in. She thanks him for defending her earlier in the evening.

They speak briefly about Ryma's opinions about Saroyan, Kaleel and his followers and Governor's son - whose name I can't seem to hold onto, despite the fact she just said it. Buck gets out of the tub to Ryma's held out towel as she checks for the spy following her.

Commentary: We get plenty of Buck, if that will do something for you. Personally, as much as I like Gil's hairy chest, I always felt that this show spent too much time trying to manufacture him into the latest sex symbol and its bothersome. This scene isn't too bad, but this attempt to make sure that his chest is exposed as much as possible will be a continuing theme in Season 1 with the nadir being 'Planet of the Amazon Women', which is just embarrassing.

Ryma shares with Buck the goings on of Kaleel, claiming that he has mesmerizing skills. She's about to explain what he can do with his hands, but Buck interrupts and she answers his question. She tells him next that her brother had discovered something awful while working in one of the food processing plants, but his arranged meeting with her never happened. She's convinced that Kaleel had him killed.

Commentary: I'm not sure if this is a non-face or if this is supposed to be the disloyal husband. I will say that Ryma isn't all that broken up over her brother, so this may have happened sometime in the past. Also, Ryma seems awfully ready to data dump on this stranger when she obviously hadn't felt any need to inform all of the Food Directorate agents that had been visiting the planet, and all because he was nice to her about that wine spilling thing. Also, Buck is awfully quick to believe everything she's saying without any suspicion whatsoever that it may be a set up (he has no idea that Huer was the target of boomerang thrower - it could just as easily been him or Wilma or all of them).

Finally, Ryma was supposed to show Buck where the food plant was that needed investigating, until he leaves her in his room to sneak out alone. That was a bit of a clumsy in the script.

Scene 21: At the food processing plant, Buck goes on a stealthy recon mission to swanky-lite anticipation music. Buck finds a container of food discs wrapped in futuristic bubble wrap and waiting for shipment in a futurisitic styrofoam container. Before he can do much, he's interrupted by a worker and has to make a break for it.

He's able to fight off his attackers for a bit, but then he finds himself be closed in on.

Commentary: Bad director! Bad! There was no need to zoom us right into the soaking with sweat faces of Buck's foes. Now, I need to run off and wash my face. Okay, I'm back, where are we?

Buck goes over a catwalk, knocking into some more styrofoam kits. I think included the one he was playing with earlier? Anyway, he has with him as part of the mission some McStuff that will reveal poison on the food discs.

He surprised to find that the discs aren't the problem -- it's the bubble wrap! He doesn't have much time to savor this answer, though, because the workers aren't done with him yet. Thankfully, he has a stuntman who can throw some more reasonable kicks high enough to get 'em in the face.

He runs again, looking for an escape from the food processing plant of poison secrets. He's able to get away to not-bad tv-action/adventure music.

Scene 22: In the meantime, Ryma has been rousted in Buck's room by Chief of Staff Overactor (just a bit, and not in Jack's fun way) and spy-in-corridor. They're insisting on her telling them where he's gone, which Ryma claims to not know. She states she was asleep.

Wilma, who looks very good in dark red - even if it is lycra or polyester - or whatever that shit is, overhears the struggle from the doorway-of-no-secrets. She quickly leaves before bad guys can catch her.

Scene 23: Outside, Ryma is being escorted by her captor-minion toward the local space port for a secret flight to 'The Mountain' at dawn. Wilma follows, having retrieved her blaster, first. She interrupts the kidnapping in progress. [And like with the wonder phasers/disruptors, these handguns can do just about anything you need depending on the 'power level' ... in this case, a full body stun.]

Unfortunately, Ryma's rescue is itself interrupted by Chief of Staff with his own blaster.

We cut to a shot of the outside of the guest complex and then hear another blaster-discharge sound.

Commentary: See, that was a nice little choice, too. This was directed by Michael Caffey and I just want to give an appreciative shout out on this episode.

Scene 24: While Wilma and Ryma are being taken captive, Buck returns to his room from his mission to the food processing plant.

Commentary: As much fun as I'll make of some of the wild costumes on this show, I really love Buck's outfit here. I WANT THAT BELT. Gil looks great, too. Wow, that was particularly gay wasn't it? See what Buck Rogers does to me?!

Buck calls out for Ryma, but of course, she's long gone.

Scene 25: At that moment, she and Wilma are aboard a transport headed for Kaleel. Wilma is just coming around from the stunning effect of being shot. Ryma points out that because of her, she's going to die.

Wilma is heroic, sure that Buck will be on their trail, rather than one I wouldv'e done... agreed with Ryma and back handed her {Okay, I wouldn't have done that, but I do find myself wanting to giggle a little at Brianne's line delivery.}

Wilma is able to activate the tracking device that Twiki had given to her and Buck for this mission. Because, when you take somebody prisoner, you never EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, remove suspiciously bulky jewelry first.

Scene 26: Buck is in the corridor at the time, having come back from checking in with a Wilma who also isn't around. He does meet Duke Danton, so he's allowed to come back into the story.

Commentary: I have to make another fashion comment: I love the dress uniforms. I think I mentioned that in "Awakenings", too. Everyone looks dashing in them. Oh, also... hallways: So large, so airy, so much wasted space, so desoletly empty ... how did they keep everything from echoing?

Buck pulls Duke into his room (chika-chika-bow-wow). Buck reports on the disappearance of Wilma, Ryma and the fact that Deering has activated her tracking unit. Buck tells Danton that he needs to get a sample to Huer of the poison packaging, but can't risk a subspace communication being picked up. Danton says he'll assign that duty to Fields, while he and Buck go after their colleague.

Scene 27: We have a useless scene of the secret transport taking off and Ryma letting us know they'll be at Kaleel's mountain soon, which we knew.

Scene 28: Fields gets the sample and leaves for Earth, being warned by Danton not to try radio communications until she's made it some distance beyond the Star Gate. Buck reports to Danton that Wilma is on the move, but relatively slowly, pointing to a transport.

They've all dressed in the blindingly white spandex uniforms again.

Scene 29: Superimposed transport that in no way matches the ship we saw take off from the hanger (because THAT was Ardala's royal yacht leaving New Chicago) in a crappy effect. And, again, unnecessary shot. Moving on....

Scene 30: With Kaleel, he's being updated by General Galen. Buck and Danton's ship on the trail of the transport have been noticed. Kaleel points out that Galen is responsible for military and security decisions.

Galen deploys a 'power leach', an energy field that will force the StarFighter to crash.

TBC in Review, Part II
Tags: buck rogers s1 reviews, gay

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