Monday, 29 October 2012

07 Mortal Combat In The Gravity Graveyard!

"Try to escape us X-Bomber...... If you can!"

Episode 7: Mortal Combat In The Gravity Graveyard!
UK Video: The Thalian Space Wars
US Video: Volume 3: Space Lava of Death
DVD: Star Fleet - The Complete Series - Disc 2

X-Bomber finds it's power has been drained by the black hole. It picks up an object moving and follows it hoping to find an exit. Captain Orion takes the carriers into the Black Hole to attack X-Bomber. Dr Benn tells the pilots that they cannot return fire because they need to preserve power but eventually gives in to their demands. They attack the fighters with the turret lasers but the fighters retreat having drained X-Bomber's power enough that it cannot escape the Black Hole. Dr Benn decides to use the remaining energy on the ship to attack. When Captain Orion enters the Black Hole with two Carrier Craft they use the main laser blast to destroy one carrier and severely damage the one Orion is on. He retreats and Commander Makara enters the black hole in the Battlecruiser. X-Bomber uses the last of it's power firing the X-Impulse at it damaging Makara's ship which retreats leaving the powerless X-Bomber floating in the black hole. The crew make a record of what happened and Lamia attempts to contact the Skull when suddenly the ship ship starts moving. The Skull tows them out of the black hole with it's tractor beam and leaves them adrift in normal space as X-Bomber's power systems start to recharge. They decide to make for a nearby planet to carry out repairs....

Oh the science in this episode hurts so much. "The Black Hole" behaves like a black hole, a Nebula (see Star Trek II Wrath of Khan) or a maze interchangeably as required. Quite where it's magic energy draining powers come from I don't know.... For someone determined to escape from the Black Hole one moment, Doctor Benn gives in very easily to the pilots request to return fire even though he knows the consequences (see also: defending the Skull in episode 5)

Weapons: we get to see the turret lasers (very Star Wars, Han Solo & Luke Skywalker in the Millennium Falcon) for the fourth time (episodes 1, 2 & 6 previously) the Laser Blast for the third time (episodes 2 & 5) and X-Impulse for the second and I believe final time!

PPA spends most of this episode incoherent under the effects of the black hole but there's something not quite right about his voice here. Was one of the other actors supplying it for this episode only? Normally he's voiced by John Baddeley. The only other place I've encountered him is in the second series of the radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where he plays Bird Two & a Foot Warrior. He appears as a voice artist in The Dark Crystal alongside fellow Star Fleet voice artist Sean Barrett who supplies the voice for Captain Orion. Badderley's Character here is called PPA - Perfect Programmed Android - but in the original Japanese version X-Bomber he's called PP Adamski, which at first look makes little sense. However, thanks to having reviewed a great many Transformers toys, I know that the 1985 Mini Autobot Cosmos is called Adams in Japan and thank to his TFU entry I know that this is a reference to George Adamski, a figure prominent in the UFO spotting community as one of the first people to claim to have sighted UFOs and made alien contact.

As well as appearing as the opening episode on the US Volume 3 video Space Lava of Death (join us next episode to find out why it has that fantastic title) this episode is also featured on the UK compilation The Thalian Space Wars

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