Tuesday, 30 October 2012

08 An Attack Beyond Tears!

"The entire planet is a live volcano and full of.......ferocious creatures"

Episode 8: An Attack Beyond Tears!
UK Video: The Thalian Space Wars
US Video: Volume 3: Space Lava of Death
DVD: Star Fleet - The Complete Series - Disc 2

X-Bomber lands on the planet Alaria to make repairs, but Captain Orion is pleased at this development as the entire planet is a live volcano inhabited by what he describes as ferocious creatures and mutants. While the pilots undertake repairs Lamia goes onto the planet's surface and befriend furry creatures which she names Monmons. Kirara is agitated by them and fetches Shiro and Hercules. Shiro shoots one of the Monmons approaching Lamia and is severely admonished by her before they return to the ship. As X-Bomber prepares for launch the Monmons gather on the ship. The Imperial Cruiser hides behind the nearby volcano and fires a laser missile starting an eruption. X-Bomber is surrounded by lava but can't take off because of the Monmons on the ship so Doctor Benn orders Hercules to open fire on them but Lamia stops him. He and Shiro argue, with Shiro now siding with Lamia who argues that life should be protected. It's only when the Imperial Cruiser reveals itself and attacks X-Bomber that Shiro himself opens fire on the Monmons. X-Bomber launches and attacks the Imperial Cruiser with laser torpedoes then escapes. Makara berates Orion on the damaged Cruiser before the Imperial Master appears before them and orders them to return to him. Makara makes it clear she intends to blame Orion for her failure as they set course for the Thalian Zone.

This is a science fiction show with cute furry animals. All science fiction shows with cute furry animals are bad up to and including Return of the Jedi, the worst of the original Star Wars films which this predates on the cute teddy bear like creature front by 3 years (on original Japanese broadcast). And it's full of moralising about respect for life too so it's not onto a winner..... But in here are two fab moments of comedy: The first is Captain Orion's line, quoted above, where there's a pause and an almost visible shudder as he considers the inhabitants of the planet to be ferocious creatures. And yet, when we see them, they're a bunch of teddy bears. So why do they agitate Kirara so? Is he jealous? Then as Lamia admonishes Shiro she finishes with "This beautiful creature might have become our first friend in space......" and the picture cuts to the Imperial Battlecruiser, which is definitely not our friend in space! And then we have a Volcanic eruption and you really can't go wrong there. Lava and fire everywhere!

X-Bomber uses it's Turret lasers for the fifth time here and we get to see it's Laser Torpedoes for the first time: four pink laser blasts, similar to the yellow laser torpedo blasts from the Alliance ships, emerge from the tip of each wing and converge into one blast in front of the ship. This weapon will be back in episode 21.

Like the previous episode PPA's voice isn't quite right here....... I suspect another member of the cast is performing it. It's still wrong for the next episode too!

This episode marks the return of the Imperial Master, unseen since the opening minutes of the very first episode. Once again he appears as a hologram on the bridge but we'll see him in person next episode.

Like the previous episode this appears on US Volume 3 video Space Lava of Death (told you the title would makes sense now!) and is also featured on the UK compilation The Thalian Space Wars following directly on from the episode preceding it. There's one more episode on that tape to come, episode 11, and I'll recap the tape's contents in the slightly odd order it appears on the tape there.

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