Monday, 5 November 2012

14 Lamia, Girl Of Destiny

"If one of you wears the special token have that person transferred to our ship"

Episode 14: Lamia, Girl Of Destiny
UK Video: Space Quest for F-01
US Video: Volume 5: Kidnapped
DVD: Star Fleet - The Complete Series - Disc 3

X-Bomber searches for the Skull, but Shiro is showing remorse for killing Captain Carter. The Imperial Alliance find the Skull but don't attack, waiting for X-Bomber. The Skull contacts X-Bomber asking if one of them wears the special token that they should be transferred to the Skull. Doctor Benn, suspecting another trap, refuses. Lamia shows Shiro how her pendant resists a laser and persuades him to take her to the Skull using a space chopper. X-Bomber follows at a distance, with Hercules angry that Shiro has risked Lamia's life. The Alliance sights the space shuttle and prepares to launch a mission to capture Lamia. Lamia wonders if the Skull was the ship that took her to Mars as they find the ship hanging there in space as the Cruiser launches three drone craft carriers. Shiro & Lamia go the the Skull where they are greeted by it's commander Captain Halley who fires a weapon at Lamia's pendant. The pendant absorbs the energy into her body. She dons a spacesuit to transfer to the Skull but Imperial Fighters attack and she is knocked into space. Shiro pursues her while Halley opens fire on the fighters. Orion orders the Skull destroyed. Shiro rescues Lamia from fighter that has seized her but more pursue them and they are only saved when Lee arrives in Leg track and destroys the fighters. Lamia & Shiro return to X-Bomber and Shiro & Lamia are taken to sickbay. X-Bomber transfers power to it's shields and uses the main laser blast to destroy the fighters, and then attacks the carriers with only Captain Orion's escaping. Lee return to X-Bomber as Hercules punches Shiro for risking Lamia's life. In Sickbay Lamia dreams of Halley and hears him telling her not to die, before waking to see Shiro who is bundled out of sickbay by Kirara.

Finally after nine episode pursuing it (OK 7 really) X-Bomber catches up with the Skull. Twice since the initial contact the Skull has fled from X-Bomber and they're rather cautious here too as is X-Bomber having been tricked by a fake Skull once already. But thanks to Lamia's determination contact between the is finally made and we get to meet Captain Halley, who's voice we first heard way back in episode 5. I'm pretty certain that Garrick Hagon, who played Captain Carter, is voicing him here which makes sense as Carter's episodes were in the first half of the series and all of Halley's, bar the initial message in 5, are in the second. However in Japan the two roles are voiced by different actors.

The opening scene in this episode bothers me, it doesn't really fit and feels like it belongs in previous episode closing events there. Hercules is playing his guitar at the start.... it hasn't come from nowhere, he was seen bringing it with him when the pilots arrived at Moonbase in episode 1.

There's some decent character work in this episode: Hercules, who has shown an interest in Lamia all along, is angry at Shiro for endangering her. But when a pilot needs to rescue them it's Lee that Doctor Benn sends instead. This then gives us the only appearance of a lone Dai-X fighter, Leg track in an episode by itself. Yes Shiro flies Braincon solo against Captain Carter in episode 12, but you saw the other two fighters earlier in the episode.

We see some new kit in this episode, the space chopper that Shiro flies Lamia to the Skull on. Effectively it's a space motorbike with an enclosed side car! And it looks very silly.... at least until the pod on the side gets blown off later in the episode! We also get to see Lamia in a spacesuit for the first time, a red and grey affair with a similar helmet to Shiro's original spacesuit helmet.

X-Bomber weapons: 6th use of the turret lasers, and 4th use of the Laser Blast (previously seen in episodes 2, 5 & 7)

There's a lot of the original music from episode 5 reused here: obviously the Skull's theme but also the "searching" music, originally used when the pilots hut for Captain Carter, as Shiro & Lamia try to find the Skull.

Since there's a solo role for Lee in this episode it's probably a good point to look at Mark Rolston who voices him. This is his first credited television role but if you're a science fiction/genre fan the chances are you'll have seen him in something. Probably his most recognisable role is his first in 1986 where he played Private Drake in Aliens. He then has a lengthy career in television and films in the US appearing in Star Trek: The Next Generation (Lt. Walter Pierce in Eye of the Beholder), Babylon 5 (Karl Mueller in The Quality of Mercy), Star Trek: Enterprise (Captain Magh in The Augments / Kuroda Lor-ehn in Canamar) and 24 (Bruce Foxton in Day 3). IMDB has an amusing coincidence in consecutive entries on his CV: In Cold Case he played Ari Gordon while in CSI: Miami he was FBI Agent Glen Cole Gordon Cole was of course Dale Cooper's boss in Twin Peaks.

This is the first episode of the series I didn't see on it's initial broadcast: the series had switched to Sunday mornings and for the next six weeks I had to rely on friends at school to tell me what had happened. Likewise I would have missed this episode on it's repeat transmission but for one thing: it was broadcast in the first week of the 1984 school summer holidays when there was no Sunday school at church. So this week and for the next five weeks I caught episodes I had missed on their initial transmission and was a very happy boy.

The episode features, nearly in full, on the UK compilation tape Space Quest for F-01 and as the middle episode on the US Video Volume 5: Kidnapped. As of yet nobody has really been kidnapped in that video tape but the image of Lamia plunging through space as she falls from the Skull does rather look like the cover to US Volume 6: Lost in Space..... No, I'm not done with this one yet!

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