Sunday, 11 November 2012

20 Collinian: All-Out Attack Begins!

"an amazing weapon for a planet that has renounced war"

Episode 20: Collinian: All-Out Attack Begins!
UK Video: Space Quest for F-01
US Video: Volume 7: Attack of the Bionic Robot
DVD: Star Fleet - The Complete Series - Disc 4

X-Bomber approaches the planet Collinian, with the crew haunted by the recent death of Dr Benn. Touching down they are reunited with Captain Halley and inform him of Dr Benn's death. Shiro and the pilots ask Halley's permission to bury Halley on Collinian. Commander Makara orders Captain Orion to attack Collinian. Shiro demands answers from Halley causing Lamia to run away, tortured by the knowledge that people have died because of her. Halley goes to find her and attempts to explain their destiny together. The crew of X-Bomber decide to attack & destroy the Imperial Alliance on their home planet to ensure a lasting peace. They decide to request help from the people of Collinian. Halley tells the X-Bomber crew that there's someone he wants them to meet. He takes them to a building containing a huge weapon. The pilots wonder what a planet that has renounced war is doing with such a weapon. They then meet Professor Hagen, Shiro's father, Lamia's guardian and the designer of X-Bomber. Calliban announces he has created a new weapon to destroy Lamia and leaves the battlecruiser bound for Collinian. Professor Hagan reveals he went into deep space seeking answers about Lamia's origins. His ship malfunctioned and he was was rescued by the Skull then taken to Collinian where he constructed the laser cannon in anticipation of the day that the Alliance would attack the planet seeking Lamia. They are summoned to the palace for an audience & dinner with the king of Collinian. Makara decided to lure X-Bomber into space while Calliban attacks Lamia and launches the drone carriers. During the dinner the Alliance attack begins. Halley stays behind to protect Lamia as X-Bomber launches into space. On the surface of Collinian Calliban's new death ball stands ready as Captain Orion's fighters attack the palace and the Battlecruiser retreats luring X-Bomber further away from the planet.

A quieter episode after the previous one, a moment's reflection which is probably what was necessary after the death of Doctor Benn. But crucially this episode properly introduces (after flashback appearances going back to episode 3) Professor Hagen, Shiro's Father, who I think is voiced by Garrick Hagon, the man credited as playing Captain Carter but who also voices Captain Halley. Effectively he now fills Doctor Benn's role in the series..... which almost reduced the impact of the character's death if he's immediately replaced with a similar one. Maybe killing Doctor Benn in the same attack that Lamia gets captured and then having the crew without a leader for a few episodes may have worked better....

Couple of interesting visuals in this episode. Dr Benn's tombstone confirms his name to be Ben Robinson which is a little odd. The spelling is different from the titles and the English use of the word Doctor typically follows with the first name and not the surname. The other comes as X-Bomber is launching: sitting there on the launch pad beside it is the same ship that Professor Hagen was in when he was rescued by the Skull.

Ooh a big cannon that the peace loving planet have never used: do you think that is that going to get fired in the next few episodes??

Last episode we got to see Calliban's Death Ball in the next episode trailer even though it only appears right at the end. This episode's next time trailer treats us to shots of the Imperial Master and his home planet and we won't see those until the end of the following episode.

The Japanese Name for this episode is M13 All-Out Attack Begins!

This was the first episode since episode 13 that I saw on original transmission. Episodes 14-19 aired on a Sunday while I was out but following a lengthy break this episode was shown on a Saturday with the following episode (21) the next next day and the one after that (22) the following Saturday. It was also, for various reasons we'll explore later, the last episode of the original transmission run that I saw. I didn't see it on the 1984 repeat run and indeed can't even be sure it was shown.

Significant portions of this episode appear on the UK compilation tape Space Quest for F-01 as well as featuring on US Video Volume 7: Attack of the Bionic Robot.

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