Zoltar's replacement, Colonel Tu

The Armadillo attacks

Jason is furious with Mark

Finally, a weak point is found



The Awesome Armadillo

Written by: Harry Winkler
Alternate Title: A Change in Leadership
Production Number: 90
Airing Number: 52
Script Completion Date: 11/2/78
Episode Completion Date: Unknown
Preview / Trailer: Preview
Credit Version: B
Title Card Version: B
Official episode synopsis

..The Spirit gives Colonel Tu a chance to conquer Earth..

..To find a way to stop the Armadillo monster with brains rather than brawn.

Stay tuned! Coming up next on Battle of the Planets!
The Awesome Armadillo from outer space swoops down on planet Earth wreaking havoc and destruction! Will G-Force find a way to penetrate the rocket-proof armor of the beast and save planet Earth from this dire threat, or is G-Force about to perish within the grasp of the powerful mechanical monster?
Be sure to watch this exciting episode, coming up next!

Jason is practicing his marksmanship with a new freeze ray weapon 7-Zark-7 invented and had installed in Jason's Spacemobile. Jason says it should be installed in the Phoenix right away, but Mark chimes in that it will be his decision as leader of G-Force, whether or not they put the weapon on board. That starts an argument between Mark and Jason which ultimately leads to Mark storming out of the hangar saying maybe he should resign from the team.

On Spectra, the Great Spirit has replaced Zoltar with a new leader, Colonel Tu. While Zoltar is distraught, Colonel Tu is confident that Operation: Windfire, his plan to invade Earth, will be a success. Colonel Tu leaves Spectra in a new Armadillo monster robot while Zoltar remains behind wishing him nothing but ill will.

7-Zark-7 determines it's heading straight for Earth. Sure enough, it lands on top of a volcano on Bandos Island and begins destroying surrounding towns. Princess convinces Mark to come back to the team and G-Force is sent on a recon mission to take pictures of the monster. But once on site, Jason is eager to blast it off the top of the volcano. Mark holds him back, Jason becomes agitated and their feud starts up all over again. Ultimately, Jason listens to Mark and they return to Center Neptune to look over their photographs.

At Center Neptune, a frustrated Jason complains to Chief Anderson about Mark sitting in a darkroom with a Spectra threat looming. When Colonel Tu starts another rampage, Jason has had it. He bursts into the darkroom to confront Mark, but Mark just sits studying photos as Jason rails. Both Princess and Tiny hold him back and Tiny tries to use tact to talk to Mark, but he also loses his patience when Mark refuses to respond. He gets so angry, Princess ends up having to hold him back from slugging Mark. Finally, Mark says he has the key; the machine's weak point is in the vents at its nose.

Chief Anderson gives Mark a special device to fire into the Armadillo's nose and they head back to Bandos Island. Back on scene, Jason is sitting in his Spacemobile docked in the nose of the Phoenix. The special shot has been loaded into the cannon in his car and now he knows he has to back up all the big talk he was doing earlier. With steely confidence, G-Force's best marksman fires the shot which is right on target.

At first it doesn't appear to do much, but soon internal fires and explosions begin destroying the Armadillo. Colonel Tu and his men evacuate the machine and set it on robot control. Once they're out, it continues to fight automatically. It lifts off and grabs the Phoenix, then takes both machines on a deadly dive towards the sea floor. To escape, G-Force opens the top hatch in their bridge and fire a couple mini-torpedoes into the bottom hull of the Armadillo. It proves to be just enough to free them and the Phoenix breaks away and heads back to Center Neptune.



Name: Armadillo
Type: Giant Mechanical Monster
Body Shape: Armadillo
Origin: Planet Spectra
Sighting: Planet Earth

Weapons: Phasers, torpedoes
Flight Capable: Yes
Crew: Yes
Status: Destroyed

Spectra's Armadillo machine appeared on Earth and attacked numerous locations. It could fire Phaser beams from its nose and it had a torpedo room. The Armadillo was heavily armored and when its sole weak spot was determined to be in its nose section, a special bullet was used to hit it there to begin its destruction. But as it fell, it grabbed the Phoenix and dragged it underwater. The Armadillo was finally destroyed when G-Force opened the Phoenix's upper hatch, giving them direct access to the bottom hull of the Armadillo. They fired a mini torpedo into it and blew it up.

Jason has issues with the way Mark leads G-Force

Zoltar can be relieved of command at the Spirit's whims

Zoltar has been serving Spectra for years

Mark may have had a brother, who is now deceased

Note: partway through the episode, references to the monster machine change back and forth from calling it an armadillo, to calling it a turtle. The scripts also reflect this. It is unknown which name was the original intent, although the term armadillo stuck for the episode title.



Unless otherwise stated, all program material, situations, descriptions and depictions are copyright © Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd.