BotP Close-up 052-053

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Bobkat
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BotP Close-up 052-053

Post: # 537Post Bobkat »

Before I really get started on this week's plot, I'll link The Other Jason's write-ups:

https://www.battleoftheplanets.info/ep52.html and https://www.battleoftheplanets.info/ep53.html

This week, The Sky Is Falling! The original Gatchaman anime, these eps were the approximate halfway point in the overall series. It's one with a gut punch and Battle pulls it off. I have to tell you the first time I saw these eps, I was floored. :o I was so shocked there was that important of a secret kept from Mark, and as an extension, the rest of the team. They actually found out about it first! That entire sequence is very cool and gives us a peek into the team dynamics. Jason is every which way ticked off until Chief Anderson tells them what the deal is. Princess is the first to have empathy for Mark.

Anyway, the plot device of "I'm your father" doesn't hold the same weight in other things I watch. :) I was shocked once, now not so much! :lol: It reminds me of a former co-worker telling me about Empire Strikes Back when the theater went silent on Darth Vader's bombshell to Luke. James Earl Jones, who voiced Vader, has said in multiple interviews that he was sure Vader was lying! :)

I also find it fascinating Gatchaman has continued to point back to its halfway eps in recent projects (Infinti-Force comes to mind when Ken goes on about his father's sacrifice). It's that much of a gut punch.

Without further ado, here's the Battle plot! Enjoy! :D Part 1 is here, Part 2 is in the reply (if it all fits!) ;)

E52-53: The Sky is Falling!

****Part 1****

Act One


7-Zark-7 is keeping constant watch many fathoms beneath the sea. However, he's in a peanut oil shower with Rover holding his towel. He makes a corny joke about being "nuts" about it. The intercom buzzes with Susan calling from planet Pluto. She has detected trouble on planet Riga. Zark explains that they have known of Spectra's secret plans to build an awesome weapon. The latest information that Susan has says that Spectra is ready to put the weapon into action. Zark thanks Susan for the information and signs off.

G-Force hangs out in their Ready Room. Princess and Keyop are playing music while Mark and Jason play ping-pong. Tiny says he can eat "five more space burgers," which Jason says he will cracking that Tiny is beginning to look like a space burger. Tiny proclaims he's going to make his New Year's Resolution to go on a diet but Princess reminds him that he's been making that resolution since she's known him. She advises him to start eating light with Keyop adding that he should work out. Keyop then does a drum solo causing Mark to misfire and send a ping-pong ball flying toward Tiny and knocking the space burger out of his hand. Tiny agrees, "I'll go to something light, but ping-pong balls? … That's ridiculous."

Zark appears on the video monitor calling into the team with an Emergency Alert. Zark reiterates about Spectra building an awesome weapon on Riga and that it's ready to launch. The team lines up to listen to Zark's briefing. He tells them they are currently on standby and to wait for a briefing from Security Chief Anderson. Afterward, he tells Mark that a wounded man was picked up in the city. He's someone Mark knew from the Space Academy named Tom but that's all the information they have. Apparently Tom is homeless, Mark tells Zark to have Tom taken to his shack at the airfield and that he'll get there as soon as he can.

Meanwhile, Chief Anderson is at the Intergalactic Science Headquarters with Dr. Sellers who has flown in from Riga. Dr. Sellers informs Chief Anderson that Spectra's "doomsday" weapon is operational. Dr. Sellers continues as a message must be sent to all planets in the galaxy: all Federation planets are to surrender as this is the only hope to survive. Otherwise, Spectra will launch the X-3. Chief Anderson realizes he has a major dilemma on his hands.

At Mark's shack, Tom wakes up after some rest with his ribs and left shoulder wrapped. Mark walks in to check on Tom telling him "it's just space I rent at a private airfield." Mark asks Tom what he's been up to and the answer is "just hanging out." Mark wonders if Tom is in any trouble but Tom becomes defensive.

Tom then tells a wild tale to Mark that he spotted Mark's long-lost father during a trip to Riga. Tom goes on to say that he saw a man with the same picture Mark has when he stayed in an overnight space lodge on Riga. He says the man snatched back quickly and angrily. Tom backs up his story because Mark never really believed his father died years ago. Mark wants to know more and wonders why Colonel Cronus never mentioned seeing his father. Tom says the incident happened a week ago and Mark wonders what Tom was doing on Riga. Tom becomes defensive again, but refocuses on the fact that he saw the picture and that Mark's father alive. Mark is determined to see his father.

Later that night, Princess and Keyop are cleaning up at Jill's place because Keyop didn't have enough money to cover dinner. Mark calls Keyop to the front door and tells the smallest G-Force member that he's taking a space shot with Tom to Riga. Keyop wonders if Tom can be trusted and Mark is edgy at the accusation. Mark doesn't want anyone to know because "I'll be up and back before anyone knows I'm gone." The team is signaled by Security and Princess walks to the front to wrangle Keyop. "… Bad timing."

When they report to Chief Anderson, Keyop reports what Mark has done. Chief Anderson isn't pleased as Mark should have checked with him before leaving. He also remarks that Jason is usually the impulsive one, not Mark. Princess reminds them that a space shot could be dangerous, especially alone. Jason suggests they contact Mark via radio but his signal is "jammed."

While not happy, Chief Anderson commences the briefing to send the team to Riga. He shows a picture of an ugly looking rocket sticking out of a rock face. When Tiny comments, Chief Anderson explains that they're looking at the X-3 site – built without knowledge or consent by Spectra. He tells the team that their objective is to destroy the launch site. Jason asks what exactly the X-3 is. Chief Anderson briefs them about the Van Allen radiation belt surrounding Earth. They start at 600 miles up and continue out until fading at 40,000 miles above the surface. The belts protect Earth from UV radiation emitted from the sun. The X-3 would lower the altitude and allow radioactivity down to the Earth's surface eventually killing the inhabitants.

Jason says this will be a "tough mission" made more difficult without Mark. Chief Anderson wants "action, not alibis." The team launches for Riga with the chief's best wishes. Zark emphasizes that Mark is missing as the team frets, especially Keyop. Zark and Princess work the engines for entry onto Riga. Before going into radio silence, Zark still has no word from Mark but is certain he's there somewhere.

While flying over Riga, the Phoenix encounters a killer wheel mech. The guys start bickering as the dogfight commences. Meantime on the surface, Tom takes Mark to the place where Tom says he saw Mark's father. The problem is: it's a trap! Mark is taken underground where a Spectran agent (stryker) a "chief of the secret Spectra forces on Riga" greets him. Mark smarts off saying he figured that out. Mark is in civilian clothes, yet the Spectran agent knows Mark is the commander of G-Force and remarks at how easily Mark was captured. This is when Mark realizes Tom is a traitor working for Spectra.

Act Two

Zark is pacing to and from worrying like crazy. G-Force is trying to stop the X-3 plan the best they can but there's still no word from Mark. Zark says it is like functioning without his "Selective Quantometer." On top of everything, Zark hasn't heard from anyone. The only thing he knows is what Keyop reported to Chief Anderson. Zark flies to his monitors and states he'll "pop a circuit breaker" soon if he doesn't hear from somebody.

On Riga, the giant wheel mech is tearing the Phoenix apart. The team is snapping as Tiny attempts to out-maneuver the "salami slicer" but it's too fast. Princess takes action to activate the bird missile but not before admonishing her teammates for not working together. Princess rigs the hydraulic arms to activate the system. Jason takes a shot as Tiny flies toward the mech but the fix fails after three missiles are fired. It's enough as the mech explodes into a million pieces.

A green goon reports to Zoltar that a bird missile has destroyed the wheel mech. Zoltar is in shock as the mech was supposed to be indestructible. Zoltar chews out the goon for "underestimating G-Force" while his cohort (Riga Defense Minister) says Chief Anderson has turned down their offer. Zoltar wants to launch the X-3 rocket. At the launch site, Spectra readies to launch the rocket. Zoltar gives his final instructions via video conference.

Tom is on the street, patting the money he's been paid. He's about to walk away when a man grabs him by his right shoulder. Meanwhile, Mark is shackled in the base where he was led. Colonel Cronus and the Red Rangers shoot the shackles loose and Mark is freed. When Mark asks about his father, Colonel Cronus tells him that Zoltar has been allowed to go ahead with his plans due to the delay in rescuing Mark. He then throws Tom at Mark's feet telling Mark he can do what he wishes with the traitor. Colonel Cronus and the Red Rangers take off. Mark then walks to Tom and chews him out for the betrayal. Tom begs for forgiveness because he was "trapped and scared." Tom then snivels and Mark knows that nothing has changed over the years because Tom always crawled to Mark for help. Mark disowns Tom at this point.

The X-3 launches and when it takes off barely missing G-Force. They arrived too late to stop it. The Red Rangers watch too and know the plan is now activated. G-Force then returns to the Phoenix and reports back to Chief Anderson who drops a bombshell on them after Jason gripes about Mark's absence. He explains that 14 years ago one of his best test pilots took on a dangerous mission when the X-3 plans were initially given to Intergalactic Security. The man left behind his four year-old son in Anderson's care and faked his death in a plane crash. The boy is Mark and the agent is Colonel Cronus – he is Mark's father! The team is dumb struck as they know Mark doesn't know. Chief Anderson admits it wasn't the best play to keep the truth from Mark but Colonel Cronus was insistent.

Mark watches the sunset on Riga as the X-3 pushes the radiation belts toward Earth's surface. Icebergs are melting at alarming rates and ships are foundering. Tsunamis and tidal waves are churning the oceans something fierce. Zark frets about Mark again, not understanding why Mark doesn't rejoin the team. Zark says G-Force is the only group that can stop Zoltar's plan. Zark points out that G-Force is without "a trained leader." He knows it'll be another around-the-clock mission and he'll be by his monitors.

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2021. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Last edited by Bobkat on Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Bobkat
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Re: BotP Close-up 052-053

Post: # 538Post Bobkat »

E52-53: The Sky is Falling!

****Part 2****

Act One


Zark's "interstellar probes and scanners" have been working overtime because Mark is officially AWOL (Absent without Leave). Zark paces as Rover watches while Spectra's X-3 plan is in progress. The idea is to jam the Van Allen radiation belts onto Earth, "as if the Sky is Falling!" Zark flies to his monitors saying he's been on Red Alert for the last two days due to the "doomsday" weapons being deployed. What's worse, Zark has picked up a second rocket headed toward the Van Allen belt.

The rocket explodes creating more chaos with more ice melting and stronger tidal waves. The weather has gone crazy with massive lightning, tornadoes and wildfires. Volcanoes are erupting spewing lava as well. The belt is no longer providing the protection it once did.

G-Force sits at Center Neptune awaiting orders watching the Pacific Ocean. Keyop says it looks awful, even from there. Chief Anderson walks in with a message from Spectra telling the team they'll recognize the voice. He plays the tape and it's Zoltar greeting them as "friends." Tiny calls him "the purple party pooper" while Keyop says, "Some friend." Zoltar tells them that Earth will be completely destroyed within six months. He tells them the effects can be reversed but they only have 24 hours to respond. Otherwise, he will allow the X-3 plan to continue and not replace the radiation belts to their proper altitude. Jason balls his fist while his teammates stand in shock. When Chief Anderson turns off the tape, they realize there is a solution but the chief tells them they don't have the time. However, Chief Anderson knows that Zoltar would use a missile to return the belt to the proper altitude. In theory, a massive explosion could be use to push the belt back. The problem is that they don't have a missile of such strength, but Spectra does. The team brainstorms an idea to use Spectra's missile to push the belt back up. They ready to leave with Chief Anderson wishing them luck and pulling back Princess. He tells her to help Jason out so they can succeed in their hijacking plan.

On Riga, Zoltar opens a vault and his cohort is concerned that Chief Anderson hasn't given them an answer yet. Zoltar is unconcerned saying he will "submit" due to pressures. "They all will." He needs a progress report from a skull looking captain who says they need more time, especially when Zoltar demands that it be ready tonight. The captain tells him, "Impossible." The captain explains that the computer brain is not yet installed and will take another two days to have it ready. Without it, "the missile is useless." Zoltar demands the missile be ready "now" and any more delay is unacceptable. He leaves with his cohort. On their way out, Zoltar and his cohort are able to observe several goons putting the finishing touches on the missile. Two of the goons work on a weld.

Back on Earth, more climatic chaos as people demand their leaders surrender to Spectra. Several delegates meet as President Kane points out their problem: "the flames are spreading." The President feels they have no choice but to surrender but Chief Anderson informs the gathered they still have a few hours. The group is skeptical that a few hours will make any difference. They want to make an immediate decision. Chief Anderson has other ideas, locking the room and isolating the delegates inside. He has the locks set to open for 12 hours and urges calm and not to release any reports until then. He also reminds the leadership they have G-Force. President Kane acknowledges the services of G-Force but opens the shades to show the destruction outside. When the president presses for a guarantee that the city will be standing tomorrow, Chief Anderson gives a resounding "yes."

The Phoenix flies over Riga and confront several robot-controlled jets. Tiny has to out fly them or be hit by missiles. Jason is about to fire back when Mark signals the team. When Tiny makes a vertical leap, several of the jets crash into one another. The team then focuses on triangulating Mark's position in order to retrieve their commander.

Act Two

Zark retreats to his Ready Room through the vacuum tube. All the emergency calls threatens to "burn out" his Central core. Zark is very nervous about the current situation because he doesn't want to work for Zoltar and suspects the Spectran doesn't offer an employee retirement plan.

Back on Riga, Mark is in a goon uniform sending out his signal. Zoltar and his cohort approach with Zoltar wondering if Mark has a permit for the radio. Zoltar also comments that there is something familiar with Mark who quickly reveals himself in his G-Force uniform. Mark then gives a speech to Zoltar about going too far and that Earth will never surrender!

The Phoenix closes in on Mark's signal and takes out several ground tanks prior to squeezing into an opening that leads to the Spectran base. As the team gives direction including using the electron blast turbos, Tiny makes the Phoenix crash into the base, knocking Zoltar off his feet and possibly killing his cohort. However, Zoltar makes his escape and he yells that the X-3 plan will continue to proceed per his orders.

Colonel Cronus stands by the rocket with Mark as the team joins them. Colonel Cronus says there is still work to be done. Mark wants to talk to Colonel Cronus and tries to pull rank until Princess stops him. She blurts the truth out that Colonel Cronus is Mark's father. Colonel Cronus lifts his goggles knowing the gig is up. He wanted to tell mark the truth, but was unable. They have a tearful reunion but it doesn't last as Colonel Cronus lifts Mark and throws him away from the rocket so the commander is unable to stop his father from a suicide mission. Colonel Cronus is determined to see the mission to the end, especially after 14 years.

Colonel Cronus launches the rocket as he flashes back on Mark and how he's grown up. Colonel Cronus flies the rocket to where it needs to be as the team watches helplessly. Mark is distraught during the launch and as the rocket explodes. After a huge fireball, the team is broken hearted. However, the radiation belt returns to its proper altitude.

On Earth, the 12-hour locks disengage. Chief Anderson receives a call and being briefed about Colonel Cronus and the rocket. The chief is understandably upset but still reports that Earth has been saved. The sun rises on a still standing city and Chief Anderson leaves the delegates.

On board the Phoenix, Mark becomes even more determined to stop Zoltar's plans for conquering Earth. Jason tries to console his commander but Mark is plain angry and vows to bring Zoltar to justice. Meanwhile at Center Neptune, Zark contacts Susan on Pluto and she confirms his hunch. She also tells him that he's always right. As soon as he hangs up with her, Mark and Princess stop by. Zark is able to share some good news: Colonel Cronus escaped the rocket prior to it exploding! Zark's electron viewfinders photographed the X-3 prior to blowing up. An escape pod was detected and Susan verified it was heading for planet Riga. Princess is thrilled for Mark and tells Zark he comes up with the best answers. Mark is numb as they leave but not before Princess kisses Zark. Zark says he can't choose between Princess or Susan but his first love will always be G-Force as he salutes. Rover gives a salute too and reminds Zark that Rover is actually his first love.

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2021. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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