Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Space Stars Episode #4 (October 3, 1981)

In the fourth episode of Hanna Barbera’s Space Stars (1981), Space Ghost encounter the Nomads, a group of aliens seeking to escape persecution by their dictatorial people. SG saves them from a space snake and offers to take them to the galaxy core so the free governments can discuss a place to settle them. 

Unfortunately, the Nomads are really conquering robots in disguise; their transports really battleships.  Space Ghost threatens to send the nomadic robots into a black hole if they don’t surrender, so they comply.

This episode, like so many, features villains who appear to be biological, but are actually disguised robots.  This trope recurs once more in this episode alone. It also re-appears in a Space Ghost story next week ("Attack of the Space Sharks.")

In “Trojan Teen Force,” the Teen Force seeks to help the Trojan Emperor and his daughter, who have been foolish enough to seek a peace treaty with Uglor.  

Uglor wants to marry the princess, however, and holds the royals captive until she acquiesces to his demands. The Teen Force uses a “Trojan Horse” trick to get aboard Uglor’s ship and conduct a rescue.   This story features the unusual scene of Uglor’s marriage. He is about to wed the princess when a second Trojan horse is revealed: she is really a shape-shifted Moleculad!

In this week’s segment of The Herculoids, titled “The Invisibles,” the family comes under attack from a series of invisible weapons. Igoo gets trapped behind an invisible force field, for instance. 

Zandor suspects the Zeelos, “the flying monkey men” who live nearby on Quasar, have broken a peace treaty with the Herculoids. The King of these villagers reveals that his rebellious son may actually be behind the attacks.  Space Ghost arrives on Quasar and reveals that the prince has been using “magna lite” -- debris from an explosion inside a black hole -- to render matter invisible.

In “The Space Dragons,” miners come under attack from space dragons. Space Ghost fights them and learns the dragons are giant robots attempting to steal the most valuable fuel in the universe.

In “Astro and he Space Mutts,” the dog cops fear they will be outmoded when Space Ace gets a new partner: Brucie the robot “Wonder Dog.”  The robot performs admirably but ultimately malfunctions and goes bananas.

The Space Stars finale this week is called “Mind Witch,” and the action starts when foragers on Quasar accidentally awaken a diabolical witch from suspended animation. 

Zandor reveals that these sinister, all-powerful mind-witches once ruled the planet. Space Ghost arrives to help the Herculoids, but is brainwashed into being a slave by the witch.

The black-outs for this week’s omnibus episode are as follows: 

In “Space Magic,” Jan, Jace and Blip do a “mind reading” trick.  

In “Space Fact,” the Herculoids discuss what it would be like to travel at the speed of light, and ponder the effects of time distillation. This bi makes no sense, however, in light of the technology of the series.  

For the ships and cycles to cross the distances they do in each Space Stars story, they must possess faster than light travel, but no time distillation is ever featured.  In fact, several episodes mention a “hyper drive,” which is a faster-than-light form of propulsion, and again -- no time distillation is featured.

In “Space Mystery,” a stranger claiming to have traveled faster than light speed attacks Quasar, but the Herculoids know he is lying because faster-than-light travel is impossible. The stranger is revealed as a mole-man who came from beneath the planet surface.

The Space Code this week is “JHPP,” which in code spells out the name of one of the Herculoids.

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