Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Star Blazers, Episode #11

It’s back to the same, tired old formula this week on Star Blazers (1979), as the Gamilons develop another fiendish weapon to stop the Argo from reaching Iscandar and acquiring the cosmos DNA device.

This week, that weapon -- developed by Talan -- is a batch of fearsome “Desslok Space Mines.”  
Almost immediately, the mines locate Argo (in all of space…) and deploy around the ship.  At first, the Argo uses a balloon decoy (or “baby” Argo) to test the devices, but it is blown up. 

Realizing that they have been ensnared in a deadly, rapidly-springing trap, Captain Avatar orders his crew to locate and destroy the Space Mine Control…hoping to defuse all the devices at once…

The key question to ask here (besides one involving IQ9 coming down with the hiccups…), is how did the Gamilons get a mine-field on the very course that Argo happened to be following?  

Space is big, after all, and the Argo has eluded the Gamilons constantly.  I would think that one ship in the vastness of space would be hard to track down, especially since, as this episode reveals, the Gamilons have no idea where Argo is headed.

The abundantly familiar aspects of this episode -- Gamilons develop new weapon, Argo escapes -- are disappointing, but for the first time, some energy spent is developing the leader of the villains, the Desslok character.  Here, he kills an underling (in the mode of Darth Vader, or a James Bond villain henchman…) for a breach in protocol.  

“I can’t stand a man who laughs at his own jokes,” says Desslok.

More intriguingly, the episode culminates with Desslock transmitting a message of “congratulations” to Captain Avatar and the Argo crew for having defeated the space mines, and getting this far outgunned and outnumbered.  It’s a surprisingly decent and “human” act, and acknowledges the heroism of the human race, and the Star Force.

With just 311 days left, the Argo jumps out of the solar system, and hopefully into a new plot-line…

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