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[Thank you, Saturn, for the screen caps!]

Gatchaman Episode 100: “Gatchman 20 Years Later”

BOTP Episode: “G-Force in the Future”


 


“As you all know,” says Dr. Nambu’s voice as we see an image of the Earth from space, “The ISO has been researching ways of developing pollution-free energy from underground magma and the Earth’s mantle.”

Now we get a cross-section view of the Earth.


 


“We have recently discovered equations,” continues Dr. Nambu, “That will allow us to condense a specific area in the mantle and make it explode.”

Everyone is watching and listening.


 


“The one who developed those equations is this man.”


 


“A member of the ISO’s special task force, named Dr. Maxim.”

The slideshow apparently over, Dr. Nambu walks over to a window and opens the blinds to let light back into the room.

I miss the fish parades.

“If that condensed mantle were to be used in warfare,” he says, turning to look at the Ninjas, “It would release more energy than a hydrogen bomb, and destroy the entire human race in an instant!”

Jinpei leaps to his feet, fists clenched, demanding “If it’s so dangerous, why on earth make it in the first place?”

Dr. Nambu explains that the physicists who developed atomic energy never intended it as a weapon, and performed their research “for the benefit of mankind, but the power was abused and twisted for war.”

This is a tragedy that must not be repeated, he tells them, “So, we have decided to sink the calculations and equations at the bottom of the Arctic Sea.”

“Anything to keep Galactor from getting their filthy paws on it, that’s for sure,” remarks Joe, holding his chin thoughtfully.

Jun declares that “Just thinking about it gives me the willies.”

Ken asks why it’s necessary to sink the condensed mantle data in the Arctic Sea.

“That data was recorded onto microfilm via a special recording device using a special kind of magnetism,” explains Dr. Nambu, “Therefore it’s resistant to fire and can’t be easily degaussed like data from a conventional recorder.”

“So if you sink it in the Arctic Ocean, it’s magnetic phenomenon will cause the data to be naturally erased,” concludes Ken.

“Exactly,” answers Dr. Nambu, pointing at Ken now, “And Ken, I would like you to personally undertake this mission alone.”

“By myself?” says Ken, taken aback by this.

All Dr. Nambu says is that Dr. Maxim will accompany him, and the points to what is presumably meant to be the North Pole on a map, noting that it’s a long way to the Arctic Sea.


 


“If all of you went, Galactor might be able to detect you,” adds Dr. Nambu, now explaining why he only wants Ken.

Ryu is prepared to accept this, but wonders if the rest of them will be just hanging around and twiddling their thumbs while Ken is off with Dr. Maxim.

Dr. Nambu offers the sop that the other four Ninjas can help by “carefully monitoring Ken and Dr. Maxim from afar.”

Ryu is appeased.

Dr. Nambu announces that Ken and Dr. Maxim will be leaving that very night, and he reminds everyone to be on the lookout for Galactor.

“Roger!”


 



“A frightening product of the mantle project,” says the narrator as we see a plane flying, “Which could obliterate the Earth in an instant, they must destroy the mantle data.”


 


“So Ken journeys to the Arctic with Dr. Maxim.”

(Who uses the trip to catch up on his sleep.)


 


“Meanwhile, the God Phoenix secretly guards them from high above.” Actually, it doesn’t look like they’re carefully monitoring Ken and Dr. Maxim from all that afar, despite what Dr. Nambu said.


 


Whoever’s flying the plane, it isn’t Ken. (Maybe it’s on autopilot.) Ken is inspecting a peculiar-looking glass container somewhere inside the plane.


 


“I wonder what this is,” says Ken to himself, “It doesn’t look like it has to do with the data. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen anything resembling data from the project.”

Ken comes up a small set of stairs to the part of the plane where Dr. Maxim is sitting (awake now).

He asks Ken if anything is wrong, though he thinks Galactor surely couldn’t be on to them so quickly.

“Even so, we can’t risk letting our guard down,” says vigilant Ken, “They have spies everywhere.”

He sits down beside Dr. Maxim though.


 


But he asks Dr. Maxim “What is that transparent capsule stored in the cargo bay below for?”

“Oh, it’s my gallows, of course,” replies Dr. Maxim.

“Your gallows?” says Ken, puzzled.

“I just hope I don’t have to use it,” adds Dr. Maxim, not exactly clarifying anything.

And we cut to the plane’s cockpit and learn that there are, in fact, two pilots flying the plane. One is looking at the altimeter and he says “Our altitude seems to be decreasing –try giving it more throttle.”

The second pilot complies, but then cries “Captain, the throttle’s not responding!”

“It isn’t?” says the Captain, not very helpfully.

And the plane begins to dive.


 


In the passenger area, Ken and Dr. Maxim are both lurched by the sudden descent.

“Doctor, you’d better put on your seatbelt right away,” says Ken, but he himself heads for the cock pit, sliding along the now-tilted floor.

Ken enters the cockpit and is informed that something’s wrong with the throttle. “Let me have a stab at it,” declares Ken, pulling out his boomerang. (Whatever he’s got in mind, somehow I doubt it’s an FAA-approved in-flight repair technique.)


 


Ken pries open a panel beside the throttle handle, and he and both pilots make expressions of surprise.


 


“It looks like it’s been sabotaged,” realizes Ken.

“If we don’t do something quick,” declares the Captain as the plane continues its steep descent, “this plane is going to crash!”


 


Ken takes a book (a flight log perhaps) from a wall compartment and removes a clip-like metal bookmark from its pages.

“I sure hope this idea works out,” he says, scrutinizing it.


 


The plane is still descending steeply and the icy terrain below isn’t all that far below, but Ken is fiddling with the throttle, trying to make a repair using the metal clip.


 



“Okay, pull it up gently,” Ken tells the junior pilot, and when he tries the throttle this time, the metal clip bends and looks like it could very easily snap.

And it looks like the plane is going to crash into the side of a mountain, imminently.

Instructed now by the Captain to pull the throttle up and to the left, the junior pilot complies anxiously.


 

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And it works! The plane just barely misses hitting the mountain, but it does miss.

“You can relax later –for now, confirm our location,” the Captain tells him as the plane's landing gear is lowered.

Ken goes back to the passenger area to see Dr. Maxim, who wants to know what happened.

“Don’t worry. There was a technical problem but it’s okay now.”

“I wonder how that happened,” says Dr. Maxim, “Surely we must have ordered a preflight inspection.”

Ken frowns but doesn’t say anything.

“I know,” says Dr. Maxim, “Galactor has spies even among the mechanics! Which means they already know everything we’re doing and the mission’s in danger!”

The plane comes in for a landing, touching down in some barren arctic terrain.


 


The landing is a bit rough, and Ken grabs hold of Dr. Maxim to help him stay upright in his seat.

Meanwhile, on the God Phoenix (wherever it is), Jun announces “The transport plane has just landed, Joe.”

“Ryu, we’ll land too,” concludes Joe, “Someplace that’s far enough away.”

“Sounds good,” says Ryu, doing just that.

On board the transport plane, Dr. Maxim is preparing for the cold weather outside.


 


“Okay, let’s get this done before Galactor catches up,” he tells Ken, “I’d like you to help me too.”

But suddenly the whole plane starts shaking and pitching.

“What was that?” yells Ken, staggering back towards a wall, but we can see that the ice the plane landed on is now cracking apart, and the pilots in the cockpit are equally startled. A wide chasm forms beneath the plane, and the plane begins falling into it.


 


“The transport plane’s falling into the ice!” yells Joe, seeing this from the God Phoenix. Jun and Jinpei come rushing up as well to get a closer look.


 


On the transport plane, Ken and Dr. Maxim have both fallen over as the plane continues to fall. Snapping off part of one wing on the edge of the icy chasm, the plane then lands in the waters of the Arctic Sea and sinks out of sight as the chasm begins to close together again.


 


“Big Bro…” gasps Jinpei as he and the others see all this from the God Phoenix.


 


Ken himself cries out in alarm as ice smashes through the windows of the transport plane…


 


Suddenly we get a montage of odd images: a needle piercing someone’s arm.


 


And a very psychedelic-looking swirl of colours, followed by patterns of wavy lines giving way to an image of snow.


 


Then we see Ken’s face, and his eyes are closed. He opens his eyes and sits up groggily, saying “Where am I?” and clutching his head in pain, “My head is throbbing.” The large window beyond him looks out onto a strange-looking city.

It turns out he’s in a bed with Dr. Maxim (a rather bizarre image!).


 


Ken gets out of the bed, clearly still in some pain, and staggers over to the window. Dr. Maxim –awake now too- follows him, saying “Where in the world are we? What is this?”


 


They stare at the city outside the window.


 


Ken doesn’t have any answers. “I don’t believe there’s a city like this on Earth,” says Dr. Maxim.

“Let’s get out of here,” says Ken grimly.

“But where’s the exit?”

They soon find out why the room has no door –the way out is revealed when the section of floor they’re standing on suddenly begins to descend.


 


They find themselves in a glass tube, still descending, as they look at the city all around them.

“What a shock,” says Dr. Maxim, “It’s like we’ve ridden a time machine and arrived in the future.”

When they reach the bottom, they’re inside a massive glassed-in chamber with trees and plants growing inside it, serene lakes and a monorail track. It reminds me of that old movie, “Logan’s Run.”

Looking around, Ken and Dr. Maxim spot a bunch of people –finally- all sitting on some benches. But at the sight of these new arrivals, all the people stand up.

“Can any of you tell us where we are?” asks Ken.

“I don’t think I like the look in their eyes!” says Dr. Maxim, “It looks as if maybe they’ve had some sort of terrible shock.”

Indeed, all the people are sort of moaning tonelessly and walking zombie-like towards Ken and Dr. Maxim.


 


Ken astutely concludes that these are people best avoided and with a “Doctor, this way!” he urges Dr. Maxim to quickly accompany him down a nearby corridor.

But they encounter more zombie-like people so they dash down yet another corridor –but it turns out to be a dead end.

“No, wait! Listen!” cries Ken as the “zombies” draw near, but suddenly a glass partition drops down between them and Ken and Dr. Maxim –and then a voice from behind them laughs and says “You’re awake, Gatchman, Dr. Maxim.”

Ken turns around hastily to see two men appear from behind another partition.


 


“But you shouldn’t be exerting yourself without your doctor’s permission,” continues this mysterious future-man.

“Where are we?” demands Ken.

The man doesn’t answer; he goes over to the glass partition and tells the “zombies” to go away. “Those poor souls are your fellow comrades,” he remarks gravely, “Who used to live on the surface.”

“The surface?” asks Dr. Maxim. “What do mean by that?’ adds Ken.

“Due to traumatic shock, they’ve lost their ability to talk and their will to live,” says the future-man, “Such a pity. We’ve gathered them here to look after them.”

Dr. Maxim wants to know what caused this shock.

“You see, it’s been twenty years since they were defeated in their fight against Galactor.”


 


“What did you say?” yells Ken, not liking the sound of this one bit. “Twenty years?” cries Dr. Maxim.

“The entire world is under Galactor’s control now,” continues future-man calmly, “And this underground city serves as Galactor’s headquarters.”

“You’re lying –I know it!” says Ken –far from calmly! “Who put you up to this?” he demands, raising clenched fists.

“I suppose it’s only natural that you don’t believe,” says future-man, “Perhaps it’s that you don’t want to believe. The times have changed. A lot happened while the two of you were frozen in the arctic ice.”

He laughs smugly, and now Ken really gets in his face.


 


“There’s no way we would lose to Galactor!” yells Ken, “That’s nonsense!”

“Please, calm yourself,” says future-man smoothly, “And I will show you all the proof that you require.”

He raises a hand, and at this signal, the other man (who has yet to speak) opens a panel over a window, giving them a view of the city again. In fact, panels open up all over and we see that they’re all actually standing inside a little transport shuttle that’s on top of one building.


 

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“Please, have a seat here,” says the future-man’s flunky, speaking at last as he gestures Ken and Dr. Maxim towards two chairs that are in front of a large window.

The shuttle starts moving.

“This transport’s automatic pilot will deliver us to the surface,” says the first future-man.


 


The shuttle enters the bottom of a large metal tube that extends high up (presumably to the surface) and then begins to fly vertically up the dark tube.

Once they reach surface, the view isn’t pretty. The sky is dark, streaked with dreary colours, and everything looks devastated. Ken and Dr. Maxim both gasp in horror.


 


“This is the place you called home, the surface of 20 years ago,” future-man tells Ken and Dr. Maxim as they continue to stare in horror out the shuttle’s window.

“How could you do this?” demands Dr. Maxim, “You used the hydrogen bombs?”

“Something more powerful,” he is told, as future-man now gazes out the window too, “We used a special bomb that contained concentrated solar energy.”

“Solar energy?” says Dr. Maxim in dismay.

“That’s right. As a scientist, you should know how powerful it can be.”

“But if you used that,” declares Dr. Maxim, “It would destroy the planet, it would be like the sun touching the Earth!”

We get an image of a massive nuclear-like explosion now, to illustrate his point.

“But that’s impossible, with the science that we have now,” continues Dr. Maxim.

“Your people were defeated by Galactor,” future-man tells him, “Because they underestimated our scientific resources. We warned you to obey us, but you can thank the ISO that our warning went unheeded. Take a look.”

With these words, he points to another window, and both Dr. Maxim and Ken gasp in horror again.


 


It’s the ISO headquarters –and they’re not exactly in great shape.


 



Ken can’t believe that the ISO has been totally destroyed. “How can we be twenty years in the future?” he asks again, as if trying to deny what he’s seeing.

Future-man explains Ken was “entombed in the arctic ice and fell into a cold sleep,” and lived for twenty years until “we rescued you, which as you can see, brings us to today.”

Dr. Maxim is pensive. “Twenty years?” he mutters.


 


Commercial Break!


Now they’re travelling underwater in the little shuttle.


 


“Where are the fish?” asks Ken, “And the beautiful coral reefs? Is this even the same Earth?”

But suddenly Ken stands up and barks “Hey, wait –stop here!”

“Is something the matter?” future-man asks calmly as Ken presses his hands up to the window.


 


What he sees is his father’s memorial.

(So, Galactor knows that Gatchaman is Kentaro Washio’s son, and they know what his memorial stone looks like too. How is it that they haven’t figured out that the guy in the #1 shirt who visits the memorial periodically is Gatchaman and that maybe they ought to try to grab him? I guess we’re not supposed to think too much about that…)


 


“You buried my Dad in a place like this?” says Ken, voice quivering in anger as he closes his eyes. (Well, technically, Ken, your Dad isn’t buried anywhere –he blew up in the rocket that stopped the V-2 plan.)

“I’m sorry,” says future-man, putting a hand on his shoulder.


 


“Let’s just go,” says Ken bitterly, and then he yells “Get me out of here now!”

We get a close-up of Dr. Maxim now, and he’s clearly thinking…

“There wasn’t the slightest trace of the peace that had been, long ago,” the narrator says as the shuttle moves off, towards a tunnel, “The surface of the Earth and the depths of the sea, as Ken now beheld them, had become a graveyard. And for Ken, who had tried to protect the Earth at the risk of his life, it was an overwhelmingly cruel tour.”

The shuttle comes out of the tunnel, and is now back in the futuristic, underground city.

“I don’t believe my eyes!” says Ken now, as he sees a giant Berg Katse –the “Statue of Anti-liberty”?


 


“Katse, immortalized in bronze?” thinks Ken, appalled, “I think I’m going to be sick.”

But now the shuttle arrives back at the place it had departed from and disgorges its occupants.


 


Future-man puts yet another kindly hand on Ken’s shoulder. “Gatchaman, there’s something I’d really like to show you,” he says, glancing at his flunky, who then activates a screen to reveal an elderly-looking man sitting in a chair.


 


“Who do you think that old man on the screen is?” asks future-man as Ken and Dr. Maxim stand up to get a better look.

The old man is singing to himself and pulling petals off a flower and generally looking like someone whose wits are completely addled.


 


“When you were defeated in the final battle with Galactor,” explains future-man, “the shock of it all sent him over the edge. It’s Dr. Nambu.”

Ken doesn’t like this revelation one bit! “No!” he cries.


 


Dr. Maxim merely stares…

“Fly high in the sky, my little flower petals,” chants crazed Dr. Nambu, on screen, still pulling them from the flower and throwing them.

“You’re lying, I don’t believe it! That can’t be Dr. Nambu!” says Ken, his eyes contorting.

So, future-man brings up another cheery image on the screen.


 


Ken walks away, as Dr. Maxim asks “Who’s buried in those graves?”

“The Science Ninja Team,” says future-man (as Ken stops in his tracks), “Galactor’s nemesis right until the very end.”

Ken glances back at him suddenly.


 


“We buried them with honor,” continues future-man, “They were our enemies but we admit that they met a splendid end.”

“Stop it,” yells Ken, turning away with fists clenched, “Please.”

“Only you and one other remain,” says future-man, not stopping.


 


But Ken turns around again, demanding “Who is it? Who survived all this?”

“What was his name again,” says future-man, “The smallest one.”

“Jinpei?”

“That’s right,” says future-man, “Jinpei. He works for Galactor security police, I believe. Actually, he said that he wanted to see you.”

“You mean, he’s here?” gasps Ken, even as a door opens.


 


Whoever the newcomer is, he’s facing away from us viewers, though Ken is rushing towards him. The newcomer doffs his hat and…


 

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“Big Bro!” cries an approximately 31 or 32 year old Jinpei happily (actually he looks more like he’s 18 or so), “Is that you, Bro?”


Ken looks more stricken than happy. “My God, it’s Jinpei,” he whispers to himself.

Jinpei hugs him, saying “Man, I missed you so much!”


 


Future-man and Dr. Maxim look on silently.

Jinpei is amazed at how unchanged Ken looks. “I just can’t believe it’s you, Jinpei. And you’re all grown up now,” says Ken.

“I don’t blame you, Bro,” says Jinpei, stepping away from him now, “It’s been twenty years since then; a lot has happened.”

Now Jinpei extends his right hand and a beam of light shoots from a ring he’s wearing to a button on the wall, causing a circular platform to rise from the floor and form a table and chairs –a futuristic table that automatically dispenses cups of coffee.

“Have a seat, Big Bro, okay?” says Jinpei picking up the tray of coffee, “How about some coffee?”

Since there are only four seats, future-man dismisses his flunky and they all sit down.

“Hey Bro, you saw what the surface looks like, right?” says Jinpei a bit apprehensively.

“Yeah,” says Ken flatly.

“In the end we were defeated by Galactor,” says Jinpei, head bowed, “Wasn’t too long after you disappeared.”

“Well, it was all for the best, don’t you think?” remarks future-man, “The war is over and it’s peaceful now.” Ken has his eyes closed.

“That’s right, Doc,” says Jinpei cheerfully, “We fought for peace after all –whether we won or lost, the result is still peace.”


 


“And that’s what we wanted, right Big Bro?”

Ken opens his eyes and says grimly, “And now you’re one of Galactor’s minions?”

“But what’s wrong with that?” says Jinpei anxiously.

“I don’t care if it was solar energy or a nuclear bomb!” yells Ken, standing up and clenching a fist, “All the people on the Earth’s surface were killed because of it! Don’t you even care?”

He slams his fist down, smashing his cup of coffee.


 


“The same thing would have happened if we’d kept resisting Galactor!” insists Jinpei defensively, now getting to his feet too, “A lot more people would have died!”

“Stop fighting, you two,” says Dr. Maxim resignedly, “It’s already over, it’s finished.” He takes a sip of his coffee.

“Exactly,” says future-man, “The problem is how to protect this peace and how to ensure it will grow even further.”

We get a full view of the table now and Ken’s smashed coffee cup is nowhere in sight –I guess futuristic tables also come with self-cleaning functions.

“The time has come,” says future-man, gesturing expansively, “For the solar technology Galactor developed to be used on a much larger scale.”

Dr. Maxim starts to laugh –probably not the reaction future-man was expecting.

“Does something amuse you?” asks future-man, after a hesitant chuckle of his own.

“Oh, I was just thinking,” says Dr. Maxim, putting a hand on his head, “What a bunch of fools we were. The concentrated mantle energy we developed is nothing compared to your solar energy, yet we were so protective of that data, and for what?”

Future-man is sipping his coffee but watching Dr. Maxim intently now.

“It’s useless,” finishes Dr. Maxim.

“By the way, Dr. Maxim,” says future-man now, raising one hand casually, “Might you have some idea where that data might be now?”

“Why? What’s the point?” asks Dr. Maxim.

Standing now, future-man remarks that concentrated mantle energy is still a powerful force. “If it were to fall into the wrong hands, the Earth would be in danger.”

“Oh, I see –you want to protect it against people like yourselves,” says Dr. Maxim, deadpan.

Future-man acts hurt, and stands up. “Now, that’s no way to talk to friends, is it?” He laughs awkwardly.

Dr. Maxim stands up too. “Is the transport plane we were found in still around?” he asks, “The equation data should still be there.”

And guess what? The plane is still around.


 


Now Ken is standing, inside the transport plane, beside Dr. Maxim and that “transparent capsule” that Ken had noticed near the beginning of this episode and he’s whispering “Think about it, Doc. Do you really think it’s a good idea to trust them?”

Nearby, future-man and Jinpei are watching them closely.

“Why don’t you go wait in the cockpit, okay?” is all that Dr. Maxim says.

“Doctor,” whispers Ken more insistently, “You can’t.”

“Okey-doke,” says Dr. Maxim, ignoring him, “Power up the chamber according to this meter.”


 


“Do exactly as I say,” he continues, “Be careful or else I’ll burn to a crisp.”

It’s Jinpei that he’s handed the meter to.

“So where’s the data?” asks Jinpei, sounding eager.

“When you turn on the power,” explains Dr. Maxim, “It will come out of my body.” He gets inside the transparent capsule and shuts its door.

It will come out of his body???


 


But everyone seems to accept this.

Ken walks away and, following Dr. Maxim’s suggestion, he heads for the transport plane’s cockpit. He stands there for a moment, noting that the windshield is all smashed up and everything looks a bit grimy.

But suddenly Ken’s eyes narrow as he thinks “Hang on,” and he pulls out the metal clip he’d used to repair the plane’s throttle… twenty years earlier.


 


“But this would’ve have to have rusted over twenty years.”

Meanwhile, inside the transparent capsule, Dr. Maxim cries out as what looks like electricity crackles around him.


 


As he continues to gasp and gurgle, future-man and Jinpei watch intently but seemingly unconcerned for his suffering.

On a panel of instruments, some buttons suddenly light up. Is this panel on the dashboard inside the cockpit?

Dr. Maxim is continues to be zapped for another moment and then the electricity stops.

“I think we’ve got it,” says future-man, and Dr. Maxim opens the capsule’s door and steps out, groaning and clutching a hand to his head.

“Where is the data, Doctor?” asks future-man, not bothering with a “Are you okay?” or anything like that.

Suddenly, we hear Ken laughing triumphantly, startling everyone, and then Ken is standing right there.

“All right, drop the act already, Berg Katse!” orders Ken.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Gatchaman,” says future-man, and he and Jinpei stare blankly.

“I’ll give you credit for making it seems like twenty years, but it’s probably been two days,” continues Ken accusingly, “The devil’s in the details, you see. You obviously failed to remember that a pin like this would have rusted!”

And now master-detective Ken displays the fatal clue.


 


“How do you explain that?” he demands, flourishing the shiny pin.

“That’s… uh… stainless,” says future-man weakly, looking anxious now, “Isn’t it?”

Ken reaches for his boomerang and throws it at future-man, where it slashes him and then returns to Ken. “That’s check and mate,” says Ken.


 


Future-man laughs nastily for a moment…


 


But then he whips away his torn clothes in a flourish of red and purple, to reveal that he is in fact…

Berg Katse! (Is anyone surprised?)


 


“Well done, Gatchaman,” snarls Katse, “You saw through the ploy but you’ll never leave here alive!”

“Then I’ll take you with me!” Ken rushes at Katse and gives him a kick.


 

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And he follows this up by punching Katse in the face several times, throwing him against a wall and then grabbing him by the lapels to yell “Stand up and die like a man!”


 


But the gasping Katse is then thrown to the floor instead, where Ken steps on his face and grinds his heel.

“Die, you cockroach!” yells Ken, grinding his heel some more as Katse continues to gasp and struggle.

“That’s far enough, Gatchaman!” yells Jinpei… Well, it’s plain now that it isn’t Jinpei.

Whoever he is, he’s got a gun to Dr. Maxim’s head.


 


“Now,” says fake-Jinpei, slicking his hair back with one hand, “You’re going to hand over that condensed mantle energy data.”

“Over my dead body,” growls Ken, but he’s stopped trying to crush Katse’s face. In fact, he’s stopped paying attention to Katse, who suddenly stands up and points a gun at Ken’s face.

“You figured it out a little too late,” says Katse, “Now hand over the data, bird brain.”

And we see that a whole bunch of gun-toting goons have also entered the room. A smirking Katse again demands the data from Ken.

But suddenly there’s an eerie “Dare da, dare da, dare da” whistle…


 


All the goons are listening nervously too. “See to that!” snaps Katse to one goon, who goes to investigate.

He doesn’t get very far –upon opening the door out, he gets a fist in his face!


 


The goon turns around, babbles incoherently and then topples over. (In the subs he's saying "The stars, the stars are so pretty!") But, then we see who the fist belongs to and who has appropriated Ken’s signature whistle.

Joe! And Jun, Jinpei (the real Jinpei,) and Ryu as well.


 


“How did all of you get here?” demands Katse crossly.

“A little bird must have told them, huh?” says Ken smugly, and we can see that his bracelet is transmitting a bird scramble signal.


 


Well, cue the big fight scene! A whole bunch of goons now open fire on the Ninjas. Jun leaps into the air, even as the cable from Joe’s gun slashes across the faces of those goons, and then she takes out a couple more herself by kicking them.


 


Ken and Joe are standing back to back. “The gang’s all here!” says Ken happily, “Let’s do some damage!” and he gives Joe an encouraging thump on the shoulder (though I doubt Joe needs any encouragement to do damage.)

Ken sure seems zealous to inflict some himself –that’ll teach Galactor not to make him think that all his friends are dead, insane or turncoats.


 


Joe, however, seems momentarily distracted by Ken and goes “huh?” and then a goon actually manages to punch him in the jaw. (This is the second episode in a row that a goon has managed to punch Joe –a further sign, perhaps, that all is still not well with him, even though this episode doesn’t make any mention of his recent problems?)


 


Joe doesn’t like that one bit! With a brief, murderous glare he grabs the goon, bashes him repeatedly on the head and then picks him up and flings him at the floor.


 


Very appropriately, Jinpei attacks his future-imposter, and he even snarls “Hey, you look familiar,” before he punches him out. (In the subs he says "This guy's got a weird face"!)

(You have to wonder, though, how Galactor knew enough about what Jinpei looks like to come up with a future-Jinpei plausible enough to fool Ken –their appearances and identities are supposed to be secret. Maybe Katse made a lucky guess.)


 


And now, the supposedly traumatized, zombie-like people that Ken and Dr. Maxim had encountered earlier get up from where they’d been sitting listlessly as a voice announces “Emergency! The Science Ninja Team has infiltrated!” and they run from the room. We briefly see the clothes of a couple of them go flying, and then they reemerge as goons and run off to join the fight at the transport plane. (Though one of the “zombies,” who runs off in another direction, is pretty clearly a woman in a mini-dress –it’s not clear if she’s a devil star, a lone female goon or a goon who’s nearly as good at female impersonation as Katse himself.)

Meanwhile, Katse is running as fast as he can down a corridor of the transport plane, with Ken in pursuit. Ken flips off the ceiling, launches himself at Katse and sends them both smashing through a window.


 


They fall out of the transport plane just in time to greet the newly arrived ex-zombie goons.


 



Very considerately, Katse lands on the floor on his back and cushions the fall for Ken. Ken springs away quickly and lands in a crouch, but then immediately tosses a handful of explosive charges at a bunch of goons who have opened fire on him.

Then he kicks some other goons. He just passed up an opportunity to pummel Katse some more, but I guess he had to deal with the goons firing on him first.


 


And he pauses to step on one unfortunate goon’s face, leaving a heel imprint in his wake.

Meanwhile, the other Ninjas are soaring down from the transport plane, and in shadows on the wall, we see them hitting and kicking more goons as they land.

Jinpei lands behind one startled goon who wheels around to see who’s there.


 


And then Jinpei spits in his face –very copiously. Jinpei, that’s gross!

Ryu gives a goon a thumping and then hurls him at a cluster of other goons, which knocks them all down.


 


Joe kicks an open barrel of fuel across the floor towards some more goons and it rolls their way, spilling fuel on the floor.


 


Ken seizes another goon from behind and uses his rifle to fire at the barrel.


 


A wall of flames arises immediately, sweeping towards the terrified goons as we hear their anguished screams.

Needless to say, Katse doesn’t like the way the fight is going.


 


He’s running away again, but now Ken and Jun are both after him.


 


Katse continues to run and now Joe, Jinpei and Ryu have joined the chase too. But they all screech to a halt when they see that Katse has made it into an escape ship.


 


“Auf wiedersehen,” says Katse, prudently not wasting any time with villainous ranting or gloating. Then he takes off (and we get a brief glimpse of a timer-like device on the launch pad).


 


Katse’s ship smashes through the ceiling and then he’s gone.

“You coward, all you do is run away!” yells Jinpei, fists waving. But Dr. Maxim now flips a switch, and reveals that all the scenes that he and Ken had seen before were merely projections onto the walls of the large dome they’re inside –the destroyed ISO headquarters, Red Impulse’s memorial stone, and the ravaged city.


 


“It’s fake,” says Ken. “A trick,” adds Dr. Maxim, “Using 3-D movies they projected onto screens from all sides, making it seem three-dimensional to fool our eyes.”


 

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“The ultra-modern city we saw outside,” continues Dr. Maxim, “Is probably just a hologram.”

But the timer on the escape ship’s launch pad is counting down…


 


“Of course,” growls Ken, “There’s a time bomb!” They all run (though there’s no sign of poor Dr. Maxim running back up the corridor with them –surely he wasn’t left behind! And whatever happened to the two pilots who were flying the transport plane? No one seems to have wasted any time looking for them.)


Next we see the God Phoenix flying through the “ultra-modern city” and it tears right through a “building” and the “Statue of Anti-liberty,” revealing them to merely be hasty constructions of canvas over frames.


 


“Those buildings are just paper mache,” remarks Ryu, who’d perhaps been hoping to smash up a real statue of Berg Katse.

The God Phoenix flies towards a hole in the ceiling and into a tunnel, and the timer continues to count down…

But just as the God Phoenix is outside (flying out of a hole in the top of a mountain) and back in the real, arctic terrain, the underground base explodes into flames.


 


Flames come shooting out of the hole in the mountain top, as the Ninjas (and Dr. Maxim –guess they didn’t leave him behind) stand outside the God Phoenix and watch.


 


But Dr. Maxim is holding up something that looks like some hairs. Did he pull them from his own head?


 


“Here we go,” he says, and he runs the hairs through a little device.


 


“Hey, what are those red filaments?” asks Ken as everyone looks on curiously.

“It’s a microfilm,” says Dr. Maxim, placing the device on the ice and snow at their feet. The device, which has pointy protrusions on its bottom, begins to spin rapidly.


 


As everyone stares, it burrows its way into the ice.

“Tell you what,” Ken tells Dr. Maxim, “It’s a good thing you saw through Galactor’s trick a lot sooner than I did.”

“Well, there’s no way science advances that far in just twenty years,” explains Dr. Maxim.

“When you got into the chamber,” realizes Ken, “You were prepared to sacrifice yourself.” Ken is impressed at his willingness to sacrifice himself in the line of duty, naturally.

“I was saved, thanks to you all,” replies Dr. Maxim, with a hand on Ken’s shoulder, “Thanks, kiddo!”


 


Meanwhile, the device continues to burrow itself deep into the ice, presumably where it will remain hidden and be erased naturally by the polar magnetism according to Dr. Nambu’s original plan.

“Even if it was only for a brief moment,” says the narrator as the God Phoenix flies though the sky and we see everyone on the bridge, “Ken and the others saw a world overtaken by Galactor.”


 


“But it was a false world, for there is no way Galactor would create a peace on Earth. That’s your mission, with the Science Ninja Team –go Gatchaman!”

And the God Phoenix flies off into the sunset.

The End.

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Battle of the Planets Episode: “G-Force in the Future”

“There’s never a dull moment,” says Zark’s voice as we see Center Neptune, “Down here at Center Neptune, deep beneath the waves, especially if you happen to be the central defense robot, as I am.”

And we see 1-Rover-1. He yaps.

“What is it, 1-Rover-1?” asks Zark, who’s standing beside him, “You’re not hungry again? You just had a big bowl of grated iron filings.”

But 1-Rover-1 yaps again.

“Oh, you’re worried,” says Zark, “You’ve heard. Well, I know there’s a lot of big talk around here now about the plans to build a marvelous Future World powered by geothermal energy, but don’t let it upset you.”

With that, Zark flaps his cape and flies over to his monitors. So, 1-Rover-1 rotates his tail and also (and equally implausibly) becomes airborne and flies over to be beside Zark again.

And he yaps again.

“We’ve got to worry about the here and now, 1-Rover-1” replies Zark to whatever 1-Rover-1 just said, “If I don’t stay alert and protect the present world from the evil plans of planet Spectra, we may not have a future world.”

1-Rover-1 yaps again.

“Right now, G-Force is meeting with Security Chief Anderson,” says Zark, “They’ll be helping the scientists find the best location to build the Future World. I wonder if they plan to make robots obsolete? Maybe they’ll go back to using nothing but humans.”

Wouldn’t that be rather contrary to a place called “Future World,” Zark? (Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing him made obsolete.)

1-Rover-1 rolls over and plays dead (or, as he’s a robot, plays “obsolete,” I guess.)

“Oh no, they couldn’t take a foolish, backwards step like that,” says Zark (even though he’d just contemplated that very possibility), “But maybe we should just take a peek in the Security Office, and see what they’re up to.”

In other words –spy on them.

“The disaster planning commission,” says Chief Anderson’s voice as we see an image of Earth from space, “Has chosen the arctic area as the most feasible site for Future World.”

[I would love it he’d instead been relating a new plan to render Zark obsolete, accompanied by cheers of approval from the G-Force members, but that is not the case here…]

Next we see a cross-section image of Earth.

“The key to the entire project,” explains Anderson, “Is the Gorki formula –the tapping of the Earth’s molten core to supply energy for Future World.”

And we see all of G-Force sitting around in their civvies, listening and watching Anderson’s slide show.

“This is Dr. Gorki,” says Anderson, bringing up an image of man with grey hair and beard, wearing glasses, “Architect of Future World.”

Slide show over, Anderson walks over to a window and opens a blind, letting in sun.

Hey, why aren’t they at Center Neptune?

“He’s an eccentric,” explains Anderson, shutting down the projector and sitting at his desk, scowling, “But definitely a genius. He’s going to survey the arctic area for Future World and he’s turned down all security protection.”

“Lots of people go around without security,” remarks Princess.

“I don’t get it, Chief,” says Mark, “Why bring us into this if Gorki wants to go it alone?”

“I don’t like it,” says Anderson, standing up again, “Dr. Gorki is carrying his energy formula in his head. We’ve run a security check on him and he’s clean, up to a point, but he has radical ideas.”

“Now wait a minute, Chief,” says Mark, frowning a bit, “You just said Dr. Gorki was a genius, not a conformist.”

“I don’t deal in ideologies,” replies Anderson, pointing a finger, “Just security –that’s why you’re going with him.”

“Going where?” asks Mark.

“There’s been mysterious activity going on in this area,” says Chief Anderson, walking over to a map on the wall and pointing to a region that, if the map’s latitude lines are any indication, is at one of the Earth’s poles, “So far, we’ve drawn a blank but it smells like trouble.” He slaps his hand against the map.

“The rest of you will fly shotgun in the Phoenix,” he tells them, “Discreetly, of course.”

Everyone salutes and says “G-Force!”

We cut to a scene of a large plane flying through the sky.

“Dr. Gorki is an eccentric, all right,” voice-overs Zark-the-spy, “He insisted on flying in a vintage propeller-driven plane from the 20th century. The plane was an old DC-5 which had hung in a museum of primitive aircraft.”

Yes, Zark, and someday you will hang in a museum of primitive robots…

The Phoenix is flying through the sky as well, a discreet distance from the DC-5.

Inside the primitive, 20th century plane is what looks like an upright glass coffin with lots of cables extending from its sides.

“Dr. Gorki was very secretive about this piece of equipment,” remarks Mark to himself, looking at it, “It looks like an old cryogenics casket. I wonder what it’s for.”

Mark comes up a little flight of stairs to join Dr. Gorki in what looks like the passenger area of the plane.

“I don’t like anyone nosing around my equipment, Commander,” declares Gorki, “And I dislike your checking up on me.”

“Sorry, Doctor,” says Mark politely, sitting down beside him, “But Security feels there may be some attempt to stop you from reaching the Future World site. My job is to see that you get there.”

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“And to check up on me, eh?” adds Gorki.

“Not really,” says Mark.

“Bah,” says Dr. Gorki, unconvinced.

The plane’s altimeter is spinning now, and the plane is going into a steep descent.

“Buckle up,” Mark tells Dr. Gorki, “I’ll find out what’s gone wrong.”

“Be careful,” says Dr. Gorki, who then fastens his seatbelt.

Mark slides along the floor on his way to the cockpit, as the floor is angled downward now.

“What’s happening?” asks Mark, entering the cockpit.

“We’re in trouble, Commander,” one of the pilots tells him.

Mark immediately pulls out his boomerang and says “Let’s take a look,” using it to pry open a panel beside the throttle.

“It looks like the holding pin’s broken loose,” announces Mark as the two pilots look on. Meanwhile, the plane is still descending and the icy terrain below is no long that far below.

“This museum piece has had it, Commander,” says the pilot.

“Let’s take a look at the flight manual,” says Mark, removing it from a wall compartment. He doesn’t look up ‘Emergency in-flight repairs’ or anything like that though –he just removes a clip-like metal page marker.

“It might work,” he thinks as he studies the shiny clip.

As the plane continues to plummet, Mark takes the clip and inserts it into the throttle mechanism. His repair an apparent success, he says “Okay, give it a try,” to the pilot.

The clip bends from strain, but it holds –lucky for them as the plane was close to hitting the ground. As it is, they’re still at risk of crashing into a mountain looming before them.

“Look out, Ted. Get those wing flaps up, Ted,” says the senior pilot now to his junior colleague (and, very BOTP-like, gives him an actual name.)

Ted gets the wing flaps up, as the clip continues to be strained by the throttle but still stays intact. And they’re able to just avoid crashing into the mountain.

“Wheels down, get ready for a rough landing,” the senior pilot says next.

Meanwhile, Mark has gone back to where Dr. Gorki is sitting and tells him “Hang on, we’re making an emergency landing.”

“No tricks, Commander,” says the eccentric Dr. Gorki, “Stay right here where I can keep an eye on you.”

Mark glowers at him.

“I don’t want you monkeying around in the baggage compartment,” he adds, ”I’ll reveal the secret of Future World’s power source when I’m ready.”

Mark doesn’t respond to this, and then we see the plane landing in a desolate arctic setting.

But suddenly there’s what looks like a small explosion outside somewhere, and the plane is shaking and jostling Mark and Dr. Gorki.

But we cut to Princess on the bridge of the Phoenix, saying “They’ve just gone in for a landing.”

“Something’s wrong,” says Jason, “That’s not the designated landing area. Check it, Tiny.”

“Check,” says Tiny, altering the Phoenix’s course.

Meanwhile, the DC-5 is sitting on the snowy ground and inside, Dr. Gorki is putting on a parka.

“I’m going out to look around,” he tells Mark coldly, holding a little black device in one hand, “This recorder will warn me if anyone tries to tamper with my equipment.”

Sheesh, this guy is a pain.

But before Dr. Gorki can even open the door, the whole plane really starts shaking, flinging him and Mark back towards the wall behind them.

“Now what?” says Mark.

“What” is that the ice that the plane’s sitting on is cracking wide open under them and the plane is falling into the resulting chasm. Inside the cockpit, the two pilots go tumbling too.

“Oh no!” cries everyone on the bridge of the Phoenix, seeing what’s happening. And the chasm the plane fell into is closing up again now.

“Get out, Doctor!” cries Mark, but with the plane pitching and lurching, neither he nor Dr. Gorki make it over to the door. We see a piece of one wing break off against the ice and then the plane plunges into water and sinks. The icy chasm closes fully over now.

“Mark’s gone!” cries Keyop, on the bridge of the Phoenix.

We see a close up of Mark’s face, looking horrified as he sees nothing but ice outside the plane’s window…

All goes dark.

And we cut to Zark, standing at his monitors.

“7-Zark-7, calling Commander of G-Force,” he says, “Come in, Commander. Come in.”

Gee, Zark, maybe he’s too busy being crushed by ice to want to talk to you.

“This is terrible,” says Zark, as his antennae droop, “The plane carrying Mark and Dr. Gorki has fallen into a deep, icy crevasse, and I can’t get through to them. I don’t like the way this is coming down. If Spectra is behind this and somehow gets hold of Dr. Gorki’s energy formula… Come in, Commander! Please, come in!”

We cut to a color swirl of psychedelic blobs, and then wavy lines (but no needles jabbing into anyone’s arm).

We get a close up of Mark’s face again, and now he’s groggily opening his eyes. He sits up (and there’s a futuristic looking city visible through the large window behind him), saying “Where am I? Oh, my head!” He clutches his head with one hand.

We see that he’s in a bed with Dr. Gorki –a weird image to be sure!- but he gets up and walks a bit unsteadily over to the window, still holding his head. But then Dr. Gorki walks up behind him, saying “Amazing! We’re in Future World!”

The city they’re seeing sure looks like something belonging to the future, with tall, oddly shaped towers and domes and elevated roads and transport tubes going everywhere and little cars whizzing along.

“We must have gone through time warp,” says Mark, frowning.

“It’s like a dream!” says Dr. Gorki cheerily.

“A bad dream,” says Mark, walking about the room now, “Someone put us in here.”

Suddenly, the section of floor that he and Dr. Gorki are standing on descends into the floor, taking them with it. They descend down a long glass tube.

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“Absolutely incredible,” says Dr. Gorki, still staring around at the city, “It’s exactly the way I designed it!”

But now they’re at the bottom and they both jump off the platform. They’re in a massive glassed-in room with palm trees, ponds and monorail tracks. It looks quite nice, but they spot a bunch of people all sitting listlessly on some long benches.

“A welcoming party,” says Mark, frowning, as the people all stand up and start coming their way. “There’s not a happy face among them,” says Dr. Gorki, puzzled.

In fact, all the people have very glum or blank expressions on their faces.

“This is not my Future World,” says Dr. Gorki now, dismayed at this apparent lack of appreciation for the fruits of his genius, I guess, “Not what I had in mind.”

“Let’s split,” says Mark, just as the mob is nearly upon them. He hustles Dr. Gorki down a nearby corridor.

“Wrong turn,” says Mark, as they encounter yet another group of glum/blank and unspeaking people. So, they run down yet another corridor –only to reach a dead end.

“Dead end,” says Mark, “We’ll have to turn back.”

But Mark backs up apprehensively as the zombie mob approaches. Fortunately, a glass partition suddenly drops down from above, with them on one side and Mark and Dr. Gorki on the other.

“Have no fear, gentlemen, they are harmless,” says a voice from behind that sounds exactly like Zoltar’s. Mark turns around hastily to see a wall panel rising to reveal two new men.

“I am Koda,” says the speaker (who sounds just like Zoltar) but he’s a middle aged man with a mustache, and he and his somewhat younger companion are dressed in smock-like grey and white uniforms, “Welcome to Future World, Commander.”

“Who are those people?” asks Mark.

Koda walks over to the glass panel and looks at the zombie mob. “Return to your quarters,” he orders, and they all start walking away listlessly.

“They are all survivors of the great Spectra invasion, Commander” continues Koda.

“Invasion?” says Dr. Gorki.

“What Spectra invasion?” demands Mark.

“It happened almost fifty years ago,” says Koda, “Zoltar and his invaders plundered and destroyed all our great cities.”

Okay, some of the zombie-like survivors we were just shown were definitely younger than 50. Did the Great Invasion take 20 years or so to be completed?

“All but one of your companions died,” continues Koda, looking at Mark now, “Trying to save Earth. Center Neptune was destroyed.”

“You’re lying!” cries Mark, getting in Koda’s face, “This is all just a nightmare!”

“Come,” says Koda calmly, “I will show you what’s left of the old cities, Commander.”

And next thing you know, Koda and his companion, Mark and Dr. Gorki are all lifting off from a rooftop launch pad in a little flying shuttle.

“Please be seated, gentlemen,” says the companion, gesturing to two seats with a good view out the window.

“Future World is all that’s left of Earth,” Koda is explaining now, leaning on the back of Mark’s chair, “All else is devastated.”

The shuttle enters a large tube that extends upward…

Up at the surface, we do indeed see that Earth’s cities are devastated. As Mark and Dr. Gorki stare out the window in horror, Koda keeps talking.

“This was once the great city you lived in.”

“I don’t understand,” says Dr. Gorki, “Why was no effort made to rebuild it?”

“Deadly radiation, Doctor,” explains Koda, “It may be that Zoltar and his invaders wanted to leave Earth a wasteland, Dr. Gorki.” Koda turns away from the window to look at him. “Except for Future World, which was built from your master plan, they have succeeded. We, the few survivors, are grateful.”

He points, and Dr. Gorki looks and gasps. So does Mark. What they’re seeing is more devastated city, with one particularly prominent building toppled over on its side.

“The entire city is nothing but a graveyard of ruins,” says Mark, staring, “But why didn’t we continue aging?”

“Evidently you were frozen into a state of suspended animation,” explains Koda, “We found you and your plane entombed in ice. We revived you.”

Dr. Gorki stares silently at Koda, then turns towards the window, clearly thinking…

Next we see the shuttle traveling under water.

“This was where Center Neptune once stood,” Mark is saying, still looking stunned by all he’s been seeing, “Where 7-Zark-7 kept watch over the Galaxy.”

“Your companions, Commander,” says Koda as Mark moves towards the window, pressing his hands against it and looking truly horrified.

We see a brief view of a gravestone that looks just like the one that Mark was calling his brother’s in “The Awesome Armadillo,” but Mark whispers “Jason, Princess, Tiny? All gone?”

Is Mark seeing some sort of writing that we’re not seeing, because although Koda mentioned earlier that one companion survived, he didn’t say which one?

Mark closes his eyes and bows his head in grief.

And we cut to Zark, who is pacing.

“My mouth is in my heart! I mean my heart is –Oh dear! I haven’t got either one, but I can tell you, my binac is clear up where my radac ought to be –I hope you know what I mean.”

He stops pacing at looks toward us viewers.

“Ever since the plane carrying Mark and Dr. Gorki disappeared beneath the ice, I’ve been a computerized wreck! It’s almost as though they vanished into another world! Or another time.”

“Another world…” says Zark, as we get a close up of him, “Do you suppose Dr. Gorki spirited Mark away to his Future World? But that’s impossible –he hasn’t actually created it yet. It’s all in his head.

He starts pressing buttons on his console.

“Something down in my filament fiber tells me that Mark and Dr. Gorki are in great danger. I must try to get through to them!”

But we’re seeing an image of planet Saturn now.

“Planet Saturn?” says Zark, “Why do I get that when I want to know what’s happening right here on Earth? I’ve got to try to get sound, even without a picture.”

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We cut to Koda, putting a sympathetic hand on grieving Mark’s shoulder, saying “I am sorry, Commander.”

Mark sweeps his arm out, dislodging the hand, and growls “Your fault, Doctor.”

Huh? How is it Gorki’s fault that Jason, Princess and Tiny are dead? Or is Mark blaming him for something else?

We get another close up of Dr. Gorki, thinking, but he doesn’t say anything.

The shuttle moves on, leaving the gravestone behind, and it heads into a tunnel.

Coming out of the tunnel, it’s back in Future World, where it flies inside a docking bay and deposits its four passengers.

“Take a good look at one of the survivors, Commander,” says Koda, with his hand once again on Mark’s shoulder.

He glances to his companion who goes and activates a view screen. What’s on the screen is an elderly man sitting in a chair and holding a flower.

“Your onetime Security Chief Anderson,” explains Koda. Mark and Dr. Gorki stand up in surprise. Chief Anderson is occupied with plucking the petals from his flower and tossing them in the air but he isn’t saying anything.

“Anderson survived?” gasps Mark, “But what happened to my companions?”

Um, didn’t you already figure that out, Mark?

Koda’s companion changes the image from Anderson to one of three gravestones. Mark walks away from the screen but Dr. Gorki asks “Who rules Future World?”

“I do,” answers Koda, “Under the direction of Spectra.”

That stops Mark in his tracks and he turns back and glares at Koda.

“We are a conquered people, Doctor Gorki,” continues Koda, “Zoltar’s subjects.”

Zoltar is still alive fifty years later. I wonder what he looks like now. Is he still wearing the shiny pink lipstick?

“So Zoltar won after all,” says Mark, thumping his fists against one of the windows, head bowed.

“We’re alive, Commander,” says Koda, “That’s what counts.”

Mark looks up again, and spins around to retort “You call this being alive?”

“That’s what your companions said, except one,” replies Koda, and Mark moves towards him.

“Except one?” demands Mark, apparently forgetting that he already seems to know that everyone’s gone except Keyop.

“Yes,” says Koda, “Your companions thought that you had deserted them, but when the invasion started, they went bravely to their deaths. All except…”

Koda looks towards the door, which opens to reveal-

“Little Keyop,” says Koda.

Mark moves rapidly towards the newcomer, who we see from behind as he removes his hat.

Now we see his smiling face and it really does look like an older Keyop, but still way too young to be a fifty years older Keyop! He looks like he’s in his late teens or twenties at best. Maybe they have really good anti-wrinkle creams or plastic surgeons in Future World.

“It’s good to see you again, Commander,” says Keyop –and it really sounds like Keyop, if he were older and no longer broot-dooting.

“I don’t believe it,” gasps Mark.

Keyop rushes forward and hugs him. “I thought you were gone, like the others. It’s been such a long time, Commander –a long time.”

“What happened to you, Keyop?” asks Mark, staring at him closely, “You don’t talk the way you used to.”

“I grew up,” explains Keyop, walking over to the wall now, “Relax, Commander. We have a lot to talk about.”

Keyop shoots a beam of light from a ring on his right hand towards a button on the wall, and this causes a table and four chairs to rise up out of the floor and a tray of coffee cups to be dispensed as well.

“Strong setroonian [spelling?] coffee,” explains Keyop, bringing the coffee over to the table.

“You can leave us now,” says Koda to his companion, who is suddenly the odd man out who gets no coffee.

“Keyop was released when he swore allegiance to the new rulers of Earth,” explains Koda.

Mark’s got his head bowed and his eyes closed again, and he’s not drinking his coffee.

“Here’s to our brave new world, Commander,” says Keyop cheerily, raising his cup in a toast, “Even if it is under Spectra rule.”

Mark opens his eyes again to glare at Keyop and rises suddenly to his feet, brandishing a fist. “The Keyop I knew would never drink a toast to Zoltar,” he says, “He’d have died first! Just as Princess, Tiny and Jason did!”

Mark bangs his fist down so hard his own coffee cup shatters.

“You accuse me of being a traitor, Commander?” yells Keyop, also leaping to his feet, “When it was you who deserted G-Force!”

Dr. Gorki is listening intently, and now he says “Mark, please. These accusations and counter-accusations are useless.” He takes a sip of his coffee.

Koda sips his coffee as well, as Dr. Gorki continues “I’m too old to be a rebel and too tired to think of fighting Spectra.”

Koda seems to find this interesting.

“And besides,” continues Dr. Gorki, “What can we do, Koda?”

“You can start by giving us your secret energy formula, Doctor,” replies Koda, putting down his coffee to look beseechingly at Dr. Gorki.

“Perhaps you’re right,” says Dr. Gorki, standing up, “My formula for tapping Earth’s molten core might help to free Future World.”

Now we see the DC-5, hanging from the ceiling in a large hangar-like room.

“My energy formula is inside that old plane, Koda,” he explains as we see a view of the plane’s cockpit –grimy looking and with broken windows, “I will have to activate this equipment first.”

And now everyone’s inside the plane and Dr. Gorki is fiddling with the upright glass coffin that Mark had thought looked like a cryogenics casket.

“Don’t do it, Doctor,” Mark is whispering to him, “I don’t trust them.”

Koda and Keyop don’t seem to hear this.

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“Just play along with me, Commander,” whispers Dr. Gorki.

“Will do,” whispers Mark.

Dr. Gorki turns around to Koda and Keyop, holding up a little black device.

“I’ll check it out with my quantum thermometer first,” he says, handing the device to Keyop, “It may have been damaged when the plane cracked up. Turn the activator on after I step inside.”

“Don’t try any tricks, Doctor,” says Keyop, seemingly suspicious of Dr. Gorki’s apparent cooperation.

“Just do as I tell you, young man,” says Dr. Gorki, getting inside the casket and shutting its door.

Mark goes off to the cockpit, pausing to look out through the broken windshield. But then his eyes narrow as he notices the clip that he’d used to repair the plane’s throttle. He pulls it out and studies it, saying “That’s funny. Sealed in ice for fifty years and not a speck of rust.” Indeed, the clip is still very shiny.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gorki is inside the casket and what looks like electricity is crackling all around him. But he’s not making any noise, so I guess it doesn’t hurt even though it looks like it ought to.

Koda and Keyop are watching intently.

We get a quick view of lights on a panel activating (somewhere on the casket maybe?) and Dr. Gorki continues to be awash in electricity for another moment, and then it stops.

“Dr. Gorki?” says Koda as the doctor steps out of the casket, clutching his head.

“You tricked us, didn’t you?” declares Koda, though it’s not clear what his basis for this accusation is.

But everyone’s attention goes to Mark now, whose shadow is on the wall, as we hear him laughing.

“You almost did it, Koda,” says Mark, still laughing as he steps into view.

“What are you talking about, Commader?” replies Koda smoothly.

“The Spectra invasion, Future World –all a put-on to get hold of Dr. Gorki’s energy formula! Even that story about us being entombed in ice for fifty years!”

Now Mark holds up the very shiny metal clip.

“You forgot this!” declares Mark.

“Fast thinking, Commander,” retorts Koda, turned away from Mark now (and there’s a big tear in the shoulder of his uniform –how did that get there? I mean, it’s not like Mark threw his boomerang at him.)

So now Koda, who has sounded just like Zoltar all along, whips away his uniform in a swirl of red and purple to reveal that he is, in fact, Zoltar.

Is anyone surprised?

“You are clever, Commander,” sneers Zoltar, “But I have you in my power! Without your companions, you are helpless!”

[Heh, according to Zark, it’s the other way around.]

And now we see the zombie mob, all sitting listlessly on their benches. But suddenly they all stand up, looking quite alert, and dash off in various directions. Two of the men go around a door and we briefly see their clothes go flying before they reappear dressed as Spectran soldiers –and wielding machine guns.

They –and now a whole bunch of other ex-zombie soldiers- all go running down a corridor, presumably towards the hangar where the DC-5 is.

We cut to Zoltar, inside the plane, and he says “Check it!” to a Spectran soldier standing by the door (where did he come from?)

So, Mark isn’t going to kick Zoltar, punch him repeatedly or stomp on his face while yelling “Die, you cockroach!” and “Keyop” isn’t going to put a gun to Dr. Gorki’s head, or Zoltar to Mark's, and Jason isn’t going to do any eerie whistling.

At any rate, the soldier instructed to check the door opens it, and gets punched by a fist wearing a dark blue glove as Jason’s voice says “Make way for G-Force.”

“Zoltar was a little lamb, his face as black as…” babbles the stunned soldier before he topples over sideways.

And behind him is Jason, Princess, Keyop and Tiny.

“Where did they come from?” snarls Zoltar, as we see Mark standing just behind him and holding up his flashing wrist communicator.

“So much for Future World, Zoltar,” declares Mark.

A bunch of Spectran soldiers are all staring, and then we see Princess leap into the air.

Now Mark and Jason are standing back to back. “Let’s take them, Jason!” says Mark, giving Jason a thump on the shoulder before moving off.

As Jason glances back where Mark was, a Spectran soldier actually manages to punch him. Jason grabs the soldier and bashes him on the head (but only once!) and then picks him up and flings him at the ground.

Elsewhere, the real Keyop is grappling with his fake older self. “Phony Keyop!” declares the real Keyop.

Mark is pursuing Zoltar down a corridor, and he flips off a ceiling beam and launches himself right at Zoltar. Together, they go crashing through one of the DC-5’s windows to fall all the way down to the floor of the hangar.

Zoltar lands flat on his back, serving as a cushion for Mark (who then springs away), but I guess it didn’t hurt that much because he doesn’t cry out in pain.

Mark lands in a crouch but then immediately launches himself at some Spectran soldiers who are standing nearby holding guns, and he kicks one of them in the head.

Jason and the rest of G-Force are now soaring down from the DC-5. In shadows on the wall, we see them kicking some more of the Spectran soldiers. Then Tiny grabs a soldier and hurls him towards a bunch of other soldiers, knocking them all down.

Jason kicks a barrel (whose spigot is open and which begins sloshing some liquid all over the floor) towards a bunch of other Spectran soldiers. Mark grabs a soldier from behind, such that the bullets coming from the soldier’s gun hit the liquid that’s spilled from the barrel.

And the liquid is flammable, and now a wall of flames surges up and towards a whole bunch of other soldiers. But one of them yells “Troops, retreat!” so we can assume they are all going to run away, unscathed, and not die screaming in anguish.

Zoltar is running away too, pursued by Mark and Princess (where has she been all this time?)

Then all of G-Force is chasing Zoltar down a corridor, but they all halt when they see that Zoltar has made it inside an escape ship.

“We’ll meet again, G-Force!” he yells before taking off (and we get a brief glimpse of a timer attached to the launch pad).

Zoltar’s ship punches right through the high domed roof and then is gone.

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“Looks like… giant screen,” says Keyop, waving his arms angrily.

“It is,” says Dr. Gorki, “Watch.” He flips a switch and we see the images of the devastated city now being projected onto the walls all around them. Mark stares, recognizing what he’d seen before.

“Clever,” says Mark.

“Clever,” agrees Dr. Gorki, “But I suspected something wrong when I sensed no real motion in that transport Koda took us on, and that story about us being frozen in the ice for fifty years –it was possible, of course, but…”

Meanwhile, the timer on the launch pad is counting down.

“Let’s get out!” yells Mark, noticing it.

We see them all dashing back up the corridor (though Dr. Gorki doesn’t seem to be with them here) and then we see the Phoenix flying out through a tunnel in the dome’s roof.

“There’s an escape hatch somewhere up ahead,” Tiny is telling Mark, on the bridge.

Back at the launch pad, the timer is still counting down.

The Phoenix flies out of an opening in the top of a mountain and is back in the arctic terrain.

Down below, a massive explosion rips through “Future World,” and flames come pouring out of the top of the mountain that the Phoenix had just emerged from.

But the Phoenix is parked on the snowy ground now and everyone is standing outside, watching the flaming mountain.

“Well, there goes your energy formula, Dr. Gorki,” says Mark.

“No,” says Dr. Gorki, holding what looks like some hairs, “The formula is right here.” He puts the “hairs” inside a little device and turns a knob.

“What are they, Doctor?” asks Mark as everyone watches.

“Microfilm,” answers Dr. Gorki, closing the device now and placing it on the ground.

It begins spinning rapidly and starts to burrow down into the ice and snow.

“It is done,” continues Dr. Gorki, “The microfilm will be lost forever deep beneath the Earth.”

Everyone stares.

“I don’t understand, Doctor,” says Mark, “Tapping the Earth’s molten core?”

“I’m afraid mankind is not quite ready for my formula, Commander,” replies Dr. Gorki as the device continues to dig its way deeper down…

“Well, the evil Zoltar almost fooled the Commander of G-Force,” voice-overs Zark as we see the Phoenix flying through the sky and then everyone standing on the bridge, “Doctor Gorki may be right –maybe mankind isn’t quite ready to tap the enormous power at the Earth’s core.

The Phoenix flies off into the sunset.

And we cut to Zark, taking an oil shower and scrubbing his back with a brush as 1-Rover-1 sits nearby holding a towel.

Zark sings wordlessly and rather tunelessly for a moment.

“A nice cold oil shower really eases the tension after a terrible experience like that,” he remarks.

“Thank you, 1-Rover-1,” he says, stopping the shower and reaching out to take the towel, “Zoltar certainly goofed when he built that fake Future World, didn’t he?”

He emerges from the shower with the towel wrapped around him.

“Did you notice, he forgot to include a single robot! A robot wouldn’t forget a thing like that –a robot never forgets anything!”

Well, Zark, you’ve forgotten to tell us that the two pilots of the DC-5 were somehow miraculously found and are both safe and sound.

But Zark has an incoming call.

“Center Neptune Control, 7-Zark-7!” he says.

Naturally, it’s Susan.

“This is Susan, at the early warning station, out on planet Pluto.”

“Oh, hi, Susan!” says Zark cheerily, “Do you have an early warning for me?”

“I’m afraid it’s late. You forgot to turn off your monitor while you took your shower,” says Susan breathily.

“Oh my!” gasps Zark, clutching his towel in an absurd show of modesty.

The End.

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LB ... thanks again for these great recaps, and thanks to Saturn for the fabulous screencaps!

Quite frankly, I admit that this episode isn't one of my favourites, but you've managed to make it interesting enough after reading all the hilarious, but very apt, comments! There's also the need of a break before the upcoming angst!

quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
(You have to wonder, though, how Galactor knew enough about what Jinpei looks like to come up with a future-Jinpei plausible enough to fool Ken –their appearances and identities are supposed to be secret. Maybe Katse made a lucky guess.)


Lucky guess, or not, apart from the accurate resemblance, Katse has surely hit bull's eye also with the way in which they usually spoke to each other, the false Jinpei calling Ken "Bro", and so on! Maybe, Katse had been able to overhear some Science Ninja Team's discussions at some point in time, or must have been really attentive!

And, if he haven't achieved anything with this made-up scene, at least, Katse must have come to known that the Swallow's real name is "Jinpei" (as confirmed by Ken)!

Didn't love the scene of Ken, as Gatchaman, with Dr. Maxim in his bed, though! I would have chosen better for him!!!!!

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Great job, LB and Saturn!

I agree, that Galactor has been studying the images of the SNT from when they encounter them. This is episode 100 after all, so they must have discovered something, besides that RI was Ken's father.

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I miss the fish parades.


Don't worry, they still have them in BOTP! Of course, there's only one more Gatchaman episode that was used in BOTP...

I remember watching thsi BOTP episode as a kid and being surprised that it was Zoltar all along. I guess I was easy to dupe in that manner... Wink

And I was inspired when I saw one of Saturn's screenshots...

 

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Great recap, LB. Thank you!

The one thing that really bothered me with this episode, and it is not so much this episode as with the whole plot line for Joe's injury, is that one episode it is piviotal, in the next it is non-existent. It is more like he is suffering from a chronic nervous system disorder rather than a fatal brain injury.

Although, I'll admit that the bedroom seen is a bit weird. Glad it wasn't Joe or Jason in there. Wink

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Galactor was smart here to use Jinpei, the young one, as the one who survived, since people's faces (especially guys') do look different after they've gone though puberty and he'd be the best chance of fooling Ken even if the imposter didn't look too much like him.

Though, they could have used one of the other Ninjas if they'd been presented as having a scarred-up face (war injuries?) but then Ken would probably have been more suspicious.

I still think that imposter-Jinpei looked too young if 20 years was supposed to have passed -and the 50 years in BOTP really made no sense!

Great cartoon of Dr. Nambu! Flowers really are best avoided on this show -if they don't explode, then they try to eat you or shrivel you up!

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Well Keyop is a lab-manufactured human, so perhaps he has delayed aging as well. Wink

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quote:
Originally posted by amethyst

The one thing that really bothered me with this episode, and it is not so much this episode as with the whole plot line for Joe's injury, is that one episode it is piviotal, in the next it is non-existent. It is more like he is suffering from a chronic nervous system disorder rather than a fatal brain injury.


I agree, this episode rather breaks up the continuity that would otherwise run from episode 98 to 105, as it ignores Joe's health issues that were clearly a big problem in eps 98 and 99. I confess I tend to skip over it, though now I'm thinking that Joe seeming distracted and getting punched in the head in this episode could be taken as a small hint that he's not in top form.

I've described Joe's history of injuries and his symptoms to the BF (who isn't an MD, but is an administrator in a neuroscience center and knows some things) and he suspects that all of Joe's symptoms (sensitivity to bright light, double vision, dizziness, headaches, aching or numb hands, weakness)- but especially the fact that they only occur sporadically (and supposedly result from an old injury)- would be quite tricky to explain in real medical terms.

I suppose one way to try to fanwank it would be to assume that since ep 99, Joe's taking painkillers or some other kind of drugs to try to suppress his symptoms and is succeeding to some extent, at least for now.



quote:
Originally posted by Transmute Jun
Well Keyop is a lab-manufactured human, so perhaps he has delayed aging as well.


Good point! It's plausible that Keyop might not age at the usual rate.

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