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Go to the bottom of this page Gatchaman Episode 40: “Jigokillers, the People-eating Flowers Part II”
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And then we see Mark, at his shack at the airfield. He’s sitting at a desk with his feet up, and he’s ignoring the incoming call from Anderson on his wrist communicator.

“Emergency, Mark –come in, Commander!”

Mark continues to sit there, eyes closed.

“I know you’re listening, Mark –come in!”

As Anderson continues to demand an answer, Mark takes off his communicator and tosses it on the desk.

“Earth is depending on you!” are the last of Anderson’s words we hear as Mark walks out of his shack, casting back one defiantly resentful look before he’s gone.

I guess he’s still in the “deep shock” that Tiny referred to, though I’m not sure why Mark would be so angry now at Anderson, who’s clearly doing everything he can to solve the current crisis (more than Mark is doing) –and especially as Mark himself agreed that it was necessary to burn the flowers in part I (though it sure seems that everyone’s more worried about Princess being a prisoner, than being dead from the fire). You’re coming off as rather passive-aggressive here, Mark!

We see Chief Anderson, who has finally given up on getting a response from Mark, and then we cut to a news broadcast on a TV.

“All persons have been evacuated and accounted for,” the news announcer is saying, “but the giant flowers are wreaking havoc on the city. We have thrown in all available defense units-”

We see some scenes now of the flowers rampaging in a city as flames burn around them, and some fighter jets (remotely controlled or robot-piloted I am sure) fly past.

“-in an attempt to stop them, but it looks as though the city is doomed.”

A hand turns the TV off as Mark barks “Shut it off!” and then adds, “I’m going back to my pad.”

We see, via an aerial view, that the TV is at Jill’s. Keyop is behind the counter and Mark walks past Tiny and Jason on his way out of the place.

And there’s puddle and what might be broken glass visible on the floor beside the stool where Mark was sitting. I guess someone must have accidently dropped their drink –surely Mark wouldn’t deliberately smash Jill’s glassware.

Jason glares at the departing Mark. A depressed-looking Tiny says “Commander’s real down himself.”

We cut to Mark walking up to the yard by his shack. Then we cut to an inside view, and the door opens and Mark enters and then slumps back against the doorframe, looking very upset.

And he’s got dark bruises on his face. Where did those come from? I mean, it’s not like Colonel Cronus had been lurking in his backyard, waiting to beat him up.

Mark is pacing now, but suddenly his wrist communicator, still on the desk where he left it, starts flashing.

“Princess!” gasps bruised-looking Mark, “She’s transmitting in secret code!”

He snatches his communicator up from the desk and says “Princess, give me the coordinates of your location!”

But the face of his communicator stops flashing.

Mark stares at it in dismay, but quickly looks very determined. “We’ll find you,” he says.

And we cut to Center Neptune, where Anderson is saying “I think I know why you’re here,” as we see Mark, Jason, Keyop and Tiny all ranged before him.

Jason still looks pissed off, but the others are glum-no-more.

“We want you to clear us for a mission into the city,” says Mark.

“It’s impossible,” answers Chief Anderson, “The city is devastated; the flowers are everywhere. I can’t risk losing you.”

“We’re going,” says Mark with firm insistence.


But Anderson insists that “security is my responsibility,” and his job is to “clear the city and see that no one is hurt.”

So, Mark explains that Princess contacted him and that he thinks she’s somewhere in the city. “We have to find her.”

We get quick views of Jason’s, Keyop’s and Tiny’s faces -all look as determined as Mark (though Keyop’s has a tear streak).

“How do you know it was Princess?”

“She used the G-Force secret code,” explains Mark.

“In that case, get going,” says Anderson, apparently now convinced the mission’s potential gain outweighs the risks, “I’ll clear you with the defense department.”

And we see the Phoenix launch from Center Neptune. On the bridge, everyone’s in birdstyle now, and we another look at everyone’s expressions of grim determination as they set off to find and rescue Princess.

However, Colonel Cronus and the Red Rangers are flying by.

“We’re flying cover for the Phoenix,” says Cronus, “Keep a sharp lookout!”

“Thank heavens, Princess signaled Mark,” voice-overs Zark as the Red Ranger jets swoop past the Phoenix, “I’m doing everything I can to track her –remote probes, phaser scanners. I know she’s in that ruined city somewhere. But where? That is the question. I hope that G-Force and Colonel Cronus’ men can rescue Princess. I wish I could go along and help them. Princess means a lot to me.” We’re also shown the city, and it is certainly devastated looking, with menacing flowers everywhere.

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And we cut to Zark, pacing back and forth anxiously as 1-Rover-1 sits nearby.

“I’m not leaving my command post here at Center Neptune control until Princess has been rescued, and I’m counting on Mark and the others to find her before Zoltar does.”

He stops pacing, adding “Those giant flowers from Spectra are devouring the city, and what really worries me is that the Federation Council voted to send in military units to eliminate the menacing flowers.”

We get to see what Zark is talking about –tanks armed with flame-throwers are going through the ravaged city and attempting to incinerate the flowers. (They’re incinerating more than just the flowers, from the look of it, but the city is already so trashed, it probably doesn’t much matter.)

“I pleaded with them,” voice-overs Zark, “Not to use the attack units till we found Princess, but they overruled me, saying the flowers must be stopped before the whole Earth is threatened.” Zark sounds quite indignant about being “overruled.”

“I tried to warn them that bombing the flowers would only split them into more and more pieces, which would grow into more and more flowers,” continues Zark, though we’re seeing a burning flower releasing spores into the air –is this what Zark means by splitting them into pieces?

“And that’s exactly what’s happening,” concludes Zark sadly. (I think a botanist might quibble with your terminology, Zark.)

It starts to rain, though, and we see a bunch of unburned flowers writhing happily so the weather is definitely cramping the military units’ tactics.

So, next we see tanks bombarding the already-ruined (and flower infested) buildings of the city with artillery shells. And, it’s stopped raining, so soldiers on foot are walking around with flame-throwers and burning more flowers again.

But the male members of G-Force are standing inside one of the ruined buildings, looking out at the tanks as they roll by –presumably in an area of the city that’s not being hit with artillery shells.

“Ooh, reminds me of… ghost town,” says Keyop.

“That might hold off the flowers for a while, but how are we going to find Princess?” demands a scowling Jason.

“She must have been captured and can’t send any more messages,” concludes Mark, looking worried.

“You think it’s Spectra?” asks Tiny.

“Who else?” replies Mark [Really, Tiny –who else?], “The flowers must be part of a Spectra plot.”

“But where could they be keeping her?” is Jason’s only slightly less pointless question.

“Something tells me we’re not far from their base,” says Mark, “As soon as the military pulls out, we’ll start looking.”

But the military is still occupied with blowing flower-filled buildings to bits.

Meanwhile, in the Spectran secret base, a soldier is looking at a view screen and remarking “The fools –they’re destroying their own city,” to the nearby Spectran captain.

The captain emits a somewhat shrill and nasal evil laugh. “Little do they know, we’re under their very feet, watching their futile attempts to destroy the fierce flowers!”

But suddenly his attention turns to a glass orb on a stand, with little antennae on it, as an image of Zoltar’s head and shoulders appears inside it.

The captain greets his leader, who says “The invasion is going well, I see. Our starships are standing by for take-off.”

“Earth forces are in a panic,” agrees the captain, “The flowers are spreading everywhere.”

Zoltar is pleased.

“We have captured one of the G-Force team, Sire,” continues the captain, “The girl they call Princess.”

Hmm, so much for G-Force having secret identities, if they know all that! Unless they tortured the information out of Princess –but that’s not too likely in this show.

The captain wants to know what to do with her, and Zoltar decides she will serve as bait to lure in the rest of G-Force (though just how the captain is supposed to manage that, Zoltar doesn’t say.)

Nevertheless, the captain declares this a good suggestion.

“We are close to final victory,” says Zoltar grandly, “Do not fail me, captain!” And then his image disappears.

Meanwhile, Mark, Jason, Keyop and Tiny are standing in a subway tunnel, staring at wrecked subway cars, upon which flowers are sitting.

In fact, they’re standing pretty close to the flowers. As BOTP isn’t using the “they only attack women” plot device, this leads one to wonder why the flowers aren’t trying to attack and swallow them up the same way they did with Princess.

Keyop notes there’s no sign of Princess here, but Mark declares they’ll keep looking, adding “Maybe Zark will come up with something soon.”

Don’t count on it!

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Wind blows through the empty, desolate ruins of the city, past the many flowers that the military somehow failed to burn or blow up.

Inside a ruined building, the four G-Force guys are taking a break or having completely run out of ideas of where to search next. Tiny and Keyop are sitting on the ground immediately beside one very large flower.

“Gives me… the creeps,” says Keyop, looking at it. Then why are you sitting six inches away from it, kid?

“They’re quiet now, those flowers,” remarks Jason, who is also sitting very close to another flower, “Like they’ve been told to lay low for a while, wait for further orders.”

“I’ve got an uneasy feeling,” says Mark, “They’re waiting for us to make a move, keeping tabs on us.”

But now we cut to Center Neptune and Chief Anderson, who’s standing on a balcony overlooking the tank that contains his captive flower (which is at the surface, its “head” out of the water)

“You seem to be watching me,” he says, as he watches the flower, “I wish you could tell me your next move.”

He grasps the balcony railing with one hand, but then jerks it back suddenly in pain.

“A cut,” he says, pulling out a handkerchief to staunch the bleeding. But a drop of his blood falls from the railing and lands directly inside the flower below.

The flower begins to jerk and writhe frantically, splashing water all around.

“Something’s happening to it!” says Anderson, staring.

The flower sinks to the bottom of the tank and then quickly withers up and dies.

“I don’t understand it. It just suddenly up and died,” he says, looking puzzled.

“It started right after I cut my hand…” he says, thinking. Then his face takes on a look of sudden comprehension. “A drop or two of blood dripped down –it must have fallen on the flower… That’s it! Something in the blood destroyed it!”

He laughs, having solved the “how to really kill the flowers” mystery and having one-upped Zark. Perhaps next time, Mark will be saying “Maybe the Chief will come up with something soon.”

And we cut to the secret Spectran base, where a whole bunch of soldiers are standing around on various tiers of a large and multi-level room. And we see that what they’re all standing around staring down at is, in fact, Princess, who’s manacled in a lidless box shaped like a mummy sarcophagus.

“Your friends will join you soon, Princess,” says the captain. I like to know why he expects that –have he and his soldiers been writing “Attention G-Force: Princess is this way” on various city buildings, with little arrows to indicate direction? Or does he know that she can signal them with her bracelet?

But of course, they’re all gathered together here to await G-Force taking the bait that is Princess –they certainly wouldn’t be assembled to watch Princess get skewered by a slowly-descending lid lined with massive spike or anything horrible like that!

“The invasion of Earth will begin now, and this time, G-Force will be unable to stop us!” declares the captain.

Princess opens her eyes, staring up grimly, and then she begins banging her bracelet against one side of the sarcophagus.

Elsewhere, Mark’s wrist communicator lights up. “It’s Princess, signaling,” says Mark.

“Right on the beam, Mark,” says Jason, also picking up the signal, as is Keyop.

“She’s in trouble, we’ll have to move fast! Let’s go!” declares Mark, and everyone salutes and jumps towards the Phoenix’s dome.

It takes off and once on the bridge, Jason rushes over to the radar screen and calls out “Due north, vector C and B –can’t miss it!”

Mark tells Tiny “Full speed ahead!” and off they go, smashing a piece of already-ruined building along the way.

“The signal’s coming from the city’s old water plant,” says Jason, scrutinizing a map on the radar screen. We see some pipes in an embankment, from which water is flowing, and Tiny bashes the Phoenix clean through them-

Aaand, very conveniently, the Phoenix’s nose bursts into the very room in the Spectran’s secret base where Princess is currently serving as G-Force bait while all the soldiers stand around watching.

“Stop them!” cries the Spectran captain, seeing the Phoenix and the four male G-Force members standing on the dome.

“Tiny, go after Princess!” instructs Mark, “We’ll hold them off!”

“Get them!” yells the captain.

“Ha!” yells Mark as he and the others all leap down from the dome.

Jason shoots his cablegun, ensnaring the arm of one gun-wielding soldier and creating a “tightrope” which Keyop then runs up in order to clobber the soldier. Mark grabs and flips another soldier.

Tiny runs up to Princess. There’s an odd looking “lid” hovering just over her sarcophagus now –where on earth did that come from? And, while the angle’s not good, it does look like it might have spikes protruding from its underside.

However, we don’t see it for very long. As Princess happily cries “Tiny!” he grabs the lid as if to heave it off. Suddenly, the lid has vanished and Princess is sitting up. Then, almost instantly, she’s swinging off one of the heavy cables that, for some unknown reason, are descending from the ceiling and she transmutes.

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“Spare me, Commander!” cries the Spectran captain now as Mark closes in on him.

“I shouldn’t,” growls a scowling Mark, “But go ahead –get your men out of here!”

“Thank you, Commander!” says the captain, and that’s the last we see of him. Yup, all the “deep shock” that Mark was suffering from over Princess’ abduction, and he just lets the guy go free. Doesn’t even punch him in the gut or anything.

But now Princess is gazing happily (though perhaps a bit apprehensively?) at Mark, and she says “Hi, Mark!” but he glares at her, and then gives her a more sidelong look. We see her from behind next, and she droops her head, though Mark says, with a lot of sincerity, “Good to have you back, Princess.”

Tiny is staring as if bewildered, and Jinpei’s arms are crossed and he looks most annoyed (that Mark let the captain go, perhaps) but then, a bit oddly, he smiles and makes self-embracing gestures and says “Me too.” Tiny glances at him,” puts a hand on Keyop’s head, and says “Let’s go.”

Hmm, Mark’s behavior here doesn’t seem to match his “deep shock” from before, or do a lot to demonstrate the “good vibes” he and Princess have.

Next we’re seeing the Red Rangers’ jets taking off from a runway, and Chief Anderson is watching this on a view screen. Anderson sits down at a console and attempts to contact Mark.

“All clear,” we see Mark saying into his wrist communicator, as Princess and Jason stand nearby, “Princess is safe.” For the first time this episode, Jason doesn’t look pissed off.

“We found a way to totally destroy the flowers,” Chief Anderson says, as our view expands to include Tiny and Keyop too, both smiling, “Using chemical bombs. Stay clear of the city. New crops of the terrible flowers have sprung up. Do not touch any of the flowers; it can be dangerous.”

“Yuck,” says Keyop as he hears this, rubbing a hand along his arm.

“The solution to the fierce flowers turned out to be quite simple,” Anderson explains, “An iron molecule in the hemoglobin, combined with carbon dioxide, when infused in water, create a toxic reaction inside the plants’ botanical makeup causing it to convulse and finally wither away.

Everyone absorbs this news without comment, and then we see the Red Rangers’ jets flying again.

Back to Anderson, he’s saying “Zark designed the chemical bombs [oh right, Zark had to be involved somehow] and our planes are ready to drop them now.”

Well, we can see which planes are doing that, as each of the three Red Ranger jets drops a bomb onto the city, creating a massive explosion that rises above the ruined city, leaving it looking no more ruined than it had been before. But the explosion’s mushroom cloud turns into dark grey clouds that then begin to rain on the city, soaking all the flowers that are still there. And all the flowers in the rain shrivel and die the same way as the one that was hit with a drop of Anderson’s blood did.

At last, all the flowers are dead for good.

All the G-Force members, we now see, are standing at the opening of a massive water conduit, watching the rain fall.

“It’ll be a while before I buy flowers again,” says Mark.

“They looked so pretty and harmless,” says Princess. Pretty? I’m not so sure of that! “They should never have been taken from their home planet,” she concludes.

“I’m glad they’re gone,” says Tiny, as Keyop concurs “Good job.”

They all watch the Red Rangers’ jets fly past in the sky.

“What now, Commander?” asks Jason, after a moment.

“We wait until the rain stops,” replies Mark.

There is a bit of the sun visible behind some gold and purplish clouds of rain and sunset.

And Zark starts voice-overing. “Once again, Spectra’s plans for the invasion of Earth have been frustrated, and thanks to the protection of the synthetic second skin Princess was wearing, she suffered no harm from the fierce flowers.”

The sun is really coming out again, shining on Mark’s face.

“As Princess said,” continues Zark, “The flowers looked so pretty and harmless –and they are, on their home planet. But here…”

We get a final look at the sun setting on the city, and then we cut to Zark himself. All episodes must end with Zark (it’s probably in his contract).

“Well, Zoltar will have to come up with something else now, and of course he will. That’s why I keep a 24 hour watch on the galaxy. I never know when Spectra will strike again.”

We see next that Zark is standing beside 1-Rover-1.

“Well, 1-Rover-1, we resolved that problem just in time. I don’t think my trigatron could have stood up under many more hours of pressure like that!”

1-Rover-1 yaps.

“Thanks,” says Zark, “I’ll be all right as soon as my electrobank gets a quick 1 hour recharge.”

And suddenly, Princess walks up to Zark and 1-Rover-1, greeting them. No Mark with her this time –maybe she’s ticked at him for letting that Spectran captain go. Or for not even giving her a hug when she was rescued. (Poor Mark, he can’t do anything unless Ken does it first… At least he didn’t have to hit Princess.)

Zark, of course, is happy to see her. “You don’t know how worried I’ve been.”

“Yes I do, that’s why I dropped in,” she replies, “Everybody’s been telling me about how you worried about me when I was captured by those terrible flowers –I wanted to let you see I was home safe and sound.”

“Thank you, Princess,” says a happy Zark, “You’re part of my family, you know.”

“Well,” she says, “All of us in G-Force are orphans –we don’t have any mothers or fathers worrying about us at home, but you’re a wonderful substitute, and I love you.”

And, to top all this off, she kisses Zark on his head.

“Bye Zark! Keep up the good worrying!” are her final words before departing.

And –gah!- Zark’s antennae quiver and he giggles “She kissed me! And she said she loves me!”

“But like a father?” continues Zark –sounding disappointed!

“Oh well, I guess I am the more… mature type,” concludes Zark ruefully.

Ick, ick, ick! Just what were you hoping for, Zark?

The End.

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I doubt anyone caught the line about the flowers being harmless on their home planet when the episode aired, but someone on the writing team must have been thinking of the damage that invasive species cause.

The flowers weren't 'harmless' on their homeworld, but they had competitors and possibly predators to keep them under control.

Nor do I think anyone spotted the bruises on Mark's face. Unless we know to look, a lot of Gatch leftovers would have flown past us.

In the Sandy Frank order, this two-parter comes after The Sky is Falling!, and before (respectively) Charioteers of Changu and The Invasion of Space Center. At this late date, it's not impossible that Spectra Intelligence could have discovered the team's civilian identities.

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This is a great addition to yor Gatchaman review, LB. Thanks for doing all of this work and giving us the BOTP review as well!

FWIW, in BOTP there was *one* episode with a villain that was *not* Spectran. Spectra wasn't even involved in the episode. Remember Captain Doom?

I have noticed in BOTP that the civilian identities are 'secret' or not as the plot demands. Wink

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And Antoff of Tramulus.

Dahmbo was a robot (not built by Spectra).

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Thanks a lot for this addition of yours, LB!

Whilst reading this BotP review, I've kept the Gatch episode in mind and had fun comparing both versions, and filling gaps in between scenes! UW is right ... if we didn't know what really had happened in Gatch we wouldn't have taken notice of some things so quickly, like the bruises on Mark's face, or the broken glass on the floor! I also find that the suppression of certain strong emotions, such as anger or frustration, or the correction of such, make things look a bit odd, IMO!

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I have the "G-Force" version of this two-parter on my tapes, but haven't glanced much at it, or the original Gatch episode. But I have noticed several people who've watched "G-Force" bringing this episode up, regarding how gloomy and mature it was for the time (really was the most "mature" show airing on Cartoon Network back in the mid-1990s). I'm assuming that most of the violence was kept in, yes even the scene Red Impulse roughing up a sulking Ken/Ace (remember that being an eye-opening scene as a kid). The scene with the Galactors being impaled on the spikes and Jun getting smacked by Ken, probably not. Inter-team violence was cracked down on in "G-Force", especially when it came to Aggie getting hit.

Most notably, the two-parter was amongst a very few, if not the only episode which didn't feature Cam Clarke voicing Dirk. It either featured one of the other male VA's or some stand-in who was never credited, but his voice sounds REALLY different, and not for the better.

In "G-Force", the two-parters were never named as such, yet their storylines remained more or less remained intact.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Dirk Daring on 14-11-2010 at 22:39.
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Thanks for the additional insight, Dirk!

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quote:
Originally posted by Dirk Daring
I'm assuming that most of the violence was kept in, yes even the scene Red Impulse roughing up a sulking Ken/Ace (remember that being an eye-opening scene as a kid). The scene with the Galactors being impaled on the spikes and Jun getting smacked by Ken, probably not. Inter-team violence was cracked down on in "G-Force", especially when it came to Aggie getting hit.


Thanks for the info!

So Ace gets beat up by Red Impulse in the GoS version? Interesting. But you say they cracked down on inter-Team violence? Do you know if Dr. Brighthead hits Ace in the GoS version of ep.54 "Gatchaman Burns with Rage"?

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
quote:
Originally posted by Dirk Daring
I'm assuming that most of the violence was kept in, yes even the scene Red Impulse roughing up a sulking Ken/Ace (remember that being an eye-opening scene as a kid). The scene with the Galactors being impaled on the spikes and Jun getting smacked by Ken, probably not. Inter-team violence was cracked down on in "G-Force", especially when it came to Aggie getting hit.


Thanks for the info!

So Ace gets beat up by Red Impulse in the GoS version? Interesting. But you say they cracked down on inter-Team violence? Do you know if Dr. Brighthead hits Ace in the GoS version of ep.54 "Gatchaman Burns with Rage"?


I believe that was cut out, yeah. Joe slapping some sense into Jun over her Galactor ex-boyfriend in "Science Ninja Team G-6" was also cut out of it's "G-Force" equivalent, "G-Force Agent 6". The only example I recall of inter-team violence being kept was in the "Operation Aurora" (similar title for the original Gatch ep) episode, only because Brighthead and Hooty were clearly hypnotized and needed some sense knocked into them. At least the edits that were made were not jarring, I didn't notice them until I watched the original episodes!

Surprisingly, they kept in Ken smacking the little fatherless girl in Ep.4 I believe, as well as the punch to the gut. But they muted the "SLAP!" sound effect. I notice they do that in many "G-Force" episodes, soften or mute the impacting sounds of punches and kicks.

I really need to get me a DVD Recorder so I could copy my set over to DVD.......

No new posts 16-11-2010 22:05
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quote:
Originally posted by Dirk Daring

I believe that was cut out, yeah. Joe slapping some sense into Jun over her Galactor ex-boyfriend in "Science Ninja Team G-6" was also cut out of it's "G-Force" equivalent, "G-Force Agent 6".


You mean "The Bird Missile" episode? That's the one with the "ex-boyfriend." That's probably the most disturbing example of inter-team violence in the first series (though Ken wallops Jun a lot harder in Gatch II's ep. 27)


quote:
Originally posted by Dirk Daring
The only example I recall of inter-team violence being kept was in the "Operation Aurora" (similar title for the original Gatch ep) episode, only because Brighthead and Hooty were clearly hypnotized and needed some sense knocked into them.
Surprisingly, they kept in Ken smacking the little fatherless girl in Ep.4 I believe, as well as the punch to the gut. But they muted the "SLAP!" sound effect. I notice they do that in many "G-Force" episodes, soften or mute the impacting sounds of punches and kicks.


Keeping in the hitting in the Aurora episode makes sense, as it was more of "Snap out of it!" kind of thing, but I'm surprised that Ace still hits the little girl -I guess that fact that she wasn't on the team outweighed the fact that she was just a kid!

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quote:
Originally posted by lborgia88
You mean "The Bird Missile" episode? That's the one with the "ex-boyfriend." That's probably the most disturbing example of inter-team violence in the first series (though Ken wallops Jun a lot harder in Gatch II's ep. 27)


Keeping in the hitting in the Aurora episode makes sense, as it was more of "Snap out of it!" kind of thing, but I'm surprised that Ace still hits the little girl -I guess that fact that she wasn't on the team outweighed the fact that she was just a kid!


Yeah, I figured I got the episode title wrong. The telltale sign that something was cut on "G-Force", be it extraneous Gatchaman footage (for time constraints) or overly violent scenes is.....you guessed it, the backbeat! It serves as a bridge between the cut footage, so that it doesn't look/sound jumpy.

With some exceptions, what was usually cut out of "G-Force" was overly violent deaths (i.e firearms, plunging to death), suggestive scenes (nudity, Ep. 87 of Gatch most notably) and most cases of inter-team violence.

No new posts 18-11-2010 07:07
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