Then, because this episode is so cheesy, I decided that a glass of wine was in order to compliment the cheese. After enjoying this wine and cheese pairing, I decided to type up the notes I took.
What does this have to do with anything? Glad you asked! This could end badly or it could make this review even more entertaining.
As I said, this episode is super cheesy. It’s one of those episodes of BoTP that I always remembered, mainly because of the mech and because this is the episode where Jason tries to stage a mutiny. If you asked 1990s, twenty-something, grunge rock listening, cynical Gen-X Slacker Me about the show Battle of the Planets, I would say that yes, that was the show where there were these five people who dressed as birds and they had this annoying R2D2-like robot and there was an episode where a giant flower swallowed the girl and then there was that one with the rock band and their song has been stuck in my head since the 1970s and then there was my favorite character who had the cable gun and the race car and is just way cooler and in one episode he said the words “I’m in command”.
Hulu asked me if I wanted to play trivia in lieu of the commercials or not. I chose not. Normally, I would, but commercials are now as much a part of the review as the actual episode is.
The Hyperbolic Voice-Over guy urges us to “stay tuned” because this big black ball mecha is terrorizing the Earth. He refers to it as a monster and a “self-contained world”, even though we don’t actually see any evidence of it being a planet. It’s too small to be a planet. It’s a big black ball. It looks like a toy I once had called “Strollin’ Bowlin’” which was a wind up bowling ball with feet that bounced down a lane to knock over a bunch of thin white bowling pins.
If you're curious, you can see the commercial on You Tube here.
Cue the theme song and cue the commercials.
Ad 1: Juice. Just a boring juice ad.
Ad 2: Audible.com. The ad features a bunch of people who put on these ugly orange Beats by Dre knock-off headphones to listen to audio books. The third person is a lady on the beach listening to a sci fi novel about the planet Zebulax. This one of the worst names for a planet I’ve ever heard. It’s so bad, it borders on Zarkadia territory. If I didn’t know better, or I heard that name out of context, I would make the assumption that they were talking about a brand of laxative and not a setting in a science fiction novel. Zebulax-the thorough, yet gentle laxative.
Neither ad is relevant to me. Orange headphones would clash with my red hair. Plus I get my audio books from the library for free. This way, if the books sucks, I’m not out $15.00 or whatever it is they charge on Audible for audio books.
Suddenly, I encounter a bit of mold on my cheese. It’s 7 Zark 7, the robot I really love to hate. This hatred is my fuel for writing these reviews, so I should probably not hate so much because if it weren’t for Zark, I wouldn’t be writing these. Except I’m not willing to give him that much credit. On the other hand, maybe it’s better I do give the tin can some credit before he jumps in and tries to take all the credit for the snarky and weird sense of humor that runs in my family.
Zark is showering. This doesn’t bode well for this episode at all. As if the sight of a narcissistic robot scrubbing his robot arm pits with a brush isn’t traumatizing enough, he attempts to sing Row, Row Row Your Boat.
Of course, he fails.
Then who should call, but Susan “That Will Be $3.99 For the First Minute” From Planet Pluto. Yes, kids, once upon a time, Pluto was a planet, but then someone decided it wasn’t a planet. Then a bunch of people decided it was a planet, but a “dwarf” planet. I’m just going to call it a planet because for a majority of my life, it’s been a planet.
I just realized my “$3.99 For the First Minute” joke is also outdated. I suppose that, instead of actual 1-976 numbers and phone sex operators, there’s probably an app for that these days. But Susan “There’s an App For That” From Dwarf Is It Or Isn’t It a Planet Pluto isn’t the same because, for one, it’s a mouthful that doesn't roll off the tongue very well and Susan has the breathy, cooing tones of a person who has phone sex with strangers.
Anyway, there is the required icky flirting between Zark and Susan. Their flirting involves references to bathing and Susan “washing her antenna” and putting them in curlers. Then Zark ponders on what color her antenna are. He says he likes red. I can’t help but wonder, being the warped and twisted person I am, if the cover over her USB port matches the antenna.
See—I can make relevant, not outdated jokes!
Between all this soul-sucking talk of antennae, matching carpets and drapes, and whatnot, Susan totally missed this ginormous mecha-ball that was heading towards Earth. Susan should be placed on administrative leave.
And of course, Zark assures us that, despite the fact we’ve all watched the uncut Gatchaman version The Mecha-Ball Runs Wild and knowing that people do, in fact, die, he evacuated Center City, and because he did so, nobody suffered Death By Bowling Ball. Not even the “robot” army, which is an army, but not robotic, that gets decimated by the Bowling Ball of Death.
G-Force is being briefed on the situation. They’re all listening intently, except for Mark, who is standing with his back turned against everyone else. Mark has a sad. Then the following takes place.
Jason wants to go out and stop the Bowling Ball of Death. Chief Anderson says that the decision is up to Mark.
Mark, who still has a sad, says no.
This doesn't sit well with Jason, who implies that Mark is more poultry than raptor.
Then everyone else gangs up on Jason and says that they’re listening to Mark the Chick- er, Eagle. The Fickle 3/5ths of G-Force are firmly on Team Mark.
THEN Chief Anderson says that the final decision is up to “the Council”.
Apparently, even though the final decision was Mark’s, it really isn’t.
Nice show of faith in your commander. No wonder Mark has to constantly remind everyone that he’s in charge.
Zark is upset because Jason and Mark are “at it again”. Zark feels it’s all his fault that Jason is so “hot-headed”, but doesn’t care to enlighten us, the audience as to why he’s to blame for Jason being so “hot-headed”. In order to bury his “angst”, Zark busies himself with trying to find this ginormous black ball that slipped past Susan when she was too busy “rolling her antenna in curlers” or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Zark is “probing” the oceans.
Zark should never ever use the word “probe”.
Then Zark babbles on about being omnipotent or something like that. Then he’s on edge because he picked up this slice of evil on his scanners.
Speaking of evil, cue the Ready Room. This is where Princess, Keyop and Tiny spend time waiting around. This bit is even more painful knowing that, in the Gatchaman version of this episode, a scene with everyone except Ken gathered at Jun’s place was sacrificed for this bit of pap. On the other hand, we’re spared the tired old ping-pong ball landing in Tiny’s Space Burgers gag.
The Council and Zark finally make up their damned minds and G-Force is ordered to head out. Neither Mark nor Jason is in this scene; however, people are only concerned with Mark’s whereabouts.
Mark is down by the ocean…meditating.
When he gets the call to mobilize, he’s not happy. He demands to know who countermanded his order. When he gets on the Phoenix, he’s seriously insecure, thanks to Chief Anderson’s waffling, and accuses Jason of trying to take over.
Um, your accusations are misplaced, son. You ought to be pointing fingers at Chief A, the Council and that damned robot because Jason was just following orders. “It’s our job,” Jason reminds him.
“What are we going to stop it with? Our bare hands?” Mark wants to know.
The Fickle 3/5ths of G-Force, at this point, have defected to Team Jason.
Then the Bowling Ball of Death shows up. The Bowling Ball of Death comes equipped with mantis arms, pontoons and a propellor. G-Force watches as the BB of D attacks a ship.
Jason thinks that they should attack the BB of D because of what it’s doing to that ship. Mark says “no go” and that they are turning around.
Jason is having none of this. It’s mutiny time!
If your definition of “mutiny” is making the statement “I’m in command” and nothing more, that is. As far as mutinies go, this is pretty weak. I think this is better classified as taking action in the face of the sense of helplessness one might feel when watching a giant Bowling Ball of Death destroy an ocean liner. Especially when the commander doesn’t exactly make it clear “why” he thinks they should turn back. (In the Gatch version, Ken made it clear from the get go that they didn’t have the firepower to stop this mech.)
And who should show up on their monitor but Zoltar!
Zoltar mocks the current dissention in the ranks and then he dares...
No, he Dares…
No, he DARES G-Force to stop his Indestructible Bowling Ball of Death.
Thankfully, he stops short of triple-dog daring them because, well, having to lick a metal ball when it’s been floating in the ocean is not as brutal as having to lick the flagpole when it’s cold outside. Plus, since it’s been floating in the ocean, it’s all salty and it probably has barnacles and traces of shark poop or whale afterbirth on it.
Jason, of course, is having none of this, and since he usurped control from Mark, gives the order to Tiny to “bring ‘er down”.
Mark is all “NO"
Jason is all “NO”
Then Mark is all “don’t take the bait” or something like that. The shot then pans across the bridge and The Fickle 3/5ths of G-Force quietly switch allegiance back to Team Mark.
Then, after all of this argument and strife over who is in charge, Mark leaves the decision up to Tiny.
We don’t know what he decides because Mark’s groin laments that there must be some way to stop this giant metal ball from space.
Ad 1: Someone tosses their Kindle Fire HD down the steps and the picks it up to watch NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (even though, as I type this, it is May and March Madness ended six weeks ago. Spoiler Alert: Duke wins. Spoiler Alert 2: Duke Sucks.)
Ad 2: A dog food that promises to restore the cognitive function of your elderly dog to levels not seen since they were puppies. Although I’m not an expert on dog brains, and I have only completed one psychology class towards my psych major, I have my doubts as to the veracity of their claims.
Zark is pacing back and forth while Rover watches. Zark is babbling a bunch of nonsense about chemo-probes and what not, but nothing. Susan, Zark points out, is beside herself and blames herself for this. Well, I mean technically it is her fault. Then Zark flies over to his monitors. His “cape” flaps and it reminds me of a moth. Moths are pests. They get in your clothes and eat through them and they congregate around lights at night and fly around and generally annoy you.
Therefore, Zark is a pest.
And even though I just committed a logical fallacy, it’s one that we really can’t argue with, because Zark, after all, is a pest.
He knows that G-Force is “counting on him” to bail them out of this. Actually, no. They’re not. Then Rover flies over to him and says something.
I’m convinced, the more that I watch this show, that 1-Rover-1 is actually speaking for us, the audience and Zark doesn’t really understand what Rover is saying, so Rover gets away with voicing our own frustration.
Then Zark babbles some nonsense about “dialectric tetrodes”.
Now it’s time for a new feature of these reviews I like to call The Person Who Worked in the Electronics Industry for 10 Years Translates Zark’s Techno-Babble and Points out That He (Or The Writers) Have No Clue What They Are Talking About.
Let’s take the phrase “dialectic tetrodes”.
First, we must determine if Zark means dialectric, dialectic or dielectric, because these are two totally different words.
Dialectric isn't even a word.
Dialectic is a method of discussing opposing ideas in order to find the truth.
Dielectric (or dielectric material), is an electrical insulator that can be polarized. Capacitors contain this material. Common examples of dielectric material are porcelain, glass and most plastics.
So we’re either trying to find the truth or we’re a poor conductor of electricity.
Now, let’s look at the word tetrode. Tetrode is a type of vacuum tube that was once used in electronics, when they used vacuum tubes. Tetrode is also a term for the type of electrode used in neuroscience. In other words, it records electro-physical activity in the brain.
Based upon these findings, Zark is talking about one of the following:
A discussion-based, truth-seeking, brain-recording electronic device.
A poor conductor of electricity all rolled up into one vacuum tube (which kind of defeats the purpose of the vacuum tube).
A discussion based, truth-seeking vacuum tube
A poor conductor of electricity recorder of electrical activity in the brain.
Zark is full of shit because his dia-whatever tetrodes cancel each other out.
Based upon the way Rover is looking at Zark, Rover, has reached the same conclusion as I have.
While Zark is making shit up, pulling it out of his overly tight robot sphincter and calling it science, Mark is chillaxin’ or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Princess and Keyop pay him a visit and Mark has a hissy fit because he wants to be left alone. Since nobody has any respect for Mark’s authority, they ignore him. “You’re taking this too hard, Mark,” Princess says, although I’m not sure what she’s talking about. Zoltar mocking them? Not having a plan? Jason’s attempted coup?
Then Keyop plays with his horseshoe magnet and small metal ball. It’s a present for Mark. Princess tells him to “put it away” in a tone of voice that suggests that Keyop’s gift was insensitive and hurt Mark’s widdle feewings, as opposed to his playing with it is just seriously annoying. Keyop gurgles something about it being science-y and educational. Mark is annoyed. Keyop keeps playing with the stupid thing. Now I’m annoyed.
Then Mark has a “eureka” moment. Or is it a “well, duh…” moment.
Magnet. Steel ball.
Mark takes the magnet and ball from Keyop, plays with it for a bit, and then laughs like he’s gone out of his damned mind. Then Keyop and Princess exchange looks that clearly indicate they believe that Mark has gone out of his damned mind. Then they smile at him as if they are indulging him and his psychotic break from reality.
So now, they’re building a ginormous magnet to catch the giant Bowling Ball of Doom. Zark is all “I don’t know why I didn’t think of it immediately!” Perhaps if you didn’t have parts that effectively cancelled each other out….
Of course, since Zark is all butt hurt because a child (who may or may not be a child since this show is not exactly clear on their definition of cloning) came up with the answer and not him, he says it could work.
While said ginormous magnet is being built, G-Force’s mission is to lure the Giant Bowling Ball of Death into the trap. However, Zoltar won’t let them go without mocking G-Force again. Then other things happen and apparently, Mark still has a bug up his ass about Jason’s attempted non-mutiny earlier in the episode, because he declares that he (Mark) will be the one to get inside the Giant Steelie from Hell. Then they shake hands and make up.
Mark makes it inside the mech and after some choppy editing, he’s with the goon who is piloting the mecha. Odd that such a big Sphere of Malfesance would only be staffed with one person. Then again, I’m don’t work for the Standards and Practices Lady in the End Credits.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I mean, base, someone is playing DRAMATIC MUSIC MEANT TO CAUSE TENSION. Then Chief gives the order to turn on the ginormous magnet.
Pop Quiz Time.
Chief Anderson’s exact order is:
A. “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”
B. “Don’t fire until you see whites of their eyes.”
C. “Charge the enemy and remember old Virginia!”
If you answered D, then you are correct.
And now it’s time for a commercial break.
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The magnet seems to be charged with DRAMA as the mecha ball is caught in it’s force. Mark is with it. But the drama is too much for the Bowling Ball of Death because it explodes. Then the surviving members of G-Force are standing around the flaming wreckage. Keyop is either in hysterics, has stomach cramps, or is having an orgasm, because his crying is seriously disturbing.
But we’re granted a reprieve from Keyop’s dubious sounding crying because guess what?
In his all’s well that ends well monologue, Zark employs logical fallacy to try and convince us that because he gave that toy magnet and ball to Keyop, and Keyop’s playing with it is how Mark realized there was a way to stop it, Zark actually came up with the idea for this giant magnet.
No. Just no.
We’re spared from anymore of Zark’s delusions of grandeur when he declares that he’s going to take a 10 second oil break. Rover is left alone. Then who should come in to visit but Hanna-Barbera Mark & Princess, who then engage in a whole bunch of icky flirting that exceeds the quota for lame magnet puns by 1, while poor Rover is caught in the middle of this. This bit of flirtatiousness is seriously icky. I can only imagine what Rover is thinking, and my guess is that involves the words “geez, not this shit again!”
And so endeth this episode.
For the record, the quota for number of bad magnet puns used in lame attempts at flirtation per episode is zero.