Battle of the Planets - 4 - The Space Serpent
Episode 4 of Gatchaman is For Revenge on the Monster Mechadegon. This episode continues the 'surviving kids of killed-off dads beat up on Mark for somehow causing their grief' plot device. In this one, it's Dr. Harlan, who was a father figure to him when he was growing up, and who is now a famous seismologist. A giant "Mechadegon" created by Galactor is sucking up all the world's oil.
Ken decides to go see the seismologist specialist, Nakamura, who he's never met before. Nakamura says the sensing equipment is destroyed by the attacks. When Mark and the seismologist are talking in a building, the caterpillar hits. They make it out of the building OK, but then the seismologist falls into a crack in the earth A La Shogun. Unfortunately, where in Shogun the pilot-major saves Toronaga and gets great rewards, in this case all Mark gets is the gold watch and the seismologist is squished.
Mark stands at the grave, apologizing to the grave. Debbie, the daughter of the seismologist, launches an attack on Mark, thinking he's Galactor. Mark finally hits her and then says "The Chief's daughter is so pretty" and that his death won't be in vain. Mark gives Debbie into Yun's care, and goes after the monster, as Yun says she'll do anything for him. As he leaves she calls after him that he's an idiot that "can't read a girl's heart". He finds it but isn't able to defeat it.
Ken meets up with his boss and is told not to let human emotions affect him - otherwise he's not a ninja. Still, he tells Yun to bring the girl along to the science lab where they feel the caterpillar will attack next. A huge battle goes on there, killing many.
Soon Debbie and G-Force are engaged with the caterpillar. It keeps rearranging itself when burst apart. Jason wants to blast it and they fight him down, but Mark says it's only because Debbie should launch that attack. He then calls in to base for permission and is scolded that he would consider launching that missile which should only be used in dire emergency.
Mark is told "You can't break the rules when you feel like it." But he gives Debbie the chance anyway. He wants her to take "revenge" in shooting the caterpillar, and she realizes she just can't do it because it would mean Mark would be fired. He slaps her when she hesitates! The team cringes as they get closer and closer. Mark tries to force her to press the button and makes her press it.
Debbie collapses in tears and Mark praises her for doing the job. At the grave, Mark offers his resignation for not behaving professionally on the ship. He's told it's OK.
The US Version - Battle of the Planets
The creature of course isn't from earth it's a "space serpent" which looks more like a metallic caterpillar has been causing earthquakes everywhere in search of oil. The seismologist is now a 'father figure' to Mark, and when he dies the daughter attacks Mark for not doing enough to save him. The entire scene with Yun is missing as is Mark's boss warning him not to be personally involved.
The caterpillar attacks a 'power plant' which has no real attack going on. It's just the phoenix going after the caterpillar. When Jason wants to attack the caterpillar, they tell him no because it's too near the city, and wait to lure it away. Then they give Debbie the opportunity to kill him and Debbie resists, saying she can't do it. Mark praises her for not taking revenge.
The team then, with great trepidation, approaches and kills the monster.
The episode ends with a bizarre scene of 7-Zark-7 thinking the sexy female robot is "watching him shower" although he obviously doesn't take any clothes off.
Battle of the Planets Information
Vol. 2 - The Space Mummy / The Space Serpent
Gatchaman Episode List of Reviews
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