#14: Stargate

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#14: Stargate

Post  BoG on Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:42 pm

no  Air Date  Arrow  written by Dennis O'Neil  Arrow  Directed by Curtis Harrington

The final episode: the trio of fugitives come across a man (or what seems to be a man) staggering around in the open as if injured; he complains of intense cold. The trio take him towards a nearby city and are greeted by a party of the man's fellow citizens about a mile outside the city. They are invited to the city by the spokesperson (Paul Carr). Once there, however, Logan & Jessica are drugged to get information out of them, while Rem is taken away for his parts. These citizens turn out to be aliens from a planet that will soon suffer destruction by its sun's nova. They have taken over this city from the original inhabitants, who are all dead except one older survivor, Timon (Eddie Firestone), who has managed to stay hidden the past couple of years. The aliens have also taken human form; when an alien takes a human's form, the original human dies (a vague explanation, with similarities to Invasion of the Body Snatchers).  Logan & Jessica escape confinement with the help of Timon, but all three are recaptured and left in a deadly swamp at the outskirts of the city. Rem will be, uh, instrumental in activating the receiver unit of the aliens which will transport the rest of the aliens from their doomed planet.

This episode had a promising beginning (nice matte painting of the city in the distance) and an intriguing premise, but collapses into confusion and absurdity by the start of the 2nd half. When I saw previews of this episode, I thought the swamp location was on the other planet; it feels very out of place located next to the city. It seems like an excuse to have about 10 minutes of action and suspense in a swamp setting, unrelated to the actual story. Several points are kept vague and unexplained: why was a member of the aliens wandering around outside at the start? How were all the replaced humans actually killed? Why are Rem's parts ideal to power the machines of the aliens? The conclusion is the worst part of all this: even though these aliens are mass murderers, responsible for killing all of Timon's family and fellow citizens, he cheerfully agrees to let them live at the end; he and the trio are confident that he alone will be able to keep all the aliens in line because he has their weapons. This solution is thought up by Logan so as to avoid the loneliness that awaits Timon should he just kill all the aliens. alien  Baffling.  BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

Logan's Trivia: writer O'Neil at that time had done most of his work in comic books, on such titles as Batman and Marvel Comics Planet of the Apes.
Star Trek TOS actor alert: Carr appeared in the 2nd Trek pilot episode, Where No Man Has Gone Before.
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