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Phoenix

From Betamountain.org


Phoenix
as reviewed by M.T. Bochs via the Outside the Box Blog
Originally aired September 9, 1986


Note: This review was originally posted by M.T. Bochs on March 16, 2018 and is being posted here with permission.

"In 2086, two peaceful aliens journeyed to Earth seeking our help. In return, they gave us the plans for our first hyperdrive, allowing mankind to open the doors to the stars."

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Streaking through a panoply of stars, the spaceship Phoenix-1 makes contact with the League of Planets, headquartered on the planet Kirwin. Galaxy Ranger Zachary Foxx mans the helm. His wife and two children serve as crew. The young family are escorting the Andorian Ambassador Waldo and the Kiwi Ambassador Zozo to Kirwin and the the League of Planets. Zozo, a purple Yoda with a kind demeanor, longs to grow hamburgers on his home soil. Waldo, a bald alien with legendary muttonchops, in a flash of foreshadowing, worries Kirwin's planetary shield won't guard against the enemies of the League.


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On the surface of Kirwin, a different human, Andorian, and Kiwi discuss the potent agricultural methods of the Kiwi (the primary species of Kirwin). An alarm interrupts their conversation. An unknown vessel is approaching the planet. Aboard that vessel, the Crown Destroyer, a sinister figure robbed in white with a crimson gem upon it's chest addresses its exact double in a female voice. The Queen of the Crown wants to capture specimens of this new species, humans, and drain their lifeforce.


Alarmed by the encroaching intruder, the League of Planets activates the planetary shield, despite concerns that it might not be fully functional. In response the Queen of the Crown orders small scale fighters to launch and attack. A heavy rain falls on Kirwin as the Crown Captain, a robot, and his squadron destroy a relay and enter the atmosphere. The fighters indiscriminately strafe farmland and structures alike. While targeting a power station, an inept Crown pilot accidentally kamikazes the building sending our League of Planet administrators running. A larger Crown vessel lands and dispatches a cavalry of robot dragoons astride alien steeds. Robots exchange laser fire with humans. Human casualties are collected, but Kiwi's are thrown back. Over comms, an Andorian pleads with the Queen to spare the humans, in response she threatens their planets with destruction.

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Back on the Phoenix a warning from Kirwin comes through, but it's too late. An unexplained anomaly pushes the Phoenix off course and into a warp. After dropping out of hyperspace the crew is able to establish that they are somewhere in Sector H81, a hundred light-years away from Kirwin. A bizarre bird-shaped vessel approaches. Aboard this ship, Captain Kidd, an alien with the face of a pigeon and the horns of a goat, plus one, orders his crew of ragged space pirates to board the Phoenix and capture the humans aboard for the Queen. The Foxxes and the Ambassadors struggle to escape their predicament, but before long Kidd's ship has latched onto the Phoenix with towlines. Zachary Foxx dons his spacesuit and attempts to manually cut the lines to provide escape. Instead he's ambushed by an anthropomorphic lizard with a laser sword. Fancy footwork allows Foxx to dodge the laser's edge and kick the intruder into the vacuum of space, only to be ambushed from behind by an unseen assailant.

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Foxx awakens in a filed of energy. Captain Kidd interrogates the prisoner. Foxx makes overtures, offering a large reward from the League of Planets in exchange for their release, but Kidd's more interested in the money he'll get for turning the Foxxes over to the Queen's Slaver Lords. Meanwhile, back on the Phoenix, the humans are hurrying into an escape craft and the Ambassadors are mounting a rescue mission for Foxx. Eliza, Foxx's wife, rushes off to get supplies while the children, Jessica and Zach Jr., prep the ship. Out of nowhere a pirate attacks Eliza. She's able to elude him momentarily. The ship's A.I. distracts the assailant with a video of a jazz saxophone-playing alien allowing Eliza to finish the job with a laser rifle.



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The Queen of the Crown arrives and negotiates with Kidd, but actually there is very little negotiation. Kidd has lost two and a half of the humans (he doesn't know where Eliza is) and the Queen won't even grant salvage rights to the Phoenix. She wants the hyper-drive it contains. The Ambassadors have made their way to the detention level. Unable to figure out how to release Foxx, the Ambassadors question a dimwitted pirate who gives them the information, before being somersaulted by his own momentum into Waldo's shield (Andorians are very big on shields). The Ambassadors free Foxx and attempt to steal a shuttle. The attempt is successful, except for the major laser damage done to the left side of Foxx's body.


Kidd, unhappy with his position in the Queen's thrall, fires upon the Crown Destroyer just as they've captured Foxx's shuttle in a tractor beam. Freed from the clutches of the Queen, Zachary Foxx reunites with his children, only to watch as the Phoenix explodes presumably taking the life of his wife, Eliza. Not so fast. Kidd has napped Eliza and promises to hold her as collateral for future deals with the Galaxy Ranger.

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In a final scene, Foxx has returned to Galaxy Rangers headquarters. A special team, led by Foxx has been approved to receive Series Five brain implants. Triggered by the micro circuitry in their badge, each member of the team will find their unique abilities amplified. Foxx's bionics will supercharge into a weapon. Doc Hartford, introduced here for the first time as with all of the Rangers except Foxx, will use his implant to magnify his logical intellect. Niko's natural psychic skills will be boosted. Finally, Shane Gooseman will have his internal bio-defenses intensified, making him nearly invincible. Foxx pledges to his children that he will rescue their mother.

Credits roll.

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Note: Be sure to check out the Outside the Box Blog post by M.T. Bochs, which has more thoughts on the episode and where you can leave feedback with the author.


GRCD1

The Queen has put a price on the heads of the new race, humans. Captain Kidd sets a trap, snares Phoenix (Ranger I) with the Foxx family and the Ambassadors Waldo & Zozo aboard. Jessica and Little Zach get away. Zach and Eliza end up captured, Eliza gets turned over to the Crown, the ambassadors bust Zach out, and he gets shot in the process.


Kidd then helps them get away, as the Queen has double crossed him on payment. Zach gets back to Earth, gets a bionic arm and leg, and the S5 implant. Commander Walsh creates the Series 5 team to help Zach recover his wife and the other humans captured by the Queen.

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