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EPISODE 16:
INVASION FROM THE 21ST LEVEL PART I

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
07/10/1985
WRITERS:
Jeff Segal, Kelly Ward and Lane Raichert
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SYNOPSIS

Turbo and Scooter take cover from ScalesUsing a small capsule, Crasher and Cop-Tur are able to bypass Earth's defences with Scales. They attack a facility being build by Turbo and Scooter, and steal an oscillation rod needed by Braxis, though Scales is captured. Braxis has invented an interphaser that can bring creatures from other dimensions to the Renegades. Cy-Kill sends a group of Insectoid robots from the 21st level to attack the site. They soon overpower the Guardians, and even reinforcements from UNECOM can't slow them down. Scooter is captured and taken back to the creatures' own dimension, and interrogated by Exor, High Queen of the 21st Level. Turbo reports back to Leader-1, who calls in Blaster to help.

Cy-Kill activates the deviceExor and her troops attack UNECOM and wreck their computer system, knocking out Earth's defences. She then broadcasts a demand for Earth to surrender to her. Exor thwarts Braxis' attempts to return them to their own dimension by overloading his machine, and heads after the Renegades. She boards Roguestar, and captures the Renegades there before forcing Braxis to repair his device. The Guardians arrive at Roguestar and use nets prepared by Blaster to disable Exor's troops before storming the ship. However, Exor uses the repaired machine to beam in a large number of reinforcements, cornering the Guardians.


NOTES

Exor and her InsectoidsThe different dimensions are referred to as 'levels' - it seems the higher the number, the further from the normal one. Level 1 is Earth; level 2 is inhabited by cutesy green tree-dwelling muppets; level 4 has orange, slightly more dangerous tree critters; the fifth level a big reptilian monster with webbed feet. The 21st level Insectoids have laser eyes. Mention is made that the Renegades have Zods (plural) ready to invade Earth, but they're not seen.

Turbo describes them as being like the "Tri-Cats of Fedge [spelling uncertain], only much bigger". He, Leader-1 and Blaster all fought against the Tri-Cats, presumably an alien race from the standard dimension. UNECOM's tanks have laser cannons, and two pairs of treads. Their troops are armed with laser rifles. Blaster's missiles seem to regenerate on his arms after they're fired. From his references to the 'good old days', it would seem Blaster used to be more of a field operative than he currently is, and is possibly more experienced than Turbo (cf. "Et Tu, Cy-Kill"). This is one of the few episodes not to feature Matt, Nick and/or AJ - very strange considering much of it is set in UNECOM facilities, and that UNECOM troops appear. Not that I'm complaining, though.


TRIVIA

Blaster arrives from GobotronGobots Featured: Crasher, Cop-Tur, Turbo, Scooter, Cy-Kill, Leader-1, Small Foot, Blaster.

Humans Featured: Dr. Braxis.

Others Featured: Scales.

Particularly Glaring Errors: How does Exor know she's from the 21st level? That's a designation coined by Braxis and relative to his Earth being the 1st level, surely? Where are the other Renegades? Exor only finds Cy-Kill, Cop-Tur and Crasher onboard Roguestar - while the rest are rarely seen, you can usually imagine they're on the ship somewhere else working on other schemes, but here they're presented as the entire compliment. Wouldn't the Zods referred to from time to time be handy against the Insectoids?

Moments of Actual Quality: Cy-Kill batting Braxis aside is quite funny.

Unintentional Hilarity: Just Scales, doing anything, is funny. A choice quote from Cy-Kill: - "Isn't mayhem wonderfuuuuuuul?". When they invade UNECOM, the Insectoids do a weird dance instead of attacking. Small Foot's radio makes it look like she has flashing lights for nipples. The wheel bouncing out of the room when Cy-Kill is clobbered by Exor's minions is ace.


REVIEW:

Braxis strikes a dealSilly and obvious in places, but still rather good fun. Exor is a more credible threat than the Renegades ever were, even if the design of the 21st levellers is a bit cheesy. Blaster's great too - it's always nice when the 'guest' Guardian gets to act like some sort of specialist rather than just making up the numbers.

Even Braxis isn't too irritating in this one, and it's great to have a break from the UNECOM supporting characters. Best of all is the structure - a minute from the end it looks like the Guardians are going to wrap this one up, but it's not that easy.