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EPISODE 23:
THE SHOCKING DECOY PLANET

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
08/10/1980

|SCREENSHOT GALLERY|
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SYNOPSIS

The Ideon under missile attackThe Solo Ship receives a distress call from an Earth colony named Kyaral, which is under attack from aliens. The Solo colonists decide to help, though the journey will take three days. When they arrive, they find the planet desolate and deserted. The Ideon units launch to perform reconnaissance, and everyone recognises it's the result of a Sublight missile attack. The Ideo-Delta finally detects some life, so Cosmo lands so he can check it out on foot. He comes under fire, and finds a girl named Kitty Kitten, and four young children. Cosmo manages to persuade them he means no harm, but in unable to pick them up as a Buff Clan robot has arrived. The craft is the new Ganga Lubu heavy mecha, piloted by Daram Zuba, the same mysterious figure who rescued Harulu.

The Ideo Delta lands in a ruined Kyaral cityCosmo finds the new mecha a difficult opponent, but manages to keep it busy until the other units arrive. They try to dock and form Ideon, but two more Ganga Lubu mecha arrive, one piloted by Gije. However, some quick thinking on the part of Moera allows them to assume docking formation. Gije once more releases the Donovan particles he found on Solo, disrupting the barrier and the combination. A lucky collision between the Ideo-Delta and a Ganga Lubu sends the Buff Clan mecha crashing down in flames. This allows them to finally form Ideon, and Daram's Ganga Lubu is destroyed. He escapes, and is able to plant a nuclear device on the Ideon as Gije evacuates him. The blast leaves the Ideon basically intact - Daram was simply testing to see if the robot was strong enough to be worth capturing. He and Gije are working for the Ome Foundation, planning to overthrow Emperor Zuou, and the whole attack on Kyaral was planned to draw the Ideon into battle. The remaining Kyaral authorities refuse to share what supplies and resources they have left with the Solo Ship crew. Cosmo argues with Kitty over the actions of the Solo colonists, but the pair seem to like each other.


NOTES

Daram's Ganga Lubu tussles with IdeonKasha Imhof: Kasha continues to get more aggressive, now wanting to use the Ide to wipe out the Buff Clan.

Kitty Kitten: Kitty's father, a soldier, was killed in the inital Buff Clan sub-light missile attack.

Ganga Lubu: The latest Buff Clan mecha has its' own barrier, and much improved agility. It can also fire an electrified lasso-type weapon around opponents, rather than relying on the hooks of older models. The machine also sees a return to the tripod configuration.

The nuclear device detonates on the IdeonThe Ome Foundation: The Foundation is a well-funded organisation planning to overthrowing Emperor Zuou. Quite what's so wrong with Zuou is never covered. Daram seems to be one of its' highest ranking officers. Their aims coincide with those of Supreme Commander Doba - presumably it gives him some form of plausible deniability, while the regular Buff military can provide the Foundation with men and other resources. It would seem beyond him few in the regular forces know of the organisation - even Harulu didn't recognise them in episode 21. They have access to state-of-the-art units like the Ganga Lubu ahead of the regular forces, and wear green (officers) or grey (troopers) uniforms with fully-enclosed helmets.


REVIEW:

Cosmo and Kitty talk after the battleA superb episode. Despite his defeat, Daram remains interesting due to his careful planning and general unflappable character (I mean, when his mecha is destroyed, he simply plants a bomb on the Ideon like it was his plan all along...), and the Ome Foundation promise to be an interesting development - especially as they think nothing of devastating a planet just to get the Solo Ship's attention.

The decimated Kyaral generates a gloomy atmosphere early on, and there's no uplifting simple ending this time around.

Cosmo's conversation with Kitty at the end (famously reused, with altered dialogue, as the opening scene of Be Invoked) is one of the series' most emotional moments (against some very tough competition) as Cosmo furiously defends the Solo colonists' actions.