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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
Cliffhangers! Episode 9

Chapter XIV
Written by Craig Buck
Directed by Richard Milton

Didja Notice?

At the mission, as Dracula is about to bite Mary for the third and final time to make her into a full vampire, her already vampiric mother, Amanda, bursts into the room and challenges him to save her daughter. She grabs a large cross in the room and her hand burns and smokes as she brandishes it at him. Finally chasing him out the window with it, it's interesting to note she then carefully sets it down on the floor, despite the continued burning of her hand. Possibly she was Catholic before being turned into a vampire and still has respect for the Church and the cross. Or her gentleness with the cross may be a sign of respect for the symbol that is able to chase off the fearsome Count.

As Mary thrashes around on the bed begging to avoid the holy water treatment, we can see that she already has burn marks on her left arm from the treatments she's already undergone.

Mary's reactions to the decontamination procedures from vampirism are similar to a person undergoing withdrawal from drug addiction.

The cliffhanger ending this week: Amanda begs Mary to kill her while Dracula implores her to stop!

Don't miss Chapter XV: PLEAS OF THE DAMNED

Memorable Dialog

a little drop of holy water.wav
I will protect you.wav
free me from Dracula's curse.wav
I'm already dead.wav
consigning your soul to an eternal hell.wav
I can't stop myself.wav

Chapter 11
Written by Renee and Harry Longstreet
Directed by Alan Crosland

Didja Notice?

We meet the former ruler of Chimera, Demeter (formerly thought to be dead), for the first time in this chapter. He is played by Jay Robinson, probably best known to Generation Xers as Dr. Shrinker on the Krofft Supershow in 1976.

Donner tells Billy to notify Fort Kearny about Keller's upcoming attempt to steal the large gold shipment consigned to the Denver Mint. Fort Kearny was a real U.S. Army fort in Nebraska built in 1848 and abandoned in 1871 after its usefulness came to an end; unfortunately this makes Donner's mention of it here an anachronism, as Episode 1 establishes that The Secret Empire takes place in 1880, 9 years after the fort was abandoned! There is a state park at the location now. The Denver Mint, of course, still exists and was established in 1862.

For some reason the laser guns used in battle in this episode have a different ray effect and sound than those seen previously. They produce a continuous green beam and high-pitched sound instead of the white light blasts and Battlestar Galactica laser sounds heard in previous (and later) chapters. Later, during a shadow guard practice session, the guns are referred to as neutronic weapons, suggesting the emitted beam is a stream of neutrons. Here we see different settings used on the weapon: 1. blast mode: a green beam which rips through the object it strikes, 2. freeze mode: a white beam which freezes the target, 3. burn mode: a red beam which causes the target to erupt in flame.

At Chimera's target range, we see again that the Chimerans use Roman numerals (as seen in Episode 7).

The cliffhanger ending this week: hiding behind two shooting range targets, Maya and Demeter are about to be blasted by Chimeran neutronic weapons!

Don't miss Chapter 12: POWERHOUSE
Chapter Ten
Written by Andrew Schneider
Directed by Dick Harwood

Didja Know?

The director of this chapter, Dick Harwood, is the same as Richard S. Harwood who directed the previous chapter. He went by both names.

Didja Notice?

Picking up from the previous chapter's literal cliffhanger, Susan's motorcycle sidecar flies over a cliff. She falls out of the sidecar in midair and plummets down, right into a horse-drawn wagon full of hay on the road below, saving her life. But the sidecar never seems to land!

The Presidential assistant makes a comment about the journalists, "You'd think they have their hands full with Peace Week." This is a reference to the world peace conference in Episode 5.

Jack mentions the Constantine. This is the ship they boarded in an earlier chapter (which I can't recall at the moment!)

Susan reads about the gathering of world leaders at Camp David in the Washington Register. This is a fictional newspaper.

At 43:53 in the episode, we see that Susan, Jack, and Bobby are at Dulles Airport (now known as Washington Dulles International Airport) in Dulles, VA, 25 miles west of central Washington D.C.

When the announcer asks the viewers the lingering questions of the chapter's end, we get a clue to a startling revelation to occur in the next chapter when he asks "Who has betrayed them?" while showing a flashback scene of Bobby, Jennifer, and their driver at the airport.

This week's cliffhanger: Susan, Jack, and Nicolai appear to have been blown up in their car!

Don't miss Chapter Eleven: THE VILLAIN REVEALED

Memorable Dialog
the punch is all gone.wav
where the girls don't wear no tops.wav
a silk purse.wav
big bang theory.wav
going through customs.wav
hot dog or burrito.wav
Columbus never woulda gotten outta drydock.wav

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