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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
Cliffhangers! Episode 11

This was the final episode of Cliffhangers!, shown only in international markets, never in the U.S. even though that left U.S. viewers with no resolutions to the Secret Empire and Stop Susan Williams serials. Because The Curse of Dracula was completed in Episode 10, this episode features two chapters of The Secret Empire and one of Stop Susan Williams, completing the three serials of Cliffhangers! These three chapters were presented in the episode as indicated from top to bottom below, with the single Stop Susan Williams chapter breaking up the two chapters of The Secret Empire.

Chapter 13
"PARTISANS UNCHAINED"
Written by Jeri Taylor and David Bennett Carren
Directed by Dick Harwood

Didja Notice?

There is a scene at the beginning of the chapter in which Taz is trying to get the humans' attention to lead them to the partisan rebels, but is rebuffed. Finally, Donner says, "What is it, fella? You trying to tell us something?" The scene may have been influenced by the long-running Lassie TV series (1954-1974) in which the eponymous female collie usually seemed to be smarter than the humans with whom she interacted and her owner, young Timmy, would frequently say similar phrases to Donner's, substituting "girl" for "fella".

At 7:08 in the episode, a Shadow Guard refers to Taz as "Tazmarian". Tazmarian must be the species of creature and how Maya came up with his name. It also lends credence to my speculation in Episode 3 that Taz is based on the Looney Tunes character the Tasmanian Devil.

The cliffhanger ending: Yannuck shoots Donner in the leg, bringing him down, then fires point blank into his chest to finish him off!

Don't miss the conclusion, Chapter 14: ESCAPE TO THE STARS

Memorable Dialog

what is it fella?.wav
you're pretty compact yourself.wav
if you know what I mean.wav
Saturday night when the cowboys get paid.wav

Chapter 12
"CRYPT OF DISASTER"
Written by Peggy Goldman
Directed by Reza S. Badiyi

Didja Notice?

When Jack starts up the generator in the mine shaft and brings the lights on, Susan exclaims, "Schoengarth, you light up my life!" This is probably a reference to the 1977 hit single "You Light Up My Life" by Debbie Boone.

While Bobby and the other conspirators are captured by U.S. forces, Korf and Eddie seem to escape on Korf's Learjet. Korf also remarks, "We'll achieve our goals yet. I already have a plan. And I promise you something else. Susan Williams is going to live to regret the day she interfered with Anthony Korf." This may indicate that Kenneth Johnson intended to continue the adventures of Susan Williams in another serial if Cliffhangers! had gone on to have future seasons. Alas, it was not to be.
 
Memorable Dialog
 
try to get my good side.wav
you light up my life.wav
a few dozen world leaders.wav
a little nuclear explosion.wav
no time to get kinky.wav
world-shocking event.wav
Susan Williams is going to live to regret.wav
ready to save the world again.wav
all in one week.wav
I'd spend it.wav
other things besides money.wav
   
Chapter 14
"ESCAPE TO THE STARS"
Written by Jeri Taylor
Directed by Dick Harwood

Didja Notice?

For some reason the chapter number and title are omitted from this concluding part of The Secret Empire. The only way I know the chapter title is from the "Don't Miss" portion at the end of Chapter 13.

Keller pulls his battle coach into town in time to see a fistfight in the street outside a saloon. Perhaps this is an example of what Donner meant in the previous chapter when he said, "Listen, you've never been in Cheyenne on a Saturday night when the cowboys get paid."

There seems to be a dialog flub at 35:21 in the episode. As Donner is watching the partisan rebellion taking place over a visilink, one of the rebels shouts, "The compliatron is destroyed! Chimera is free!" But he pronounces the "chim" in Chimera as in "chimney" instead of as in "shimmer".

Yannuck seemingly intended to kill Donner at the end of the previous chapter by firing his neutronic weapon into his chest at close range, but the shot was deflected by Donner's Marshal badge right back at Yannuck, who collapses from the shot. But later we see Yannuck being dragged up from the floor by the rebel leaders as he regains consciousness. So why didn't the blast kill him? Perhaps the power of the beam was reduced during the deflection?

At 38:36 in the episode, we get a partial look at the exterior of Emperor Thorval's escape ship. It appears to be a slightly modified version of the Lunar Avion, a sleeper ship from a human colony known as Lunar Seven in the Battlestar Galactica episode "Greetings From Earth". The Lunar Avion may have also have been modified to become Ranger 3, Buck Rogers' NASA shuttle in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Thorval's escape ship Lunar Avion from Battlestar Galactica episode "Greetings from Earth"

Thorval tells Tera that their escape destination is the planet Hyperia, where they have allies.

As Thorval, Tera, and Hayter make their escape in the ship, Demeter tells Donner to let them go, saying, "The fate that awaits them is far worse than their fate here." What does that mean? Does he know something we don't?

Memorable Dialog
 
yessiree Bob.wav
stupid ideals.wav
blast the flesh from your bones.wav
in my galaxy.wav


The ending credits of this final episode of Cliffhangers! replaces the normal triptych of photos of Donner, Dracula, and Susan. Dracula is replaced with a photo of Taz since there is an additional chapter of The Secret Empire replacing the already completed Curse of Dracula serial.
Normal tryptich Finale tryptich


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