Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Games of Doom

Season: 1
Episode Number: 8
Season Episode Number: 8
Production Number: 4007
Airdate: November 9, 1979

Writer: Jeff Scott
Director: Bob Richardson

Voices: Joan Van Ark (Spider-Woman), Bruce Miller (Jeff Hunt), Bryan Scott (Billy Drew), Lou Krugman (Police Chief), Unknown (Jacques LeRhode, Rigor, Morton, Bruce Thompson, Female Athlete, Pilot, Announcer, Alexis, Alexis' Manager, Coach, Asian Athlete, African Athlete, Police Officer, MC).

Plot: All the athletes at the World Athletic Games are being replaced by androids, including Jessica Drew who disguised herself as an athlete to go under cover.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Robot androids taking over the world is a tried and true plot in the history of science-fiction. But never before have I seen a villain try to take over the world by winning all the gold medals at the Olympic Games (called the World Athletic Games here due to a copyright on the term "Olympic Games").

This show is usually full of extra-terrestrial or otherworldly beings, but Games of Doom brings it back down to Earth with a fun story and an incredibly funny twist ending!

I have to question the methods of the villain, Jacques LeRhode, who gains all the gold medals by having his androids break all the world records. Wouldn't that cause a lot of attention? Wouldn't all the athletes be tested for steroids? And wouldn't Jeff and Billy have major questions after seeing Jessica break the long jump record?

I also wonder about the timing of this episode. It jumps around from one side of the world to the other without taking into account time zones or even travel time!

For instance: Jeff and Billy are trapped in a falling elevator but are saved by Spider-Woman (whose webs in this episode have even more incredible powers than Spider-Man's webs from the '67 series). Spider-Woman then takes off for Moscow to stop the villain, leaving Jeff and Billy in the elevator. After she defeats LeRhode, she returns to the Justice Magazine HQ and releases Jeff and Billy from the elevator. If you take travel time into account, Jeff and Billy must have been in the elevator for three days!

This was still a fun episode and one of the best from this short-lived series.

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