Starcom: An Often-Overlooked Animation Classic
Part Two: Episode Briefs
Following on from part one of my Starcom blog, I’m going to give you a brief overview of each of the Starcom Episodes, followed by a score out of 5, indicating how good each one is. If you love a good 80’s cartoon, you’re definitely going to want to check these out!
Episode One: Nantucket Sleighride-This episode is slow to get going, but once the action starts, you get sucked in. A science station is monitoring the behavior of air whales, but unbeknownst to them, the Shadow Force have mined the area they are studying with robot attack probes. The station is attacked, leaving them helpless and with only a days air. Dash, Crowbar Slim and Victor each take a Starwolf and fly to the rescue.
A great intro episode that seems to get better each time you watch it: 4/5.
Episode Two: Trojan Crowbar-The Shadow Force implant Crowbar with a cyberbug which transmits everything he sees and hears to them. This helps the Shadow Force to intercept Starcom’s mission to transport a computer without them knowing. Will Starcom find out how the Shadow Force seem to be one step ahead of them?
A good episode, but there are more exciting ones to come: 3/5.
Episode 3: The Long Fall: After being thwarted by Starcom’s Automated Defense Satellite, the Shadow Force decide they want to steal it. Not only that, but the troops have a sub-plot to use the advantage the satellite will give them to overthrow Emperor Dark. They don’t know however that it is malfunctioning. It is while Crowbar has taken the Satellite offline to repair it that the Shadow Force pounce.
Plenty of space battles and excitement in this episode: 4/5.
Episode 4: Caverns of Mars-Fantastic episode. A research team has uncovered a wall, which may belong to a city of long-gone inhabitants of Mars. Everyone is forced to evacuate to safety however when a sandstorm comes over. Slim’s nephew and neice get sucked underground and into the alien city while out on a Laser R.A.T. with Lieutenant Anders. As it turns out, the sandstorm helps to further uncover the city so Dash, Slim, and Crowbar head into to it to try to find them. It soon becomes apparent to all, that the city might not be so abandoned after all……
Great episode, no space battles, but good sci-fi story! 5/5.
Episode 5: Fire and Ice-A survey ship finds signs of life on one of Jupiter’s moons. At the same time, General Torvek is on another nearby moon, planning a surprise attack on Starcom-which Tom Waldren discovers while out patrolling in his Starwolf. Starcom has to risk disrupting the discovery of new life to protect themselves. Dash puts a plan in place to try to avoid disturbing the survey team, but his plans are derailed when a fleet of Shadowbats attack!
Very good episode-a nice balance of good sci-fi with exciting space battles. 5/5.
Episode 6: Galactic Heartbeat-Emperor Dark unveils his new EMP device which can disable anything electronic.
Starcom gets a taste of this while Slim is test flying the new F1400 Starwolf. As the Shadow Force use their EMP device to wreak havoc, Crowbar comes up with a plan to protect their land based attack vehicles from its effects, so they can race to stop it.
Good to see the land based Starcom vehicles get some more screen time: 4/5.
Episode 7: The Boys Who Cried Dark-Slim is tasked with taking a crew of cadets on a training mission on an old ship “The Sturgeon”. While a couple of cadets are pranking Slim, they are attacked by a Shadowbat-how will the cadets respond to their first live space fight?
This episode is very good for many reasons, it’s great to see the training process the cadets go through, using an old ship gives a sense of history, and there’s plenty of good action and very well animated sequences: 5/5.
Episode 8: Dark Harvest-A group of bandits attacks a settlement of farmers using stolen Shadow Force Vehicles and resources. Starcom intervenes, but future protection from Starcom is declined as the residents are pacifists. Dash is determined to help them and must find a way without resorting to violence.
If I were going to introduce someone to an episode of Starcom for the first time, it’s this episode I’d recommend first. The opening sequence showcases much of the coolest aspects of Starcom spaceships and it’s exciting from the beginning. 5/5.
Epidode 9: A few Bugs In The System-Things start to go wrong on a mining ship. The mining community are struggling to discover why, so Dash, Crowbar, Slim and Champ O’Ryan, who was originally brought up on a mining ship go to investigate. It soon becomes clear that there’s something “Dark” going on.
An enjoyable episode, definitely worth watching-not as exciting as some others though. 4/5.
Episode 10: Turnabout-Torvek manages to steal the operating chip from a crashed Starmax Bomber. This chip contains the operating frequencies that all starcom vehicles run on. This enables Torvek to take over all Starcom vehicles by remote control.
The best thing about this episode, is that while the Starcom vehicles are attacking the characters, you get to see the best parts of their functionality. The ending feels like it’s wrapped up a bit too quickly, but that’s offset by watching the great tech that Starcom has to offer. 5/5.
Episode 11: Hot Enough For You?-Slim and Crowbar end up marooned with two Shadow Force officers. They must trust each other if they’re all going to survive-but they’re trapped in intense heat with a damaged ship and no fuel. Can Slim and Crowbar trust their enemies when they tell them there’s a fuel supply nearby that could save them all?
An intriguing episode which reveals how some of the Shadow Force officers really feel about Emperor Dark. 4/5
Episode 12: Flash Moskowitz, Space Cadet-Flash Moskowitz has genius qualities akin to Star Trek’s Wesley Crusher, but is overenthusiastic to an extreme level, which serves to be an irritant to those around him. Including the Starcom team, who are using his as a cover for a more important mission. Of course, the Shadow Force want to find out more about this young genius when they discover Starcom are transporting him across space. When Flash accidentally gives the real game away to a Shadow Force officer, it puts him in danger and a battle ensues.
Flash’s ends up learning a valuable lesson, thanks to advice from Crowbar, but his irritating tendencies can make for difficult watching at times. 3/5.
Episode 13: The Last Star Ranger-A team of Starcom officers is trapped in an old Star Ranger base. Dash, Slim and Crowbar go to rescue them, but end up trapped there themselves, having to contend with the booby traps that were intended to stop any enemy invaders. Only one person can save them, Lucas Hull-The Last Star Ranger. Hull is the only person with enough knowledge of the base to get everyone out. But after all this time, will his reflexes be sharp enough to escape the boobie traps himself?
No space battles in this one, but this episode has a great story and is very enjoyable. 5/5.