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Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: Holiday of Terror Part 1 & Part 2
james_nicoll
Holiday of Terror Part 1
Holiday of Terror Part 2

Tom, Astro and Roger are on leave on Venus, planning on enjoying the entertainments offered by Astro's mining town home, when the boys discover that the town has been sacked, that Astro's uncle's business partner is dead and that everyone is missing.

It turns out the surviving population of the town has been herded out to the nearby gold mine, where they are being forced to load gold onto a small fleet of space craft. The crooks are accompanied by robots, robots just like the ones they ran into on Mercury.

Sending Roger off to call in the Solar Guard, Tom and Astro sneak around to see what they can do to save the townsfolk, who they suspect will be murdered as soon as they are no longer useful. Rogers turns up as a prisoner of the bad guys, making Tom and Astro's task doubly urgent

The cadets rise to occasion by sneaking onto one of the enemy ships and turning its guns on the bad guys and their robots. The surviving bandits flee in their remaining ship, taking half the gold with them but before they can kill the townsfolk.

Tom et al are determined to see the bad guys caught. They doon discover the ship they commandeered has a special scrambler for the radio that cannot be turned off and which renders the ship unable to talk to the Solar Guard. Believing they don't have time to drop by a Solar Guard post in person before the bad guys flee into space, the cadets head out in their stolen and unfamiliar craft to handle the crooks themselves.

Oddly, despite having almost no head start, the crooks' rockets cannot be seen in space. This is because they never left Venus, preferring to hide in a secret base in one of the jungles. The cadets use the radio to get a general idea of where the gang is but cannot narrow it down. A search of the jungle from the air proves futile.

Tom decides to draw the bad guys out by taking advantage of the fact that while the cadets know the thing is scrambled, the crooks don't know the cadets know that. Tom broadcasts a message intended to draw the bad guys out so that the cadets can blast them from the sky unaided. As it turns out, the first part of the plan is 100% successful but the cadets are soon shot out of the air themselves.

The cadets abandon their space ship but not before Tom rigs a couple of nukes to go off once and detonate the ship's reactor once the boys are far enough away to survive this. The bad guys are not so lucky and just as with their brethren on Mercury, they get to taste Atomic Justice! Which a surprising number of them survive.

The evil master mind from Mercury does not show up, which makes me think he's still in his cell on the prison asteroid.

This Jungle World Venus seems incompatible with the need for air plants in Atmosphere of Death. An interesting detail, one that ties into the Solar Guard's paranoia about revolutions on Venus in Atmosphere of Death, is that Venus has had successful revolution. It's never said who they were rebelling against but winning it let the Venusian colonists join the Solar Alliance.




                      Rockets       Labs          Cadet    
                                               Missing   Sick   Injured
Episode                   W    D        W  D    T A R    T A R  T A R
Trial in Space                 4           1      1 1      1
Asteroid of Danger        2             1           2           1 2 
Giant of Mercury          1    1
Atmosphere of Death                                             1    1
Mission of Mercy                                          1
Double Cross in Space                               1          
Sparkling Meteor         
Holiday of Terror              3                                1 
Total                     3    8       1  1      1 5     1     2 2  1 

                                    Supporting Cast
                                 Good Guys                Bad Guys
Episode              Missing Injured/ Killed Kidnapped   Injured Killed
                              sick            
Trial in Space       
Asteroid of Danger      1
Giant of Mercury        9               9       1                  4
Atmosphere of Death     1               2                   1      1
Mission of Mercy       many   many
Double Cross in Space                                              1
Sparkling Meteor                1 
Holiday of Terror     a town            1     a town             lots   
Total*                  11      1       11      1           1      6


* Does not include totals for Mission of Mercy (+1 ship) or Holiday of Terror
(a town)

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Shouldn't the wrecked-rocket count be incremented?

Is it just me, or is the casual use of nukes surprising in a 1950's show? Growing up at the tail end of the Cold War, I was used to nuclear weapons being the Final Move whenever they appeared in stories. I was surprised when nuclear explosions started showing up as plot devices in the 90's.

Edit: hours later, noticed the typo.

Edited at 2013-03-19 09:07 pm (UTC)

Thank you for taking on 50s SF so I don't have to.

I am not kidding about this. Mining planets when you have space travel?

I wish you could have watched Dances With Smurfs Avatar for me.

One of the terrible facts of this sad world we live is that the same things that make Earth a habitable world also work to concentrate useful materials into exploitable ores. If Venus had life, odds are it would also have valuable ore beds.

But they also mine asteroids in this setting. See Asteroid of Danger. In fact, we see resource extraction occur from Mercury to Pluto. This is a fully developed Solar System.

Given that there are people, today, shaping and using flint tools for their daily life*, I cannot argue that this is not to be expected. The profit margin is far lower, but it wouldn't be zero.

mutter mutter



(*As opposed to doing it to screw with future archaeologists.)