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The Super Scouts is an episode of the TV series, Galactica 1980. It was written by Glen A. Larson, and first broadcast on 10 February 1980.

Plot Edit

Delphi explosion

The school ship, Delphi, explodes after a Cylon attack.

Under Dr. Zee's instruction, the refugee fleet is shying away from Earth to keep its location hidden from the Cylons. Concerned for the future of the fleet's children, he proposes to Commander Adama that they be sent to live on Earth. Troy and Dillon arrive on Delphi, a ship used by the fleet as a mobile school. The children are taught by Troy that Earth's atmosphere is thinner and its gravity is lighter than on their ships, based on larger worlds like Caprica. Consequently, they will be capable of running faster and jumping higher than Earth's children, though the benefits will be negated by getting tired easier. Dillon interrupts the class to notify Troy that the ship has come to a stop while it undergoes repairs.

On Galactica, Commander Adama becomes concerned at the Delphi's situation, and has a fighter escort launched. Adama's fears are confirmed when a Cylon patrol intercepts the ship. The Cylon firepower weakens its structural integrity. The mission is scrubbed and its crew begins a hasty evacuation back to the fleet. Troy and Dillon help free the children to make sure the crew don't launch their shuttles too early. Five of Galactica's Vipers, led personally by Col. Boomer, take on the Cylon patrol, giving Delphi added time to evacuate. Troy and Dillon take control of Shuttle Alpha, and escape Delphi as it explodes. Shuttle Alpha is irrecoverably damaged and loses fuel when debris tears into the hull. Unable to join the other shuttles en route to Alpha Centauri, Shuttle Alpha must continue on to Earth.

As Shuttle Alpha descends through the atmosphere, they narrowly avoid a passenger jet. The local air force base receives a complaint and, having no planes in the area, redirects the investigation to Air Force Special Detachment One and Col. Sydell, who's department is responsible to investigating suspected extraterrestrial activity for national security. When the shuttle lands, it gets the attention of two hunters investigating the bright light. Troy and Dillon are able to freeze the men in their place and, expecting an inevitable military investigation, have the shuttle launched into space so they need not worry about securing it.

In the morning, Troy and Dillon leave the children behind and drive into Los Angeles in their Turbines. They get the attention of the police, who notice a lack of ID plates. The two speed ahead and turn invisible behind a billboard. With the police gone, Troy wanders into a department store to get clothes while Dillon heads to a bank, hoping to exchange the gold in his Colonial Cubits for US Dollars. While browsing, Troy is mistaken for a Scoutmaster by an employee, and takes advantage of her confusion to purchase twelve lots of clothes and camping equipment so the children can blend in as scouts. Meanwhile, Dillon is successful in having his Cubits accepted as ancient coins, but grows impatient with the bank's need to send them off for testing. His attempt to cancel the transaction convinces the teller the coins were stolen, and the police are called via a panic button when she mistakenly thinks he is armed with a gun. Dillon realises the mistake and accidentally forces her to divulge her address so he can return the money before running from the police. Dillon returns to the department store and pays for the goods, but when the police enter the store to investigate they are forced to turn invisible. While driving back on their Turbines, they are pursued by the highway patrol from earlier, but take off into the air to escape.

Meanwhile, Jamie Hamilton drives out into the country to report on Special Detachment One, who are combing through the area with metal detectors. Col. Sydell's team has found nothing at the Shuttle landing site and consider the hunters' report to be drunken ramblings. Sydell hears that a group of scouts is in the area, and decides to ask them. Sydell interviews Troy and Dillon, whom Jamie recognises immediately, and they insist they saw no bright lights in the sky. Sydell decides to ask the children if they, too, saw anything while they play with his car. They are disinterested in helping him, instead playing with and damaging his car.

That night, the children sing at a campfire to Jamie; Troy and Dillon. They soon learn that three of the children have fallen ill, soon followed by others. Worried they will die, the sickest three are rushed to the nearby Paradise Valley Medical Center. Dr. Spencer out on a call, Troy and Dillon examine the children with their technology, and find they have perspired so much they are now suffering from dehydration. Jamie sets up an IV drip to give them glucose. When Nurse Valerie realises they are treating the children on their own, she becomes distressed as it could cost her her job. She is frozen to prevent interference.

On Galactica, Dr. Zee discusses the recent Cylon attack with Commander Adama, and hypotheses that the Delphi was used as target practice for the raiders, which have been modified in the thirty years since the destruction of the colonies.

Back at the clinic, Dr. Spencer arrives and concurs with the Galacticans' hypothesis the children have been poisoned and prepares them for testing. In the morning, Troy and Dillon investigate a local lake the children say they drank from. They learn from a man it is private property owned by the Stanford Chemical Plant, and are offered permission to use the lake for fishing. They insist on speaking to the plant's manager, John Stockton, but he cannot accept they ran tests on the water in less than a day, and suspects the whole thing is a set-up by an environmentalist group who had previously caused a plant shutdown. He offers to "look into it" and "very soon", but this is only to get rid of them. He quickly reports on them to the Sheriff's Department, hoping to convince Sheriff Ellsworth it is more serious by reminding him of the previous six-month closure that forced the local employees to take out loans to survive. Ellsworth is informed that the children at the clinic have not been identified and their scout troop does not exist. He quickly concludes that the scouts were willing participants in a radical environmentalist campaign, with Jamie part of the plot, and orders for their arrest. Jamie, upon hearing the sheriff's bluster, warns Troy and Dillon their "Super Scouts" are in jeopardy, and the pair flies off on their Turbines.

ProductionEdit

Writing Edit

Following the conclusion of the three-part Galactica Discovers Earth story, which otherwise would have been a mini-series, ABC renewed the series for a standard broadcast run, announced in the February 23–29 issue of TV Guide. Rather than have a basic story prepared, Glen A. Larson chose to wait for ABC's final verdict of the series opening. While ABC wanted the show to be educational for children in keeping with its 7PM family slot, they disliked the historical setting. Instead, for most of the series the show would be grounded to the present day and teach children in other ways. Having expressed an interest in children appearing in the series, Larson agreed to ABC's wish, and four of the remaining seven episodes included children heavily in the story.

The decision to hire child actors would, ironically, play a part in Galactica 1980's downfall. Due to a mix of regulations on child actors and union rules, it was more efficient for child actors to do their scenes on the Weekend. However, this also would require Sunday and night-time shooting, which inflated the cost of production despite the purpose of the series' limitations being to save money.

Directing and principal photography Edit

Vince Edwards, director of The Living Legend, returned to direct the first part of The Super Scouts. A special effects-laden scene with explosions and a tall beam falling onto a bridge was almost botched when the team rigging the beam misheard Larson talking about the beam as an order to release it. The premature release of the beam almost killed Edwards. A further side-effect of the stunt-gone-wrong was James Patrick Stuart who, visibly upset, was unable to perform for his scene. Larson only caught it when watching the dailies, where he noticed Stuart's stuff neck and high-pitched voice.[1]

Casting Edit

The Super Scouts saw the re-casting of Dr. Zee, with actor Robbie Rist replaced with James Patrick Stuart. Among the child actors playing the Super Scouts were three of Larson's own children: David, Eric and Michelle. The crew disliked working with most of the children who they felt were out-of-control, only disliking their parents more.

Cast Edit

Main Cast Edit

Also Starring Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Starring Edit

The Super Scouts Alphabetically Edit

Uncredited Edit

  • John Quade as Sheriff Ellsworth
  • Michael Swan as Deputy Collins

Errors Edit

  • Allan Miller is miscredited as "Alan Miller".

Sources Edit

  1. Interview with Galactica 1980 Story Editor Allan Cole. Tripod.com. Retrieved on 2018-05-11.
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