Recap / Rocky Jones Crash Of The Moons

Series: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger
Title: "Crash Of Moons"
Alt Title: "Crash Of The Moons"
Number Of Episodes: 3
Recapper: Scooter007

First of all, let's clear up some Title Confusion: The proper name for this story arc, the last of Season One, is "Crash Of Moons", according to the title card within the show itself. However, the DVD box art calls it "Crash Of The Moons", and the MST3K guys likewise use the DVD title when referencing the episode (even as they're reading the title card onscreen). But really, it's different. Just like "The Fast and the Furious" is a totally different title from "Fast And Furious". (Hey, at least it's not "Attack of the The Eye Creatures".) Furthermore, "Crash Of Moons" should not be confused with "Gypsy Moon" (aka "Rocky's Odyssey"), although "Crash Of Moons" is basically a sequel to "Gypsy Moon". Got yer head spinning real good? Well goddie then, let's off.

Part 1

Our story begins with Rocky Jones, his co-pilot Winky and Secretary of Space Drake on a diplomatic visit to planet Ophecius, inviting them to join The United Worlds. But nasty-but-sexy Queen Cleolanta, apparently content with the ongoing Space Cold War, intends to keep her world separate and independent; she uncerimoniously boots them all off the planet.

As they depart, our heroes seem unduly bummed by Cleo's harsh rejection (it's never stated outright, but perhaps Ophecius has some natural resource needed by The United Worlds and they just don't want to look like a pack of moochers; the obvious "it would be nice if this cold war were ended" never comes up). Rocky checks in with a nearby space station, OW-9, and learns that his space comanions Vena, Bobby and Prof. Newton are waiting for him. As it turns out, they're anticipating the imminent arrival of "the Gypsy Moons" Posita and Negato, a pair of free-flying planetoids which will be passing quite near OW-9 (the gang are friends with Posita's ruling family, as established previously).

However, Rocky is alarmed upon hearing that the Moons' trajectory will place OW-9 inside the "atmosphere chain" which links the two moons. Knowing that "an object built to withstand the elements of space cannot survive in an atmosphere!", and with no other spaceships near enough to evacuate the station's crew, Rocky's Orbit Jet is forced to race to the rescue. Orbit Jet arrives too late to evacuate — the Gypsy Moons are right on time and batter OW-9 with their atmosphere chain — but Rocky manages to plug the Jet into the station's docking port and push it into clear space.

Now knowing the danger that the Gypsy Moons' atmosphere chain can pose to space-faring bodies (but what about the moons themselves? you may ask yourself. Hold that thought...) Prof. Newton and Vena begin plotting their trajectory... and make a horrifying discovery. We won't learn what that is for a few minutes, but you can probably scan back up to the title of this episode and figure it out.

Interspersed with all of this, we occasionally check in on planet Posita, where the ruler, Bovarro, and his wife (Potanda? Cotanda? Her name is difficult to make out in the movie, and Goggling turns up nothing definitively correct; so I'll just call her Mrs. Bovarro) are enjoying brand spankin' new parenthood. Only, they're not, really, because the infant is wailing constantly. It seems, they theorize, the baby somehow intuits that some cataclysm is upon the horizon. Into this scene of domestic bliss comes Rocky Jones and Company to deliver the bad news: that the moon Posita is on a crash course with planet Ophecius. Bovarro is bummed. But no time for that now, there's an exodus afoot. And so Secretary Drake and Bovarro head out to arrange for the transplanting of Posita's people over to Negato, while Rocky and Winky set off to warn Cleolanta and Ophecius.

Part 2

Back over on Ophecius, we catch up with Atlasan, Cleolanta's primary henchman, and his wife Trinka. (Atlasan is acting like he just got a big promotion; but he's already been established as Cleo's de facto second-in-command, so who can say?) Trinka voices her desire to explore other worlds and cultures; but Atlasan, patriotic to a fault, brushes her off. The moment he leaves for work, Trinka pulls out a secret ham radio and starts listening to space signals. (Plot point: such radios, or "astrophones", are contraband on Ophecius.) Meanwhile, the Orbit Jet arrives in, uhm, orbit, and Rocky tries to radio a warning to Cleolanta or any friendly ear that may be listening; getting no response, Rocky chooses to land and deliver the message in person. Turns out the message has been heard — by Trinka. Unfortunately for her, her husband catches her with the radio and arrests her.

Cleolanta is in the midst of questioning the "traitorous" Trinka re: the illegal astrophone when the Orbit Jet augers in for a landing. Trinka tries to repeat Rocky's warning, but Cleo orders the Jet shot down. Trinka's appeals to Atlasan go ignored, so she pulls a gun on the Queen, giving Atlasan pause just long enough for the Orbit Jet to land. Once the Jet is safely on the ground, Trinka allows herself to be carted off to jail, leaving her husband quite embarrassed.

Rocky and Winky arrive at the rather unimpressive gates to the city, and get the drop on the guards by climbing up some conveniently placed girders. Overpowering the guards, the heroes march on up to Cleo's Oval Office where they insist, at gunpoint, that they have something to say to her.

And so they move to the residential wing and explain the upcoming "Crash Of Moons" to Cleolanta. Cleo isn't too keen on the idea of moving her people to a new world (she's further cheesed when Rocky insists that this new world "will be mutually decided upon"). But she demurs a moment, wishing to discuss the matter with her underlings before making any decisions. However, Cleo floods the room with sleeping gas (which, it would seem, all the guest suites in the palace are equipped with) and makes her own plan: to bomb Posita with "tritanic missiles", destroying the moon and all its inhabitants to save Ophecius. "We act only for self-preservation!" This doesn't sit well with Atlasan, but he'll go along.

The reason for this is quickly made apparent: Atlasan visits Trinka in her own luxury cell, telling her of the Queen's plan to save the planet; Atlasan will ask, as a reward for his participation, for a full pardon on Trinka's behalf. Trinka is, naturally, aghast at the upcoming genocide, but the spineless Atlasan won't stand up to Cleolanta. He does, though, set his wife free to do what she feels is right while he leaves on his mission.

Trinka slips past the guard and awakens Rocky and Winky. Warning Winky to pretend to sleep, she takes Rocky back to her own room and explains Cleolanta's plans to him. Meanwhile, the guard checks up on Winky, who pretends to sleep. But this guard weren't born yesterday, no sir bub; there were two guys in that room five minutes ago! And the brawl is on. No points for guessing who wins.

And so the Orbit Jet must rush to the rescue yet again.

Part 3

Back on Posita, Baby Bovarro is again crying uncontrolably. As before, everyone believes that the baby senses some danger — perhaps relating to Rocky, Bobby suggests. No, I think it's this: Queen Cleolanta's spaceship arrives in orbit over Posita and makes with the boom-boom. The Orbit Jet isn't too far behind, but Cleo gets in several good shots before Rocky can disable her craft. As the Palace del Bovarro collapses around them, Mrs. Bovarro urges Vena and Bobby to take the baby to a nearby bomb shelter; of course, the moment they're inside, debris blocks the entrance.

Once the Queen's ship has been disabled, Atlasan finally mans up and turns on her, strapping her tightly into her seat and calling a halt to the bombardment. The Orbit Jet heads on down to Posita to initiate damage control; Vena, Bobby and the baby are rescued posthaste, and Cleolanta's ship is towed down. Even after all this, Cleo continues to insist that she wants her planet saved rather than evacuated; she fears her people will disperse without a central, unified home. Rocky suggests a compromise: Evacuate Posita quickly, then allow Cleo to bomb it to her heart's delight. In order to forestall a doublecross, Rocky goes with Cleolanta.

The moon is evacuated, and the plan put into action. But to no avail; as Prof. Newton monitors the bombardment, Posita deviates from its path not one iota. The upcoming catastrophe simply cannot be averted. Cleolanta reacts rather badly to this, but there's nothing for it but to prepare for Ophecius' evacuation. So Rocky, Cleo, Atlasan and the rest head on over to Ophecius to sound the warning. As it happens, word of the impending disaster has leaked, and there is understandable panic in the form of a rush on the banks — or the spaceship, if you will. But Trinka, of all people, manages to calm everyone down, assuring them that everyone will be saved. And so the evacuation of Ophecius is carried out, with Trinka becoming de facto liason between her people and The United Worlds. In the end, Cleolanta chooses to 'go down with her planet', but Atlasan forces her onto the Orbit Jet.

Thus does the "Crash Of Moons" come to pass. Cleolanta is devastated, but seeing her whole world literally come to an end has had a humbling effect on her, and she finally expresses actual gratitude for the saving of her people.