Martin begins to do so, when a monitor comes to life and informs them that Diana is escaping in a shuttle craft. Donovan boards another and takes off in pursuit.
Their chase leads to Earth, where a laser battle between the two crafts erupts. Eventually Diana's ship is damaged, and crash lands. Donovan lands and pursues the Visitor who is now running away from her craft. He catches up to her, and they both fall to the ground where a savage fight ensues, with Diana smashing a stone into his skull. Donovan is stunned, but quickly gets to his feet and grapples with her again.
Two hunters spot them, and, recognizing the Visitor uniforms, raise their rifles.
"Don't shoot!" Donovan screams out.
A year later, and the world is celebrating Liberation Day: anniversary of the day the Visitors were driven away from Earth due to the red toxin.
On television in L.A., a reporter is interviewing Elias Taylor, who is now operating the Club Creole. A hand turns off the TV, and we find ourselves in Donovan's apartment, where he and Julie Parrish are relaxing. He's curious as to why she turned off the television, and she replies that they had agreed to spend the day without any interruptions.
Donovan immediately erupts into anger. "You mean like Sean? You've got to admit you don't mind him not being around."
Julie doesn't think this is very fair, pointing out that Mike had done the right thing by sending him to a special school to help reverse the conversion process. "I know what you're going through," she says sympathetically.
"How would you know what I'm going through when you spend eighteen hours a day going over that Mothership with a fine tooth comb . . . If you want to learn their secrets, why don't you ask Diana? I'm sure she'd love to see you."
"Apparently a lot more than you do," Julie exclaims as she leaves the room, slamming the door behind her.
This sequence, reintroducing audiences to Donovan and Julie, once again establishes the fact that these two people are lovers who were brought together under extenuating circumstances, and who, otherwise, would never have fallen in love. In addition, it continues to develop Donovan's obsession with his son -- one year after his initial contact with the Visitors. This is also quite a contrast to the aired version, in which the pair of them seem quite happy and, incredible as it may seem, go off to a secluded sector of the grounded Mothership to make love.
The next sequence, as on the televised show, has Robin Maxwell feeling as though she needs to get away from everything for a while, and a helicopter news crew, attempting to film Elizabeth, the Starchild, being forced away by her psychic powers.
Ham Tyler enters Nathan Bates' office, as a telecast regarding Diana's upcoming trial is aired. Bates negotiates for Tyler's services, explaining that it would be beneficial for them to extract scientific information from her that would help cure the ills of the world. Finally, with a $500,000 inducement, Tyler agrees to work for Science Frontiers.
Elsewhere, Martin, who is now Donovan's sound man, explains that Diana should be executed for her crimes against humanity, but Mike argues that in a democratic society everyone deserves a fair trial (sound like Donovan's being a bit too liberal here?)
During their conversation, Martin's watch beeps, informing him that twelve hours have passed and that it's time to take an antidote pill to the Red Dust. Mike is alarmed to note that there's only one pill left in the bottle, and that they'd better get a refill very soon.
They arrive outside the courthouse, where a van pulls up to release Diana, in a gas mask, surrounded by a team of security guards. Suddenly a man steps up, raises a gun and shoots her just beneath the heart, and she collapses to the ground.
This scene was handled quite well, capturing a true news documentary feel, and serving as a reminder of the Jack Ruby/Lee Harvey Oswald situation, which clearly inspired this particular story idea.
Diana's body is loaded into an ambulance, which conveniently happens to be there, and the vehicle drives off. There is a car accident, which separates the press from the ambulance, which drives off. Donovan, suspecting that something is amiss, steals a nearby helicopter with Martin, and pursues it.
The ambulance goes into a tunnel, but a truck comes out the other side, with no sight of the first vehicle. The helicopter follows the truck.
Julie and Robert Maxwell are on the phone, discussing the apparent Diana assassination, when Elizabeth approaches her grandfather, displaying some shredded skin on her arm, and revealing pulsating scales beneath. Alarmed, he asks Julie to come over, and she agrees.
The truck arrives at a secluded hut, and Diana's unconscious body is unloaded. Ham looks down at the body in disgust, and waves it inside.
Donovan and Martin land the helicopter and being making their way toward the hut, suspecting, even more strongly now, that there is something devious going on . . . something that involves Diana.
Within the hut, a now conscious Diana finds herself sealed in a translucent shell. Nathan Bates enters the room, and stares for a moment at his captive.
Bates explains that he will allow Diana to live, providing lodging and protection from the Red Dust (via the antidote), food, and of course, guards, if in exchange, she shares the technology of her people with Science Frontiers.
Diana is not pleased with this "arrangement," stating, "I cure the ills of the world, and you take the credit."
"That's the deal," Bates replies.
"Or," Tyler interjects as he enters the room, "I turn you into a pair of very good shoes."
Diana says that she'll think about it, and Bates explains that she had better not take too much time coming to a decision. He and Tyler exit the room, where Ham turns to him and explains that part of their bargain was that he would get Diana for "target practice" when there's nothing else she can offer mankind.
Outside the hut, Donovan and Martin, standing behind a group of trees, see Diana in her "cell". Delighted, the human asks for the camera, and the Visitor responds by smashing it into his head, knocking him unconscious. "I'm sorry, Mike," he says as he moves on.
Moving quickly and without emotion, Martin reaches the hut and quickly knocks out the guard outside the door. He reaches into his windbreaker, and removes a Visitor laser, then enters the hut. He forces the second guard to drop his weapon and take several steps back. Then he approaches Diana's cell, and rips one of the walls open.
"You fool," Diana screams, "That poisoned air will kill me."
"That will take too long," he replies simply. "I'm going to do the job right . . . You're a destroyer, Diana. An evil. A sickness. Everything you touch dies. You don't bargain with a pestilence, you wipe it out."
He raises the weapon and is about to fire, when the guard grabs him and they both tumble to the ground. A shadow falls over them, and they see Diana -- laser in hand.
"Martin," she sneers, "you have something I want!"
At the Maxwells, Julie is concerned that Elizabeth's temperature is an incredible 120 degrees . . . and fears that the possibility exists that the child is metamorphosing into one of the reptilians.
Donovan finally comes to, discovering that the hut is in flames. As he moves to sit up, a hand grasps his wrist. It's Martin, bloodied, covered in soot and obviously near death. He blames himself for what's happened, and explains that Diana took his last pill, so she's got twelve hours left in which to contact her people. He slumps over, lifeless.
That night, Elizabeth runs to the stable, mounts her horse, and rides off. Several hours later, Julie and Robert discover this and set off in pursuit.
Early the following morning, Diana, adorned in human clothing, is working on the engine of a stolen jeep, unable to get the vehicle restarted. An overweight "country boy" drives up in his pickup, and offers to give her a lift. Sizing up the opportunity, she graciously accepts. They drive off, passing a sign which reads Mount Monash Radio Telescope - 14 Miles."
"She's loose, Bates," states Tyler as he enters Nathan's office.
Bates tries to assure him that the Earth is deadly to her, and all she can possibly want to do is leave. Tyler points out that the only way would be the Mothership, but that's heavily guarded by Science Frontiers. Nathan points out that Mount Monash is near the place she escaped, and that it would be relatively simple for her to contact her people from there. Adding that it's her only chance, he tells Tyler to go there and stop her. Ham quits Science Frontiers, deciding to act on his own.
"How will I know if you're successful?" Bates asks.
"Easy. I'll let you live."
The pickup comes to a stop, causing Diana to ask the reason for the delay. The driver expects just payment for his kindness, and Diana, all but licking her hungry lips, smiles and moves in for the kill.
Elizabeth dismounts her horse and enters a cave full of snakes. Amazingly, they seem to go out of their way to avoid making contact with her. She moves off into the further reaches of the cave.
Shortly thereafter, Julie and Robert arrive, and carefully start to enter the cave, but are confronted by the snakes that seem to be guarding the threshold.
Donovan moves swiftly down a corridor of the observatory, armed with a .45. In the distance is a beeping sound -- the radio telescope in operation.
He hears somebody approaching, and slams the body down to the ground. An instant later, he realizes that it's Ham Tyler. Donovan immediately becomes suspicious that Ham knows about everything that's been going on. They hear the beeping sound and move towards it. They locate the oscilloscope, but before they can disconnect it a laser blast nearly strikes them. They dive to safety.
Ham jumps up, fires his uzi and destroys the transmitting device. In fury, Diana fires again, barely missing Ham. Donovan calls out, "I know Martin only had one pill, Diana. Time's running out."
She rechecks her watch, and plays out her hand.
Donovan and Ham move off in opposite directions, and wind up outside. Ham is the first one to come into contact with her, and she aims her laser, ordering him to place his gun on the ground.
"I don't think so," he says evenly.
"I didn't ask for your thoughts. Hostage or dead hero -- which will it be?"
"Nobody lives forever."
Tyler attempts to dodge the blast, but is struck and knocked off his feet. Diana moves in to finish him, but is distracted by a skyfighter that comes in for a landing, and runs toward it.
Donovan arrives and, saying that this is being done for Martin, opens fire with his pistol. All six shots make contact, but Diana continues to move.
"Contact the fleet," she says as the ship takes off. "We're going to crush these humans once and for all."
Ham joins Donovan as they watch the fighter take off.
"We'll get her next time," Tyler says with false confidence.
"It's already next time," Donovan replies softly.
As the shuttlecraft enters space, Diana asks how many Motherships are still in the quadrant.
"Enough," smiles one of her officers.
Behind Earth's moon are a variety of battleships,
all waiting for the order to be given.
"Liberation Day", the first of a two part story, differs from what followed in the series because the viewer is left with the impression that the Visitors have reached a distinct point of Victory. Granted that this can probably be attributed to the fact that it's part one of two, at least it achieves a level of suspense.
This story also manages to take the general tone and feel of the two miniseries, and successfully expand upon them. It's a terrific way to begin the process of transforming what's come before into a weekly series, and, most importantly of all, it was done in an extremely intelligent manner.
It was unfortunate that Martin died here, because the continuing relationship between him and Donovan could possibly have reached the level of that of Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk. At least, in hindsight, fans know that the relationship is given a second chance of sorts when actor Frank Ashmore returned as Martin's brother, Phillip.
Director Paul Kransy does a more than creditable
job in generating suspense and handling the cast, as does writer Paul Monash
in laying down the groundwork for the series.
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