Save the Carolina 3

This is the seventeenth episode in the 80’s series and was first broadcast in Japan on January 28, 1981.

My friend Gene was captured by Skunk to force his father into his evil schemes. Fortunately I managed to save him, and he helped me countering Skunk’s assault on the Carolina 3 .

Plot

The recurrent villain, Skunk, hard at work
The Carolina 3 losing altitude

Gene’s holidays are over, and he has to go back to school. He doesn’t like this, but his father convinces him it is important. After the course, Alvin uses a small remote controlled helicopter to take Paul’s schoolbag, but the toy is destroyed by a strange man with a hat. He threatens Alvin and his friends, and brings Paul with him by telling that he his sent by his father who is sick. When Astro arrives, Alvin tells him what happened. Astro uses his enhanced ears to listen and find where Paul is. When he starts flying, Alvin insists that he takes him. Paul is brought into a shuttle that takes off into orbit, and Astro has to give up the pursuit because Alvin can’t stand the lack of air.

Gene’s abductors force his father to allow them access to the control center. Their leader, Skunk, asks for the security codes of the Carolina 3. Gene’s father first refuses and is wounded to the eyes. He finally accepts and asks the Carolina 3 to put itself in standby as a quarantine measure, while Skunk’s gang uses the security codes to board the spaceship and take over the bridge.

Astro finally catches up and neutralizes Skunk’s men who where holding the control center. He then proceeds to join the Carolina 3 to free it from the remaining of the gang, but during the fight the main computer is destroyed. Astro manages to divert automated ships that where on a collision path with the Carolina 3, but one of them knocks it out of orbit, and Astro has to use is jets to put it back on a safe path under the control of Gene.

Trivia

Differences between languages

FIXME I have no access to the Japanese version right now.

In the French version, weapons in general and handguns more particularly are removed, with very few exceptions. Alvin‘s toy is destroyed by a laser beam, but the strange man with a hat is never seen actually firing. When Skunk and his men enter the control center, their weapons are never seen. To keep the scenario consistent, Gene’s father is sequestrated into a room instead of being blinded by a laser beam. Right before boarding the control center, Astro doesn’t receive a barrage of missiles, and after boarding Skunk’s men immediately surrender instead of opening fire. Especially Gene is never seen holding a gun. The fight on the Carolina’s bridge is heavily truncated, and Astro is the one destroying the main computer instead of one of Skunk’s men.