Did all of your cash just do the big flash?
  -- Roadblock (after witnessing the disintegration of the money at a poker game)
Home Episode Summaries Season 1 There's No Place Like Springfield: Part I - Notes

Credits: written by Steve Gerber

Production Number: 600-58

Original Airdate: December 12, 1985

SUNBOW'S SYNOPSIS
During a battle at sea with Cobra, Shipwreck falls overboard and is knocked unconscious. He awakens in a hospital in the all-American town of Springfield. When he asks the doctor how the battle turned out, he gets a peculiar answer: “You lost. The TV antenna fell down - and you took a bad spill off that ladder.” Questioning the doctor, Shipwreck discovers, to his horror, that seven years have passed, seven years he can’t recall at all! The war with Cobra has long since been won. He’s married, has a five-year-old son, and lives in a comfortable home at #6 Village Road. Some of the Joes are his neighbors. But non[e] of it is real: Springfield is a simulation of an American town, where Cobra trains its Crimson Guardsmen for their missions in deep cover. The Joes down the street are synthoids. And hidden beneath the town is Temple Prime - Cobra’s secret central headquarters. Can Shipwreck discover the truth before Cobra coaxes valuable intelligence information from him? And if he does, can he escape? [Notes: the son was a daughter in the episode, and one version of the episode synopses changed the word "son" into "child."]

THE  PERSONNEL
G.I.Joe: Shipwreck, Polly, Lady Jaye, Flint, Roadblock, Joe grunts, Torpedo, Deep Six, Duke*, Alpine*, Barbecue*, Bazooka*, Scarlett Cobra: Destro, the Baroness, Cobra Commander, Tomax, Xamot, Major Bludd
THE  GEAR
G.I.Joe: SHARC, Skystriker, USS Flagg Cobra: Rattler, Firebat (grey)
* indicates the character was silent during the episode

OBSERVATIONS
The address of Shipwreck's home in Springfield is "Number Six Village Drive," which is nod to the 1960s British cult TV-show The Prisoner. In the series, ex-secret agent Patrick McGoohan, who was called "Number Six," was held and pumped for secrets in a place called "The Village." After washing the gray out his beard in the hospital bathroom, Shipwreck states that his hair is black, however, the actual color throughout the series was brown (Matthew Pak's 3 3/4" G.I.Joe Collector Guide - Volume Two: The Television Episodes).

Like issue #10 of the Marvel comic book series (April 1983 - "A Nice Little Town Like Ours..."), Gerber and Larry Hama's stories take place in a town called Springfield (which appears like an ordinary town but is a disguised Cobra base) and included the use of drugs during Cobra's information extraction process.

The idea for storing information in Shipwreck's brain may have originated from the William Gibson short story "Johnny Mnemonic" (1981) since the main character explained: "I had hundreds of megabytes stashed in my head on an idiot/savant basis, information I had no conscious access to. Ralfi had left it there. He hadn't, however, come back for it. Only Ralfi could retrieve the data, with a code phrase of his own invention" (p. 2).

After Shipwreck and Polly survive a Cobra attack at the beach, Polly squawks, "Lots to blow before we sleep" (image one). Polly's line is more than likely a parody of the line "Miles to go before I sleep," which is from the Robert Frost poem "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening."


Before Polly turns out the lights in Shipwreck's home, the synthoid parrot breaks the fourth wall and tells the viewer, "Lights out." In the Shakespeare play "Othello," Othello states before smothering his wife: "Put out the light, and then put out the light." The synthoid parrot's line could be interpreted as a reference to the play since Cobra planned to slowly smother Shipwreck's sanity in order to extract the information ("Put out the light,...) before they probably killed him ("and then put out the light").

USA  NETWORK  EDITS
I
Time: 5 seconds

II

Dialogue:
Lady Jaye: Okay, forget it! Let’s get out of here!
Polly:  Lots to blow before we sleep
Shipwreck: Aw, shut up! How come the blasted beach was so much closer before?
Lady Jaye: It seems even farther when you’re dragging a 165 pounds of scientist and not getting any help.
Shipwreck: Hey, why didn’t you say something? I thought you had it under control.
Time: 31 seconds

III

Time: 8 seconds

IV

Dialogue:
Althea: And bless Mommy and Daddy and me and the President and Stupid.
Shipwreck: Who’s Stupid?
Althea: My kitty cat dolly. Don’t you remember anything, Daddy?
Shipwreck: Not much, kid.
Althea: Maybe you’ll remember tomorrow, huh?
Shipwreck: Maybe so, Althea. Maybe so. Good night.
Time: 28 seconds
Note: I will never forgive the USA Network for this edit because the scene offers a crucial insight into Shipwreck's character. In most of the episodes in the series, Shipwreck is depicted as a sailor who'd swap punches with anyone, make flippant remarks to anybody and disobey orders in order to solve a mystery or settle a dispute. However, in this episode, the viewer is allowed to see that even this bad-to-the-bones-down-to-Davey-Jones'-locker sailor has a soft side, one that is brought when he sees a child's pure adoration for him. Shipwreck may be many things - lazy, insubordinate, a ruffian, a womanizer-wannabe - but he is not someone who would mope around the house, and because of this edit by the USA Network, the tough-as-nails characterization of Shipwreck is bent out of shape when the viewer sees him wandering around the house depressed. In order to reset your thoughts about Shipwreck, the edit described above is available for viewing in the Episode Highlights section.

LESSONS

Airtight
Original:
If someone faints, the last thing you want to do is lift them. Instead, Airtight explains that you should raise their feet, loosen their clothes and place a wet cloth on the person's forehead.
USA:
Same as above

SPONSORS

Photon
932 kb

Pound Puppies

HIGHLIGHTS
Movie Clip: The fourth edit made by the USA Network [1.27 mb]


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