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“A Bionic Christmas Carol”

S4 E10

Production 45126
Original Airdate: December 12, 1976
Episode Collage
Teleplay by
Wilton Schiller
Story by
Wilton Schiller
Directed by
Gerald Mayer
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Ray Walston as Horton Budge
Dick Sargent as Bob Crandall
Antoinette Bower as Nora Crandall
Noah Keen as Dr Hendrick
Peter Leeds as Mr Webley
Barry Cahill as Joe
Sheldon Allman as Charlie
June Dayton as Horton's Secretary
Howard McGillin as Worker
Ann Dusenberry as Girl Clerk
Kin Shriner as Friend
Adam Rich as Bob Crandall Jr
Quinn Cummings as Elsie Crandall
Natasha Rye as Cissy Crandall
Broadcast Order
Season 4
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"The Thunderbird Connection" "Task Force"


Steve is furious when Oscar asks him to give up his Christmas holiday to look into a serious problem with Horton Budge, a major supplier of systems for space projects. Steve soon discovers that the problem with Budge is that he's a cynical old penny-pincher who is the cause of low morale at his plant. When he learns that Budge's nephew, Bob Crandall, is unable to properly support his wife and kids on the salary Budge pays him, Steve uses bionic methods to turn Budge around and bring some cheer to the Crandall family.




  • Many of the story elements are taken from the classic Charles Dickens book, “A Christmas Carol”, hence the title of this episode.
  • Steve tells Oscar that he's returning to Ojai for the holidays. This is perhaps the last such reference to Ojai in the series.
  • The Universal Studios Backlot is featured prominently in this episode with the following sets: (1) The downtown driving scenes and toy shop. (2) Crandall's house. (3) Budge's house, which is also the famous "Psycho" Bates Mansion.
  • Future "Eight is Enough" star, Adam Rich, appears as one of Crandall's children.
  • This episode also features actor Ray Walston as Budge, whose company is developing a life-support system for a NASA Mars flight. However, under Budge’s dangerously conservative direction, the project is only just within compliance. In a Dickens-esque sequence, Steve (dressed as Santa) takes Budge on an evening walk to show him the results of his stingy ways. During their reflective stroll, a simulator is shown designated as ‘Artificial Martian atmosphere’, which pays homage to Walston’s classic role in the show “My Favorite Martian”.
  • Note the Jaws game on the counter to the right of the store cashier, played by Ann Dusenberry. She would later play Tina Wilcox in Jaws 2.


  • During a close up shot of Steve while he was in the department store, a shelf containing Six Million Dollar Man action figures can clearly be seen in the background (although, seeing as how it's a soundstage set and not a real store, it may have been done as a joke, or a piece of subliminal advertisement)