Original Airdate: 8 February, 1974
Steve Confronts the Robot
Leslie H. Martinson
John Saxon as Fred Sloan/Robot
Henry Jones as Chester Dolenz
|Special Guest Star(s)|
Lloyd Bochner as Gavern Wilson
Charles W. Bateman as Master Sgt Parnell
Noah Keen as General Tarhill
Robert Rothwell as Al
Martin Speer as Neil
Buster Jones as Captain
Michael Alaimo as Bread Truck Driver
Louie Elias as Roy
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Run, Steve, Run
Return of the Robot Maker
Steve Austin is assigned the task of escorting his friend Major Frederick Sloan to the important final test of a secret new anti-missile missile defense system. Major Sloan has developed a microwave circuit card which is the activator for the ignition unit on the defense system. However, both they and the OSI are unaware that a criminal gang has made plans to steal the activator by abducting Major Sloan and replacing him with an identical robot, developed and built by Dr. Jeffrey Dolenz. During the drive to the test site, Major Sloan is kidnapped at a gas station and the robot takes his place without Steve noticing. The robot is controlled by a remote from Dr. Dolenz's laboratory and images and sounds of everything it sees and hears are relayed back. Steve slowly becomes suspicious of the robot’s erratic behavior and the fact he has shown bionic level strength. But before he can take any action criminals force his car off the road. The robot then knocks Steve out and steals the activator from him. At the missile test site, the robot places the activator in the ignition unit and the test initially goes as planned. However, the robot then suddenly steals both the activator and ignition unit and forces an escape. Correctly guessing that the robot will have headed to the test facility Steve intercepts it and, following a violent struggle, destroys the robot.
Back in Washington D.C., Oscar Goldman informs Steve that most of the criminal gang have been captured but that Dr. Dolenz is still at large. There is no sign of Major Sloan, and he is presumed dead. Later when Steve is out walking by the tennis courts where they played together, Steve finds Major Sloan who is suffering from amnesia but is otherwise well.
Fred: I never thought I'd see the day you'd beat me three straight sets.
Steve: Well, you've still got your memories, Fred.
Wilson: When was the last time you saw Mr. Austin?
Robot: Mister? You mean Colonel Austin, don't ya? Steve would cringe if anybody would call him Mister. He's all Air Force, there's not a drop of Mister in him. The last time I saw my buddy Steve Austin was on the tennis court this morning.
Steve: Let's let that car pass.
Robot: What car?
Steve: There's been one behind us ever since we left the station.
Robot: You weren't so nervous in the old days, Steve. It's just a coincidence.
Steve: Well, that was fun.
Robot: I'm sorry Steve, I got a cramp in my foot.
Steve: You know, between your foot cramp and this flat tire, we're never gonna make it.
Robot: We got time, the test is not till noon tomorrow.
Steve: Well I'm not crazy about stopping anywhere until we reach the testing facility.
Robot: I Feel Like Dying Steve.
- This is the first episode in the bionic franchise that deals with robot duplicates. Dolenz' creations return in "Return of the Robot Maker," while a similar, though unrelated series of robots — Fembots — would be introduced in The Bionic Woman.
- The "bionic" sound effect is heard for the first time in this episode, but is used for the Sloan robot instead of Steve Austin.
- When the Sloan robot inserts the activator into the ignition unit and presses the button, the ignition unit begins making a sound similar to Steve's bionic eye.
- The sound effects for the robot come from the 1971 Universal Studios film How to Frame a Figg.
- At close to eight minutes, the final fight between Austin and the robot may be the longest sustained slow-motion sequence ever presented on the show.
- A painting hung in Oscar's office can also be spotted in a 1973 Columbo episode entitled "Candidate for Crime."
- The Maskatron action figure is based on the robot, with one of its false faces in the likeness of John Saxon.
- When Gavern Wilson shows the robot a photograph of Steve Austin, the close up of the picture is different than the one he is holding in the wide shot.
- When Fred is in the car with Steve when he mentions his stomach is turning, the door lock on Fred's door is unlocked, then after Steve mentions to pull over, the door is locked on Fred's close-up.
- During the scene where the robot doesn't yet have a face you can catch his reflection on a pane of glass which does show a face.
- During the final battle between Steve and the robot, the back of the robot's jacket is torn and visibly loose — unintentionally foreshadowing the area which will be damaged by Steve and explode.
- When Austin kicks the car over on to the henchman about to shoot him, shadows of chains can be seen on the car as it rolls.
- The steel girder bends visibly in the scene where Steve confronts the robot.
- The scene where the helicopter chases Steve and forces him into the ground is used twice from different angles.
- The scene at the end — where Steve walks through the park — is flipped horizontally from its original source; Steve's hair is parted on the wrong side, the stop sign in the background is reversed. After the flashback shots, the scene resumes in its original format as Steve runs to Sloan.
- In the car when the robot gets sick, Lee Majors can be seen sliding his hand across the steering wheel, simulating steering.
- Just before the tires are blown on Steve's car, a helicopter flies over and ahead of the vehicle, yet Steve appears not to notice this as his initial comment is about having a flat tire.
- Steve and Sloan are driving from Washington DC to Red Canyon Military Test Site but all the vehicles have California license plates.
- At the end the Helicopters use police sirens.