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“Death Probe (Part II)”

S4 E14

Production 45123
Original Airdate: January 16, 1977
Episode Collage
Produced by
Allan Balter
Teleplay by
Steven E. de Souza
Directed by
Richard Moder
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Nehemiah Persoff as Major Popov
Jane Merrow as Irina Leonova
Austin Stoker as Captain
John de Lancie as Medic
Broadcast Order
Season 4
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"Death Probe" "Danny's Inferno"


Programmed to destroy all obstacles, the mechanical space "monster" cannot be demolished by conventional explosives and nuclear weapons are too risky. Steve, nursing a damaged right arm, is sent to divert the probe from its course and, hopefully, lead it to extinction without killing himself in the process.



Oscar: He's stalling.

Irina: Why would they stall?

Oscar: Because they want to keep this secret metal alloy locked up safe and tight.

Irina: I don't believe it.

Oscar Believe it, Irina. This is dirty business. There isn't an government in the world that wouldn't do the same thing.

Irina: Steve, your arm.

Steve: Its ok Irina, its the one that can be replaced.

Oscar: Can you move it?

Steve: I can't move it, I can't feel it.

Oscar: The probe did this.

Medic: You better let me take a look at that arm Colonel Austin.

Steve: It's all right, medic. It's just a scratch.

Medic: Oh, don't try to be a martyr sir.

Oscar: That won't be necessary medic.

Medic: Sometimes infection has a way of setting in, you know. (Takes one look at Steve's arm, and faints)

Steve: Wait a minute Oscar. Now we know the probe was designed to withstand just about everything, but what about heat?

Irina: No, we thought of that too.

Steve: But how much heat? It never goes beyond 900 degrees on Venus. I mean, even if you doubled that for a safety factor.

Oscar: What are you getting at Steve?

Steve: Thermal antigel 247. It burns at almost 3000 degrees. It's gotta have some effect.

Popov: I wasn't imagining things. How'd he do that?

Oscar: Colonel Austin is a remarkable athlete, Major.

Rudy: Without my lab I'm like a fish out of water.

Steve: Rudy, that's it.

Rudy: Huh?

Steve: What you just said. That's the key to destroying the probe.

Oscar: What do you mean, Steve?

Steve: The probe is like a fish out of water. I'll show you.

Oscar: How's your arm, pal?

Steve: Seemed to work pretty good.

Oscar: Rudy wasn't sure that it would hold up.

Steve: He gave me a 30 day guarantee.

Irina: Why is it the men I care for all have their hearts in the sky?

Steve: What? (Staring at the moon)

Irina: You're hopeless.

Steve: No, I was thinking. The destruction was caused by a space probe we built.

Irina: We?

Steve: Earth men. What do we do if we meet one that was built out there?


  • Recent knowledge about conditions of Venus becomes part of the design of the probe.


  • In order to destroy the probe, Steve, Oscar and Irina reason that the probe must be bursting with internal pressure, after passing through Venus' atmosphere and returning to Earth instead of landing. The problem with this is: the opening scenes of episode 1 indicate that the launch was unsuccessful and the probe came back down to Earth. Furthermore, if the probe had made it to Venus, how could it have a "free return trajectory" to get back to Earth, how could it regain the momentum after being slowed by the heat shield to get into Venus' atmosphere, and how could it not burst in the vacuum of space?

  • When Steve is trying to put on his parachute in the helicopter, several times you can see the hand of the cameraman reflecting in the windshield.