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“Survival of the Fittest”

S1 E2

Production 40007
Original Airdate: 25 January 1974
Steve and Oscar talk to a rescue plane
Produced by
Sam Strangis
Donald R. Boyle
Written by
Mann Rubin
Directed by
Leslie H. Martinson
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
James McEachin as Ralph Cromwell
Christine Belford as Lieutenant Colby
William Smith as Ted Maxwell
Special Guest Star(s)
Joanne Worley as Mona
Laurette Spang as Helen (Wave)
Randall Carver as Pfc Barris
Reid Smith as Navy Lt
W.T. Zacha as A.F. Sgt. Roberts
Dick Valentine as 1st Pilot
Jim Raymond as 1st Co-Pilot
Broadcast Order
Season 1
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"Population: Zero" "Operation Firefly"
Related episodes
remade into "Fly Jaime"

After several subtle attempts to kill Oscar fail, the plane on which he and Steve are returning home crash lands near a deserted island.


Whilst returning to Washington from a meeting with Russian officials, Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman's military aircraft crashes on a remote Pacific island. There are a number of survivors and Oscar, fearing that some people do not want his talks with the Russians to succeed, is convinced that one or more of them want to kill him. His fears soon come true when a renegade Air Force Major and Navy Commander lure him deep into the island. When Oscar is subsequently shot Steve desperately seeks help to save him not knowing that a third traitor is present within the group. Fortunately a 'guardian angel' in the shape of a trained but self-doubting doctor is able to help and with the use of Steve's Bionic wiring they stabilise Oscar whilst they wait for the rescue submarine to arrive.


Oscar Goldman: (Watching Steve lift the car so they can change the tire) You know Pal, sometimes I forget how useful you are.
Steve Austin: Oscar, would you stop admiring me and change the tire?

Mona: My husband's a pilot, you know. He warned me not to fly this time of year. Oh, I should have listened to him, he's always right!

Oscar Goldman: Considering everything we've been through you're in great spirits today.
Steve Austin: Why not Oscar - we're alive.

Oscar: (Steve is carrying a large bag of supplies) You look like a... like a bionic Santa Claus.

Steve: Does anybody here have any medical experience?
Helen: (glances at Bobby) I don't have any experience, but if the patients are willing, I am.

Mona: You know my husband says that all these pacific islands have snakes on them. You think there are snakes here?
Roberts: Yes m'am. Oh, but small ones.
Mona: (smiles) Oh. How small?
Roberts: Three, four feet.

Oscar: (Oscar has been shot) Well, how am I doing, doctor?
Steve: Well, you're pretty tough.
Oscar: Didn't know I had all that... blood in me.


SMDM 102 Snake Bionic Eye vs normal

Regular view vs. initial Bionic eye zoom.


  • For the first time on screen, the zoom function of Steve's bionic eye is shown (prior to this point only his night vision capabilities had been demonstrated). We see Steve use his bionic eye to zoom in on a plane and a snake, but only a crosshair is present (without the later brackets) and there is no sound effect. Instead, a "distressed" video-monitor effect, with wavy interlace artifacts, is applied to the image. The final version of the effects for Austin's bionic eye, which would become a series trademark, debut in the very next episode, "Operation Firefly."
  • A red filter is used when Steve uses his bionic eye to see in the dark. This would be the approach for the series going forward. Previously, a green filter effect was employed as seen in Wine, Women and War and The Solid Gold Kidnapping,

Sound Effects[]

  • None of the signature bionic sound effects are yet employed when Steve uses his arms, legs, or eye. However, the sound effect of "distressed metal" is used when Steve lifts a car.


  • This episode is notable for being remade in 1976 on The Bionic Woman, shot-for-shot at times, as "Fly Jaime."
  • From where Steve and Oscar's fight departs at the start of the episode is a mystery.


  • Large, black. venomous snakes are not indigenous to most mid- and South-Pacific islands. The most likely venomous snake to be encountered in the area is the brown tree snake, but as the species has spread throughout the region through unintentional transport by man, it would unlikely be on an uninhabited island such as the one featured in this episode.