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"The Cheshire Project"

(Original air date 12/18/77)


Steve discovers that his former love is involved in the disappearance
of a top secret aircraft


Writer: John Meredyth Lucas

Director: Richard Moder

At an airfield, Steve meets with Rudy and Arthur Vail (John Larch), the head of the Cheshire Project that involves a revolutionary aircraft equipped with a radar-blocker device.

Inside the hangar, Steve sees his former love, test pilot Jenny Fraser, (Suzanne Somers) and greets her with a deep kiss. Their romantic interlude is interrupted by the two men who clues Steve iup on the built-in components designed to render the aircraft invisible on radar screens.

Vail's assistant, Hal Martin, (Robert Hogan) brings the data that confirms that all systems are go for a test flight tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Steve invites Jenny to a romantic restaurant where they reminisce about old times, deploring the day Jenny left Steve to pursue in career in aviation.

They leave the restaurant to go down to the parking lot where they run into Arthur (Jim Begg), a funny drunk whose car is blocking Steve's. Jenny offers to call his wife while Steve hooks the car's rear bumper to a granite ashtray to make sure the man doesn't drive off in his inebriated state.


The next morning in the hangar, Steve discovers a bomb placed underneath the sister plane that he is quick to dispose of.

He reports the incident to Jenny and Rudy. Both are stumped as to the reason why they'd want to destroy the back-up and not the original aircraft, which Jenny is scheduled to test this afternoon. For Jenny's safety, Steve offers to take over the test flight. But seeing how Jenny is better qualified for the mission, he grudgingly bows down but insists on supervising the operation.


In the monitor, the team watches as Jenny's plane take off. Well into the flight, she switches on the radar-blocker. So far so good. Everything is proceeding accordingly.

Panic runs through the room when her plane fails to register on the radar once she turns off the device. Steve urges her to land the aircraft immediately, but gets no answer.


Army planes are deployed to sweep the area where Jenny's plane was last seen. They report no sign of a crash.

Back at the control room, Steve and the team of engineers lose themselves in conjectures as to what might have occurred. Steve proposes to repeat the operation using the sister plane, but seeing how the risks for his safety are too high, they suggest to fly the plane by remote control instead.

They follow the plane at a distance in an helicopter. Minutes after activating the device, the aircraft explodes before their eyes.

They land next to the burning wreckage to sift through the rubbles in search of the black box.


Back at control center, Steve explores the possibility that an outside force might have interfered, and therefore contacts General Meyers (Barry Cahill) for a complete list of UFO sightings in the specific area.

Meanwhile, Rudy is informed that a call had been placed from Vail's office to Wilfred Damien (Stanley Waxman), a notorious criminal involved in the theft of innumerable top classified documents. Steve is baffled as to what Vail could be selling Damien since both planes have allegedly been destroyed.


Steve receives a call that Vail was found unconcious.

He hurries over to the infirmary where Vail insists he's innocent. After reviewing the latest events, he suspects that his assistant might be responsible. When Steve calls the authorities to have Martin apprehended, they inform him that he's already left the base.

Steve surveys the area where Jenny's plane last disappeared. He zooms in on a small airfield where he spots the missing aircraft.


After landing nearby, Steve creeps up to the main abandoned building to see Jenny escorted by a guard (Fred Lerner). He follows them and quickly overpowers the man. Much to his surprise, Jenny turns the gun on him.


Once Blake regains his senses, Jenny orders him to bind Steve's hands and feet while she states matter-of-factly that money is the main reason for her defecting to the enemy.


While Jenny goes meet with Hal and Damien to discuss the transaction, Steve breaks loose and eavesdrops on their conversation. Blake sneaks up on him and brings him over to the group.


Although Jenny is furious at Steve for wreaking havoc in their plans, she refuses to have him killed, threatening Damien that if he touches a hair on Steve's head, the deal is off. Instead, she suggests to lock him inside a freezer while they travel to Mexico, after which she will send a message to free him.


Back at control center, the results are in: the plane can safely navigate for 37 minutes. Passed that delay, the radar-blocker automatically triggers the explosion. Hal was aware of that flaw, hence the reason why he placed a bomb to destroy the sister plane to prevent them from discovering the truth. If Jenny's plane landed within those crucial 37 minutes, it's safe to assume she's alive.

Steve manages to break free but too late to stop Jenny from taking flight aboard the doomed aircraft. He throws a net over the crooks and takes off after Jenny.


In flight, Steve contacts Rudy and Vail who gen him up on the latest developments. He then tries to force Jenny down by threatening to land his plane on top of hers.


Once on the ground he grabs her arm, urging her to make a mad dash for the field before the plane explodes.


Later, once the gang's apprehended by the authorities, Steve bids a rather cold farewell to Jenny before they haul her off to jail.


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