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"The Ghostly Teletype"

(Original air date 05/15/77)


Steve is unwittingly caught in a mind game with two young telepaths


Writer: Wilton Schiller

Director: Tom Connors III

At night, Steve is working late on deciphering chemical formulas for a top secret project when unbeknownst to him, the notes vanish off the paper. Oscar enters to suggest calling it a night and discovers the blank sheets. He finds it strange that Steve is unable to provide an explanation to the mysterious disappearance.


In the morning, Steve nervously awaits Oscar's return with the results of the inquiry. He regretfully informs the anxious man that the department is suspending him on suspicion of espionage. They are convinced he's guilty but cannot formally charge him without the evidence.

Steve storms out of Oscar's office and drives to a local nightclub where he meets with his young magician friend Murdock (Larry Anderson) to get his thoughts on how a person can snatch top secret files under his nose with him being none the wiser.

In the meantime, Oscar gets the lab report on the blank papers. It appears the ink was erased. In light of this new evidence, Oscar contacts Steve at the nightclub to inform him that he's in the clear. Steve is curious as to how Oscar knew of his whereabouts and suspects he's being followed.

Murdock rules out the possibility of wizardry as he assures that everything in life bears a plausible explanation. He nevertheless offers Steve his help in solving the mystery. First on the agenda is to locate Dr. Arnold Brenner (Robert H. Harris), the project inventor.


Murdock goes to the OSI, pretending to look for Steve. He deliberately collides with Oscar in the corridor and does some clever pick pocketing. He tears off the address and bumps back into Oscar to put the notebook in its original place. He then returns to the club to remit Steve the information.


At the compound where Dr. Brenner is held, Steve creates a diversion by throwing a rock against an electric fence to lure the watchmen away while he jumps over the security gates. Once inside, he steals into Dr. Brenner's office just as a guard knocks on the door to make sure everything is okay given the alert they had a few minutes ago. Brenner doesn't betray Steve for he feels embarrassed enough that his work landed him in hot water to begin with. Steve asks permission to search his Santa Monica house to investigate the strange occurrences that were reported.


Soon after landing in California, Steve drives to Brenner's house. He jumps to the second-storey window to break in but is surprised by a neighbour. Caught red-handed, Steve pretends to be the owner who forgot his keys. When asked to prove his identity, Steve takes out his wallet and deliberately drops it inside the room. As he hoists himself further up the windowsill to retrieve it, he is taken aback to see his I.D. disappear before his eyes. Two children, Davey Wagner (Les Lannom) and sister Margaret (Christina Hart), use a ghostly teletype to telepathically transfer the information to their friend Jack (Zitto Kazann) who has his gun still trained on Steve.


He orders him to get down. As he jumps down, Steve knocks Jack out and he runs away. Steve tails his car to a quiet town where a sudden gale force wind plasters a banner across his windshield. On it is an ad for an upcoming performance by Madame Marka (Jodean Russo), a mentalist and psychic.


A disbeliever in the occult, Steve is nonetheless strangely drawn to her dressing-room door for he desperately needs answers to the mystifying occurrences. Feeling creepy in the presence of the enigmatic woman, he leaves.

He goes back to Dr. Brenner's house to search his study. He breaks open the safe to find similar blank sheets of paper. Madame Marka appears out of nowhere and startles him. She starts feeling the presence of the intruders liable for the theft. She senses two persons who could be one. They are children who could be adults. Steve rolls his eyes in annoyance at her ambiguous answers.

Outside, she places her hand down against the tire tracks and feels the name "Purle".


Steve doesn't quite know what to make of Madame Marka's visions. Murdock travels to California to help in the investigation. They assume the two persons forming one soul could be interpreted as twins.

While Murdock follows up on his lead, Steve spots a car bearing the license plate "Purle". He goes into a bionic sprint after the vehicle that takes him to a suburban house where an old woman, Mrs Wagner (Elizabeth Kerr) is pottering about in the garden. He walks up to her and asks information about the house residents. She informs Steve that she lives there with her two secluded grandchildren and sees no objection in his paying them a visit. When Steve rings the bell, Davey and Margaret telepathically order their grandmother to knock Steve over the head with her shovel and then tends to her business as if nothing happened. Jack carries Steve into the house.


Steve regains consciousness in the presence of the two children and their protector. They question him about Dr. Brenner's whereabouts, for they need him to decipher his notes on the aging process. Still reeling from the initial shock, Steve passes out.

Meanwhile, Murdock goes to a friend, psychologist Dr. Angela Burns (Linda Dano). She relates her study on twins endowed with an extraordinary ability to read each other's minds. More puzzling was their age. They were barely ten years old and looked well over fifteen. There lay the answer to Madame Marka's second vision. Murdock asks for their address.

Steve awakes underneath a mind sensor. With it, the twins intend to open a telepathic conduit within his brain so they can easily order him at will. They can only communicate between themselves and therefore need a special code to access other people's mind. They reiterate the importance of Dr. Brenner's notes on cell degeneration if they wish to slow their accelerated growth, an handicap to their extraordinary gift of telepathy. They also explain how they managed to delete the ink from the paper; by mastering its molecular memory and transferring the data from one page to another.


In the park where he is to rendezvous with Steve, Murdock idles the time away by doing tricks to passers-by. Steve's lateness worries him to the point where he decides to go to the twins' house to verify his suspicions. Mrs. Wagner mistakes him for the doctor who was supposedly called upon to check on a man who collapsed on the front step. Larry goes in and surprises Jack who is guarding Steve. The distraction allows Steve to break free and overpower Jack.


The twins enter the room and telepathically order Steve to attack Murdock. In a trance, Steve grabs a chair and brandishes it at Murdock. As he's poised ready to crash it onto his scared friend cringing in a corner, Madame Marka appears in a fleeting hallucination. She suggests Steve to picture an iron wall in order to counter the command. The exercise proves effective in thwarting the kids' powerful mental suggestion.


Not all mysteries find a logical explanation. One subsists. The mystic Madame Marka apparently never existed.


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