"The Bionic Badge"

(Original air date 02/22/76)


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Steve goes undercover as a policeman when an ageing cop is suspected of treason

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Writer: Wilton Denmark

Director: Cliff Bole



In his office, Oscar briefs Steve on the last three robberies that occurred at Nucleartronics, a company specializing in atomic components. They have reason to believe the stolen parts are designed to build an atomic bomb. Steve is therefore sent undercover to investigate Officer Greg Banner (Noah Beery) the policeman on guard duty during the series of thefts.

Under the identity of Steve Amory, Steve meets his partner in the menís locker room as he gets ready to join him on patrol.

On the routine round, Steve does his best to manoeuver around Bannerís questions regarding his professional background by enquiring about his imminent retirement from the police force following a thirty-year service.

           

A call comes in for a robbery in progress. When they arrive at the car dump, Banner and Steve part ways to trap the young thieves. Banner gives a signal to Steve to proceed in the right direction but when the thugs corner Steve, surprisingly Banner is nowhere to be found. Steve manages to subdue half of the gang members while Banner collars the others. When asked where he was when his help was desperately needed, Banner answers that he went back to call for backup, hence the reason for the signal.

           

Steve contacts the dispatcher to cancel the request for backup. He is troubled to learn that his partner never made the call. Banner is quick to dismiss the misunderstanding as a pure oversight on the dispatcherís part who has been known to daydream on the job.

In an abandoned factory, expert engineers are busy assembling an atomic bomb with the stolen components. Burmanís (Alan Bergmann) client is getting impatient at the lack of progress, but Burman's assistant Gerry Martin (Thomas Bellin) assures him that the bomb will be ready in due time. The only missing part is a separator, one that may be difficult to obtain now that Banner has a partner watching his every move.

           

At the end of the workday, Steve tails Bannerís car to a two-story suburban house. He jumps atop a tree to get a better view at Banner in the company of a man, possibly his accomplice. When the window curtains are drawn, Steve leaps back down and gets on his car phone to Oscar to request an enquiry on the owner of the house.

           

At the factory, tension is running high. When a call comes over the radio for a robbery in progress, an idea sparks into Burmanís mind as to how to dispose of Bannerís annoying partner. However Gerry wonít be party to murder.

     

Burman and his man drive to the liquor store hold-up. In the back alley, he aims at his target to gun him down but much to his surprise, Banner beats him to the kill by shooting at Steve. Satisfied with the turn of event he drives away, unaware that Banner only accidentally winged his partner. However the incident prompts Steve to believe that Banner is really out to kill him.

           

Unbeknownst to Steve, Banner experienced a debilitating weakness that blurred his vision. Soon after realizing his mistake, Banner collapses. Steve takes off after the robbers and with one bionic thrust, sends a trashcan flying to halt their sprint. When Steve returns to Banner, the old cop begs him to forget the mishap ever happened.

           

The incident strengthens Oscarís belief that Banner was indubitably involved in those robberies and that he now needs to put his partner out of commission in order for his men to steal the separator. Steve is skeptical. Heís not sold on the idea that Banner is guilty, specially after finding out that he went to see a neurologist at his house. Maybe Banner is indeed sick and doesnít want anyone to know about his condition.

At the police station, Steve questions dispatcher Cindy Walker (Susan Gay Powell) about Bannerís odd behavior, but finds her reticent about revealing anything that might be damaging to her friendís career.

           

As they answer another call for a robbery in progress, Banner is suddenly taken ill. When the car speeds out of control, Steve is faced with no other alternative but to wrench Bannerís hand off the wheel and kick his foot off the accelerator to stop the vehicle before it crashes.

After catching his breath, Banner puts in a call for a Code 6, one he uses to tell Cindy heís just been stricken with a malaise.

When Banner admits to having lost consciousness during the three robberies at Nucleartronics, suspicions fall on Cindy as the person who might have tipped the robbers.

Having overheard the conversation, Cindy contacts all patrol cars to be on the lookout for Steve Amory, armed and dangerous, reported to have brutally assaulted his partner.

           

After eluding two policemen on his tail, Steve goes to a police callbox to contact Cindy at the station. Using a handkerchief to muffle his voice, he pretends to being one of the gang urging her back to base.

He hails a taxi and follows Cindy to the abandoned factory, unaware that a patrol car has spotted him.

           

Meanwhile, Banner is with Officer Clint (Mike Santiago) recovering from his fainting spell. He insists that Steve is innocent. He asks to be driven to the factory before the trigger-happy bunch guns him down.

Soon after arriving on site, they throw tear gas through the factory windows before charging in. Burmanís men panic and flee. Steve bounces out from behind his place of concealment and throws a wire netting around the bunch to wrap them all in a neat little package before dashing after Burman. The man wonít be taken alive and therefore arms the detonator.

           

Steve grabs the ticking bomb and throws it inside an iron box. He then uses his bionic legs to keep the latch close as it explodes. Seconds later, Banner helps him to his feet and out the door before the fumes incommode him.

     

Back at the station, Banner doesnít hide his disappointment at Cindyís actions. Despite it all he assures her that heíll always remain her best friend.

I view of the recent events, Banner fears that heíll be kicked out of the police force before retirement. Steve begs to differ. He is happy to report that a teaching position awaits the ageing cop at the Police Academy.

     

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