"The Cross-Country Kidnap"

(Original air date 01/10/75)

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Steve is assigned to protect a computer programmer when the OSI gets
word that foreign agents plan to kidnap her

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Story: Ray Brenner

Teleplay: Ray Brenner & Stephen Kandel

Director: Christian Nyby



Computer programmer Lisa Leitman (Donna Mills) scoffs at Oscarís report that enemy agents are aiming to abduct her in order to appropriate themselves her top-secret cryptography code, one that links computers and secret communications worldwide. She is also a highly ambitious Olympic hopeful in the equestrian competition and plans to attend the three-day trials in spite of the menace.

Face with her stern refusal to withdraw from competition, Oscar proposes to assign Steve as her personal bodyguard, a suggestion that doesnít sit too well with her. She warns the operative to keep his distance or she will not hesitate to contact the authorities.

Oscar turns a deaf ear to her threat and sends Steve with instructions to keep a low profile. Unfortunately for him Lisa is quick to spot him on the course but instead of crying rape, she accepts his invitation to dinner, during which they discuss her love of horses and her dream of making the Olympic team at all cost.

           

Steve walks her back to her motel room where he spots a prowler hanging outside her window, whom he suspects to be a spy. With one bionic pull, he yanks the man inside and threatens him to reveal his identity. Vanemanís (Jerome Guardino) admission to being a simple TV repairman embarrasses Steve and infuriates Lisa who throws him out of her room.

Vaneman reports his findings to whom he believes are two undercover police officers. Little does he know they are government infiltrator Ross Borden (Frank Aletter) and equestrian Arnold Blake (Tab Hunter), both of which are plotting Lisaís kidnapping to obtain her cryptography code. However in order to achieve their goal they first need to get rid of her bodyguard.

           

Following a meeting with Lisaís trainer Benno Reichert (Ben Wright), Steve wanders around the premises to scan for anything or anyone suspicious. Suddenly shots are fired in his direction. While dodging the bullets he pitches a bale of hay on the shooter, after which he takes off in a bionic sprint but a shot in the arm slows his course and prevents him from identifying his attacker.

           

While fixing his arm, Steve listens to Oscarís background information on Reichert and also on Arnold Blake whom he discovered to be an ex-mercenary known for his sharp-shooting skills. They both agree that he is the man to watch.

Oscar then schedules a meeting to discuss increasing security around the course. Unbeknownst to him his the chief of security is none other than Ross Borden.

           

Steve returns to the field to inform Lisa of the attempt on his life. While she has a change of clothes, Benno approaches Steve with a stern warning to distance himself from Lisa for he believes his presence is a constant distraction. Blake has Steve in the crosshairs when Benno makes a fatal step forward to stand in the way of the bulletís path, killing him instantly.

           

In light of the tragedy Oscar wants her to forfeit but stubborn Lisa wonít hear of it. Sheís willing to take the risk for Benno, the man who shared her dream of making it to the Olympics. She proposes to act as a decoy in order to lure the kidnappers into trap. Oscar reluctantly agrees and asks Borden to beef up security, which he intends to do with his own men. The operation will no doubt be a success once they put the annoying bodyguard out of commission.

     

After wishing Lisa the best of luck on the first day of the Olympic trials, Steve acts as her bionic shadow as she rides her mount through the woods. At one checkpoint, Bordenís henchman Dirk Shuster (John Gabriel) drops a net on Steve to slow his course while Blake sets a jump higher to trip Lisaís horse.

           

When she falls off her mount, Blake runs to her but Shuster shoots him dead to convince Lisa he was a foreign agent planning to kidnap her. After seeing the security clearance IDs, she follows the two men to an awaiting helicopter. Unfortunately Steve arrives too late to rescue her.

           

Oscar is informed that the cryptography department was bombed and that all the stored information was destroyed. They need Lisa to reprogram the downed network in order to re-establish the communications. He learns that Ross Borden was the mastermind behind this scheme and that since he and Lisa are friends it is more than likely sheíll willingly hand him over the code, which will enable him to control a worldwide network of spies. After which he will kill her.

Ross brings Lisa to a computer facility and fills her in on the explosion that destroyed the network, hence the reason why he needs her to reprogram the system. Though wary of all this cloak-and-dagger she nevertheless settles down to work.

           

Meanwhile Steve is caught breaking into the compound and is kept as Bordenís prisoner in the boiler room.

           

He soon breaks out of his bonds and douses his two watchdogs with a healthy dose of pressure gas before he yanks the cables out of the wall to create a power surge.

           

This incident heightens Lisaís suspicion that something is amiss. Bordenís impatience confirms her fear. She then refuses to key in another data until sheís allowed to verify the order with a government authority.

Soon Steve irrupts in the room, bionic style, and overpowers the villains.

Days later, Oscar comes in with a personal letter from the president requesting that Lisa be authorized to accede to the finals.

           

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