"Day of the Robot"

(Original air date 02/08/74)

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A mad scientist creates a robot in the image of Steveís friend to infiltrate the OSI

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Story: Harold Livingston

Teleplay:Del Reisman

Director: Leslie H. Martinson



In his state-of-the-art laboratory Dr. Jeffrey Dolenz (Henry Jones) demonstrates the strength and proficiency of one of his latest robotic creations to a potential client, Gavern Wilson, (Llyod Bochner) eager to infiltrate the OSI in order to appropriate himself an anti-missile guiding device to sell to a foreign power. Dolenz assures Wilson that the robot will be fed every detail of Major Frederick Sloanís (John Saxon) background before they make the switch with the real McCoy.

           

In the park, Steve and Fred compete in a friendly game of tennis before attending to their respective business appointment. As they wait for their contact to arrive it suddenly dawns on them that they are meeting with the same Oscar Goldman who takes them back to his office to brief them on their next assignment.

Fred has designed an anti-missile guiding device that up until a few months ago had been plagued with bugs and proven unsuccessful. A few additional tests are scheduled to take place at an air base and Steve is therefore assigned to ensure that both Fred and his top-secret gadget arrive safely. They are to pose as to fishermen on vacation and report to Master Sgt. Parnell, (Charles W. Bateman) the unsuspected mole inside the OSI whoís been secretly leaking out information to Wilson and Dolenz.

           

While Fred momentarily steps out of the office, Steve questions Oscar as to the reason for his choice of bodyguard. The boss explains that he received word of two recent failed attempts to steal the device; disturbing news he kept from Fred to avoid adding to his stress. Steve is needed to ensure the safe delivery.

In Dolenzís lab, the three partners in crime test the robotís knowledge of Sloanís background and oversee last-minute details on the imminent switch.

           

On the way to the air base Steve makes a brief halt at a gas station after Fred complains of stomach cramps. As Fred enters the lavatory, two men knock him unconscious and throw him into the back of a bread truck. Seconds later the robot emerges from the lavatory and assumes Fredís identity for the rest of the trip.

           

Back on the road, a slight decrease in the robotís left foot has him driving at ridiculous slow speed, much to Steveís annoyance. A sudden rise has the opposite effect, causing their car to end up on the side of the road.

Steve uses his bionic arm to get the vehicle back on track. He is shocked to see the robot mimic his every move.

           

Wilson is in a tailspin. After witnessing Steveís extraordinary feat through the robotís eyes he requests time to reassess his position. Dolenz complies to his clientís wish by having the robot fallen ill and insisting to stop at a motel to rest.

While his ailing friend is supposedly sleeping, Steve sneaks out of the room to contact Oscar with his suspicion of a possible impostor. He assures his boss that he has the device safely hidden and proposes to proceed accordingly in order to nail the conspirators.

           

The next morning as they resume their journey, Steve engages in a casual conversation about past acquaintances hoping to get Fred to commit a significant blunder, which he does. Steve barely has time to confront him with the issue that the car gets a flat, courtesy of Parnellís men following at a safe distance.

When Steve steps out of the car to fix the tire, Fred knocks him unconscious and begins groping his body in search of the device he finds strapped to his left ankle.

           

He hurries to the awaiting car ready to drive him to the base. Hovering above in a helicopter is Sergeant Parnell who orders one of the men to finish Austin off. Steve manages to dodge the bullet and with his legs, rolls the car on top of his assailant. Parnell attempts to gun him down in the field but is compelled to forfeit the chase when Steve disappears behind a shrubbery.

           

At the air base Oscar strives to convince a skeptical General Tanhill (Noah Keen) that a spy may have assumed Fred Sloanís identity. When Fred shows up with the device, the tests begin. While everyoneís attention is centred around the firework display outside the bunker, the robot sneaks back to steal the device.

           

He flees the complex to meet with Parnellís helicopter, unaware that Steve is racing to thwart their plan. Dolenz orders his creation to kill Austin. What ensues is a bionic fight that ends with Steve disabling the robot with a metal beam through its chest.

           

Back in Washington, Oscar informs a dejected Steve of Parnellís and Wilsonís arrest but that regrettably Dolenz is still on the loose.

The news of his friendís death has Steve seeking quietude in the park. There, sitting at a picnic table, is a baffled Fred who has no recollection of the past days aside from an appointment he made with a friend to play tennis.

     

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