"Death Probe" Part 1

(Original air date 01/09/77)

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Steve and Oscar race against time to locate a Russian experimental Venus probe
that accidentally landed on earth and wreaking havoc in his path

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Writer: Steven E. deSouza

Director: Richard Moder



An unidentified object makes its way into earthís atmosphere at an incredible velocity. The Army radar estimates its landing near Eagle City, Wyoming. General Edward Wyley (Walter Brook) issues an warning to all aircrafts to be on the alert for the mysterious object.

Oscar wakes Steve up at 3:00am to expose the critical situation and asks that he report to duty.

           

Zack Meesham (Don Dubbins), is baffled as to the reason of his animalsí sudden restlessness. His dog starts barking at a strange sound coming from the bushes. Seconds later, a tank-shaped engine emerges, breaking fences as it heads toward the terrorized farmer whose gunshots have little effect on the metal monster.

           

Russian officials contact their top operatives stationed in the area to locate the probe before the Americans do. One is a secretary, Roberta Harris (Beverly Garland); the second is a Hollywood photographer, Darren Darryl (Ryan MacDonald), and the third is Ralph (Bill Fletcher), a gas station owner. All three operatives meet at the Eagle City Inn and wait for further instructions.

           

Back in Oscarís office, Steve suspects a weather balloon or a spacecraft, but its velocity and path contradict his assumption. If the object reveals to be a Russian prototype weapon, this could mean a threat to the US National Defense.

At the Eagle City Air Base, Steve and Oscar meet with General Wyley who explains that the town sheriff reported that a local farmer claimed that he was attacked by an unidentified object that he described as a ĎMonster from Marsí.

At the sheriff office, two of the three operatives masquerade as Oscar Goldman and his assistant to gather information on the occurrence. They ask directions to the farmerís place to get his account of the incident.

           

Believing they are journalists on the trail of this hot story, Sheriff Dan Corbett (Ross Elliott) is a bit miffed when he discovers that he was conned by the two visitors before them.

Meesham gives his outlandish account of his encounter with the Ďmonsterí to the three undercover operatives impersonating journalists. Roberta calls her Ďeditorí with the news that the probe is now headed north.

           

As Oscar and Steve drive up at the farm, Roberta and Ralph take Meesham out back to tie him up, while Darren dons a farmerís outfit to deceive Oscar and Steve with a fake account of the facts.

While Oscar contacts Wyley with the information, Steve canít help but notice the expensive items clashing with the farmerís outfit.

           

After sharing his qualms with Oscar, Steve runs back to the farm to nail the phony farmer. Once caught, the operative pops a cyanide pill into his mouth but luckily, Steve is able to retrieve most of the capsule. No one would swallow poison over a simple UFO sighting, which proves that this situation has greater implications than originally presumed.

           

The two remaining operatives set up a trap for Oscar and Steve as they leave the farm. But our two friends are not easily duped. Oscar thrust a gun at Roberta and before she can react, Ralph shoots out of nowhere. Steve zooms in and spots him behind a tree.

           

In order to create a diversion, Oscar jumps the fence and sneaks closer to the enemy. With the attention now on Oscar, Steve takes a wheel cover and throws it at the operative to overpower him.

           

Roberta tries to make a run but Steve gets in her path. Knowing her fate is in enemy hands, she attempts to swallow the cyanide pill, but Oscar rips it from her collar before it reaches her mouth.

           

At the sheriff station, Oscar gets word that Roberta is in fact a Soviet agent named Sonia Minskayova who works with FBIís most-wanted top agent Major Popov (Nehemiah Persoff).

All converge on the Eagle City Inn where Popov is said to be lodging, and erupt into his room. They learn that he and a woman checked out a few minutes ago.

Oscar advises the Secretary of State of the presence of Soviet agents swarming the area, proving that the space object could be a piece of Russian equipment.

           

Meanwhile, Major Popov and his scientist assistant, Irena Leonova (Jane Merrow), set up camp in a clearing to track the engineís path. As the Venus probeís designer, Irena disapproves of her peersí method of retrieving the engine and hopes to salvage what she can with little damage.

Once they spot the probe on the radar, she sends out a signal instructing the probe to deactivate itself.

No far away, the Army has also set up camp and Oscar instructs the captain (Austin Stoker) to break into two search groups.

Knowing he can cover more ground in less time, Steve decides to go on his own hunt.

           

For some reason, the probe wonít shut down. Irena suspects that the sensors might have interpreted the farmerís gunshots as a meteor shower and as a result, put itself on override. Built to withstand Venusís harsh climate, the probe is therefore indestructible on earth.

Popov confides that he came prepared with a powerful explosive device to destroy the probe in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Americans. She explains that this task is impossible, given the probeís powerful defence mechanisms.

           

Steve continues his search and spots Popovís jeep in a clearing. Seconds later, the probe makes his entrance. Popov grabs the explosives and runs but the probe is faster and knocks him out after which, it goes after Irena.

           

Steve grabs a dead branch and throws it at the probe to lure it away from the woman that he recognizes from a former mission, in which they had to rush to neutralize a nuclear device mechanism.

She states that she designed the space probe that was programmed to land on Venus. It is made out of a new alloy that only the Russians are aware of, hence explaining the shroud of secrecy around the mission.

           

The probe was devised to zigzag on the ground and its current path is leading straight for a tiny town. At this point, evacuation procedures are futile.

Albeit with great reluctance, Oscar agrees to allow Steve to attempt in luring the probe away from the doomed town, long enough for the Army to find a way to destroy the monster.

When Irena learns of Steveís plan, she warns Oscar that the probe is indestructible and is programmed to destroy anything that stands in his way, including a bionic man.

           

Steve takes the bull by the horns, but his numerous tactics to disable the engine fail. Steve is then thrust hard against the ground and, unable to stand, watches helplessly the monster heading toward him for the final blow.

           

Part Two
coming in 2013


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