"Doomsday and Counting"
(Original air date 03/01/74)
Steve travels to Russia to help a friend rescue his fiancée trapped
underground by an earthquake
Story: Larry Brody & Jimmy Sangster
Teleplay: Larry Brody
Director: Jerry Jameson
On Kamkov Island in the USSR, Colonel Vasily Zhukov (Gary Collins) bids farewell to his fiancée Irina Leonova (Jane Merrow) with his promise to do everything in his power to convince the US government to approve a project of an underground nuclear facility to benefit the space program between the two countries. He is confident that his friend Steve Austin will help rally all the support he needs to form the alliance.
After Steve picks Vasily at the airport, the two reminisce over old times and discuss Vasily’s upcoming marriage before getting down to business. Steve assures his friend that everything is proceeding accordingly and the project is not only alive, it’s thriving.
In Oscar’s office, Vasily gives an exposé on the project before a gathering of government delegates. During the question period, he learns of an earthquake on the Arctic Island that caused considerable damage to the spacecraft facility. Steve offers to accompany him.
They land on the island where Captain Voda (Bruce Glover) fills them in on the damages sustained. They later meet with Base Commander, General Koskenco (William Smithers), who regrets to inform that Irina was working underground when the earthquake hit. His strict orders forbid to attempt any sort of rescue until the threat of an after shock is over.
Incensed Vasily storms out of the office with Steve in tow. Outside another earthquake shakes the ground, dislocating a metal beam high above that Steve pushes out of the way with his bionic arm. Vasily is dumbfounded by what he’s just witnessed. Steve has no other alternative but to reveal his special nature to his friend who instantly suggests using his formidable powers to rescue Irina.
After scanning a blue print of the facility’s installations, Vasily and Steve pick up their gears and press on. They drudge their way through rubbles and locked doors with Steve in the lead to clear the passages.
As Vasily gets on a phone to General Koskenco to ask to cut the main reservoir of sulphuric acid, another earthquake shakes the ground, sending a pile of rubbles onto the two men. Luckily Steve is unscathed but Vasily suffers a broken ankle. After putting a splint on the leg, the two men press on.
They finally find Irina lying unconscious in a heap of debris. She rouses to warn her two saviours of an auto-destruct weapon that is programmed to go off in the event of a surprised attack, which the earthquake mimicked. The red alert is on.
Above General Koskenco gives the evacuation order. Vasily calls in to report that everyone is alive and that there’s a strong possibility they may be able to neutralize the system.
Meanwhile Oscar arrives on the base and is informed of the situation. He won’t evacuate and leave Steve alone to fend for himself. He needs to know someone is keeping watch in case he should need further instructions on how to proceed with the deactivation. General Koskenco accepts to keep him company.
Underground, the three set out to find the computer room but during their journey Vasily inadvertently sets off a security device that kills him instantly. No time to dwell on his demise. Irina and Steve must reach the main frame in order to deactivate the self-destruct mechanism.
Unfortunately the earthquakes damaged the circuits and Irina is unable to stop the auto-destruct. General Koskenco tells them of a backup system but there’s to time to reprogram the circuits.
Desperate for time, Steve reaches for the main cable and yanks it off to create a short-circuit with a ground cable that disables the computer at T minus two seconds of the nuclear blast.
In General’s Koskenco’s office the team players drink to their good fortune. In memory of his good friend Steve asks that the project be allowed to materialize. The General is willing only after giving the security system a complete overhaul. There are obviously some major flaws if you consider that only one man was able to cripple it.
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