"The Seven Million Dollar Man"

(Original air date 11/1/74)


Steve learns that another cyborg was built in the person of Barney Hiller,
a former race car driver


Writer: Peter Allan Fields

Director: Dick Moder

In a remote medical facility, Steve undergoes a routine psychological evaluation with Rudy and a trusted friend, Nurse Carla Petterson (Maggie Sullivan). When the tape breaks, she excuses herself and pretends to go put the top secret item in the safe.

Instead, she slips out of the building to meet with a man waiting for her in the parking lot. From the window, Steve zooms in on the tape that she hands over to him. He rushes out of the room and chases after the man's car but loses it. Steve returns to the gate guard (Marshall Reed) to ask about the man but the guard answers that he hasn't seen anyone leaving nor entering.


Oscar is called to the facility when Steve causes an uproar. He confronts Carla, Rudy and Oscar, whom he believes are all conspiring against him. Why are they purposely keeping the identity of the mysterious man from him ? And what are Carla's reasons for handing him over the tape of his psychological evaluation, a top secret document that she was supposed to lock inside the safe?

If that man was able to freely get on the premises he must have had an ID clearance card in his possession. So Steve asks to check the personnel roster. Again, nothing.

Not satisfied with Oscar's explanation that the man was a pure figment of his imagination, Steve seeks an answer from Carla. He zooms in on a picture she is holding and recognizes the man from the parking lot. He is Barney Hiller, a former racecar driver who suffered a terrible accident a few years ago and was never heard from again. That man must be very important for her to jeopardize her career. As a result of the little exchange that Steve made such a fuss over, she was fired. Steve is appalled that she could betray him, the man she nursed back to health emotionally following his near-fatal accident.


Carla leads Steve to a restaurant where she meets with Barney (Monte Markham), the seven million dollar man. She gave him the tape of Steve's psychological assessment to boost his spirits and give him hope that his depression is just temporary, but Barney is not convinced he'll ever rise above his sinking feeling of hopelessness.

Steve cuts in the conversation, hoping to have a chat with Barney. Instead, the drunken man provokes him into an arm-wrestling match. Steve declines but Barney insists by threatening to reveal his true nature if he doesn't accept the challenge. The two men go at it for a good minute before Barney swings Steve's bionic arm in his favour, breaking the table in the process. With sharp cynicism, Barney informs a stunned Steve that he's looking at Rudy's second cyborg.


Steve goes to Oscar for an explanation. His boss admits to totally being against the idea of having to lie to him in order to protect his fragile state of mind. Rudy felt Steve wasn't ready to accept that another bionic man was ordered in case the first one should fail. Steve is disgusted to learn that he's considered as a mere "tin man" but nonetheless understands Oscar's position.

The government plans to send Barney on his first mission and Oscar figures that Steve should accompany him for moral support. As a rewarding gesture, Oscar agrees to have Carla Petterson reinstated.

For their first mission as a team, Barney and Steve pose as telephone repairmen and await Oscar's signal that the van containing the stolen merchandise they were sent to retrieve is approaching. They wait for the right moment to spring into action. During the fight, Barney's bionic powers kick into gear. He enjoys beating, pounding, kicking and smacking the thieves so much that at some point, Steve has to hinder him from giving vent to his enjoyment.


At the lab, Barney feels exhilarated. He proposes to go into partnership with Steve, he and him fighting the bad guys. Steve was expecting this kind of reaction, having experienced it himself. The depression has given way to obsession. Barney stresses the fact that he never asked to become a bionic man. That Rudy fitted him with the artificial limbs against his will and therefore had every right to voice his opinion.

Steve warns Oscar of Barney's mental instability and asks that his bionic powers be neutralized for his own safety. An option he had offered Steve when he, himself, flew off the handle.


At a restaurant, Steve lets Barney on the proposition. Barney simply laughs in his face, believing Steve is jealous of his superior strength and that he wants his competition out of the way. When an OSI man (Fred Lerner) shows up to take Barney to Rudy's lab for the procedure, Barney hurls him back against a table and leaves the restaurant.

Outside, Barney rages. He whinges about his fate and Steve tries to make him understand that he will eventually get over his depression just as he did and that he intends to help him muddle through. In a gush of rage, Barney elbows Steve in the stomach. He hates being constantly reminded that he failed where Steve succeeded.


Barney bursts in Oscar's office and breaks the safe open to retrieve the documents on the "Cyborg" project, saying that he wants to put a stop to this human-robot factory. He goes to Rudy's office and threatens him to reveal the location of the rest of the data.


Barney goes down to the vaults where Steve awaits him. Unfortunately, Steve's powers are no match for Barney who simply thrusts him against a wall and pursues his course. They meet again where they engage in a bionic brawl ending with Barney pleading with Steve to destroy him.


Barney is taken to the hospital where Rudy proceeds in the neutralization of his bionics. Steve drops by for a visit and asks for his impression, that it's important for him to know what he feels.

Outside, Oscar waits for Steve to return from his visit. He had no intention to go up there, knowing that Barney must be resenting him. He is amazed by Steve's prowess, not referring to his bionic ones but the human side of the man. Steve is flattered but warns Oscar that too many compliments could prompt him to ask for a raise.


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