"Sharks" Part 1

(Original air date 09/11/77)


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Steve uncovers a plot to steal a submarine to use for
piracy and extortion

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Writer: Arthur Weingarten

Director: Alan J. Levi



Captain Robert Valbec (Josh Taylor) takes Oscar on a tour of the former Russian submarine Stingray aboard which Steve is to conduct an investigation into a mysterious occurrence that caused the recently installed long-range radar system to malfunction. Once briefed on his mission, Steve takes his post at the command center and Oscar returns to the ship from where he will be coordinating operations.

Meanwhile in the galley, seaman Arnold Cane (Frank Whiteman) crawls underneath a shelf to set up a small explosive device.

           

Itís a smooth dive for the Stingray en route for its mission. During the journey Steve picks up odd interferences on his screen that he interprets as low frequency signals.

In a underwater cave hewn out of the rock former US Navy Captain Morgan Grayland (Stephen Elliott) and his marine-biologist daughter Cynthia (Pamela Hensley) closely monitor the subís descent as they await the precise moment to detonate the bomb.

     

The blast disables the Stingray, sending it out of trajectory but thankfully it misses the rocks and comes to a bumpy halt on the ocean floor. Having sustained heavy damages Captain Valbec informs Admiral Prescott (William Sylvester)that the crew has no other alternative but to abandon ship. As he leave with the men, Steve discerns a piece of burnt conduit that prompts him to consider the possibility of a sabotage.

           

No sooner has Steve and the crew swum to the surface that the Graylands prepare their next move. Their partner Alex Parker (Gregory Walcott) and his cohorts are standing by to go aboard the Stingray in order to assess the damages before taking possession of the sub.

After hearing Steveís account of the incident, Admiral Prescott orders an evaluation team down to the sub to make a damage report, but Cynthiaís trained sharks has them hurrying back to the surface.

           

Steve is eager to get to the source of those odds interferences that he believes were low-frequency signals. His suggestion to use the shark cage is met with some reluctance but given the time frame between the arrival of the bathysphere and the possible destruction of the submarine Oscar asks the Lieutenant (John de Lancie) to set it up.

Steve is then lowered down to the Stingray but halfway there, a shark snaps the cable, sending him crashing on the ocean floor.

           

Having sustained no injuries, Steve breaks out of the cage and succeeds in reaching the Stingray, unaware that Graylandís men are already aboard assessing the damages.

Cynthia is pleased to inform her father that the repairs will soon be over, but Steve gladly adds a few hours to maintenance time when he yanks out the steering wheel out of its socket.

           

Steve is then taken before Grayland who reveals his intention to use the former Russian Stingray against the US government. He asks Cynthia to run a Geiger reading on his hostage to confirm his suspicion of bionics, but for some reason the results turn out negative.

Lying on his cot, Steve keeps a keen eye on his guard while casually fingering a message in Morse code against the rock wall, hoping the shipís hydrophone would pick it up, but Cynthia is quick to cut the message short before Rudy has a chance to decipher it.

           

An FBI report comes in about the arrest of a crewmember suspected of having planted a bomb aboard the Stingray. It is also discovered that the man had been employed at the Boston Arsenal plant at the time nuclear warheads went missing. Coincidence?

If indeed Admiral Prescott receives confirmation of nuclear missiles on board the Stingray he will be faced with no other alternative but to destroy the submarine whether Steve is aboard or not .

While keeping a gun trained on Steve Cynthia explains the reasons behind this hijacking. They are to show the government that her fatherís theory on trained sharks is proven effective. For years he fought the crummy system that unceremoniously trashed his project of using sharks in underwater warfare on account of one fatal casualty. And now he will finally receive the accolade he so richly deserves.

Grayland adds that this nuclear power will give him the leverage her needs to bring down the government by using the Stingray as a threat to other submarines to fork over their precious cargo.

           

Once the missiles are loaded on board their take-over operation suffers a slight setback when a bathysphere, with onboard Rudy Wells, is lowered to the sub. With ultra-sounds Cynthia orders the shark with the brain implant to sever the cable, sending the bubble crashing onto the ocean floor with serious damages.

           

Steve manages to overpower the guard and after slipping on a diving gear, makes a swim for the bathysphere.

     

Parker spots him and reports to Grayland who orders his reluctant daughter to send the sharks after him. She succeeds in maneuvering them around Steve, forcing him to double back to the cave.

           

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