"Target in the Sky"

(Original air date 10/26/75)

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Steve poses as a lumberjack to thwart a plan to kill key members of the government

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Writer: Larry Alexander

Director: Jerry London



Steve is sent on assignment to locate missing OSI agent Ben Cosgrove (Hank Stohl) who mysteriously disappeared after reporting seeing what appeared to be a highly-classified radio guidance antenna up on a tree near a lumber camp. Steveís mission is to infiltrate the camp posing as lumberjack Steve Parker and as luck will have it, he has a chance meeting with the owner, Kelly Wixted (Barbara Rhoades), who offers him a job.

At the camp she explains what the job entails and asks her disgruntled foreman, Jeremy Burke (Denny Miller), to show the new boy the ropes. Heís unwilling to hire anyone but Kelly insists on giving him a chance to prove himself worthy. Steve asks to be put to the test.

           

Despite a defective chainsaw that Jeremy rigged on purpose, Steve amazes his new bosses by cutting a tree the old bionic way. Kelly is impressed and hires him on the spot.

           

While up there, Steve zooms in on tracks apparently made by a missile carrier. He reports his findings to Oscar and asks a little more time to ferret about before sending in the cavalry.

Steve casually broaches the topic of former employee Ben Cosgrove with Jeremy to gauge his reaction. Somewhat uneasy, Jeremy quickly tables the subject and warns Steve to avoid causing any trouble for the boss.

           

They drive to their next job, which is to unload the logs into the river. Jeremy decides to have a little fun at Steveís expense by engaging in a logrolling contest, to which Steve loses, much to everyoneís amusement. However Steve asks for a rematch and this time, the bionics kick into gear and Jeremy ends up in the water.

Kelly chastises Jeremy for still trying to prove Steve inadequate for the job. Her financial situation in dire straits, it is imperative that the work proceed on schedule. Jeremy assures her that itís just a matter of time before her financial woes are over, which prompts Steve to suspect he might know more about Cosgroveís disappearance that he lets on.

           

On his way to change his wet clothes, Steve meets with co-worker Thaddeus Jones (Rafer Johnson) from whom he learns about the missing agentís whereabouts before he disappeared a mere week after being hired. Cosgrove apparently up and left after getting into an argument with Jeremy and shows Steve the exact location where it happened.

At the Stockwell Aerospace Missile Center, Oscar meets with Dr. Morton Craig (Ivor Francis) to report Steveís findings about a guidance system antenna that might be used to launch a missile on a particular target. He asks for a complete inventory of all the missiles they have in stock.

           

To keep Steve from under foot, Jeremy orders him to cut down a row of trees using an axe, knowing itíll take him all day to finish the job. However Steve whizzes through the work in mere minutes with trees falling one after the other.

           

He takes the free time to roam about the shed where the argument between Agent Cosgrove and Jeremy took place. After spotting the missile carrier tracks, Steve peaks inside the shed to see that missile carrier but the rockets are not in sight . Before he could dig further, Kelly shows up and warns him that this area is off limits and advises him to heed her orders as she is one business woman not to be trifled with.

           

Jeremy is baffled to see that the new man was able to slice six trees down in less than an hour. He reports to his boss the possibility of Steve Parker being another Cosgrove. He is adamantly against the idea of arranging another accident, as it was never agreed in the contract to begin with, but money talks.

Steve learns from Oscar that two rockets are indeed missing from the Missile Centerís inventory. Steve suggests running a check on any special aircraft scheduled to fly over the area, as it might be the purpose for the missile launch.

           

Thaddeus advises Steve that Jeremy wants to see him. When he shows up, Jeremy drops a log down a hill that crushes Steve.

           

He runs back to the office to tell his boss that he got rid of the nuisance and to bring his money. It is revealed that Morton Craig is the brainchild behind this entire operation.

Meanwhile Steve manages to free himself from his deathtrap, unscathed. He zooms in on the shed where men are unloading a missile from the back of a van.

           

He breaks in the shack to get a closer look at the two missiles. He hears coughing and goes investigate to find an ailing Agent Cosgrove on a cot.

Steve goes to work at dismantling the missile launch control panel.

           

Oscar reports to Morton that the missile thief could only have been an inside job, some top staff member who has complete access to the complex. Morton acts dumb, blaming himself for the leak. Steve calls Oscar but Morton filters the call. Steve tells him about his findings and how he will try to get Jeremy to spill the beans.

Steve confronts Jeremy and forces him to reveal the purpose for the missile launch. Jeremy insists heís not part of the scheme. The money was all he was promised to help set up the system.

Kelly drops by to inform Steve that Oscar Goldman and his men are here. Jeremy confesses to the $100 000 promised in exchange for agreeing to conceal the missiles in the abandoned shed. The money was to be used to bail her out and keep her business afloat.

           

She drives them to the shed where instead of Oscar, they meet with Morton and his men who hold the threesome at gunpoint.

Morton reveals his two-million dollar plan to shoot down a plane carrying all of the presidentís key cabinet members. He orders two of his men to keep an eye on the three while they set up the new launching panel. They lock them up in the shed and put a box of dynamite at the front door with one guard up on the hill ordered to shoot at the box if they should try to escape.

           

The new launching panel is operational and Morton patiently awaits the moment their intent target will fly above. Meanwhile Steve hatches a plan of escape. He makes a ball out of thin rope to throws it at the lookout stationed up on the hill.

           

Steve hits his mark before the guard has a chance to pull the trigger. Steve breaks out of the shed and runs to the launching pad with a few sticks of dynamite that he hurls onto the missiles just in time to stop the launch, thus saving Air Force One.

           

Jeremy redeems himself by preventing Morton from escaping.

The mission completed, Steve asks Oscar permission to stay at the lumber camp to help Kelly while Jeremy is in jail and awaiting trial.

           

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