"Task Force"

(Original air date 12/19/76)


Steve infiltrates a gang of mercenaries who are planning to steal a
30 million-dollar missile


Writer: Robert C. Dennis

Director: Barry Crane

On his way to San Diego to supervise project "Hornet", Oscar tapes notes to the Minister telling him that word is that armed mercenaries were enlisted to conduct an operation against the country and its allies.  He adds that Steve has managed to covertly infiltrate their ring of operation, but that he has failed to hear from him in the last three days.

Under the alias Steve Ferguson, Steve tries to get himself recruited for the sting operation by showing off his strength to the leader, Sgt. David Harraway (Alex Cord).  Impressed, Harraway asks Steve if he's interested by a 1500$/week job.   Steve accepts and after getting his Social Security number and driver's license, Harraway tells him they'll be in touch.   Steve's face seem familiar to him but he just can't place him.


Having arrived at Lindberg Field in San Diego, Oscar phones his trusted secretary Callahan (Jennifer Darling) and asks her to give Steve the message to contact Woronski, the relay agent who's also been affected to the mission.

Late that night, Steve enters Oscar's office and finds Callahan in his chair.  She tells him that she's been asked to substitute for him and coordinate while he's in San Diego.  Steve gives her the address of the warehouse where he's been called for an interview and tells her that Sgt. Harraway and he have met before but neither one can remember where.  Therefore, he asks her to do some background research on him. Once the interview over, Harraway returns to his office where an army officer (Edmund Gilbert) awaits him.  Posing as Major Sid Pell of the US Air Force, he assures that he had no trouble passing off as the real McCoy while the true Major Pell was called on a hoax, and that, so far, everything was proceeding accordingly.  He asks Harraway if the men can be trusted, including the new one, Ferguson.  Harraway has doubts but promises to keep his eyes peeled.


At night, Callahan receives a call from agent Woronski telling her that he's been stricken by appendicitis and was scheduled for surgery in the morning.  Given that, she'll have to find another go-between for Steve.

The men are driven to a retreat where they begin their training.  On the trail, Steve befriends Jack Nicolini (Taylor Lacher), a team mate who says he reluctantly agreed to take part in this operation because he desperately needed money.  No one would hire a man with a bad knee.


Back at the training camp, while the men are playing a friendly game of baseball, Steve slips away quietly to check out a suspicion.  He jumps on the roof of a bunkhouse and there, breaks the lock of a shed inside which he discovers boxes of army uniforms.


Harraway catches him and asks to explain why he's on that roof.  On the other side, Nicolini throws Steve a ball to get him off with the story that he was up there fetching the ball.


At night, at a restaurant, Steve attempts to reach Oscar but is stopped by Harraway who tells him that phone calls are strictly forbidden.  Then, he bumps into Callahan who managed to get herself hired as a waitress to act as Steve's contact since Woronski can't.  Steve asks her for a dance to divert attention.

She tells Steve that she was unable to reach Oscar to fill him in on the turn of events.  She then took it upon herself to drive to the warehouse where Steve had his interview and followed the gang from there, even boarded the same plane. Steve tells Callahan that when she does reach Oscar, to let him know the gang will be wearing army uniforms, but that their destination and goal remain secret.  Both decide on a rendez-vous point.  She tells him she'll set up her trailer nearby the training camp where he can easily reach her.

Watching the couple on the dance floor, Harraway begins to experience flashbacks of his meeting with Steve but the images remain blurred.


At Lindberg Field, Oscar briefs the officers and a General (Robert Forward) that their mission is to safely carry the revolutionary thirty-million-dollar missile "Hornet" to a test base in Nevada.  The security will be supervised by the fake Major Pell, the same man involved with Harraway.

At the training camp, Harraway informs his men of the plan to steal the "Hornet".  He forbids anyone to leave the premises and that if one is seen outside after the ten o'clock curfew, he will be shot on site.


Steve slips out of the bunkhouse and writes "10:00PM tonight" on a ball.  He then zooms in on Callahan's trailer down the hill and throws her the ball.


Minutes before ten, Steve slips out of the bunkhouse before the lights are out.  On the way, he cuts off the current to avoid being spotted by the search lights.  He reaches Callahan's trailer.  She tells him what she's learned on Harraway, that he was once arrested for instigating a brawl in a Saigon nightclub and again arrested for stealing and this time, was court-martialled.  Now Steve remembers where he's seen Harraway.  He was a juror on that trial.  Callahan worries that if Steve goes back, Harraway might recall their meeting.  Steve assures her he'll try to make him think of something else.

Steve returns to the camp just as the lights are restored.  To avoid being caught hands down, he smacks Harraway in the face and tells him they met in the "Dirty Daisy" Saigon nightclub where he nearly killed him, and that now they were even.


After ironing out the details of their mission, Harraway orders the men into a van.  Steve is careful to pin a message on the board for Callahan before joining the others.  A few feet down the road, as Callahan drives onto the site, Harraway blows up the compound.  Steve is worried about Callahan who, he knows, must probably be on the premises.   Luckily, she escapes unscathed, but Steve's message on the gang's whereabouts is burned.


On the road, Harraway posing as a traffic worker stops the “Hornet” convoy.  He tells them that the tunnel is unsafe following small tremors and that it'll be preferable to engage in the adjacent one in construction.


Inside the tunnel, the officers are bothered by gas fumes and are rendered unconscious while the men quickly switch places and emerge on the other side of the tunnel as if nothing happened.  To lose Oscar hovering above in an helicopter, Pell orders two of his men to create a diversion by running their jeep into a small ditch.  Pell then informs Oscar to take the men to the hospital while he continues with the convoy. At the wheel, Steve drives the missile to a hangar.


Oscar is let in on the convoy's lateness. Callahan calls to tell him that she doesn't know where the task force is heading since Steve's message was destroyed.  Oscar recalls her mentioning army uniforms and hurries to check it out.

Working on the missile, Harraway remembers where he's seen Steve and Steve senses that he knows. Harraway tells Pell that Ferguson's real name is Steve Austin and that he was obviously sent to spy on them.  To get rid of him, Pell rigs Steve's jeep with explosives.

Steve tries one last time to reach Oscar but Harraway cuts his conversation short.  The gang breaks into small teams, Steve and Nicolini in the rigged jeep.


On the road, Steve finds it strange that Harraway's car should make a sudden turn.  After zooming in on the car, he sees Harraway holding a small detonator and shouts to Nicolini to jump off the jeep.  They do just as it explodes.  Both are uninjured.


Steve hurries to catch Harraway and Pell's car and jump on the front hood to force them to stop.

At the restaurant, Oscar informs Steve that the men are all in jail.  Callahan brings them a beer and both are surprised to see that she's still working as a waitress.  They tell her that the mission is over and that she did a terrific job, but she's not ready to throw in her apron just yet, for she has a date with the handsome local sheriff (Scott B. Wells).


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