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Canyon of Death

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“Canyon of Death”

S1 E10

Production 44414
Original Airdate: April 14, 1976
Silver suit2
Testing the flying suit in the desert near Ventura
Produced by
Kenneth Johnson
Written by
Stephen Kandel
Directed by
Jerry London
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Gary Collins as John Mallory
Co-starring
Guillermo San Juan as Paco[1]
Don McGovern as Briggs
Paul Cavonis as Henderson
Dee Timberlake as Karen Stone
Annette Cardona as Elora Mitchell
With
Robbie Rist as Andrew
Jack Stauffer as Phillips
James Ingersoll as Radio Man
Bill Conklin as General Fuller
Todd London as Stan
Broadcast Order
Season 1
← Previous Next →
"Winning Is Everything" "Fly Jaime"

Jaime is captured by men who are plotting to steal an atomic-powered Flying Suit, and her life depends on an Native American boy's story-telling ability to convince someone that he saw a silver man in the desert.

Summary

In an area located on the Ventura Air Force Base designated as a culural landmark, a young Native American boy sits under a makeshift burial pier chanting. Unknown to the boy, a man in a silver space suit watches from a short distance away. The man radios about the boys presence and is told to take care of the boy if he returns to the area.

Jaime Sommers arrives at her classroom just as the bell rings, and moves the blackboard to bionically write the assignment. She turns the board back to the class and introduces her new student, John Little Bear, only to discover that he is not there.

While a transport plane carrying Oscar Goldman taxis to a security test holding area, the young boy rides his horse from restricted area and makes his way to the air force base's school. He comes upon Jaime and her students, who are outside at the playground.

  • Jaime learns from Oscar that the Air Force Base is being shut down under maximum security, and she races out of her classroom to find Little Bear. After she bionically jumps the gate into the restricted area, there is a sequence in which Little Bear is racing on his horse into the desert area. Jaime follows the tracks and uses her bionic ear to listen to the direction he is moving in. Little Bear then uses a branch to hide the tracks he is leaving behind, still Jaime continues to chase Little Bear and listen for his direction. Henderson drives along a trail and spots Little Bear as the boy tries to lose Jaime in the desert.
  • As Briggs calls to notify Mallory about the incident with Jaime and Little Bear in the desert, he is asked for further identification by the Radio Man. Briggs declines for security reasons, and the Radio Man switches the call to the confidential channel while he attempts to locate Mallory. Just then, Mallory enters the room where the practice suit is being prepared for testing. Inside, Oscar ensures that Captain Phillips is ready for the flight. Captain Phillips answers the buzzing phone, and passes the receiver to Mallory.
  • After Captain Brandon, General Fuller's aide, confirms the change in the test schedule, Little Bear arrives back at the school. He enters Jaime's classroom to call Oscar Goldman. Miss Stone enters the room and questions Little Bear's tall tales of Jaime's strength. He tries to explain, but Miss Stone states that she doesn't have Miss Sommers' patience. Little Bear begins to draw the flying suit as Oscar arrives with Mallory outside the school.
  • When Jaime regains consciousness in the cave, Henderson threatens her with the gun and tells her to lie back. She shakes her head trying to regain her composure. Henderson sets the gun down, but keeps a watchful eye as she looks around to assess her surroundings. Little Bear is then seen riding back into the desert to find his teacher, while Briggs arrives on the Base in a jeep before seeing Oscar with Mallory.
  • With the Flying Suit safely back in the custody of the OSI, Jaime and Little Bear return to the Indian Burial Grounds. Little Bear once again calls Jaime a spirit, and she responds by saying that she is just a "space age product". Little Bear accepts this, stating that spirits cannot reveal who they are. Jaime tells Little Bear that he will just have to keep her secret anyway.

Novelization

"Canyon of Death" is one of only a few Bionic Woman episodes to be adapted in novel form. Eileen Lottman combined its storyline with that of "Claws" for her novel, Extracurricular Activities (which was published in the UK under the title A Question of Life and credited to "Maud Willis").

Deconstructed

Quotes

Andrew: (to Paco) Look, I don't know what they called you before, but on this reservation we're gonna call you 'Throwing Bull'.


(A film showing a bunch of paratroopers is showing).
Jaime: Oscar, do I really have to watch this? Parachute jumping isn't exactly my favorite subject since the accident.


Oscar: Now, we're going to take a quantum leap into Buck Rogers. A degree of mobility never before attained. Individual self-contained flying suits. (watching the film) Look at that! Impressed?
Jaime: Yes!
Oscar: The power for these flying suits comes from an atomic unit that has a range of four hundred miles. It can go from zero to thirty thousand feet altitude, has the power to outrun a helicopter, and a maneuverability to give an eagle an inferiority complex.


Paco: I have gone through the ceremony of manhood. Alone, for three nights, on a high place in the desert. I am an Indian. I am a man. I have made the cuts. I have dreamed of my totem animal, the great bear.
Andrew: I was barely able to bare listening to those bare facts.


Elora: You mean that Paco is learning about his Indian heritage from a book, written by a white man who never even saw the West?
Jaime: 'Fraid so.


Jaime: (clears away boulders from an avalanche) Are you alright?
Paco: You're a spirit!
Jaime: C'mon!
Paco: I saw! You were sent by Sky Father - a spirit pretending to be human!
Jaime: Paco... I... uh... I can do a few unusual things, honey, but I am very human, believe me.


Jaime: Paco, listen... I gotta get you outta here, babe... now I want you to promise me you will go straight home and stay there, okay? C'mon...
Paco: You wanna use my horse?
Jaime: It's a little slow for my needs right now...
Paco: Oh, yeah... I forgot.


Jaime: (boosts Paco onto his horse) Okay, Paco. Now you ride like you're going for the cavalry, alright? Uh... the Indians!


(Jaime lands hard after preventing the flying suit theft).
Oscar: Hey... you alright?
Jaime: I think you'd better call a blacksmith, Oscar.
Oscar: Huh?
Jaime: I hit so hard, I'm bowlegged.


Paco: I know one thing for sure.
Jaime: What's that?
Paco: You're a spirit.
Jaime: Oh, c'mon, Paco. I... I'm just a... a... a space age product.
Paco: I understand. Spirits aren't supposed to tell who they really are.
Jaime: Now, Paco... uh... I know you've seen me do some pretty unusual things... well, you're just gonna have to take it on faith that I am not a spirit, alright?
Paco: (smiles knowingly) Yeah... sure...
Jaime: Well, I'll tell you one thing - you're gonna have to keep a secret, alright?
Paco: That'll be easy. Nobody'd believe me anyway!

Trivia

Cast
Story
  • Oscar reveals that General Fuller is the person that approved Jaime recieving her bionics.
  • Paco isn't the first to compare a bionic person to Indian legends of demons; Steve Austin was also told this in "Taneha".
Music

Gaffes

Ear to Err
  • There are several instances in which Jaime uses her bionic ear, but the footage of the closeup of Jaime's ear is taken from previous episodes.
Credibility
  • Briggs and Henderson cause a landslide, burying Jaime and Paco. How are their non-bionic body parts not crushed by the rocks?
  • Jaime's bionic ear must be severely broken in this episode. Seconds after bionically eavesdropping on a conversation between Briggs and Mallory outside a desert cave, Jaime fails to hear Henderson sneak up behind her and club her on the head with the butt of a gun.
Illusion Breaker
  • When Jaime is jumping over the security gate while chasing Paco, you can clearly see the springboard that stuntwoman Rita Egleston uses to launch herself over.
  • When Briggs and Henderson lift Jaime up to carry her into the cave, Lindsay Wagner appears to lift her head up, to help the actor playing Briggs find her shoulders easier.
  • When Jaime leaps up to Henderson in the flying suit, you can clearly see the wires suspending him.
  • After Briggs falls to the ground in the flying suit, Jaime is also seen falling to the ground. However, on the left edge of the screen, there appears to be a small step ladder that is removed from the scene just before she lands. As she lands on the ground, a narrow shadow can also be seen moving from the left side of the screen.

Gallery

References

  1. San Juan's co-starring credit was unusually given during the opening title sequence

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