Played by Philip Abbott
Dave MacGrath is one of the founders of NASA in 1958, and is the Chief Administrator of such in 1958-77. He is commenced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958-61, by President John F. Kennedy in 1961-63, by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963-69, and by President Richard Nixon in 1979-74.
Whether McGrath has beem commended by President Jimmy Carter is unknown. Carter's term starts on Jan 20, 1977. Conferment until August 1977 is possible, before the deadly countdown crisis. Otherwise, the one by Ford will be the last presidential commendation received by McGrath.
In "Deadly Countdown", a group headed by Gordon Shanks construct their own missile control center, and plan to kidnap a rocket which carries a new electronic brain of the US missile defense system. Shanks hires Julian Richman to kill Steve Austin and delay the rocket launching. Julian Richman has been caught by Steve Austin for stealing components at NASA, which has landed him in the Florida State Penitentiary for 12 years.
Richman conceives a scheme to eliminate Steve in the high altitude test chamber. Steve escapes with his bionic powers. He becomes strongly attracted to the beautiful Dr. Leah Russell, a British scientist who is to accompany him on a mission to link up two space satellites. The countdown proceeds. An explosion occurs, and Steve is injured.
McGrath has remarked to Steve that he causes the explosion and the premature abortion of the mission. However, Steve is being under heavy sedation. Upon his grey cells awakened, he confronts McGrath.
McGrath confessed that his daughter, Melissa, has been kidnapped, and that her captors have threatened to kill her if he does not abort the mission.
Steve, injured during the launch pad explosion, is convinced that the kidnappers will not allow Melissa to live. He follows a lead and saves Melissa.
However, the guidance computer is being reprogrammed, and the coundown resumes. NASA cannot hold the countdown, and is about to lose the technology.