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Doomsday Is Tomorrow

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“Doomsday Is Tomorrow”

S2 E13

Production 45401
Original Airdate: 19 January 1977
Doomsday1
Alex7000 is watching
Produced by
Kenneth Johnson
Written by
Kenneth Johnson
Directed by
Kenneth Johnson
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Lew Ayres as Elijah Cooper
Kenneth O'Brien as Victor Evtuhov / Dmitri Muskov
Special Guest Star(s)
David Opatoshu as Satari
Co-starring
Sam Chew as Russ
James Hong as Kurosawa
Guerin Barry as Alex
Broadcast Order
Season 2
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"Biofeedback" "Doomsday Is Tomorrow (Part II)"

Dr. Elijah Cooper, an aging scientist, threatens the release of a Doomsday Device unless world peace is maintained.


Summary

The episode opens with the emergency evacuation of a research complex owned by aging scientist, Dr. Elijah Cooper. After the complex's personnel have confirmed to be gone by a unseen voice identified as Alex, Dr. Cooper prepares for a transmission through the use of the Athena 18 communications satellite.

Meanwhile in Ojai, Jaime Sommers is following along with a television cooking program in her kitchen when the show is interrupted by Dr. Cooper's prerecorded transmission. He introduces himself as the creator of the cobalt bomb and is simulcasting his message in nine different languages to the other leaders of the world. After giving a brief description of the cobalt bomb, Dr. Cooper detonates one he has prepared in a Pacific testing area. As the bomb's detonation is broadcast, it comes to the attention of Oscar Goldman, who is speaking with the Secretary of State about the matter. Dr. Cooper goes on to reveal that he has now created a device capable of rendering all life on Earth extinct, and will use it if another such nuclear weapon is detonated. To confirm he has such power at his disposal, Dr. Cooper asks the United Nations to deliver to him four of the world's most foremost scientists to his research complex the following morning: Dr. Toshiro Kurosawa from Japan, Rudy Wells, Dr. Marguerite Perry from France and Dr. Victor Evtuhov from Russia. He also warns that any assault on his research facility will automatically trigger his device.

Later, an emergency meeting is held at the United Nations Security Council and a decision is reached to agree to Dr. Cooper's request. However, the decision was not unanimous due to the presence of a Mr. Satari, a delegate from the Middle East, who does not believe Dr. Cooper's threat to be serious, much to the disgust of Oscar, who attended the meeting. Minutes later onboard Air Force One, Jaime is brought up to speed on the gravity of the situation. It turns out that Oscar has the approval of NATO to allow Jaime to impersonate Dr. Perry. Oscar fears that Dr. Cooper has gone insane and intends to have Jaime deal with him should the need arise. Both Jaime and Rudy object to this, but Oscar insists it may become necessary to use extreme measures.

Jaime and Rudy arrive at Dr. Cooper's complex and are greeted by Alex, the unseen individual from the beginning of the episode. Jaime decides to explore the complex and eventually finds Dr. Cooper's study. He discovers her and she quickly goes into her act as Dr. Perry. Dr. Cooper questions her about her research and Rudy is able to talk her through some of the details when she secretly activates the intercom in his study and listens to his coaching with her bionic ear. After a minute, Jaime suggests to Dr. Cooper that they return to the matter at hand and they both return to the main control room where Dr. Kurosawa and Dr. Evtuhov have arrived. After a heated exchange from Kurosawa and Evtuhov, who seems to realize Jaime is not Dr. Perry, but does not expose her, Dr. Cooper explains the principles behind his Doomsday Device.

Dr. Cooper tells the scientists about his studies of a new isotope called Uthenium J, which is extremely toxic and has a radioactive half life of over 500 years. He goes on to reveal that a casing of this isotope around a single cobalt bomb of sufficient megatonage can destroy all life on Earth, which Rudy confirms. Dr. Cooper has indeed created this weapon, which is located at the very center of the complex. He goes on to say that he has created this Doomsday weapon as a means of enforcing world peace and the only thing capable of triggering it is the airburst of a nuclear bomb. Dr. Cooper has also made careful allowances for underground testing and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, assuring that such expenditures will not accidentally trigger the weapon. But any detonation in the atmosphere will activate the device and wipe out all life on the planet. Rudy and Dr. Evtuhov implore Dr. Cooper to reconsider, but he actives the device regardless, and announces that it is now under the control of Alex, who is not a person, but the ALEX 7000, the master computer who runs the complex. After the meeting, the U.N. agrees to institute a worldwide ban on any and all nuclear testing until a resolution can be reached. However, Satari, who does not believe the Doomsday Device exists informs Oscar that he intends to detonate a nuclear weapon in six hours as part of a ongoing series of tests in his country.

Jaime decides to return to the complex to try and disable the Doomsday Device before Satari's test detonation occurs. Rudy suggests disabling the central computer's memory core, but believes Dr. Cooper likely has defensive measures in place to prevent this. Russ gives Jaime another route into the complex through a trail through the rock cliffs on the south quadrant of the complex, which is guarded the lightest. Jaime manages to get through the first part of the area, where she encounters Dr. Evtuhov, who is in reality a Russian agent named Dmitri Muskov, who was sent to stop the Doomsday Device's detonation. He and Jaime decide to work together to get back into the complex, and in the process of doing so, reveals her bionics to him during a climb up the south cliffs. They then encounter an obstacle in the form of a nearby minefield. Jaime is certain she can traverse it safely with the aid of her bionic ear, but complicating the problem is Dmitri, who experiences brutal flashbacks of his brother's death in a Russian minefield.

Jaime manages to guide them through the field, but Dmitri's leg is injured by an exploding mine near its end. Dmitri urges Jaime to leave him behind to tend to his wound and stop the device. As she enters the complex, the ALEX 7000 detects her and thwarts her attempt to disable it. She finds Dr. Cooper in his study close to death, and tells him of Satari's nuclear tests, but he reaffirms that there is no way to stop the Doomsday Device now that it is active. He expresses regret for the situation to Jaime and dies.

Seconds later, Satari's nuclear weapon detonates and triggers the Doomsday Device, instituting a six hour countdown until its activation. Jaime informs ALEX that she intends to reach the central core of the complex and deactivate the Doomsday Device. ALEX tells her it would be foolish to attempt it and that she will die if she does. Jaime confirms that now it is a duel between herself and him. ALEX agrees and declares, “May the best...one...win.”

Deconstructed

Quotes

Dr. Cooper: (on TV screen) It is aweseome, isn't it? Supreme devastation. But let me tell you this, my friends: It is only a very small scale compared to what will happen the next time, such a nuclear detonation occurs. Because I have now created a device that can render the entire world lifeless.


Dr. Cooper: It's not money that I want, friend, it's peace. World peace.


Dr. Cooper: If any country anywhere explodes a thermal nuclear bomb in the atmosphere, either for testing, or for warfare, it will trigger an irreversable chain of events here, and in six hours, the doomsday device will detonate. And life on Earth will be ended.
Rudy: So you intend to blackmail the world into peace?
Dr. Cooper: I hope so, Dr. Wells.


Rudy: Dr. Cooper, no one man can be allowed to play God!
Dr. Cooper: (activates the Doomsday Device) It is done.
Dr. Evtuhov: Dr. Cooper, I understand. But there will be those people that will insist that you deactivate your system. They will not respect your age or position. Even if it came to torture...
Dr. Cooper: Yes, Dr. Evtuhov, I have thought of that. But it's completely out of my hands now. The Doomsday Device is controlled by Alex.


Dr. Cooper: Alex is the master computer that controls every phase of this complex. He is the highest form of computer art and design. Until this very moment, I've had him operating on only half efficiency, but from here on, his eyes and ears will watch over and govern this complex and it's defenses. He is supremely intelligent, yet passionless.


Dr. Cooper: The choice is clear and simple, my friends. It's peace - or oblivion.


Dmitri: How you pull me up like that?
Jaime: Oh, just a little leverage, that's all.
Dmitri: Little leverage?! Woman, you're speaking to a man very familiar with the laws of physics. Now, I'd like to know how you do that!
Jaime: Doctor, I am a little stronger than I look, so let's just leave it at that.


Dmitri: (winded) You... you... you... you... you... you're a cyborg!
Jaime: A what?
Dmitri: Cyborg. Cybernetic organism.
Jaime: Well, I prefer to call it bionics myself. It has a much nicer ring to it.


Dr. Cooper: It's funny how people never feel closer to life than when death is right there upon them. I always appreciated life most dearly when I was at someone's funeral.
Jaime: I understand the feeling, believe me. But Dr. Cooper, I need your help; now, the world needs your help. There are some men in the Mideast who don't believe that you've created this Doomsday Device and they're about to test a hydrogen bomb. You must tell me how to stop your device!
Dr. Cooper: I'm greatly saddened that this has come to pass so soon, but I warned you - there is no way to reverse the device.
Jaime: Oh, please...!
Dr. Cooper: My child, the people of the world have persisted in their warring ways, and they must learn their lesson. God help you, my child. God help us all. (he dies)


Jaime: You realize that I have to get to the central core of this complex and stop this from happening, don't you?
Alex: It is foolish to even make the attempt.
Jaime: Well, I'm going to.
Alex: The central core housing the Doomsday Device is more than a mile underground, and I have sufficient defenses to stop you. I am programmed to show no mercy. You will die if you make the attempt.
Jaime: So...then it is a duel, between you and me.
Alex: Yes. May the best... one... win.

Trivia

Cast
Series
  • Dimitri directly refers to Jaime as a cyborg, possibly the only time she was referred to as such on screen (judging by her puzzled reaction) and one of the only times the term had been used since the original Six Million Dollar Man pilot film. The definition of cyborg is also stated on screen for the first time (the SMDM pilot film had it as on-screen text only).
Story
  • For the second episode in a row, Jaime refers to her previous tennis career.
Storyline
  • Steve Austin's absence from this world-threatening event is explained in dialogue that reveals him to be aboard NASA's Skylab space station at the time. However it appears no consideration is given to reactivating Barney Hiller's bionics (probably because there wouldn't have been enough time to do so).
  • Dimitri reveals that the Russians have attempted their own bionics program, with successful conversion of "lower animals" but the two human attempts at bionics "ended tragically in death". This means that, including Steve, Barney Hiller and Jaime, at this point there are five known bionic people, though two are deceased. It is not revealed whether Jaime passes along this rather major piece of intel (that the Russians are working with bionics) to Oscar; indeed, it isn't until the reunion film Bionic Showdown that Russian knowledge of bionic systems becomes a going concern.
Credits
  • Unlike most episode credits which are shown along the bottom of the screen, the title, guest-cast and crew credits for both episodes of Doomsday appear in the center of the screen.
Original airing
  • In Canada, viewers had to wait an extra week to see Part 2 due to it not being made available to the CTV network on time. Instead, "The Vega Influence" was shown (apparently for the first time).

Gaffes

Real World
  • While leaving the UN, Mark Russell tells Oscar Goldman that Rudy Wells is on Air Force One. Air Force One is not an airplane, but the President's call sign when he is on a US Air Force plane. Unless the President was going with Dr. Wells (not impossible given the circumstances, though this certainly would have been mentioned), the plane would not be called Air Force One.


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