| Production 40021|
Original Airdate: March 29, 1974
Tucelli plans to test Steve's bionics.
Sam Strangis and Donald R. Boyle
Elroy Schwartz and Krishna Shah & William Keenan
Virgil W. Vogel
John van Dreelen as Alfredo Tucelli
|Special Guest Star(s)|
Alan Oppenheimer as Rudy Wells
Than Wyenn as Desk Clerk
Jim Shane as Yamo
Curt Lowens as Anton Brandt
Norbert Schiller as Porter
Cynthia Lynn as Fraulein Krueger
Ynes van Holt as Switchboard Operator
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Dr. Rudy Wells - the man responsible for the creation of bionics - is in the European country of Austria to receive an honorary doctorate from his alma mater. However, before he can do so, he is kidnapped by a group of international criminals led by brothers Alfredo and Julio Tucelli, who want Dr. Wells to build a bionic man for them.
Steve Austin's search for Dr. Wells leads him first to Innsbruck, Austria. At Dr. Wells' hotel, Steve is told that he left to stay with some “friends.” Certain that Dr. Wells has been taken against his own will — a fact soon confirmed when Steve gets caught in a deadly mountain car chase — the trail leads Steve to a remote castle in Mondsee. Rudy is being held there, for reasons Steve initially finds unclear. He gains entry to the castle, but once inside, he is knocked out and captured by one of the guards. To try and secure Steve’s release, Dr. Wells pretends that Steve is from a rival organization which is also trying to persuade Dr. Wells to build a bionic man for it. As part of the charade, he tells Steve that he is at the castle on his own volition and that Steve should therefore leave him alone there. However, instead of allowing Steve to leave, the Tucellis, suspicious that Steve is bionic, imprison him and then observe him on close circuit television as he uses his bionic powers to escape. When his captors threaten to kill Dr. Wells if he does not surrender, Steve reluctantly gives himself up outside the castle.
The following morning, a contest of unarmed combat is arranged to test Steve’s bionics. He fights off successive individual members of Tucelli’s staff, but he is eventually overpowered by four men. During the contest, Steve’s bionic arm is damaged with a steel post, and he is taken back into the castle to allow Dr. Wells to treat him. Rudy pretends that only one of Steve’s legs is bionic and injects a subconscious control drug into his right leg. With their captors under the false impression that the drug is taking effect, Steve and Dr. Wells seize the opportunity to escape from the castle. The Tucellis are eventually captured and turned over to the proper authorities.
Oscar: (on phone) If something should happen to Steve, what are we gonna do without you?
Rudy: (on phone) After all these years, my alma mater decides to honor me with a doctorate, and you try and turn it into a crisis!
Steve: (on phone) He's jealous. All he ever gets from his alma mater is a bill for union dues.
Oscar: Rudy, I'm sorry you're not getting the acclaim you deserve, that your work has to be classified Top Secret.
Rudy: Oh, I appreciate what you're saying, Oscar, and I'm not being humble, but my reward is in seeing Steve function. Not his extraordinary powers, but just living day to day.
- This marks the return of Rudy Wells, and his debut for the weekly series. He appeared previously in the Pilot Telefilms, but was absent from The Six Million Dollar Man series until this episode. This is his only appearance in season one, but he will return as a semi-regular for season two.
- This episode establishes that Rudy studied in Austria.
- This is one of the few episodes in which Steve resembles the literary counterpart as written by Martin Caidin, albeit briefly, when he presumably kills a carload of men in cold blood by pushing it over a cliff resulting in a fiery blaze.
- In Martin Caidin's novel Cyborg, it is established that Steve Austin is a black belt in judo and aikido.
- There are two scenarios in the Caidin novel similar to Steve's martial arts combat test. In the first, Steve's trainer Ricardo Carpentier helps Steve learn to use his bionics in hand-to-hand combat. In the second, Steve trains with Israeli commandos. The commandos have the advatage on Steve until he becomes accustomed to their styles.
- We learn that Steve can run faster than 60 miles per hour, as one of the henchmen pursuing him observes: "He's doing better than sixty!"
- In previous episodes, including "Doomsday, and Counting" Steve is shown deflecting heavy objects with his bionic arm, but this episode establishes that it can be damaged by similar objects if he is struck unaware. This Achilles heel resurfaces in "The Pioneers".
- Oliver Nelson's music for this episode is similar to his 1960 composition, "Three Seconds."
- The cafe in the little square in Mondsee will later be used as the set for Halderstadt where Jaime Sommers and Darwin Jones look for Ivan Kard in The Bionic Woman, second season episode "Biofeedback," and again in "The DeJon Caper" as the Paris setting for Place Victor Hugo.
- The blue sedan is empty when it goes over the cliff.
- In the cafe Steve asks the waitress, "How do you say [...] in Austrian?" Since German is the official language of Austria, a better question should have been, "How do you say [...] in German?"
- Poor ADR is evident for portions of the cafe scene between Steve and the waitress.
- Guido & Karl ram Steve's car several times, at high speed, yet it remains undamaged.
- When Steve jumps the railing to follow the mechanic, it is evident that it's a stuntman.
- The extended footage of Steve running through the forest toward Tucelli's mansion is clearly of a stuntman.
- The Bionic sound effect is used once for Steve and twice for Yamo as the two fight at the Tucelli castle.
- At the end of the episode as Oscar and Rudy wrap-up the case, Oscar says that "Metropole" is very interested in the Tucelli's activities. Since there is no known law enforcement agency associated with Austria called Metropole, we must assume that it is made-up for the story. In the real world, Austria is a member state of Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization).
- The cutaway scene of a foot on the accelator of the blue sedan is identical to the cutaway in Day of the Robot