| Production 41229|
Original Airdate: 27 April 1975
Oscar's new secretary is Steve's
only hope of clearing his name
Lionel E. Siegel
Joe L. Cramer
Gary Lockwood as John Hopper's twin brother
Bernie Hamilton as Lieutenant Dobbs
Andy Romano as Charlie Taylor
Jennifer Darling as Peggy Callahan
Amzie Strickland as Little Old Lady
Marco Lopez as Officer Portez
Reb Brown as Officer Atkins
Jesse Nichoils as OSI Guard
L. Majors as Store Clerk
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|"Outrage in Balinderry"||"The Return of the Bionic Woman"|
|• sequel to "Eyewitness to Murder"|
"Steve Austin, Fugitive" was the final episode broadcast in the second season of The Six Million Dollar Man. However, it was shot well before its ultimate broadcast position. From the perspective of the production team, "The Bionic Woman (Part II)", and not this episode, marked the end of the show's sophomore year. (That said, as discussed below, this episode does share some thematic similarities to the finale of Season 1.)
Steve Austin is lured by a phone call to an apartment where he finds a dead man. A masked man appears, shoots Steve with a tranquilizer gun and tells him he will be charged with the slaying and that copies of his fingerprints have been placed on the murder weapon. Steve dazedly realizes the man is seeking revenge and associates him with an assassin he had captured and who had been sent to prison. The police arrive and arrest Steve, but en route to the lockup he escapes. It now becomes a race for Steve to find the man who framed him before he is recaptured by the police.
Callahan: Oh dear, you're 'the' colonel Austin?
Steve: I'm the only one I know.
Callahan: Oh golly.
Steve: I was... I was drugged.
Dobbs: Who drugged you?
Steve: A man... a man in a mask.
Dobbs: This masked man, did he ride a white horse?
Oscar: (on phone) Let me speak to Miss Johnson.
Steve: (on other line in Oscar's office) Oh, Miss Johnson is now Miss Callahan.
Oscar: Oh yes, yes, yes Miss Callahan. I change my secretary every three months, I can't remember my own security orders.
Callahan: He wants me to help you in any way I can.
Steve: Good. first off, you can start by giving me your home address and telephone number.
Callahan: Oh... is that the routine here?
Steve: Don't get the wrong idea.
Steve: Keep the faith, Callahan.
Callahan: How did you get in? My door is very, very locked.
Steve: What's your security clearance?
Callahan: I'm a three.
Steve: You're about to be jumped to a six.
Steve: Don't go soft on me, Callahan.
Store Clerk: Well by golly, it appears to me you're building nothing short of a robot.
Callahan: That's right, how did you know?
Dobbs: Do you really expect me to swallow that? That there's an exact duplicate of Colonel Austin's hand with his fingerprints on it?
Oscar: That's right.
Dobbs: And that someone stole and used it to put Austin's prints on the murder weapon?
Oscar: Alright, Lazarus, rise.
Hopper: I would really have preferred to have seen him spend the rest of his life behind bars, but, I don't know, to be shot by the police as a fugitive, well... I'm not complaining.
Steve:Well, Oscar, Callahan here is a six now. She qualifies to have a long leisurely lunch like the rest of us sixes.
Oscar: Now look Pal, I've got a ton of work around here.
Steve: Well, then do it Oscar. Nobody asked you to lunch.
Steve: By the way Callahan, do you have a first name?
Callahan: Yes. (She then turns and walks out the door.)
- Look for the scene in which Callahan buys electronic supplies in the parts shop. The actor playing the shopkeeper is credited "L. Majors" -- and appears to be Lee Majors in heavy makeup, a wig and false teeth.
- Besides portraying Peggy Callahan in “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman”, Jennifer Darling also co-starred in episodes of two other live action shows featuring ‘superhumans’ – “The Incredible Hulk” and “Wonder Woman”. Also an accomplished voice actor, Darling was in an episode of the animated series “Bionic Six”, this time playing a nemesis of bionic heroes named Madame O. She later reunited with Lee Majors in 1983 for an episode of “The Fall Guy”.
- Another star from a live action super-hero show appears in this episode. Officer Atkins is played by Reb Brown, who starred as Captain America in two made-for-television movies that aired on CBS in 1979.
- This episode marks the return of Russ Mayberry to the bionic franchise; previously he directed the "Bond" SMDM movies Wine, Women and War and The Solid Gold Kidnapping.
- This episode establishes Oscar's practice of changing secretaries every few months. However, this obviously does not occur with Callahan, who remains a regular presence for the next several years. A likely reason for this is the fact she becomes the first of Oscar's secretaries who is known to have been made aware of Steve's bionics.
- Although this episode was likely not produced with the intention of it being the season finale, it nonetheless shares some similarity with the Season 1 finale episode, "Run, Steve, Run". Like the earlier episode, it features a returning villain. Austin's request for a computer check on the people he's put in prison in the past is also along the same lines as the flashbacks in the earlier episodes.
- Austin has been working for the OSI for about two years at this point, as that's the time frame of the computer search he asks for.
- Rudy Wells is mentioned, but does not appear.
- Austin once again shows his prowess at self-repair when he does impromptu surgery on his leg.
- The bionics lab keeps spare copies of Austin's bionic hand, complete with the fingerprints. (However, the one seen here appears to be just the skin, wearable like a glove, rather than a complete hand with electronic parts.)
- During the sequence in which Austin hides from the police search of Callahan's apartment by hanging from her window, a unique, almost ghostly electronic sound effect is used for his bionics rather than the usual synthesizer.
- The episode raises questions as to whether an OSI employee witnessing bionics actually does become security level 6 automatically. Austin tells Callahan she's been upgraded, yet moments later she says she doesn't have a high enough clearance to obtain the computer file Oscar ordered her to get; technically, she should. In the epilogue, Steve jokes with Oscar about Callahan, now being a 6, being eligible to longer lunch breaks. Oscar's reaction is unclear whether he'd actually authorized her to be raised yet.
- While in the police car, Steve uses his Bionics to break the handcuffs. However, due to the force that this would have exerted, he should have broken his non-Bionic wrist. (This is an issue that affects a number of episodes, e.g. "Clark Templeton O'Flaherty").
- It's not clear how the bulldozer/tractor remained balanced on its two real wheels after Steve fought off Hopper's attack.
- Considering the OSI is a top-secret organization, it's rather odd that the police are able to come and go as they please -- and that a police officer would be doing guard duty at night instead of an agent or an MP.
- When Callahan visits Hopper and claims to be a reporter, Hopper gives her a bogus description of the man seen entering the murder scene. It's odd that he doesn't describe Austin in order to continue supporting the frame-up, even if he suspects her of not being a reporter.
- When Steve and Callahan go back to Hopper's apartment building later, they walk past apartment 222 to get to his apartment, 214, immediately next door. Folks in that building must have a devil of a time trying to tell visitors where to look for their apartments if the numbering scheme is that erratic.
- As with the previous episode, Outrage in Balinderry, this episode displays no continuity with the events of The Bionic Woman (Part II). This is due to it (and Outrage) being produced before the Bionic Woman two-parter, but aired after, presumably in order to prevent the season from ending on a down note. Unlike Outrage in Balinderry, which had Austin falling in love, thereby more overtly violating continuity since "The Return of the Bionic Woman" has Steve still moping over Jaime's death, this episode has no real content that would prevent it from taking place between Jaime's death and resurrection, and indeed the assignment Oscar is about to give Steve at the end could be the one that leads into "Return".
- Steve states ( in relation to the events in "Eyewitness to Murder") that Hopper's twin was never caught. This is a glaring error, as that prequel to this story clearly shows Steve effortlessly catching the brother as he tries to check out of his hotel (although it's possible the twin escaped custody afterwards).
- A more subtle error is that the main clue Steve had to figure out that John Hopper had a twin was the presence of a birthmark on the brother's face, yet this same birthmark is now missing. It is possible that, if the brother did get away, one of the first things he might have thought to do would be to have a dermatologist remove the birthmark, but nothing is said about it in this story.
- While working on his leg, Austin tells Callahan he feels no pain, yet he clearly cries out in pain when he's shot. Both Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman were inconsistent in depicting whether or not pain is actually felt through the bionic limbs.