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The Cross-Country Kidnap

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“The Cross-Country Kidnap”

S2 E12

Production 41210
Original Airdate: January 10, 1975
CCK - Steve Gets The Girl
'
Produced by
Lionel E. Siegel and Joe L. Cramer
Teleplay by
Ray Brenner and Stephen Kandel
Story by
Ray Brenner
Directed by
Christian Nyby
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Donna Mills as Liza Leitman
Frank Aletter as Borden
Special Guest Star(s)
Tab Hunter as Arnold Blake
Co-starring
John Gabriel as Dirk Shuster
Ben Wright as Benno Reichert
With
Jerome Guardino as Veneman
Art Koulias as Guard
Robert Forward as Major Davis
John McKee as Starter
Broadcast Order
Season 2
← Previous Next →
"The Peeping Blonde" "Lost Love"

Summary

Liza Leitman, the creator behind the computer cryptography code linking secret communications around the world, is also an equestrienne, determined to make the Olympic team. Ross Borden, an infiltrator within the government, and his henchmen, Arnold Blake and Dirk Shuster, are out to kidnap Liza and have her reprogram the computer so they can control a network of international secret agents. Steve's efforts to protect her run into complications because of Liza's resentment and her vulnerability while horseback riding in open country.

Deconstructed

Quotes

Liza: Kidnapping?
Oscar: Yes! Kidnapping! It may seem funny to you, Liza, but security threats rarely move me to hillarity. Liza: (laughs) Oh, well that my dear Oscar is because you have the grey, shrunken soul of a bureaucrat.
Oscar: Hm.
Steve: And because he's a worrier. But with some reason this time.


Liza: I'm an expert rider. In rough country, on a well marked course. The hills will be alive with the sound of, eh...
Oscar: Music?
Liza: Very funny.


Oscar: Your plane leaves in two hours. There'll be a car to meet you at the airport. You'll be staying in the same hotel as she is.
Steve: Now wait a minute, what if she spots me and screams to the local fuzz?
Oscar: Huh? You're a bionic man. Run.


Oscar: I am glad that you weren't... seriously damaged.
Steve: Oh Oscar, please, I can't stand the raw emotion.


Liza: (Austin helps Liza dismount her horse) I'm sweaty.
Steve: Well, I kinda like it.
Liza: (laughs) You really do appeal to all my... baser instincts.
Steve: Well, we gotta start some place.


Trivia

  • The episode credits play out in an unusual fashion, with the credits appearing over still frames taken from various points in the episode, with the guest star credits showing images of the appropriate individual, and Harve Bennett's credit appearing over the image of a rider; according to The Bionic Book, Bennett's ex-wife appeared as one of the riders in this episode.
  • For an episode focused on the gentle art of equestrian, there are some startlingly violent moments, ranging from Steve's rather graphic "what if" discussion regarding what the kidnappers might do to Liza's horse, to Blake being machine-gunned to death, to Steve's unusually violent disposal of the villains by crushing them under a computer bank (the episode leaves the question of their survival unanswered).
  • In the opening sequence, Ross makes a reference to Wonder Woman. The first Woman Woman movie, starring Cathy Lee Crosby, had aired on ABC in March 1974. It barely resembled the more familiar version starring Lynda Carter. The pilot for that version would air on ABC eleven months after this episode of SMDM in November of 1975.

Bionics

  • Steve's bionics are surprisingly ineffectual in this episode. He somehow is able to let a regular human outrun him, for one thing, and, for the first time, he fails a bionic jump when he isn't able to reach the rungs of the helicopter.
  • A more troubling Achilles Heel occurs when Steve is shot in his bionic arm, which actually incapacitates him momentarily. When talking to Oscar, Steve says he was unable to run once he was shot in the arm, suggesting a connection between arm and legs that, one hopes, Rudy Wells later rectifies.
  • Austin has been trained by Wells in conducting minor repairs to his bionics.

Production[1]Edit

  • The exterior shots of the motel Steve and Oscar meet are of the Hallmark Motel, located at 7023 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. The Hallmark boasted a swimming pool, undergound parking and restaurant, called the Hallmark House. It largely catered to tourists. The Hallmark still stands, though it is now the Days Inn Hollywood, which it has been since the 1990s.

Gaffes

Continuity

  • The idea that Steve can be disabled by being shot in the bionic arm would seem to fly in the face of how his bionics are usually portrayed.
  • Austin cries out in pain when he's shot. The franchise is inconsistent in whether or not Steve (and later Jaime Sommers) feel pain through their bionics, with some episodes, such as this one, suggesting they do, and others such as "Fly Jaime" containing dialogue indicating they do not.
  • A shot of Steve, wearing his blue jean jacket outfit, watching some riders, is played just before we see Steve, wearing a different outfit, being splashed. Later, the jean jacket footage is repeated.
  • The intercom system in the fake communications facility must be battery powered as Borden uses it to call Shuster after Steve cuts the power.

Credibility

  • There is no real reason why Steve would decide to jump the hurdles himself, except perhaps for fun. Isn't it lucky for the kidnappers that they anticipated this and set up a trap to catch him as he did this? (It is not a gaffe, however, for them to be aware of his bionics, as Shuster later indicates awareness of his abilities.)
  • Although Steve's general incompetence in this episode makes for an interesting change of pace, the fact he's unable to catch a man running away at normal speed creates a credibility issue. By rights he should have overtaken him long before the guy had a chance to aim and fire his gun. (Presumably, however, Austin is running at reduced speed when he's following Liz's horse, for the same reason that he'd otherwise overtake her.)
  • Borden needs a new security camera system for his lair. The one he uses here appears to be set to film only people's feet.
  • When Steve is shot, he gets up and is holding his upper arm near the shoulder, indicating this is the site of the injury. When he is repairing himself in the hotel room, he is clearly working on his forearm.

Miscellaneous

  • One can only hope that the filmmakers used a mannequin for Shuster's body when Steve throws the computer bank onto him and Borden, as the corner of the computer can be seen rather painfully pushing into Shuster's buttocks.

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