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The Golden Pharaoh

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“The Golden Pharaoh”

S3 E18

Production 43007
Original Airdate: February 8, 1976
Vlcsnap-392849
Steve convinces Trish to help
Produced by
Lionel E. Siegel
Story by
Margaret Schneider, Paul Schneider(II)
Directed by
Cliff Bole
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Trish Hollander
Joe Maross as Gustav Tokar
Co-starring
Michael Lane as Skorvic
Gordon Connell as Wheel Jackson
Rudy Challenger as Senior Officer Martino
Gary Vinson as Joe (Technician)
With
Michael Lieberman as Muscle-Man
Peter Ashton as Chauffer
Lyndel Stuart as Secretary
Joseph LaCava as Croupier
Broadcast Order
Season 3
← Previous Next →
"The Secret of Bigfoot (Part II)" "Love Song for Tanya"

While protecting historic art treasures on loan from the small country of Levanta, Steve Austin discovers the priceless "Golden Pharaoh" statue has been replaced by a fake and has 48 hours to find the original to avoid a diplomatic incident.

Summary

Amid rumors of a potential threat to a travelling exhibition of Golden Pharaohs on loan from Levanta, Oscar assigns Steve Austin to escort the historic art treasures on their return to their home country. Steve quickly discovers the "Golden Pharaoh" statue has been replaced by a fake and has 48 hours to find the original before it is to be examined by a visiting Egyptologist.

While conducting surveillance on the Embassy of the Kalny Republic, Steve spies a former flame Trish Hollander leaving the Embassy in a chauffer driven car. Later that night he visits Trish, also a chronic gambler, and learns she is engaged to marry the Vice Consul, Gustav Tokar. He offers to pay her gambling debts if she will help him gain entrance to the embassy, and while Trish agrees, the tricky beauty has plans of her own.

Deconstructed

Quotes

Steve: Wow, this thing must be worth a fortune.
Oscar: More than a fortune. Solid gold, precious gems--you can't put a price tag on a historic art treasure like this. That's why I want you personally to escort him back to Levanta in case something should, well, happen allong the way. If something should happen to a national treasure like this, we'd have more trouble than we could take care of.
Steve: (notices an imperfection with his bionic eye) Looks like we've got trouble already, Oscar.
Oscar: Hey, wait, wait a minute--don't touch that; you might damage it!
Steve: This gold is painted lead. (snaps a gem off the head of the statue, crushes it) The gems are made of paste. (turns to Oscar, his eyes wild) Oscar, this statue is a FAKE!


Oscar: I don't know her name, though.
Steve: Don't bother to look. It's Trish Hollander. Age: 25. Adress: variable. Occupation: spending money.
Oscar: I take it you know the young lady, Mr. Austin?
Steve: Let's just say I found her passport in the embassy.


Trish: (opens door) Well as I live and breathe!
Steve: No-one does it prettier than you Trish.
Trish: Thank you Captain Austin, or is it General by now?
Steve: Just Mister.


Steve: It's a very nice place you got here. Very nice. It makes me wonder just how much in debt you are right now.
Trish: In debt? (giggles) That's really funny, Steve. What do you think all this is, poverty? Besides, I happen to be engaged to marry an important diplomat, who's just happens to have millions in gillions stashed away.


Gustav: I was just thinking of you.
Trish: Oh, with warm thoughts, I hope?
Oh, very warm. one might even say 'heated'.
Trish: Oh, you don't mind me dropping in?
Gustav: What's to mind, you bring such loveliness into this office. And such large, large bills.


Wheel Jackson: (to Steve) I always thought if I had a son, he would have been like you: Air Force hero, astronaut, flying high, living clean. Not like me, having to live and work in hiding. This month a brickyard, last month a mortuary, hm. Next month...
Steve: Where's Trish?


Steve: Triscia, you were great.
Trish: I was?
Steve: Wonderful. Now I'm gonna have to ask one more favor.
Trish: How much?
Steve: On the house?
Trish: Ok, for you I'll do it.


Steve: You're an angel.
Trish: No I'm not, Mr. Austin, and you know it. But I like you to think so anyway.


Muscle-Man: (Trish is turning the Golden Pharaoh around) Easy baby, that's our meal ticket.
Trish: I just don't like the way it's looking at me.


Trish: Steve, do you really think I'll have to go to jail?
Steve: I don't think so. Of course a lot depends on how the trial comes out.
Trish: Oh the trial. How do you think I should wear my hair? And maybe I should wear it up, proud and brave. Or how about hanging down, kind of pathetic and vulnerable. I mean when I'm on the witness stand. Maybe I should wear it in a little cloud of innocent rain that's all over my head, what do you think?
Steve: I think this is one trial I'm not gonna miss.


Trivia

Storyline
  • The book Trish Hollander is holding when she greets Steve is titled Any Woman Can Enjoy [obscured] Football.
  • Steve uses the name Vaughn Austin while acting as a representative of the alarm company.
Characters
  • Trish is an old flame of Steve's, pretty much confirming once and for all that he's partial to blondes (Jaime Sommers, Kelly Woods).
  • The episode features Steve's first major fling since Jaime.
Cast
  • This is the third appearance of Farrah Fawcett-Majors playing a different character in so many seasons. She will make one last appearance (playing her original SMDM character, Kelly Woods, in Season 4. Within months of this appearance, Fawcett-Majors became a superstar thanks to a popular poster.
  • Rudy Challenger also appeared in the Season 5 episode The Madonna Caper, a similarly themed adventure this time involving the swap of priceless Russian artwork for forgeries.
Production
  • J. J. Johnson, scoring the incidental music here, would go on to become the show's regular composer in the 4th Season.
  • An unusual sound effect (for this series, anyway) is used after Steve knocks out two of Wheel's thugs buy dropping a load of bricks on them: a cartoon-like "tweeting bird" sound effect.

Gaffes

  • There is an error in the timeframe. After convincing Trish to carry through with the diversion plan, Oscar tells Steve the art expert is arriving at 7 PM and therefore he has 3 hours to recover the statue. Which means the phone call was received around 4 PM. After this comes a long sequence in which Trish plants the alarm trigger, switches the business card, the alarm trigger is activated, and Steve (presumably after a suitable interval) enters as the alarm repairman. Then, he travels to Trish's apartment where she has completely changed into another outfit and tells her she needs to distract her fiance between 3 and 3:30 PM, with the implication that this is still some time off. Yet as mentioned above, in order for the 3-hour limit to be accurate, all this has to have occurred after 4 PM.
    • Also left unaccounted for is the fact the statue would need to be repaired and have the gems reinstalled in such a way that the art expert would not notice glue or other restoration methods.
  • During the final fight, Steve runs past the same burning kiln where he a few moments later encounters Wheel.
  • The bricks manufactured at the plant must be of a featherweight variety as Steve is able to push an entire flat's worth of them onto two workers without crushing them.

Real World

Real world politics and pop culture provide the backdrop for the episode "The Golden Pharoah," which premiered in February 1976.  This episode may also be one of the earliest examples of "Tut-mania" which engulfed pop culture in the late 1970's.  Tut-mania reached its high point in 1978 and 1979 as exemplified by Steve Martin's hit song "King Tut" released in April 1978. The Treasures of Tutankhamun tour began in the U.S. in November 1976.

Levanta takes its name from "Levant," which is an old term referring to the Eastern Meditterranean lands between Anatolia and Egypt.  Levanta is a fictional stand-in for Egypt.  The Treasures of Tutankhamun world tour took place from 1972-1981 and including some of the rarest tresures of Egypt.  The politics of the Cold War and the Middle East were thick in the background of the world tour.  The tour began in London in 1972 and then toured the Soviet Union from 1973 to 1975.  The tour's last stop in the USSR was in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. It is unlikely that the Republic of Kanly is meant to represent any particular nation; however Kanly seems to be a European (quite possibly Eastern European) nation and may represent the Cold War tensions prominent in the 1970's.

In 1973, Egypt's government had a closer relationship with the USSR than the USA.  Egyptian officials had considered plans to cancel the tour of King Tut's treasures in America.  Politics of the Middle East, including the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, contributed to the shaky relationship of Egypt and the U.S.A. during this period.

In June 1974, President Richard M. Nixon visited Egypt and requested that Egyptian president Anwar Sadat permit the tour of King Tut's treasures in the U.S.  The U.S. tour included more cities that the Soviet tour and included three additional treasures that were not included in the Soviet tour.

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