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The Last of the Fourth of Julys

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“The Last of the Fourth of Julys”

S1 E10

Production 40022
Original Airdate: April 5, 1974
Quail and his deadly LASER projector
Produced by
Sam Strangis and Donald R. Boyle
Written by
Richard Landau
Directed by
Reza Badiyi
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Steve Forrest as Quail
Special Guest Star(s)
Kevin Tighe as Root
Tom Reese as Joe Alabam
Arlene Martel as Violette
Barry Cahill as Submarine Captain
Hank Stohl as Balsam
Ben Wright as Ives
H. Alan Deglin as Hurst
Tom Hayden as Sonar
Broadcast Order
Season 1
← Previous Next →
"Dr. Wells Is Missing" "Burning Bright"

Steve infiltrates Quail's base to disable a laser aimed at a satellite, and is aided by an undercover Interpol agent.


Shortly before his death, a special agent called Balsam, on a mission to observe an international master criminal called Quail, sends an urgent message to the OSI stating that Quail is planning to commit an atrocity with a large laser weapon that will kill many people. Quail’s heavily-defended headquarters are located in neutral territory off the coast of Norway, so the option of launching a military attack is dismissed. Steve Austin is therefore trained to go on a hazardous mission to prevent the attack from taking place.

Off the Norwegian coast Steve is launched from a US submarine inside a torpedo and soon gains entry to Quail’s facility. However, radioactivity from his bionic limbs triggers an alarm system and he is captured. Fortunately, one of Quail’s assistants is an undercover Interpol agent called Violette, and she reveals her identity to Steve during his interrogation. Violette subsequently agrees to disable the base’s alarm system and Steve then escapes from his captors. However, they are both captured again soon afterwards. Quail then reveals his evil plan to Steve – he has been hired by a man named Ives to kill a group of prime ministers attending an international conference in Paris by deflecting the beam from his laser off a satellite. Steve manages to escape once more and, in the laser control room, he re-configures the laser to self-destruct when fired. Both he and Violette then flee Quail’s base and return to the submarine with Violette hidden inside the torpedo, and Steve propelling from behind with his bionic legs. Meanwhile, Quail launches his attack; but the laser, sabotaged by Steve, explodes and destroys the base.



Violette: Quail, that fence is 30 feet. Nobody can vault that high.
Quail: But he did get over the fence...

Steve: How'd they get me?
Violette: Radiation. You set off sensor alarms. There's something different about you. What is it?
Steve: It's my accent.


Quail: My name's Quail . . . but I'm sure you know that already.

Steve: I think I've heard it someplace.

Quail: Your name?

Steve: My name? Oh, I forget . . . but it'll come back to me.

Violette: Who sent you?

Steve: Oh, lady please.


  • Panels from Quail's command center would appear again in Rudy's lab in Season 4.
  • Steve must pole vault in order to achieve a 30 foot jump. Later, this will be retcon as seen in The Secret of Bigfoot where he will easily leap 30 feet from a standing start. Later still, the reunion movies will depict both Steve and Jaime clearing even greater heights - presumably, due to Rudy's continued improvements. In previous episodes ("Eyewitness to Murder," "Survival of the Fittest") Steve is shown jumping down from levels apparently higher than 30 feet.
  • Explicit dates for the episode are given as late June/early July, with Steve's training concluding on June 30.
  • Kevin Tighe, almost unrecognizable under a mullet-style wig, was very well known at the time as the co-star of Emergency!  The final episode of the third season of Emergency! aired just less than two weeks before (3-23-74) this episode of SMDM on April 5, 1974.  Emergency! continued for six seasons and six two-hour TV movies in 1978 and 1979.
  • Female lead Arlene Martel played T'Pring on the original Star Trek series. Appearances by William Shatner ("Burning Bright") and George Takei ("The Coward") will follow.
  • More than once, Violette uses an "almost Vulcan" nerve pinch on Steve. 
  • Steve's endgame - setting the laser to self-destruct - is virtually identical to that used in "Wine, Women and War." A key difference is the episode goes out of its way to mention the fact there are survivors (including possibly the villain, who is left unaccounted for). This could be an early indication of the series moving away from a lethal Steve Austin.
  • This episode is documented in 21 3D pictures for The GAF Six Million Dollar Man View Master reels.
  • The high-tech terrorist hide out is a sewage treatment plant. Steve runs past water pools and the word “sludge” is marked on pipes.
  • The initial view of the cliffs is the same sequence used at the beginning of the episode "Doomsday, and Counting."


  • When Steve escapes from his interrogation cell, he throws the two guards aside with equal effect from both arms.
  • Norway was not a neutral country during the Cold War. Norway has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since the alliance was created in 1949.
  • When Steve opens the electric fence, helping his fellow secret agent escape, he uses only his bionic arm, but when he directs the other agent out he puts both hands on the fence.


  • When Steve is launched from the submarine inside a torpedo, a wire can be seen through the torpedo indicating the scale model.
  • Modern day torpedos (Mk 48) do have wire guide capability.


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