| Production 41228|
Original Airdate: December 20, 1974
Lionel E. Siegel and Joe L. Cramer
William T. Zacha & Wilton Denmark
William T. Zacha
Farrah Fawcett-Majors as Victoria Webster
Roger Perry as Charles Colby
Hari Rhodes as Karl
W.T. Zacha as Victor
Christopher Stafford Nelson as Billy Jackson
Martin Speer as Flightcom
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|"Stranger in Broken Fork"||"The Cross-Country Kidnap"|
Oscar Goldman's plans for a vacation are thwarted when news reporter Victoria Webster seeking an interview threatens to go public with her footage of Steve Austin using his bionics. However, her unscrupulous boss plans to kidnap Steve and sell him to a foreign country.
Charles Colby: She took some more film on her own?
Billy Jackson: Yes Mr. Colby, but eh, she said it was very important.
Charles Colby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's always important. I mean we got miles of film that's she's taken of pigeons and, and clouds, and all that was important, wasn't it?
Billy Jackson: Yes, sir.
Charles Colby: You know when I was a Washington correspondent, I didn't use as much film on the Presidents inauguration as she wasted last week on sandcastles
Oscar Goldman: You know, I didn't know that you were interested in archaeology, I thought you were just going along to keep me company, ride your dune buggy.
Steve Austin: Well, what really interests me is watching Oscar Goldman dig holes in the ground.
Steve Austin: Hey now, wait a minute, Oscar, what you're about to do, that's like hitting a butterfly with a sledgehammer.
Oscar Goldman: You remember what I said to you about a target on your back?
Steve Austin: Yeah.
Oscar Goldman: Well that lady is loading the rifle, pal.
Victoria Webster: He's a rat, your mister Goldman, calling me a blackmailer.
Steve Austin: Oh, he's not so bad once you get to know him.
Victoria Webster: The world is entitled to know such advanced technology as you exist. Think what that would mean, that would give hope to countless people. I'm gonna get this story, and you'd better believe it.
Karl: Let's face it. You are not cut out for climbing, fighting or killing and that's what we're gonna be doing.
Steve Austin: Hey, are you always the reporter? I mean don't you ever take time to enjoy life, or to does, eh, your work take priority over everything else?
Victoria Webster: I have the unique capability of doing both. Like now, I'm enjoying both.
Victor: She thinks we're fakes.
Oscar Goldman: I wish they were.
Victoria Webster: Ooh, very good, Mr. Goldman, but not quite good enough.
Karl: What happened?
Victor: He's too much. You're gonna have to kill him.
Charles Colby: He's not worth anything dead.
Karl: Shut up! It's a personal thing for me now.
Steve Austin: Well this is the, eh, negative of the film Miss Webster shot of me rescuing here on the cliff. It's all the bionic stuff.
Oscar Goldman: (startled, Oscar glances at Victoria who feigns innocence) Why you... here give me that.
Steve Austin: Oh no, Oscar, I'm on her side.
- William Zacha, who co-wrote the episode, also guest stars in the episode as Victor, the assassin with the scars on his face. This is one of the only times in the series that an episode's writer appeared in his own episode. (Zacha made other guest appearances on both Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, but in episodes he didn't write.)
- Steve says becoming bionic took more than a year. This causes some potential timeline issues, however (see below).
- This is one of a very few episodes in which Oscar comes across as sinister in the Oliver Spencer mode, as when he suggests that "extreme measures" may need to be taken to silence Victoria and contain the secret of bionics.
- Archery is added to Steve's resume of skills - indeed he's so skilled he's able to score two bulls-eyes in quick succession without using his bionic eye (or so he claims!).
- We also learn here that Oscar is an amateur archaeologist, taking the hobby seriously enough to spend his rare vacation time digging in the Baja dirt looking for relics.
- We finally get to see the complete dune buggy Steve has been building since "Population: Zero". Perhaps coincidentally, we see Austin use the rollbar to tie up the villains - the same rollbar we saw him bending into shape in "Population Zero". The dune buggy must be capable of speeds exceeding 60-66 MPH as Steve chooses to drive it when he goes to rescue Victoria, rather than running.
- Steve and Oscar's friendship has progressed to the point where they're even willing to vacation together.
- Despite Oscar's efforts at containing the secret of bionics, the fact that Colby, a TV news producer, has heard stories about a "bionic man". There have been a few potentially high-profile public uses of bionics by Steve up to this point, such as in "Eyewitness to Murder" in which he performed a bionic run through the streets of Los Angeles, and even the preceding episode, "Stranger in Broken Fork" in which almost the entire population of a town witnessed bionic feats. Exactly how Colby came to know the term "bionic", however, is unclear. However, given the growing number of people made witness to Steve's bionics, and who have also heard the term, it's not inconceivable that some of them broke their vows of silence.
- A theme developed for this episode, "Baja Bossa", has seen release on CD, on Oliver Nelson's 1975 album, Skull Session. This is the only piece of incidental music for the show that ever saw Nelson subsequently release (the situation in "Dr. Wells Is Missing" is reversed: Nelson adapted his prior release there). A playful version of this theme is used for the dune buggy ride, while a more reflective version is used while Victoria sets up cameras to catch Steve's bionic feats on film. It is this version which is reused in The Bionic Woman (Part II), when Steve reveals the truth of his accident to his mother.
- Some uncommon effects are used to depict Steve's bionics. Aside from the usual slow-motion for running, a blurring effect is also employed, especially when Steve is being chased by the dune buggy (a similar effect is used briefly in the Bionic Woman episode "Winning Is Everything"). We also get an unusual perspective of Steve in full-speed action when Colby shows Victoria's film and we see Steve launch himself into the air over the fence at the launch site and land, edited to appear as one continuous shot from one vantage point. Steve is also briefly seen running full-speed as he approaches the launch site.
- Austin's statement that it took more than a year for the bionic replacement to be completed causes some timeline issues, as several first season episodes refer to Austin's accident having happened only a year previously, which would mean all of Steve's adventures from the first mission seen in the pilot to not long before this episode, had to have taken place in a very short period of time.
- Although many actors appeared in The Six Million Dollar Man in different roles, when it comes to someone of Farrah Fawcett-Majors' category, it is odd that her resemblance to Kelly Woods goes unnoticed. This is particularly driven home by having the opening of the episode take place during a Saturn V launch, since Farrah's previous episode was also space-related.
- This is one episode where changing moralities in the more than 35 years since broadcast are particularly noticeable. Specifically, Victoria's (non)reaction to Colby's sexual advances, and her willingness to meet two men, at night, in a motorhome, and then agree to travel out of country with them (although Steve does promise separate motor homes).