Steve and his old friend and colleague Major Fred Sloane are tasked with the delivery of an activation device to a top-secret weapons test, something that cannot be allowed to fall into enemy hands. But plans are already afoot to steal the activator, plans that involve replacing Sloane with a robot duplicate so perfect that even Austin can’t tell it from the real thing. But when the robot Sloane demonstrates strength equal to Steve’s bionic limbs, it’s clear that this isn’t the real Sloane – and that, for once, Steve will be fighting an adversary with the same powers that he has.
Cast: Lee Majors (Steve Austin), Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman), Martin E. Brooks (Dr. Rudy Wells), John Saxon (Fred Sloane), Henry Jones (Dr. Dolenz), Lloyd Bochner (Wilson), Charles W. Bateman (Master Sgt. Parnell), Noah Keen (General Tanhill), Robert Rothwell (Al), Martin Speer (Neil), Buster jones (Captain), Michael Alaimo (Bread Truck Driver)
Notes: Ironically, this episode marks the debut of the “bionic sound” that would come to be heard frequently in later seasons of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman…but it isn’t used for Steve Austin here, but rather for the robot Sloane clone. Writer Del Reisman was the showrunner of The Lieutenant, the first television series created by a young Gene Roddenberry (later of Star Trek fame), while Harold Livingston later locked horns with Roddenberry many times over the screenplay of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Livingston also wrote numerous episodes of the 1977 series Future Cop – somewhere between robo-Sloane, Future Cop, and V’Ger, his work history is jam-packed with robots. Dr. Dolenz resurfaces to cause more trouble for Steve and the OSI in the first season’s finale.
LogBook entry by Earl Green