episode #93 & #94 - Return of DeathProbe

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episode #93 & #94 - Return of DeathProbe

Post  BoG on Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:39 am

episodes #14,15 of 5th season / Air Dates: 01/22/78, 01/29/78  Arrow  written by Howard Dimsdale Arrow directed by Tom Connors III

This is the return of the infamous Venus Space Probe (from the 4th season, also a 2-parter), only it's not really - not the same probe. Austin and Goldman assume at first that it's another one - another mishap from the Russians, as unlikely at that is - but it's actually a new machine manufactured with the same materials and using stolen plans.  The culprit turns out to be one of those small fictional countries in the Middle East, which wants to become a legitimate global player, so its representative 'asks' for 2 nuclear missiles from the U.S.; otherwise, the probe will continue on its path until it reaches a town. As before, this is the one time that Austin is physically outmatched - he tries various tricks, like turning the machine over with a pole and then he and Goldman set a literal trap for it, but to no avail. In the end, they have to resort to the tried-and-true helicopter gambit... and a lethal bath.
Much of this 2-parter has a 'been there-done that' quality to it. It appears as if it was mostly filmed in the exact same locations (and maybe there's even stock footage from the previous 2-parter, though the machine here looks newer), so much of the episodes feature the same kind of footage of the marauding machine humming its way over the desolate countryside. That's the limitations of such TV fare - it would have been more impressive to see the machine causing havoc in a populated area, but that would have cost a lot more. This does have some interesting anomalies: Goldman is in the thick of the action for some of this; the middle-eastern rep is not painted as a villain, just as someone looking out for his nation; the real villains are the ones operating the machine by remote control, including a corrupt plant manager (Ken Swofford, who played a villain in a previous season). The whole thing started in unexpected fashion, in a steel mill, where strange doings made the creation of the new machine possible.  BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
Bionic Trivia:
the_six_million_dollar_man___5x14___return_of... by sij137200

the_six_million_dollar_man___5x15___return_of... by sij137200
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