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"Day of the Robot"

Teleplay: Del Reisman    Story: Harold Livingston

Director: Leslie H. Martinson

Guest:
John Saxon (Fred Sloan/Robot), Henry Jones (Chester Dolenz), Lloyd Bochner (Gavern Wilson)

Plot:  Steve plays bodyguard to his friend, the developer of a new guidance system.  The problem is Steve thinks his friend may be bionic.  He's not; he's simply been replaced by a robot that is out to steal the system.

First Aired: 2/8/74

How'd You Do That:  Steve beats Fred in three straight sets of tennis, something he's never done before.  He cheated, of course, using his bionic eye to follow the ball more accurately.  When Fred confronts him on his winning streak Steve responds, "I've learned to keep my eye on the ball."

Beige Factor:  Steve is wearing beige pants and a jacket when he travels with Fred.  Fred also wears a beige jacket.

Belt Buckle: Steve is not wearing it this episode.

W.T. Zacha:  He was not in this episode.

Thoughts:  It's very sad that an episode that boasts such behind the camera luminaries as Martinson and Livingston and such actors as Bochner and Saxon could be so horrendous.  The pacing is incredibly slow and the robot is just not that threatening.  The Fembots are much scarier.  I also couldn't help but find it weird that there was a homosexual vibe throughout the story.  Not that there's anything wrong with it, but Steve's not gay and if he was gay then for God's sake kiss the man and let's get it over with.  Maybe this was their way of trying to bring out Majors' softer side, but it just came out as, well, gay.

Not only was the robot not very scary, but Dolenz was a buffoon.  The threat was never really there.

Some interesting trivia is when Steve asks Oscar if he's the only bionic man.  Oscar is quiet a moment and says, "The simple answer, no."  Now, we know Barney Miller (Hiller) will be showing up next season, but Oscar wasn't technically lying.  Barney was no longer powered up at this stage of the game.  And I don't know if Steve would have been worried about a bionic dog.

The first, and if I'm not mistaken, only clunker of the season.

Overall Rating:  2 out of 10.
Tags: smdm
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