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"Little Orphan Airplane"

Writer: Elroy Schwartz

Director: Reza Badiyi

Guests: Scoey Mitchill (Major Chooka), Marge Redmond (Sister Anneti), Lincoln Kilpatrick (Captain Braco), Greg Morris (Josh Perkins)

Plot:  Steve travels to an African country to retrieve the film taken by a spy shot down over enemy lines.

First Aired: 2/22/74

How'd You Do That:  Steve starts the engine of an old airplane by tugging at the propeller.  He explains that he has a way of sweet talking machines.  Later, he shrugs off Perkins' questions by stating that Perkins needs a security level six (Perkins is a five.)  Eventually, Steve explain that it's because of an accident he had where they gave him certain improvements.  Later, as he lifts an engine block from a truck in front of the nuns, Perkins cracks, "It's because of his improvements."  Finally, Steve beats the nuns, carrying Perkins in a wagon, to the site of the airplane.  "I took a shortcut."

Beige Factor:  Steve is wearing beige pants and a jacket on the mission.  He also has a beige jacket at the beginning of the episode.

Belt Buckle: Steve wears the belt buckle at the beginning of the episode in Oscar's office.

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

Aren't You The Colonel Austin:  (A new segment where we look at people who recognize him and others who don't.  I will go back and correct the old episodes.)  Sister Anneti knows of Steve's walk on the moon and Dale Robertson mentions it at the end of the episode.

Thoughts:  After a really bad episode, we bounce back with one of the best of the season.  The nuns provide just the right amount of comic relief while it's great seeing Greg Morris in a new role besides Mission: Impossible.  Elroy Schwartz was one of the best writers of the early episodes.  In fact, he was one of the best series writers overall.

Trivia:  This is the first mention of the security level clearance.  One needs a six or better to know about bionics.  Perkins only has a five.  We do learn later in the series that there is a security level seven.  This was also the first off screen appearance of "Mister Secretary", presumably the Secretary of State.

Overall Rating:  10 out of 10.
Tags: smdm
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