It’s been a while since I last chatted about various things bionic with John S. Drew, but hey! The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman never seem to be far from either of our thoughts, and John had been talking about corralling me for an episode of his bionic-themed podcast The OSI Files for a while, now. At long last, he makes good on his threat, and has me sit down for a chat with him about The Six Million Dollar Man‘s first season finale, “Run, Steve, Run.”
This episode is the midpoint of a loose trilogy of episodes that begins with “Day of the Robot,” the first season’s fourth episode, and ends with the second season’s “Return of the Robot Maker.” I call it “loose” because the only robots we see in this episode appear in flashback sequences from “Day of the Robot.” However, the robot’s creator, Dr. Jeffrey Dolenz (later changed to “Chester Dolenz”) is on hand, with the story focusing on his obsession with learning the secret of how Steve Austin was able to defeat his robot in the first episode (hint: Steve’s bionic). Once Dolenz realizes what makes Steve tick, he’s like a kid in a candy store….or maybe a Radio Shack, as he contemplates the possibilities of exploiting Steve’s bionics to improve the army of robots he wants to build.
While the other episodes–admittedly dated and even ridiculous by modern TV standards–retain huge nostalgic appeal for me as favorites from my childhood, I’m less enamored with this installment. Part of that is that I always thought the Dolenz character was criminally underserved, in all of these stories. Unlike other bad guys who decide they need to teach Oscar Goldman and the OSI a lesson for overlooking their genius when it comes to tech goodness like robots, Dolenz never really gets a chance to shine with this role. That’s a shame, as veteran character actor Henry Jones creates in Dolenz one of those “recurring nemesis” characters like Star Trek‘s Harry Mudd you want to see every so often.
That said, “Run, Steve, Run” is certainly not the series’ worst offering, and full credit to John for helping me soften my stance, as I went into this chat with this episode most definitely not on my “ones I’ll watch on a rainy day” list.
Check out the conversation, which is followed by an interview with “Run, Steve, Run” guest star Melissa Greene, here:
Many thanks to John, with whom I always enjoy talking all things bionic, for having me on. We’ve already discussed possibilities for follow-up chats, so who knows?