The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 2, Episode 7

The Midas Touch (15 Nov. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 18 users  
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Oscar Goldman has disappeared while inspecting the Bull Frog gold mine near Elk Horn, Nevada by request of his old friend Bert Carrington. Colonel Steve Austin refuses to believe his friend... See full summary »

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Title: The Midas Touch (15 Nov 1974)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Bert Carrington
Noam Pitlik ...
MacGregor
...
Connors (as Richard D. Hurst)
Kate McKeown ...
Julie Farrell
Marcus Smith ...
Sentry
Woody Chambliss ...
Pop (as Woodrow Chambliss)
Dave Morick ...
Major Conlan
Gary Cashdollar ...
Lt. Evers
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Storyline

Oscar Goldman has disappeared while inspecting the Bull Frog gold mine near Elk Horn, Nevada by request of his old friend Bert Carrington. Colonel Steve Austin refuses to believe his friend and superior is involved in a gold-raid and decides to do some investigating. Written by The TV Archaeologist

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15 November 1974 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The runaway mine cars are travelling quite rapidly as they pass the miners, yet when Steve first grabs the end one, they are rolling very slowly; then when he starts jamming his feet into the track-ballast to stop the cars, they are going fast again. See more »

Quotes

Oscar Goldman: You could have made this look a little more like a legitimate government project.
MacGregor: We brought this bunch of hoodlum deadbeats here to get gold out of this mountain quickly and quietly period. We're not paying them to try to look legitimate.
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User Reviews

 
"Keep On Truckin'"
22 April 2008 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Muddled but interesting 2nd season "Six Million Dollar Man" episode has the recurring theme of Oscar in Danger as his old college drinking buddy -- played by soap opera star & Giallo thriller favorite Farley Granger -- setting up OSI chief Oscar Goldman as the fall guy (ahem) for a uranium enrichment project at an abandoned mine that's actually the front for an illegal gold smelting operation. After Oscar gets nosy into what really might be happening at the mine he finds himself kidnapped, drugged, and with only Colonel Steve Austin and his tinted 1970s sunglasses to save him from being disgraced while Granger makes off with the loot.

This has to be the record for number of writers contributing to an SMDM episode: I count at least four, maybe as many as six names credited. And indeed the episode has more in common with another hit of the day, "The Rockford Files", than it does with astronauts on secret government assignments. To back up my charge look at how many subtle Gratuitous Bionic Display moments are worked into the script, where Steve isn't so much using his powers to advance the plot as he is doing more mundane activities like opening locked doors (combined with the classic "I'll Pay For The Damage" line), busting into safes and, most amusingly, fixing up a dune buggy when the episode first meets up with him.

Most of these Gratuitous Bionic Displays do get worked into the storyline, however, unlike later seasons where he random moments would be contrived to show off his bionics while not really doing anything. What's interesting to me, however, is that aside from some minor jumping tall buildings and snapping a pair of leg irons, there isn't really anything that happens in this episode that necessarily requires a bionic man as a hero: This could be an episode of "Mannix" or "McCloud" or even "Rockford" for that matter. In any event no matter how many writers it took to pull this one off it's one of the more well-rounded efforts, continuing a trend started with the 1st season's "The Coward" in telling some of the back story of our weekly heroes. Most people may not think of Oscar as a heroic type but he was there every week with his telephone in that briefcase, ready to call General Wiley to call in some air force jets & save the day.

It's fun seeing Richard Anderson's Oscar and the scurrilous Granger playing mental tennis while re-hashing the good old days. And there's a great scene where Steve earns the reluctant allegiance of the mine's chief thug (future "Dukes of Hazzard" regular Richard "Rick" Hurst, trying out his best hillbilly voice) by saving his bacon down in the mineshaft ... along with some eyebrow raising lines about "pretty boys doing hard labor that might get their nice lookin' suits all dusty & dirty down there in the ole' mineshaft, boy", which sounds like it was inspired by DELIVERANCE. What a show!

The gem moment though is when Steve tries to sneak aboard Granger's escape plane at the end by hiding on the floor of a truck and instructing the driver to "Keep On Truckin'", a phrase I myself have not heard someone speak since maybe 1979. So here's a great example of the series that's a bit more low key than the usual standout episodes, with maybe a bit more emphasis on heist story intrigues & genuine acting talent than bionic stunts. The change of pace is quite refreshing (especially after the histrionics of "The Seven Million Dollar Man" and D.C. Fontanta's misplaced "Star Trek" episode "Straight On 'Till Morning") and tells us something about Oscar. Heh, he used to go out and get hammered like the rest of us -- imagine that??

8/10


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