The Greatest American Hero (1982) – Plague and Train of Thought


Bill (Robert Culp) and Ralph (William Katt) are exposed to danger this week in the episode Plague, which aired 6 January, 1982, and was penned by Rudolph Borchert. Picking up an assignment from Carlisle (William Bogert) that none of his fellow agents want, Bill gets a number of inoculations before going into the field to hunt down a right-wing military group led by a man named Crocker (Jeff Cooper) who is planning on releasing a plague virus in the Middle East to wipe them all out and preserve America’s way of life.

He picks up Ralph, who is playing a game of basketball with the boys, and ropes him into helping out, as per usual, and learning what the case involves, Ralph starts to panic about getting infected, though Bill argues that the little green guys who created the jammies must have planned for such a thing and that he’ll be fine. Ralph is not so sure.

When Pam (Connie Sellecca) shows up, they both try to warn her off to keep her safe, but Bill is grabbed by the extremists before either one can send her home. Ralph has to rescue his friend, and both of them learn the full extent of the plan, and believe that they have both been infected by the small pox Crocker is getting ready to release.

There’s a nice sequence when Bill is dropped from a chopper and Ralph rescues him, unfortunately you can tell that both the stuntmen are kitted out with very prominent parachutes…

The series is getting a little goofier and simpler, falling into a routine, and even has Ralph breaking the fourth wall a couple of times.


Train of Thought is up next, written by Frank Lupo and having an original air date of 13 January, 1982.

After rescuing Bill (again) from a bunch of terrorists who have seized a train full of toxic waste, Ralph sets off in pursuit of the locomotive, unfortunately, as he saves one train, he slams into another, injuring himself despite the suit’s protection. When Bill and Pam converge on the hospital to check on the teacher-turned-superhero they find he’s suffering from amnesia, and doesn’t remember anything from the past 8 months, since he got the suit…

As the terrorists get their toxic waste closer to its destination (they plan on releasing it in a small town turning it into a radioactive nightmare), Ralph and Bill need to work together, but the teacher refuses, going so far as to throw out the jammies with the trash! He refuses to believe Bill, and in fact doesn’t like the man at all, as all he recalls of the FBI agent was their first meeting at the roadside diner in the first episode.

When Pam tells him that everything Bill is talking about is true, they have to track down the suit (the garbage has been picked up already) and get a crash course in using it again, hopefully in time to stop the terrorists!!


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