Season 1 Episode 1

Probe (aka Computer Logic)

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 07, 1988 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Probe (aka Computer Logic)

New secretary Mickey Castle is assigned to work for company owner Austin James, an eccentric scientist and investigator. The two soon become enmeshed in two mysteries: a woman who died of exposure but her body is colder then the surrounding air, and an error in Austin's water bill that leads to murders by strange mechanical and electrical malfunctions.


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Jon Cypher

Jon Cypher

Howard Millhouse

Guest Star

William Phipps

William Phipps

Miles Smanovitch

Guest Star

Andy Wood

Andy Wood

John Blaine

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Michelle: You're not on drugs or anything, are you?
      Austin: I have fragmented REM cycles. I'm slightly schizophrenic.
      Michelle: Is that why you sleep in a tool cabinet?
      Austin: Sensory deprivation tank. Helps me dream.

    • Austin: Look at this. It can climb up your arm and whistle the "Anvil Chorus" out of its chest. I could have invented it.

    • Austin: I mutated Steve's great grandmother with gamma radiation and let her loose in the basement. This species exists in only one place on Earth: this building.
      Michelle: What the hell kind of place is this?

    • (in his workshop/laboratory)
      Austin: Why do men blink three times every ten seconds, and women only twice? What part of the brain is the soul located? What was the blood-clotting mechanism of a tyrannosaurus? Nobody knows. But the answers are here. And I'm going to find them. That's what kind of place this is. It's the universe! It's everything!

    • Austin: I'm about to take you on the greatest adventure of your life. You probably'll never even thank me for it. Let's go.

    • Austin: So the perfect candidate for freezing to death freezes to death on the perfect night for it? What's the mystery?

    • Michelle: Have you considered the building might be possessed?
      Austin: By a malevolent life form not of this world? No.

    • (answering her boss' phone)
      Michelle: Austin James, master of space and time.

    • (after her boss has another hyperactive burst of activity)
      Michelle: I get it now. You can't help yourself. This goes on all the time, doesn't it? You don't ever stop.

    • Michelle: You don't believe in other realities, do you?
      Austin: Nope. Only those that are self-induced.

    • Michelle: Admit it. There could be things out there completely beyond anyone'e understanding.
      Austin: I can name you one. Murder. I've never understood it for a second.

    • Michelle: What the hell kind of human being are you?
      Austin: When I was eight years old, I took off all my clothes and painted myself blue. Then I climbed up on the roof of a house, I placed both thumbs on the base of a lightning rod, and faced the electromagnetic north pole. Why? Why did I do it?
      Michelle: How should I know?
      Austin: Well, when you figure it out, then you'll know what kind of human being I am.

    • Michelle: Why do you enjoy tormenting people so much?
      Austin: Because when I torment them, I get what I need. Answers. It's nothing personal.

    • Austin: You want to find out something about somebody, look in their dirt.

    • Michelle: I thought you never lied.
      Austin: I don't. It's just that sometimes I withhold the qualifiers.
      Michelle: For somebody who says facts are all that count in this world, Mr. Jimmy Austin, you're the most deceitful person I know.
      Austin: I once determined there are forty-nine different ways for human beings to misrepresent the truth. I only use six: that's way below the national average of thirty-two.
      Michelle: There you go, reducing everything to numbers again. I suppose when you see a beautiful sunset or fall in love, you can't wait to write it down in an equation. I take that back. I'm sure falling in love is not on your list of scientific priorities.
      Austin: I spent ten years designing a prosthetic device so that people without legs could walk. Maybe you and I just don't have the same definition of "love".

    • Austin: (to a computer AI) You want to see the face of death? Look at mine.

    • Michelle: You've taken a ten-second video and some rose petals, and concocted the most outrageous fairy tale since Mother Goose! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't walk out of here laughing.
      Austin: Because... I'm right.

    • John Blaine: You don't care about people, Austin. You don't see the suffering, the injustices. You sit in that warehouse, brooding like a spoiled god, while the world hurts.

    • Michelle: If you're so smart, how come you let a computer program chase you into a  laundromat?

    • Austin: (to Mickey) You gave me the key to what killed Judith Stevens when you said the flower looked like broken glass. You got me started on the accounting scam with the water bill. You gave me the answer for what happened to David Hofstetter when you told me to call Crossover. And you answered the door limerick. In less than one day, you've managed to affect my method of operation more completely than any other person in the course of my life. I wasn't going to let you quit because I had to know what you were going to say next. You're absolutely phenomenal, and I'm still trying to figure you out.

    • Michelle: Can you make a dead person talk?
      Austin: In this day and age, only the flesh perishes.

    • (referring to a computer)
      Michelle: But I don't know what to say.
      Austin: Insult it, threaten it. Pretend you're talking to me.

    • Michelle: Be careful.
      Austin: What?
      Michelle: I just want you to know that... for somebody who's only slightly schizophrenic, you're terrific.

    • (sledge-hammering a computer)
      Austin: Okay, pinhead, sing "Daisy."

    • Michelle: I just figured it out. Not that! Why you painted yourself blue and hung from the rafters. You did it because you wanted people to wonder why you did it. Because you wanted to be a mystery, even to yourself. Austin Powers, cosmic enigma. The greatest riddle of all. I'm sorry, Mr. James, but you're weird.
      Austin: Don't say weird. Say maladjusted.
      Michelle: Why?
      Austin: I prefer it.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Howard: The Batcave.
      Referencing the secret headquarters of DC Comics' superhero, the Batman. It was first mentioned in Batman #12 (1942), but first seen in the 1943 Batman serial. Batman's creators, inspired by the movie, introduced the Batcave in Detective Comics #83 (1944). The Batcave is beneath Wayne Manor and traditionally holds all of Batman's computers, vehicles, and trophies, as well as whatever other equipment and workshops that he needs.

    • Austin: Did Barbara Stanwyck make you cry in Stella Dallas?
      Referencing the 1937 movie based on the novel of the same name by Olive Higgins. Barbara Stanwyck plays the daughter of a mill worker, Stella, who tries to marry a mill executive, Stephen Dallas.

    • Austin: Okay, pinhead, sing Daisy for me.
      Said as Austin takes an axe to the AI's main console. Echoes the use of the song Daisy as David Bowman dismantles HAL in the movie 2001.

    • Austin: You sound like Wendy in Peter Pan.
      Referencing the characters that first appeared in author J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy (1911), and subsequently rose to prominence in the 1953 animated Disney film. Peter comes from Neverland to bring Wendy Darling into his world, where she has a number of adventures.