With this episode, it's easy to see why people who watched this show during its one and only U.S. broadcast season are devoted fans. Creator/producer/writer Leslie Stevens had an excellent concept here. The Probe division was unlike any other cloak & dagger operation seen on TV before it. Probe really was a team effort, even more than its predecessor (and probably partly inspiration), the Impossible Missions Force. Virtually every scene ping-ponged between Lockwood and the techies at Probe Control. Here at last were agents who weren't ultracompetent lone wolves from the mold of James Bond. Sure, they were intelligent and resourceful, but they needed lots of support.
This first Probe Control was amazing. It looked big, like the Project Tick-Tock control room in "The Time Tunnel." Rows of consoles with their operators constantly providing Lockwood with all the information he needed, unlike so many other shows where control room personnel were essentially human props that wouldn't have been missed if they were removed from the scene. All in all, one of those rare pilots which was as good as -- if not better than -- the episodes that followed. It's just a shame that the network decided to retool the series mid-season, turning it into more of a traditional "one man against the villains" show. Even more of a shame that Warner Brothers made the inexplicable decision to keep the show out of the U.S. market in the decades since. While the technology is dated, this show dearly deserves to be released on DVD. But the show has seen part of its concept experience enormous success in recent years, an unintentional legacy of sorts. Where would Jack Bauer be today without CTU feeding all sorts of data and satellite imagery to him non-stop? So it appears Probe/Search was merely 30 years ahead of its time.
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