Salvage 1 was a television series that aired in 1979 on ABC. It starred Andy Griffith as Harry Broderick, the owner of a junkyard who comes up with a plan to build a homemade spacecraft and travel to the moon to salvage Apollo mission equipment. The show also starred Joel Higgins as Skip Carmichael, the pilot of the spacecraft, and Trish Stewart as Melanie Slozar, the love interest of Skip. It ran for 2 seasons/20 episodes (24 were made but 4 episodes never aired).
The premise of the show was that Harry Broderick, a junkyard owner and inventor, learns that NASA left behind valuable equipment on the moon after the Apollo missions. He enlists the help of Skip Carmichael, a former astronaut, to build a spaceship (The Vulture) out of salvaged parts and travel to the moon to retrieve the equipment. With the help of Melanie Slozar, their financial backer, the team faces numerous challenges and setbacks along the way.
Each episode of Salvage 1 featured the team facing a new obstacle on their quest to reach the moon and salvage the equipment. Some of the challenges they faced included funding issues, sabotage from competitors, and technical malfunctions. Despite these setbacks, Harry, Skip, and Melanie persevered and eventually reached the moon.
Once on the moon, the team faced additional challenges as they worked to salvage the equipment and return it to Earth. They also encountered unexpected obstacles, such as a malfunctioning NASA robot that had been left behind on the moon.
Season 2 began with the two-parter “Hard Water” where Harry, Skip, and Melanie learn of a lost Russian space probe that crash-landed in a frozen lake in Canada. The probe was carrying valuable technology that could be worth millions of dollars if salvaged. However, the lake is frozen solid, making it difficult to retrieve the probe. Undeterred, Harry comes up with a plan to use a massive heater to melt the ice and extract the probe. With Melanie’s financial backing, they set out to Canada to begin the salvage operation.
Once on site, the team encounters a local farmer who is unwilling to let them use his property to access the lake. Skip devises a plan to distract the farmer while Harry and Melanie sneak onto the property and begin the salvage operation. As they work to melt the ice and retrieve the probe, the team encounters numerous technical difficulties, including a malfunctioning heater and a damaged salvage vehicle. Additionally, a rival salvage team arrives on the scene, led by a former astronaut who is determined to beat Salvage 1 to the probe.
Despite these setbacks, the team manages to successfully retrieve the probe and return it to their junkyard. However, they soon learn that the probe contains dangerous radiation levels that could make it impossible to sell the salvaged technology. Undeterred, Harry comes up with a new plan to use the radiation to their advantage, creating a device that can sterilize soil and make it suitable for farming. The episode ends with the team successfully demonstrating their new invention to a group of investors, setting the stage for their next adventure.
Overall, Salvage 1 was a unique and entertaining show that combined elements of science fiction, adventure, and comedy. Despite its short run, the show remains a cult favorite among fans of classic television.
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