The late 70s and early 80s were popular times for superhero TV shows. We had it all; Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, a live action Spider-Man – and of course The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
The Six Million Dollar Man (SMDM from now on) started off as a TV movie loosely based on the Martin Caiden novel Cyborg – about Steve Austin, a near-dead astronaut crash victim given superhuman bio-mechanical limbs. With his special new abilities, Austin is conscripted into a government organization known as the OSI (Office for Scientific Intelligence – ran by Oscar Goldman) where be acts as an agent for difficult and often secret missions.
The movie was so successful that they made two more movies and eventually parried the movies into a full-time series that subsequently ran five seasons. The show spawned The Bionic Woman spinoff featuring parachute accident victim (and Austin’s high school sweetheart) Jamie Sommers (Lindsay Wagner). Both characters visited the other’s TV series in what is known as a “cross over” episode. Often a two-part episode would start on one series, then finish on the other show.
Bionics quickly became a household phrase and the SMDM (and to a lesser extent, the Bionic Woman) became firmly planted into pop culture. Toys, lunch boxes, action figures – you name it – you could get it branded with a bionic superhero. Read more
Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+