The Bionic Woman

For the reimagined series that debuted in 2007, see Bionic Woman (2007 TV series).
The Bionic Woman

Opening credits
Created byKenneth Johnson
based upon Cyborg by Martin Caidin
StarringLindsay Wagner
Richard Anderson
Martin E. Brooks
Theme music composerJerry Fielding
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes58
Production
Running time48 mins.
Broadcast
Original channelABC, NBC
Original runJanuary 11, 1976May 13, 1978
External links
IMDb profile
TV.com summary


The Bionic Woman is an American television series which spun off from The Six Million Dollar Man. It starred Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a tennis professional who was nearly killed in a sky diving accident, and was rebuilt by Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) and Dr. Rudy Wells (Martin E. Brooks), who had also rebuilt The Six Million Dollar Man. As the result of her surgical implantation, Jaime Sommers had amplified hearing, a greatly strengthened right arm, and enhanced legs, enabling her to run faster than a speeding car.

The series ran on ABC for 2 seasons, from 1976 to 1977, and then it was picked-up for airing on NBC from 1977 to 1978, for just one season. Its run on ABC was successful with good ratings, coming in as the fifth most-watched show of the year, however it later fell to #14 during its second season, [1] so ABC decided to cancel the show. Competing network NBC revived the show for its third and final season.

Overview

Jaime Sommers first appears in a two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man in 1975 entitled "The Bionic Woman." In this episode, Steve travels to his old hometown of Ojai, California, to visit his mother and step-father and take a vacation from his work. During his visit, he rekindles his old relationship with Jaime Sommers, now one of America's top tennis players. Their relationship progresses rapidly to the point where Steve proposes marriage.

During an outing, Steve and Jaime take part in some skydiving. Jaime's parachute malfunctions and she plummets through a clump of trees and hits the ground, suffering traumatic injuries to her legs, right arm, and head. Steve Austin makes an emotional plea to his boss, Oscar Goldman, even going so far as to commit Jaime to become an operative of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), a branch of the CIA. Goldman agrees to assign Dr. Rudy Wells (played at this point in the series by Alan Oppenheimer) and the bionics team to rebuild her.

Jaime's body is reconstructed with parts similar to Steve's but the actual cost of rebuilding her is not revealed. It is said in dialogue to be less than the $6 million it cost to rebuild Austin because the replacement parts were smaller, however, the German dub of the show contradicts this - the show is called The 7 Million Dollar Woman in that country. Like Steve Austin before her, Jaime is given two bionic legs, capable of propelling her at speeds exceeding 60 mph, and her right arm is replaced by a lifelike prosthetic capable of bending steel or throwing objects great distances. Whereas Austin received a bionic eye, the inner mechanism of Jaime's right ear is replaced by a bionic device that gives her the ability to hear a whisper a mile away. These bionic implants cannot be distinguished from natural body parts, except on occasions where they sustain damage and the mechanisms beneath the skin become exposed.

After Jaime recovers from her operation, Steve tries to break his agreement with Oscar that she will serve as an agent for OSI, but Jaime agrees to go on a mission for Oscar, despite Steve's concerns. During the mission, however, her bionics malfunction, and she experiences severe and crippling headaches.

Dr. Wells determines that Jaime's body is rejecting her bionic implants; a massive cerebral clot is apparently causing her headaches and malfunctions. Soon after, she goes berserk and crashes her way out of the hospital. Steve takes pursuit and eventually catches up with her, where she collapses in his arms. Soon after, Jaime dies on the operating table, her body shutting down. The episode ends with Steve weeping at her memory.

The character was so popular that ABC asked the writers to find a way to bring her back. In the first episode of the next season, it is revealed that Jaime had not died after all, although Steve Austin was not informed of this fact. He discovers it when he is hospitalized at Dr. Wells' bionic clinic after a mission goes bad, and he suffers severe damage to his bionic legs; he sees Jaime as he is being rolled into the operating room for repair, just before slipping into a coma.

As Steve later learns, Wells' assistant, Dr. Michael Marcetti, had urged Rudy (now played by Martin E. Brooks) to try his newly developed cryogenic techniques to keep Jaime in suspended animation until the cerebral clot could be safely removed, after which she was successfully revived.

A side-effect of the procedure causes Jaime to develop amnesia and forget her relationship with Steve; any attempt to make her remember her life with Steve causes her headaches and pain. Steve reluctantly lets her go on to live her own life as an agent for the OSI.

Jaime, now retired as a tennis player, takes a job as a schoolteacher in Ojai. She lives in a converted farmhouse rented from Steve's mother and stepfather, who were aware of her and Steve's bionic nature and their double lives as secret agents. In later episodes, Jaime adopts Maximillion, a German shepherd that had been given a bionic jaw and legs. He was an experiment to see if trained animals could benefit from bionics and was named Maximillion because the cost of his bionics was one million dollars. When he was introduced, he started experiencing symptoms that suggested an age-related variant of bionic rejection and was due to be dissected, but it was discovered the condition was actually psychological owing to resurfaced memories of a traumatic fire that threatened Max in his youth. As such, the dog was allowed to live and become Jaime's companion.

Jaime also worked frequently with Steve Austin on missions, and the two reestablished their friendship, although no romance resulted initially.

The close connection between The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman was highlighted by the fact that Richard Anderson and Martin E. Brooks were credited in the openings of both series; this continued even after The Bionic Woman was cancelled by ABC and was immediately picked up by NBC. It is believed that Anderson and Brooks were the first actors to play the same roles in two concurrent television series airing on two different networks.

The most notable of the frequent crossovers between The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman included a two-part episode in which the two characters squared off against Austin's sometimes-friend/sometimes-enemy Bigfoot, and a three-part story arc entitled "Kill Oscar" that aired the first and third parts as Bionic Woman episodes and the second part as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Enlarge picture
An example of Jaime's most famous enemy, the Fembots.
On her own, Jaime's most noted enemies were the Fembots, a line of powerful androids that she fought twice in the series. Arguably her most vital mission was the thwarting of an insane government scientist's plan to destroy the Earth using a doomsday device. Jaime's mission's frequently involved undercover work in which she takes on a number of roles, such as a nun, a police officer, a college student, an air-steward, a singer, and a professional wrestler. Her tennis background also came into play occasionally, and she was also from time to time seen having adventures with some of her students in Ojai.

As with many spy films at the time, Jaime was frequently kidnapped (more often than not with the use of chloroform or a drugged drink) and placed in dangerous situations from which she would need her bionic abilities to escape. Typically she would be bound or handcuffed to a bomb which she could escape with ease once she woke up. However, on one occasion she was handcuffed to a friend, so she could not use her bionic strength to escape as this would pull off the friend's hand.

Jaime dealt with a number of bizarre cases, such as a villain who operates a hair salon using a "truth serum" shampoo to extract information from OSI agents. In another episode, a convict named Lisa Galloway is given plastic surgery and tries to replace Jaime. In a later episode, Lisa ingests a paste-like substance called Adrenalizine that gives her temporary super-strength, allowing her to fully replace Jaime at OSI while the real Jaime is imprisoned and led to question her own identity. Lisa, however, did not know of Jaime's bionic implants and believed her powers to have come from the Adrenalizine. However after Jaime's eventual escape from prison, Dr. Wells later discovered the Adrenalizine was breaking down and becoming toxic, thus detrimental to Lisa's health. Further complicating the issue was Lisa's increasing belief that she was in fact, the real Jaime. The final episode of the series is acknowledged to have been inspired by The Prisoner; Jaime resigns from the OSI and finds herself being pursued by entities concerned about the secret information she possesses.

Jaime's bionic abilities were depicted as being similar to Steve's. She could run at least 60 mph (having been clocked at more than 62 mph during the episode Doomsday Is Tomorrow), like Steve, and could bend steel bars with her right arm, and could jump to and from great heights with her new legs. But Jaime's and Steve's powers have their limitations. In one episode, Jaime jumps from the window of a particularly tall building while trying to escape the Fembots. Due to the height from which she jumped, her legs malfunctioned upon impact with the ground, knocking her unconscious. Her right ear, however, is extremely sensitive and can detect most sounds regardless of volume or frequency (she is often shown using this ability to break into safes). As it is encased in her body, it is also typically not subject to the negative effects extreme cold has on bionic implants.

In later years, the love between Jaime and Steve rekindled and this was further explored in three made-for-TV reunion movies in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see the article for The Six Million Dollar Man for more information).

In the first reunion, The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin are reunited after nearly ten years of living separate lives. Jaime's memory is fully restored (according to Oscar Goldman, Jaime was in an accident that involved an explosion, and "she remembered everything" after she recovered from her concussion) and she tries to reconcile her feelings for Steve, while at the same time helping train Steve's son Michael in the use of his own recently acquired updated bionics. Jaime challenges Michael to a friendly race, and is outpaced, making the comment she feels like an "obsolete model".

In the final reunion film, Bionic Ever After?, a computer virus corrupts Jaime's bionic systems. Dr. Wells informs Steve that "she may never be bionic again," but Steve's main regard is he wants her alive above all else. She undergoes a major upgrade, which not only increases the power of her bionics but gives her night vision. Finally, after so many years of waiting around, the bionic couple say their I Do's.

DVD releases

Universal Playback has released the first 2 Seasons of The Bionic Woman on DVD in Region 2 for the very first time. A North American DVD release (Region 1) was suggested by Universal Studios press material issued in mid-2004, but as of June 2007 this has yet to occur. The NBC remake of the show may result in renewed interest by Universal Studios in a North American release.

Name Region 1 Region 2
The Complete Season OneTBASeptember 26 2005
The Complete Season TwoTBAOctober 23 2006

Spin-off books

Two novels adapting various episodes were published to coincide with the series: Welcome Home, Jaime and Extracurricular Activities, both by Eileen Lottman. The UK editions of these two books were credited to "Maud Willis" and were retitled Double Identity and A Question of Life, respectively. Although the closing credits of every episode says the series was based upon Martin Caidin's 1972 novel, Cyborg, this only refers to the bionics concept, the characters of Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman, and the occasional appearance by Steve Austin; Jaime Sommers does not appear in any of Caidin's novels.

A short-lived comic book series by Charlton Comics was published in the US in 1976-77. UK comic Look-In ran a colour comic strip between 1976-79, written by Angus P. Allan and drawn by artists including John Bolton and Arthur Ranson. The character was also to have appeared in a 1996 comic miniseries entitled Bionix by Maximum Press. Although the magazine was advertised in comic book trade publications, it was ultimately never published.[2]

Merchandise

Like its parent program The Bionic Woman spawned its own line of toys. Kenner produced an 11-inch doll of the character, with similar features to the Steve Austin version (bionic modules and removable bionic limbs), except instead of a bionic eye the doll's head would click when turned, simulating the sound of Jaime's bionic ear. Accessories for the doll released by Kenner included additional fashions, and a Bionic Beauty Salon playset. A vinyl story record was also produced in addition to children's lunchboxes.

Television remake

In August of 2002 it was announced that the show was to be remade by producers Jennifer and Suzanne Todd ("Team Todd") for the USA Network; media reports suggested that Jennifer Aniston was being considered for the title role. After the initial press release was issued, the show never made it out of pre-production and no other announcements were made as to the show's fate. However, on October 9, 2006, NBC Universal announced that it was bringing the project back, with new producers and a reworking of the concept. The project's one hour pilot was given an official greenlight by NBC on January 3, 2007. On February 13, 2007 it was announced that British actress Michelle Ryan has been cast in the title role for this pilot. Katee Sackhoff will play Sarah Corvus, the bionic woman's nemesis. [1] The series was subsequently picked up by NBC and debuted on Sept. 26, 2007.

Bionicon

In June 2006, the first Bionicon fan convention was held in Tampa, Florida which united fans, actors and film makers from the Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man TV shows along with other science fiction series. Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, and Kenneth Johnson attended.

References in pop culture

  • In the Austin Powers movies fembots appear on several occasion. His wife turned out to be a fembot, and in Austin Powers in Goldmember, a Britney Spears fembot attacks Austin during the opening montage.
  • In the 2005 episode of Duck Dodgers titled The Six Wazillion Dollar Duck, Duck Dodgers is injured and repaired with "cyborganic" parts, an obvious reference to bionics. Dodgers' mentor in the episode, "Steve Boston, the Cyborganic Man" is married to "Jamie Wynters, the Cyborganic Woman", references to Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Jaime Sommers, The Bionic Woman, respectively.
  • In the 8th episode of third season of Veronica Mars titled "Lord of the Pi’s", Veronica Mars and her dad are trying to break into a villa. Veronica is climbing over the wall and when she lands, she makes the famous Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na! sound, as well as imitating the body language of the Bionic Woman.
  • In the third episode of Freaks and Geeks, Bill dresses up as The Bionic Woman for Halloween.
  • The 2001 episode of Futurama entitled Amazon Women in the Mood takes place on a planet run by a "fembot" masquerading as a "femputer."
  • In the song "Butter" on the 1991 album "The Low End Theory," rapper Phife Dawg of hip hop band A Tribe Called Quest quips, "If you were you and just you, talk to you, maybe/ But I can't stand no bionic lady/ Tryin' hard to look fly, but yo, you're lookin' dumber/ If I wanted someone like you, I woulda swung with Jaime Sommers." The salvo highlights Phife's disdain for the use of body-enhancing beauty aids, such as colored contacts and hair extensions.
  • Some of the soundtrack material composed and recorded for the "The Bionic Woman" was re-used in episodes of "The Incredible Hulk".
  • In "Caddy Shack," Chevy Chase's character simulated the "bionic sound" (n-n-n-n-n) several times.

Episodes

References

External links

Bionic Woman is an American science fiction television drama created by David Eick, under NBC Universal Television Group, GEP Productions and David Eick Productions.
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Kenneth Johnson (born 26 October 1942) is an American screenwriter, producer and director best known as the creator of the series V and The Incredible Hulk. His creative efforts are almost entirely concentrated in the area of television science fiction.
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Cyborg

1978 paperback edition
Author Martin Caidin
Country United States
Language English
Series Cyborg a.k.a. The Six Million Dollar Man
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Arbor House
..... Click the link for more information.
Martin Caidin (September 14, 1927–March 24,1997) was an American author and an authority on aeronautics and aviation.

Caidin wrote more than 50 books, including Samurai!, Black Thursday, Zero!, The Ragged, Rugged Warriors,
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For the Playboy Playmate, see Lindsay Wagner (Playmate).
Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is an Emmy Award winning actress.

Early life

Wagner was born in Los Angeles, California.
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''This page refers to the Richard Anderson the actor; for other people with the same name, see Richard Anderson (disambiguation).


Richard Anderson

Anderson as Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man

Born
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Martin E. Brooks

Born 1925
US

Years active 1951 - 1996

Martin E. Brooks (born 1925) is an American character actor best known for playing Dr.
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Jerry Fielding (born June 17, 1922, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - died February 17, 1980, Toronto, Ontario) was an American radio, record, film and television composer, conductor, and musical director. His name at birth was "Joshua Feldman.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

Type Broadcast radio network and
television network
Country United States
Availability   
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National Broadcasting Company

Type Broadcast television network
Country  United States
Availability    United States, also distributed in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean
Founder David Sarnoff
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January 11 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 314 - Pope Miltiades ends his reign as the Pope of Roman Catholicism by dying in power.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1973 1974 1975 - 1976 - 1977 1978 1979

Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI
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May 13 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1940s  1950s  1960s  - 1970s -  1980s  1990s  2000s
1975 1976 1977 - 1978 - 1979 1980 1981

Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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worldwide view.


A television program (US), television programme (UK) or simply television show is a segment of programming in television broadcasting.
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spin-off (or spinoff) is a new organization or entity formed by a split from a larger one, such as a television series based on a pre-existing one, or as a new company formed from a university research group or business incubator.
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The Six Million Dollar Man is an American television series about a cyborg working for the OSI (which was usually said to refer to the Office of Scientific Intelligence, but sometimes was called the Office of Scientific Investigation).
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For the Playboy Playmate, see Lindsay Wagner (Playmate).
Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is an Emmy Award winning actress.

Early life

Wagner was born in Los Angeles, California.
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Jaime Sommers may refer to articles related to two versions of a television character:
  • Jaime Sommers (Bionic Woman), the main character in the 2007 television series Bionic Woman.

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Tennis is a game played between two players (singles) or between two teams of two players (doubles). Players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court.
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Parachuting is an activity involving a preplanned drop from a height using a deployable parachute.

One type of parachuting is skydiving, which is recreational parachuting, also called sport parachuting.

The history of parachuting isn't clear.
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Oscar Goldman is a fictional character created by Martin Caidin and introduced in his 1972 novel Cyborg. In the 1970s, he was portrayed by Richard Anderson in both The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman television series which were based upon
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''This page refers to the Richard Anderson the actor; for other people with the same name, see Richard Anderson (disambiguation).


Richard Anderson

Anderson as Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man

Born
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Martin E. Brooks

Born 1925
US

Years active 1951 - 1996

Martin E. Brooks (born 1925) is an American character actor best known for playing Dr.
..... Click the link for more information.
implant is a medical device made to replace and act as a missing biological structure (as compared with a transplant, which indicates transplanted biomedical tissue). The surface of implants that contact the body might be made of a biomedical material such as titanium, silicone or
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American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

Type Broadcast radio network and
television network
Country United States
Availability   
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-1976- 1977 1978 1979  1980 .  1981 .  1982 .  1983  . 1984  . 1985  . 1986 
In home video: 1973 1974 1975 -1976- 1977 1978 1979     
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-1977- 1978 1979 1980  1981 .  1982 .  1983 .  1984  . 1985  . 1986  . 1987 
In home video: 1974 1975 1976 -1977- 1978 1979 1980     
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