Bionic reunions on DVD

Thursday, 19 August 2010 13:48

Earlier this year, Cineology was delighted to see “The Return of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman” come to DVD.  This was the first of a trio of ‘Bionic Reunions’ of the original series cast members that had been produced over the years.  It is no surprise, therefore, that this threesome of TV movies can now be completed on collector shelves with the release of “Bionic Showdown” and “Bionic Ever After”, available from Mediumrare on 27 September 2010.

In the first movie, made in 1987, we find that our hero Steve Austin (Lee Majors) is now a disenchanted loner, who is persuaded out of his seclusion by his old friends at the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) to help them defeat Fortress, a group of international terrorists. His former heart-throb, Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner) is also co-opted to join in the operation.

Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman DVDSteve and Jaime not only find they are a little rusty, but also discover they must overcome personal suspicions about each other in order to work together, especially when Michael, Austin’s son (Tom Schanley – Josh Harris in Dynasty) is badly injured and then kidnapped by Fortress. On hand as Government agent Jim Castillian is Lee’s own son, Lee Majors II – who would play this role throughout the trilogy.

Also called back into service for the three movies are Richard Anderson as head honcho Oscar Goldman, and Martin E Brooks as the doctor who made all-things-bionic happen, Dr Rudy Wells. Guest stars to look out for in the initial film include Martin Landau, Gary Lockwood and William Campbell.

In “Bionic Showdown” from 1989, Jeff Yagher (Kyle Bates in the original ‘V’ series) appears as Goldman's nephew Jim, while Sandra Bullock makes her breakthrough TV appearance as the first new Bionic Woman, Kate Mason (long, long before Michelle Ryan got the chance to ‘re-imagine’ Jaime). The plot concerns a villainous cyborg, determined to destroy the chances of a negotiated World Peace. Guest stars of note in this segment include Geraint Wyn Davies (Forever Knight, ReGenesis) and the iconic Robert Lansing (Automan, The Equalizer, Gary Seven in the original Star Trek).

Finally, in “Bionic Ever After” from 1994, Steve and Jaime are finally getting married, but not before something tragic begins happening to Jaime. It seems that her bionic surgery is failing and no one knows quite why. Meanwhile, an old friend of Steve's is being held prisoner by terrorists. In order to take his mind off Jaime’s circumstances, Steve decides to offer his help. Guest stars in this segment include Anne Lockhart (Sheba in the original Battlestar Galactica), Farrah Forke (Alex Lambert in Wings) and Ivan Sergei (Henry Mitchell in Charmed).

Hollywood small screen legend Michael Sloan was the writer on all three of these television movies, and went on to be the mastermind behind the Edward Woodward starring vehicle The Equalizer.  Directors of the trilogy were Ray Austin (Space: 1999, The New Avengers, Magnum PI, Highlander, JAG, and also “The Return of the Man from UNCLE”), Alan J Levi (who directed 13 of the original The Bionic Woman, as well as episodes of Airwolf, Quantum Leap and NCIS), and Steve Stafford (One West Waikiki, Nowhere Man, The Cape – who apart from this has made his name as an aerial stunt director, co-ordinator and pilot).

Like most reunion movies of this type, the nostalgia positively seeps through the stories. The original regulars are well aware that time has passed, but Steve and Jaime can still slug it out admirably with the latest generation of bad guys. You can tell that Michael Sloan has a huge affection for these characters, something that was also evident when he helmed the reunion movie “The Return of the Man from UNCLE” which brought Messrs Solo and Kuryakin back to our screens.

“Return Of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman” has a ‘PG’ Certificate, a run time of 94 minutes approx, and is out now a RRP of £12.99. Coming on 27 September 2010 are “Bionic Showdown” and “Bionic Ever After”, both with a RRP of £12.99, although certifications, run-times and extras have yet to be confirmed.  You can get all of these titles for less at www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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