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Friday, 22 February 2008 08:05

Six Million Dollar Man

Greater than the sum of his (bionic) parts ...


USA - 1973-78 - 103 episodes (60 mins) - colour

Developed for television by Harve Bennett, from the novel "Cyborg", six million Dollars was the sum total spent rebuilding NASA test pilot Steve Austin after he was recovered from a near fatal test-flight crash. Equipped with two bionic legs that would allow him to run at a top speed of 60 mph, a bionic arm and a left eye that allowed him to see over huge distances, all courtesy of cybernetics scientist Dr Rudy Wells, the enhanced Rogers was put to work for OSI, the Office of Strategic Investigations, under the command of Oscar Goldman to fight enemies, both foreign and domestic.

While the weekly threats facing The Six Million Dollar Man were usually routine, the bionic enhancements were easily the strength of the show, and storylines were written around Austin using them on a regular basis. With the special effects limited in their application, slow-motion was cleverly employed to illustrate everything from Austin tearing through metal with his bare hands and roughing up the bad guys to running at high speed. Coupled with familiar sound effects used when the bionics were put to work, the series became a runaway success.

Two years into production Jaime Sommers, played by Lindsay Wagner, was introduced as a love interest for Steve Austin. Although initially killed off, when she proved to be popular with audiences the character was resurrected so that a similar accident could befall her and Jamie Sommers was rebuilt around her own spin-off series The Bionic Woman.

Lee Majors as Colonel Steve Austin
Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman
Alan Oppenheimer/Martin E Brooks as Dr Rudy Wells




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