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Subj: The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 1 (1974)
Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 at 05:34:09 pm EDT (Viewed 105 times)
I previously reviewed the three pilot TV movies for The Six Million Dollar Man and thought I would move on to the first season. I'm not sure if I will make it through all the seasons but I do want to get the point where Bigfoot shows up and the Bionic Woman is introduced.
This season is somewhat short for the era, only 13 episodes. It's a bit slow. Steve Austin works for Oscar Goldman at a government agency called the OSI (Office for Scientific Intelligence). Oscar mostly sends Steve on assignments to foreign countries to retrieve people or files that would be hard for anyone else to get.
It does strike me as interesting that Steve only has one bionic arm, so his super feats of strength are always limited to just his right arm. In fights he favors it and has to always make sure not to get hit on the left arm which they can't just rebuild after the assignment. Steve gets broken and has to go in for repairs quite a bit, and I wonder if he really starts to feel inhuman. He doesn't say much about that. Maybe it's just Lee Majors in the role, but his face has almost zero expression whether he's happy, sad or determined.
His other big power is running fast, about 60 mph. Unfortunately the way they choose to show this is by slowing down the film so he runs incredibly slowly. Now if you had all the other actors basically frozen still and we were following Steve in "bullet time" or something it might work, but the illusion doesn't really play for me because they never show his speed in comparison to anything else.
I noted the "bionic sound effect" I associate with this show is not used for Steve Austin, at least not at first. In fact it first shows up about 4 episodes in when Steve confronts an android played by John Saxon, and the android uses that sound effect when he moves. Later in the season, episode 11 or 12, Steve throws a punch or something and the bring the effect back for him. I guess it became his.
The android episode was pretty fun. It's an odd mix of technology; on one hand, the bad guys come up with an android so realistic it looks exactly like a real person. In fact it's a copy of Steve's old friend and he can't tell the difference. But every time Steve asks him a question, I guess it goes through a microphone back to the bad guys' base wirelessly where it's run through an old reel-to-reel tape based computer, where it comes up with the appropriate response and beams it back to the robot.
The creator of that robot turns up in the final episode trying to figure out Steve's bionics so he can make his own bionic soldiers. So there's a little ongoing continuity.
I really liked an episode where Steve is sent behind enemy lines to rescue a downed pilot and decides to rebuild the wrecked plane. Steve's a pretty resourceful guy.
Another memorable episode has Steve mounting a rescue mission in space to save a shuttle that malfunctioned, commanded by his real-life future wife Farrah Fawcett.
And of course an episode with William Shatner as a fellow astronaut whose brain gets supercharged after encountering radiation on a spacewalk. Back on Earth, Shatner starts talking to dolphins and unlocking the secrets of the universe. People say he's cheesy but I think the Shat can deliver.
Overall I like it but I would like it to shift into a higher gear.
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