Bionic Review: Six Million Dollar Man Season 1 – Part 2
Sorry for the delay, but here are the second batch of Season 1 episode reviews for The Six Million Dollar Man. I’ll be grouping episodes in batches of four or so. Sort of similar to how they’d be done on the DVDs, but season 1 is a little different because the three pilot movies were in there as well mucking up my numbered groupings. There are only five episodes left in this season, so, after this I think I’ll just finish out the season in Part III and do five episodes instead of four.
Regardless, here are the next four episodes of Season 1 from The Six Million Dollar Man.
Episode 5 – Little Orphan Airplane
Special guests: Scoey Mitchell (Barefoot in the Park), Marge Redmond (The Flying Nun), Lincoln Kilpatrick (Soylent Green), Dale Robertson (Tales of Wells Fargo)
Synopsis: A spy plane crashes in Africa with secret microfilm on board. Steve is sent to retrieve the film and save the pilot.
Bionics: Steve uses his bionic night vision and it is presented in the way it would be done for the rest of the series with the electronic beeping and square overlay. We also get the missile sounds when Steve throws stuff. This would be used throughout the series.
Notes: The accents for the African soldiers are literally all over the place. Some are unidentifiable, some are thick. Major Chooka has an AMERICAN accent. Plus he dresses like James Brown with a decorative cane and jacket draped over his shoulders. The accents will be an ongoing thing throughout the series run. See next episode. When Steve is airlifted into Africa he lands with no gear, just his bionics and khaki pantsuit. Again, Steve reveals his supposed “top secret” bionics to the spy plane pilot making Steve the least “top secret” project ever. This episode is the first time that Steve Austin has not killed or caused someone to be killed.
Review: This isn’t a bad episode. The pilot played by Scoey Mitchell is entertaining. He actually asks Steve if his bionics come in black. That’s funny. I like that they used an African war lord as the villain, but they made him a little ridiculous. This is a fun and entertaining episode that I enjoyed.
Toy Alert: In one scene Steve lifts an engine block with his bionic arm. Presumably this is why one version of the Kenner action figure was packaged with an engine block accessory (see above).
Episode 6 – Doomsday and Counting
Special guests: Gary Collins (Miss America Pageant, Iron Horse, Wackiest Ship in the Army), Jane Merrow (Lion in Winter)
Synopsis: Colonel Zhukov (Collins) visits America to request a partnership in a space program with his Soviet Union. An earthquake at a secret Russian spacecraft installation initiates a self destruct sequence that threatens to destroy the entire island including Zhukov’s fiance. Steve travels to the island with Zhukov to save Zhukov’s fiance and the other trapped scientists.
Bionics: Steve blocks a falling steel girder with his bionic arm to save he and Zhukov. Steve uses a Geiger counter built into his arm to detect the trigger device for a nuclear bomb. Steve rips the electrical wires from the self destruct bomb and absorbs all the electrical current into his system to shut down the computer.
Notes: Again, accents are non-existent. Russian characters speak perfect non-accented English amongst themselves. There is A LOT of running through corridors in this episode. A LOT. Russian bases are 90% hallways, apparently. Oscar, for some reason, shows up on the island just as it’s about to explode in a pimping hat and awesome fur collar jacket. Zhukov surprisingly dies amidst a cacophony of terrible red laser effects. Looked more like the climax of a Journey concert. Steve continues to sodomize the phrase “top secret” by telling Zhukov about his bionics. Still no classic bionic sound.
Review: Not a bad episode to watch. Entertaining, despite all the running through hallways. Collins was enjoyable as the obviously not Russian Russian.
Episode 7 – Eyewitness to Murder
Special guests: Gary Lockwood (2001: A Space Odyssey), William Schallert (The Patty Duke Show)
Synopsis: Special prosecutor Lorin Sandusky is having dinner at the same place as Steve. When they are finished and standing outside someone takes a shot at the prosecutor but hits one of his team instead. Steve uses his bionic eye to get a good look at the shooter but isn’t able to catch him in time. Steve is assigned to protect the prosecutor as he prosecutes a high profile mobster. Steve must protect the prosecutor and investigate the identity of this shooter before he tries again (could I have said ‘prosecutor’ a few more times?).
Bionics: Steve uses bionic sight to spot the shooter on top of a building a few blocks away. Steve uses the finger on his bionic hand to break and enter and while chasing the shooter he tears the door off a taxi in broad daylight in front of like 100 people. Then, again not very subtly, Steve runs bionically across town to the courthouse.
Notes: Still no iconic bionic sound. Steve is asked how he spotted the sniper at night from so far away. He answers one of his classic quips to dodge such questions, “I eat a lot of carrots.” A hotel clerk gives out the name and room number of a guest just because someone asked.
Review: This is a pretty good episode. Although Steve is assigned to protect Mr Sandusky, he constantly leaves him alone to investigate the identity of the shooter. And it’s fun to see Steve actually get out and “pound the pavement” looking for clues and questioning informants (he actually does question an informant). It’s like watching an episode of Kojak. The plot also had an interesting twist at the end I didn’t see coming.
Episode 8 – Rescue of Athena One
Special guests: Farrah Fawcett-Majors (Charlie’s Angels)
Synopsis: Steve is training Major Kelly Wood for a space mission and he’s kinda being a dick about it. Oscar forces him to continue training her and when Kelly finally goes into space, a malfunction severely injures her co-pilot so she has to dock the capsule with Skylab, but she can’t get the hatch open. Steve and a doctor are dispatched to help but Steve’s bionics start malfunctioning in space. However, he still manages to fix some solar panels and assist the doctor in surgery before returning to Earth and giving Kelly his own Major Wood. (See what I did there?)
Bionics: Steve deflects a studio light when it falls and nearly hits him and Kelly. Some interesting things in space when Steve’s bionics start failing. Steve gets all wobbly and has to walk vvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy ssssssssssllllllllllllooooooooowwwwwwwwwlllllllllyyyyyyyyyy.
Notes: Steve is mysteriously a chauvinistic dick in the first half of the episode. Not sure where that came from. He actually speaks out against women in space on a national television interview with Major Kelly Wood, the first woman astronaut, sitting right next to him. Bizarre. Two episodes ago had a lot of hallway walking, this episode has a lot of “slow walking” through Skylab. I guess they are simulating weightlessness? I don’t know. Again, bizarre. Steve actually says that space is the final frontier in this episode.
Review: Seeing Farrah Fawcett show up in this episode added some extra knowing winks to the action (she and Lee were married at this point). Fawcett was never really a favorite of mine but she’s attractive and does….okay….here. I can’t help but think that the plot, by the end, was essentially pointless. I liked the episode, but I don’t really want to ever watch it again.