AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: The Six Million Dollar Man – The Secret of Bigfoot (1976)

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I’ve always been fascinated by cryptozoology and the idea of monsters roaming the Earth.  I’ve listened to a few cryptid podcasts and I’ve followed a few blogs.  It’s fascinating stuff.  I’ve wanted to do an entire month of urban legends and mythical monsters for AWESOME-tober-fest for many years now.  I’d planned articles on Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, the Jersey Devil, and Mothman.  There’s an abundance of Sasquatch, Nessie, and UFO material, but the other stuff is a bit thin pop culture wise aside from a movie or TV program here and there.  So, I’d sort of sat on it.

Well, now I get to do one.  Today, I want to talk about Bigfoot.  Specifically, I want to talk about the Bionic Bigfoot from The Six Million Dollar Man.  Bigfoot appeared a couple times but I’m going to talk about Season 3, episodes 16-17.  The Secret of Bigfoot.  His first bionic appearance.

OSI is escorting a couple of scientists to a remote mountain forest to study seismic activity.  The scientists are attacked and taken by a beast who turns out to possibly be the Sasquatch of legend.  Steve Austin, while looking for the missing scientists, is also taken hostage and gets to meet his strange captors.  Meanwhile Oscar is back at base camp facing a level 7 earthquake strike in seven hours to the entire California coast and is planning to detonate a nuclear bomb under the mountain to relive the geologic pressure and prevent the massive quake.  Can he find Steve in time?

There really is a lot going on in this one.  But it’s a fun episode.

SMDM title card Bigfoot title card
These episodes first aired in 1976. The story is a two parter.

Andre the Giant
In these two episodes Bigfoot is played by Andre the Giant.  Bigfoot would return in season 4 for another two episode story, but that time he’d be played by Lurch himself, Ted Cassidy.

Steve and Oscar escort these scientists into the mountains.  The scientists have experimental OSI sensing equipment. While setting up they are attacked by the creature.

Steve finds this footprint and goes after the scientists. He uses his bionics to run and jump all over the forest looking for the missing people.  It has been established in previous episodes that Steve is the worst secret keeper when it comes to his bionics.

While Steve is galavanting around the forest showing off his bionics there is a shady group watching his every move. Marveling at his abilities.

Steve encounters Bigfoot and has a pretty epic battle against him. The “trees are picked up and used as baseball bats” kind of epic.

Steve tracks Bigfoot to a cave where it disappears. But Steve TEARS DOWN PART OF THE MOUNTAIN to find a hidden door.  How’d he know to look there?  Then he has to walk through this amazing gizmo.  I’m not even sure what that is.  A revolving ice tunnel?  As soon as Steve walks in he collapses to the floor.  All I know is it looks exactly like the ice tunnel from the Misfits of Science pilot.  However, they show that tunnel in this episode several times.  You get several LOOOONG looks.  I totally get that, they should be proud.  It’s an amazing set piece.

After Steve is kidnapped and Oscar has NO IDEA where he is we get a completely random call from Jaime Sommers just calling in to “check up” on them.  When she hears Steve is missing she is 100% ready to leave and come help.  Oscar says “No”.  Yes, Oscar, why try to find your missing bionic agent by enlisting the help of the only other bionic agent on the planet? I would have loved to have seen Jaime come rescue Steve from what he’s gotten himself into.  Unfortunately this is the only scene we get with her.

We next finally see who kidnapped Steve. And it’s 70s aliens!  And their doctor, Stefanie Powers! And shiny jumpsuits!  And glowing balls!

The aliens have a device called the TLC. It distorts time relative to their position. So they could speed up their relative time to live 100 years in a single minute. Or slow it down and do the opposite. They mostly use it to “teleport” from place to place. IE, they stop time, walk over to where they want to go, then restart time. So it looks like they teleported. Steve sees this “teleport” gimmick a few times and then uses his bionic eye to watch them use the device and he sees them walking in the time distortion field.  Huh, I didn’t realize Steve’s bionics could peer through the fabric of space time.

Of course the one female space alien tries to seduce Steve.  Oh, then Steve learns that the Bigfoot is a bionic creation just like him but much more advanced.  The aliens use him to protect their base and keep people away so they won’t be discovered.

Oscar drops the nuclear weapon into the mountain to stop the giant earthquake still not really knowing where Steve is. Steve escapes from the alien base, grabs the female space alien and has nine seconds to outrun the nuclear detonation. Queue bionic running.

This is a really fun episode.  I want to revisit Bigfoot’s second appearance now.  This Bigfoot episode is probably one of the more famous stories from the series.

Via Plaid Stallions

Bigfoot wound up getting his own action figure based on his popularity.

I have reviewed a ton of other Six Million Dollar Man stuff like more episodes of the TV show, books and comics.  Check out those reviews here.

Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.


One Response to “AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: The Six Million Dollar Man – The Secret of Bigfoot (1976)”

  1. caffeinatedjoe Says:

    Definitely was a way to ride the bigfoot wave in the 70s. I enjoy it, though. Bionics and Bigfoot. Good to me!

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