Archive for Bionic Man

Bionic Review: Six Million Dollar Man Season 1 – Part 2

Posted in pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

SMDM Book

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.

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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.

Six Million Dollar Man figure ad

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).

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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.

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Bionic Review: Dynamite Comic’s The Bionic Man vs The Bionic Woman (2013)

Posted in comic books, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

SMDM Comic

BW Comic

In my reviews for Dynamite Comics’ The Bionic Man and The Bionic Woman titles, I mentioned that they are separate timelines. The Bionic Woman happens years after the end of The Bionic Man title. The point of today’s comic is supposedly to bridge the gap between the two titles and see why Jaime Sommers has “gone rogue” from OSI.  Today I’m reviewing Dynamite’s The Bionic Man vs The Bionic Woman mini-series.

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This 5 issue mini is written by Keith Champagne and drawn by Jose Luis.  At first glance the art is fairly strong so let’s see how the story holds up.  Since this is a short mini, this review is going to be a little shorter.

Essential Plot: A giant bionic guy is killing people and stealing their hearts. Jaime and Steve have to stop him.

Characters: The story, of course, focuses on Steve and Jaime, and they are portrayed roughly the same as they are in their own titles.  We also get a cameo from Oscar.  And another “new” bionic menace is introduced.  Again.

Story: I guess I liked the story, with the bionic serial killer, but honestly, it’s a little tired.  Another bionic menace that only Steve and Jaime can handle.  The first story arc in The Bionic Man involves a prototype bionic man wrecking havoc and the second story arc involves bionic Bigfoot creatures.  The Bionic Woman comic involved an organization stealing bionic parts that eventually get used to create a bionic bad guy.  This story device has become a little old.  Part of the problem I think is that Jaime and Steve are a little too powerful at this point.  It’s like having every Superman story feature an evil Superman.  Let’s think of something else.

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Differences from the TV show: Steve Austin has only one bionic arm in this comic (see below) as opposed to the two he started with in his own comic.  Otherwise, the differences that I mentioned in the previous comic reviews still stand.

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Art:  The art is actually pretty good. Jose Luis brings some good action art and the characters are drawn faithfully. I even like the design of the evil bionic serial killer. Lots of pretty art to look at in this comic, even if the story is constantly trying to put you to sleep.

Overall: Overall, I was disappointed. While the art is great, the promise of this timeline and title bridging story was completely wasted.

Guest appearance on Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast

Posted in podcast, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

This week I am a guest pal on the awesome Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast. Hosts John and Paul invited me over to discuss the Six Million Dollar Man third season episode, Wolf Boy starring Jodie Foster’s little brother, Buddy (I’m not even joking).

Wolf Boy

John, Paul and I go over the plot details as well as comment on some of the more ridiculous elements of the episode. It’s a really fun episode to cover and I had a blast in the guest pal seat. Hopefully I can jump over there again soon for another episode.

Click the above image to go listen to the show online and download the show Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast on iTunes.

Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 coming March 12!

Posted in Bionic Man, comic books, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

Not a review, today, just some news about the Dynamite Comics Bionic franchise.

Dynamite Comics announced that they are going to start a new Bionic Man series. Only this series will be a direct sequel to the 70s TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man. The title will begin on March 12 and be named, appropriately enough, The Six Million Dollar Man Season 6.

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Comic book continuations of TV shows have become quite popular since Joss Whedon allowed Buffy (Season 8) and Angel (Season 6) to be continued.  Now you can find comic book seasons for TV shows like Smallville (Season 11), Charmed (Season 9) and X-Files (Season 10).

According to Cosmic Book News, the new Six Million Dollar Man book will be drawn by Juan Antonio Ramirez and written by James Kuhoric.   Just like the last series, Alex Ross will be doing his awesome painted covers. Writer James Kuhoric should be familiar to fans of this blog as he wrote those awesome Jason vs Freddy vs Ash comics I reviewed for AWESOME-tober-fest 2012.  Cosmic Book News has an interview with Kuhoric as well as some early pencil art for the comic by Ramirez.  And the art looks GREAT. Click the image below to see a few more of Ramirez’s drawings within the Cosmic Book News’ article.

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It looks like Dynamite’s original Bionic Man title will stop in February and this new Season 6 title will take over. I guess that also means Bionic Woman will stop as well. I was enjoying the first Bionic Man title, but honestly, after Kevin Smith’s initial run, the title was holding my interest less and less. I think a reboot is a good idea and I LOVE the idea of actually continuing the original 70s TV show including the fashions and effects of the time.  Plus, Steve Austin will actually look like Lee Majors and Oscar will actually look like Richard Anderson.  That can be nothing but GOOD.  I wonder if Rudy will look like Darren McGavin or Alan Oppenheimer?

There are several other places to see more info about this new title. Bleeding Cool has an interview with Kuhoric and a lot of finished, colored art from the first issue. Also, if you head over to the 6 Million Dollar Blog you can see the cover to issue #2.

Bionic Review: The Six Million Dollar Man Season 1 – Part 1

Posted in pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by Paxton

Bionic Review

SMDM Book

Okay, it’s time to start reviewing regular season episodes of the show. I’ll group episodes in the same way they are presented on the DVDs. So here are the first four episodes of Season 1 from The Six Million Dollar Man.

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Episode 1 – Population Zero

Special guests: Don Porter (Gidget)

Synopsis:  In this episode Steve and Oscar investigate the seeming death of an entire town. After arriving Steve uses his actual moon walking space suit as a rudimentary Haz-Mat suit to investigate the town. A disgruntled scientist contacts Oscar to claim credit for the town and promises to strike again if not paid $10 million.  Steve sets out to find out who the guy is and how to stop him.

Bionics: We see a lot of good bionic slow motion running in this episode, but no “bionic sound”.  Not sure when that particular sound effect will start showing up.  When Steve is running, the sound is silent except for the sound of a beating heart.  In the episode conclusion, Steve rips a metal fence post out of the ground (including the cemented base, see pic above) and hurls it javelin-style through a truck killing all the bad guys.  Probably one of the more bad ass things Austin has done and we are only in episode 1.  We also learn in this episode that deep cold will hinder the performance of Steve’s bionics.

Notes: This is the first episode of the weekly series. We finally get the regular series opening with the famous tag line “Better, stronger, faster…”.  The music has a very “X-Files” feel to it which is interesting because the entire opening feels like an episode of that show.  It seems almost EVERYONE already knows about Steve’s bionics. Why do they bother keeping it a secret?  Apparently Steve lived 20 miles from the afflicted town in this episode and knows everyone in the town by name.

Review:  This was a very good episode.  Steve and Oscar work well together, the story was good.  The villain, played by Don Porter is fun.  The perfect setup for a weekly series.

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Episode 2 – Survival of the Fittest

Special guests: Joanne Worley (Rowen & Martin’s Laugh-In)

Synopsis:  During important negotiations with Russian officials, Oscar’s life is threatened by individuals wanting to make sure those negotiations fail. When the plane that Steve and Oscar are flying in crashes, Steve must protect Oscar when it becomes clear that someone else on the flight is not who they appear to be.

Bionics: In the opening, Steve uses his bionics to remove lug nuts from a flat tire in one of the more “real world” applications of his abilities we’ve seen.  Another instance, after the plane has crash landed, has Steve karate chopping a coconut in two.  It’s not immediately clear whether he uses his bionics for this.  Steve saves Oscar from getting bitten by a snake by bionically  running up to the snake, grabbing it and hurling it into a rock wall, straight up murdering the snake.  Without prejudice.  Late in the episode we see Steve’s bionic “night vision” for the first time.

Notes: While on the plane, the in flight meal is delivered in really nice lunch boxes.  Oh the golden age of commercial air flight.  The plane’s engine catches on fire and the pilots immediately DROP IT OFF THE PLANE. Is that standard procedure?  While crash landed on the island, someone jury rigs the CB radio and attempts communication.  On what power source is that radio running?  And why is no one taking off their uniforms, jackets or ties?  It looks pretty hot on that island.  Apparently this episode was remade as Fly Jaime for The Bionic Woman series.

Review: This is also a pretty good episode.  Lee Majors is likable and fun.  We get some pretty awesome bionic action and there’s a nice reveal at the end.  I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.  Except for Joanne Worley.  I mean REALLY?

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6 undeveloped movie scripts that were turned into comic books

Posted in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Batman, Bionic Man, comic books, Freddy Krueger, Friday the 13th, Jason Vorhees, movies, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

This week the topic for The League is “comic books”. Yep, just “comic books”. I recently did an article about comic book covers that homage famous movie posters, so that idea was already burned. Fortunately, my draft articles are deep with ideas so I pulled this one out of the depths and fleshed it out a bit.

I love movies.  I love comic books.  I love comic book movies.  We have tons of movies coming out BASED on comics books.  But how about comic books based on movies?  There are plenty of those as well.  But what about comic books that are based on movies that never were made for whatever reason.  Ahhh, that could be interesting.

Today, I’m going to talk about six undeveloped movie scripts that were turned into comic books.

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Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet – These first two entries are probably the most high profile examples of unused movie scripts becoming a comic book.  In 2004, Smith wrote a screenplay for a new film version of The Green Hornet.  Much like the next script in this list, it was a reboot of the characters and the concept.  Smith even announced that he intended to direct the feature as well.  The project, however, died after the poor box office of Smith’s Jersey Girl.  Dynamite Comics purchased the unused script and had Kevin Smith adapt it into a new Green Hornet comic series.

Kevin Smith's Bionic Man
Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man (2011) – I talked about this series in my Bionic Reviews feature a month or so ago.  Kevin Smith wrote a screenplay for a new Bionic Man movie back in the 90s. It was a reboot of the characters and concept of the Six Million Dollar Man TV series.  It ultimately went unused.  However, after the success of Smith’s Green Hornet title they asked if he had any other unused scripts to adapt.  Smith pulled out the Bionic Man script and Dynamite loved the idea.  They tapped Phil Hester to adapt the screenplay into a 10 issue story arc to launch a new Bionic Man comic series that is still being published to this day.  It has also spawned a Bionic Woman comic series.

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Frank Miller’s Robocop (2003) – During initial production of Robocop 2, there was a first draft script by one of the original Robocop screenwriters, Edward Neumeier. However, due to a writers strike he dropped out. One of the producers contacted Frank Miller to write the script as Miller was still riding the success of his Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. Miller wrote a draft that producers and studio executives labeled “unfilmable” and the studio had the script rewritten into what eventually became Robocop 2, the movie.  In the early 2000s Avatar Press acquired the Robocop comic license and the publisher William Christensen, who owned a copy of Miller’s “lost” original screenplay, contacted Miller about adapting it into a comic story.  Miller was enthusiastic and worked with Steven Grant to adapt his unused screenplay (which included notes for Robocop 3) into a story.  Due to scheduling conflicts, Miller was only able to contribute some of the covers and not actually write or draw the interiors.  The nine issue adaptation was published in late 2003.

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Bionic Review: Dynamite Comics’ The Bionic Man (2011)

Posted in Bionic Man, comic books, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by Paxton

Bionic Review

SMDM Book

Richard Anderson, the man who played Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man TV series tried for years to get a Bionic Man movie off the ground.  Many different writers took a stab at a script.  In the mid-90s, Kevin Smith famously wrote a script for a Bionic Man movie that was a reboot of the TV series.  I was very excited about this prospect as, at the time, I was a big fan of Kevin Smith and loved the idea of him re-imagining the Steve Austin universe (of which I was a big fan). Unfortunately, nothing ever happened on that project.  It just disappeared.  Then, in March 2011, Kevin Smith announced that his unproduced script would be re-adapted into a comic book series for Dynamite comics.  The comic’s script would be written by Phil Hester and be based on Smith’s movie script.  The book’s interiors would be drawn by Jonathan Lau, it would have Alex Ross variant covers and the name would be Kevin Smith’s The Bionic Man.  The first issue would be released in August 2011.

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Up to this point I have read the first 14 issues of Dynamite’s The Bionic Man. The first 10 issues contain the story arc that is taken directly from Kevin Smith’s unproduced script.

Essential Plot:  It starts off very similar to the original TV show/novel.  The events have been updated a bit and a few things changed.  We actually start off, not with Steve Austin, but with a break in at a government laboratory.  An unknown assailant kills all the scientists and steals what looks like a bionic arm.  Then we cut to Steve Austin at home.  He’s still a test pilot.  He’s engaged to Jaime Sommers.  Austin is about to retire as a test pilot and marry Jaime.  He just has one more test flight to make.  And what happens is exactly what you expect.  Something goes wrong with the flight, Austin crashes and loses both of his legs, his right arm and his left eye.  In this story he’s good friends with a younger version of Oscar Goldman.  They convince Steve to become a part of their bionics experiment, so the government pronounces him dead and begin the operations to graft on the bionic limbs.  There are several issues devoted to Steve’s recovery and coming to grips with the fact that he’s now part machine.  In issue #7 Jaime returns as Steve unexpectedly finds himself at her house and reveals to her that he’s not, in fact, dead.  In this issue we also discover that the earlier mysterious assailant from issue #1 has ties to Austin and the bionic program, so the rest of the story arc is discovering information about this assailant and Steve going after him to put a stop to his plans.

The next issue after the Smith arc, #11, was a standalone issue.  Steve goes back to his parents’ ranch for some soul searching.  We meet his parents and see that his father is dying.

Issue #12 begins the first new wholly original story arc.  It’s written by Phil Hester and Aaron Gillespie and drawn by Ed Tadeo.  This story introduces the fan favorite bionic Bigfoot from the TV show into the new bionic universe.  Austin discovers some unscrupulous people are attaching bionic parts to Bigfoot creatures so he teams up with one of them to help.

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