Archive for Bionic Review

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.

Bionic Review: Dynamite Comic’s The Bionic Woman (2012)

Posted in comic books, TV shows with tags , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by Paxton

Bionic Review

BW Comic

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus on the Bionic Reviews, but I’m back now and I have one to give you today and another to throw out end of this week or beginning of next.  So, let’s get started…

In 2011, Dynamite Comics started up a new Bionic Man comic featuring a story taken from an unproduced Kevin Smith movie script. The comic did well and eventually Dynamite decided to spin off the character of Jaime Sommers into her own comic, The Bionic Woman.

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This comic is written by Paul Tobin and drawn first by Leno Carvalho and then followed in committee by Juan Ramirez and Daniel Leister.  As of this moment, it looks like issue 10 will be the final issue.  The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six has launched, the original Bionic Man title is done and so I assume this title is finished as well.  If SMDM Season Six does well, I assume we are going to see a The Bionic Woman Season 4.

Essential Plot: The Bionic Woman doesn’t start directly after Sommers’ appearance in The Bionic Man. Issue #1 jumps about 5 years into the future. Jaime is already bionic. Her accident happened many years ago.  Jaime was an OSI operative and something happened that caused her to quit OSI and essentially “go rogue”.  This same split happened with her and Austin with whom she previously had a relationship, but doesn’t anymore. The first issue picks up with Jaime on the run from an organization that is tracking and killing people with any sort of bionic enhancement. Most of these issues involve information gathering and Jaime tracking down man after man in order to discover who this shadowy organization is that is trying to kill her and take her bionics. Throughout the story she is accompanied by a friend named Nora and we get several cameos by Steve Austin.

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Characters: This particular Jaime Sommers is characterized as a very accomplished covert agent, highly trained in hand-to-hand combat and very proficient in the use of her bionics. She is also very proactive in her search for the people trying to kill her. This is very different from the TV show and I have to say, I like the difference. It keeps the story moving forward and gives us lots of action on the way. The Nora character that tags along is sort of annoying. Jaime is constantly having to make sure she doesn’t die.

Story: I liked the idea of a shadowy group killing and stealing bionic implants for sale on the black market. I was not in love with the Nora character tagging along nor was I in love with the completely unnecessary cameos by Steve Austin. They seemed to serve no purpose. But the overall story is pretty solid, even if a lot of the page to page dialogue is groan inducing.

Differences from the TV show: Jaime is given full bionic implants in both legs and the right arm. She has the bionic ear, like in the TV show. It is also implied that Jaime may also have bionic eyes, which were not a part of the TV show.  Another very cool enhancement that this Jaime has that not even Austin gets is the ability to interface wirelessly with computers.  It’s an ability that may have been borrowed from the TV show, Jake 2.0, which was a spiritual grandchild of the original Six Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors even made an appearance).

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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.

Rebooting the Six Million Dollar Man to make it better, stronger, faster

Posted in Bionic Man, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by Paxton

LEB

This week for The League Brian asks us what property would we like to see rebooted/return? And how do we imagine that it would be different?

Tough question.  CT and Jeeg over at the Nerd Lunch blog enjoy doing Reboot Challenges that are similar to this.  I like the idea of reimagining a favorite property.  So my pick to have a new reboot will no doubt be no surprise to readers of this blog.  I want to see a TV reboot of The Six Million Dollar Man.  This reboot, of course, would also lead into a reboot of The Bionic Woman.

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There is a mostly successful reboot of the property going on right now in comic books.  I’d like to bring that success to a TV show.  However, I wouldn’t necessarily adapt what Dynamite is doing in their comic, but I like several aspects of what they’ve done so I might use them.

So let’s begin.

Premise: I’ll keep the origin roughly the same.  Steve is a military pilot.  Special Forces, I haven’t decided the branch; Navy Seals, Army Rangers, whatever.   Steve is an excellent soldier and pilot and due to his proficiency will pilot experimental aircraft for the military from time to time.  During one of these test flights, something goes wrong and Steve crashes in a horrific explosion and he barely survives.  Like in the original novel and the show,  the accident will damage Steve’s head, both legs and one of his arms.  OSI, a clandestine military department, chooses Steve to receive prototype nanotech plus bionic implants to repair his body.  The surgeries are done by OSI’s bionic specialist Dr Rudy Wells.  During Steve’s multiple bionic surgeries Rudy decides that for better balance and performance he will need to replace both arms.  The bionic limbs are controlled/regulated by microscopic nanobots that are implanted into his body.  This allows for “software upgrades” on the fly for mission specific details, tech and intel.  It also allows for better monitoring of Steve’s bionics and vitals from Rudy’s control center at OSI.  After the surgeries and physical therapy, Steve joins OSI as an agent and is placed under the supervision of Audrey Goldman who doles out his assignments and briefs him on intel.

Steve Austin

Storylines:  The first part of the first season will deal with the aftermath of the accident and Steve’s subsequent physical therapy and testing of his bionic limits.  After he joins OSI, Steve is used as a black ops agent.  He performs impossible missions that no one but Steve and his bionics could accomplish. For the most part, starting mid-season, the episodes of this series, like the original, will focus on Steve’s “missions” for OSI.  Steve does infiltration, recon, sabotage and maybe even a little assassination.  I also want some stories to delve a bit more into the OSI operations side.  Maybe even a few “between missions” episodes where we see Steve get tune ups and upgrades from Dr Wells.  This allows us to see that Steve gets damaged during his missions has to have a new arm or leg fitted.  This will also show some testing of new “special missions” bionic gear like underwater legs with a built in oxygen respirator and a new arm with lasers in the fingers.  Stuff that the 70s toys were built upon but never made it into the show.  This time at OSI will also show the building of the working relationship with Audrey Goldman and Rudy Wells.

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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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