Archive for Bionic Review

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

Posted in cartoons, pop culture, Six Million Dollar Man, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

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.

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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.