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Most spin-off shows must be viewed with caution as they are usually pale
imitations of their predecessors. The Bionic Woman was not one of
The beautiful Lindsay Wagner played bionic woman Jamie Sommers. She was joined by Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman and Martin E. Brooks as Dr. Rudy Wells. She worked for the OSI agency (it's amazing how in the 60's and 70's there were so many government agencies fighting evil on the small screen). Jamie had had an airplane accident and she was rebuilt. She was given bionic legs, a bionic arm and a bionic ear (no doubt used for listening to gossip).
Like most shows of that era, The Bionic Woman was fun as Jamie Sommers fought all sorts of threats from Bigfoot to Fembots to aliens and also a few more down to earth threats as well. I really loved the theme tune and the action sequences to this show. The acting was great on the part of the three leads and the show had a mixture of stories from comedy episodes to dark episodes. Popping in from time to time was Steve Austin (not the WWF/WWE star but the Six Million Dollar Man played by Lee Majors).
All in all, a great show which is better than it has ever been given credit for.
Even though I was a huge fan of "The Six Million Dollar Man", I was also a fan of this show. The main thing I liked about the series was that while Steve Austin was more or less a comic book character come to life, Jaimie Sommers was more of a real person. Jaimie had more of a private life and she still had time to enjoy that life. Also, you could see she was more vulnerable and was not afraid to show her softer side. You could also see that she had her self doubts about her job, which also made her a more endearing characacter. Also, this had some more comic elements to it and that's what helped to distinguish it from the show from which it was spun off from.
_The Bionic Woman_ started out as a two part episode of _The Six Million Dollar Man_. (Which, by the way, is the only Bionic Woman videotape you can buy.) In it, Jaime Sommers, tennis pro and fiancee of Steve Austin, had a skydiving accident, and acquired bionic legs, arm and ear to survive. Later on, after a difficult period of adjustment and even being cryogenically frozen, Jaime awakened with only partial memory, and can only regard Steve as a friend. Oscar Goldman, masterfully played by Richard Anderson, had agreed to make Jaime bionic if she worked for the OSI, a government agency that solved complicated problems. He became Jaime's boss, a hands-on leader who was intelligent as well as sophisticated. This was a wonderful series, with lots of high points: teacher Jaime tearing up a phone book to get tough army brat kids to respect her, Jaime battling it out with ALEX (a HAL-like computer set to destroy the world), Jaime being put in jail while her double tries to steal bionic secrets, and, my personal favorite, the original Fembots! If only Universal would put these episodes on video! I would be the first in line to buy them!
Even now, from over 20 years distance from "the bionic woman" - she is still quite an example for women heroines in the entire Television history. She is beautiful, witty, brave and non-compromising - a lot thanks to Lindsay Wagner which performed her roll in such an elegant way. Jaime was one of the first women in television, to be shown as more then just another pretty face - at first, as a sidekick for the six million dollars man but soon enough, in behalf of herself. To bad the series didn't last longer - there was a lot of potential - the series combined both action and drama, and even humor now and then. Jaime always encountered intriguing and complex situations, and always handled them very well. All and all, I think that what made Jaime so special was the fact that bionic or not - she was human, very human and emotional but one of a strong character.
The Bionic Woman is not just sheer, wonderful fantasy but it also
brought us amazing femininity and full-on, '70's glamour...Lindsay
Wagner advanced the usually dormant societal awareness of how a
beautiful looking woman could also be strong, compassionate, fair and
run at 60 mph in high heels! The series is important in that it raises
the profile of actually seeing women as something more than just
pretty, stay-at-home objects of male desire... In many ways much of its
residual effect is only realised after time has passed...
On another level, the series is easy on the eye, full of action and has great music...it is escapism which is translatable to new generations of sci-fi fans...and Ms Wagner... you are so beautiful!!!
Even in this day & age The Bionic Woman is a spectacular show. Jamie is a tennis player who goes skydiving with boyfriend Steve (The Six Million Dollar Man)...The adventure turns to disaster when Jamie plunges to the ground. Steve convinces the OSI (place of employment) to give Jamie Bionic legs, arm, & ear. She learns to use her super strength, super speed, & super hearing to go to work for the OSI. The Six Million Dollar Man was an excellent show as well, but, The Bionic Woman is the one to watch. There were a few follow-up's to both shows including "The Return Of The Six Million Dollar Man & The Bionic Woman", "The Bionic Showdown", & "Bionic Ever After". The shows rarely air, so if you get the chance, without a doubt, watch them! 1-10 Bionic Woman(10)...Six Million(9+)...Return of(8)...Showdown(9)...Ever After(6)
This show (along with Wonder Woman and Charlie's Angels) damaged me for life. As the female counterpart to Steve Austin's six million dollar man she held her own against such horrors as Bigfoot (gave me nightmares as a child) to the evil fembots (ripped off in Austin Powers). This show was a classic in every sense of the word and Wagner never recovered fully from the typecasting that came with the territory.
I had such a big crush for Jaime when I first saw this show as a kid, but my memories of her changed with adulthood. Watching it now, I never realized how thin she was (well, not Portia thin), or how campy it really was. Jaime was a tennis pro and a school mate friend of Steve Austin as kids. Everyone thought they'd marry, but their lives went in different directions. He became an astronaut and was rebuilt with cybernetic parts after an accident. She had the same thing done after another accident (like i said, campy) as if the government throws these operations around like water. To pay for the expense, Jaime must work for the government directly as Steve now does in order to get into places he can't. The premise starts out fine, but later on she gets into ghosts, ufos, aliens and Indian Spirits and every so often wearing outfits out of Charlie's Angels. This show spawned some fairly decent toys now worth half a million dollars today to collectors; the Jaime doll was even interchangeable with Barbie and her paraphernalia. The series, however, ran out of steam after jumping networks and a few crossovers with its predecessor. Had it gone on, I have a scary thought that Jaime's sidekick Peggy (played by Jen Darling) would have been next to go bionic !
Lindsay Wagner is wonderful as Jaime Sommers, the bionic woman. For a show in the mid-70's it was brilliantly done, the cast, the plots, the special effects for its time were awesome. It is not a surprise that lindsay won an emmy for the episode (Deadly Ringer), it was definitly one of the best. Lindsay is a great actress and hopefully she will be acting for a long time to come.
All I can say is I love Lindsay Wagner! She was my favorite actress as a child and The Bionic Woman was my favorite TV show of all time! I would rush home after school so that I could see her battle it out with Steve Austin against the evil Fembots! When Stephanie Powers starred in "The Return Of Bigfoot" well, all I can say is "did it get any better?" As I watch the show now, it's still fun to see the super-human strength Jamie had as she went undercover for many a mission for the OSI. As cheesy as the "special effects" look now, you have to admit they were pretty cool in their day and made the show a lot of fun, especially the series when Jamie & Steve were surrounded by the evil and powerful FEMBOTS! To all the shows creators, producers and directors I applaud you for a job very well done! Lindsay, if you ever read this, I love your causes and your efforts and the fact that you will always be my heroine! PS: If anyone would like to exchange emails, drop me a line sometime! Martin Gatin, Calgary Alberta, Canada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org PSS: If anyone has any screen shots taken from the TV show's introduction I could add to my collection I would very much appreciate it!
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