21 user 7 critic

The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)

TV-PG | | Adventure, Sci-Fi | TV Movie 7 March 1973
After an astronaut and test pilot is catastrophically mutilated in a test plane crash, he is rebuilt and equipped with nuclear powered bionic limbs and implants.


Richard Irving
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Lee Majors ... Steve Austin
Barbara Anderson ... Jean Manners
Martin Balsam ... Dr. Rudy Wells
Darren McGavin ... Oliver Spencer
Charles Robinson ... Prisoner (as Charles Knox Robinson)
Ivor Barry ... Geraldton
Dorothy Green ... Mrs. McKay
Anne Whitfield ... Young Woman
George Wallace ... General
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Ashburn
Olan Soule ... Saltillo (as Olan Soulé)
Norma Storch Norma Storch ... OSI Committee Member
Maurice Sherbanee ... Nudaylah
John Mark Robinson ... Aide
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
M.J. Kane M.J. Kane


Colonel Steve Austin, astronaut and test pilot, is badly injured when he crashes while testing an experimental aircraft. A covert government agency (O.S.I.) is willing to pay for special prosthetics to replace the eye, arm, and both legs he lost in the crash. Highly advanced technology (bionics) built into them will make him faster, stronger, and better than normal. In return, they want him to become a covert Agent for the O.S.I. It will cost six million dollars to rebuild Colonel Steve Austin. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Sci-Fi


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Martin Balsam was the first actor to play Dr. Rudy Wells. See more »


When Steve first regains consciousness after the accident, a POV shot shows his view of Rudy Wells moving in and out of focus. But human vision focuses by adjusting the angle of each eye toward an object, rather than changing the distance between the lens and the retina, in the fashion of a camera. So, with only one eye, Steve wouldn't be able to adjust focus. See more »


Mrs. McKay: [watching Steve Austin run on a monitor] He's not even breathing hard!
Dr. Rudy Wells: Well, you see, his lungs are used to handling oxygen for the blood supply for two arms and two legs. Now they only have to take care of one.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The reedited version is retitled "The Moon and the Desert" Part 1 and 2. Among footage added is a lengthy introductory segment showing Austin's first moon landing. See more »


Edited into The Six Million Dollar Man: The Pal-Mir Escort (1974) See more »

User Reviews

Bionic Beginnings
19 May 2015 | by AaronCapenBannerSee all my reviews

First TV movie pilot that introduced Lee Majors as Steve Austin, a former astronaut who had walked on the moon, but now is test piloting an experimental aircraft that unfortunately crashes, badly injuring Steve near death, but with the skill of brilliant surgeon Dr. Rudy Wells(played by Martin Balsam) and funding by secretive government representative Oliver Spencer(played by Darren McGavin) rebuild Austin with bionic limbs and sight, increasing his strength and survivability immensely, making him an ideal government operative, if he can only emotionally adjust to his new condition... Good setup to the eventual series has a smart, thoughtful script and good direction by Richard Irving. Pity this realistic style wasn't continued though...

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Release Date:

7 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Six Million Dollar Man: The Moon and the Desert See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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