"THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN"-PART MAN,PART MACHINE,ALL ACTION
What was it like to be a kid growing up in the 1970's when this show came on? You see,I remember this series coming on television very well. For one,I was one of those kids who from some reason was glued to the set when this show came on Friday Nights on ABC-TV during the 1970's. I was one of those kids who for some reason went out and brought up a lot of memorabilia stuff including all of the merchandise that flew off the shelves relating to this show: Who remembers owning one of the two dolls of "The Six Million Dollar Man" action figures that were made by Mattel which featured the character with the bionic grip and not to mention his mentor who had changeable outfits,let alone tons of stuff including the GMF View-Master set of one of the episodes not to mention seeing one of your friends walking on the playground or jumping over something in slow motion....Oh yeah,that TV soundtrack to the show which had Lee Majors doing country tunes and rock and roll stuff?
For the answers to the questions depicted? YES!!! I WAS THE 1970'S! FOR ONE,WAS ONE OF THE CHILDREN WHO WORSHIP QUALITY 70'S TV PROGRAMMING! By the way,if you remember 70's TV characters like Archie Bunker,George Jefferson,Maude Findley,James and Florida Evans,Fred Sanford,Dee Pepper Columbo,Jim Rockford,and Kolchak,Baretta and not to mention Theo Kojak,then the character name of Steve Austin should come through the light!
Even after all of these years,"The Six Million Dollar Man" still holds up to the test of time and to this day,it has always been a personal favorite of mine as a child,and still is regarding as a vintage classic even after some 30 years later with some of the best special effects around. Ever since it premiered on ABC-TV in September of 1974,it was a runaway bonafide hit which was garnered huge ratings with the audience and was always in the top-ten of the Nielsens,where it stayed for six astounding seasons until its final episode of the series ended in May of 1978,after producing 108 episodes,which in turn took ABC to the top of the Nielsens where it was on one of the most watched shows during its run on Friday nights in its first four seasons,and from there in its last two the network moved the series from Friday nights to Sunday nights opposite the Sunday night competition:"60 Minutes",and "The Wonderful World Of Disney" until 1978,when the series ended.
About the show.................. Long before "Cyborg" became famous with Arnold Scwarzenegger in the "Terminator" films,Lee Majors was everyone's favorite cyborg,and for every fan out there,this show delivered the goods since this was indeed part science fiction/action-adventure genre mixed in with some international espionage and political intrigue for a great effect. Lee Majors' role as Steve Austin was in fact a combination of James Bond,part Buzz Aldrin/Chuck Yeager,part Road Runner and part Superman in which gave this series a nice mix of seriousness and fun. Let's face it,he was part-human,part-mechanical;the world's first bionic man. Better than he was before...BETTER,STRONGER,FASTER...............
The character of Steve Austin,who was an astronaut who suffered an accident and was rebuilt by a government agency and was under the supervision of his boss,Oscar Goldman played by Richard Anderson,and there was Dr. Rudy Wells,played by Martin E. Brooks,who was responsible for Steve's bionic parts. The chemistry between these characters were to be tested throughout the series,but as the show progressed the chemistry between them was brilliant. The sound effects which included the bionic eye looking miles ahead,or the sound of bionic legs running faster and faster is what made this show stand out beyond them all. FANTASTIC! you say? I'll say AWESOME!........
This show was just pure fantasy from the get-go with the stories truly engaging and very well written the offered variations in excitement and imagination,and during the last two seasons of the show it suffered from repetitation since the earlier episodes(from the first three seasons)and from there the ratings slipped too. The show had a mixture of guest stars of who's who in Hollywood from William Shatner,Ted Cassidy and Andre The Giant as Bigfoot(Cassidy played him first)to the guest of TV show regulars like Gary Lockwood,John Saxon,Cathy Rigby, Lindsay Wagner(who played Steve Austin's love interest,Jamie Summers which was for the inspiration to the spin off,"The Bionic Woman"),to the strange and bizarre like Sonny Bono,Larry Csonka,and so forth. Nowadays it is a crying shame that this series is no longer shown on any cable network(cable's The Sci-Fi Channel was the last to do so...an all-day marathon of this series was shown not too long ago)or any syndicated market station doesn't show this anymore,and I wonder why? Why isn't there a big-screen version of "The Six Million Dollar Man" coming to theaters? I heard rumors its going to be George Clooney.
But by the way,while during the last two decades many of our favorite TV shows(Star Trek,The Untouchables,I Spy,Mission:Impossible,McHale's Navy,The Wild,Wild West,Lost In Space,The Fugitive,Charlie's Angels,SWAT,The Brady Bunch,The Twilight Zone,Lassie,Flipper,My 3 Sons, and not to mention our animated TV favorites Scooby Doo,The Flintstones) and cartoons(Batman,Superman,X-Men,Daredevil,Spider-Man,Hulk,The Punisher)have been made into full-length feature films,so now is the time for SMDM to give it the big-screen treatment and the respect it truly deserves.