• rcj536523 August 2004
    What was it like to be a kid in the 1970's when this show came on!
    "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.
  • grendelkhan18 March 2003
    The "Nice" Terminator
    Before Arnold became a Terminator, Lee Majors was everyone's favorite cyborg. For any sci-fi or adventure show fan, this was THE show of the 70's. The 60's had Kirk, Spock, Tribbles, and Klingons; the 70's had Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, Jamie Summers, and Bigfoot.

    Lee Majors was Steve Austin, astronaut; a man barely alive...... There was nothing Stone Cold about this Steve Austin, except maybe his wardrobe. Lee Majors was quite entertaining as Col. Steve Austin; part James Bond, part Buzz Aldrin/Chuck Yeager, and part Superman. Lee gave Austin a nice mix of serious and fun. Yes, his acting could be as mechanical as his bionics; but, Majors always had a bit of a twinkle in his eye (may have been the lens in the bionic one). He never took himself too seriously in the role, but could convey that emotion when the script called for it.

    Richard Anderson was steady as boss and pal Oscar Goldman. Like Majors, he was limited, but well suited to his character. Anderson could be a good supporting actor when he rose to the occasion; and he often did.

    I personally preferred Martin E. Brooks to Allan Openheimer, as Dr. Rudy Wells. Brooks came across more as a scientist. The other supporting characters varied in quality from show to show, but Rudy was always an integral part.

    The episodes vary in excitement and imagination. The later seasons suffered from repetition, but, the early ones hold up well as good science fiction. Personal favorites include the death probe; the Russian installation with a doomsday device that is accidentally activated; the booby-trapped Liberty Bell; the androids; Steve's return flight in the experimental craft from the pilot movie;the Bionic Woman cross-overs; and, of course, Bigfoot. I preferred the more science fiction oriented stories to the more mundane cops and robbers shows.

    The show had quite a mix of guest stars. There were the greats, like William Shatner, Lou Gossett Jr., Guy Doleman (from Thunderball and the Ipcress File), and Ted Cassidy and Andre the Giant as Bigfoot (Andre played him first). There were the so-so, like Farrah Fawcett (Majors), Cathy Rigby, Gary Lockwood, and John Saxon. Then there were the strange, like Sonny Bono and Larry Csonka.

    This was the show that caused millions of kids in the 70's to run in slow motion, while making strange noises. It also had the coolest action figure; it came with an engine block that you could cause Steve Austin to lift, by pressing a button on his back. You could also look through the bionic eye, although you had to make your own sound effects. I understand these things go for big bucks on eBay.

    Years later, I found a copy of the original novel, Cyborg, by Martin Caidin.

    The character was a bit different. He was more of a secret agent than in the series, and the bionics were a bit different. The eye was actually a camera, rather than a telescopic lens. It was explained that Austin's stamina was greater, since his lungs didn't have to provide oxygen to his bionic limbs. He also had special enhancements for the limbs for special missions. In one, he has webbed feet for underwater swimming. The book plays up Austin's intelligence and scientific background more. It was generally well written, and makes a nice contrast to the series.

    There have been rumors of an updated movie. At one point, it was pitched as a comedy with Chris Rock. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case right now. It has tremendous potential as and action/sci-fi movie, particularly with advances in special effects. Here's hoping the right script, director, and cast comes along and makes it a reality. Of course, they'll have to adjust it for inflation; 6 million doesn't buy much these days. And defense contractors are notorious for overcharging for substandard work.

    While we're waiting, how about a DVD box set?
  • Shield-330 August 2000
    You Gotta Love This!
    This is one of the ways you can tell you're getting old: when someone says the name "Steve Austin." Do you think of a bald wrestler rolling around on the mat groping other guys, or Lee Majors moving in slow motion and squinting? I think of the latter.

    "The Six Million Dollar Man" is one of the first shows I remember watching as a child. I watched the shows, I played with the toys, I wanted to BE Steve Austin. Lee Majors (along with Clint Eastwood) proved that some people look so cool when they squint. I look like I need my prescription checked when I do it, but I'm not Lee Majors. Steve Austin could handle anything they threw at him, not just because of his bionics, but because he was smart, he never gave up and always kept his cool. I still want to be like him when I grow up.

    Recently, I've seen some episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel. Sure, the 1970s fashions are a little jarring (polyester rules!), and sometimes the plots are juvenile, but overall the show holds up pretty well. It could be very intelligent when it wanted to be, funny when it was called for, and always exciting and fun. It reminds me of a time when six million dollars was a lot of money, and American technology could produce wonders like a functional cyborg.

    Yeah, I'll take Lee Majors over the bald wrestling guy any day. After all, how many wrestlers could take on spies, terrorists, aliens, Bigfoot, a killer Venus probe and Sonny Bono and live to tell the tale?
  • Dan Grant29 June 1999
    One of the best T.V shows ever!
    The Six Million Dollar Man was a show that was entertaining and it actually taught me about romance. I was about six when I first started watching it. I was enthralled by the action and the feats that this man could perform. He had a bionic right arm, two bionic legs, and a bionic eye that could enable him to see great distances. His strength was more than that of ten men. He could run faster than a car and he was a super intelligence agent. Along the way he meets a variety of interesting characters and ones that I have never forgotten about. There was Barney, the seven million dollar man who lets his bionics take over his mind and he uses them for his own benefits instead of that of his agency. Then there was the probe. The probe was a machine that was designed to go to space but never made it there. On Earth, it wreaks havoc and Steve has his hands full with it. Then of course there was Jamie Summers. She was Steve's girlfriend that has a tragic parachuting accident. Steve, blinded by love demands that she is given bionics. She receives them but she has amnesia. There love is tragically put on hold and it is this plot line that for the first time in my young life, I was taught about the power and tragedy of love.

    But the best of all the episodes of Steve Austin was the one's centering around Bigfoot. This also introduced the world to Andre The Giant. The Bigfoot episodes were scary. Here is this huge creature that is also bionic and he is a little stronger, a little faster and a little more vicious than Steve Austin. It is some of the best T.V. I've ever seen and it is one that will have a lasting impression on me for the rest of my life.

    I remember that I asked my mom how they did all those things. How a man could jump that high, how he could lift a car and such. It was then that my parents explained to me that this was all make believe. That this is what is known as magic. Well it was from that moment on that the movies and TV captured my imagination. And for that I will be eternally greatful to The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • krunchy200125 August 2001
    Ahead of its time...
    There is no question that The Six Million Dollar Man was as revolutionary a program in its prime as it is woefully overlooked today. Most of the great science fiction themes had been exhausted during the early Cold War era, when fears of alien invasions and nuclear holocaust were rampant. It was the horror genre, if anything, that enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970's, with such notable offerings as The Exorcist and Jaws, and television programs like Dark Shadows. By contrast, the 70's were lean years for sci-fi - the classic motifs of the 60's were dead, and successful 80's tech-shows like Knight Rider were still on the shelf.

    But Col. Steve Austin virtually redefined the genre with his story of bionic implantation. His character was indisputably TV's first cybernetically enhanced human being of any significance. In fact, rarely did even the silver screen feature a cyborg in a major role before TSMDM debuted. After its long run at the top, Hollywood began churning out its subtle rip-offs, which spawned such diverse characters as "Bishop" in Alien, The Terminator, "Data" and the dreaded Borg from Star Trek TNG, and a host of mediocre Austin clones in Van Damme-style B-movies.

    Further, TSMDM was competent in its own right. The show was a household name during its reign, and gave birth to the kind of merchandising mania - action figures, board games, etc. - more typical of a big-budget motion picture than a television series. There wasn't a young boy anywhere in North America who didn't mimic the Colonel's slow-motion antics in the schoolyard, and even parents inevitably ended up enjoying the program as much as their kids (name another show that can make that claim!).

    The cast was well-chosen and usually convincing, with Majors' understated but charming persona leading the way. The special effects were acceptable for the time, if not particularly ground-breaking. Best of all, the episodes were reliably action-packed, well developed and truly imaginative in their diversity and execution. The program touched on alien visitors, military themes, espionage, romance, and never lost its sense of perspective or sheer fun.

    My only complaint with TSMDM is that no station in my part of the world carries the show any longer. Amazingly, the Space Channel sees fit to broadcast garbage like Beauty and the Beast and Lexx, but turns its back on a genuine pioneer of the genre. It's confounding. Shows like this cannot be allowed to simply rot away in some vault. They must be preserved, just as legends in their time like Star Trek clearly have. I'd love for my children to share in the awe and excitement I felt when TSMDM was new and fresh, and, quite frankly, I wouldn't mind feeling like a kid again myself!
  • mcquestion27 October 2002
    A TV show that holds up to the test of time
    Well, it holds up to the test of time in SOME ways. This show was one of my favorites as a child and if re-made today with state of the art special effects could still be a top rrated TV show or blockbuster film. It wasn't camp, but it didn't take itself too seriously either. It had action and adventure, romance and espionage intrigue. This is the role Lee Majors was born to play, and he plays it to perfection. To most of us, he will always be the hero called Steve Austin. Other than the sometime wince-inducing special effects, this show is just as enjoyable if you catch it in re-runs today as it was during its original airing.
  • ShaneofPg15 May 2002
    One of my favourite TV Shows of my childhood!
    I loved The Six Million Dollar Man, I watched it every week if possible and actually wanted to be Bionic when I grew up! I even had Steve Austin Action figures including Oscar Goldman with his exploding Briefcase and Maskatron too. I was a big fan and still have a soft spot for the show and would happily watch it if it is being re-run on TV. It has dated badly in some ways, especially the clothes and hairstyles, but most shows from the 70's have anyway.

    It was corny in places too and I wonder why objects such as rocks and steel bars made a whistling noise when Steve threw them! Also the androids were bad especially when their face came off and an actor had a mask with wires and lights on it over his/her face which meant realistically they would have had a side profile like E.T.!

    But on the whole I loved it and have fond memories of watching it! It is a classic 70's show!
  • Thomas Rucki24 December 2002
    Steve Austin: Cyborg for the C.I.A.
    To understand the genesis of the show, watch first Harve Bennett's "The Astronaut" (1972) ---with the music of Gil Mellé-- and "Texas, We've Got a Problem" (1974). With a good, solid, realistic in treatment (psychologically and artistically), 1973 pilot produced and directed by David Irving and starring Martin Balsam as Dr. Rudy Wells (see H. G. Wells?) and Darren McGavin as the crippled cynical and manipulator Intelligent head Oliver Spencer who is also known as newspaper "Kolchak, The Night Stalker"; the show starts very well with Gil Mellé's electronic and jazzy score a la Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew", then comes a terrible second pilot "Wine, Woman and War", produced by Michael Gleason and written by Glen A. Larson with a dreadful main title and a horrible song by Dusty Springfield in which Steve Austin is a kind of reluctant second-rate James Bond whose mission ends with an atomic explosion. The series really finds its format with the third pilot: "The Solid Gold Kidnapping" with Jack Cole's famous techno medical main title (made with footages from the two pilots, video effects and body animations). During the middle of season 1, the music department decided to add sound effects from Universal's stock music library to highlight the bionic motions (some were already used in a previous series like the 1972 E.S.P. series "The Sixth Sense"---oddly enough, you can hear a noise from a missile when Austin launches an object into the air). The series had three Dr. Rudy Wells: one played by Martin Balsam (first pilot), by Alan Oppenheimer (pilot 2 & 3 and season 1 & 2) and by Martin E. Brooks (season 3, 4 & 5). The first two seasons ---produced by Sam Strangis/Donald R. Boyle and Lionel E. Siegel/Joe L. Cramer--- were in the line of the pilots and then occurs the transitory season 3 ---in 1975, the main composer Oliver Nelson and the music supervisor Hal Mooney left---, a season 4 with some drastic changes (bad writers and producers, the lead wears a ridiculous thin moustache, Goldman has a new office's decoration and the music is composed and renewed by J. J. Johnson) and therefore an un-inspired season 5 ---without Harve Bennett--- in which the protagonist wears a pre-"Fall Guy" haircut. TSMDM is basically an espionage series with a shallow sci-fi canvas (everybody remember the zoom shot bionic left eye with the frames or the infrared vision); notice the various martial music themes to grasp the concept of this pro-gov/militaryNASA/technology drama. The first pilot shows an offhand and rebel Steve Austin who refuses his injured disabled condition (even try to commit suicide) and his involvement in the scientifical department of the C.I.A. (here, O.S.O.: Office of Strategic Operation, and, later O.S.I.: Office of Scientifical Intelligence): official Oliver Spencer (later Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman) even receivs a cold slap. From season 2, we are introduced to another bionic man: paranoid auto racing Barney Miller (with a season 3 sequel) in "The Seven Million Dollar Man", and a woman: tennis champ Jaimie Sommers, in a two-parter (with a season 3 sequel too) in "The Bionic Woman". From that point, the show slips into cheap bionic new products (Bigfoot, boy, dog) with a comic book leaning. The best episodes are those which deal with the space program/Austin's background ("The Rescue of Athena One", "Burning Bright", "The Pioneers", "The Deadly Replay": where we learn about Austin's near fatal plane accident) and the dangers of technology in the hands of America's inner enemies ("Population Zero", "Day of the Robot", "Run, Steve, Run").
  • Big Movie Fan16 March 2003
    I Wish I Was Him
    The Six Million Dollar Man was one of my favourite TV shows, a show that I enjoyed without fail each week.

    Lee Majors played Col. Steve Austin, an astronaut who suffered an accident and was rebuilt by government agency, the OSI (I think it stood for Office of Strategic Intelligence). Austin was the world's first bionic man (well, not really because it later transpired that there was a seven million dollar man but that's another story). He had a bionic eye which could see for miles; he had a bionic arm and two bionic legs to help him run fast.

    The show was very entertaining. The sound effects as Austin used his bionic body parts were great. The sound of the bionic eye looking miles ahead-FANTASTIC! The sound of the bionic arm breaking a door down-FANTASTIC! The sound of bionic legs running faster than any normal man-FANTASTIC! Whenever Austin jumped or ran fast, it would be done in slow motion which worked a hell of a lot better than if the scene had been speeded up.

    Richard Anderson played a good role as Oscar Goldman, chief of OSI (perhaps not the big chief but some kind of chief). He had good chemistry with Lee Majors on screen and it showed.

    There was also Martin E. Brooks who played Dr. Rudy Wells, the man responsible for Steve's bionic body parts. A great character who had his fair share of great storylines.

    The episodes were pure 70's fantasy. Austin took on spies, robots, aliens and even Bigfoot himself (my favourite episode). The music was great, the sound effects were great. The whole show was great. Definitely worth checking out on video or DVD.
  • clay405613 September 2004
    Best Sci-Fi show ever!
    I've loved this show ever since I was a kid in the 70's. I went through 2 lunch kits [the blue one with the various scenes of Steve in action] and three of the action figures, the last of which I still have brand new in the box. I also had the bionic transport/repair set. Sadly, I never did acquire a Maskatron. My Mother still remembers walking into the living room just in time to see me doing a Bionic jump, in slow motion with the ch-ch-ch-ch-ch sound f/x, off the couch, or running in slow-mo down the hall. My best friend in grade 1 and 2 was TOTALLY convinced he was bionic and was, in fact, Steve Austin [and The Fonz, too]. To prove it one day, he jumped off of a 12 foot retaining wall on the school grounds, only to injure himself quite seriously. I remember seeing the ambulance coming right in to the school yard to pick him up [a funny side note, his name was Stephen!]. Anyway, I think season 1 and 2 were the only worthwhile episodes. Things started getting really silly in season 3 with the Bigfoot episodes. It was always better when the stories remained fully human interest, with no aliens, E.S.P, Bigfoot, or the death probe. My favourite episodes are the Robot ones [Day of the Robot and Return of the Robot Maker]. Yes, the androids were a little far-fetched, but they seemed to dove-tail nicely into the whole bionic thing. Plus, the movie Westworld, which had just come out and was excellent, added some credibility. Some of the episodes still stand up well [The 7 Million Dollar Man, for instance], and are very good drama/sci-fi. It's unfortunate the last 2 or 3 seasons were so lame, but like The Night Stalker, the good ideas got used up pretty fast.
  • screenman24 August 2008
    6/10
    Early 70's hokum
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was an interesting concept. An astronaut almost killed in a crash is fitted with a host of bionic body parts like 'Robocop', but for the most part undetectable like the 'Terminator'. I'm not sure if the procedures were consensual.

    But, like the earlier 'Champions' he was gifted with tremendous abilities. He had prosthetic legs enabling him to run as fast as a horse. He had an optical implant that could telephoto zoom. And he had one very strong arm, enabling him to lift tremendous weights.

    The trouble is; the idea was good for a movie, or even a short series. But the same thing happened just about every week. We would see him running and leaping and lifting and seeing in slow-motion with that cheap, silly di-di-di-di sound effect. The whole thing become a standing joke before the first series had run its course.

    Lee majors himself seemed to get typecast by the role, and for such a handsome bloke and capable actor showed up in very few other features. A bit like that other bloke who turned into 'The Hulk'.

    I suppose the pressure to produce a programme each week rather stultified creativity. Whatever the case, it went on for far too long.

    Just 10 episodes and it would have been a classic - like 'The Prisoner'.
  • ShadeGrenade20 April 2008
    10/10
    "Better, Stronger, Faster!"
    Warning: Spoilers
    Colonel Steve Austin, ex-N.A.S.A. astronaut ( Lee Majors ) is severely injured following a plane crash in Arizona. Hs is 'rebuilt' with bionic parts ( as Freddie Starr said at the time: "He's got everything bionic, hasn't he? Well, almost everything!" ), turning him in the process into a superman. Austin can now run at incredible speeds, see things over a long distance, and with one arm rip off safe doors and punch holes in walls ( a useful ability should one accidentally lock oneself out of the house ). The makeover costs six million dollars ( a lot of money then. Today he would be lucky to get a bionic big toe for that amount ). Keen to get their money's worth, the U.S. Government puts Austin to work for the O.S.I. ( Office of Strategic Intelligence ), headed by Oscar Goldman ( Richard Anderson ).

    Each week, Austin would be sent round the world on some dangerous mission such as assisting a Russian scientist to defect or recovering stolen microfilm - one that required the use of his extraordinary powers. Beautiful girls including Britt Ekland, Martine Beswick, Michele Carey, Jane Merrow, and Lee Majors' then wife Farrah Fawcett cropped up an awful lot, none able to resist our hero's charms. Bits of him may have required an M.O.T. every now and then, obviously not the bits they were interested in.

    The villains were by and large foreign saboteurs or evil scientists out to seize power. The late Henry Jones played a robot inventor called 'Dolenz' in no less than three episodes. 'Bigfoot' showed up more than once too; he wasn't the real Sasquatch, of course, but an android used by aliens to guard their secret base. Then there was 'Death Probe', a N.A.S.A. device designed to explore and study alien planets which went berserk after crash landing on Earth.

    All this was great fun if you, like me, was eleven years old back in '74. The novel 'Cyborg' by Martin Caidin formed the basis for the pilot. Mark Gatiss cited the opening title sequence as one of his all-time favourites. Footage of Austin's crash backed by dramatic music led to an animated version of Austin's rebirth, leading to that famous voice-over: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology...the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better, stronger, faster!". We would then see him lifting weights and running like the wind, and hear Oliver Nelson's theme in all its glory. Depicting Austin running fast was a problem for the producers. Initially, they sped up the film, but this made him look like Benny Hill, so they went to the other extreme by slowing him down, managing to convey a sense of power without looking too silly.

    The show was a pop culture phenomenon. Playgrounds the world over were full of children pretending to be Austin, before going home and playing with toys associated with the series. I still have the books along with a pair of Annuals. It captured the imagination of an entire generation in a way that few shows, before or since, have managed. It wasn't an original idea, of course. The British show 'The Champions' also featured superhuman secret agents. The timing for 'The Six Million Dollar Man' was right because in the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate it reassured American viewers that their country was still a force to be reckoned with.

    Parodies abounded. Les Dawson became 'The Fifty Pence Man' on his 'Les Sez' show, while Eric Sykes' B.B.C. series featured an episode in which he dreamt he was bionic. As late as 1985, Ben Elton's 'Happy Families' featured 'The Man Who Cost A Lot'.

    Though not the world's greatest actor, Lee Majors was perfect for the role of Austin ( though his dress sense occasionally left a lot to be desired. And why did he grow that cheesy moustache? ). Richard Anderson made Goldman a likable authority figure. He and Steve did not get along initially but then became friends. Martin Balsam played 'Dr.Rudy Wells' in the pilot, Alan Oppenheimer replaced him, but it is Martin E.Brooks who is best remembered now in the role.

    In a decade when science fiction was considered passé in the aftermath of the Apollo moon landings, 'The Six Million Dollar Man' defied expectations by enjoying a solid five year run. Like many shows though, it 'jumped the shark' - particularly when it brought in other bionic characters. I did not mind 'The Seven Million Dollar Man', put up with 'The Bionic Woman' ( I rather fancied her ), but when her spin-off started, and 'Bionic Boy' and 'Bionic Dog' came along I used what was left of my bionic strength to switch the television set off. There were a number of 'reunion' movies in the '80's ( one of them guest starred Sandra Bullock ), but for me the original remains the best. I still enjoy reruns. Scientists may perfect bionics someday, and I hope its soon so I can go bounding around the place in my checked jacket and flares, just as Steve used to do.

    ( This review is dedicated to the memory of my friend Kevin William Jones, the number one 'bionic' fan, who passed away on 23rd December 2010, aged 47 )
  • voicemaster7131 July 2007
    9/10
    Cheesy, But Excellent! They don't make shows this good anymore!
    Warning: Spoilers
    One of my all time favorite TV shows. I saw it when I was very little and not again until the SciFi Channel in the 90's. The Six Million Dollar Man series was a series that never developed a permanent formula so each season is unique and different from the others. The character first came to life on TV in 1973 with a trio of 90 minute TV movies. The Six Million Dollar Man movie (Cyborg) was take right from Martin Caidin's novel and also starred Darren McGavin as Oliver Spencer and Martin Balsam as Dr. Rudy Wells. Wine, Women, and War debuted Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman and Alan Oppenheimer took over as Rudy Wells but was never a series regular. This movie made Steve seem like a Bionic James Bond. Solid Gold Kidnapping was a dull TV movie.

    Season one (1974) was a season that seemed geared towards more adults than children. Slow motion would be used as a reverse psychology to show Steve's super speed at slow motion. Cheesy, but effective. The episodes were more action oriented and we saw Greg Morris, William Shatner, and George Takai in guest roles. And the best episode of the season had to be Day of the Robot that introduced the toy figure called Maskatron. John Saxon's fight scene with Steve was awesome!! Season Two was in an interesting season as we occasionally heard the trademark Bionic sound effect which was used more towards season's end. In this season, Steve encountered another Bionic Man who was emotionally unstable, plus he would return in season three. The biggest highlight of the season was the introduction (and the death of) Jamie Sommers, the Bionic Woman. Season Three: I think this was when the series soared in popularity, became more kid friendly, and the Bionic sound effect was used on a regular permanent basis. The Bionic Woman, Jamie Sommers got revived and later spun off onto her own series. Then the show turned more SciFi with the 2 parter that introduced Bigfoot played by Andre the Giant. Season Four: This season plus the previous season remind me of the Incredible Hulk TV series because Bionic Woman creator Kenneth Johnson who adapted the Hulk was chief writer on the SMDM in these two seasons. We saw Steve and Jamie occasionally team up like in the 2 part Return of Bigfoot played by Ted Cassidy and the 3 part Bionic Crossover that introduced Fembots. In this season, Steve had a couple of Bionic malfunctions and he meets a boy who gets Bionic leg implants. Oddly enough though Lee Majors changed his look by sporting a mustache for most of this season which went against his look that was marketed on SMDM merchandise. In this season we were also introduced to the Russian Venus Death Probe. Dr. Ruy Wells was now played by Martin E Brooks who became a series regular at this point. Season Five was the strangest season of them all. The series made fun of itself with its story lines. There were more 2 parters than usual and although Lee Majors ditched the mustache, his hairstyle (which I thought was cool) was a late 70s'style that made Steve look more civilian and less military. Since the Bionic Woman was now on another network, he was dating other women and no longer had any interaction with Jamie. Best recommended episodes are: The Robot (Maskatron)series, Day of the Robot, Run Steve Run, and Return of the Robot Maker. Episodes with Jamie Sommers, The Bionic Woman and her season three return episode, plus Welcome Home Jamie which kick started her own series, The Secret of and Return of Bigfoot 2 parters, but avoid the season five episode, Bigfoot V, the Seven Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Criminal with the other Bionic Man played by Monte Markham, the Death Probe 2 parters as well as episodes like Dr. Wells is Missing, The Pioneers, The Deadly Replay, Stranger in Broken Fork, Look a Like, Hocus, Pocus, and the 2 part Dark Side of the Moon, these three episodes guest star Jack Colvin, who would later play Jack McGee on the Incredible Hulk. Also, the Price of Liberty with Chuck Connors, Target in the Sky, The 2 hour episodes, Bionic Boy and the Thunderbird Connection, The 3 part Bionic Crossover Kill Oscar, and from season five, the best ones are the 2 part Sharks, Killer Wind, the Cheshire Project, and the series final episode, the Moving Mountain. I also wanted to mention 4 episodes, Rescue of Athena One, The Peeping Blonde, The Golden Pharoah, and Nightmare in the Sky. These four all guest starred Farrah Fawcett, Lee Major's then wife and future Charlie's Angels star. There's a little over 100 episodes, but this series is great. Though cheesy by today's standards, the Six Million Dollar Man is still a Six Million Dollar Show!!
  • andyfennessy19 December 2002
    Metal limbs and wooden acting
    I'm sure I wasn't the only seventies kid to run around the school playground with my pals in pretend slow motion and play-fight making the bionic "da-da-da-da-da-da..." sound. Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive... Of course, the show wasn't very realistic. For instance, how was his bionic right arm attached to his natural shoulder / sternum in such a way that it didn't rip away every time he picked up a car or something? And how on Earth did he manage to co-ordinate himself?? Such concerns matter little when you're an awe-struck kid, however. He was my hero.

    Lee Majors - in common with William "Captain Kirk" Shatner - was an actor of somewhat limited range who never-the-less found a role which he made his own and played to perfection, albeit rather woodenly. And okay, so the moustache he temporarily sported was something of a fashion crime, but the flared trousers and hilarious sports jackets were just of the times - the red track suit was cool though.

    If it's ever remade as a big budget cinema film - as it inevitably will be - I think it will need to embrace a more complete idea of bionics in order to appeal to today's more sophisticated youngsters (and adults!) i.e. the character would need to be MORE bionic - perhaps even completely artificial apart from his brain / mind.
  • archfrisbie21 January 2005
    A very good first episode
    The Six Million Dollar man was originally a few different made for TV movies. It seemed to do well in the ratings so it was decided to try it as a TV series. The very first of the "tv" episodes was called "Population Zero"...this one episode is by far the best of the entire series, he actually had a bionic eye that zoomed without the stupid sound or superimposed view finder and additionally there were NO stupid bionic sounds used in this episode, he also showed he was a sort of a Mcgyver character but unlike Mcgyver, Steve Austin not only got away from a very near death situation (in a very clever way) but also tracked his foes down and saw to it that they died horribly- one was crushed to death by a 500 pound door while the others burned alive as punishment for their attempts at trying to kill him earlier. Overall this particular episode is a very good well written story with an excellent climax, its too bad the episodes that followed became very lame and geared towards 6 year olds.
  • billys24 April 2003
    Scared the s**t out of me when I was a kid
    This is a personal recollection.

    I only have vague memories of watching reruns of the $6M Man as a teeny tiny tot, but the overall impression I have is of being seriously creeped out (something that also happened with another '70s Universal sci-fi/action/adventure show, The Incredible Hulk).

    However, I remember with relative crystal clarity, filtered through the prismatic eyes of an overimaginative five-year-old and the ensuing twenty-five years of psychological fermentation, the episiode "Day of the Robot," an early first season episode guest starring John Saxon as a "bad" android with a removable face and that infamous "Fembot" makeup appliance underneath...I dunno, that was pretty intense IMO. The cheapness of the special effects somehow made it even scarier. Add to those a good unhealthy dose of endless slow-motion photography and weird electroni sound effects, and you have an episode with a climax literally just like a bad nightmare.

    Such is my only vivid memory of what is considered one of the best, most innovative sci-fi shows of the '70s.

    I'll leave it for others to provide detailed and expert comments about The $6M Man. I'm *still* hesitant to watch the show after all these years, based solely on infantile bad memories of one episode that would probably make me bust my gut laughing nowadays.. Even though I dig sci-fi I must not have been the kind of kid the folks at Universal TV had in mind.
  • mack317527 October 2002
    PART MAN, PART MACHINE, ALL ACTION.
    This show was great fun. It had a good premise, and Lee Majors was perfectly cast has Steve Austin, An astronaut who is injured while testing a jet. He loses both legs, one arm, one eye. But a secret government, decides to put robotic limbs on him. The Legs: He could run at 6o miles per hour. The Eye: He could see a little bit farther then normal. The Arm: It makes him has strong has 20 men. The government makes a secret agent. This show introduced the boring spin off The Bionic Woman. My favorite one was The Bigfoot episode, with Andre the Giant. A 6'2 guy going at it with a 7'5 guy, that was something to see. It had great special effects, but these it could not compete with the Matrix special effects.
  • Steve Nyland (Squonkamatic)22 April 2008
    10/10
    My All Time Favorite TV Show
    Television really never had it so good as the five years when "The Six Million Dollar Man" more or less dominated the airwaves. I was exactly seven years old when the show first premiered as a weekly event and while seeing the very beginnings of the series are hazy recollections at best it quickly became THE weekly television event in our household. At least as far as I was concerned -- back then parents actually regulated stuff like what TV you watched and where you went after school. We each got to pick one show to watch every weekend (no TV on school nights!) and I always picked The Bionic Man. The few times I was forced to miss it due to groundings or family scheduling conflicts were absolutely traumatic. I literally had no idea how the epic "Secret of Bigfoot" turned out for a whole year waiting for it to go into rerun phase because of a behavioral infraction the week of part two. Take it for granted that I never screwed up like that again.

    For my money the show was better than "Star Trek" because it was (at first, at least) far less pompous. We didn't necessarily tune in to learn anything, we tuned in to watch Colonel Steve Austin bust through walls, jump over buildings and throw stuff with that bionic screeching projectile sound effect. Eventually the show demonstrated to us how to be good citizens, see right from wrong and appreciate the military industrial complex. Eventually the show lost it's edginess and became routine, with disco mustaches and Bionic Woman & Farrah Fawcett guest appearances that intruded on our fun.

    But man, all the memories: Sasquatch, The Death Probe, John Saxon as a faceless robot squawking backwards, the weekly opening segment, Oscar Goldman with his omnipotent phone in a briefcase, Steve's Mercedes and custom belt buckle, and who can forget that sweet jacket covered with NASA mission patches. What the heck was that supposed to mean? Though you must admit that just like Kirk's v-necked wrap tunic, anybody else other than Colonel Steve Austin would have looked like an idiot paravanting around in it.

    Seriously, sometimes I wonder what people REALLY watch these days on television, and what brings them back week after week. Watching people dance or forage for coconuts or sing, yeah whatever. Even the fiction shows of today that are considered "hits"; what's the deal with them? How do they keep audiences tuning in every week, buying the products that are being advertised and turning into hysterics when a particular series is threatened with cancellation? Back when SMDM (as we call it for short) was the thing we honestly didn't know if he would be back the next week ... not because the show might have been canceled, but because for all we might know he could have been KILLED every week. He wasn't just some actor playing a role, we believed in this show. And not just because we were dumb kids, but because it was convincing, absorbing and oh so brain dead stupid.

    You honestly couldn't help but love it, and when I mean "convincing" I am not referring to the bionic special effects, I mean that we believed in the little microcosm this television show inhabited. It involved us as viewers and engaged our imaginations, which is not something I have encountered on TV in a live action show since "The X-Files" started to suck. There's no way to deny that once SMDM became a ratings hit and the Bionic Man a childhood icon it became muddled and weak, though even in it's last season there were some wonderful SMDM moments.

    What's more important is that the show has endured the passage of time, perhaps mostly because it hasn't to this date (April 2008) been remade or otherwise ruined: The image of Colonel Steve Austin in his polyester lounge suits flipping over cars and chasing Bigfoot around the woods has remained intact, aside from some later years made for TV movies that I somehow managed to miss. The memory remains intact and unsullied, though a complete series North American DVD release would be appreciated, thank you.

    10/10: Please, don't remake it, sir.
  • davidoayinde21 February 2011
    My Six Million Dollar Question
    My Six Million Dollar question is why hasn't there been a remake of the Six Million Dollar Man for the Network stations?

    The Six Million Dollar Man was my favourite TV show in the 1970's. Considering the time it was made, I think it was good value for money.

    The show attracted huge audience ratings on the Universal and NBC Television Station between 1974 and 1978.

    Lee Majors (born Harvey Lee Yeary),before playing the Bionic Man,he featured in "The Big Valley" as Heath Barkley(1965),"The Ballad of Andy Crocker" as Andy Crocker(1969). I believe it was The Six Million Dollar Man that made him hugely popular. Other sources may argue and say it was "The Fall Guy". Colonel Steve Austin, aka the Six Million Dollar Man was definitely a role Majors was born to play and he certainly made it his own. Other sources claim that Monte Markham was to play the role before the role was given to Majors.

    However, Markham did get the chance to feature in a few of the Six Million Dollar Man episodes,("The Seven Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Criminal").

    'How much did he cost?' 'This man had one bionic arm', 'two bionic legs', and 'a bionic eye'. 'How fast could he run?' Well, he's hit sixty miles per hour. 'Oscar Goldman'(played by Richard Anderson) must be very proud'.

    Although I find it difficult to pick a favourite,because all the episodes were good. Here are a few of my favourite episodes that I can recall: 1. "The Seven Million Dollar Man" (November 1974) 2. "The Bionic Woman Part 1&2" (March 1975) 3. "Day of the Robot" (February 1974) 4. "The Bionic Criminal" (November 1975) 5. "The Return of the Bionic Woman Part 1&2" (September 1975) 6. "The Return of the Robot Maker" (January 1975) 7. "Population Zero" (January 1974) 8. "The E.S.P. Spy" (March 1975) 9. "Hocus - Pocus" (January 1976).

    I believe if they follow the 1970's format by keeping the music sound in the series it will work. There is so much going on politically around the world and I am sure there is a lot to come up with. Look at Hawaii Five O. They have kept the original music series and have managed to come up with some good episodes and it is currently riding high on America's TV Network Station.

    I would love to see a remake of The Six Million Dollar Man for TV in America.
  • athansor0073 January 2006
    My kids are now bionic fans as well!
    No doubt this is one of my favorite shows of all time. Now my 6 and 9 year old have seen some of them, as well as several of the neighborhood boys, and they cannot get enough either. Now they play around with the "na na na na" bionic sounds and pretend like they are running fast or knocking each other down, in slow motion of course, all to save the government from some terrible demise. My kids were rooting for Jamie and Steve to get married, so I had to show them the "old Steve and Jamie" 1994 movie, which they really had a laugh about. That one is only for die-hards; you know how the reunion shows go.... The old shows are clean, solid drama with decent plots and enough humor to captivate any normal human being for an hour at a time. Steve is a real hero and the show really pulls you in....I wanted to be bionic, now my kids want to be bionic. They just don't make them like this anymore!
  • the_japanese_visiter18 April 2002
    Remake it!
    I saw this TV show when I was a kid and I loved it. Steve Austin, the half-cyborg, was my hero then and I fancied I myself was a cyborg, too, as I played other kids.(Many male viewer would remember doing the same thing.) By the way, while during the last two decades many TV shows(mission:impossible,Lost in space,the fugitive and Charlie's angels) and cartoons(Superman,Batman,X-men and Spiderman) have been made into the films, WHY don't anybody REMAKE The Six Million Dollar Man for the silver screen? Who play the cyborg, you may ask. I say George Clooney!
  • Dalbert Pringle12 March 2018
    5/10
    1970's SyFy TV
    Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound? - Well, not quite, but, hey, what the heck could the American TV audience possibly expect (even back in 1974) from a superhero who only cost 6 million bucks? That's dirt cheap!

    At best, I'd say that this Action/Crime/Adventure series from the 1970s was "OK", but, it definitely wasn't great.

    The Six Million Dollar Man stars hunky, ex-football champion, Lee Majors, as Col. Steven Austin whose damaged body (following the crash of an experimental aircraft) is secretly rebuilt through the wonders of modern science known as "Bionics".

    Always kept under the watchful eye of OSI director, Oscar Goldman, Steve Austin heroically repays his great debt to the American taxpayers by gallantly taking on perilous missions of a highly classified nature.
  • Parker Lewis8 October 2017
    8/10
    Stands the test of time
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm not sure what $6 million dollars is now adjusted for inflation, or whether a reboot would by The Six-Million-Dollar Man as a nod to The 40-Year-Old Virgin but this series was absolutely impressive, and demonstrated the might of the USA. It's probably no coincidence the show declined in the ratings with the election of Carter in 1976, so perhaps a reboot is in order.

    Anyway, the opening scene is haunting, especially as it's real footage of the craft crashing in the desert - check out Youtube.
  • alexanderdavies-9938213 August 2017
    9/10
    The first Bionic character on television!
    "The Six Million Dollar Man" had to prove it was worthy of being given its own regular series after the opening feature length pilot episode wasn't enough. A further two pilot episodes were made before the actual series was commissioned. The pilot episodes are 73 minutes each, which is long enough to sustain much interest. The first feature length episode is very well made. Lee Majors immediately made the character of Colonel Steve Austin his own and he is the only constant throughout the entire run of episodes. He is the only actor one can associate with the character. Before Richard Anderson came along as Oscar Goldman, Darren McGavin was cast as the Government character. His was more of an antagonistic character to Austin as the tension in their scenes is clearly in evidence. Martin Balsam played the surgeon who helped change Austin's life in the first pilot episode instead of the actor who was cast in the regular series (his name escapes me). The opening episode focuses more on how Steve Austin adapts with the way fate has entered his life. About three quarters of the running time is taken up with this and it works effectively. I like the way in which Austin is portrayed as a human being with feelings and not just as another one-dimensional action hero. The writing is great as each of the main characters in the pilot are given depth. About the last 15 to 20 minutes is taken up with some action scenes and they are exciting. Seeing a man who possesses the ability to be stronger and faster than the average person was the selling point of "Six Million Dollar Man" and it always worked. With the first season being a ratings winner, the creator of "Six Million Dollar Man" Kenneth Johnson, created the spin-off show, "Bionic Woman." That show is for another review. Overall, the best episodes are from the first season til the end of the third one. The fourth and fifth seasons contain some good episodes but the quality had fallen away slightly. However, that can happen with the best television shows. Richard Anderson was well cast as Government man Oscar Goldman. His character was more of an ally to Steve Austin and that was a wise move. I didn't really take to Lee Majors changing his image by growing his hair longer and having that moustache. Neither suited him. I enjoy episodes where characters like Bigfoot are included and evil Robots that square up to Austin. There are some noteworthy supporting actors involved, like William Shatner, Jane Merrow, John Saxon and others. "Six Million Dollar Man" is the kind of show where you find some stories resembling Science Fiction or Fantasy, thanks to the show's inital premise. There are all kinds of plots, including crossover episodes involving Jamie Sommers as the Bionic Woman. "Six Million Dollar Man" will go down as a classic show and one that remains very enjoyable today.
  • yoredm2 June 2010
    9/10
    Did anyone else wonder about this??
    One thing that my sister pointed out to me at the time (she is a few years older than I) is "If Steve Austin only has one bionic arm, why doesn't he rip his other arm off whenever he breaks out of handcuffs?" It seems obvious now as an adult but, they managed to slip that one past this eight year old kid!

    Oh and who didn't want to be Steve Austin/ Lee Majors back then? Jamie Sommers on screen (I had a major crush) and Farrah Fawcett at home! What a lucky guy! And whose idea was it to give Farrah's character on the show a name like Major Kelly Wood- major wood- I am sure!

    My favourite episodes have to be any with Jamie Sommers. It was even better when she got her own spin-off show. Also the few show with Andre the Giant. The ones that freaked me out as a kid was with John Saxon's character Major Frederick Sloan as a robot and his face falls off!

    We never missed an episode! I would love to see these in re-runs. Is there any talk of getting this show back on the air?
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