After the huge sales of “The Bionic Woman-Season 1″ on DVD last October now comes word from Universal Studios that “The Bionic Woman-Season 2″ arrives in stores on May 17th, 2011. This is the series’ first complete season because season one only contained 13 episodes as “The Bionic Woman” was a mid-season replacement on ABC. Season 2 started on network television on September 22, 1976 and contains 22 episodes. The great thing about this boxset (besides the fact that “The Bionic Woman” is available on DVD for fututre generations to enjoy) is that there are two crossover episodes included from “The Six Million Dollar Man” so the viewer can watch the complete full story arch on “The Bionic Woman” box set.
There are a slew of bonuses including a new featurette with Lindsay Wagner, Kenneth Johnson, and crew members entitled “Bionic Blast” where they discuss the merchandising of the series, how the stunts were performed, and who their favorite villins were. There are new audio commentaries on select episodes by Lindsay and series creator Johnson. Actress Janice Whitby (who played fembot Katy in the episode “Kill Oscar”) has stated she has done some voice over work that will be included as commentary on this set. Finally, there is also a gag reel and photo gallery included.
“The Bionic Woman” continued to enthrall audiences young and old upon its first network broadcast with season 2 finishing a respectful #14 in the national Nielsen Ratings. This would, however, be the series’ final year on ABC as the network canned it citing “The Bionic Woman” was not attracting the kind of young demographic it desired. Season 3 was picked up by rival network NBC in the fall of 1977.
Guest-stars in season 2 include Stephanie Powers, Sandy Duncan, John Saxon, Vincent Price, and Julie Newmar. This is a 5 disc set with english subtitles and english mono sound.
This was the season Lindsay won her much deserved Emmy as Oustanding Actress in a Drama Series for the two-part episode “Deady Ringer”. Her competition that year was Angie Dickinson for “Police Woman”, “Michael leaned (“The Waltons”), Sada Thompson for “Family”, and Kate Jackson (“Charlie’s Angels”).
The following is a list of episodes included in “The Bionic Woman-Season 2″ box set, all 22 shows along with the 1 crossover episode from “The Six Million Dollar Man”. Also listed are the airdates.
1. “The Return of Bigfoot-Part 1″ from “Six Million Dollar Man”, Sept. 19, 1976
2. “The Return of Bigfoot-Part 2, Sept. 22, 1976
3. “In This Corner, Jamie Summers”, Sept. 29, 1976
4. “Assault on the Princess”, Oct. 6, 1976
5. “Road To Nashville, Oct. 20, 1976
6. “Kill Oscar-Part 1″, Oct. 27, 1976
7. “Kill Oscar-Part 2″ from “Six Million Dollar Man”, but released in syndication as a “Bionic Woman” episode, Oct. 31, 1976
8. “Kill Oscar-Part 3, Nov. 3, 1976
9. “Black Magic”, Nov. 10, 1976
10. “Sister Jamie”, Nov. 24, 1976
11, “The Vega Influence”, Dec. 1, 1976
12. “Jamie’s Shield-Part 1″, Dec. 15, 1976
13. “Jamie’s Shield-Part 2″, Dec. 22, 1976
14. “Biofeedback”, Jan. 12, 1977
15. “Doomsday is Tomorrow-Part 1″, Jan. 19, 1976
15. “Doomsday is Tomorrow-Part 2″, Jan. 26, 1976
16. “Deadly Ringer-Part 1″, Feb. 2, 1977
17. “Deadly Ringer-Part 2″, Feb. 9, 1977
18. “Jamie and the King”, Feb. 23, 1977
19. “Beyond the Call”, March 9, 1977
20. “The DeJohn Caper”, March 16, 1977
21. “The Night Demon”, March 23, 1977
22. “Iron Ships and Dead Men”, March 30, 1977
23. “Once a Thief”, May 4, 1977
UPDATE: JULY 1, 2011: Fans have been complaining (and rightly so) that the episode “Deadly Ringer” has poor audio quality. This was due to the fact that Universal couldn’t find a proper master tape for that particular show (remember these episodes are over 30 years old). Now, fans can rejoice in knowing the studio has found another master tape and has corrected the problem. For fans not satisfied with disc 4 that contains “Deadly Ringer” they can contact Universal for a replacement disc by emailing them at USHE.ConsumerRelations@bydeluxe.com or by phoning 888-882-5779.
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Yes, I know: “not fit for purchase” or some such would be better English. Still, it’s important that anyone reading this review understand that while Universal is to be commended for (finally!) releasing this best season of the timeless classic for which Lindsay Wagner justifiably won an Emmy award, THE CURRENT PRESSING IS UNFIT FOR SALE due to an extended section of barely audible audio at the beginning of the (first part) of the very episode for which she won it: “Deadly Ringer” on Disc Four.
This is not an issue with a small batch of discs, but instead something which originated with the studio — a problem being discussed like crazy on every bionic internet group, and by now something the studio — whose consumer relations department has issued a statement about it — is aware of as well. What Uni Consumer Relations told my fellow fan listserv participant is that they can’t do anything about it because these are old shows with less-than-perfect masters! TVShowsOnDVD is also covering this issue, and it’s worth noting that all three seasons are available in English with PERFECT audio tracks in non-US releases which can be imported and enjoyed with the right equipment and know-how, though obviously without the much-anticipated special features of this release, which are very good, and will be most welcome once a new pressing is done with all the audio intact.
A few quick words about the program & this season: This is the classic counterpart program to The Six Million Dollar Man, the groundbreaking action/SF series of the ’70s based on Martin Caidan’s 1972 novel, Cyborg. For those who don’t already know, Six Mil creator Kenneth Johnson decided to create a “Bride of Frankenstein” for Col. Austin at the end of his second season, and a two-part episode introduced fans to Jaime Sommers, former tennis pro-turned middle school teacher, Steve’s first heartthrob. Lindsay Wagner proved so popular in the role that ANOTHER two-part story was hastily written and aired, even though execs at “The Black Tower” (a.k.a. ABC, the program’s original network) had insisted that Jaime not live through her first appearance.
The huge groundswell these Six Mil episodes created carried Lindsay to the top of the A-list, and ultimately (as I just said above) to an Emmy Award for (I think the wording was) Best Actress in an Action/SF series — a true cultural benchmark, for a woman had never been the star of a US TV action series before. In this, The Bionic Woman’s second season, the creative team reached what I feel to have been the series’ high-water mark as Ms. Wagner worked closely with Johnson and the other writers and directors to bring a truly feminine tenderness to a character which could have been — as she told me personally a couple years ago — “The Six Million Dollar Man in a skirt.” In addition to the aforementioned Emmy-winning story arch, this season is also when John Houseman appears in the role of misogonystic former O.S.I. scientist Dr. Franklin, who unleashes his “Fembots — as beautiful or as deadly as I wish to make them” on Jaime and her loyal viewers! Other notable guest stars included Vincent Price, Norman Fell, Lew Ayres, Lloyd Bochner and Country star Hoyt Axton.
So you see: When Universal re-presses Disc Four, this will be a must-own set for anyone nostalgic for the halcyon childhood some of us were lucky enough to have, in which science, coupled with humanity could still produce everyday heroes — ones we pretended were our big brother and sister, and still love to this day. Until then, however, DO NOT BUY THIS SET!! It’s just not worth getting all psyched up for, only to turn on your TV, and…not hear anything at all for nearly ten minutes.
Better luck next time, Universal. thanks for trying, anyway.
I came here to write exactly what Mr. Bangs conveyed so perfectly in his review. This is the best season of “The Bionic Woman,” but Universal has made it unwatchable (and inaudible). Never before have I seen a release so poorly put-together. Mr. Bangs gave this one star, and I whole-heartedly agree. We’re not dissatisfied with Lindsay Wagner or the series itself, but Universal for releasing such a horrible transfer. Fix it, Universal! Seriously.