- a young O.S.I. agent: “So, you’re the Six Million Dollar Man?”
- Steve Austin: “It’s probably twenty-four by now.”
Maybe if I’d seen this one when it first came out in 1987, then I might’ve been more geeked, me being a huge fan of Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers. But if you apply a bucket of cold impartiality to the RETURN OF THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN AND THE BIONIC WOMAN, then you may reluctantly agree that this made-for-TV reunion doesn’t quite keep you precariously on the edge of your seat. It is sort of dullsville. Like its film title, it lumbers along.
It’s been ten years since Colonel Steve Austin retired from saving the world under the auspices of Oscar Goldman and the OSI agency (Office of Scientific Information). But to demonstrate the OSI director’s tenacity, Oscar tries to pull Steve back in, what with the paramilitary criminal organization, the Fortress, having reared up. The Fortress’ leader (Martin Landau) is intent on uncovering the secrets of bionics. But Steve is steadfast in his being put out to pasture, content enough in his charter boat business and wanting to be left alone, and if the name on his boat reads “Summer Maiden,” what of it?
But it’s a whole new game of wax once the Fortress makes a move on Steve; this brings him and his rusty bionics back into the OSI fold and a reunion with his old love, Jamie Sommers. Except that the dynamics have altered some. The characters make mention of some disastrous mission in Budapest ten years ago which left Steve disenchanted and Jamie finally recovering from the amnesia that had made her forget about her being in love with Steve. Ten years later, this makes for an uneasy catching up.
Flashback scenes plucked from episodes in the SIX MILLION and BIONIC WOMAN series try to flesh out the story, but there’s a bittersweet element as you can’t help but contrast how young they looked in the 1970s to how they now look in 1987. Lindsay Wagner remains beautiful and imbued with grace and that engaging natural air about her. But Lee Majors has gotten so wrinkly raisins think he’s related. 1987′s version of Lee Majors is why Dorian Gray kept that mirror.
You’re in for a treat if you’re the sort who relishes slo-mo action. There are slow motion heroics galore, enough to render David Carradine all envious. But this is 1987, an advanced age in technology, and Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers have become obsolete models. This is never more apparent than when Steve’s estranged Air Force pilot son, Michael, is infused with his own set of bionics, and he begins to run circles around his old man and Jaime. I got the sense that the film was trying to develop Michael Austin as a star for his own pilot show because, occasionally, his scenes relegate Steve and Jaime to second fiddle status. Which I resented.
The television world is better for the RETURN OF THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN AND THE BIONIC WOMAN having aired, mostly because it lends a measure of closure not only for the characters but for the audience. But I wish the story had been better, that the pace had picked up more (Jaime and Steve in full gallop is another example of how this film is slow moving), and that it had showcased our lead characters in more dynamic action sequences. Lindsay Wagner and Lee Majors deserve better. I wish, too, that we’d been able to hear the original theme scores, especially the score for THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. Still, this thing must’ve captured enough of the old mojo. It did well enough that it spawned two further sequels: BIONIC SHOWDOWN and BIONIC EVER AFTER. But it’s weird that Steve Austin now looks older than his personal Dr. Frankenstein, Rudy Wells.
By the way, please note that this DVD is not Region 1 material, meaning that it won’t play in the U.S. (or the U.S. Territories, Canada, or Bermuda). Do yourself a favor and just splurge on a Region-free DVD player. And then you can go on Amazon UK and purchase the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN series. Totally worth it.
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A multi-region dvd player from Coby would be the solution for your problem. I have been getting a lot of shows from Europe that either were too expensive here or not available for release in the US. The Coby dvd player I got on Amazon was great, it plays every show from any region and was only about $25.
The movies will not work on my dvd player. How can I send them back and get new ones. I love the Bionic Woman and Six Millon Doller Man.
PLEASE HELP ME. Thank you Toni