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Old May 4 2012, 11:21 PM   #15
Location: Fifth Circle of Hell
Re: Would a 6 million dollar man (Bionic Man-type) reboot work now?)

The Bionic Woman remake flopped because they abandoned everything that made the original series work. Plus I'll never forget watching behind-the-scenes interviews with the writers and some cast members (not, for the record, Michelle Ryan) who expressed general dislike for the original series. You must respect the original source otherwise the remake will suck.

They also can't do what Kevin Smith did and take all the fun out of it. I like the comic book, and I bought a copy of the script for his movie a long time ago and thought it was interesting. But just as you must accept the suspension of disbelief that spaceships can go faster than light in order to accept Star Trek, and that time travel is possible so you can accept Doctor Who, you have to accept things like "A man with one bionic arm can lift a car without crushing the rest of his body" to accept Steve Austin. And I'm afraid too many of today's viewers have become too "Big Bang Theoried" to accept that. Hence you have Kevin Smith (both in the script and the comic) doing things like having Austin's real arm removed, both eyes removed oh, and let's replace all his skin while we're at it. It makes for an interesting story, but I don't consider this to be "my" Steve Austin (or "my" Jaime Sommers in the case of the new Bionic Woman comic book).

Here's another comparison: Larry Niven's brilliantly funny "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" describes in uncomfortable detail why Superman and Lois Lane can never get together. It's funny. It's probably true (were a Kryptonian with super powers ever to try and romance a human). But it also destroys the romance.

The only way for a Six Million Dollar Man remake will work in today's day and age is they have to go back to the novel. Martin Caidin's Cyborg has Steve Austin, a Vietnam veteran (substitute Afghanistan) and test pilot who gets mashed up in a plane crash. His bionics arm (that's not a typo: that's how Caidin writes it) is bludgeon with a poison dart gun in a fingertip; his legs do not run at superspeed, but he can run longer than regular people because his heart and lungs only have to power his torso, head and right arm (Steve's bionics arm is his left arm in the books); his eye is a camera, and he can't see out of it - a later book gives him a laser; his ribs are replaced by artificial ribs that double as a transmission antenna for a radio built into one of his legs.

Oh, and on missions Steve acts like Mack Bolan.

If they go back to the original, then it might fly. If they want to just do a riff on the TV series (thank you profusely to whomever killed the plan to do a Jim Carrey comedy based on it) it's gonna fail. That said, however, I saw enough of Ben Browder's appearance as Lee Majors in a TV movie on the making of Charlie's Angels that he'd have done fine in an SMDM remake 10 years ago.

"These are historical documents - preserving them is important. Tarting them up for a night out in the twenty-first century is unnecessary" - Toby Hadoke, "Should mistakes in old episodes of Doctor Who be fixed on DVD" (Doctor Who Magazine #445)
23skidoo is offline   Reply With Quote