Revisiting The Six-Million Dollar Man...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Warped9, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was an enjoyable read, in fact I recommend reading it. What was dated about the book was the political background of the story with things like Soviet support of Egypt and the like.
     
  2. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like the book, but some aspects of it are a little uneven. I haven't read it in a while, but as I recall, Caidin spends a huge amount of time on the accident and the aftermath and the explanation of the bionics. That's fair. Then he fast-forwards through the surgery. Suddenly Steve's limbs are attached and we're treated to a huge back-and-forth about why Steve can't learn to walk correctly. And Steve seems awfully slow about why they couldn't repair his eye.

    Plus, Steve apparently can't tell his real right arm from his bionic left, because he keeps having to remind himself which hand to use for tasks. Once he breaks a guy's shoulder by accidentally using the wrong hand. If he was left-handed or ambidextrous, that would make sense, but as I recall, he's supposed to be right-handed.

    I did like the psychology, especially Steve's suicidal tendencies and his perception of himself as a freak. And I loved the concept of the "sense without feeling" that the bionic limbs provided him.

    I've had a copy of this book sitting around since 1983. I'll have to haul it out and read it again.
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, both Bennett and Larson have a fair amount of cheese in their filmographies along with some more respectable stuff, but the ratio of quality to cheese is higher for Bennett. And Bennett's definitely a better writer. When I did my rewatch of the original Galactica a while back, I found Larson's scripts to be painfully awkward in their use of the English language; whereas Bennett's dialogue writing in The Search for Spock, for instance, is often beautiful and poetic.
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Operation Firefly ***

    Steve searches for a missing scientist who has perfected a highly advanced laser device.

    I actually kind of like this episode even though it's weighed down by some dated aspects.

    Firstly the female of the story is just so far away from what we would likely get today---she's essentially a helpless female that is cute. Otherwise she's completely useless. The alligator or croc that Austin wrestles is so painfully fake it makes the Gorn in TOS look like a masterpiece. A lot of the characters in this story have brain cramping moments including Austin. Austin's moment comes when thugs attack his camp and he lets them get away. I know if I'd just seem bums torch my boat (my only means of transport) in the middle of the Everglades and I had the means to overpower them I would have made certain I stranded them and took their boat in payment.

    Two things that one has to get used to watching these episodes. The pacing is generally slower than what we would get today and sometimes it hurts the story. At many points throughout the episodes I can't help but think of things that could have been added to pick up the pace and flesh out the story better. And while I lived through the '70s and back then we didn't think anything of the clothes we wore sometimes I now find myself smiling at some of the outfits the actors had to wear. :lol:

    Also I'm presently not getting the sense that these stories aren't written at the same level as the original pilot feature. In general things seemed to be toned down a bit as if trying too hard to be audience friendly.
     
  6. KeepOnTrekking

    KeepOnTrekking Commodore Commodore

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    The pace of the story is definitely SLOWER in these 70s shows. I picked up Season 2 of The Bionic Woman and have been watching a lot of the crossover episodes with the Fembots or Bigfoot. I haven't seen any of these shows in over 20 years and they are just not how I remembered them. I guess it's true about time flying by fast as you grow up because your attention span is longer than when you was a kid. Today's shows are at such a frenetic pace that I'm incredulous at how people can pick up the words from the opening of The Big Bang Theory that seem way too fast for me to comprehend. I feel like I'm living in a world of bionic Binars! :lol:
     
  7. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I like watching tv from days of yore for the slow pacing. I really struggled to watch SMDM when I picked up a couple of the dvds because of its pacing. Now I've acclimatised to the slower pace I'm really enjoying it. Just been watching Nightmare in the Sky. These days the whole of the set up - Steve and Oscar going to the airfrield, Kelley being shot down the ramifications of that and Steve springing her would have taken about 2 mins!

    I still love this show. It still has some good episodes even all these years later. I watched H20 = Death the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    One thing I love about watching the older shows is that they're paced for people with attention spans. I picked up the first season of Route 66 a while back and not only is the pacing right, but each episode is about 55 minutes long-- it's like watching a movie. :rommie:
     
  9. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But here's something I found interesting about it.

    I just recently bought the Season One set and I've been jumping back and forth between the episodes. When I finally watched this ep I realized it seemed immediately familiar, and not in a "you saw it ages ago silly" sort of way.

    Then it hit me: A few months ago I purchased The Bionic Woman Season One DVD. They pretty much lifted the entire plot of this episode and turned it into "Fly Jaime". You got the bionic person and the OSI big (Steve/Oscar-Jaime/Rudy), the crashing plane, the island with snakes, the two overt killers and the surprise killer...both eps are just exactly the same. It's not even a "great minds think alike" thing. The BW writers were just stuck for an idea and figured, "Well, we'll just rework this one for our show. Nobody will notice."

    And of course, I used to watch both shows religiously and didn't notice until this year when I saw both season ones a couple of months apart. :shrug:
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Mann Rubin is the credited writer of "Survival of the Fittest," and has story and co-teleplay credit on "Fly Jaime." Maybe it was a straight up remake?

    EDIT: This page seems to think so: http://bionic.wikia.com/wiki/Fly_Jaime

     
  11. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe...

    That would also explain why the ep "Jaime's Mother" shares the same lost parent/surrogate parent elements with "The Coward."

    But it's still funny, given that in the DVD extras for BW season one Kenneth Johnson makes a big deal about "We didn't want it to be exactly like Six Million Dollar Man. We wanted it to be a distinctive show."

    Right. Except for all the material you swiped from the first show to get the second on the air in time.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Day Of The Robot ****

    A missile systems specialist and a friend of Austin's is replaced by a sophisticated robot duplicate.

    I think this the best episode so far since the pilot. It doesn't feel slow and there are some interesting things going on in the story. Back in the day this must have seemed rather sophisticated, but today the robot is really a dead give-away right off. For one thing John Saxon (as the robot) never blinked and most of his dialogue seemed so monotone, which I'm sure was likely intentional. The real flaw of this robot is that so much of its behaviour had to be directed remotely. The writers didn't think of giving it a more advanced reasoning and self-guidance system---essentially very advanced programming, something the TOS writers did think of in "What Are Little Girls are Of?" and "Requiem For Methuselah."

    What's also amusing is that even today we couldn't build something as advanced as the robot depicted in the SMDM episode. But this is science fiction and that's part of what makes it fun.
     
  13. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Admiral Admiral

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    Day of the Robot had another memorable scene for me, the epic fight between Steve and the robot played by John Saxon. I loved it when Steve knocked his face off and it went tumbling down the hill. Then Steve used the "Captain Pike maneuver" to finish him. I think that my brother and I reenacted this scene many times in slow motion.
    I had forgotten that the normal bionic sounds Steve makes started out as the sounds that this robot made.
     
  14. Ranger3

    Ranger3 Lieutenant

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    Death Probe and Return Of The Death Probe were favorites of mine.

    Including The Rescue Of Athena One and Burning Bright(the one with William Shatner).
     
  15. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that was about the best Saxon is capable of. One of my watching rules is that "No movie with John Saxon in it can be truly considered good", with the exception-proving-the-rule being Enter the Dragon, because even he can be lifted by the awesome coolness of Bruce Lee. :evil:
     
  16. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ From Dusk Till Dawn is the other exception.
     
  17. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whilst I enjoyed Dusk Till Dawn, I'm not sure I'd classify it as great personally... the schizophrenia of the two halves of the movie is too jarring for my taste.
     
  18. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ah but you originally said 'can be considered good!'
     
  19. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    point taken lol...
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    No love for A Nightmare on Elm Street? Or the totally underrated New Nightmare?