Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by WillsBabe, Feb 17, 2011.
i thought the show had potential. i blame the writers strike for its failure really.
Could have sworn I saw more episodes on NBC than the ones that were in that DVD set when I bought it for five bucks.
it was a bit shit, but Michelle Ryan's fit as a butcher's dog. meh.
and, yes, she's a hell of a lot better in Merlin. and the Doctor Who she did.
I thought it was ok and watched most of it when it aired
I liked the show, and I think if the strike hadn't happened there was every chance it could have overcome some of its problems. I liked the cast (yes, even that guy who political correctness says we had to hate; I'm mature enough to separate real life from roles played on TV). I liked the fact that, even though they had no rights to anything connected to Martin Caidin's novels (which is why they couldn't use Oscar or Rudy) they still managed to be sneaky and get some digs in there anyway, like giving Jamie a bionic eye. And I liked the "Barney Hiller" equivalent with Katee Sackhoff.
Here are my thoughts as to why the show died.
1. The Writers Strike. I've seen shows survive on lower ratings than what BW was getting. It would have at least made it to a full 13 episodes, possibly even a complete season, if the strike hadn't messed things up. Of course the Sarah Corvus arc would have continued, we would have seen more of Mark Sheppard's character, and they had Bruce McGill coming in for a new arc, but his episodes never even got made.
2. Bad advance publicity. First there was the casting of the Isaiah Washington who became a pariah because he used a gay slur backstage at a previous job. Then, there was the controversy because as originally planned, Jamie's sister was going to be deaf, but they cast a hearing actress in the role, so the deaf community got up in arms. So the powers that be said screw you and changed the role completely to a non-disabled character and cast the girl who now stars in Pretty Little Liars as the sister. And that made people (deaf community and otherwise) even madder.
3. The Katee Sackhoff/nuBSG effect. Starbuck had a very strong fanbase, and when she appeared in the very first episode of BW as Sarah Corvus (the "original" Bionic Woman) you had people moaning that she should have been cast as Jamie. It's a valid argument, but the bottom line is they should never have put a villain that overshadows the hero in the very first episode. They sabotaged Michelle Ryan's efforts to dominate her own show from day 1. Katee should have been saved for the first season cliffhanger. Making matters worse, Corvus' character was shown as being even more powerful than Jamie. Barney was more powerful than Steve, too, and so was Bigfoot, but they saved them until after the show had been established.
4. Obvious signs of waffling on the part of the writers, and possible network interference. Aside from the casting issue mentioned above with the sister, there were clear signs of inconsistency in how the show was written. Jonas was basically Oliver Spencer (the cold-blooded OSI chief who predated Oscar in the original SMDM pilot). They should have kept him as Oliver, but about 5 episodes in he suddenly became the kinder-gentler Oscar (well, to a degree). We also had Jamie turn from being, basically, Chuck to becoming Sarah Walker overnight. Lindsay Wagner's Jamie was "Chuck" for the entire run of the show and it seemed to work fine.
5. Godawful opening credits and theme music. Even worse than usual for remakes. Up until nuBW came along I'd always considered the theme from Mann & Machine (remember that show?) the worst TV theme ever. nuBW took the top prize.
6. General hostility towards the original series. By some of the people involved. I was turned off by some of the comments made about how bad the original show was that were made by some of the people involved in the series. Not Michelle Ryan - she said she never watched it which is fine because it predated her, and this allowed her to come in with a fresh perspective. But some of the other comments by people who know the original and SMDM ticked me off. If you're going to remake something, you need to start from a point of respect for the source material. It's one of the things that has me nervous about the Wonder Woman TV series. When you hear things like "remake" and "reimagining" there's the danger that the attitude being taken is "the original was broken, so we'll do better." That's deadly.
And I was disappointed because the deaf sister was played by Mae Whitman, and it would've been cool to have Katara in the show. Plus I did regret the abandonment of a deaf character, regardless of who played the role. However, Lucy Hale was gorgeous and one of the few things I enjoyed about the show.
That was a factor, but I'd say, rather, that Sackhoff was simply a better and more appealing actress than Ryan, that they cast the wrong person in the lead to begin with. And I'm not saying that because of some pre-existing attachment to Sackhoff due to BSG. I didn't even like her in BSG. It wasn't until I saw her as Sarah Corvus that I realized, "Holy cow, she's actually a good actress." But while I've found Ryan more palatable in her later roles than I did here, I'm still lukewarm on her at best.
Yeah, I do recall there being a significant amount of retooling. It felt like a troubled show from the start, one they hadn't really worked the bugs out of before going into production.
Not always. It worked pretty well for BSG. (Though BSG was really more about Ron Moore trying to fix what he thought was broken about Star Trek than about the original BSG. But there was a definite element of embracing the dark possibilities that the original frustratingly failed to explore.)
That about sums up my feelings on it. I really tried to give it a fair shake but week after week was boring, with Katee's character being the only real bright spot both acting and writing wise.
Same here. Sackhoff's character should have been the lead.
I did like her when I saw her on a Doctor Who episode, so you're probably right.
The show really should have been about Katie Sackoff's "Bionic Woman"
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