Six Million Dollar Man,,,specifically early episodes

My Box set arrived! I was tired of streaming poor quality edited episodes.

Watched the second ep. That was a lot of fun! Its always fun watching for familiar faces and this had Character Actor Heavy William Smith…JoAnn Worley (enhhh.) and Laurette Spang from Battlestar Galactica.

These early eps eschew the use of the familiar sound effects. And this one bucked convention in fun ways. There were three bad guys, and the last one accidentally shot both his companions…then Steve killed that guy with a rock!! Just threw a rock at him and killed him.

Did they do that stupid “slow down the action sequence” thing early on? Was SMDM the first show to do that?

They DID do the slow-motion but without the sound effects.

IIRC the slow-motion wasn’t used in the pilot TV movie but started with the series. I thought the slow-motion looked bad, and was even worse with the use of the bizarre sound effects.

I met a guy named Oscar Goldman sometime during it’s time on TV. The show was well enough known that he was getting some mileage out of that.

I got the box set quite a while ago, haven’t watched much, but I noticed two big things: There were like, 3 pilot episodes, which I never knew about. Also, the pacing is incredibly slow compared to modern TV shows. One episode, he’s in a bar for some reason, and they take a few minutes to just show a guy playing guitar on stage at the bar. Doesn’t really add anything to the plot, the guitar guy doesn’t turn out to be the bad guy or anything, just hey, “Guitar Interlude!”

Obviously, he was without sin.

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That said, in about 10 shows, he’s always fighting people with a metal fence post he pulls out of the ground. I often wondered if detectives on the scene of dead people were taking notes.

“Male… 20s to 30s… killed with a fence post. We’ve got another one.”
“Do you really think it’s the Bell-Bottom Serial Killer?”
“Better notify the FBI to be on the safe side.”

I think they had a difficult time coming up with crimes and mysteries suitable for a bionic man to solve.

But it was easy to imitate when you were a kid pretending to be the Six Million Dollar Man, which was a big factor in making it the coolest TV show ever made.

NOTE: This is an opinion I held at the time. In retrospect, it may not be strictly true.

Until you tried to jump over something, and you realized that slow motion jumps don’t really work. But it was the coolest TV show made, at least up until The A-Team. You just can’t beat bionic Bigfoot.

That was me and my friends! I’ve wondered since if passersby were baffled by these little kids running in slow motion. (Just remembered, fighting in slo-mo, too)

Even at the time I thought “The running on this show is brilliant. 'Cause if they tried to make Steve look fast, it would’ve been jerky and corny-looking, but slow with sound effects seems high-tech.”

“Suspect runs very slowly, and makes “doot doot doot” sounds”.

It may have been the best they could do at the time, and in that sense a success. Even with modern special effects that can do just about anything it is difficult to make people running and fighting at high speed look realistic. I wasn’t all that young at the time, but I’m sure had I been a few years younger I would have been doing that slow speed running and fighting also.

This is true, though it’s not just an issue with that series – it’s pretty much endemic to any hour-long drama from that era, compared to modern TV shows.

When I was a kid, my two favorite TV shows were The Six Million Dollar Man and Emergency! Watching them now, nearly 50 years later, the glacially-slow pace really stands out. There’s a ton of filler – lengthy shots of cars driving, people getting out of cars and walking over to talk to someone, guitar solos :D, etc.

Bummm bummm-bum bum!

Also: Captain Pike, NO!

I seem to recall (no cite other than “I seem to recall” :grinning:) hearing that they did experiment with other ways of portraying Steve Austin’s speed–having Lee Majors run on a treadmill that was being pulled by a car, for example–and it just looked ridiculous.

Jesus Christ! :open_mouth:

And of course, we’ve now gone the complete opposite way, with things like travel over long distances happening in between one shot and the next, without even a “Two weeks later…” title card or something.

I think I first really noticed this in the show “My Own Worst Enemy”, which had these super-secret spies routinely traveling halfway around the world with no concession given to how long that would take. “We’re in Generic City, USA, and there’s an emergency in Faroffistan, better get there now!” and then they’d be in Faroffistan in the middle of the emergency, and then back home in Generic City, with their families, who don’t know they’re super-secret spies, not even mentioning the multi-day disappearance this would likely have involved.

There’s got to be a happy middle ground somewhere between these extremes.

Have you looked at Wikipedia’s episode guide?

My favorite is for Season 1, Episode 3, “Operation Firefly.”

Noteworthy Moments: First use of the “dit-dit-dit” sound effect for Steve Austin’s bionic eye. This episode features bionic woodcarving. Steve Austin battles an alligator prop whose production budget should have been more generous.


One I remember in particular was when Steve rescued pilot Greg Morris after his Cessna crashed on a clandestine reconnaissance mission. Not only did he lift the whole engine from the wreckage with one arm (prompting an acquaintance of mine to remark “He may have a bionic arm, but he doesn’t have a bionic back!”), he used his bionic eye to measure with absolute precision the amount of grinding it would take to make one of the pistons fit again.