The Six Million Dollar Man

When I was a kid, I loved the Six Million Dollar Man. He was pretty awesome and had all sorts of cool adventures every week using his bionics to do everything from throwing bombs into the ocean just before they explode and giving Big Foot a bionic beatdown to planting a cybernetic smoochie on Sandy Duncan the space alien. I had the action figure with the big red button in the back and the bionic modules on his arms.

Even when Steve Austin grew a mustache, I still watched the show. Yeah, there may have been some shark jumping by that point, but by God it was bionic shark jumping.

I even watched the Bionic Woman, she was pretty cool too. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the recent update, though. They may have struck paydirt on BSG but making the new Bionic Woman all boo hoo wangsty and making the secret government orginization anything but a group of 100% idealistic, altruistic troubleshooters was where they missed the mark. Not including a bionic dog guaranteed that the show wouldn’t last.

Steve Austin needs to make a comeback. And a serious one at that. No hammy Jim Carrey rubber limbing his way through slow motion running required. Make him a smart, quick on his feet, good guy armed with his bionic strength, a roguish grin, and the occasional quip. Make the OSI (or whatever you call it) the good guys who give him the file every week and tell him he’s the only one who can stop the bad guys and save the day.

So now here’s my question. If the Bionic Man were built today, would he be better than the one built in the 1970’s because of the increase in technology and standardization of parts or would he be worse considering that six million dollars won’t get you as much as it did back then?

Ah, but prices for bionics have gone down dramatically since the 1970s, even after you factor for inflation:

Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aid

First off, the name of the show must be changed to Six BILLION Dollar Man. That takes care of half your problems right there.

Second, it must star Taye Diggs, and he must have a William Shatneresque clause in his contract callng for shirtlessness at least once an episode.

Second, it must co-star Nell McAndrew as Jaime and she must have a similar clause, albeit with a sadly necessary bra rider. Those not familiar with Nell should click the link in the spoiler box.

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Third, the studio guards must be ordered to shoot Jerry Bruckheimer on sight, just to be safe.

More as it comes to me

They should probably shoot Michael Bay as well, just to be sure.

Get your own Bionic Hearing aid, one of those tiny spy glasses, and a Rascal scooter and you can be a Bionic Man, too!

Yeah, in purely relative terms, six million isn’t a whole lot of dough in this day. I mean, I’d be happy to win that much playing lotto, but I can’t imagine that the bionic replacement limbs it could buy would be all that impressive. $60 million might be a bit more realistic.

I had the Steve Austin “action figure” as well.

My personal favorite Steve Austin adventure was the one with the Venus probe - basically an over-steroided Dalek - crash landing on Earth and running amok.

And not only was Lee Majors ‘the man’, he was married to 70s era Farrah Fawcett to boot! Not bad! He even got her to quit her role on the runaway hit “Charlie’s Angels” so that she’d be home in time to cook him a meal. Now that’s a MAN! (OK, maybe he sounds like kind of a dick in retrospect.)

If they do a remake, they should make him much more like the character in the books. Much more of a badass.

Roger that. The Martin Caidin Cyborg was not at all camp. He kicked ass (bionically) and took names.

Yowza, indeed. 6 billion seems very reasonable.

No. Bey is mine, do you hear me! MINE! None but I shall deliver the death blow to him@

Several people here have hit on why this would probably not work. Any time they try to update one of these series they feel the need to do one of two things:

  1. Make it way too silly. Since the old special effects look campy to us today, they will play it up to be intentionally campy turning it into a comedy even if it wasn’t intended to be.

  2. Make it DARKER AND EDGIER!!! Since people today are far more jaded (in the eyes of the producers), and there is no such thing as a true hero, turn the characters into a whiny collection of flaws and neurosis, and any organization they are associated with has to be worse than the bad guys in terms of morals.

    Now I don’t mind shades of gray, and comic relief, but so many writers and producers out there are trying to make the next Will Ferrel vehicle or be the next Frank Miller, that no one remembers how to tell a good hero story.

Six Million bucks would probably buy you a pretty impressive set of Prothetics these days. Prosthetics have come a very long way in 35 years.

But try to lift a car with an bionic arm and bionic leg and it won’t be the limbs that break, but something will if you don’t have the torso/spine conditioned for heavy lifting.

Didn’t the Bionic Woman remake handwave problems like that away by saying Jaime had nanites all throughout her body altering her physiology?

I volunteer to ride her bra.

Wait, that’s not what that means?

Why no DVDs?

Hand-waving is for sissies and Welshman. The way to handle scientific impossibilities is by sheer audacity and never, EVER going into technical detail.

Nanites. I spit on nanites and their inbred cousin, midichlorians.

I liked how the previously mentioned Cyborg and sequels took that sort of problem seriously. At one point, he was bound in chains and couldn’t get loose because while the arm was strong enough, yanking on the chains hard enough to break them would either have ripped it off his shoulder or yanked the chains though his body. Or both. And he couldn’t run at superhuman speeds; he’d lose his balance if he tried - he could however run tirelessly at max human speed, even if semiconscious. He carried an unconscious woman out of a desert where they had no water that way; a normal human couldn’t have made it to water. Not even alone, much less lugging an unconscious body. Since the legs do almost all of the work, running at full speed across the desert was not significantly more difficult than sitting still in the desert would be.

SIt back and here’s the story. (Cribbed from the web site

Six million dollar man is based on the novel Cyborg by Martin Caidin. When the time came to renew the US rights the lawyers at Universal were not paying attention and forgot to renew the rights. The people at Dimension Films were paying attention and bought the rights. To release Six Million and Bionic woman, Universal and Dimension would have to agree on how to divy up the money. They almost had a deal a few years ago but it collapsed.

Rights in Europe still belong to Universal so the series are available there.

The recent Bionic Woman revival on NBC was different enough from the book to be released.

More details are on the tvshowsondvd website.

As I recall, a rundown of the character’s abilities has him beating world records at sprinting and swimming (though not the former at 60 mph), and various gadget that weren’t in any of the TV shows, including a space in one of his thighs for an oxygen canister he could use as a SCUBA tank, as well as fold-out flippers on the soles of his feet to increase his already impressive swimming speed. His skull, damaged in the crash, had been reinforced to ten times its former strength. Five of his ribs were artificial and could be used as a radio antenna. His artificial eye, though, could not see in the original novel, let alone see at telescopic distances.

But he did have an eye that contained a miniature camera.

…that you apparently activated by blinking your eyelid.