The Six Million Dollar Man.

Weirdest part about doing a post about the Six Million Dollar Man is that I was never the biggest fan of the Six Million Dollar Man. I did want to be Steve Austin growing up. He had the coolest job, Test pilot and Astronaut, wow! However, growing up I actually watched  The Bionic Woman far more than the Six Million Dollar Man.

After every episode the end credits would tell you it’s based on a book called Cybrog by a man named Martin Caidin, Although technically the show was based on this made-for-TV movie that’s based off the novel, but I guess it’s not considered that way because this movie (Which started a Trilogy way before Trilogies were popular) was considered a pilot to the show.

But there are certain differences in the show vs. the series. Possibly more based on the novel than the series, Steve Austin is a man famous for landing on the moon and became a test pilot afterwards when he got into bad crash flying some plane. In the series they made it seem like his good friend Oscar Goldman was responsible for turning him Bionic but in the movie a man named Oliver Spencer (who interestingly is cripple and walks with a limp) works with the OSO (Not the OSI) set up a program for bionics and Austin just happen to be the first semi-random person that got into an accident fucked up enough to justify the amount of cash  about to be laid down.

What made sense to me was how grim Steve Austin was after he got his bionics. He was a man who seemed broken, despite the fact that they made him “better”. Semi-dark for the 1970s (Probability would have been better for today’s bionic man), Austin became a disgruntled employee for the OSO, a fact that bugged him knowing they paid a lot of money to fix him up and they would never let him back out of all the evil government stuff they want him to do.

That’s another big diff from the movie to the show. Steve Austin in this movie seemed like an accidental James Bond, A secret agent man who did not want to be a secret agent man, so they tricked him into doing it. Making sure he was at the right place at the right time (and using the right pussy) to do it and knowing that Austin was the right man for the job (Cause they built him to be) they know he would do the right thing.

I must admit, I think one of the reasons why I may not have liked the show as much as the Bionic Woman was because for me it seems far more clear what Jamie Summers’ purpose at the OSI was while the odd jobs Austin seem to do for the agency seem so random. sometimes he was in space, sometimes he was an escort for a diplomat, sometimes he went undercover (Which puzzled me. I know a lot of people may not know a famous astronaut when they see one, yet I always felt a man who walked on the moon back in 1973, someone would blow his cover and it never happened).

Too all over the place, but the movies seem more specific. He was a weapon, but not of mass destruction, a thinking machine who could fully determine if a situation needed brutal force or swift extraction. Steve Austin was to be placed in a situation in which a normal agent could not succeed. This made more sense to me although looking at the film in comparison to the show I could see why they changed it. The full on secret agent man thing they had going for Austin was a little too adult to appeal to the vast majority who were watching the show at the time. It would be harder to sell that Steve Austin action doll the way the movie was going.

Plus the movie did have that famous grinding metal sound you get when Austin uses his bionics (in fact that didn’t come until season two, the first time we would even hear it was on an episode in the first season when Austin battled an android( Who was actually asking the noise). From what I herd about the novel, Steve Austin’s bionics were only met to make him a whole man again. With the exception of a projectile dart in his arm nothing about his bionics was superhuman. I guess that would not make sense on the silver screen, and though he was doing some amazing feats in the movie, without the famous grinding metal sound (and the slow motion visuals) it just did not feel that spectacular.