Friday Flashback: The Bionic Woman

Bionic people: A premise so nice they did it twice. The Six Million Dollar Man could not resisting slapping bionics onto new people who unfortunately lost their limbs. There was “The Bionic Boy,” who used his new legs to clear his father’s name, and “The Seven Million Dollar Man,” a race car driver who uses his bionics to become a criminal. And of course, they had to give Steve Austin a bionic girlfriend, Jaime Sommers. Jaime becomes a candidate for high-powered limbs (and an ear) when she has a skydiving accident. Tragically, she dies at the end of the two-parter, devastating Austin.

Or did she?

True to TV form, she got better. In The Bionic Woman, the just has amnesia and can’t remember Steve Austin, so they didn’t tell him she was still alive. Hey, soap operas still pull this stuff all the time, what few soaps are left. So Jaime has bionic adventures of her own while working as a schoolteacher (because, yanno, that’s what 007 and Moneypenny did when they weren’t infiltrating hollowed-out volcanoes.) The series featured Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman and Martin E. Brooks, who had already taken over the role of Dr. Rudy Wells, the genius behind bionics.

The show lasted three seasons, two in parallel with The Six Million Dollar Man, ensuring recess teachers in several countries that kids would continue to run in slow motion and making that Chevy Chase zen noise while pretending to lift heavy objects.

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