The Bionic Woman: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
She can run faster than 60 mph, bend massive steel bars, jump from insane heights, and hear sounds you can only imagine. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher…she’s The Bionic Woman. Relive the excitement of this iconic TV series starring Primetime Emmy® Award winner* Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a woman leading the ultimate double life. After her unforgettable appearances on The Six Million Dollar Man as Colonel Steve Austin’s (Lee Majors) true love, Jaime’s story begins anew in these entertaining Season 1 episodes as she learns to deal with her new bionic abilities, becomes a top-secret agent for the Office of Scientific investigations, and deals with her changed relationship with Steve. Now available in a four-disc set that includes five original episodes featured in the Six Million Dollar Man and a never-before-seen Bionic Beginnings featurette. The Bionic Woman: Season 1 promises nonstop action, excitement, and adventure with the world’s first female cyborg.
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Lindsay Wagner herself was the key to "The Bionic Woman's" success. Wagner's performance is all the more extraordinary considering how outlandish the storylines are. The series holds up amazingly well, while the weekly plots do not. Yet, Lindsay brings a central warmth, believeability, and intelligence to Jaimie that somehow makes the entire series work. Lindsay/Jaimie is the perfect combination of beauty, bionics, and, most importantly, brains. The best Season One episode episode, "Mirror Image" has Lindsay playing two roles. In addition to Jaimie, she also portrays Lisa Galloway, a Southern woman (recruited by an evil doctor and associates, of course) who undergoes plastic surgery to become an (almost) exact double of Jaimie. With Jaimie on vacation and too quickly presumed dead, Lisa takes her place and attempts to kill OSI boss Oscar Goldman. I already have "Bionic Woman: Season 2" on Pre-order. Lisa Galloway returns in the Season 2 two part story "Deadly Ringer." Season 2 also features Jaimie's classic battle with the evil Fembots. I can't wait!
Just put logic aside, and enjoy "The Bionic Woman" for what it always was: good escapist sci-fi/fantasy, occasionally campy, fun.
Lindsay Wagner was the perfect choice to play bionic woman Jamie Sommers. She has this sweetness and sensitivity that belies her bionic superpowers. And that's the point: A bionic woman, despite her strength, even in an era of women's lib, can still be a WOMAN, retain her femininity, if she so chooses!
As they've slowly been released on DVD, I've been gobbling up these classic dramas. Somehow, though, two out of three don't look the same anymore. Charlie's Angels is campy, while Wonder Woman no longer seems nearly as sweet as she once did, now that I'm old enough to understand how emotionally limited and unavailable she really was. The sad fact is that most female superheroes simply conformed to the male model, even when (as Lynda Carter has claimed in a book about all things Wonder Woman) they were trying to be real. All these shows fulfilled the goal of showing young boys that girls could be cool, too. But only one stands the test of time. Just one warms the heart even a quarter century later: THE BIONIC WOMAN.
Originally a simple spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man - a show about a man brought back to life after a horrible accident and endowed with artificial body parts to replace those he lost courtesy of the shadowy OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence), then recruited by them as a spy - The Bionic Woman would seem a lame example of TV producers sticking with what they know works if it premiered today. But in the Seventies I wasn't that cynical yet; I had a crush on Lindsay Wagner before I was physically capable because she was sweet, even to the bad guys! Though the OSI only sent her after the very worst evildoers, this former tennis pro-turned superspy kept both feet on the ground even when jumping thirty feet in the air, handling her assignments with grace, humor and a level of understanding for EVERYBODY'S feelings that only having once been an ordinary mortal could have engendered. When a mad scientist threatens the very world with destruction ("Doomsday Is Tomorrow" from Season Two) she speaks to him softly and sits him down gently as his heart gives out. Another monster holds the world hostage to his ability to control the weather; Jamie risks her life entering his doomed complex to talk him out of killing himself by staying in there, threatening only to carry him out if he refuses. Another whole episode of Season Two ("Once A Thief") is about how Jamie bucks the OSI and the cops to keep a lifelong (petty) thief out of prison, even though he discovers her bionic secret, carjacks her and blackmails her into helping him rob a bank.
I can't remember a single episode where Jamie failed to put others' personal needs and feelings above her own, nor was there ever one in which she just totally went off on somebody for all they'd put her through. Unlike the case with so many crime shows today, which try to add emotional complexity by simply ratcheting up the anger factor, you always come away from Bionic Woman remembering what's REALLY important, having had lots of fun and being willing to let go of stereotypes of all kinds -- often not even consciously knowing why. The reason is simple: Jamie Sommers used her brains more than her brawn, stayed on task until the end, remained one hundred percent loyal to her friends and colleagues and still managed to balance their needs against those of the very enemies she was sent out to vanquish. Though she holds the fate of the world in her hands most of the time, the bionic woman never overdoes anything, and never gets burned out or pushed over to the Dark Side. Viewing her super powers as simple tools available to make her life and those of her friends and loved ones better, The Bionic Woman gets my hands-down vote for the greatest superhero of all time. When deadly supercomputer ALEX 7000 ("Doomsday Is Tomorrow") asks what her unusual prostheses are made of, Jamie replies simply: "Sugar and spice." That's as good a description of this entire series as any. Make sure to go out and grab all three seasons of this fantastic program the very MINUTE Universal releases them over here. You'll be glad you did!