The thick and manly Lee Majors is part of the last wave of 1950’s-style leading men. Tanned, helmet-haired and squint-eyed (complete with crow’s feet), Majors wears 70’s styles such as a powder blue denim suit like nobody’s business, and has a wink that says…something only Lee knows. Like Gil Gerard, the star of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Lee resembles a husky adult male, and not some boyish waif like the body type that became common with 1980’s stars like Michael J. Fox from Family Ties, Henry Winkler from Happy Days or Johnny Depp from 21 JumpStreet. It’s cool that, when Steve Austin punches a guy, one can actually believe that they would go down. Big time. Why so much focus on Lee “The Six Million Dollar Man” Majors? Because it was on his show The Six Million Dollar Man where America fell in love with Lindsay “The Bionic Woman” Wagner.
The Bionic Woman Season 1 starts right where we needed it to start with, the four Six Million Dollar Man crossover episodes Bionic Woman, Part I and Bionic Woman, Part II, revealing how Colonel Steve Austin’s fiancé Jaime Sommers, becomes the Bionic Woman. Spoiler Alert: At the end of part II, Jaime dies. Kids across the globe were traumatized. The pouring in of bags containing concerned fan mail from all over the world was enough to convince the network that Jaime needed to live, something that Kenneth (V: The Final Battle) Johnson, the creator and writer of the Bionic Woman (whose commentary is included over these two episodes) had originally written into the script. Alas he was instructed to kill her off by the ever clever, future-thinking network executives. The fans literally brought Jaime Sommers back to life, creating another two-parter called “The Return of the Bionic Woman.”
Disc one gives us the these episodic jewels as well as the third two-part episode “Welcome Home, Jaime,” the Six Million Dollar Man episodes that then launched The Bionic Woman spin-off series.
The Bionic Woman Season 1 includes 4 discs chock-full of 70s fun and includes a great featurette: “Bionic Beginnings”. Richard “Oscar Goldman” Anderson, Lindsey Wagner, and other cast favorites are included in the featurette, and share some rare insights about making the three season series that ultimately ran on two different networks. If that is not enough for you, a season 1 gag reel is included, which is always a welcome addition. Additionally, a great photo gallery is included as an added bonus. This classic disc set is enough to prompt the question to Universal: “what took you so long, and please, get The Six Million Dollar Man series out while your at it.”
One interesting note: Lee Majors obviously had Universal by the balls, because we are able to enjoy two off-key, less-than-demo worthy country warblings onto the Six Million Dollar Man in the episodes “The Bionic Woman, parts I and II”. Steve Austin is shown returning to his childhood home in Ojai, California, and a song plays over the image of him driving through the countryside on his own, a gem called “Gotta Get Loose.” This foreshadows what Majors was going to provide to the world when he sang the opening theme song to his mid 80s series The Fall Guy. Any Majors music placed over a montage of Jaime and Steve sharing a romantic spaghetti dinner (is that romantic?) and horseback riding is TV 70s gold. Thank you Universal Home Video, now get those additional seasons out quick, as fast as it would take Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers to sprint through the ice tunnel.