I recently discovered a website totally devoted to one of my favorite television series from my youth. The Bionic Woman was a dynamite spin-off from the successful Six Million Dollar Man. Lindsay Wagner starred as Jaime Sommers, a former tennis pro who after a nearly fatal skydiving accident was endowed with bionic limbs (two legs, right arm, and right ear) that not only allowed her to function normally but gave her great speed, the ability to lift enormous amounts of weight, leap great distances, and hear sounds from a five mile radius (don’t quote me on that). The character was introduced on a two-part episode of the Six Million Dollar Man as the childhood sweetheart of Steve Austin, the bionic man (played by Lee Majors). In her debut episode, Jaime was killed as a result of a brain clot precipitated by her body’s rejection of the bionics. However, fan response was so great that the character was revived and eventually given her own series.
Jamie (as well as her male counterpart) was an agent for the Office of Scientific Investigation (O.S.I.). She had the cover of a junior high school teacher. Each week, she was assigned to battle spies, international terrorists, or evil robots called Fembots. On occasion the bionic woman and bionic man would have crossover episodes. On a few occasions, the duo would come face to face with Sasquatch, the mythical Bigfoot. In the final season of The Bionic Woman, Jaime became the guardian of Maxmillian, the bionic dog.
Cheesy, definitely by today’s standards; however, I much prefer the adventures of the ORIGINAL bionic woman to the failed “updated” version from last season that lasted all of 5-6 episodes. The writers strike may have been the final nail in the coffin, but it seriously lacked the heart that both previous series had.
You can either relive or introduce yourself to classic episodes of The Bionic Woman at the Official Bionic Woman website. You just have to love the cool bionic sound effects. On a personal note, my family took a trip to California in 1978 and visited Universal Studios where many of the set pieces for the series were on display. My brothers and I were locked in a jail and bent the steel bars of the cell, escaped, and flipped over a van. Jaime Sommers… not a bad name for a very attractive character.