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When Steve Austin, the bionic astronaut working for the governmental service of the O.S.I. (see "The Six Million Dollar Man" show), returns to his hometown of Ojai, California he is reunited with his high-school sweetheart, tennis-pro Jaime Sommer. Both intend to marry. But their reunions is quickly spoiled in a skydiving accident. Badly injured, her legs and her right arm are lost and severe head trauma had also caused damage to her right ear. Steve, deeply in love with Jaime, contacts his boss Oscar Goldman and pleaded with him until he authorized a top secret procedure --Bionic replacement-- to give Jaime secret bionic capacities the government already performed on Colonel Austin. Under the skilled hands of Dr. Rudy Wells, Jaime's surgery was a success..
The Bionic Woman
Miraculously, Jaime's life did not end here. Dr. Michael Marchetti used an experimental cryogenic procedure to cool her body and prevent cellular damage. This gave the doctors time to repair the massive cerebral clot which had ended her life. Her heart was restarted, and she was rescued from death. However, the radical operation was not a complete success.
Jaime had suffered brain damage, and the memories of her past life were gone. She no longer remembers the past neither her relationship with Steve. Unable to return to the tennis circuit, she decides to become a teacher and accepts to help Oscar Goldman for some secret governmental missions when the O.S.I. necessitates her physical abilities...
An out of the common school teacher
The series composed of 58 episodes and 3 seasons was first aired on ABC Chanel on the 11st January 1976 with the first part of the episode « Welcome Home, Jaime ». This episode is in fact a « Six Million Dollar Man » one while the second part is the real first episode. The third season was first aired on NBC.
But the series really starts thanks to « The Bionic Woman », an episode in two parts of « The Six Million Dollar Man » in which Steve Austin reunites with his high-school sweetheart, tennis-pro Jaime Sommer. She is victim of a skydiving accident and then rebuilt thanks to bionic prosthesis but she finally died on the operating table after the reject of her new bionics. Ahead the general protest of the spectators, it was then decided to return Jaime Sommers back to life in the two part episode « The Return of the Bionic Woman ». Thus was born the series « The Bionic Woman », a parallel series in which both O.S.I. agents sometimes crosses.
Three 90 minutes compilation tv movies were realized: "The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman", "Bionic Showdown" and "Bionic Ever After ?". Although aged, the series still delights fans all over the world.
"The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman" are series extremely difficult to document because of the order of distribution of episode originaly aired that crosses from a series to the other. Several stories have been fractioned and alternated to appear in the two bionic series. For instance, "Kill Oscar" had parts one and three shown on "The Bionic Woman", while two appeared on "The Six Million Dollar Man". To make matters even more confusing, these cross-over shows that continued from one to another have all been lumped together in syndication, with two and three part episodes being shown entirely in one series or another, but not both...Directors
Alan Crosland Alan J. Levi, Barry Crane, Deadly Music, Don McDougall, Ernest Pintoff, Gwen Arner, Ivan Dixon, Jack Arnold, Jerry London, Kenneth Gilbert, Kenneth Johnson, Larry Stewart, Leo Penn, Mel Damski, Michael Preece, Phil Bondelli, Thomas J. BlankScreenwriters
Alf Harris, Arthur Rowe, Bruce Shelly, C. Robert Brooks, Connor Everts, Daniel Kibbie, David Ketchum, Ellen Wittman, Helen August, Herman Groves, James D. Parriott, Jim Carlson, Joseph A. Viola, Justin Edgerton, Kenneth Johnson, Lionel E. Siegel, Mann Rubin, Margaret Armen, Philip DeGuere, Jr., Robert A. Urso, Robert McCullough, Rudolph Borchert, Stephen Kandel, Steven E. De Souza, Sue Milburn, Terrence McDonnell, Tom August, Tony DiMarco, William Schwartz, Wilton Denmark