In the latter part of the 1970’s, the biggest hero on TV was The Six Million Dollar Man!
Steve Austin is an astronaut who is seriously injured when his experimental aircraft crashes. Handsome and athletic, Austin undergoes a government-sanctioned surgery, which rebuilds several of Steve’s body parts with machine parts, making him cyborg-like. When Steve recovers, his machine parts enable him to have superhuman strength and speed, as well as other powers. With these powers, Steve goes to work for the Office of Scientific Information, battling evil for the good of mankind.
The show debuted March 7, 1973 the lead role played by Lee Majors who had been one of the stars of the popular western Big Valley and went on to play the lead character on The Fall Guy.
The show was very popular during its run and introduced several pop culture elements of the 1970s, such as the show’s opening catch-phrase (“We can rebuild him…we have the technology,” provided by Richard Anderson in his Oscar Goldman character), the slow-motion action sequences, and the accompanying “electronic” sound effects. The slow-motion action sequences were originally referred to as “Kung Fu slow motion” in popular culture (due to its usage in the 1970s martial arts television series).
In 1975, a two-part episode entitled “The Bionic Woman” introduced the character of Jaime Sommers (played by Lindsay Wagner), a professional tennis player who rekindled an old romance with Austin, only to experience a parachuting accident that resulted in her being given bionic parts similar to Austin. Ultimately, her body “rejected” her bionic hardware and she died. The character was very popular, however, and the following season it was revealed that she had actually survived, having been saved by an experimental cryogenic procedure, and she was given her own spin-off series, The Bionic Woman. This spin-off ran until 1978 when both it and The Six Million Dollar Man were simultaneously cancelled, even though the two series were on different networks at the time their final seasons aired.
For more info, here is the link to the Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Six_Million_Dollar_Man
Kenner produced an action figure that was one of the best -selling toys of the 1970’s and the line expanded to included The Bionic Woman and several others.
An interesting side note, in season 3 Steve Austin meets Bigfoot a robot created by aliens and played by legendary pro wrestler Andre the Giant!
As a kid, this was one of my favorite shows. Even now, I have the entire series on DVD and will occasionally pop a disc in and watch some episodes. There have been several attempts at remakes and feature films, and even a comic series written by Kevin Smith. I wait patiently for the return of Steve Austin to the screen (the bionic man, not The Rattlesnake!)