When astronaut Steve Austin (Lee Majors) is involved in a near fatal crash during a test flight, he is rebuilt by cybernetics scientist Rudy Wells. Now equipped with two bionic legs that allow him to run at speeds of up to 60m.p.h. -given a bionic arm to give him extra strength, and a bionic eye to see greater distances (at a cost of six million dollars), Austin is put to work as a sort of secret agent working under the command of Oscar Goldman's (Richard Anderson) Office of Strategic Studies.
The storylines themselves were hardly original - usually involving the theft of secret documents, or some plot against the national security of the US, and special effects were fairly limited with slow-motion being used for almost every 'bionic' action from tearing open a cast iron door to running at speed. However, this didn't stop the series from being a runaway success on both sides of the Atlantic and a spin-off series The Bionic Woman starring Lindsay Wagner was created in 1976, enjoying equal fortunes.
There was a mini-revival in the late eighties when a number of TV Movies were made. The original story was based on a novel, Cyborg by Martin Caidin and developed for TV by Harve Bennett.
Published on January 31st, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.