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.