01/05/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Region Two DVD: pub: Universal FHED2763. 1 DVD 96 minute film. Price: about GBP 6.50 (UK) if you know where to look) stars: Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Sandra Bullock, Richard Anderson, Jeff Yagher and Martin E. Brooks
check out website: www.universal-playback.com
Keeping my eye out on whether there will be a normal release of later seasons of ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’, other than an extortionate price for a complete boxset of the former, I noticed that across the pond, both ‘Bionic Showdown’ and ‘Bionic Ever After’ DVD prices have trebled what they are in the UK. Either there is sudden interest in these late 1980s TV movies or people think buying them might nudge Universal into doing the right thing and complete the original release, even if it’s disguised as a re-issue. Some websites will increase the price if they are down to the last few. Me? I was going to buy them eventually but brought it forward a little as a reminder for anyone being completest and waiting to buy sequential, it might be wiser to get now before our American cousins decide that using a multi-regional DVD player and getting their fix from this side of the pond is the cheapest way to go.
Interestingly, ‘Bionic Showdown’ isn’t a bad film on some levels and is the first starring role for a certain Sandra Bullock whose had a certain amount of success in the past twenty-two years. That’s not to say it’s perfect. There’s still a big plot hole but more on that later.
There is the World Unity Games about to be run in Canada (or could be the USA as the venue seems to change half-way through the film) and at a reception held in Washington, the OSI is invaded with its key member throwing people around with bionic ability. Can’t be Steve Austin (actor Lee Majors) or Jaime Sommers (actress Lindsay Wagner), let alone new bionic girl on the block, Kate Mason (actress Sandra Bullock), who has just become operational. An investigation is being held as to whether they provided information but no one has the answers.
Later, a bomb is detonated on a yacht early, narrowly missing killing the bionic pair and Oscar Goldman (actor Richard Anderson) but paralysing the latter’s nephew, Jim Goldman (actor Jeff Yagher). When Goldman is denied the funds to turn him bionic, he bitterly resigns and ends up bring rescued from a bar after getting seriously drunk and then kidnapped by the bionic adversary.
In the meantime, Jim Goldman acts as coach with Kate as the athlete inside the games to keep an eye on things while Steve and Jaime do their own thing to rescue Goldman. For more, you’d have to watch the film as there’s too many spoilers.
Seeing the bionic pair together is like watching old friends and both actors make better use of their time in this, their second, TV movie. Then again, considering the popularity of the two shows in the 1970s, that’s hardly surprising. The choice of Kate Mason, other than being unable to walk, as the choice for the new bionics, implants more than limb replacements, seems odd. I mean, wouldn’t you choose someone invalid with a suitable background in the agent business than someone not prepared for such work? Then again, I suppose it could be argued that she wouldn’t be a face known to other intelligence agencies. Rather oddly, they note only four bionic individuals in the world, Michael Austin from the previous film, ‘The Return Of The Six Million Dollar Man And The Bionic Woman’, and themselves. Quite why they ignored the Seven Million Dollar Man, Barney Miller aka Barney Hiller I don’t know, unless he died.
The flaw comes with who created the bionic spy. After all, it is a specialised field with only Rudy Wells expert at the technique. As the sequence showing Kate Mason being primed, there are far too many people involved to do such a thing quietly or hide the cost. The story ends before this is covered but no doubt something must happen behind the scenes.
Just in case this might be the only release of these TV bionic movies, then grab them while they’re still cheap than regret it later.
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