The Six Million Dollar Man: The Bionic Boy

episode number: season 4, episode 8 (1976)
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/7/12

episode synopsis: In this two-hour episode, a teenager in a wheelchair gets experimental implants that allow him to walk again...but there are problems.

impressions: Well, the kid wasn't bionic - the implants just made damaged nerves work. This is really just a feel-good story that also asks "if you got a second chance, what would you do with it?" Andy does some good things, and also some stupid things, but it all works out in the end. No bad guys, no evil robots, no Bigfoots or death probes this time. Steve goes out of his way to help Andy, because he's a nice guy and because he's been though this himself.

notable guest stars: Vince van Patten doe a great job as Andy, a typical athletic teenager who experienced some real misfortune and then gets another chance. Greg Evigan (who would later star in B.J. and the Bear) is one of Andy's friends. Retired football star Frank Gifford plays himself.

significant bionic antics: Steve evades a bull, builds a fence really fast by throwing wooden fence parts, out-plays Frank Gifford in football, bends steel with his hand, spots Andy on the mountain, deflects boulders from an avalanche, and sprints around the mountain. Early on, he also pops open a panel in his forearm to show Andy and his sister some bionics.

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