Cyborg: The Six Million Dollar Man

"Look, I was a civilian member of the space program for twelve years. I know how much things cost! Now why am I worth a few million dollars, and what do I have to do for it?"   - Steve Austin

release year: 1973
genre: action/science-fiction TV pilot
viewing setting: home DVD, 1/28/09 and home VHS, 2/19/05 and 6/1/97

synopsis: Astronaut Steve Austin has a terrible plane accident that nearly kills him. Thanks to the government and a concerned doctor/friend, though, he is rebuilt as something not quite machine yet far more than man.

impressions: This pilot had more serious overtones than the TV series; the government liason (played by Darren McGavin of Kolchak fame) was especially nasty. The movie/pilot's plot revolves around the destruction, rebuilding, rehab, training, and first mission of Steve Austin. It's very 70s, but it's also cool. It's also a lot more grim than the cartoonish later episodes of the series that followed.

things to watch for: the crash, I guess; I'm still not clear on what went wrong

something this movie has that no other movie has: the world's first bionic man

acting: Lee Majors turns in a quite serious role as a guy who has to relearn everything. Martin Balsam is his friend and doctor. Darren McGavin plays the all-business head of whatever secret department financed the bionics.

final word: Good serious classic TV pilot.

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