Release: Jan 04, 2016 - Author: Tony Montana - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the shorter Original Broadcast Version (Movie Version) and the longer Expanded Syndication Version (TV Versin / Two-Part Episode) (both available on the so-called "The Complete Collection" by Fabulous Films from the UK).
19 differences, consisting of
- 9 removed scenes
- 1 recut
- 2 scenes with alternate footage
- 2 scenes with alternate audio track
- 2 removed scenes & alternate footage
- 1 removed scene & alternate audio track
- Total length difference: 933.497 seconds resp. approx. 15 minutes and 33 seconds
Please note: the images in the Original Broadcast Version are generally brighter than the images in the Expanded Syndication Version.
The Bionic Universe
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technlogy.
The Six Million Dollar Man tells the story of austronaut Steve Austin (Lee Majors). After an accident, he lost both legs, an arm and an eye. In a $6 million surgery, the affected body parts get replaced with bionics. From now on, Steve works for the intelligence agency OSI.
The show is based on te novel "Cyborg" by Martin Caidin. Because of that, the sow was originally supposed to be called "Cyborg" as well but that idea was cast away. Originally designed as 3 TV movies in 1973, The Six Million Dollar Man TV show aired in 1974. All in all, there are 5 seasons with 108 episodes in total (incl. the 3 pilots). The longer versions have a length of approx. 100 minutes each (the original length was only about 74 minutes each but approx. 37 minutes per episode would be too short). The regular opening and ending from the show were added and so were many new scenes. In return, a few scenes were also cut or replaced. For more details, please see the following comparison. The result: the 3 TV movies became the 3 show pilots. Regarding the plot, this is only the case with the 1st pilot "The Moon and the Desert". This very first pilot is rather unspectacular but it's in the nature of the beast. After all, "The Moon and the Desert" tells the story how Steve Austin became the Six Million Dollar Man - also told in the opening of the show but highly compressed of course. Starting with him being a test pilot and astronaut, right up to his severe accident, the eponymous surgery that costs $6 million and his first assignment. In the second and third pilot, Steve is on further missions which makes these pilots much more similar to the actual show.
At the end of the second season, in episodes 2x19 and 2x20 (The Bionic Woman Part 1+2) to be more specific, Steve gets temporary bionic support. Steve buys a Ranch in his hometown Ojaj, California where he bumps into his former girlfriend Jaime Summers (Lindsay Wagner) who has become a tennis pro. But the reunion does not last long because when Jamie goes skydiving, her parachute does not open correctly. Similar to Steve back in the days, Jaime is severely injured. Steve can convince his friend and boss Oscar Goldman that she will get bionics as well. At first, everything is peachy. But it turns out that Jaime's body rejects the bionics. At the end of the day, Jaime dies.
This two-part episode was so successful and the character was so popular among fans that the producers brought Jamie back to life in another two-part episode called "The Return of the Bionic Woman". It turns out Jaime is not dead after all resp. she was dead for several minutes but she could be revived just in time. Her body rejected the bionics but the process could be stopped. Unfortunately, Jamie suffers from amnesia. She has no recollection of Steve at all and any times she makes an attempt to remember him, it causes a lot of pain which is why she can't be with Steve any longer. Jaime settles down in her hometown Ojaj and works as a teacher on a military base. That is if she is not on an O.S.I. mission of course.
This is also the initial situation for the spin-off The Bionic Woman. The show started in 1976, 3 seasons consisting of 58 episodes in total were made. Besides further guest appearances of Lindsay Wagner in "The Six Million Dollar Man" and a few guest appearances by Lee Majors in "The Bionic Woman", there were two huge crossovers: "The Return of Bigfoot Part 1+2" and the among fans extremly popular "Fembot Trilogy", consisting of the episodes "Kill Oscar Part 1-3".
After the second season of "The Bionic Woman", the show got cancelled by ABC. NBC bought the rights, produced a third season and aired it. Due to the new network, crossover episodes were no longer an option. But this also resulted in something unique in TV history: Richard Anderson (as Oscar Goldman) and Martin E. Brooks (as Dr. Rudy Wells) now played the same character on two different networks. It was the first and only time that his has happened.
The year 1978 was pretty bad for our bionic heroes because both shows got cancelled independently of one another. While "The Six Million Dollar Man" ended with a regular episode, that was not the case the final episode of "The Bionic Woman" called "On the Run".
She has never thought about it but when a little girl calls Jamie "Robot Lady" some day, she quits. But the government can't just let her walk. They want Jaime to live somewhere where they can keep an eye on her. Later on, Jamie realizes she is still a human being, despite her bionics. She goes back to the O.S.I.
It has been confirmed that this finale episode is a reference to a show from the UK called The Prisoner - which is ridiculously awesome by the way. The lead of that show, Patrick McGoohan, is taken to a mysterious island after he decided he did not want to be an agent anymore and quit. On that island, he lives at a place called "The Village". In "The Village", there are no names. He is simply being called "Number 6". In every episode, he has to face an opponent who intends to find out the reason why he resigned in the first place.
This story was intentionally choses for the final episode of "The Bionic Woman" because it was originally supposed to be the end of te story of Jaime Summers.
But things turned out differently. Similar to The Incredible Hulk, 3 TV movies - known as "Reunion Movies" - were shot after the end of the two Bionic shows. Those three movies tell the actual ending of the Steve Austin and Jaime Summers story.
The first movie was released in 1987 and it is called The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman.
The second one is from 1989 and it is called Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. Fun fact: one gets to see Sandra Bullock in one of her first movies here.
The third and last movie was released in 1994. It is called Bionic Ever After? and tells the ending of the story about our two bionic heroes.
In this context, I would like to recommend this chronological listing of the cameos and crossovers.
Some people might be interested in the fact that a further spin-off was planned. The third season of "The Bionic Woman" begins with the two-part episode "The Bionic Dog". In this episode, Jamie finds a dog called Max. Max has bionic parts as well. To be exact, Max got a new jaw and new legs. At the end of this two-part episode, it is implied that Max lives with a friend of Jamie's, Forest Ranger Roger Grette, in the Sierra Mountains and that Jamie visits him occasionally. But this idea was rejected and the network decided that Max sticks with Jaime. As a consequence, he has a few more appearances on "The Bionic Woman" auf.
There are further "Bionic Shows" / "Bionic Movies" but neither of them have anything to do with the story of Steve Austin and Jaime Summers.
- Bionic Six is a US-American/Japanese cartoon from 1987. Produced by "Tokyo Movie Shinsha", the show consists of 2 seasons with a total amount of 65 episodes. The show is about test pilot and family man Jack Bennett who gets bionic parts by Professor Sharp. During skiing trip with his family, they get attacked by aliens and burried in radiactive snow. Jack takes his family to Professor Sharp. By equiping them with bionics, Professor Sharp saves their lifes. Each of them has special bionic skills. Together, they are a team of superheroes: the "Bionic Six".
- The Bionic Woman (2007) is a short-lived remake by NBC. Due to the strike of the "Writers Guild of America", the first season consists of only 8 episodes. Neither Kenneth Johnson, producer of the original series, nor Lindsay Wagner were somehow involved in the project.
Contentwise, some changes were made as well. Barkeeper Jaime Summers (Michelle Ryan) takes care of her younger sister Becca (Lucy Hale). One day, Jaime and her boyfriend Will are invlved in a car accident. Will takes Jaime, who go severely injured in the accident, to his secret lab and saves her life with bionics. Soon after Jaime's recovery, Will gets killed by the first Bionic Woman, Sarah Corvus (Katee Sakhoff). After Will's death, Jaime decides to team up with the Berkut Group - the company that made bionics available for Jaime in the first place. She does not trust any of them but resigning is not an option because Jamie is determined to figure out why Will was killed. Also, Sarah Corvus, the first Bionic Woman, has problems with her bionic parts. They almost drive her nuts. She aches for being healed and fights the Berkut Group. Furthermore, she tries to convince Jaime they should fight side by side.
- The Six Billion Dollar Man is a remake for movie theaters which is still in production. Mark Wahlberg is supposed to play Steve Austin.
Time index refers to the longer Expanded Syndication Version.
Removed Scene / Recut
The versions start differently.
Original Broadcast Version:
The Original Broadcast Version begins with a Universal logo, followed by a computer screen that shows the definition of the term "Cyborg" being typed in. With the following shot of a plane, the versions are basically back in sync. (43.24 sec)
Please note: In the Expanded Syndication Version, the definition of the term "Cyborg" comes right before Steve's surgery in which he gets his bionics (please see 44:35).
Expanded Syndication Version:
Here, we see the regular opening of te show. Funnily enough, one gets to see Martin E. Brooks, who plays Dr. Rudy Wells, in the show even though that character is played by Martin Balsam in the first pilot (and by Alan Oppeneimer in the first 2 seasons of the show). Furthermore, the credits after the opening have Martin Balsam listed as "Special Guest Star".
Subsequently, after several exterior and interior shots of the space center, we see Dr. Rudy Wells. He explains the main premise via voice-over during the footage of the launching missile. Moreover, we get to see some credits.
Rudy (via voice-over): "It is very difficult to believe that three years have passed since I stood there that day, performing my function a spart of the space project Moonshot-XYZ. My responsability was the physical and mental well being of the astronaut Steve Austin. Weh ad met four months prior to the launching. The two of us had entered into the regions of space medicine together, the unknown of the space frontier and the unpredictable problems that we encoutered brought the two of us together. From what had begun as a purely scientific doctor-patient procedure developed over the years into a relationship of deep friendship. One that ultimately knew what it meant to stand upon the threshold of death. Space flight and the unforeseen effects it has on the human body and mind presents may mysteries in scientific investigation."
Then a guy over the speakers: "Cleared for launch. T minus 3 minutes 30 seconds and counting."
Rudy's voice-over continues: "There is still so much for us to learn in the field of space medicine. But there were deeper and more provocative lessons in store for me about human behavior. Lessons that little to do with space but were more concerned with the question of human physical strength and the question of the courage of man."
Now, a conversation between Rudy and Steve. The latter is already inside the rocket.
Rudy: "Steve. Are you nervous? Everything OK?"
Steve: "Feeling good."
Several shots of the preparations for the launch follow. Then the countdown: "Five, four, three, two, one, zero!". The rocket launches and the staff watches the launch. Subsequently, there are several rotational shots of the staff and Steve on his way to the moon. At some point, Steve lands on the moon. He radios in that everything was fine.
Steve: "Landing on the stand."
While transmitting the exact coordinates, the staff members are cheering because everything went well.
Steve leaves the rocket and sets foot on the moon. After a while, he returns to the rocket and flies back. Rudy watches him on a monitor. (468.87 sec)
With the now following shot of a plane, the versions are back in sync.
More or less because there is one tiny difference: there is no text ("20 Months Later") in the Original Broadcast Version. Since it has just started, it would not make any sense at all.
Expanded Syndication Version 425.63 sec resp. 7 min and 5.63 sec longer
Now the credits in the Original Broadcast Version. Since the Expanded Syndication Version started with the opening of the show and further credits appeared subsequently, there is no need for any more credits in the Expanded Syndication Version. Other than that, the footage is the same (no screenshots).
Alternate Audio Track
After a short conversation between Rudy and Steve, the Expanded Extended Version contains another one of Rudy's voice-overs.
Rudy: "Steve Austin made two more trips to the moon after that first time. In a manner of speaking, I went with him on those trips, every foot of the way as it were, constantly checking for any signs of mailfunction, physically or mentally. But his was a body of superior physical strength and a mind of incredible perseverance. After his third flight, Steve was re-assigned to special duties for the U.S. Air Force. Cut with his orders were my instructions to stay with him and to be completely responsable for his health."
Basically, the footage during the voice-over is the same. Except the shots are insignificantly longer in the Expanded Syndication Version. The additional footage is completely irrelevant though.
Screenshots to illustrate the scene
Alternate Audio Track
Steve prepares for another test flight. Again, only the Expanded Syndication Version contains Rudy's voice-over.
Rudy: "The strangest premunition came over me as I stood there that day. It was a feeling of fear, one that I had never known. Always I had followed Steve during his Moonshots with complete confidence of his success but I shall never forget that day at the airport, prior to takeoff, when I stood there, pervaded with anxiety and this tremendous sense of helplessness, waiting for that terrible event waiting to play itself out. My entire life was changed in a period of ten minutes."
The footage is identical in both versions.
Screenshots to illustrate the scene