The Bionic Woman

From Academic Kids

The Bionic Woman was a television series which spun off from The Six Million Dollar Man. It starred Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a tennis professional who was nearly killed in a sky diving accident, and was rebuilt by Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) and Dr. Rudy Wells (Martin E. Brooks), who had also rebuilt The Six Million Dollar Man. As the result of her operation, Jaime Sommers had amplified hearing, a greatly strengthened right arm, and enhanced legs, enabling her to run faster than a speeding car.

The series ran on the American Broadcasting Company from 1976 to 1977 and on NBC from 1977 to 1978.



Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man, had been engaged prior to his career as an astronaut, but had drifted apart.

Jaime first appeared in a two-part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man in 1975 entitled "The Bionic Woman." In this episode, Austin travels to his old hometown of Ojai, California to visit with his parents and take a vacation from his work. During his visit, he rekindles his old relationship with Jamie Sommers, now one of America's top tennis players. Their relationship progresses rapidly to the point where Austin proposes marriage.

During an outing, Austin and Jamie take part in some skydiving. However, Jamie's parachute malfunctions and she crashes through a tree and hits the ground, hard. Her injuries are extensive and she is not expected to live. Austin makes an emotional plea to his boss, Oscar Goldman, who agrees to assign Dr. Rudy Wells and the bionics team to rebuild her.

Jamie's body is reconstructed with parts similar to Austin's, but smaller. (The actual cost of rebuilding her not revealed but is said to be less than the $6 million it cost to rebuild Austin.) Jamie is given two bionic legs and her right arm is also replaced. In addition, her right ear is augmented by a bionic device that gives her the ability to hear a whisper a mile away. Jamie recovers well from her operation and even threatens to upstage Steve in some areas. Over Austin's initial objections, Jamie agrees to go on missions for Oscar Goldman. But during one mission, her bionics malfunction and she begins experiencing mental instability and blinding headaches.

Dr. Wells determines that Jamie's body is rejecting her bionic implants. Soon after, she goes berserk and crashes her way out of the hospital, Austin in hot pursuit. He catches up with her and she collapses in his arms. Soon after, Jamie appears to die on the operating table, her body shutting down. The downbeat episode ends with Austin weeping at her memory.

The character was so popular that the next season it was revealed that Jaime hadn't died after all, although Steve Austin was not informed of this fact. He discovers it when he is hospitalized at Dr. Wells' bionic clinic after a mission goes bad and he suffers severe damage; he sees Jamie as he is being rolled into the operating room for repair. Eventually, Jamie is revived from a coma and the rejection issue appears to have been resolved. An unfortunate side-effect, however, was she developed a form of amnesia that caused her to forget her relationship to Austin; any attempts to make her remember her life with Steve causes her headaches and pain. Steve reluctantly let her go on to live her own life, as an agent for the OSI.

Jaime, now retired as a tennis player, took a job as a schoolteacher in Ojai, where she lived in a converted farmhouse rented from Austin's mother and stepfather, who were aware of her (and Steve's) bionic nature and their double lives as secret agents. In later episodes, Jaime all but adopted Maximillion, a german shepherd that had been given bionic legs and other augmentations in an experiment to see if trained animals could benefit from bionics. She also worked frequently with Austin on missions and the two reestablished their friendship, although no romance resulted initially.

Her most noted enemies were the Fembots, a line of powerful androids that Jaimie fought twice in her series.

Jamie's bionic abilities were depicted as being similar to Austin's. She could run in excess of 60 mph, could bend steel bars with her right arm, and could jump great heights with her new legs. (One episode illustrated limits in her abilities: after jumping out of a particularly tall building, Jamie's legs virtually exploded upon impact with her legs' shock absorbtion function was overwhelmed, although she was soon repaired.)

In later years, the love between Jaime and Steve rekindled, and this was further explored in three made-for-TV reunion movies in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see the article for The Six Million Dollar Man for more information).

In the final reunion film, Bionic Ever After?, Jamie's bionics were corrupted by a computer virus. She underwent a major upgrade with not only increased the power of her devices, but also gave her bionic vision similar to that of Steve Austin (although there is no evidence to suggest her eyes were replaced).

Future releases

In early 2004, there were news reports that Jennifer Aniston would star in a new Bionic Woman TV series. Meanwhile, according to Universal Home Video, the original series is expected to be released to DVD sometime in 2005, along with its parent program The Six Million Dollar Man.

Spin-off Books

Two novels based upon series episodes were published in the 1970s: Welcome Home, Jaime and Extracurricular Activities, both by Eileen Lottman. The UK editions of these two books were credited to "Maud Willis" and were retitled Double Identity and A Question of Life, respectively. Although the closing credits of every episode says the series was based upon Martin Caidin's 1972 novel, Cyborg, this only refers to the bionics concept, the characters of Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman, and the occasional appearance by Steve Austin; Jaime Sommers does not appear in any of Caidin's novels.

A short-lived comic book series by Charlton Comics was published in 1976-77.


Season 1 (1976)

  1. "Welcome Home, Jaime Part 1" (originally aired on January 14, 1976 as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man but later syndicated as a Bionic Woman episode.)
  2. "Welcome Home, Jaime Part 2" (January 21, 1976)
  3. "Angel of Mercy" (January 28, 1976)
  4. "A Thing of the Past" (February 18, 1976)
  5. "Claws" (February 25, 1976)
  6. "The Deadly Missiles" (March 3, 1976)
  7. "Bionic Beauty" (March 17, 1976)
  8. "Jaime's Mother" (March 24, 1976)
  9. "Winning is Everything" (April 7, 1976)
  10. "Canyon of Death" (April 14, 1976)
  11. "Fly Jamie" (May 5, 1976)
  12. "The Jailing of Jaime" (May 12, 1976)
  13. "Mirror Image" (May 19, 1976)
  14. "The Ghosthunter" (May 26, 1976)

Season 2 (1976-1977)

  1. "In This Corner, Jaime Sommers" (September 29, 1976)
  2. "Assault on the Princess" (October 6, 1976)
  3. "Road to Nashville" (October 20, 1976)
  4. "Kill Oscar, Part 1" (October 27, 1976)
  5. "Kill Oscar, Part 2" (originally aired on October 31, 1976 as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man but later syndicated as a Bionic Woman episode.)
  6. "Kill Oscar, Part 3" (November 3, 1976)
  7. "Black Magic" (November 10, 1976)
  8. "Sister Jaime" (November 24, 1976)
  9. "The Vega Influence" (December 1, 1976)
  10. "Jaime's Shield, Part 1" (December 15, 1976)
  11. "Jaime's Shield, Part 2" (December 22, 1976)
  12. "Biofeedback" (January 12, 1977)
  13. "Doomsday is Tomorrow, Part 1" (January 19, 1977)
  14. "Doomsday is Tomorrow, Part 2" (January 26, 1977)
  15. "Deadly Ringer, Part 1" (February 2, 1977)
  16. "Deadly Ringer, Part 2" (February 9, 1977)
  17. "Jaime and the King" (February 23, 1977)
  18. "Beyond the Call" (March 9, 1977)
  19. "The DeJon Caper" (March 16, 1977)
  20. "The Night Demon" (March 23, 1977)
  21. "Iron Ships and Dead Men" (March 30, 1977)
  22. "Once a Thief" (May 4, 1977)

Season 3 (1977-1978)

  1. "The Bionic Dog, Part 1" (September 10, 1977)
  2. "The Bionic Dog, Part 2" (September 17, 1977)
  3. "Fembots in Las Vegas, Part 1" (September 24, 1977)
  4. "Fembots in Las Vegas, Part 2" (October 1, 1977)
  5. "Rodeo" (October 15, 1977)
  6. "African Connection" (October 29, 1977)
  7. "Motorcycle Boogie" (November 5, 1977)
  8. "Brain Wash" (November 12, 1977)
  9. "Escape to Love" (November 26, 1977)
  10. "Max" (December 3, 1977)
  11. "Over the Hill Spy" (December 17, 1977)
  12. "All for One" (January 7, 1978)
  13. "The Pyramid" (January 14, 1978)
  14. "The Antidote" (January 21, 1978)
  15. "The Martians are Coming, The Martians are Coming" (January 28, 1978)
  16. "Sanctuary Earth" (February 11, 1978)
  17. "Deadly Music" (February 18, 1978)
  18. "Which One is Jaime?" (February 25, 1978)
  19. "Out of Body" (March 4, 1978)
  20. "Long Live the King" (March 25, 1978)
  21. "Rancho Outcast" (May 6, 1978)
  22. "On the Run" (May 13, 1978)

TV movies

  1. The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (May 17, 1987)
  2. Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (April 30, 1989)
  3. Bionic Ever After? (November 29, 1994)

External links

fr:Super Jaimie


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