Streaming Finds: Tracking down sci fi and fantasy shows of interest available on the streaming services.
What Is It? The Six Million Dollar Man focuses on astronaut Steve Austin who is injured in a test flight and has parts of his body replaced with bionics. He receives a bionic arm, two bionic legs, and a bionic eye which give him heightened strength, super-speed, and enhanced vision. He goes to work for the government organization OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) where he works as a secret agent. In The Bionic Woman, a spin-off from The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin’s fiance Jamie Sommers is in a life-threatening accident and Steve convinces the OSI to save her with bionics, and she also becomes an agent of OSI.
Starring: Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
The Skinny: The Six Million Dollar Man started out as a series of TV movies airing in 1973 that kicked off “bionic fever” on television in the 70’s and led to that show becoming a regular series while also spinning off The Bionic Woman (they also toyed with ideas for a bionic boy and bionic dog show). For much of the rest of the decade, the bionic shows where the most popular sci fi on television and among the only genre shows that survived past a season or two. These were essentially spy fi entries with more emphasis on action-adventure than sci fi concepts, but they were still a ton of fun and offered at least something for genre fans to tune into on the Prime Time schedule. The Six Million Dollar Man arguably counts as a classic because it was such an iconic series from its time and offered better-than-average genre fare. Less so for The Bionic Woman, but that one still had it moments and offered a strong female lead on a Prime Time series who was not required to sport cleavage (unlike say Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman).
Both of the bionic shows are available for streaming on NBC.com. That is the network’s website where they offer “throwback” shows from their archives like these and several more genre and non-genre entries (see the list below for more sci fi on NBC.com). You can watch online and also download the app to various devices. NBC.com also offers episodes of some of its new shows, usually the five most recent. It is an ad-supported service and has about the typical number of ad-breaks for this type of streamer. For those who have never seen the bionic shows, it’s definitely worth your time to give them a look. Start with the “first season” of The Six Million Dollar Man which is really the first three movies broken into two parts each. If you like those, then venture forth through more of that show’s episodes and also give The Bionic Woman a try. And for those who have not seen these shows in a while, they hold up surprisingly better than you might expect. Note that NBC.com does not currently have the post-series revival movies like The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman available for streaming.
More Sci Fi / Fantasy from NBC.com:
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