Bionic Woman: What Does Lindsay Wagner Think?

Bionic WomanEver since NBC announced its much-anticipated remake of The Bionic Woman, fans have been wondering what original bionic woman Lindsay Wagner thought of the new series. Well, she’s seen it and apparently she isn’t all that impressed.

Wagner began playing tennis pro Jaime Sommers in episodes of ABC’s The Six Million Dollar Man back in 1975. She was the perfect mate for former astronaut Steve Austin (Lee Majors) and became bionic after a tragic sky-diving accident. Steve pleaded with his boss Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) to save her with bionics and their romance was able to continue. Unfortunately, it all came to an abrupt halt when Jaime’ body rejected her bionics and she died.

Fortunately, the audience loved the character and ABC asked that she be revived. We learned later that Jaime had been secretly cryogenically frozen until doctors could find a way to repair the cerebral clot that had ended her life. The surgery was a success except that it left Jaime with some brain damage which included the loss of most of her memories of Steve. Sad as that was, it was the perfect way to launch The Bionic Woman spin-off series with Wagner and Majors making occasional appearances on each other’s respective shows. There was a happy ending to the story years later when Jaime regained her memories, rekindled her romance with Steve, and married him in a trio of reunion movies.

Though The Bionic Woman seems a bit campy today, it was an extremely popular adventure series in the 1970s. It’s no small wonder that NBC decided to remake it and take advantage of the special effects that are now available. What does Wagner think of the new version? She says, “It’s very different. It’s very much like what the shows are today, kind of dark and broody and violent — what people seem to be getting off on these days. So, it’s not at all what we were doing. We were doing a show for kids intentionally and making it fun and make it in such a way that adults could enjoy it, too, with their children.”

The new Bionic Woman series was generally well-reviewed and had the most online buzz of any new series this season. After a strong opening episode of 13.9 million viewers, the ratings have slipped in subsequent installments. The second episode dropped to 10.9 million viewers while the third came in at 10.1 million. The ratings would have to drop quite a bit before the peacock network would consider canceling it, especially considering the network’s disastrous season last year. The network recently ordered three additional scripts but doesn’t have enough faith just yet to give a greenlight for more filming. The original Bionic Woman series lasted three seasons (two on ABC, one on NBC). Despite being “cooler,” will the new version last as long as the original? Time will tell. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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24 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. LJS says

    It is too bad that anyone would make such a reckless and actually quite lazy attempt to pirate a very popular character from the 70’s.

    I mean, if they had changed this new character’s name and left the idea of “the 1st bionic woman” to Lindsay Wagner’s character (the only legitimate Jaime Sommers on TV), they would have had a better chance to recapture some of the original show’s following (and maybe its related product marketing fanfare).

  2. Bob says

    Too bad the concept has now been destroyed with this insipid 2007 hack job. Bionic entertainment deserves to be front and center in the 21st Century. I guess I’ll just stick with my 70s reruns.

  3. Carol says

    I always loved the show with Lindsay Wagner and Lee Majors. The six million dollar man and The Bionic Woman was something that you could grasp and feel that little tingle of excitement. The new one however turned me straight off because the one with Lindsay in it was able to get my attention right away but the other one didn’t. I remember wishing I could be like her with bionic limbs and smarts to go with it. Maybe centric or someone can do reruns of it someday.

  4. Bess says

    David Eick – the creator of this “re-imagined” Bionic Woman is Ron Moore’s sidekick. Moore re-imagined Battlestar Galactics with Eick’s help.

    The original BSG was cheesy, yes- even silly at times- but it also had a lot of warmth, a family appeal, and a clear definition of what made a hero. Moore’s version, in contrast is dark, edgy, even scary at times.

    So, it’s no wonder to me that Moore’s Padawan Learner would come up with a re-imagining of a 70s series that had a little camp, a bit of cheese, and a lot of audience appeal- and that he’d ruin it the same way they did with BSG.

    Up next form Ron Moore and David Eick , a re-imagining of Welcome Back Kotter where Washington is a not black, and Kotter sells drugs in the school (and yes, that’s meant as sarcasm – I know nothing of Moore & Eick’s true plans… but I’m sure they will be the cause of many a televiewer’s craving for amphetamines)

  5. MSD says

    This show was pointless it had no storyline connection to the original unlike say SNG did to star trek in fact Steve Austin did not even exist in this show
    it was totally different in feel and style and storyline so too different for fans of the old show to like and the fact it was a remake of an old show would have had no appeal to new viewers

    if they had of maybe made the character a new bionic person rather than a re doing of Jamie sommers that might have given the show more appeal since it might have been more possible to view it as connected to the old shows rather than a destroyer of them.

    in the end it just felt they had remade the show for the same reason there are so many other remakes of movies and tv shows these days it seems people have totally run out of ideas.

    in fact as well as being a poor remakke of an old classic show it also felt like another copy and part of the set of young ass kicking female shows such as Buffy alias nikita and dark angel that have become a trend since Buffy the vampire slayer was a hit.

  6. Penny says

    I have to agree with everyone else.. This remake was a farse to a wonderful family show, I couldn’ t wait to watch what Jamie and Steve would do next.. This new show is really nothing like the original Jamie was in a skydiving accident, while steve watched.. This one was in a car accident.. and the way they rebuilt her.. talk about special effects!! It took me only 10 minutes to say.. “Yup that’s enough for me.. Time to get the real one out of the DVD rack to watch”.. Which I did.. What made them think that this show would take? Nope not from the many viewer who watched so very long ago.. my daugher watched both the original and the new, and she like the original more…

  7. says

    I know Lindsay Wagner personally, and like another poster on here, I had to take a don’t-react-too-fast pill and tune into the new show. Sadly, the new BW seemed more like Robocop, having BOTH Jaime and Steve’s powers. Seeing her BF killed in the first ten minutes and discovering that she was living with just one other person — a younger sibbling she was letting run wild — were further slurs on the character for me. I don’t mind the concept of updating an old series, but “reimagining” it seems doubly pointless, bound to alienate purists like me while not offering a reason for its own existence not tied to the original. Why not invent an all-new superheroine? And while you’re at it, why not make her sweet and compassionate even toward her adversaries like Lindsay made sure the REAL Jaime Sommers was? Think about how cool it would have been if the new Jaime (called something else) had decided to oppose everything that Birkhead did, but discovered as she did so that her bad-boy boss was on the side of the angels every once in a while? There would have been potential for character development there, for some healthy moral ambiguity, which is certainly more in keeping with today’s tastes than the original was. As aired, though, I can see why the new BW didn’t survive the strike: the writers were hamstrung, stuck in two-dimensional thinking of necessity since the legal battle with Dimension forbade them from giving their lead the depth that only context can provide. Yuck! Good riddance!!!!!

  8. Albert says

    Agreed – although I lasted about 15 minutes watching the new show, since the new actress is hot :)
    That aside, the original show was indeed far superior. And if anyone is looking for the show on DVD, it does exist – I have it. Check out – similar to EBay, but based on offers instead of auctions. It’s there….

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