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. andrea says

    Hola les quiero contar que la serie de la mujer bionica fue my preferida durante muchos.a?os.
    Hasta el d?a de hoy sigo viendo sus capitulos a pesar de

  2. says

    I like[d] the new BW. Michelle Ryan put a lot of energy into the role. However, I also agree with Ms. Wagner that shows today aren’t as kid-safe or fun as they were 20-30 years ago. (OMG, has it been that long!) There’s a lot of TV I won’t let my 13yo watch, but he could’ve watched just about anything aired in 1978.

    And Lynda Carter spells her name with a “y.” :-)

  3. Graeme says

    The revamped “Bionic Woman” is a travesty, and a complete waste of time. Yes, the original series may seem campy and innocent compared with today’s hi-tech fodder, but read Lindsay Wagner’s words above very carefully. There was something magical about the original series, as an entire generation of adults and children tuned in week after week to see her running gracefully, jumping over electrically-charged fences and fighting the bad guys, with her superhuman powers. We will never see the likes of Lindsay Wagner again: a gracious, stunningly gorgeous and sexy woman who gave life to the heavenly Jaime Sommers. I lasted all but 10 minutes with the new version of the show before shaking my head in dejection and thinking about what television has come to. Lindsay remains the definitive Bionic Woman. And she always will be.

    ps. Michelle: please go back to Eastenders and cause some havoc for Kat. You were much more at home in Albert Square than as a modern bionic woman across the pond.

  4. Jim McDonald says

    I loved the Bionic Woman series! I wish I could get the DVD of the series here in the US.

    When watching the new show I had to take my ‘don’t react to fast’ pill…since I knew nothing could compare.

    So far I really like it! It’s new, fresh, different…AND they give props to us old fans and throw in a few tidbits to remind us of the older show.

    I hope the new BW lives long and prospers. I hope (but doubt) that Lindsay will also profit from this but, like Linda Carter (Wonder Woman), will probably not see a penny from her prior work.

  5. Marc Gulatto says

    I really don’t like it when people want the new shows that are based on old shows to be the same. That would be boring. It’s a new day and the world is different than in the 70’s. Battlestar Galactica was made different and I believe succeeded because of that. I really like the new Bionic Woman episodes for the same reason. It is different than the original because it wouldn’t be interesting if it were the same. Imagine Michael Keaton dancing around in a Batman suit like Adam West did in the 60’s Batman shows. It would look ridiculous. We thrive on stuff being different; otherwise, what’s the point? Just buy the Bionic Woman episodes from the 70’s on DVD and watch them over and over. No point in making anything new from old ideas since they were already done. When the new Wonder Woman movie is made, I hope it is just like Linda Carter’s show. Then I will be bored with the lame (by today’s standards) plots and hokey bad guys that even I could beat up. There’s a reason remakes are remade to be different. Whether you like the difference is up to you, but I hope they keep trying to incorporate new spins on these shows and characters. I wish they didn’t cancel it. Any Firefly fans out there??

  6. Tim Dupree says

    The new Bionic woman is too unbelievable…Even with fantasy and sci-fi there has to be some believability. I find it humorous that Jaime can kick a metal post and bend it in half and jump across rooftops like spiderman but has a hard time pulling herself up with her bionic arm. Which is it? Does she have superpowers or is she just an ordinary girl with mediocre strength? Having it both ways is just too ridiculous. And the story plots needs to be more like the originals…saving one family at a time instead of being the world’s savior.

  7. Andrew Kelvin says

    Um… Sorry, why does anyone care what old robot thinks about the show? The new and improved, obviously more SEXIER and okay I’m just going to say it, deliciouser, and better actor did a way better job that the old drab and boring one did. When I think of Old Robot I think of top ramen noodles. New one, I think of … well I shouldn’t write that kind of stuff. But it invokes those kinds of feelings is the point.

    I truly think the hammer that didn’t hit the nail on the head had nothing to do with the talent, but the direction and writing. The pilot and perhaps the first 2 episodes had me at “Hello” but after a while I got lost and the plot began to become confused as if the writers themselves were working it out as they went along. It began with mystique and something behind the shadows that wanted to get out, but now it’s like “dang, how do we get the thing out of the shadows.”

    Again I say, not the talent, the direction. The talent was perfect.

  8. mike d says

    Seriously I watched the bionic woman when i was small – i think it was one of 2 shows posting that night – the new bionic woman is dominating!!! Use alittle imagination and let the character develop like everything else good or bad in this world.. Morons!!

  9. FirstStateDE says

    As some of you may know there are legal reasons the show is so different than the original. One entity owns the rights to “Cyborg”, the book SMDM and then BW was based on, and someone else owns another major part of what we remember from the 70’s. These two not being able to work out some sort of agreement is also why these shows have not been released on DVD in the United States.
    My problem with the new show is the main character having the name Jaime Sommers. So much is different about the show, why redo the main character of the original in every way then give her the same name? There is no other link between the two characters except their name. I have been watching the new show and I am enjoying it for the most part but hearing her referred to as Jaime Sommers just doesnt seem right. There was an episode that had Jaime sitting at a bar and professing she was “no longer looking for Mr Right, but Mr Right now.” After that wonderful statement the drunk Miss Sommers is now in the throws of passion with a stranger, in the restroom of all places. After things are interrupted he is asked his name, I don’t think it was a coincidence that it was Steve. If its a new show they should stop the little tongue in cheek references to the classic.

  10. Doug says

    I agree with Lindsay Wagner that shows have gotten so dark and broody and its depressing when they are all like that. But I also agree with the cast of the new Battlestar Galactica that it can be annoying when fans judge a show only by how much its like the original version, no other criteria. I think the new BW has potential.

  11. Hellcat says

    I like the new Bionic woman. I think it would have been bad if they would have just done a remake of the original. This one here she torn between her life outside of the agency and her live in. I’ve watched every episode and I enjoy it because its fresh and I can see a lot of promise if they decide to keep it going. Maybe it should have been aired on Sci-fi. Look at Battlestar Gallactica, they changed that majorly and people still love it and I think its because it has the sci-fi geek base behind it. On NBC people where thinking it was going to be just like the original but with a different cast which would have made things really dull. The new explanation of the bionics, the humanity she the new show shows, where she has to look over her sister and keep things from her so to protect her, the distrust she has in the agency, was she picked on purpose all make for a great story.

  12. albe says

    I say give it a chance. I say that and I am a die-hard Lindsay Wagner and BW fan. I think the new lead in BW is a good actress and the writing is getting better and the stunts and effects are stronger now too. It must be hard in these days of instant information to let a series develop!

  13. marquis says

    I was sooooooooooo looking forward to the new bionic woman, like so many others fans, I tried to watch for a couple of episodes, but i just can’t….I am heartbroken….NBC–SHAME ON YOU FOR DESTROYING SUCH A GREAT WORK

  14. Glinda says

    I loved the origional series of Bionic Woman and even named my daughter Lindsey. I was looking farward to the new series. I watched it twice and tried too the third time but I just hate the show!!!!!!! I can’t wait untill they cancel the show!!!

  15. Beth says

    The original Bionic Woman’s name is spelled “Jaime.” I remember because I thought it was a very cool and pretty name/spelling at the time.

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