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The Bionic Woman Volume 3
cast: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson

directors: Mel Damski, Alan Crosland

Universal Playback
DVD Region 2 + 4 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
Jaime Sommers was the girlfriend of Steve Austin - who was the central character of popular TV sci-fi adventure show, The Six Million Dollar Man (1973-78, based on Martin Caidin's 1972 novel, Cyborg), played by Lee Majors. A tennis pro, crippled in a skydiving accident, Jaime was rebuilt by means of the hi-tech limb replacement and sensory enhancement techniques used to turn former test pilot Colonel Austin into a superman but, for fear of lending this show (created by Kenneth Johnson, inspired by the success of Charlie's Angels) the wrong tone, the cost of this particular female remains classified.
   As our liberated pacifist heroine, Lindsay Wagner proved routinely likeable at the time and yet, judging from the three episodes retrospectively presented here, The Bionic Woman has not aged well, and seems campier than it ever did on first viewing. The Vega Influence borrows plot basics - an isolated scientific group are 'taken over' by a malign alien force - from The Thing From Another World and It Came From Outer Space, and is also derivative of SF zombie scenarios like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and Night Of The Living Dead, while one of it's principle visual effects (animated imagery of crystalline growth patterns) is stolen wholesale from The Andromeda Strain. Cheesiness of the unpalatable kind has a negative affect on In This Corner, Jaime Sommers in which OSI boss Oscar Goldman (the shockingly over-tanned Anderson) cajoles his only available lady super-agent into going undercover at a women's wrestling arena to find a missing spy! Then, Jaime And The King mixes the sentimentalised culture clash themes of The King And I with Arabian father and son relationship conflicts, and features a sadly embarrassing belly-dancing scene for our ridiculously skinny heroine.
   This disc is volume three in a series that, presumably, will eventually make all 35 episodes available to collectors. However, with only original mono sound, and no extras whatsoever, it seems unlikely to appeal to anyone except fans with bottomless pockets.
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