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Old December 13th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #1
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Superman/Smallville Six Million Dollar Man Rules!

"Steve Austin....astronaut.

A man barely alive....

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology to create the world's first Bionic Man.

He will be Faster.

Stronger.

Better than he was before."



With those words, the GREATEST action/adventure/sci-fi show of the 1970s was born!

I was seven years old the first time I heard those words, and my world forever changed. Lee Majors was like a GOD to me. Each week I thrilled to exciting adventures that before I could only imagine or get in a comic book.

Now years, heck, decades later, I still enjoy the series. I have the entire series on homemade DVD and still watch specific episodes over and over again. While the series was uneven at times (especially in its last season), many of the episodes still hold up and are quite entertaining. And while the series lacks the sophisicated continuity (three different Dr. Wells anyone?) we are used to in todays tv series, it did develop it own loose Bionic Mythology.

Like my other favorite hero SUPERMAN, the Bionic Man developed a family (Bionic Woman, Bionic Dog, Bionic Boy), recurring allies (Bionic Bigfoot, Seven Million Dollar Man) and rogues gallery (the Robot Maker, Fembots, Death Probe).

My favorite episodes are the classic 3 parter KILL OSCAR (the best tv cross over event EVER! between SMDM and BW) and the 2 parter SECRET OF BIGFOOT PASS ( best bionic fight scene EVER!!!!).

Today, people tend to regard SMDM (if they remember it at all, I work with lots of people in their 20s who never heard of the series-- boy do I feel old) as hokey or silly. They forget how HUGE this series was when it was on the airwaves. Mechandice alone was in the millions.... action figures, comics, lunch boxes, pjs, etc. The series ran 5 seasons (unheard of for most sci-fi shows), spawned a spin-off and made Lee Majors a major star of the 70s and 80s!

So I thought I would see if anyone else out there in the forum has any fond memories of this classic, yet under rated series, they would like to share.

What are your favorite bionic moments????????????
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Old December 13th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #2
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The Six Million Dollar Man was always a must-see for me. I was in my teens during its run and I loved the show!! I was just talking about the show, today, with a co-worker and told him that my favorite episodes were the ones that introduced Bigfoot. (Truth is that I think I was in love with Stefanie Powers. )

Of course, I also loved the eps that featured Jaime Sommers.


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Old December 13th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #3
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Superman/Smallville

Yeah, the Bigfoot episodes were alot of fun!

Andre the Giant was my favorite Bigfoot. The battle between him and Steve still to this day takes my breath away. Its like a WWE match between the HULK (the green one, not the wrestler) and Superman. It totally rocked!!!!

The other Bigfoot appearances (Return of Bigfoot and Bigfoot V) are equally entertaining though somewhat silly and filled with contradictory continuity... still watching Bigfoot break into bank is funny.

All the cross-over episodes and cameo appearances of Jaime Summers are great. We can thank writer Kenneth Johnson for that. He brought a real humanity to the show. The series never really recovered from his departure.

I also love all the episodes featuring Farrah Fawcett. Man, was she ever beautiful. I wish her all the best in her current cancer battle. I think she appeared in four or five episodes, playing a different character each time (good old bionic continuity! ha!).

Anyone else out there with some bionic memories or critiques to share???
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Old December 13th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #4
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Ahh, The Six Million Dollar Man. That brings back some memories. TSMDM, TOS Star Trek and the Godzilla series of movies were my staple scifi shows in the 70's until BG came along. As a 10 year old, I thought Steve (another Steve eh!) Austin rocked. I wished back then, if I ever got into an accident, they would give me bionic limbs! Such is the life of a 10 yr old.

I really enjoyed the premier episode myself. Some of the more memorable eps for me were:

Where Steve climbs back into the HL10 lifting body craft that he crashed in to discover what went wrong. Turns out it was sabotage. The thing that saves him is his bionics.

The Bigfoot eps. (I agree the first mini was better than the second one.)

The Jamie Sommers arc was moving (especially Lee's singing! who thought up that one.)

Yes, Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Lyndsay Wagner were HOT!

The ep where Steve and (uh ho! memory failure!) either Oscar or Rudy (I think Oscar) are flying back from a meeting and the plane crashes near a deserted island. Steve must save Oscar by cutting his finger to expose two hot wires to cauterize the wound.

The Liberty Bell caper. Anyone remember that one?

These are just a few of my memories. Hope there's more out there.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 11:19 PM   #5
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Superman/Smallville

Oh yes, Lee Majors sings!

And lets not forget the bionic moustache he had throughout the 4th season!

But seriously, the love story between Steve and Jaime was fantastic, sad and powerful. Too bad Bionic Woman changed networks during its last season, thus negating any further cross-overs between the two series. They were slowly rebuilding the romance between the two characters when "poof" no more Jaime!

That is one of the few things I liked about the 3 reunion movies, the resumption of their love story. On the whole the reunion movies were very weak -- the villains were laughable in all 3 movies, our main heroes got short shifted on story and screen time in the first two as the tv movie producers were more concerned with introducing a new bionic character in hopes of launching a new series, and the final movie, while it was nice Steve and Jaime finally got married, the movie had a budget of zero dollars and a plot that was exciting as watching mold grow. Still any chance to watch my childhood heroes in action I will take.

Heres a question for Bionic fans... we all know about Steve hip wardrobe, but he also always wore a unique bracelet, any thoughts as to what it represents? It kind of looks like one of those bracelets former Vietnam P.O.W.s used to wear... Just wondered if anyone else ever noticed it....
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #6
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Default I always had to stretch the premise.

It wasn't enough for the SMDM to have a bionic arm, eye, and legs.

Consider;

1. Those thermal isotope batteries that powered him had to be the size of golfballs and he needed shielding.
2. His skeleton had to be totally rebuilt from heels to crown to enable him to carry through the total shock loads he endured when he lept or ran or lifted those impossible weights or tore Sasquatch's arm off.
3. His brain had to be retrained totally to use those bionics. For one thing, reaction time speeds for a human, while fast, are not designed for running at 100 kph. You learn an entire new way of looking and reacting[predictive], when you DRIVE at those speeds. Running? It involves an entire order of magnitude difference as you have to preplan where you set your feet at up to ten times a second.

I always wondered why Rudy didn't take the left arm as well. Symmetry is important in an animal. He would know that. Humans are asymmetric in that they have a strength/fine manipulation side, but the power ratio discrepancy is only about 5%. Anything above that and you start having problems.


As a kid with that sort of imagination, I had to assume that Steve Austin was Wolverined to make him work.

Not Superman, but equally cool.

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Old December 14th, 2006, 08:54 AM   #7
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Still no movie adaptation in sight yet?

Nor any Glen Larson owned copyright for that matter!

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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #8
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Superman/Smallville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles
It wasn't enough for the SMDM to have a bionic arm, eye, and legs.

Consider;

1. Those thermal isotope batteries that powered him had to be the size of golfballs and he needed shielding.
2. His skeleton had to be totally rebuilt from heels to crown to enable him to carry through the total shock loads he endured when he lept or ran or lifted those impossible weights or tore Sasquatch's arm off.
3. His brain had to be retrained totally to use those bionics. For one thing, reaction time speeds for a human, while fast, are not designed for running at 100 kph. You learn an entire new way of looking and reacting[predictive], when you DRIVE at those speeds. Running? It involves an entire order of magnitude difference as you have to preplan where you set your feet at up to ten times a second.

I always wondered why Rudy didn't take the left arm as well. Symmetry is important in an animal. He would know that. Humans are asymmetric in that they have a strength/fine manipulation side, but the power ratio discrepancy is only about 5%. Anything above that and you start having problems.


As a kid with that sort of imagination, I had to assume that Steve Austin was Wolverined to make him work.

Not Superman, but equally cool.

As always;

Yes, logic/real science was never a big part of SMDM. They tried there best, especially with the NASA stuff. But hey, it was 1970s action tv not science class!

But you are right, his entire skeleton would have been reinforced. And who knows, maybe when they put in the Bionic Eye they added some cybernetics to his brain to help him adapt to all the Bionic modifications. I believe Kevin Smith's script delt with this issue a tiny bit, by having them remove BOTH of Steve's arms.

But you know when you are 7 or 10 years old and watching Steve kick bionic butt, all you are thinking is "COOL MAN"!!!!
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Old December 14th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #9
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Superman/Smallville

OOPS!

SORRY!

HAD SOME TROUBLE CONNECTING AND SOMEHOW POSTED MY REPLY THREE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY BAD.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #10
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Superman/Smallville

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Kingjason
Still no movie adaptation in sight yet?

Nor any Glen Larson owned copyright for that matter!

KJ

I am glad the whole Jim Carrey version fell by the way side. While I loved the STARSKY & HUTCH movie, I could not stand for that to happen to SMDM. The show is much too dear to my heart and childhood memories for it to be turned into one giant gag! Imagine if they turned classic BSG into a comedy with Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller! YIKES!

I have read the Kevin Smith screenplay. For a first draft it had lots of potential. I thought the Steve and Jaime interaction was very good. But I thought alot of the junvinile "Clerks"-type humor needed to be toned down or removed. Also the main villain needed some refining to make him less comic-booky. But in the right directors hands it could have been a fun summer popcorn flick.

Though if I had my preference I would return SMDM as a television series but more on that later....
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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bionicbob
OOPS!

SORRY!

HAD SOME TROUBLE CONNECTING AND SOMEHOW POSTED MY REPLY THREE TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY BAD.
Problem rectified by yours truly.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #12
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To put my two cubits in. I think that for today's audience, there would have to be just a little bit more explanation added to the process of Steve's (yep, I'm a Steve too) cyberneticization (is there such a word? If not, I just invented it. ). I mean, given what Damocles just offerred up, there are a lot more people out there who would probably want to go with a more sophisticated take on bionicizing (ok...another one) Steve Austin. Lots of people today just won't buy "Ok, we've replaced this, this and that, with THIS." It does need to be a little more realistic (as close as possible without burdening the audience with too much technobabble.)

Personally, I could care less. I loved the original show as a kid, so if they keep it the same, or if they make it a little more sophisticated, I'll be happy either way, as long as they DON'T turn it into a comedy flick. Actually, I would like a more deadly serious story, perhaps involving international terrorism, or something like that. Keep some humor, obviously, but bring it into the new millenium.

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Old December 14th, 2006, 05:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112
Personally, I could care less. I loved the original show as a kid, so if they keep it the same, or if they make it a little more sophisticated, I'll be happy either way, as long as they DON'T turn it into a comedy flick. Actually, I would like a more deadly serious story, perhaps involving international terrorism, or something like that. Keep some humor, obviously, but bring it into the new millenium.

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.....Ewwwwwww -- I just had a flash: SMDM - armed with circular-saw blades...ewwwwwwww.......
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:16 PM   #14
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Superman/Smallville

Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112
Problem rectified by yours truly.

Thank you very much!
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Old December 15th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #15
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Thank you very much!
Jus' doin' muh job. (Now, if someone would PAY me.)
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Old December 15th, 2006, 02:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMachine
.....Ewwwwwww -- I just had a flash: SMDM - armed with circular-saw blades...ewwwwwwww.......
and a built in machine gun.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112
and a built in machine gun.
Forget the machine gun. Runs out of ammo. Put a DEW in him.

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Old December 15th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #18
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Forget the machine gun. Runs out of ammo. Put a DEW in him.

As always;

Do the DEW, Austin!
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Old December 15th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #19
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Superman/Smallville

Quote:
Originally Posted by martok2112
To put my two cubits in. I think that for today's audience, there would have to be just a little bit more explanation added to the process of Steve's (yep, I'm a Steve too) cyberneticization (is there such a word? If not, I just invented it. ). I mean, given what Damocles just offerred up, there are a lot more people out there who would probably want to go with a more sophisticated take on bionicizing (ok...another one) Steve Austin. Lots of people today just won't buy "Ok, we've replaced this, this and that, with THIS." It does need to be a little more realistic (as close as possible without burdening the audience with too much technobabble.)

Personally, I could care less. I loved the original show as a kid, so if they keep it the same, or if they make it a little more sophisticated, I'll be happy either way, as long as they DON'T turn it into a comedy flick. Actually, I would like a more deadly serious story, perhaps involving international terrorism, or something like that. Keep some humor, obviously, but bring it into the new millenium.

I agree totally. If I were to bring back Steve to television, I would approach it as a reboot. Use the original series as an outline, take all the original stuff fans loved and remix and update it for the new millenium. In terms of storytelling, I would approach it like The X-Files, very real world, gritty, dark with a touch of the Fantastic. I would tie the series together with one underlying continuing storyline giving it a slightly serialized feel, but with plenty of stand alone episodes that the new viewer can easily tune in and understand what is going on. In terms of special effects and action, I would approach it much like Smallville. I would use the "slo-mo" (or "Bullet-time" as it is now called) and the classic Bionic sound effects only rarely, to make it more special and powerful.

In terms of characters, Steve Austin is still an Astronaut. He is engaged to school teacher Jaime Summers. Their love affair would be the heart and soul of the show. Jaime is Steve's inner strength, especially after the "accident", it is her love that keeps him sane and gets him out of the bed in the morning. Oscar Goldman would be a slightly darker, solitary character.... still a patriot, but more of an ends justify the means kind of guy. It would be through his relationship with Steve and Jaime that he moves slowly out of the darkness and more into the light. Oscar would be second in command of the OSI to Oliver Sempler (the original character from the first SMDM pilot Cyborg). Sempler will be a cold, ruthless character, a man who knows more than he is saying and has a very dark and dangerous agenda. I think I would make Dr. Rudy Wells an older woman, a dedicated professional who, though she did not invent Bionics, has finally perfected it. The OSI would be a more mysterious organization. To the world it would be government agency mandated with the security and development of new technology. But behind this facade, it is a far older secret agency that has its origins tied in with the Roswell Incident and the Majestic 12 Accords. It is an organization fighting a secret war for the very survival of the species. In many ways, they are the Men In Black, the flip side of the alien conspiracy.

The general story would go like this....

Steve is the piloting a Space Shuttle which is deploying a top secret satellite for the OSI. The shuttle comes under attack by a mysterious cybernetic entity, killing Steve's crew and seriously damaging the shuttle. The damaged shuttle begins to plummet back to Earth, on a direct collision course of a major American city. It takes all of Steve's amazing piloting skills to avoid hitting the city and he crashes the shuttle in a rural area. Steve is of course mortally injured. The OSI sweeps in and begins the cover-up of the accident and wisks Steve off to their Colorado Complex.

Of course the entire Shuttle diaster was televised on Cable and Jaime and her class were watching the whole event horrified. Demostrating classic Jaime initiative and investigation skills, Jaime is able to eventually find out about the OSI and track Steve down, but only after the Bionic Operation has occurred.

Sempler and Goldman realize the value of having Jaime around, firstly it keeps up Steve moral, but it also gives them a bargaining chip if Steve refuses to cooperate.

Goldman informs Steve and Jaime that the entity that attacked the shuttle was an extra terestrial life form. A cybernetic nano-virus that can take on any form and corrupt/control any technology. It is one of two different alien species that seem to be waging a war with each other with the Earth caught in the middle as the battlefield. The motivations of both aliens species is unknown, but they seem obsessed with slowing Human technological advancement and our progress into space. Goldman also reveals Steve's own bionics are derived from alien technology that was discovered at Roswell.


Through the course of the series, Steve and Jaime would work often together on cases involving everything from alien abductions, stolen technology, stopping terrorists with high-tech weapons, etc. All the while continuing their own private investigation into the OSI and its real motives. By end of the first season, they will discover Sempler is in league with one of the alien species, and Goldman will overthrow him and become head of the OSI, while Sempler will of course escape and continue to be thorn in their side in the future.

In the beginning of the second season, on their wedding night Jaime would become captured by the cybernetic aliens, and they will try to convert her into one of their agents by making her Bionic. Steve will of course save her, but as a result of the more intrusive, agressive alien operation, Jaime will have no memory of her past life and will be very cold and ruthless. Over the course of the second season, Steve will do everything he can to stimulate Jaime's memory and restore her humanity.

That would be my general guideline for the first two seasons, during which I would re-introduce many other classic characters....even Bigfoot. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, one of the cybernetic aliens ships crashed in what would be the American northwest. The ship was seriously damaged and was carrying some very important cargo, all part of the aliens millenium old agenda. In order to protect itself, the ship created it own personal protector until its own kind could rescure it. The ship finds the Sasquatch, last of its own species, and rebuilds the creature into it own eternal body guard.

I would bring back Barny Miller (the 7 Million Dollar Man, not the cop!). During Steves investigation of the OSI, he discovers he was not the first to receive the Bionic Operation. In fact, there have been many others, except they all turned insane and homicidal! And the OSI has kept them in suspended animation in a secret complex. Of course, one gets accidently free and Steve has to do Bionic Battle.

For the Death Probe, I would make it a secret Mars Rover that the OSI sent to the Cydonia to explore the FACE. The Rover is discovered by the other Synthetic Alien race, and is reprogramed and Bionic-ized, and is sent back to Earth to as a weapon to create havoc and test Earth response and defences, in particular, how powerful Steve is...

I would also bring back Dr. Franklin and the Fembots, but with a much more sinister edge. Franklin is an OSI scienctist, in fact he was in charge of the Bionic program before Wells. Franklin is a genius but also a psychopath.... he loathes women. Goldman discovers Franklin has been killing prositutes and has him removed from the project. Franklin escapes and resurfaces later with his killer Fembots. It will turn out Franklin's escape was arrange by Sempler and that he is still working for him and the aliens.


Those are just some of my ideas... in tems of casting, I dunno.... I would of course offer roles to all the original actors in either supporting roles or special guest appearances. After seeing Tim Daley in "From the Earth to the Moon" I always thought he would have made a good Bionic Man.

Of course, what would you call a modern bionic series??? Six Million Dollars just doesn't cut it in todays economy. The Six BILLION Dollar Man? The SIXTY Billion Dollar Man??? Any suggestions...???
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Old December 15th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #20
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Default That is the way a television project precis should be written!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bionicbob
<snip>

-------------------------------------------------------------

In terms of characters, Steve Austin is still an Astronaut. <snip>



The general story would go like this....
<snip>

Of course, what would you call a modern bionic series??? Six Million Dollars just doesn't cut it in todays economy. The Six BILLION Dollar Man? The SIXTY Billion Dollar Man??? Any suggestions...???
Cyborg. Short and to the point it is.

BRAVO!

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Old December 16th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I have read the Kevin Smith screenplay. For a first draft it had lots of potential. I thought the Steve and Jaime interaction was very good. But I thought alot of the junvinile "Clerks"-type humor needed to be toned down or removed. Also the main villain needed some refining to make him less comic-booky. But in the right directors hands it could have been a fun summer popcorn flick.
Same thoughts here!

Its another flick Kevin Smith opted not to do personally like the Green Hornet unfortunately.

Wondered if "Jake2.0." had lasted as a series that they would've made a movie out of that show one day too. I felt it had alot of untapped potential as well? That series and "Now and Again" touched on the man and machine bionic aspects, sci-fi on TV forgotten as of late.

And its only fitting you like the Six Million Dollar Man isn't it, Bionicbob? Its in the name afterall.

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Old December 16th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lord Kingjason

Wondered if "Jake2.0." had lasted as a series that they would've made a movie out of that show one day too. I felt it had alot of untapped potential as well? That series and "Now and Again" touched on the man and machine bionic aspects, sci-fi on TV forgotten as of late.


KJ

JAKE 2.0 was a real fun series. The creator/producers were very upfront that the series was directly inspired by SMDM. The guest appearance of Lee Majors towards the end of the first season was their "nod" to their inspiration. Too bad the series was never renewed. There was talk of it being released on DVD but so far it has not materialized.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Its another flick Kevin Smith opted not to do personally like the Green Hornet unfortunately.


KJ

If you are a fan of the GREEN HORNET, check out this 10 minute French fan film. It is absolutely amazing looking, very professional and stylized.

http://lefrelonvert-court.com/
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #24
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Old December 16th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #25
KJ
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Thanks for the link dude!

KJ
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