“Steve, you know nothing about hunting cougars”, remarks Oscar Goldman from his plush Washington office.Ah, those were simpler times when watching Lee Majors running in slow motion across a western landscape was edge of the seat TV.
The $6M Man was hands down the most exciting show on TV in the early 1970s. It turned Lee Majors into an overnight superstar, coined the term “bionic”, and spawned the hit spin off The Bionic Woman. Weirdly, the chances of seeing this cult show now are pretty remote.
Taneha, an episode from the second season, sees Steve Austin trying to protect the last male cougar in the region in the hope of honouring a promise to a wounded old friend.
Naturally Steve is teamed up with an alluring brunette, who is blissfully naive of this format astronaut’s special abilities.
Obviously like all TV shows of a certain time, the $6Million Man is a product of its era. Bridging the gap between western and sci-fi, on a weekly basis for many years it saw Majors pitted against a series of adversaries in some rather economic/exotic locations.
Oh, and it also gave us some of the best opening titles ever seen, mixing a funky theme tune with thrilling graphics as our hero suffered a near fatal crash, and was pieced back together by experts. It told the audience all they needed to know whether it was their first or 101st viewing.
Forty years on and the show is still incredibly watchable. Majors may have been as plastic as the action figure he spawned in some eps, but he had a swarthy charisma, while Richard Anderson provided solid support as his boss, Oscar Goldman.
There has been talk of a movie version for years now with Jim Carrey linked to one offering and now it looks like Mark Wahlberg will have a go as The Six Billion Dollar Man. It’s a franchise with plenty of life in it.
After all. They can rebuild him.