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X-Mas gift: Six Million Dollar Man DVDs


Guest Kit Sullivan
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Guest Kit Sullivan

I am a fan of the old, cheesy and goofy TV shows from my youth, and I have quite a few old TV show series.

My wife knows I was a fan of the SMDM as a kid, so she bought me all 5 seasons onDVD for Christmas.

 

I loaded up the first disc and as soon as that cool opening credit sequence started, I started to get a little excited ( just like a kid, I suppose):

 

"We have separation", "looks good, Victor"..."got a blowout, damper three", "get your pitch to zero!", "pitch is out, I can't hold altitude, she's breaking up, she's break..."

 

It was even more cool than I remembered from 40 years ago!

 

"Steve Austin...astronaut. A man barely alive....we have the technology to make him better... stronger...faster...we can make the world's first bionic man."

 

Oh man, I couldn't wait...it was gonna be great to watch these old shows again!

 

The opening credits ends with that cool thumping, driving music and shows Steve Austin in the groovy 70s-era red track suit running 60mph, freeze-framing on Austin's face with a convenient lense-flare centered right on his bionic right eye...

 

And then, all pumped up from watching that iconic opening credit sequence I started watching the episodes.

And I discovered something I NEVER noticed about this show as a kid:

 

It Sucks!

 

My god, this show is F'n terrible! How stupid could I have possibly been as a kid to think this show was any good?

Lee Majors has less acting ability than the SMDM "action figure" dolls they sold in toy stores back then.

And his "amazing" feats of bionic strength and ability are...well, pretty lame. Gingerly hopping over a small stream that is about 2-3 feet across hardly requires any "bionic" agility, even if they did use slow-mo and sound effects to "punch up" the visuals.

 

All in all...much better left as a solid memory from my youth than to try and relive it now.

 

Still...has one of the best opening credits ever!

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they started running it on a local cable station from time to time, and for me, like you it was a go to show as a kid. I came to the same conclusions for the most part and think that the problem is we now have such great special effects that even crappy shows are better visually. Lee Majors acting really was terrible, but being married to Farrah, he did get some good looking women to appear on the show.

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"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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I never really liked SMDM but I loved "the Fall Guy" as a kid. I remember that when you missed the show on Monday night you did not need to show up at school the next morning because you were the only one who did not know what the others were talking about. :-)

So I recently watched it on dvd and I can't decide whether it was cool or sucked big time.

I still understand though why Heather Thomas in her bikini during the opening credits made my adolescent hormones go nuts at the time.

:)

I must say it still had the same effect. :)

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Mike
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The Fall Guy. ::thumb:: (Aw yeah, on Heather Thomas... Markie Post wasn't exactly chopped liver, either :D )

 

SMDM... :dodgy:

 

For those same reasons you mentioned, Kit, are why I refuse to watch anything but comedies from back then - they never disappoint. I recently watched a favorite movie again - The Wraith. Boy, did it suck, and yet I remember it being so cool when I first saw it. I did watch most of the first season of Magnum P.I., and it didn't totally suck, but I don't know if I want to risk watching Knight Rider, Miami Vice, or my beloved Airwolf. I had also put up the original Battlestar Galactica movie right after I'd gotten a 60" HD, and was not disappointed... still a bit campy, but it didn't suck. The original Star Trek is timeless even with it's campiness... but I don't think it'll ever "suck" like SMDM or Bionic Woman.

 

Now... M*A*S*H & Hogan's Heroes... you simply cannot go wrong.

Eric

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I remember a lot of what I thought were cool shows back from my youth... not sure how they'd hold up today with my kids.

 

I loved...

 

The Odd Couple

The Honeymooners

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Benny Hill

M.A.S.H

Mutual of Omahas Wild Kindgon

The Wonderful World of Disney

The Love Boat

Fantasy Island

 

I don't think my kids would spend 5 minutes watching any of them, except for making fun of them.

 

Times do change... and we're old!!

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I've got the entire series of Sky King on DVD. As Kit noted, it was much better when I was six.

Ron

The Rickster, a 1973 Mach 1, being restored as a tribute to my brother who passed away with COVID in July 2020.

Billy, a 1976 Ford Bronco, also needs a lot of work.

El Guapo, a 1986 F150, frame-off Resto-Mod.

Also, in the queue, a 1950 Ford F1 Panel truck and 1962 Falcon Ranchero

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Guest Kit Sullivan

You are correct: For the most part, old comedies have held up better than old dramas or "action" shows.

 

However, there are a few old drama shows I still love:

Star Trek ( Kirk era)

Starsky & Hutch

Baretta

Columbo

Emergency!

 

I can watch those non-stop...especially Columbo.

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You are correct: For the most part, old comedies have held up better than old dramas or "action" shows.

 

However, there are a few old drama shows I still love:

Star Trek ( Kirk era)

Starsky & Hutch

Baretta

Columbo

Emergency!

 

I can watch those non-stop...especially Columbo.

I've loved Star Trek since the original series and most, but not all the more recent versions... I think they did a great job casting the latest movies.

 

I was also a big fan of Colombo and Baretta... do you remember Kojak?

 

Cool shows...

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I've got the entire series of Sky King on DVD. As Kit noted, it was much better when I was six.

 

"Out of the clear blue of the western sky comes... Sky King!"

 

oh, the wayback machine is ON! LOL

 

BTW: Peabody's wayback machine, for the younger gen.

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It was a such a weird show, especially the first season, that it took a long time for it to 'age'. Not a great show, but certainly better than many that were hits. Season One had one of the best opening themes ever! Never missed an episode and I have remastered box set....because I am a geek.

 

[video=youtube]

 

How about some Space:1999 ;)

 

I made this Haynes Version for the Eagle. hehe

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^

That's the first time I've ever heard the Space: 1999 S1 theme. That is fantastic. Disco-era themes at their best.

 

Depends which season you're watching, in some cases.

 

The first season of Starsky & Hutch is well done, as are any episode directed by Paul Michael Glaser himself. Season 3 is uneven, and Season 4 is peppered with crap.

 

Knight Rider had a few decent episodes, but the great majority of it is laughable cheese - as much as we may try to love it. The writing is reminiscent of Charlie's Angels - the script is driven by plot points hammered into our face by the dialogue.

 

Six Million, on the other hand, doesn't go anywhere. Would have probably been a lot better as a 30-minute show, as there's way too much padding in these.

 

It Takes a Thief suffered badly from similar padding in the 3rd season (and I'm not talking about the first six Euro episodes, which were downright TERRIBLE), but seasons one and two pulled it off, oozing campy coolness in their wake. (Unfortunately, just like Starsky and Hutch, the worst season of the show had the best opening theme).

 

It's surprising how well Adam-12 has held up though; even Dragnet's oft-satirized format remains strong.

 

Strangely enough, T.J. Hooker (I regard it as a Hollywoodized Adam-12) should really be a lot more cringe-worthy than it is, but Will Shatner's charisma holds it together, in spite of the ridiculously non-realistic police work, Adrian Zmed's acting, and countless "let's rescue Heather Locklear" scripts.

 

-Kut

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It was a such a weird show, especially the first season, that it took a long time for it to 'age'. Not a great show, but certainly better than many that were hits. Season One had one of the best opening themes ever! Never missed an episode and I have remastered box set....because I am a geek.

 

[video=youtube]

 

How about some Space:1999 ;)

 

I made this Haynes Version for the Eagle. hehe

 

Yup..I got the megaset my self..lol...and wanna talk about geek...I started reworking the series with more modern epic music...Space1999 " same with star trek" got ruined from the original idea's...Both wanted too be more serious show " but higher ups though they was too dark" and forced them to make them brighter and funnier, and monsters not so scarey..Sucks for us...But if you notice first season of space is mostly serious and monsters kinda spooky...they brung in Fred as producer. He was brung in for major changes and even know it was not totally his falt...He produced the last seasons of Six million dollar man, Star Trek and space1999. and put a the final nail in them, even know they was about to die anyways lol He was the king of cheese monster costumes it seems." like steve austin fighting big foot"..He did the same thing to space 1999..He turned it into a bit more of a kiddy show. but they was tring everything to save spendy shows.. A lot of these shows started out with a awesome idea, little far ahead of what budgets could pull off..I hear battlestar got canceled mostly cause it was like making star wars every day...It was costing them a ton!!.. and to this date, still one of the most expencive tv series ever made..lol

 

This is my version of the first episode of space 1999..the intro" not finished" lol just raw.

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I like how it changes the tone of the opening to something more epic and cinematic.

 

Rumor has it that Abrams or Moore (can't remember which) copied the first season Space opening style when they did Battlestar. Basic set of visuals showing what happened and then quick cut edit of scenes from 'this episode'. And I like that music too.

 

[video=youtube]

 

And then there is ...Sanford and Son....it never gets old!

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This is my version of the first episode of space 1999..the intro" not finished" lol just raw.

 

I'm not usually a fan of mixing completely different music to openings, but your mix fits eerily well.

 

While we're on the topic of Space: 1999, let's not forget Geoff Love's epic orchestral take:

 

[video=youtube]

 

-Kurt

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Oh, man! That's great, but I keep picturing Roger Moore as Bond while it was playing!

 

It does have that special John Barry string sound to it, doesn't it?

 

Curiously, his Moonraker score was quite subdued in comparison to his others. Three other composers worked on Moore-era Bond films other than Barry though - Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, and For Your Eyes Only all have scores completely unique to their composers. These scores were also funk/disco oriented while Barry's scores were far less induced to pop trends.

 

-Kurt

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Oh ya..That is a classic;)

 

And thanks!! I usually don't like rehashing stuff either, but for some reason i was revisiting my megadvd set and thought, mmm how much would it change space 1999 just to replace the music with a much more darker " epic" fitting music? I love the original disco stuff, but i just wanted to see how it would change the flavor of it..lol

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Sometimes being too 'of the moment' with music can make it date really fast. You can almost pinpoint the year it was done just by hearing the music. Most sitcoms are that way.

 

I've often thought that Tangerine Dreams synthesizer soundtrack for Sorcerer would have made good music for 1999 without being disco/funk.

 

So we don't get too far from Steve Austin...I read the book CYBORG by Martin Caidin when I was a kid. The book was good, showed much more promise than the show. Although, I do wonder who was a worse actor, Lee Majors or Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers)?

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Guest Kit Sullivan

At least Gil Gerard could smile convincingly, and show a little emotion from time to time.

 

On Starsky & Hutch:

 

Personally, I like the first season best, for several reasons. The music was much more dramatic. Lalo Schifrin did the pounding opening theme, which was really just edited from the dramatic conclusion piece he did for the big action-packed ending scenes of the pilot movie.

Schifrin, of course...is famous for his music for "Bullitt", as well as the opening theme to "Mission: Impossible".

The scripts for season one of S&H are also darker and more action-driven, yet the actors are allowed and do a great job of "filling in the edges" with excellent character-building stuff and lots of little "business" going on.

Strangely enough, every single script ( except for one!) from the first season is an old, recycled script written for some other TV show or movie. Somehow, they all hang together.

Season two was thier most popular season and is when they really hit thier stride.

First off, the most-often-remembered, funky disco-inspired opening theme music "Gotcha!" by Tom Scott debuted for season two. Most like this the best...I like Schifrin's better.

Unlike most TV shows, Starsky & Hutch used a different opening theme for each of its four seasons.

Mark Snow of "X-Files" fame did the funky season thred theme...I hated it. Season four was just a wierd and darker rehash of seadon's two theme.

The characters and stories in season two were excellent, but it was clear the writers were introducing the "cutesy" fan-favorite personality quirks into the characters.

Season three was terrible. Glaser sure didn't want to be there...it was obvious. Boring "personal" stories started to take the place of simple action-oriented police procedural stuff. Lots of bad dialogue, not much action. Only a few decent episodes from season three.

And season four was a train-wreck: to give the actors more time off, scripts were written that featured only one character, so they did not share as many scenes with each other. And the writers started making the characters have conflict with each other in a bid to add some drama to an "action show" that no longer had any action. Blech!

 

It seems that "grows a moustache" should have been the original version of the phrase "jump the shark". Hutch's horrific moustache in season 4 was a clear downfall.

 

As much as I was dissapointed that it was cancelled back in '79, I am now glad it was. Season 5 probably would have been too depressing to stomach.

 

But, still and all...like any fan of a classic show, you tend to ignore the clunkers and remember the good ones!

 

"Space:1999"s fore-runner, "UFO" is also a favorite of mine. Badly dated to the late 60s, but a much better show than "1999" by a country mile.

Great-looking girls in tin-foil bikinis with purple wigs working the pole on the moonbase strip club were...ok, sorry: SHADO "operatives" working thier jobs on "moonbase". ( but they were really just strippers, you know!)

Kick-Ass funky/ Jazzy opening theme, too

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Sometimes being too 'of the moment' with music can make it date really fast. You can almost pinpoint the year it was done just by hearing the music.

 

True. That does bring something to mind though: Picking the wrong clothes to represent an era in a production can ruin an experience more than a period soundtrack can date it. Godfather III (yes, a film, not TV, I know it) sticks out in my mind for this. The blatant 1990's fashions and preppy dialogue in (supposedly) 1979 ruin the film worse than the script.

 

On the other hand, sometimes being a staple for your era is a good thing:

 

[video=youtube]

 

-Kurt

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Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Hey Guys,

 

we got all those shows out here in Oz. Yes, it's so true that these shows had a much greater impact on younger, more innocent, impressionable minds. As a kid, i started watching TV from 1960, and really dug shows like the original Astro boy, Johnny Quest, The Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, The Avengers, The Champions, The Munsters, The Adams Family, The Banana Splits, and the list goes on and on.

 

When Six Million Dollar Man and then, The Bionic Woman were released here, Aussies thought that both shows were very cheesy, but were popular nevertheless.

 

What did you guys in America think of the Nash Bridges series when it came out? You gotta' luv that yellow Cuda.

 

Greg.:)

:whistling: LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED

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Guest Kit Sullivan

Nash Bridges was OK, but was clearly geared for a more..."mature" female audience. At times it seemed like it should have been on "Lifetime" network!

Most CBS dramas from back then were aimed at the same demographic.

 

The car was...of course...awesome! The perfect choice for an iconic TV car. And the stunt driving ( what little of it there was) was generally pretty good too. Showy and flashy with lots of Hollywood-style "fishtails" ( "drifting" to the kids...) and burnouts.

To me, there was only one BIG problem with the car scenes: the engine FX sound track.

They used a great source for the engine noises, but the sounds always sounded like they were at lower RPM...never really sounded like he was "getting on it". Just sounded too "tamed".

I know it sounds ridiculous, but this makes a big difference in the perception of the car's performance.

Watch any early episode of Starsky & Hutch and you will hear the high-winding sound of an obvious 4-speed car at valve-floating RPM levels well before the Torino has actually even left the parking lot!

Very unrealistic, sure...but it sure amps up the excitement a bunch.Nash Bridges missed it on that particular point with me.

 

A little trivia, for those who care about such things:

Most of the engine sound effects used for early episodes for Starsky's Torino came from an older ( 1st-gen) Ford Bronco with a wildly built 289 small block. It was a Baja desert-runner owned by Parnelli Jones. I think that Broncois a show car somewhere now.

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OK, so Adam-12 and TJ Hooker were mentioned as decent cop shows, as well as comments about the "disco-esque" theme music for the various shows from the time.

 

But nobody's mentioned my favorite cop show with the disco motif hard-wired into every aspect: CHiPs

 

Man, I love that show... and if I'm flippin' through one of the "TVLand" kind of channels and see an episode playing, I will stop everything and watch it - I don't care it there's only 5 or 6 minutes left to go.

 

Disco aside, it was well done, not too incredibly cheesy (although, I think it was winding down when Ponch had a "close encounter" during one episode in the last season), and never failed to deliver during the crash and chase scenes. Watching that show as I was growing up, I seriously considered wanting to become a motorcycle cop (I even remember a few of my buddies riding our bikes in formation and 'patrolling' the neighborhood - LMAO)... but fortunately, that never happened (after talking to several I know - you REALLY have to want to do that, after all).

Eric

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I recently watched a few episodes of the Six Million Dollar Man & I found out the same thing. It Suck's! I thought I loved it, must have got into the liquor cabinet or something....

John - 72 Q Code

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