The Bionic Woman-Season 1 (1976)

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Released 28-Nov-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1976
Running Time 670:11 (Case: 672)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Gwen Arner
Jack Arnold
Tom Blank
Phil Bondelli
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Lindsay Wagner
Richard Anderson
Martin E. Brooks
Sam Chew Jr.
Case ?
RPI $69.95 Music Charles Albertine
Robert Bryant
John Cacavas


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    When fans of the Six Million Dollar Man encountered Steve Austen's (Lee Majors) long term girlfriend, Jaime Summers (Lindsay Wagner), who would ultimately become his fiancé, they knew that her near death and amnesia wouldn't be the last they saw of her (ah, the classic two dramatic obstacles of American commercial TV - when does someone with amnesia not recover, or someone dead not come back to life in this comic book fairytale world?). They were right - enter the spin off series The Bionic Woman.

    Like Steve, Jaime is a bionic woman, having received her bionic implants after a near-fatal parachuting accident. Recruited by Oscar (Richard Anderson), Steve's own handler, Jamie is set up as a school teacher on a military base as a cover for her more clandestine activities as a super-powered spy (go America!).

    All 14 episodes of the first season are available in this set. You can find a full list of episodes and episode summaries at TV.com. All episodes are approximately 46 - 48 minutes long.

    Sadly, when watching this show, I can't help but see all the elements that Joss Wheedon was undoubtedly parodying with Buffy Summers in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Seriously, any fan of that show who comes to this show will undoubtedly spot the parallels and be unable to take it all seriously. Not that the Bionic Woman should be taken seriously - aimed squarely at the younger market, the show is a cross between Alias and more family friendly shows such as Wonder Woman, although in all fairness I found this to be a far superior show than Wonder Woman in terms of storytelling and execution.

    While still enjoyable in its own way, particularly on a rainy Sunday afternoon when you're doing the ironing, in all honesty I really think this is one for the fans on a nostalgia trip, and viewers without any nostalgic attachment to this show are better served by acquiring boxed sets of Buffy or Alias to whittle away those Sunday afternoon hours.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I watched the majority of this on my 42" Sony E-Series 3LCD Rearpro HDTV upscaled at 720p via HDMI. I sampled some episodes via 3LCD front projection on my 100" screen using my Sony VPL-HS60, upscaled at 1080i.

    Video is a standard 1.33:1 Full Frame. Colour is a little washed out, though this is partially a result of the film stock and lighting techniques of the time. It looks about as good as can be expected.

    Shadow detail can be a little grainy, but there is nothing overly distracting here. There is a fair bit of dirt on the print, but I would suggest that it has been cleaned up some because there is nothing glaringly bad. There is a bit of background aliasing.

    I spotted no dual layer pauses, either because of my equipment or (as is more likely the case) the pauses fall between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Audio is stock standard 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono. There were some minor sync issues that were clearly source faults. Dialogue is easy to understand. Music can sound a little "hollow" at times. There is no surround or subwoofer information.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The disc home menus have various clips from the credits with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack of the theme. All other menus are static and silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    From what I can tell, there is not a Region 1 release available of this series – they seem to be importing our Region 4 release. I guess we got the definite winner.

Summary

    The Bionic Woman is a real nostalgia trip for those of us around who remember it. However, it doesn’t match up all that well by today’s standards – newcomers are liable to find this laughable. That said, I thank Universal Home Video for continuing to release these old shows on DVD for the fans.

    Decent video and audio make this an acceptable package, though don’t come here looking for extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS92, using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersJensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer

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