During the year of 1976, the ABC Television Network spawned one of the only female "super humans" ever to demonstrate her "extraordinary" powers on the television screen. This woman could hear footsteps from a mile away, run more than 60 mph, bend steel with her bare hands, jump to the roof of a 12 story building, catch villians who are endangering our National security, and still have enough energy and motivation left over to use her talent and knowledge as a schoolteacher. This women, Jaime Sommers (played by Lindsey Wagner), claimed the title role on the 1976 "TV season's hottest late entry," The Bionic Women ($500,000 85).
The Bionic Woman actually began her television career as the girl friend of Steve Austin (another person with bionics), on the ABC series, The Six Million Dollar Man. While her body wasn't laden with bionic parts at this time, Jaime demonstrated her talents as a professional tennis player (a career that was dropped, with much critism from the viewers,when she gained her own TV show). At the end of her appearence on the Six Million Dollar Man, Jaime Sommers was a victim of a serious skydiving accident and was given two bionic legs, a bionic arm, and a bionic ear to save her life. Thanks to the bionic scientists at the OSI (a fictional government agency), Jaime was given new life, new body parts, and a new TV series. Jaime Sommers, on The Bionic Woman, now lives her life as a school teacher/intelligence agent for the OSI, teaching little children and saving the world from villainous men.
The episode of The Bionic Woman that I randomly chose to analyze,
"Iron Ships and Dead
demonstrates some of the messages and images that this
show presented about women and men of the 1970's.