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Bionic Woman

Speaking of TV show remakes... I just watched the Bionic Woman pilot again (they reran it on SciFi this evening). The following are my first and second impressions, and spoilers for the pilot... so if you haven't seen it yet, you may want to refrain from reading further.

The Bionic Woman pilot episode is available to view in full at it's NBC hosted website. Pretty good web video quality too!

So, I was just as grumbly and skeptical about the whole prospect of yet another remake, and especially of the Jamie Sommers story, as pretty much anybody else I heard who had an opinion about it. I was quite young when the original series aired, but thanks to my parents who were relatively sci-fi saavy, I was exposed to that and the $6000k Man. Frankly I didn't really care for either. Both freaked me out, especially whenever someone would remove a human face to reveal a cyborg skull. I guess I was too young.

But aside from all the traumatic memories, the idea of a Bionic Woman remake just seemed ridiculous. I was prepared to hate it, but I knew I had to watch since my new favorite actress/girl crush/uber idol - Katee Sackhoff of BSG, was to play the new incarnation of a fem-bot villainess.

In a sense I was torn, feeling like I just had to watch something I knew I wouldn't like.

I was very pleasantly surprised, and it wasn't just by Katee's performance. In fact, my own jury is still out on how I feel about Sarah Corvus (Sackhoff). On the one hand, I would almost say that performance was a little wooden and overconfident. But that's exactly what Sarah Corvus seems to be; a regenerated bionic with a grudge who doesn't even remember what it is to be human. When I remember that, Katee Sackhoff's performance fits to a tee, and she kicks some major ass too.

Sure it all gets a little cliche and predictable, but the story moves at a good pace and the drama is good. To me, sci-fi is working when even though you're conscious of the unbelievable, you still continue to watch with interest. Bionic Woman did that for me, although I'll admit I'm not counting the minutes of each day and week until the next episode as I do for Battlestar Galactica, or secondarily Heroes.

Kara... I mean Katee certainly turned out some memorable one-liners. Yep. Still love seeing Katee in action. It's kind of funny though... she's really starting to remind me of BSG's Number 6!

And then there was Jamie Sommers. I had never heard of Michelle Ryan before. At first glance she seemed a little Plain Jane, but now that I've seen it, she seems tailor made for the part. This is where I was very pleasantly surprised. I don't remember any story specifics from the original series, so perhaps starting with a relatively clean slate was to my advantage, save for my bias.

As for the rest of the characters, I'll wait on forming opinions until further episodes.

In general, the pilot formed all the necessary questions yet to be answered and certainly to be replaced with new questions - enough to get me coming back to follow the story. Well, of course one of the other laws of attraction in effect for me are the appearances of four-and-counting Battlestar actors: Aaron Douglas, Mark Sheppard, Katee Sackhoff, and one very brief cameo by Jammer (RIP) as a heli-vac EMT, who we probably won't ever see again.

Having David Eick producing must have something to do with it too (I had to wonder if Eick pulled some of his BSG cast right off the set for last minute Bionic fill-ins). Eick has added his modern TV drama touch, which not unlike BSG is dark and gritty, almost bordering on black and white film noir (it's certainly a stark opposite of the 80's version's blazing techno-color brightness) . The less than cheerful human element is similar too, and you can bet that in following the series you will be forced to continually evaluate your feelings on who is really "evil". Sarah Corvut has obviously been done wrong, and is even a helping hand in Jamie's coming to terms with her bionic-ness. Jamie's mad scientist boyfriend only wanted her to live, and now perhaps he has paid the ultimate price, for taking advantage of his powers as well as for his involvement in Sarah's assassination. Then there's Romo... or Will's father. He was obviously involved with the lab, but somehow ended up in uber-maximum security, only to be set free after holding Chief's wife hostage. Did he have a hand in bringing Sarah back? Does he want his own son dead?

I guess we'll see next week, and I usually have Wednesday nights free, so this show is a go for me... until I potentially get totally bored with it :)

Dang, I haven't even reviewed the Heroes season 2 premiere yet. That's coming as soon as I watch it one more time. Gotta love NBC shows and the full episodes being posted right after on the website. Sorry for all you folks who live outside the US since you probably won't be able to view the epsodes on the web.

And Kaylee is on Stargate Atlantis season 4 right now!!!!


nob01 said...

But is it as masterful as Flash Gordon?

I'll watch the first couple later during the weekend, and pipe in with my own thought...

RJ said...

I didn't manage to catch the premiere of BW. I think I'm just going to end up passing unless I hear incredible things and then I'll watch it on DVD.

ketal13 said...

I still haven't caught it. I have two probs with this show. Firstly I'm apprehensive about a remake of one of my childhood favs being slandered. Secondly, I'm afraid I'd really like the show and want to add yet another program to my already overflowing schedule.:)

starthunder said...

LOL! I can so relate - The last thing I need is another show to watch! The other night while I was doing some other work with the TV on, I happened to catch the show "Chuck" too, and now I'm intrigued. At least it's on right after Heroes, so I can watch it all at once :p

Really, I'm just killing time until the last season of BSG. After that, I'll swear off TV altogether ;)

nob01 said...

Did I say first couple?
That's because TiVo taped it twice and I thought I had two episodes - LOL.
So, first thoughts: it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating given the reaction it got at Comic-Con, but then it wasn't a masterpiece either. Michelle Ryan doesn't cut the mustard for me, I found her a bit... bleh. Katee was great though, although she started to chew the scenery a couple of times, but that's part of the fun of being a villain. The effects worked, but the writing was horrible. Is it just me, or did Jaime resign herself to her new life damned quickly? One last gripe - perhaps I'm really getting old, but the bloody music got on my nerves pretty fast, I'm just not a fan of peppering shows with contemporary tunes.
Overall, fun-ish, but I won't cry if I miss the rest.
Ooh, I'm harsh.

starthunder said...

I totally hear ya nob. The writing *eh* (I'm still giving it a chance - I think it's actually trying to be slightly campy but not full-on). I agree about Jamie adjusting to her new life too quickly too. They could have dragged that story line out for a whole gorram season. But she may not have as fully accepted it as it may seem. She was kind of boxed in with nowhere to go, and since part of the premise is that she is smRt, perhaps she had the wits to play the game with the scientists. But I'll have to agree with you, if the writing were better, that element could have been executed much better.

You see, I have no choice but to continue watching, since I am a die-hard BSG fan. There's way too many BSG actors, and I'll have to give watch the production with David Eick behind the scenes.


ketal13 said...

RE "Chuck": I KNOW!!! I like it too! I hope the rest of the season is as good as the premier--I want more, even though I know I shouldn't.;)