The Bionic Woman aired from 1976 to 1978, lasting for three seasons. Actress Lindsay Wagner found herself starring as Jaime Sommers, the superhuman. Sommers’s character spun-off from The Six Million Dollar Man. (The Bionic Woman, n.d.) In The Six Million Dollar Man, she was a former tennis pro who was in a terrible sky-diving accident.
“Jaime’s character was meant to attract a larger adult audience, but neither ABC nor the show’s creators wanted Austin to be tied down with a marriage (presumably because it would limit the types of action-adventure plots available to the writers), so they decided to kill Sommers at the end of the two-part episode by having her body reject its bionics.” (Jenkins, 2011)
There was a ton of backlash for killing off such a beloved character. With the overload in complaints and protests, ABC networks knew this character could make a new hit show. (Jenkins, 2011) They decided to bring Sommers back with superhuman abilities through the bionic implants and prosthetics she received from her accident. (The Bionic Woman, n.d.)
The Six Million Dollar Man focus on space and superhuman abilities and was predominately a male-dominated genre. (Jenkins, 2011) Have the The Bionic Woman spin-off was necessary in the 1970s. “The series appealed to liberal feminists by carving out a new space for female agency in a traditionally male-dominated genre and thus symbolically championed the inclusion of more women in the workforce.” (Jenkins, 2011) Women were changing and wanting to tap into world where only men were seen at before. This show proved that a woman could be a hit star in a role that only men played before.
My perspective: I believe Jaime Sommers stood for a powerful woman. The Bionic Woman was a futuristic, sci-fi type of series that showcased a woman as the main role. I feel this show helped women see the potential to succeed in any industry. This bionic woman was a depiction of the power and unstoppable qualities of women.
About Lindsay Wagner: Lindsay Wagner is an American actress best known for her role as Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman. She won an Emmy award for her phenomenal portrayal in this role. (Lindsay Wagner, n.d.)
Linsday Wanger. (n.d.). Wikipedia – the free online encyclopedia. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_Wagner
Jenkins, T. (2011). Nationalism and Gender: The 1970s, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman. Journal of Popular Culture, 44(1), 93-113. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from the EBSCOHost database.
The Bionic Woman. (n.d.). Wikia. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://bionic.wikia.com/wiki/The_Bionic_Woman