'Bionic Woman - Volume One'
(Michelle Ryan, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (2007) 2008 / Universal)
Overview: Jamie Sommers (Michelle Ryan, EASTENDERS) lives an average life as an average woman, but a horrific car crash upends her quiet existence. Scientists have saved her life, but she is now the less-than-proud owner of high-tech body parts that give her incredible strength and speed. Volume one contains the first part of the show's first season.
DVD Verdict: One of the best things about DVDs, notably the release of TV series on DVD, is the fact that you actually get a chance to watch some of the best shows on TV that you may have missed the first time around. Such is the case with 'Bionic Woman.'
This remake of the hit '70s show that starred Lindsey Wagner (that was a spin off of The Six Million Dollar Man) updates the original, keeping only what's necessary. Jamie Sommers is young, in love and pregnant. After breaking the news to her boyfriend Will (Chris Bowers), the pair are broadsided on the way home.
Damaged to the extent that she might die, Jamie is saved by Will as his true occupation is revealed. The man she thought was a simply college professor actually is a brilliant surgeon who works for a secret government agency. And rather than lose Jamie, Will takes her to their facility and enhances her.
While her legs, one arm, one ear and one eye were completely obliterated, this facility replaces them with bionic parts, mechanical computerized parts as well as nano technology that boost her healing. Horrified at first, Jamie begins to accept the new her. When Will is killed by the last candidate for bionics, Sarah Corvus (the extra-brilliant Katee Sackhoff), Jamie joins the agency that rebuilt her.
That's the simple set up for the series. Super strength, eyesight, hearing and more. Working for a government agency. And with a revenge motive strong enough to fill any number of stories. But the series doesn't stop there. As well as her new found life, Jamie has a kid sister to raise. Troublesome and a handful, the teen was dropped at her doorstep by her father and was the reason Jamie stayed where she is. A combination of love and loss revolve between the two.
The series - as it turned out, yet another victim of this years writers strike - takes a natural progression, from Jamie being talked into her new career path to how she deals with Sarah. The series shows her progression, her training and her learning to deal with her abilities. But what makes this series work best is that it's not a straight out remake. Instead, it takes those bones from the original and makes the story it's own.
Michelle Ryan stars as Jamie and does a fantastic job, showing a young woman who takes what life throws at her and survives. Miguel Ferrer does his smarmy best as the cold hearted bureaucrat who's in charge. Sackhoff is equally casts as the killer who wants to change but has technology that wasn't perfected within her.
Cost of living what it is, there is no way Jamie can have been made for a mere $6 million. Times have changed and so has this show. But that's a good thing. While the original seems silly to look back on now, science fiction fans can find much to enjoy in this one. Look for it on your shelves or add it to your own. All ten first season (thus far) episodes are great, the only bad thing is you'll want more after the credits roll on the last episode ... trust me, it's a bummer crave that doesn't go away! It's a series worth having. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Pilot Commentary with Executive Producer David Eick
The Making of the Car Crash