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Barney Hiller

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Played by Monte Markham
7mil-its-wild
Barney Hiller
Job/Title Racecar Driver, OSI Agent
Appearances
SMDM  The Seven Million Dollar Man (as Barney Miller)
The Bionic Criminal
BW  none
Reunion  none

Barney Hiller was the world's second bionic man. Hiller was a race car driver who lost all his arms and legs in a crash. The OSI rebuilt him as a backup for Steve Austin at a cost of $7 million (presumably higher than Austin due to inflation and the extra limb).

Hiller, however, was seduced by his new abilities and tended to use excessive force during his first mission, ultimately turning against the OSI. Finally captured, the OSI "tunes down" Hiller's bionics, stripping him of his super-human abilities. Later, Hiller is reactivated, but soon displays the same instability that made him a danger previously, compounded by him being forced to commit a series of crimes.

Hiller's ultimate fate is never revealed. However in the 1989 telefilm Bionic Showdown, Oscar Goldman states that at that time there are only four bionic people alive. As these four are accounted for in the film, this may suggest that Hiller died prior to 1989 or that his bionics were removed.

Name change

When the character first appeared, he was named Barney Miller. However, in the interim between his first and second appearances, a popular police sitcom titled Barney Miller went on the air (in fact it debuted as a weekly series in January 1975, only two months after the original broadcast of "The Seven Million Dollar Man"). As a result, when the character appeared again, his name was "retconned" to be Barney Hiller.

This isn't the only time such a change has been made to a TV characters; in the early 1980s the lead character of The Greatest American Hero temporarily had his name changed from Hinkley to Hanley due to the attempted assassin of President Ronald Reagan being named Hinckley; the name reverted back to Hinkley for that show's second season.

Bionics

Barney lost both arms and both legs in his car crash. Unlike Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, he did not require the replacement of any sensory organs.

Barney's bionic arms give him superhuman strength. He is shown to have at least the same level of strength Steve has, demonstrated by flipping an entire car over on its side, lifting and throwing men the same size as himself and fighting Steve Austin to a standstill. In his first encounter with Steve, he beats Austin in an arm-wrestling match; however, Steve does not give a reply when Barney later asks if he'd let him win. Therefore, the question of whether Barney had superior strength remained unanswered (except for the fact that he would have an advantage with two bionic arms rather than the one).

Barney's bionic legs give him superhuman speed, superhuman leaping and superhuman strength. He can run at the same speeds as Steve Austin which is at least 66 mph, jump at least 30 feet high and kick down any door (well, except for the Project Cyborg vault, it seems).

Kevin Smith's screenplay

Kevin Smith's mid-1990s screenplay for a big-screen version of The Six Million Dollar Man, never produced but widely circulated through script shops and the Internet, features Barney Miller (reverting to his original name) as the villain. According to the script, Miller is the original "Six Million Dollar Man" of the title, a prototype cyborg who has gone mad and becomes the nemesis of new-model bionic man Steve Austin.

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