Bionic Showdown (also known by the longer title Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman) was a 1989 made-for-TV movie. It was the second of three reunion films featuring the original cast members of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman and, like the first film, was intended as a potential pilot for a new series, this one focusing on new bionic woman Kate Mason, played by a pre-stardom Sandra Bullock. It was followed by one final reunion film five years later, Bionic Ever After?.
A traitor within the OSI is leaking vital security information, that threatens the upcoming World Unity Games. That someone is also discovered to be bionic. Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, who have been helping with preparations for the games, are now suspects. Can Austin and Sommers clear their names and prove that neither of them is the traitor?
The World Unity Games a sports competition not unlike the Olympics, in the name of world peace is being held in Toronto, Canada. Oscar Goldman is asking Steve Austin to come out of retirement again, to become Chief of Security to the games. Austin reluctantly agrees. Later, someone manages to steal some information possibly vital to security of the games. It turns out that "someone" is bionic, because the thief tossed everyone about, including Goldman, like rag dolls.
Meanwhile, Jaime Sommers is giving a helping hand in preparing the OSI's newest bionic agent, Kate Mason, for her new life. She has been paralyzed since age six, and bionics will now allow her to walk for the first time in years. Mason's bionics are of a totally new design, which are based more on augmenting her present biological systems unlike her predecessors' cybernetic replacements. It proves to give her superior abilities over Austin and Sommers, while comparing favorably with Austin's son Michael Austin, who received the latest in advanced cybernetic replacements two years earlier.
As the story progresses, the enemy forces who planted the bionic thief at the OSI, want to eliminate Steve Austin so he doesn't pose any kind of obstacle for their eventual plans. At the same time, U.S. Army General John McAllister has now been temporarily placed in charge of the OSI, due to the serious nature of the information theft. McAllister's job is to re-evaluate the organization's current effectiveness, and make changes if necessary. He holds all the OSI's bionic agents suspect for the theft. Since Kate hadn't been "activated" at the time, and Michael Austin wasn't anywhere near the games: McAllister begins with securing Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers for questioning. However, McAllister is barking up the wrong tree, because the enemy has their own advanced bionic agent, like Kate!
Later when Austin and Sommers are free, the enemy bionic agent plants a bomb on Austin's boat in order to kill him. Instead of this happening, Oscar Goldman's nephew Jim Goldman is caught in the blast. Now Oscar schemes up a plan to flush out who's behind all this. Jim pretends to be severely injured by the bomb, and Goldman asks McAllister for permission to allow Jim to undergo bionic surgery. Goldman knows that McAllister would refuse, so he kicks up a big fuss and fakes his resignation, declaring he "would be better off with the enemy". The enemy forces take his words at face value and capture him. So now Goldman discovers who is behind everything, including the identity of the enemy bionic thief.
Since Kate Mason is coming along nicely with using her bionics, the enemy forces feel that she is a threat as well, and want to eliminate her. However, they fail in their attempt. Later, it turns out the whole thing is an inside job: with Deputy CIA Director Charles Esterman leaking bionic (and other) secrets to a Russian General Dzerinsky, and OSI agent Alan Devlin is the bionic thief. Mason manages to kill Devlin, and Esterman and his accomplice Dzerinsky end up in prison.
- First Aired: April 30, 1989 at 9:00 PM
- Network: NBC
- Story: Michael Sloan and Robert DeLaurentis
- Teleplay: Michael Sloan and Brock Choy
- Director: Alan J. Levi
- Executive Producer: Michael Sloan
- Producers: Nigel Watts and Bernadette Joyce
- Co-Producers: Lee Majors and Richard Anderson
- Music: Bill Conti
- Lee Majors - Colonel Steve Austin
- Lindsay Wagner - Jaime Sommers
- Richard Anderson - Oscar Goldman
- Martin E. Brooks - Dr. Rudy Wells
- Robert Lansing - General John McAllister
- Sandra Bullock - Kate Mason
- Lee Majors II - Jim Castillian
- Geraint Wyn Davies - Alan Devlin
- Jeff Yagher - Jim Goldman
- Lawrence Dane - General Dzerinsky
- Josef Sommer - Charles Esterman
- Andrew R. Dan - Comrade Yuri Kellagyn
- Carolynn Dunn - Sally
- Jack Blum - Larry
- David Adamson - Sergeant Randall
- James Kee - OSI Officer
- Marcia Levine - Tanya Fersova
- Robert McClure - Dr. Williams
- David Nerman - Peter
- Steve Pernie - Russ
- Steve Morris - Sports Announcer
Allen: What, does a room with this many enemies in it make ya nervous?
Oscar: You're damn right it does! I didn't spend 30 years behind an OSI desk pushing pencils or shoving pins into Third World hotspots, I was out in the field! I was out in the action...
Castillian: Jim Castillian. That's with two "L"'s.
Jim: James. Goldman. One "L".
Castillian: Oh, you're Oscar's nephew. That's right, I heard you were in town. You're training for the games, right?
Jim: Uh-huh. The 400 and the hurdles. Fastest thing on two legs - 'cept of course for Alice Grayson. I never did catch her in four years of college.
Castillian: I used to be an athlete myself.
Castillian: Yeah. Not much time for it now, I'm here in the OSI dodging bullets and inter-office memos.
Castillian: (about Jaime Sommers) She is looking D.D.G. tonight.(Steve gives him a questioning look) That's drop dead gorgeous.
Castillian: (slaps Steve on the back) Good luck, Big Guy.
Steve: Jaime... will you...
Jaime: Will I...?
Steve: (sees Oscar leave the party) Will you excuse me...
Jaime: (resigned, to no-one in particular) Well, I might - but you have to ask.
Jaime: Kate, you chose this. And they chose you. They chose you because of all the qualities that make you Kate.
Kate: Well, what if the OSI's made a mistake?! What if I'm not the person that they think?! What if I'm not a Jaime Sommers?!
Jaime: Hey! They don't want a clone of me, okay? They couldn't handle it. They've had too many problems with me over the years.
OSI Officer: (to Steve Austin) You're not gonna go bionic on me, are ya?
General McAllister: As far as I'm concerned, nobody is snow white. If some foreign power, if some group of terrorists, if some individual concern has found out how to build a bionic man or a bionic woman... just imagine what an army of them would be like...
Jim: It's temporary paralysis, though - isn't it, Steve? I mean, I'm gonna walk again...
Steve: You may walk again. And if you'll walk, you'll run - faster than any man has ever run before, including myself.
Jim: Sorry, Steve. It's... uh... it's a bit much to take in all at once, you know... kinda comes over me in waves, you know... the pain of the realization... I worked so hard for these games... I don't think I can deal with this right now. I can't even think of a good punchline.
Jim: (to himself) Funny stuff, way to go, Jimmy. Really swept her off her nuclear feet.
Castillian: Well, I found Oscar. In the bar at the Watergate hotel.
Oscar: (Steve and Jaime are trying to take an unwilling Oscar away from a bar) They are cyborgs, would you believe that? And they're trying to kidnap me. I needs some help. Help!
Man in bar: Are you... sure you're his friend?
Jaime: Oh, absolutely. Listen, don't pay any attention to anything he says, he's very confused. Do I look like a robot to you?
(Kate races, and beats, Jaime to a bridge)
Jaime: (panting) I'm not doing this again... anymore... why do they always ask me to work out the new bionic... people? My gosh! I always lose! I'm startin' to feel like an antique!
Kate: Hey, if I'm gonna start working for the OSI, I've gotta start sometime, right? But you... you'll be close, right?
Jaime: Try and get rid of me. Just... please don't run, okay? Please...
Kate: Okay, we'll jog.
Jim: So... I hear you're gonna compete in the games.
Kate: So... I hear you wanna be my trainer.
Jim: Isn't life full of the most delightful little coincidences?
Kate: So... you just wheeled on down here to ask me this?
Jim: Well... beautiful night.
Kate: It's gonna snow.
Jim: Time on my hands?
Kate: It's almost midnight.
Jim: Tough crowd... Steve and Jaime brought me - they're... uh... they're around the corner... oh, c'mon, Kate... I'd worry about you. I wouldn't be able to sleep... and I... I thought that we could look for my uncle... together. How's that for stackin' the ol' deck?
Kate: You are a rat!!
Jim: Is that a yes?
General Dzerinsky: Yes, you have been speaking out rather publicly about your former organization in particular and your country in general.
Oscar: That doesn't mean that I wanna crawl from one pit of vipers into another.
General Dzerinsky: That is very good, I must remember it.
Oscar: Yeah, well, try to remember this! (punches him across the jaw)
Kate: Allen, I've been here a week and all I've found out are the dating habits of the women athletes. Now that doesn't sound like the Scarlett Pimpernel to you, now does it?
Kate: (shouting) Will you stay out of my private life? Just stay out of my private life!
Jim: If you stay out of my dreams.
Jim: Was that a bionic kiss?
Kate: Nope, a hundred per cent natural.
Jim: Thank you, Mother Nature.
Kate: To think that I actually cared about you. I trusted you.
Allen: What can I say, Kate? You were very stupid.
Steve: Well, I... I... I did have something I wanted to say to you. Uh... you know, Jaime, we've known each other for a long, long, long time, and we've been through a lot together.
Steve: Now... uh... Jaime, just... uh... let me finish... when... two people...
Jaime: Why don't we get married?
Steve: Now... uh... please hear me out, Jaime... (stunned) What?!
Jaime: I said - would you like to get married?
Steve: Well... I... uh...
(Jaime nods her head; Steve follows suit)
- Full title is Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman.
- This second reunion movie was another attempt at a pilot for a new series. Since a series never materialized: Universal Studios still had a commitment to make one more movie after this, as per Richard Anderson's contract with them.
- Filmed in and around both Toronto and Hamilton, in Canada.
- The model set seen on a table during a party at the Pentagon, in the opening scene of the movie, represents the Toronto city skyline. Notable visible landmarks include the CN Tower, and what was then known as the Skydome (now Rogers Centre).
- The scenes where Jaime Sommers and Kate Mason race, were filmed at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  Sommers' complaint about not wanting to race the new bionic people anymore because she always loses refers to a similar lost race that occurred with Michael Austin in the previous telefilm, while the notion of Jaime racing the new bionic person is also a reference to what Steve Austin does with Jaime soon after her own surgery in "The Bionic Woman".
- The scenes that took place at the World Unity Games event were filmed at Copps Coliseum, in Hamilton. When the marching band appears, a banner in the background with the words "Hamilton Spectator" can be seen, which is a local newspaper. The stadium's name is clearly shown in an establishing shot.
- During a scene where Kate Mason and Alan Devlin sit on a park bench and chat, you can see the bench is labelled with the words "City of Toronto Department of Parks and Recreation".
- Oscar Goldman states that General Dzerinsky once put Steve Austin inside a room "about the size of a coal cellar".
- Kate Mason's full name is Katherine, but she is called "Katie" by her friends and relatives. Kate has a friend (or possibly sister) named Denise, and a dog named Scout.
- Mason has been in a wheelchair since she was six years old, a condition she states was caused by "congenital disease" and "muscular deterioration".
- Mason's bionic surgery took six months to complete.
- The address number of Mason's house is 24.
- Jim Goldman is called "Jimmy" by his friends and relatives. He admits to Kate Mason that he's been in love with her, ever since high school.
- Oscar Goldman is Jim's uncle, and he states that Jim's parents "died five years ago". The fact that Jim is Goldman's nephew, presents a dilemma. Up until this point, the only known sibling of Oscar Goldman is Sam Goldman, who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor during Word War II, as revealed on The Bionic Woman episode Iron Ships and Dead Men. The movie does not elaborate on who Oscar's other sibling could be.
- Jim Goldman is a stand-up comedian and amateur athlete, who has trained for the 400 meter race and hurdles.
- Jim Castillian notes that he too, was once an athlete, before becoming an agent for the OSI.
- John McAllister is a three-star U.S. Army General.
- Oscar Goldman has the dubious distinction of becoming drunk at the bar of the Watergate Hotel in this movie.
- A scene showing a close-up of a computer screen, reveals the following personal information about Goldman.
- OSI employee file number:
- Last voice print date: 11/17/88
- Born in Newport, Rhode Island on March 25th, 1927
- Height: 6' 2" and Weight: 164 pounds
- USA Passport: #A984872231
- The restaurant that Goldman, Austin, and Sommers frequently get together in, is called the "Dominique Restaurant".
- The computers used in the lab scene when Kate's bionics are activated, are Commodore Amigas with 1084 model monitors.
- While the scene with the Premier of the USSR only shows him at a distance, it is still clear that he bears a distinct resemblance to then-leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
- The opening credits to the movie, show computer graphic representations of Kate Mason's bionic augmentations. Some notable specifications include: Mason's bionic eyes are capable of night vision (thermograph enhance), a magnification capability of 1250:1, and can store images in an internal memory buffer for later retrieval.
- Later in the film itself, careful observation of a heads-up display in Mason's bionic vision (as seen from her perspective) reveals further capabilities: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed), Sonar Scan, and Radar Enhance.
- A display from Alan Devlin's perspective, reveals that he has "Bio-Vision" (presumably X-Ray capability). The similar nature of this heads-up display, and various other visual and sound effects, imply that Devlin's bionic construction is identical to Mason's (augmentation vs. cybernetic replacement), and that Mason should also have Bio-Vision capability.
- The reasoning behind the conclusion that Devlin's bionic construction is identical to Mason's, is reinforced by the notion that Charles Esterman likely stole the designs for Kate Mason's bionic systems, and used them to create his own bionic agent loyal to him.
- Mason and Devlin also both share the same visual and sound effects when they use their bionics. Particularly notable are the new effects whenever they run at bionic speed. As they start to run, a sound effect comparable to the "turbo boost" sound from KITT in Knight Rider, can be heard. Meanwhile, a visual effect that could be described as a "warp trail" - a blurred streaking effect comprised of multiple colors - follows behind them as they run.
- Devlin's death at the hands of Kate (who flips him off a building) marks one of the few occasions where a bionic hero has taken a life since the earliest days of the original Six Million Dollar Man series.
- Dr. Rudy Wells throws around a lot of nonsensical gibberish when he talks about the nature of Kate's bionic systems. He states that his team surgically inserted "thousands of bionic capillaries, stitched into new veins". He also refers to them as "nuclear capillaries". Finally, he proudly points out that the specially treated bones are now composed of a "bone-alloy" and that they are "stronger than anything in the world". How is any of this expected to make sense, or be anywhere near realistic?
- When Steve Austin finds out from the OSI security guard at the entrance to the building, that his security privileges have been reduced, the guard comments: "You're not gonna go bionic on me, are you?" How would a low-level guard know about bionics? However, given the evidence in this and the other two films that a wide network of people are aware of bionics, it's possible they are not as top-secret as they used to be. A similar circumstance occurs in the 1988 TV series remake of Mission: Impossible, which reveals that the "Impossible Mission Force" is more widely known in 1988 than it was in the 1960s, even to the extent of having IMF facilities and different IMF teams.
- A computer screen in Dr. Wells' lab has a misspelled entry, labelled "NUCLEAR CARILLARY SECTOR 4".
- Wells mentions the term "synaptic buttons", which is incorrect. He should have said "synaptic bulbs".
- Isn't Kate's ability to walk, after activation of her bionic systems — as unsteady as her footsteps may be — a rather quick development? Shouldn't it take more time?
- Oscar Goldman states that there are only four bionic human beings in the world, that he knows of: Austin, Sommers, Michael Austin, and Kate. He seems to have conveniently forgotten about Barney Hiller (from The Six Million Dollar Man episodes The Seven Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Criminal), and Andy Sheffield (from The Six Million Dollar Man episode The Bionic Boy). However, it is possible that Barney and Andy have died or have had their bionic components removed. Also, given the context of the conversation, he may be specifically referring to strength. Both Barney and Andy's bionics had been tuned down to normal strength by the end of their respective story arcs.
- When Austin and Sommers are being held for questioning, Sommers states that they carved their initials into a tree in Ojai "ten years ago". While the length of time between the movie, and The Bionic Woman episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man, may have been approximately ten years: the actual length of time would be on the order of twenty or more years ago.
- As Jim Goldman is driving and rehearsing lines he wants to use to woo Kate, you see a stop sign pass by in the background. Yet Jim never stopped the car. This means he drove through an intersection without stopping!
- When Oscar appears to be drunk in the Watergate Hotel bar he yells out that Steve and Jaime are robots and cyborgs. This seems somewhat unusual and cruel since he knows of their past issues regarding being seen as robots.
- Why didn't Austin try to unmask the enemy bionic agent kidnapping Oscar Goldman? He could have known the identity of the bionic thief, right then and there. (But then, that would have ruined the suspense!)
- Even worse, however, is that both Austin and Sommers simply give up and let the bionic agent kidnap Goldman. Surely they could have given chase? It is mentioned later that Oscar staged his resignation from OSI so that it would make him more likely to be kidnapped by the bad guys; thus, allowing for Austin and Sommers to find the bad guys. Austin and Sommers were also in on Goldman's plan, but no one else was.
- It does seems very strange that three bionic people could not overpower one bionic person to prevent Oscar's kidnapping.
- When Sommers is racing in the park against Mason, you can tell that a stuntwoman has taken Lindsay Wagner's place.
- As in the previous movie, Sommers once again is exhausted after racing. Why? Her bionic legs are doing all the work. Not to mention that with three bionic limbs, the demand for oxygen in her body is dramatically reduced. She should not be tired at all. However, it's possible her fatigue may be related to the aging of her bionic systems.
- The idea that Kate Mason can run significantly faster than Jaime Sommers, is a bit unrealistic. Mason is still flesh and blood (albeit augmented). Her natural organic tissue wouldn't be able to handle the stress put on it — by bionic strength and speed — for any extended periods of time. If anyone should be tired, it's Kate.
- In the scene where Mason and Devlin sit on a park bench at night and talk: immediately after she touches his face, we cut to a new scene where her hand jumps position and Devlin is suddenly holding on to it.
- Devlin employs a group of thugs to attack Mason in the park, later that evening. They are to use a device that will permanently damage or even disable her bionic systems, if they manage to pierce her skin with it. When they first surround her, one of the thugs presses a button, and the device fires a laser that stuns Mason. When you see the size of the device, it seems pretty unrealistic that such a tiny instrument could generate a laser capable of incapacitating Mason. (Never mind the fact, that the laser should not even be visible.)
- After Jim Goldman leaves Mason's hotel room, and Kate tries to figure out who knew she would be walking in the park: we catch a glimpse of a boom microphone at the top of the camera frame.
- The fact that Mason is tired after racing Tanya Persova, is — for a change — completely believable. Mason appears to have the ability to partially disable her bionic augmentations, so that she can perform physical activities like a normal person would.
- Mason's heads-up display in her bionic vision, lists abilities such as: MRI, Sonar Scan, and Radar Enhance. It is also likely she has the same Bio-Vision (X-Ray) capability, that Alan Devlin does. How on earth are any of these possible? All of these systems use forms of active (as opposed to passive) scanning, which would require the emission of different types of energy. MRI requires the generation of a magnetic field, Sonar requires sound waves, Radar requires radio waves, and Bio-Vision requires radiation. Just what is the source of these various emissions supposed to be? It's impossible for Kate to have all the necessary emitters implanted in her eyes, or even her body.
- There is a scene where Mason spots Devlin standing in the audience, wearing his trenchcoat. Then immediately in the next scene, we see him in the communications center with Steve and Jaime, without the trenchcoat. This is followed by another scene where Devlin is in the audience again with his trenchcoat, and he moves using exactly the same motions as we saw previously.
- The fact that Jaime Sommers could pick up Oscar Goldman's low frequency morse code clicks with her bionic hearing, in his radio transmission, seems very unlikely.
- When Sommers knocks down a door and it hits General Dzerinsky, you can tell Lawrence Dane has been replaced by a stuntman.
- When we see Devlin running on the scaffolding at the arena where the World Unity Games is occurring, you can tell it's a stuntman instead of Geraint Wyn Davies.
- After Devlin breaks open a pipe and it vents steam, shouldn't the hot steam be painful to Kate as she passes through it?
- When Devlin is thrown against the electrical system and it shorts out, once again you can tell it's a stuntman instead of actor Geraint Wyn Davies.
- Shouldn't Devlin have been electrocuted, and possibly died, from his contact with the electrical system? Bionic, or no?
- Immediately afterward, Devlin rips loose a large electrical cable and brings it into contact with Mason. Would the same not apply, to her? Kate being electrocuted, should have been far more serious than simply resulting in her being "stunned". Bionics notwithstanding.
- There is a scene where Devlin tears through concrete, and rips loose a chunk so he can use it as a weapon against Mason. How can Devlin break through concrete, without it causing pain? His hand is still made of flesh and blood, after all.
- Kate's open display of bionic speed at the World Unity Games, in front of press, television cameras, and thousands of spectators, would seem to render OSI's security clearance level system moot.
- The games are said to take place in Toronto, but those scenes were filmed at Copps Stadium in Hamilton, a different city about 30 miles west of Toronto. At one point, however, the stadium's name is clearly shown, creating a geographical error. It's possible that the fictional World Unity Games were twin-hosted by two different cities, much as the 2010 Winter Olympics will be hosted by two different communities, Vancouver and Whistler.
Scenes Deleted in Repeat Broadcasts
- In a repeat broadcast on the Global network in Canada, the scene where Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers are being held captive by General John McAllister, was trimmed slightly.
|Previous movie:||Next movie:|
|Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman||Bionic Ever After?|