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Fly Jaime

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“Fly Jaime”

S1 E11

Production 44424
Original Airdate: May 5, 1976
Jaime flight
Jaime poses as flight attendant, Miss Winters
Produced by
Kenneth Johnson
Teleplay by
Mann Rubin
Arthur Rowe
Story by
Mann Rubin
Directed by
Barry Crane
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Christopher Stone as Marlowe
Jerry Douglas as Connors
Spencer Milligan as Reed
Martin E. Brooks as Dr. Rudy Wells
Co-starring
Vito Scotti as Romero
Arline Anderson as Mrs. Griffith
With
Dick Valentine as Sam Diamond
Jim Raymond as Co-Pilot
John Zoller as Dr. Frankus
Joe Stefano as Captain
Larry Dunn as Radio Operator
Broadcast Order
Season 1
← Previous Next →
"Canyon of Death" "The Jailing of Jaime"
Related episodes
Indirect prequel to Assault on the Princess

Jaime goes undercover as a flight attendant to protect Dr. Rudy Wells and the top-secret formula that he possesses.

This episode is notable for being a virtual shot-for-shot remake of "Survival of the Fittest," substituting the characters of Jaime and Rudy for the earlier production's Steve and Oscar.

Summary

Dr. Rudy Wells meets his old friend Dr. Frankus to acquire the formula for Cobalt 247, then arrives at the airport in Manaus, Brazil, where Jaime Sommers is working as an employee of the airline so that she can accompany Rudy as his bodyguard. However, they are being watched by Connors and Reed, who conspire with a third person named "Bobby," to board the plane and kill Rudy before the plane lands. The identity of "Bobby" is a mystery. 

As Jaime monitors the passengers, Connors activates a device that sends a homing signal to a waiting boat, the San Carlos, that is tracking them. Flying through a storm front, lighting strikes an engine on the plane, and the pilots attempt to maintain control as they lose the hydraulics system. The plane lurches forward, knocking the pilots unconscious, and sending the plane headed toward the ocean below. Jaime is able to stabilize the plane, but the pilot instructs her to put out a distress call and prepare the passengers for a crash landing.

The survivors gather on the beach while Rudy and Mrs. Griffith, a missionary, attend to those in need of medical aid. Jaime leaves the group to explore further inland and gather food. Rudy goes after her, and the two share a coconut and conversation. Meanwhile, Connors and Reed continue to wait for the boat before they take action against Rudy.

On the beach, Jaime hears a rescue plane, and it drops supplies for the passengers until they can be picked up the following day. Checking in with Marlowe and Mrs. Griffith, Jaime learns that Rudy was given a message to meet her. Setting off to look for the doctor, Jaime finds him unconscious. Knowing that someone is after the Rudy and the formula, the two decide not to go back to the beach. That night, Connors and Reed leave the camp, and shoot Rudy. Needing medical help, Jaime sees Romero and instructs him to send Mrs. Griffith. The missionary and Connors both attempt to kill Jaime, but she knocks both of them out. Marlowe appears, and with some convincing by Jaime, saves Rudy. Oscar and the rescue boat arrive to take the survivors home.

Deconstructed

Quotes

Romero: You know, it is a defect that I have observed worldwide. Obviously you have seen it too, that is to say that men of any country seem to think that men of other countries are the lucky ones. You know what I mean? For example, we take the Italians. The Italians, they like Swiss girls. The German man likes the Spanish woman. And the Greek, ah the Greek, they like the Danes, you know. That's the way it is. It never fails. Never, never, never fails.


Romero: Nice legs.
Rudy: Ah, yes. I couldn't have asked for nicer ones if I made them myself. (Jaime grimaces good-naturedly as Rudy gets up to speak to her) Watch the man sitting beside me, or I'll wind up bodyguarding you.


Jaime: How you doing?
Sam: (sighs) I feel like the Red Baron after he tangeld with a Sopwith Camel. Very poorly.


(While handing out box lunches, air turbulence drops Jaime into Romero's lap.)
Jaime: I'm so sorry!
Romero: My pleasure! May I help you? There must be something that I can do for you. (places his hand on Jaime's leg)
Jaime: (smacks his hand) Yes, there is. Please get your hands off my ham and cheese.


Rudy: Y'know, Jaime... a few years ago, bionics was just a... just an idea in my head... a dream, a lot of notes and schematic drawings... now, I look at you...
Jaime: ... and you realize it was all a crazy dream that's not gonna work, right?
Rudy: That's not quite what I was gonna say.
Jaime: Oh, you mean you don't know how Dr. Frankenstein felt?


Rudy: The tables have turned, huh? The bionic daughter taking care of the old man? Worries about him too...
Jaime: (mock indignantly) I do not. This is just a job, and you're just another person who happened to bring me back from the dead, and hold my hand through all of my traumas, and gave me another chance at life... and Steve... and besides being one of my favorite people, I mean, what have you done for me lately, Mr. Wells?


Sam: Look, take charge in my place... get them organized. Start rescue procedures... know what they are?
Jaime: Sure... I'll just get them all in a group, and we stand there and holler, "HELP!" (laughs)


Rudy: (trying to open the radio box) It got bent landing. I can't open it.
Jaime: Would you care to make way for the six million dollar can opener?


Rudy: I know people have a lot of blood in them but... it always seems worse when it's your own...


Marlowe: Need some help?
Jaime: I dunno! Are you a good guy or a bad guy?
Marlowe: That depends on how you mean it! I can't give you many good character references!


Rudy: Thanks for saving my life, Jaime.
Jaime: Well, it was purely selfish. Besides that, where would I go for spare parts if anything happened to you, huh?


(Romero just made a pass at Jaime)
Oscar: What was that all about?
Jaime: Oh, I'm tellin' you - that's the closest call I've had on this whole trip!
Oscar: Is he dangerous?
Jaime: Yeah! He had life imprisonment in mind!

Trivia

Cast
Characters
  • Jaime uses the undercover alias of "Ms. Winters."
  • Although the cost of Jaime's bionic replacement is officially classified, when opening the metal case containing the radio transmitter, she comments to Rudy Wells, that she is a "six million dollar can opener."
Culture
  • Fly Jamie, and its counterpart Survival of the Fittest, are no doubt inspired by the Airport films of the 1970's.  Airport, released in 1970 by Universal, had a total domestic gross of $100,489,1515.  The film was Universal Pictures highest earning film at the time, earning ten times its production cost. 
  • The sequel, Airport 1975, was released in 1974.  It had a production cost of approximately $3,000,000, the film earned over fifteen times that amount for a box office gross of $47,285,152.
  • The original Airport film established the disaster film genre and the standard formula for 1970s disaster movies.  Stock characters in a disaster film cast include the troubled failure who finds an opportunity to play the hero, the anxious passenger, the alcoholic, and the motormouthed comic relief.  These episodes of BW and SMDM have adopted the standard formula.  Fly Jamie and Survival of the Fittest are unique episodes for featuring a comedic character in an otherwise serious situation.
  • In Airport 1975, Martha Scott played Sister Beatrice alongside Helen Reddy as Sister Ruth, a singing nun.  Martha Scott is the actress who portrays Helen Elgin in BW and SMDM.  The character of Mrs. Griffith, although a missionary rather than a nun, fits the standard formula as represented by Martha Scott's role in Airport 1975.
Continuity
  • This is the second time that Jaime begins a mission in a semi-fictional location in Brazil.  In Angel of Mercy, Jaime began her rescue mission into Costa Bravo from U.S.A.F.B. Sao Paulo.  Although Sao Paulo is certainly real, there is no U.S. Air Force Base in that city.  The screen caption introducing the setting for the airport says "Manus, Brazil."  This may simply be a mispelling of Manaus, Brazil.  However, more interesting options are just as likely.  Manus may be another example of alternate naming similar to the San Madrian Fault.  Thus Manus, Brazil is Manaus, Brazil but in the Bionic Universe its name is Manus rather than Manaus.
  • Jaime's hatred (phobia?) of snakes is noted one more time.  Her first statement about her dislike of the suborder Serpentes is in Angel of Mercy.

Recycled

Production of Season 1 of The Bionic Woman was commissioned with very short notice before broadcast. This resulted in a few time-saving and cost-cutting measures being implemented in order to have a half-season's worth of episodes ready in time to air during the first half of 1976. One of the measures was the decision to remake "Survival of the Fittest" which had been the second regular hour-long first-season episode of The Six Million Dollar Man and which was a little over two years old at this point.

Since the script for "Fly Jaime" is virtually the same as "Survival of the Fittest", it inherited many of the same problems noted in the Nitpick section for that episode. However, "Fly Jaime" in a sense has more continuity problems than "Survival" because of its reused script:

  • While there is no doubt as to the origin and destination of the flight in this episode — Jaime and Rudy are going from the fictional Manus, Brazil to Rio de Janiero — this actually makes the situations and dialogue from "Survival" all the more problematic. In particular, the name of the airline, Trans-Pacific, is retained from the earlier episode. However, Brazil has no Pacific coastline, and the flight was flown entirely within Brazilian territory.
  • Brazil's geography really doesn't allow for many domestic routes that would involve travel over water. Flights from extreme southern Brazil to Rio might well cut across the Atlantic, but no such flight would take the script's five-and-a-half hours. The stated time implies a cross country trip, which would place Manus in the extreme north-west of the country. A trip from there to Rio would not involve any time over water — save, perhaps, for the final approach into Rio.
Plane trouble

These guys again?

  • Like "Survival", this script makes a reference to a Baker Island airport weather report. The mistake is even more egregious than in "Survival", as Baker Island is a quarter of the planet away from Rio (although it's possible they may be referring to another station by that name).
  • The same actors are used for the pilot and co-pilot of the plane in this episode that were used in "Survival". This is ostensibly because shots from the earlier episode could be edited in to this production, thereby reducing production costs. While they could have been playing different characters — who just happened to be twins — this re-use of the actors makes it appear to careful observers as if the pilot and co-pilot in "Survival" have come back from the dead. (In fairness, the episode was produced in an era where home video release of episodes allowing such comparison was not a consideration, and even viewers of syndicated reruns weren't expected to pay that close attention).
  • Given his role as, essentially, the morale officer of this episode, it is at least curious that Oscar never relays his own experience of being stranded on a desert island. Perhaps the producers didn't want to draw attention to the episode they were so blatantly remaking.
  • A significant difference between the remake and the original is that in the Six Million Dollar Man version all three conspirators die, whereas no-one dies in the Bionic Woman version.

Gaffes

Continuity
  • When Jaime is making announcements after take-of, the camera focuses on various passenger members. For most of them, it is obviously daylight, but when focused on the cabin at large, it appears to be nighttime.
  • Just before the plane goes down, Sam Diamond (the pilot) instructs Jaime to tell the passengers to get ready to bail out. He'd been out cold until a couple of minutes previous - therefore, he didn't have time to don a life vest. However, a few seconds later, the camera views him from behind, and he is suddenly wearing one. As the scene progresses, he alternates between wearing a life vest and not wearing a life vest.
  • When Jaime tells Rudy to get the life rafts, he appears to only get one out of the overhead compartment. When we see a shot of the liferaft in the water, there appears to be only one. Later, when they are on the beach, two are clearly seen, and they look to be smaller than the one seen earlier in the water.
  • The scene where Jaime opens the coconut is obviously reused as the scene where Jaime opens the damaged metal box containing the radio. Her hand is in a bladed position as she chops downward, but in a fist when she hits the radio. As it cuts back to Rudy shaking his head, this scene is also reused.
  • Jaime indicates that it doesn't hurt when her bionic finger is cut open to expose the wires, yet in "The Deadly Missiles" she reacts with an "ouch!" when she catches her bionic hand on an exposed bolt in her oven.
Credibility
  • Jaime fills out Rudy's plane ticket. The ticket is in English, not Portugese. This may not be an error, as it's possible the airline provided forms in different languages.
  • Once the plane began hitting the turbulence in the storm (and arguably before), the passengers should have been advised to fasten their seatbelts, yet no one bothers to do so (indeed, Rudy can even be seen nonchalantly eating his meal) until things get so bad a woman falls out of her seat.
  • Jaime also exhibits lack of experience as a flight attendant as she shouldn't be attempting to deliver meals to the pilots when they are clearly struggling to control the plane.
  • The pilots and navigator are knocked out simultaneously when the hydrolic controls give out. Sam says he and the co-pilot were slammed against the console. Which explains why they were knocked cold - but what happened to make the navigator, sitting behind them, also get knocked out?
  • Wouldn't Jaime risk damaging the radio inside the box if she hits it with her bionic fist?
Illusion Breaker
  • Throughout the episode, two small bruises can be seen just below the elbow of Lindsay Wagner's right arm.
  • The sand on the beach has been groomed.
  • The coconut that Jaime serves to Rudy Wells for breakfast is obviously store-bought, because fresh coconuts are green and aren't dry-looking, nor is the flesh so hard. The coconut is also empty of any water.
  • Some shots of the airliner in flight show its landing gear lowered.

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