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Rudy Wells

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Dr. Rudy Wells is a continuing character in both the The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman series, and one of the only three continuing characters created by Cyborg author Martin Caidin to be maintained in the TV series (the other two being Oscar Goldman and Steve Austin himself).

Dr. Rudy Wells is responsible for overseeing the bionic implants of Austin and Jaime Sommers in the 1970s and, in succeeding years, other bionics recipients.

Wells has been portrayed by three actors. In the first pilot telemovie, he is played by Martin Balsam. Beginning with the Wine, Women and War TV movie and continuing to the end of season 2 and "The Bionic Woman (Part II)", the part was played by Allan Oppenheimer. Martin E. Brooks would become the third and (to date) final actor to play the role, beginning in the third season episode, "The Return of the Bionic Woman". Brooks would go on to play Wells throughout the run of the Bionic Woman spinoff series, and also return for the reunion films. (Oppenheimer, however, would return for a one-off appearance as Wells in the Six Million Dollar Man episode "The Bionic Criminal").

Due to the use of stock footage, the two-episode syndicated version of Wine, Women and War also includes footage of Balsam as Wells, while the reedited syndicated version of the first pilot included footage of Brooks (who also receives screen credit as Wells in the opening credits, even though he ostensibly doesn't appear in the episode beyond his stock footage cameo).

Early Career

  • Trained as a medical doctor and scientist, although the exact details on his background and education are unclear.
  • It is likely that he treated a number of senior government personnel due to his security clearence.
  • Responsible for the physical and mental well-being of astronaut Steve Austin during the space project Moonshot XYZ. When Austin was reassigned to the Air Force, Dr. Wells was ordered to his care.[1]

OSI Career

  • Has OSI Security 7 Clearance [2]
  • Collaberated with Multiple scientists on the creation of bionic technology.
  • Lead the surgical teams that performed the bionic enhancements on all known bionic people except Alan Devlin.
  • Highly regarded reputation for medical breakthroughs at OSI science laboratories.
  • Was Director of the Bionic Sciences Program.
  • Accidentally discovers adrenalizine, an experimental drug whose therapeutic indication appears promising for paralytic patients; clinical trials conducted in the drug testing ward of the prison hospital where new drug compounds are tested on volunteer convicts. When administered to non-paralytic patients, it simulates bionic speed and strength for a short period.

Other Notes

While Rudy was head of the Bionics program, it is unclear exactly what his other duties were apart from performing the inital bionic surgery and overseeing the rehabilitation of patients as he apprently didn't deal with routine check ups or bionic maintenance as Jamie and Steve comment that they hadn't seen Rudy in years prior to their return to active OSI service. It is possible that, apart from overseeing bionic research and development, Rudy acted as a doctor at large and/or consultant on medical issues that were considered top secret. In later years, Rudy would bring Jamie Sommers onto his staff when she got her PhD in Psychology to act as a therapist for newly minted bionic agents. 

Rudy had good relationships with Jamie and Steve as well as Oscar Goldman for the most part. While Steve, was, at times mildly distrustful of Rudy, Jamie arguably had the best relationship with him. Jamie would come to trust Rudy as a friend and ally and as mentioned above, she would work with Rudy as a member of his staff in her later career. There were times, however, when the two clashed. A prime example was when Jamie discovered the existance of Max, the bionic dog and by extension to have Max put to sleep so he could be dissected for study. Jamie objected to this and took Max on the run with her, so she could stall for time and try and help Max overcome his psychological problems which stemmed from deep seated fear of fire. In the end, Jasmie was allowed to adopt Max.    

Colleagues and Friends

References

  1. The Moon and the Desert
  2. Kill Oscar

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