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The Secretary

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Character played by: never seen or heard
NoPic
"The Secretary"
Job/Career or Title US Secretary of State
Appearances
SMDM  none
BW  none
Reunion  none
"The Secretary" is the unseen character who is Oscar Goldman's direct superior. He is therefore the head of the executive branch department to which the OSI belongs. Goldman frequently updates or takes orders from this Cabinet-level official telphonically throughout the runs of both The Six Million Dollar Man or The Bionic Woman. Although usually identified simply as "The Secretary", he is in fact the US Secretary of State. (Winning Is Everything, Jaime and the King) The Secretary (or "Mr. Secretary" as he is invariably called by Goldman) is first referenced in the third Six Million Dollar Man TV Movie, The Solid Gold Kidnapping.

Deconstructed

A number of clues as to the precise identity of "The Secretary" and the department he chairs are given in The Bionic Woman, although hints were dropped at a very early stage of The Six Million Dollar Man's run.

  • In The Solid Gold Kidnapping, Oscar is seen on the phone, inquiring of "the Secretary" whether any decision has been made on the ransom payment for William Henry Cameron. Shortly thereafter, the Executive of "the Company" announces that the State Department has urgently requested that the President authorize the ransom payment.
  • In "Act of Piracy," Oscar is on his car phone talking to "Mr. Secretary" while the camera cuts to a building with an awning marked "State Department." We hear the apparent Secretary of State asking Oscar to get involved.
  • At the conclusion of "The Jailing of Jaime," Jaime speaks directly to "The Secretary" to accept his apologies for being falsely accused of espionage. She says that she thinks he has "a delightful accent", and ends the call by offering the traditional German farewell, auf wiedersehen. Given the date of the episode's production, this heavily implies that the secretary in question is Henry Kissinger. However, the voice heard in "Act of Piracy" has a standard American accent, indicating that in the earlier episode, the Secretary was not Kissinger.
  • At the conclusion of Mirror Image, Oscar is tasked with giving Jaime "the Secretary's" personal thanks. He therefore offers the German danke schön. Jaime laughs in recognition of Oscar's effort to imitate his boss.
  • In "Winning Is Everything" when Jaime comes into Oscar's office as he is finishing a typical call to "the Secretary". She asks Oscar, "Was that the Secretary of State?" and he answers in the affirmative.
  • The Kissinger theory is reinforced indirectly in "The Bionic Woman (episode)" when Oscar tells Steve: "Henry Kissinger built a meaningful relationship, but he still gets his work done." Taken alone, a throwaway line, but in the context of the body of evidence helps flesh out the two shows' focus on HK.
  • Jaime and the King likewise offers proof that Oscar works for the Secretary of State. In the teaser, Prime Minister Hassan advises Shah Ali Ben Gazim that the Secretary of State fears an attempt on his life, to which the Shah says to tell the Secretary that he needs "neither their bodyguards nor their advice". Oscar's subsequent mission for Jaime is a covert attempt to provide just what has been refused: Jaime as a bodyguard. After she is discovered as an OSI agent, Hassan informs her, "We are not interested in conversations with anyone named 'Goldman'. His Majesty has telephoned the Secretary, and your government knows better than to interfere again". Jaime is then summarily kicked out of the Shah's Monte Carlo grounds. When she seeks advice from Oscar about how to proceed, he says, "Gazim has been very firm with the Secretary. I've been ordered not to send in another agent or to take any action."
  • Assuming the world of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman continued to coincide with real-world politics, then during episodes set in 1977 and 1978, the Secretary would have been Cyrus Vance.

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