The first full-length season of The Six Million Dollar Man ran for 22 episodes during the Fall of 1974 - Spring of 1975. In this season the sounds used for bionics would be standardized and the main title sequence would see its biggest revision, bringing it to its most familiar form.
A good twenty seconds longer, the new intro struck a different tone from its predecessor. Notably, Oscar now addresses his audience as "Gentlemen," the famous "wireframe" graphics are first seen, Oliver Nelson's score dominates the final stretch, and the final freeze frame used for the show title is more centered and better illuminated, and would become the standard title for the show from then on (a vestige of the original is seen in the end titles, superimposed over the Season One freeze frame for all five seasons). For some reason one Season 2 episode, "Pilot Error" was produced using the Season 1 version of the credits, except with slight alterations to the sound mix and a different musical flourish at the end.
Expanding upon the success of "The Coward" and "Burning Bright", a number of episodes focused more on characters than bionics or spy plots. Standouts include "Straight On 'Til Morning", in which Steve comes to the aid of a family of alien explorers; "The Deadly Replay", in which the emotional aftermath of Austin's original crash is explored; "The Seven Million Dollar Man", which showed how poorly Austin's transformation could have gone; and, of course, the show's landmark two-parter, "The Bionic Woman".
Jaime's apparent death in that storyline sparked a fan outcry, and combined with high ratings and favorable press this led to a return for Lindsay Wagner to the role in the following year, bringing many changes. The two-part storyline that introduced the Bionic Woman (before killing her off) was intended to be the season finale, but perhaps not wanting to end the season on a down note, it was broadcast earlier, with two standalone episodes ending the season.
It was during Season 2 that it became clear that The Six Million Dollar Man was becoming an idol for many children. Perhaps due to this, certain violent elements common during the first season were toned down. After a one-off event in "Nuclear Alert", Austin would rarely be shown intentionally killing anyone, for example. However, Jaime notwithstanding, his newfound fame as a kids' hero doesn't stop Austin from adding many names to his roster of girlfriends, causing Oscar at one point (in "Act of Piracy") to moan, "Why don't I hate him?"
|The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Two|
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