Available on DVD

The Bionic Woman Logo

  1. Pilot
  2. Paradise Lost
  3. Sisterhood
  4. Face Off
  5. The Education of Jaime Sommers
  6. The List
  7. Trust Issues
  8. Do Not Disturb

Jaime Sommers -
Michelle Ryan

Jonas Bledsoe -
Miguel Ferrer

Will Anthros -
Chris Bowers

Ruth Truewell -
Molly Price

Jae Kim -
Will Yun Lee

Becca Sommers -
Lucy Kate Hale

Sarah Corvus -
Katee Sackhoff

Anthony Anthros -
Mark Sheppard

Kyle XY
The Champions
Now and Again


Jaime Sommers is an ordinary sort of woman, juggling a job as a bartender with looking after a sister dumped on her by an absent father, pregnant by her boyfriend and wondering how to make it through the next day. The next day, however, nearly doesn't come. A truck smashes into the car she is in and kills her. Or would have done so were her boyfriend not top surgeon in a project using the surgical techniques of bionics to replace the limbs of injured soldiers. Jaime wakes up to find that she has two new legs, a new arm, a new ear and a new eye. Oh and a lot of new enemies.

It's the origin story of a superhero, so there's a lot of story to get through in this opening episode. We have just enough time to get a hang on Jaime's home situation before her accident and then she has to get used to her new abilities fast as the original prototype shows up and sets about messing with her. we're also introduced to her new bosses and future enemies, none in any sort of detail as the story doesn't allow time to build on personalities. All of the characters, including Jaime herself, are mere sketched outlines to be coloured in (hopefully) at a better date.

The action is as fast as the story. The accident is brutal and realistic. Jaime's reaction to her injuries is pretty real, though over pretty quickly. The climactic fight with Sarah Corvus, the damaged original experiment, is not as spectacular as we might have liked, but is good enough to top off an otherwise impressive pilot episode. The special effects are sparingly used but well effected. The direction is a little obvious and overly fussy at times, but that's just a niggle.

Though we barely get to know her, Michelle Ryan handles the central role well and anchors the show. Miguel Ferrer is always a welcome presence, although his role is so far humourless, a minor fault with the episode as a whole, the one outright joke involving a little girl seeing Jaime running at speed failing miserably. Katee Sackhoff's villainess is a little bit pantomime, but doesn't spoil anything too much.

THE BIONIC WOMAN gets off to a running start and we're certainly looking forward to it developing.


Paradise Lost

Jaime Sommers is coming to terms with the loss of her fiance and the acquisition of new powers. Jonas, head of a secret organisation that stops other secret organisations from destroying the world, offers her a chance to put those abilities to the test. She starts training, but then wants to get involved when a small town called Paradise is struck down by a totally deadly plague.

Well, talk about your gritty updates, within the first few minutes of the start of this second episode Jaime has offered to have sex with a stranger is the gents and a town has been wiped out by persons unknown for reasons unknown and Will, Jaime's intended turns out to have been manipulating her from before the start of their relationship and her sister gets busted in school for smoking drugs in the girls' locker room. This is not the kind of thing that good days are made of.

The case that Jaime gets sent out on is a little threadbare. It starts off well enough in an ANDROMEDA STRAIN sort of way, but then sort of peters out. This is OK as a first time out because more than half of the show is about her training (there's even a ROCKY-style montage sequence) and there isn't time enough for something more detailed, but it does set out the stall of the series in terms of the stakes. A complete town is wiped out by a deadly weapon and there is more of it due to be sent out that night. These boys are playing in the big leagues for sure.

The characters are starting to come into focus a little more, but there's still work to be done there as the story comes first. Performances all round are pretty good with nothing to detract from the realism that the show is aiming for. The action, when it comes, is fast and believable, Jaime's powers not yet developed enough to make her superwoman.

It's a solid second episode that promises much, but is still a little short on the 'WOW!' factor.



Jaime Sommers gets a new assignment, babysitting the bratty daughter of a top arms dealer. This non-mission, however, is complicated when Sarah Corvus turns up and asks Jaime to help her. Sarah is going insane and its because of the imperfect bionics used on her. It's possible that she might be helped by the criminal father of Jaime's late fiance, but he wants to get a look at Jaime's new set of bionics, something that she is not about to let happen. Of course, Jaime has some weaknesses, for example her sister.

This is an unsatisfactory episode. The mission that Jaime is given babysitting the teenage monster (who is fitfully amusing in her few seconds on screen) is pure filler, something to give Jaime a reason to need Sarah's help at one point and therefore make her feel guiltier about not helping her in return. Katee Sackhoff continues to overplay the first bionic woman, making her all tics and leers and gloating grins.

Apart from the various face-offs with Sarah Corvus, Jaime gets some more brutal training to get her military conditioning working and learns how to switch certain parts of her bionics on and off.


Face Off

The first real assignment for Jaime takes her into South America where an american CIA operative is due to be killed live on the internet if he doesn't give the kidnappers what they want. Along with her operations boss, she works her way into the heart of the terrorist cell only to find that it's not the man they are there to save, but the secret information that the terrorists were trying to get from him, information about how to fix the one secret that the team have been keeping from her.

Lying isn't good and only leads to trouble. Understand that? In less than 10 words that's the whole of the moral of the episode, a moral that is rammed home consistently time and time again until you want to scream 'OK, OK I get it already!'.

The other moral is that if you get a psychotic, superpowered woman in your grasp, at least be secure enough that she can't just waltz out when she feels like it. Sarah Corvus lies around being snide for a while and then makes good her escape in a fashion that beggars belief. What nobody thought to lock the lifts or tranquilise her, or do something to short out her powers whilst she's there? Boy, for geniuses these guys are pretty dumb. Also dumb is Jaime, choosing to trust the wrong people again and getting burned for it. Trust can't be given, it has to be earned people.

The short bursts of action are pretty smart, but the leaping from beam to beam really doesn't work, looking like wirework the whole time and you have to wonder how useful is bionics if you can shatter a toe leaping a chainlink fence.

All in all, an episode that is a lot less smart and satisfying than it thinks it is. Only the shock revelation of her limited lifespan resonates at all.


The Education of Jaime Sommers

American soldiers captured and held in terrorist hands are randomly killing their own kind once they are released. It's all because of a behavioural chip in their heads, an american chip. Jaime goes undercover as a British exchange student to investigate the scientist who invented the chip and gets involved with his teaching assistant. When the professor checks out, the teaching assistant becomes the next logical choice for bad guy.

The episode starts and ends really well but gets a bit lost in the middle. The opening sequence in which a wounded soldier takes out the field hospital team is about as dramatic as it gets and the final showdown in a fruit market has some good action showing what Jaime can do.

What's missing is the sense. The ease with which Jaime passes herself off as a student of neurological research despite not knowing the first thing about it, the way in which she manages to get off being caught in the professor's lab, the fact that she takes up with the teaching assistant after less than eight hours in the job is all completely unbelievable. The romance is also pretty dull with only the commentary from Jaime's watcher providing any fun.

Still, it's solidly entertaining as a whole and does deliver on the action front.


The List

An arms dealer has come into possession of a list of the names of agents working for both the CIA and Jaime's covert group. The bad guy has changed his face a few times since his photo was last taken so the only way to identify him is with the aid of Jaime's eye and some iris recognition software. Unfortunately, the CIA agent Jaime is working with gets taken prisoner and Jaime has to arrange for his release alone when the CIA decide to cut their losses.

Apart from stealing the whole idea of the list of agents in the hands of an arms dealer from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, this is a pretty good episode. There's the action as Jaime kicks butt twice over, the flirting with the CIA agent in Paris, the glamour of a top society party and the domestic nonsense of Becca getting herself into serious trouble whilst her sister is away. It hangs together pretty well and shows more promise than most of the episodes so far.


Trust Issues

When someone you love manipulates you into losing arms and legs and replacing them, along with eyes and ears, with bionic replacements it is likely to give you pause for thought before trusting anyone ever again. Jaime's found a new boyfriend from the CIA and that's a relationship that isn't going to be a safe haven of truthfulness and on top of that her partner seems to be lying about who's trying to kill a visiting dignitary from Africa.

Jaime Sommers hasn't had a lot of luck with men and the show hasn't had a lot of luck with storylines. Apart from the sheer dreariness of the domestic troubles sideline, the main plot is so obvious right from the get go that you can scarcely be bothered to see it through to the end. Jaime hardly uses her bionic abilities except to run fast to knock someone over and you've got to wonder why anyone would bother to spend the money it cost to fix her if this is all they are going to do with it.

Another episode that underwhelms.


Do Not Disturb

Following the death of her partner, Jaime doesn't handle things too well. Jonas orders her to take a holiday with her sister and even agrees to pay for it if she delivers a briefcase to a man en route. When the man turns out to be an assassin who overdosed himself to death, Jaime has to either take on the kill or protect the target from his own people until Jonas gets there.

Finally Jaime gets a decent mission. Admittedly it is one that falls into her lap through the initial hiring of an inept junkie hitman and her own inability to kill someone in cold blood, but she gets to run, leap, pull doors off cars, take out big men with single blows and generally get all hardcore on the opposition, all whilst her sister is relaxing in a spa.

This is the last episode of the updated BIONIC WOMAN, which was cut short when the writers' strike gave the network the excuse to chloroform the underperforming show. In some ways it's a shame because this episode actually shows the potential that the show had and might have matured into in time. As it is, BIONIC WOMAN will fade quickly into a footnote in the margins of the genre.







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