Bionic Woman Volume 1

Bionic Woman Volume 1
This Bionic Woman is the 2007 incarnation of a very popular ’70s television series. Along with the name, the set-up has also stayed largely the same: following a terrible accident, Jamie Sommers’ life is saved through the replacement of her legs, arm, ear and eye with super-powered "bionics,” giving her remarkable abilities. She goes into the employ of a secretive governmental organisation to learn how to use those new abilities and aid national security in the meantime. This incarnation was created by David Eick, one of the executive producers behind the fantastic re-invention of Battlestar Galactica. The marriage of Eick to another fondly remembered ’70s sci-fi drama seems like it should be a slam-dunk but this show isn’t Battlestar Galactica. Remember how Alias started off as a really fun action show and then became so mired in relationship twists and familial conspiracies that it was unwatchable by its finale? Bionic Woman seems to have chosen that mire as its jumping off point. Characters and conspiracies are introduced fast, loose and without impact. Worse, the entire series reeks of constant on-the-fly revisioning. The original pilot episode cast Mae Whitman as Jamie Sommers’ deaf, high school age sister. In the regular series, Lucy Hale fills the little sister role, and gone is the deafness. We also see characters introduced as major figures only to have them quickly disappear from later mention. Not helping matters one bit is Michelle Ryan in the title role; she is awful. And it takes an exceptional lack of acting ability to appear awful in a role that is heavy on scenes of running and hearing things from far away. This show was a victim of the WGA writers strike, which halted production mid-season. As a result, Volume 1 ends with every storyline left completely unresolved. Bionic Woman hasn’t been officially cancelled but there’s little chance we will be seeing a Volume 2. Perhaps a full run of the show would change my opinion, but as it stands this truncated season makes for very unsatisfying viewing. Sure, it’s terribly dull, rife with plot holes, poor acting and lame animation, but I need to know how Jamie’s next date turns out! This two-disc package also contains a pilot episode commentary track by David Eick and anaemic segments on stunt work, character profiles, a car crash scene, and "Real Life Bionics.” (Universal)