Ok, I’ve a confession to make. I’m going to watch a network show, and it is… Bionic Woman. I know, I know. It could well go down in flames, and all covered in cheese, but I want to give it a chance (and cheese can be good).

Why am I giving it a chance? Well, there’s been some great television made over the last few years, with great writing, acting, directing, and so forth, and most of it has been on cable. I think this has forced the networks to raise their game (often by just buying the services of the same people who did a good job on cable, but not always), and there’s some good work to be found. This might be one of them. I saw the extended trailer that was making the rounds in the early Summer and it looked like they’d been inspired a lot by the marvelous work on Battlestar Galactica, for example – a show that had such great writing, acting and directing (regardless of genre) that it holds up well against anything I’ve seen in a long time on television. (Just get the whole thing on DVD, starting with the pilot/miniseries… Try to ignore the Sci-Fi stigma and just treat it as what is it – well-written human drama. You won’t regret it.)

Further:- While I was watching the Bionic trailer and thinking this, who should show up as a cast member but the excellent Katee Sackhoff! The rest of the cast (led by Enfield’s own Michelle Ryan) looks very good too. So I’ve got a good feeling about this, overall.

[Update: Wow. My eye’s really in on this stuff. I just looked, and it’s a show by David Eick. Who? Executive Producer of Battlestar Galactica. No wonder I immediately saw things I liked.]

Well, maybe some of you are going to watch it too? It’s on Wednesday 26th September, NBC.

Let’s talk…


P.S. Watch out here for some more television news of possible interest in the next couple of days.

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16 Responses to Bionic

  1. anon. says:

    Try to ignore the Sci-Fi stigma and just treat it as what is it – well-written human drama. [Emphasis added.]

    Geez, Clifford, are you trying to offend the Cylon readers of your blog? 😉

  2. Clifford says:

    Hmm… ok…. got me on that one…. 😀


  3. Mark Srednicki says:

    So, how was it??

    I’ve never gotten into BG, only seen a couple of episodes. I’m going to wait until it’s all finished, then get the DVDs.

    I’m worried that, unlike B5, the writers don’t have an ending in mind …

  4. Clifford says:

    Yes, that is a concern, but the details of the journey are rather splendidly written. I’d get the miniseries and the two first seasons and watch those. They’re a pleasure to watch (in plot and character development especially), even without an ending. In fact, I expect that it will begin to degrade pretty soon, so I’m just savouring the early seasons…

    I think that BW premieres tonight. I (and maybe others?) will report.



  5. Mark Srednicki says:

    Oh, I thought I missed it (BW, that is). I may be able to watch it.

  6. stevem says:

    Got the pilot of the new BG about 2 years ago and while it was good never felt like watching it again. I don’t really like the dodgy “scientist” character Baltar but I guess you are not meant to. Like Mark, I will probably get it all on dvd and watch it at my leisure sometime. Problem with sci-fi shows is that they get cancelled without reaching a satisfactory conclusion. There are lots of shows like this from the 70s that got cancelled but now have a cult following and only have about 12 to 20 episodes. (For example, Logan’s Run, UFO.) The old BG while cheesy and camp is still fun. Loved the Six Million Dollar Man as a kid but never watched the original Bionic Woman. There is some wonderful bad physics in the SMDM like when a helicopter is about 6 feet off the ground and he reaches up and grasps it with his bionic arm thus preventing it from fully taking off!

  7. Clifford says:

    Baltar just got better and better as the actor (forgot his name) marvellously improvised his way fully into the skin of the character. Slimy and loveable at the same time. Hard to do well.

    Problem with sci-fi shows is that they get cancelled without reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

    Of course, this is partly self-fulfilling… On the other hand, it it not really just confined to that genre.

    I myself rather like a lot of shorter projects. Things that drag on too long and lose their way and betray the original structure and integrity of the show offend me much more. I wish the final season of Babylon 5 never happened, for example.


  8. Mark Srednicki says:

    Yes, Clifford, but as you know, B5 creater JMS was not told whether or not he would get a 5th season until late into season 4, so he was forced to complete the show’s arc by the end of season 4. Then, he had nothing left for season 5.

    Caught the beginning of BW tonight. Seemed pretty formulaic … what did you think?

  9. Clifford says:

    Yes… I do know. Well it was good enough for me that the first four seasons were so great.

    I watched BW. I think I’ll give it another chance or two before making a decision. It’s hard for them to do much beyond the formulaic in the 45 or so minutes that they had…. There’s some promise there. I like the sister relationship, for example. And I find the bionic tricks just as charmingly cheesy as the old 70s shows. It amuses me a bit. So I’ll give it a chance until it is clearly a waste of time or just a slap in the face.



  10. Clifford says:

    But overall…. you’re right in that they’ve got their work cut out for them if they are to get to the level of writing and overall freshness of BSG. Does not look likely.


  11. stevem says:

    “Then, he had nothing left for season 5.”

    I think he should have done something centred on the fall of the Psi Corps and Bester rather than the disappointing and shark-jumping last season, which I gave up on after a few episodes. The B5 spinoff “Crusade” I thought was pretty good but it got cancelled after about 10 episodes with no satisfactory conclusion. Even a couple more episodes and some kind of reasonable conclusion would have been satisfactory. Sci Fi on tv has a long history of this sort of thing though, probably more than other genres, but such shows tend to end up as cult classics years later.

  12. mollishka says:

    So annoyed Season 3 of BSG hasn’t been released on DVD yet.

  13. Mark Srednicki says:

    What, no post on the finale of BSG??

  14. Clifford says:

    Hey Mark,

    I’m doing a viewing of it on Sunday with a few friends… Had to go out to a show last night. So…nothing to say yet.

    I was actually going to do a post talking about my annoyance with some of the writing on this “final ten” episodes so far (and maybe try to anticipate some of the things they will do in the finale to patch up some of the chasms) … but have been in hermit mode for the week until today, so decided to nix that idea.

    So… I’ll watch on Sunday and see if I’ve anything to say. I’m curious about your thoughts…. but do hold onto them and share later?

    Good to hear from you!



  15. Mark Srednicki says:

    Hi Clifford, yes, I’ll share later. I too have been annoyed with the writing; for example, on last week’s episode, why did half the crew volunteer to go after the single slicer?

    To others: don’t spoil it for Clifford before he sees it!

  16. Clifford says:

    Hi Mark,

    My thoughts, written within minutes of seeing the show, are here.