Review: The Six Million Dollar Man Complete Series DVD

STUDIO: Time Life | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Harve Bennett | CAST: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
RELEASE DATE: 11/23/10 | PRICE: DVD $239.95
BONUSES: commentaries, featurettes, new and archival interviews, more
SPECS: NR | 70 hours. | Sci-fi Adventure | 1.33:1 fullscreen | LPCM 1.0 (monaural)

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Time Life went all-out bionic with The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Series DVD collection, available exclusively through Time Life at until October 2011.

The fun begins with the packaging, a sturdy chunk of a box emblazoned with a lenticular picture of series star Lee Majors running in his red sweat suit, the show’s most iconic image. Then, open up the box, and you’ll hear a sound-chip voice reciting the show’s intro (“Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive…”). Cool…

It’s what’s inside the box that elevates this collection to high-end collectible status. All five seasons of the landmark 1970s TV show, the three original pilot movies that launched it, the reunion films from the 1980s, even the cross-over episodes from the Bionic Woman spin-off — everything’s in this DVD set! We’re talking about nearly three days of viewing time for those seeking out all things bionic.

Then come the bonus features, more than 17 hours of them. Leading the pack are 17 featurettes that cover everything from the show’s origins, stunts and effects to its scripts, science and place in popular culture. Six of the 100 episodes also have commentaries by various writers and directors. The tracks aren’t as lively as we hoped, but they provide good insight into what it takes to create a solid TV show every week for five years.

Most entertaining are the quintet of featurettes that note the show’s many guest appearances, which include such once and future stars as Kim Basinger, Dana Plato, William Shatner, Rick Springfield, Suzanne Somers and Sonny Bono, amongst many others.

You’ll note that we’re not talking about the show’s content, and we’re not going to begin now. It’s The Six Million Dollar Man, for heaven’s sake, which meant a helluva lot to a helluva lot of people nearly 40 years go. If you’re not a follower or aren’t really familiar with it, then we can honestly say that this $200-plus box is not a recommended holiday gift for you. But if you’re a fan, put it on your wish list.

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.