Hey Herc, I've never had a chance before to write in to AICN, but, while in Las Vegas last week, I got pulled aside by a review panel for the pilot to the Bionic Woman. Michelle Ryan plays Jaime Sommers and Katie Sackhoff is her nemesis (at least in the pilot), Sara. The show starts off with what looks like a SWAT force running through a building, intent on finding their target. As they go through the halls, there are dead bodies and blood everywhere. When the SWAT team reaches their target, we get a quick look at Katie Sackhoff covered in blood and looking downright primal. She then asks the Asian actor (who I feel bad for not remembering his name since he is a good actor) [Will Yun Lee, guesses Herc] if he loves her, which he replies he does and proceeds to shoot her. End of scene. Changing to a different story, we meet Jamie Sommers and her boyfriend, a doctor speaking about the equivalent of bionics to a college classroom. We find out these two are in love and planning on getting married. There's more going on but the guy who plays the doctor seemed to be the weak link in the story for me. The love story just seemed so cliche I didn't give such good marks on it. So we're introduced to the characters, show that they are in love, and all that jazz. Next up, driving home, they are both chit chatting away when all of the sudden a semi truck slams into their car full bore. Right before the semi hits though, Sommers sees a glimpse of the driver, our supposedly dead Starbuck, ahem, Sara driving. Fade to black. Next up, we see what looks to be an underground facility and a new character (and again, I feel horrible about not remembering his name since I actually think he is one of the better actors and parts in the show) saying that they shouldn't be bringing Sommers (the girl) down and that the practices are still experimental. Oop, boyfriend time again, not only is he a lecturer at college and a doctor, but apparently works at this top secret lab on, you guessed it, bionics and the like. Well, with a love like theirs, how could he resist bringing his love down to an experimental lab to do an experiemental procedure on? Next we see Sommers lying on a bed, both legs and, if I remember correctly, an arm amputated. That and half of her face is covered in gauze. Well, we see Mr. Fabulous, the doctor boyfriend going in and performing surgery. Cut to recovery and Sommers wakes up with doctors surrounding her, including her boyfriend. She says she can't feel her legs and, after the doctors tell her NOT to look under the blanket, she, LOOKS under the blanket! (shame,shame) Under there we see some bionic implants, but, more importantly, the explanation comes across about anthromorphicites (or something like this, I can't remember the exact name). Basically, nanotech that fills in the gaps and makes legs and body parts look and feel the right way around a bionic endoskeleton. To me, as soon as the doctor said anthromorphicites (again, probably the wrong name), I immediately thought of midichlorians by how silly it sounded! So of course, Sommers kicks her boyfriend across the room into a wall (not knowing her own strength) and is put under by the lab tech. She wakes to see her boyfriends arm in a cast. He does some more blah blah blah explaining about the bionics and how it will take time to adapt to her new abilities. He also explains she lost an ear and an eye to the accident but those abilities haven't yet come online. Well, the boyfriend has to explain to the upper ups that Jamie Sommers is not like before (duh, Sara) and that she's mentally stable. The test lab does experiments on Jamie for a little while to see what they think. Apparently, the hardware in her body was to be used for military purposes (injured soldiers, people missing a limb, etc.). They question the doctor as to if she will be cooperative with them and he tells them that she's a more stable case than the last experiment who was a soldier to begin with, therefore making her unstable as a subject. Well, from there the doctor helps Sommers escape to which she does some speed running, keeping up with a fast car (and leading to one of the funny moments in the show). The running looks similar to Smallville when Clark Kent decides he wants to book it, basically a blur of movement. The doctor/boyfriend is almost arrested when he says this is the best way to get Sommers on their side by letting her go. So, she goes where anyone would go, straight home (oh, and did I mention she has a deaf sister played by the actress that played Anne on Arrested Development and also the daughter in the short lived FX show Thief?). Blah blah blah, sister, blah blah blah, useless dialogue. (Sidenote - I like the actress that plays Anne, but do they need to make her deaf and the typical rebellious teenager?) There is a brief scene in a bar with the Chief from Battlestar Galactica about a prison that is something like 2 miles underground holding the equivalent of Hannibal Lecter (which, the actor plays like that). We aren't really told too much about this prisoner but apparently, he's such a badass that he has to be locked up here and has been there a couple of years already. I'm sure his story will come around more but as a point of order, there wasn't much point to him in the pilot. I know he had something to do with Sara and that he supposedly sent a message to her to get him out of prison. So, Sommers goes back to work at the bar as a bartender (which I guess is her regular job) and her bionic hearing starts to kick in as she is chatting it up with Starbuck, ahem, Sara. She goes to the bathroom to hurl and Sara comes in to hold her hair back. Instant best friends! OK, not so much. Anyhow, Sara starts talking about the bionic powers and that they will come online bit by bit and how the body will react to them. Her earpiece is going crazy so Sara leaves peacefully but not before telling Sommers to tell the doctor/boyfriend that she says hello (which can be sure to raise some hackles back at the top secret facility). Sure enough, boyfriend and Sommers get back together and he explains the program to her (with the other actor there). Basically, she has something like $40 million in technology in her (I am probably off on the numbers, but it was high) and that she now 'belongs' to the top secret agency and will work for them. She doesn't agree and says that now that she knows more about her powers, she'll look out for herself. She leaves and boss guy says that she'll do just fine (to no one in particular). So next up, boyfriend and Sommers are back at his place and as the boyfriend is about to tell her something important, a bullet streams through the window, hitting him high on the shoulder. Well, time for bionic eye to take effect. She manages to use her eye and, scanning like Robocop or the Terminator, manages to spot Sara on a building about a mile away, in the rain, with a sniper rifle getting ready to take another shot. Asian actor (who I also remember was in that FX show Thief who played the young, cocky Asian guy) comes in and basically takes things under control, out of the sight of the sniper across the way. Now I am trying to remember more about this scene but am not remembering as much as I should have (so I am going to fast forward to the end). In the last scenes, Sommers chases down Sara who makes her an offer to team up. Of course, Sommers isn't going to have any of this and they get in a cat fight atop a building in the rain. Throw in some Incredible Hulk type scenes here where women are throwing each other against walls and such. Sara realizes that Sommers doesn't have both bionic arms, just the one (which answers my own question from earlier in this review) and breaks the other one like a twig. Fight fight fight, strings, flipping, fighting, dialogue, fighting and a bunch of bionic eye use brings us to the end with Sara disappearing. Finally, we see the doctor/boyfriend getting surgery. Man, he's gone through a lot in this first episode, a semi slamming into his car, a broken arm by getting kicked into a wall, and getting shot! The last scene we see is the prisoner guy (Hannibal Lecter wannabe) outside in the snow atop a mountain staring at the moon saying how long it had been since he saw the moon. Fade to a 'To Be Continued' ending. ----- Now of course, they say this was the rough draft of the flick and all but it was complete in special effects and editing. My personal opinion of the show was that it felt like a mix of Dark Angel, Smallville and Alias with little originality. The acting wasn't bad and they did make a good choice for Jamie Sommers (although I prefer the original Lindsay Wagner more) but the boyfriend HAS to go. That and the deaf sister seems to be a useless part (we've already got a strong deaf character on Jericho, do we really have to force another actress to fake being deaf for no real apparent reason?). There wasn't as much action as one might hope in the pilot but the scenes that had it at least had some decent choreography (outside of the times they used strings to defy gravity). Jamie Sommers is now a military character with the bionic eye capturing targets and threats, apparently making her more aggressive (there is a brief scene where she is almost mugged but beats the crap out of the mugger). The actress did a good job and I think she'll be good if the series is picked up. The boyfriend, blah. The sister, useless. The boss of the top secret area, I thought his was the best character. Sara, good idea but using Starbuck as her character made me keep thinking of Battlestar Galactica and drew me out of this pilot. That and throw in the Chief from BG and I didn't know what show I was watching! (OK, exaggeration). The prisoner guy, who knows what he's about but if the show happens, I'm sure he'll have much more of a part. So, overall, an OK pilot, but a lot of the same old same old. If there are such great shows as Heroes out there that have characters with powers, the Bionic Woman better step the stories up or it will never last. All IMHO!
May 10, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST
Who the fuck is playing Jamie?
May 10, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST
David Eick. Katee Sackhoff as a bionic baddie. I am SO FRACKING THERE.
May 10, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST
starbuck IS a human/cylon hybrid!
May 10, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST
Jamie's played by Michelle Ryan, a UK actress whose main claim to fame was being on the BBC's (?) longrunning EastEnders soap opera.
May 10, 2007, 7:35 p.m. CST
Fuck all Whedonites!
May 10, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST
Which is more than I can say for Drive *glares at Fox and their brain-dead programming department* :p
May 10, 2007, 7:41 p.m. CST
Ryan played Zoe Slater on EastEnders; does anyone watch that and if you somehow, by chance, did back then, how was she? Wikipedia says she auditioned for Doctor Who's number one, but ultiamtely lost out to Freema Agyeman.
May 10, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST
She's up for a Saturn Award later on tonight for Best Actress in a TV Program or Series. Her competition is Patricia Arquette, Medium; Kristen Bell, VM; Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ghost Whisperer; Evangeline Lilly, Lost and Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer. <p> *hopes for tie between Bell and Sackhoff*
May 10, 2007, 7:54 p.m. CST
Don't Saturns go to sci-fi/fantasy shows?
May 10, 2007, 7:56 p.m. CST
Just one, but it's something. <p> http://saturnawards.org/nominations.html
May 10, 2007, 7:57 p.m. CST
Bell won the category last year, and Sackhoff was last year's Supporting Actress
May 10, 2007, 7:58 p.m. CST
by Paul T. Ryan
...the deaf girl on Jericho (Shoshannah Stern) actually IS deaf.
May 10, 2007, 8 p.m. CST
...but the amount of the term "frak" used on VM overexerts that term's usage on BSG. <p> the real question would be "what the frak has the closer to do with SF???" <p> don't get me wrong, it's a cool show and all...
May 10, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST
http://tinyurl.com/2vjmwz (from EastEnders, posted in the other NBC TB, but worth rerunning here)
May 10, 2007, 8:28 p.m. CST
I think Starbuck is crucial to Battlestar and since last seen she was in MilkyWay near earth. I'm hoping they will have her interact with Earth. Remember the classic orig series episode when Apollo and Starbuck wore the white uniforms? Was that because they were dead? I forget.Also I hope Earth is primitive not current.
May 10, 2007, 8:39 p.m. CST
bever really watched eastenders, but she's competent, and quite preety
May 10, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST
apologies, hadn't used that cliche as yet
May 10, 2007, 8:53 p.m. CST
So let's see ... it'll have hot chicks, it'll spend the first season having every character exposed to bionic parts (while frequently rewriting canon of the original source for no real reason), and it will build a huge cult following for its interwoven storyline followed by its losing its way, its audience, and the reason it was good in the first place.<p> Although maybe if we're lucky it'll be cancelled early like Dark Angel.<p> (Just kidding, I'm looking forward to this one)
May 10, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST
well at least the actress who playes her from the soap she playe in.. looking fine. http://tinyurl.com/2vjmwz
May 10, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST
I'll give it a chance, but it has big shoes full of childhood memories to fill.
May 10, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST
by Ron Burgandy
Wikipedia has a brief summary. Half decent actress, always thought she had potential but needed to see her outside the Eastenders role. Is it too much to hold out hope for somethin decent, the loss of Buffy, Alias and potentially Veronica loomin, dammit I need some kickass women on TV. For your perusal though http://tinyurl.com/33rgya http://tinyurl.com/34nlub http://tinyurl.com/5khc5 in summary, she'd get it...twice.
May 10, 2007, 9:05 p.m. CST
Do they have the friggin SOUND EFFECT!?!<br><br>Oh yeah, and how much clothing does Michelle remove.
May 10, 2007, 9:20 p.m. CST
In the series finale, Jamie's HMO will refuse to pay for the bionic parts, so they'll be removed from her, leaving her to die.
May 10, 2007, 9:35 p.m. CST
Got to keep that. Seeing Jamie throw some guy twenty feet with that music playing.
May 10, 2007, 10:26 p.m. CST
:) <p> Tonight, Access Hollywood had a preview of the pilot and it looked about a zillion shades of kickass. <p> Wonder what would have happened if Fox picked this up?
May 10, 2007, 10:28 p.m. CST
Unlike its first season, which was the polar opposite.
May 10, 2007, 10:36 p.m. CST
This show need only three things to be successful. FEMBOTS. OSCAR GOLDMAN. AND THE "ANANANANANANANANA" sound effect. That is all.
May 10, 2007, 10:59 p.m. CST
by Thick McRunFast
It does look good. By which I mean, the girl playing the new Bionic Woman.
May 11, 2007, 12:06 a.m. CST
obviously Steve Austin. After his romantic affair with Bigfoot, he went rogue, Hulk-style. I can't wait to hear "we can rebuild him" in the eventual flashback.
May 11, 2007, 12:43 a.m. CST
She was great as Egg.
May 11, 2007, 1:41 a.m. CST
What happened to the shy, demure tennis pro / school teacher we all know and love. If we don't see this new Jamie in an inappropriately short tennis skirt at least once by the end of the second episode, I honestly can't promise I'll keep tuning in.
May 11, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST
by Trader Groucho 2
Gotta love them network notes.
May 11, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST
Only Alias was good. And that was just the first two seasons of Alias. Does not bode well.
May 11, 2007, 2:23 a.m. CST
Interesting they cast a gal with such big boobs when all that running's involved - not complaining though! When's the pilot gonna be shown?
May 11, 2007, 3:21 a.m. CST
except for the series finale (which was, let's face it, a complete rush job), season 2 had a better (and ultimately unresolved) story: i really wanted to find out more about that creepy ancient breeding programme that seemed to predate columbus. Plus Jessica Alba looks even hotter with straight hair.
May 11, 2007, 3:28 a.m. CST
I am from the UK and I can defiantely confirm that Michelle Ryan is very cute indeed with a fantastic rack :)
May 11, 2007, 4:20 a.m. CST
by Sledge Hammer
And she always seems to be played by that girl from Weeds and Jericho. Her phone must be ringing off the hook these days...not that she'd hear it.<p>Still, with Miguel Ferrer, Will Yun Lee, Mark Sheppard and Katee Sackhoff all in this, I'll at least have to check it out...
May 11, 2007, 5:47 a.m. CST
Best Sci-Fi Film: Children of Men <p> Best Fantasy Film: Superman Returns <p> Best Horror Film: The Descent <p> Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film: Casino Royale <p> Best Animated Film: Cars <p> Best International Film: Pan’s Labyrinth <p> Best Actor: Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) <p> Best Actress: Natalie Portman (V For Vendetta) <p> Best Supporting Actor: Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland) <p> Best Supporting Actress: Famke Janssen (X-Men: The Last Stand) <p> Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth) <p> Best Director: Bryan Singer (Superman Returns) <p> Best Writing: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Superman Returns) <p> Best Music: John Ottman (Superman Returns) <p> Best Costume: Curse of the Golden Flower <p> Best Make-Up: Slither <p> Best Special Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest <p> <p> Best Network Television Series: Heroes <p> Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series: Battlestar Galactica <p> Best Presentation on Television: The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines <p> Best Actor on Television: Michael C. Hall (Dexter) <p> Best Actress on Television: Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer) <p> Best Supporting Actor on Television: Masi Oka (Heroes) <p> Best Supporting Actress on Television: Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) <p> Best DVD Release: The Sci Fi Boys <p> Best DVD Special Edition Release: Superman II (The Richard Donner Cut) <p> Best DVD Classic Film Release: Gojira (Godzilla) <p> Best DVD Collection: James Bond Ultimate Edition (Collection 1 - 4) <p> Best DVD Television Series: Masters of Horror <p> Best Retro Television Series on DVD: Adventures of Superman (Complete 6 Seasons) <p> SPECIAL AWARDS: Rising Star Award: Matt Dallas ("Kyle XY") <p> Filmmakers Showcase Award: James Gunn (Director of "Slither") <p> The Service Award: Kerry O’Quinn (former publisher of Starlog Magazine) <p> Special Recognition Award: "Alien Xmas" written by Stephen Chiodo & Jim Strain.
May 11, 2007, 6:59 a.m. CST
by Abin Sur
But I still laughed - I'm going to hell.
May 11, 2007, 7:03 a.m. CST
by Abin Sur
Although upon reading that JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT is television's BEST actress (even if it's only Saturn saying so) I've decided that there is no God, and the only way you will prove to me there is is for Ms. Hewitt to get stark raving naked on some HBO show.
May 11, 2007, 7:06 a.m. CST
I just threw up in my mouth!<p> Although I do have to admit she did a good job with her guest role on Family Guy.
May 11, 2007, 7:11 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
Seeing an advance screening, 10 points. getting a review posted at AICN, 25 points. Writing a review so long and tediously detailed, but without such essential information as the names of the cast members, minus 10 points. Identifying all cast members of one specific ethnic group (Asians) with "sorry I don't know his name...), minus fifteen points. Not knowing Mae Whitman played Ann Veal on arrested Development, minus ten points. Not knowing how to look up actors names on IMDb - priceless.
May 11, 2007, 7:14 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
Jamie Summers is a professional tennis player who is crippled in a sky-diving accident, establishing that she is stong, athletic, has stamina, thinks fast, is reckless, brave and daring (with a possible suicidal streak) >>> Jamie Summers is a bartender who is selected for bionic upgrades because her boyfriend just happens to be working on the project.
May 11, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
you were thinking the same thing as me, but you beat me to it and phrased it differently than I would have. still, it bears repeating: Jennifer Love Hewitt is TV's best actress = Hah hahahahahahahahahahaha. HAH! (And I actually like the show. That scene where she ran down a long hallway in slow motion wearing no bra and a silk slip was BRILLIANT!)
May 11, 2007, 7:24 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
Seriously, on a show about a woman who has A MECHANICAL HEARING DEVICE installed in her head to replace a damaged ear drum, reviewer can't imagine any possible future storyline that would involve her trying to get the agency to help restore the hearing of her deaf younger sister? And why are we listening to this kid again? Oh yeah, he saw the show and knows how to write a bad book report. Cool. (Heck, even is he can't think of a possible development that would involve the kid sister having bionic hearing by the end of the first season, just complaining about the presence of a cute younger sister is... what's the phrases I'm looking for her, help me out, Oh yeah, "teh ghey".)
May 11, 2007, 7:34 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
identifying an Asian actor by saying "He was on that show where he player an Asian guy" or identifying a TV pilot as a "flick". Political incorrectness vs. misuse of showbiz terminology. Hard to call.
May 11, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST
by Abin Sur
Her current role as a Hanes bra and panties spokesperson has definitely been her strongest to date. Now watching JLH jumping around in said Hanes with the "ananananananan" sound in the background - I'd pay money for that.
May 11, 2007, 8:04 a.m. CST
isnt the sound more like "dudududududu" ? (really fast though)
May 11, 2007, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
I've enjoyed Love's series of Hanes print ads. Here's her 2002 "banned" Levis commecial, 30 seconds of the best walking footage... ever. I want to be her tight white t-shirt in another life. >>> http://tinyurl.com/3y4d52 <<< Now if only YouTube had a "slow motion" function... Oh, and > http://tinyurl.com/gsjes < Oh, and that entire long bionic Woman review and he never mentions either the presence or absence of the trademark sound effect during her power plays? No respect for tradition? (The reviewer, not the updated show.)
May 11, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
first they made a major guest appearance in the "Medium renewed" talk-back, now they show up in the Bionic Woman discussion. That's actually pretty impressive.
May 11, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST
1. if Sara was really trying to kill them, wouldn't the semi have continued to plow thru the car, or did she hit the brakes after hitting the car. The impact and accident mechanics don't seem to fly with me. 2. How did Sara end up with all that damage and yet her boyfriend Doc come out unscathed walking around and doing surgery? Guess I gotta suspend reality a bit.
May 11, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST
I belive that the Actress on Jerico is A true Deaf Actress, Or that is what they say in her Bio. So this one maybe also. Kind think it is a Statement to Hollywood that they can get a job in this field.
May 11, 2007, 10:41 a.m. CST
by Col. Tigh-Fighter
Come on, AICN. I cant believe I'm the first one to say it! :)
May 11, 2007, 11:21 a.m. CST
by Abin Sur
I don't think I could ever accuse her of having implants! But that's ok - I like the Sackhoff as is. One hot tamale, that one!
May 11, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
Good god NOOOOOOOO! <p> The only part potentially interesting is just how far she can bounce a boyfriend using those bionic legs. <p> I say she can splat one on the cealing. But if you toss quaters on her taught belly she can hurl them into space. <p> Why don't we ever see the effects of Clarks nocturnal emissions on Smallville? That barn roof must be riddled like swiss cheese.
May 11, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
I guess no one noticed that both CSI, CSINY and l7W CI both all deaf episodes this year. And those episodes focused on the RADICAL deaf. Deaf people opposed to hearing implants, Cochlear implants. <p> My name is Earl had the deaf lawyer who Joy kept making fun of. <p> Deaf is the new Hispanic.
May 11, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
May 11, 2007, 1:06 p.m. CST
She was in Weeds first.
May 11, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
Please keep statements like "I kept thinking of him as so and so" to yourself. You're messing with people's lives and earning potential when you say stuff like that - yes, even in jest. Unless they acted just like they did in another show, try to wipe out old characters in your head and focus on the actor's or actress' unique performance.
May 11, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST
Glad to see Egg, I mean Ann, getting some work.
May 11, 2007, 3:18 p.m. CST
Tv 3 is showing the New Dr from the beginning. AS in Christopher Ecclestone and Bille piper.
May 12, 2007, 12:29 a.m. CST
I hope we spend the whole summer overhyping this crap like we did with the last bionic show-Jake 2.0. Remember how reviewers raved about that piece of shit on this site for months before we all saw how bad it was?
May 12, 2007, 8:48 a.m. CST
by Anakin Whoopass
The secret to the original Bionic shows' credibility was Richard Anderson as Oscar Goldman. He's still my image of the perfect government official. Also the original shows had great access to huge military-industrial/public works facilities for location filming when they needed a secret base or something.
May 12, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST
so man face gets to ruin another show. Hopefully this will get "Foxed" after six episodes...
May 13, 2007, 1:23 a.m. CST
After last season it's now "This show will be NBC'd after 6 episodes."