Friday, November 11, 2005

Flashback Friday: Bionic Six

Bionic Six was a pretty good show in the eighties about a family of six (four kids and a father and mother) who get into a plane crash and are revived by "bionics" to become superheroes. Here's the summary from the Big Cartoon Database:


"Jack Bennet, a secret agent for the CIA, had taken his family on a trip to the Himalayas. During this trip, Jack is called to duty to investigate unusual magnetic readings. He encounters aliens who are trying to obtain Bertomium, a mineral that can increase bionic abilities and give eternal life to its posessor. In a battle, Jack's family becomes trapped under radioactive snow and they slip into a coma. Not seeing another way to save their lives, Jack permits Professor Sharp to operate on his family. Professor Sharp implants bionics in human beings, and the Bionic Six are born. Doctor Scarab creates his own bionic group from misfits taken from penitentiaries and asylums."


I could see the pitch now - "It's the Brady Bunch meets Six Million Dollar Man!" They fought the evil Doctor Scarab who also had a group of bionic minions. Doctor Scarab was a pretty good villain, although his obsession with his last name got old. Why is it supervillains are always obsessed about one thing like gold or spiders or scarabs? And what do scarabs have to do with bionics? And why is it that super-teams on cartoons only fight one villain? Aren't there other problems in the world? Didn't G.I. Joe have other organizations to fight besides COBRA? And what happens if the Bionic Six runs across some other criminal? "Sorry, not our jurisdiction. We strictly fight Doctor Scarab. You need to call the Transformers or something."

Fun Facts:
* The show aired in 1987 for two seasons
* Originally the show aired weekly, then went daily. I only remember the daily version.
* The Bionic Six were as follows - Jack Bennet codenamed Bionic-1 (super-vision and super-hearing), Helen codenamed Mother-1 (psychic powers), Eric codenamed Sport-1 (magnetic powers and a super-powered baseball bat, no kidding), J.D. codenamed I.Q. (super-intelligent), Meg codenamed Rock-1 (sonic blasters, super-speed), and Bunji codenamed Karate-1 (martial arts).
* Mother-1 was hot in a June Cleaver sort of way.
* All of the Bionic Six were super-strong.
* The kids were multi-racial; white, black, and Asian. While that sounds good, it means the Bennets went to the adoption agency and said, "Okay, we need a black kid, a white kid, and an Asian kid. No, we can't have two black kids! We already have a black kid! It's gotta be even! No doubles!"
* There were two white kids. No Mexican kids.
* The Asian character was a martial-arts expert. That's about as subtle as making the black character a basketball player. But at least he didn't wear a coolie hat.
* The Bionic Six were supposed to be infused with a radiation called "bions" that gave them super-powers, but their transformation showed cross-sections of them with mechanical parts. The writers couldn't seem to decide if they were cyborgs or just super-powered. I think they wanted to make them mechanical, but came up with the "bion" thing because they didn't want to get sued.
* In Germany, the legal problems were probably even worse - in Germany, the show was called The Six Million Dollar Family. I guess they figured the copyright lawyers couldn't get them there.
* The Bionic Six had nothing to do with The Six Million Dollar Man.
* The Bionic Six had a giant robot gorilla named F.L.U.F.F.I. Besides adding comedy relief and another toy, I can't see any reason for this.

Links:
Episode Guide
Bionic Six Memorial
Fan Fiction
Big Cartoon Database

2 comments:

One Mean Sucka said...

cartoons from the 70's and 80's are the best. There was that Superfriends episode where some villian poured "walk water: on trees that began to walk and commit crimes!!!

There was the episode of SpiderMan and his amazing friends that played this weekend on Disney or something where some video game dork got zapped with electricity and became "Video Man" who could move at the speed of light through telecoms circuits. Riiiiiight.

But without a doubt the winner hands down goes to Hammerman. MC Hammer as a cartoon character who became "Hammerman" when he put on his magical dancing shoes. The animation was poor at best, putrid at worse. It looked like it was 10fps. Flipbooks would have been better.

Mauricem said...

Man that brought back memories. For some reason my favorite was Perceptor. The regular characters were ok, but for some reason they were all annoying!