'Bionic Woman' Michelle Ryan no Newcomer
'Bionic Woman' Michelle Ryan no Newcomer
Michelle Ryan, who will play Jamie Sommers in the new Bionic Woman, is being regarded as somewhat of a newcomer to television screens.  While that may be true on these shores, Ryan is in fact not only well known for her five-season run on the British Soap EastEnders, she is currently earning her genre street cred with the cutting edge BBC serial Jekyll.

While some are quick to dismiss Ryan's casting in Bionic Woman as capitalizing on her physical attributes, her history in the arts tells an entirely different story.  Beginning in theater at the age of 10, Ryan picked up her role on EastEnders at the age of 15.  Her work with accents was astonishing, shifting gears easily to the thick East End accent the role demanded.  To hear Ryan speak either of her native accents you would never guess she could nail an American accent as well as she does.

Even though her prominence on British television is virtually unknown to American audiences, one look at the recently aired six episode Jekyll series should be enough to convince skeptical sci-fi fans that Ryan can absolutely bring the intensity.

The Bionic Woman pilot has received mixed - if not bad – reviews from the mainstream media, and brutal reviews from viewers who acquired the pilot by less than admirable means.  Producers are quick to point out that the show is currently under heavy reconstruction, including shooting of scenes featuring a new sister for Ryan's Sommers and some re-shoots to pep up flat moments.

Any question of whether or not Ryan is talented enough to play the lead, though, can easily be answered by her work on Jekyll.  If you are lucky enough to have BBC America, you'll have a chance to indoctrinate yourself to Ms. Ryan's full range of talents this Saturday, when Jekyll begins its run on BBC's American cousin.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of BBC America)