A brand new cut of the Bionic Woman pilot hit DVRs this week, along with Life, Chuck, and Journeyman. NBC made the move to spread the buzz from Chuck and Bionic Woman onto two shows that the network feels are not getting the expected level of buzz. Most jarring is the presentation of Bionic Woman. For critics who caught the earlier release of Bionic Woman‘s pilot, the retooled version offers a fresh perspective on the show.
In short, the new Bionic Woman is less dense in the interpersonal aspects, and more polished in the blackened science fiction murk that it seeks to bring. The color temperature is up, but the mood is down.
The most obvious loss is Jamie Sommers’ deaf sister. Replaced now by a typically mouthy teenager, this loss is one that viewers of both versions of Bionic Woman may feel the most. Having Jamie’s sister be deaf gave the series an irony that could be oft recycled in some seriously confounding ways. Here you have a character, Jamie, who is brought back from horrible mutilation without her consent, walking around keeping the very technology that could restore her sisters hearing a total secret.
If you have never seen the original version of the pilot, count yourself amongst the lucky. The trimming and character shuffling most definitely seems like a dumbing down to any self respecting viewer, but in the end it is probably closer to what you would expect anyways.
Those of use who savor characters and conflict will mourn the loss of Bionic Woman‘s more challenging architectural features, but fun loving science fiction fans probably won’t bat an eye at the absence of them. The retooled Bionic Woman, creative differences aside, is definitely closer to the reimagining of a campy sci fi franchise, versus, say, Battlestar Galactica.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of NBC)