Steve Austin (fictional character)


Steve Austin (fictional character)

Infobox character
colour = Hexadecimal colour (EG: #FFFFFF, Default: #DEDEE2)
name = Steve Austin


caption =
first = "Cyborg" (novel)
last = "Bionic Ever After?" (TV movie)
cause =
nickname =
alias = The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic man
species = Human,Cyborg
gender = Male
age =
born =
death =
occupation = Secret agent, former astronaut and test pilot, former soldier (novels)
title = Colonel
family =
spouse = Jaime Sommers (The Bionic Woman)
children = Michael Austin
relatives =
episode = 100
portrayer = Lee Majors
creator = Martin Caidin

Steve Austin is a fictional character created by Martin Caidin for his 1972 novel, "Cyborg", who later became a 1970s television icon as portrayed by Lee Majors in the 1974-1978 series "The Six Million Dollar Man".

Background

As originally conceived by Caidin, Austin is a former US Army helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam before being transferred to the Air Force and then into NASA. As backup Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17,ref|app he became one of twelve astronauts to walk on the moon when the prime Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) broke an arm before launch.ref|lmp

In the pilot episode of "The Six Million Dollar Man", Austin's background is adjusted: he is a civilian test pilot who was the only civilian to walk on the Moon. In the regular series, however, Austin once again became a military man, holding the rank of colonel in the Air Force.

In both versions of his origin, Austin is testing an experimental lifting body aircraftref|lift when a malfunction causes a crash. Austin's injuries are severe: both legs and one arm are lost, and he is also blinded in one eye and his skull is pulverized (the TV version does not suffer the skull injury). One of Austin's best friends is Dr. Rudy Wells, a doctor and scientist who is a specialist in the newly emerging field of bionics; unknown to Wells, a secret American government intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Operations (OSO; later changed to Office of Scientific Intelligence or OSI for TV) has been looking at a way of reducing agent casualties. Their solution is to take a severely injured man, rebuild him with bionics, and create a cyborg—part man, part machine. Wells is ordered to perform the procedure on Austin, who expresses a desire to commit suicide after learning about the loss of his limbs.

The operation to rebuild him costs $6 million. Bionics are used to replace Austin's arm (his left in Caidin's original story; his right in the TV version) and both legs. Austin's eye is also replaced. Caidin and the TV series treat this differently; Caidin's Austin receives a sophisticated miniature camera (activated by pressing a hidden shutter implanted under Austin's skin after which the eye has to be removed before development of the film) but otherwise remains blinded in that eye, while the television version not only restores sight but also has extreme telescopic magnification and infrared capabilities. His legs and arm provide Austin with superhuman speed, strength and endurance (the latter because, Caidin writes, Austin's heart and lungs only need to power his torso, head and remaining arm). Caidin's character also had some additional bionic parts his TV counterpart lacked, such as a steel-reinforced skull, a poison dart gun built into one of his bionic fingers, and a radio transmitter built into a rib.

Both versions of the character are subsequently recruited into the OSO/OSI as a secret agent (and as an ongoing test subject for bionics). Austin becomes a top agent, travelling the world to fight everything from terrorism (the most common target of the literary version of the character) to alien invasion (in the TV version).

Austin's personality was altered in the TV series. In the books, Austin was capable of being cold-blooded and did not hesitate to use his powers to kill if necessary. Yet in the TV pilot, Austin is initially hesitant to work for the OSI because, he says, "I don't want to kill people", although he appears to do just that in the subsequent mission. After the show's first season, however, Austin was usually not shown killing anyone.

In Caidin's novels, Austin's superior is OSO chief Oscar Goldman. Goldman was replaced by another character, Oliver Spencer, in the TV pilot film, but appeared in the regular series. The relationship between the TV version of Austin and Oscar was much friendlier than the literary counterpart, although numerous episodes show Austin being frustrated at being a "bionic lap dog" for the OSI.

Austin's backstory is barely described by Caidin. The TV series, however, introduced his mother and stepfather (who live in Ojai, California), and eventually, a fiancée, Jaime Sommers, who would herself become bionic after a skydiving accident, leading to a spin-off series, "The Bionic Woman". Lee Majors made frequent guest appearances on the spin-off series, which springboarded from Jaime being brought back to life after her bionics failed; a consequence of this was she lost all memory of her relationship to Austin. Both "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman" went off the air in 1978.

A later episode reveals that Austin's biological father was also an Air Force pilot and was killed in the crash of his C-47 Skytrain in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II.

Further details about Austin's later life were filled in during three made-for-TV reunion movies that aired between 1987 and 1994. In the first ("The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman"), which takes place several years after Austin retires from the OSI, it is revealed that he had a son, Michael, born in the mid-1960s. His mother is not identified. Michael subsequently suffers traumatic injuries in a crash similar to which his father experienced, and undergoes bionic rebuilding which renders him more powerful than his bionic father. In exchange for Michael's operation, Austin agrees to return to OSI and his son also becomes an operative, though he would not appear in any subsequent films. In the second film, "Bionic Showdown", Austin is shown to be a senior OSI operative helping thwart a terrorist attack against an athletic event in Canada. "Bionic Ever After?", the final reunion film, saw Austin's bionics malfunctioning due to a computer virus, but in the end he is rescued by Jaime and the two finally marry as the film ends. Unlike Jaime, who undergoes an upgrade to her bionics in "Bionic Ever After?" which apparently adds new abilities, no such upgrade was ever evidenced for Austin in the telefilms, with the exception of an apparent enhancement to his bionic eye which is illustrated in "Bionic Ever After?".

Caidin's version of Austin appeared in only four original novels unrelated to the television series continuity: "Cyborg", "Operation Nuke", "High Crystal" and "Cyborg IV".

In May 2007, NBC announced that it would air a new "Bionic Woman" series, with no connection to "The Six Million Dollar Man" or Steve Austin. Pre-broadcast publicity photographs from the new series reveal that the new version of the Jaime Sommers character has a bionic eye similar to that of Austin's in addition to the bionic parts of the original character. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=454123&in_page_id=1773] Austin himself made no appearances in the series before it halted production due to the strike by the Writers Guild of America, and the series has since been cancelled.

Numerous media reports have circulated since the mid-1990s regarding a possible theatrical remake of "The Six Million Dollar Man" (including a possible comedic version starring Jim Carrey [http://www.comingsoon.net/news.php?id=1999] ) but as of 2007 no such production has occurred.

Notes

# While the subsequent "Six Million Dollar Man" TV series also identified Austin's mission as Apollo 17, there were also contradictory names given at other times. In the 1973 pilot telefilm, "Wine, Women and War", Austin's flight is identified in dialogue as Apollo 19. Later, when the original "Six Million Dollar Man" telefilm (based upon the "Cyborg" novel) was reedited for syndication as a two-part episode entitled "The Moon and the Desert", a prologue was added that identified Austin's flight by the name [http://bionic.wikia.com/wiki/Moonshot_XYZ Moonshot XYZ] .
# In real life, Harrison Schmitt, the prime LMP, did not need to be replaced by the backup LMP, Charles Duke, who had already walked on the Moon as part of the Apollo 16 crew.
# The name of the lifting body varies. In the "Cyborg" novel (and sequel books) and the later telefilm "Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman", the aircraft is identified as a the M3-F5. In the "Six Million Dollar Man" episode, "The Deadly Replay", it is identified as the real-life Northrop HL-10. The actual footage used in the original telefilm (and subsequently in the opening credits of the series) was of both an HL-10 and the crash of an M2-F2. At no point in the original telefilm or later series was Austin's aircraft ever identified in dialogue as the M2-F2.

External links

* [http://bionic.wikia.com/wiki/Steve_Austin The Bionic Wiki]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Steve Austin — Stephen or Steve Austin may refer to:* Stephen F. Austin (1793 1836), the Father of Texas * Steve Austin (Australian broadcaster), an Australian radio and television broadcaster * Steve Austin (geologist), a geologist of rapid formation coal beds …   Wikipedia

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin — Born Steven James Anderson December 18, 1964 (1964 12 18) (age 46) Victoria, Texas, U.S …   Wikipedia

  • Austin (name) — Austin is a given name and surname, an English short form of Augustine. It may refer to:*Brett Austin, New Zealand breaststroke swimmer *Charles Austin American athlete *Charles Percy Austin, American artist *Dallas Austin, American songwriter… …   Wikipedia

  • Austin Peay State University — Infobox University name=Austin Peay State University motto=Find Your Place in The World established=1927 type=State funded president=Timothy Hall city=Clarksville state=Tennessee country=USA undergrad=8,650 postgrad=542 staff=453 campus=Urban,… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fictional robots and androids — This list of fictional robots and androids is a chronological list, categorised by medium. It includes all depictions of robots, androids and gynoids in literature, television, and cinema; however, robots that have appeared in more than one form… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fictional United States Presidents N-T — The following is a list of fictional United States presidents, N through T.NPresident Gary Nance * President in: Dave * Succeeds to presidency upon death of President William Mitchell. Nance has honorable ethics and morals, is cleared in a… …   Wikipedia

  • Breaking character — A breaking character may also refer to a line breaking character or other character that allows word wrap. Breaking character, to break character , is a theatrical term used to describe when an actor, while actively performing in character, slips …   Wikipedia

  • The Tao of Steve — Infobox Film name = The Tao of Steve caption = movie poster director = Jenniphr Goodman producer = Anthony Bregman writer = Duncan North Greer Goodman Jenniphr Goodman starring = Donal Logue Greer Goodman James Kimo Wills David Aaron Baker… …   Wikipedia

  • Maximillion (fictional dog) — Maximillion (usually referred to as Max) was a German Shepherd in the third and final season of 1970s television series The Bionic Woman . He initially appeared in a two part episode entitled The Bionic Dog . Subsequent appearances followed… …   Wikipedia

  • List of fictional cyborgs — This list is for fictional cyborgs.dynamic listComics1950s* Metallo (1959)1960s* Cyborgs 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, and 009 from Cyborg 009 (1964) *Iron Man (1963)1970s*Deathlok from Marvel Comics (1974)1980s* Cyborg from Teen Titans …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.