Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Bionic Dog!

When The Bionic Woman switched networks in its third year from ABC to NBC, it debuted with the surprisingly affecting tail - I mean, "tale" - of cyborg canine Maximillian, Dr. Rudy Wells' (Martin E. Brooks) first bionic test subject. The million-dollar dog (Max-a-million, get it?) was experiencing psychological difficulty adjusting to his bionic prosthesis, and only Jaimie Sommers' patience and compassion could save him from being put down by an uncharacteristically cold Dr. Wells.

While that week's TV Guide ad makes the episode look like kid-friendly fun and games with a super-powered pooch, the episode is surprisingly emotional, due, in large part, to Lindsay Wagner's usual fine, empathic acting. I really like this one, and was pleased by the addition of Max to the bionic brigade.

(Not coincidentally, my dog is named Max, too.)


  1. I had completely forgotten about the bionic dog until watching the episodes again a few years ago unearthed my memories of Max. I really enjoyed the episode later in the season when Peter Brady gets to take care of Max. It was a completely ridiculous premise - letting a regular family take care of a top-secret project who could easily kill them all if it went berserk - but I always loved episodes that combined actors from my favorite classic TV series of my youth.

  2. (Max-a-million, get it?)


    1. That's straight out of the episode, so don't blame me. :)

  3. I loved this episode, and remember it fondly.

    I grew up around dogs. We had one, my cousin had one, as did my Grandfather (my Dad's Dad), and his brother (my Dad's Uncle). The latter of these was a German Shepherd named Major. I am currently a Dog Walker, and Trainer professionally (among my other jobs).

    A former Army, or Police Dog (I forget which), Major (who looked just like Max, The Bionic Dog) saved my life when I was 5 or 6. He stopped me from running into the street to chase a basketball on the normally quiet, suburban road where my Dad's Uncle, and his family lived. Major grabbed the belt of my shorts, and pulled me back, mere moments before a car swerved around the bend.

    I am really glad to see this episode recalled for your blog Chris. Thanks for this.

    I mean seriously, my handle is 'Barking Alien' for crying out loud. ;)

  4. I heard from somebody--and I'm too lazy to look it up--that Lindsay Wagner actually came up with the idea. She wanted a show that would appeal to kids and kids liked dogs. I don't know how involved she was with it, but apparently she wanted the show to not simply be action, but to have a moral center.