Sunday, April 28, 2013

Daytime Heroes: The Bionic Six (1987)

Contrary to what some unenlightened souls might think, The Bionic Six wasn't inspired by the 70's adventures of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, even though MCA, then the parent company of Universal, handled distribution for this weekday cartoon, which lasted one season in 1987.

Instead, the Six are a group of ordinary folks given bionic powers to combat the predictable mad scientist, in this case, Scarab, whose brother is the Six's benefactor. There is a connection, however, to the bionic franchise. Alan Oppenheimer, better known for his voice work than his years as a character actor, was the original actor cast as Dr. Rudy Wells before being replaced by Martin E. Brooks. Jennifer Darling, who voiced one of the villains, played the secretary of Oscar Goldman.

Bionicsix1987 (Duh!) uploaded the series opener, "Valley of Shadows":

Could you picture the Fantastic Four rebooted with bionic powers? The Japanese creator of this series certainly had to have that in mind, I think, but US audiences weren't digging.

Rating: B-.


Geed said...

As you remarked in the comments of the Birdboy article, Alex Toth did indeed design the Bionic Six and I believe was his last major cartoon work. Another bit of trivia was he did design work for Thundarr the Barbarian but Ruby-Spears (whom I would presume Toth knew from Hanna Barbera) went with Jack Kirby's version. Another legendary artist who allegedly tried out for the Thundarr job was silver age Green Lantern artist Gil Kane.

hobbyfan said...

Kane would eventually come to work for Ruby-Spears, working on Centurions and, I believe, Rambo, among others. You were the one, Geed, who tipped me to Toth working on Bionic Six in the first place.

Anyway, Bionic Six would gain a new life on cable, as I recall repeats airing on the then-Sci-Fi Channel.

magicdog said...

I remember the Bionic Six! Sort of like The Brady Bunch (Mom, Dad, natural and adopted kids) with superpowers!

I'm curious as to how Toth's Thundarr looked.

hobbyfan said...

So am I. Yo, Geed! Can you post a pic of Toth's designs for Thundarr, if you've got them? Toth's version of Ariel would be nice, too.