As a Battlestar Galactica fan, I am thrilled to see one of the producers of Galactica (the non-misogynist one) is behind this remake of the Bionic Woman television series. That he casts some of his friends in this is icing on the cake.
I recently saw a screener of Bionic Woman and even in its rough form (with temp music from 28 Days Later and Babel) and some unfinished scenes and unfinished effects, I can say with great satisfaction that Bionic Woman is every bit as excellent as the preview was promising.
The special effects that were finished were striking (but you already know that from the preview). The acting range from the lead is, thank goodness, excellent. With the great emotional range of Michelle Ryan, this could be bigger than, say, Alias (which was hampered a bit by a narrow acting range). I also was really pleased to see that Katee Sackhoff has wonderful line deliveries — since I’d only seen her as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on Battlestar I honestly did not know if she could play other characters. Indeed she can, and it is wonderful to see her enjoying herself as a villain. The rest of the cast, aside from the lead’s love interest, didn’t appear much, so we’ll have to see more before we know how they gel.
One character in the screener (a deaf younger sister) won’t be in the series, which is too bad because she had potential as a good counterpoint to the bionic-enhanced hearing of the main character.
Though some have said this show would be safer if it was on the Sci-Fi channel, I think that networks have learned from shows like Battlestar Galactica and Heroes that when a producer has a passion for an imaginative series, the audience will love it if the producer is given a free hand. I think if NBC stays out of the way, and lets Bionic Woman be as gritty as Battlestar, they will have a hit in the kind of demographic that has eaten up shows like Battlestar and Heroes.
The pilot episode of Bionic Woman is gritty, with a bit more gore than I expected from a network show — and that is a good thing since it suggests the network is staying out of the way. Though it does have the network television convention of people in hospital beds still wearing lipstick and makeup, so maybe they have their hand in it a bit.
I can hardly wait to see the finished version. This show is going to be a hit… unless NBC dumbs it down.