The Six Million Dollar Man

Season 2 Episode 2

The Pioneers

Aired Friday 8:30 PM Sep 20, 1974 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes

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Episode Summary

The Pioneers
While sceintist David Tate experiments with a serum designed to awaken cyrogenic patients, he is accidentally injected with too much serum. When the space capsule in which he was experimenting crashes, he begins terrorizing the countryside and Steve must hunt him down.

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  • Steve Austin and the human experiments.Another excellent and outstanding episode from the early second season

    The plot is quite good not only because of full action but also for the message the writer wants to transmit.A new experiment is conducted by Rudy wells and Oscar Goldman (the first was the creation of a bionic man)with two scientists:David Tate and Nicole Simmons. They develop a cell regeneration serum that eliminates the problems encountered when a subject is resuscitated from cryogenic suspension.However the space capsule where they are conducting their experiment crashes and Dave is accidentally injected with an overdose of the serum which causes him to experience an incredible surge of power and violent seizures.I think this is the second time where a government department with no intentions because of an accident creates "superhumans"(episode "burning bright" from the first season, without considering Steve Austin that was a especial project).We see a astonishing segment seeing a capsule and someone shouting without seeing him hitting and opening the capsule hatch with super strength listening to and odd melody. Even now,even though It is old I can not get tired of watching it today.Full action in the whole episode and of course the final battle between Steve Austin and David Tate is something delightful.Steve doesn't want to harm Dave but hes willing to kill him so Steve has to defend himself.A real match: Steve"s bionics and a man affected with an overdose of a serum that increases his mental and physical skills 100% giving him super strength and other abilities but feeling insane.The music is good and we hear the bionics sound effect a few times during the battle(almost not used during the first and second season).The bionic sound also matches Dave"s super strength.At the end a good dialog is held between Oscar and Steve.Is Oscar Goldman and his department guilty of killing a man in the name of the human progress?-I think we can save and answer this question even today with people who sacrifice themselves to get something for our prosperity.That is the reason to be pioneers.moreless
  • Steve's X-file.

    The Pioneers are 2 cryogenic researchers, Simmons and Tate, who volunteer to 'sleep' a year in earth orbit. The secret project goes wrong, and their space capsule crashes in an American forrest.

    On trust alone, Austin accepts a mission to search with Dr. Wells for 'something', without knowing the specifics.

    A big amount of wobbly images, shadows, wild screams and (gggrrrr)grunts, lead us and Steve to solve the mystery.

    With the help of Rudy Wells and his atomic powered arm (!), Steve saves the life of Dr. Simmons but comes to late to rescue the bewildered and frantic David Tate (played by Mike Farrell before joining the MASH-cast).

    Much of this Sci-fi inspired episode's action is carried by the soundtrack. The music is still made by Oliver Nelson, but the very basic tracks from the 1st episodes have been filled and enhanced to their full splendour.

    The final battle is repetitive and slow, but has a dramatic and emotional climax.

    A surprising element is the bonding between Austin, Simmons and Tate, who are all 'willing victims' of Oscars experiments. This suggests that Goldman is much more than a simple bureaucrat.

    With the reintroduction of Dr. Rudy Wells, they make a strong and believable team of pioneers, accepting risks with a chance to success or faillure.moreless
  • Steve Austin travels with Rudy Wells to make right an experiment gone wrong that Oscar Goldman and Rudy have kept as a tight secret.

    Oscar Goldman asks his friend and bionic man Steve Austin to travel with Rudy Wells to northern Minnesota to try and salvage a top secret experiment. Oscar will not even tell Steve the nature of the experiment. As Steve and Rudy travel via airplane, Rudy is tight lipped about what is going on and nervous enough to put his parachute on upside down. Rudy does tell Steve they are looking for a space capsule and asks Steve to check from the plane with his bionic eye.

    They spot the space capsule, parachute to the general location, find the capsule and one of two occupants. Very quickly Steve learns about the cryogenic nature of the experiment Rudy and Oscar helped to get launched in secret. Rudy with Steve's bionic arm's atomic power source help to "thaw out" the other capsule's occupant Nicole Simmons.

    Soon, the other scientist David Tate, who was missing, shows up in a frantic state of mind and attacks Rudy Well inside the capsule, while Steve can not move with his bionic arm being used to power the equipment to save Nicole Simmons' life.

    Nicole quickly comes around and is revived by the experimental serum she and David were working on for cryogenic recovery. She insists on helping Steve track David and helping him through his serum overdose which is causing the frantic behavior. As a side effect, the serum has boosted David's strength to rival Steve's bionic abilities.

    They find David cooling off in a lake and somewhat coherent during a period of rest. David relates his trauma but turns frantic again once discovered by one of Oscar's OSI search teams. David runs off and Steve gives chase.

    Steve and David face off trading super human feats of strength that keep each of them wondering if they can subdue the other. A group of campers lead by the local Sheriff end up shooting David in the back and Steve has to disarm them to keep them from killing David. However it is too late; the combination of the serum and gun shot wound(s) ends the life of David Tate.


    The viewer of this episode is presented with a mystery as to why a space capsule crashes to Earth and the secrecy is so important that even Steve Austin is on a "need to know" basis. The fact that Rudy Well keeps Steve in the dark stresses that not even Steve needs to know all.

    The viewer also sees that while Steve is not Oscar's puppet, their friendship has evolved to a point where Steve trusts Oscar enough to hold out for a fuller explanation once Rudy and he get to their destination. Rudy and Steve share some awkward moments since Rudy can not tell Steve much; Rudy's nervous behavior shows in his lack of parachute experience adding some humor to this episode.

    The episode presents the viewer with a relationship between Nicole Simmons and Steve Austin as "kin" via their status as Rudy and Oscar's experiments. Neither regrets their status and would do it again, adding credit to Oscar's personality as more than a cold bureaucrat.

    The bionic action is pretty standard stuff. Perhaps the best part is the fact that the bionic limbs can be used to serve purposes other than feats of strength.

    At the end of the episode, the conversation between Oscar and Steve is particular good with Steve reminding Oscar that no one person is responsible for tragedy - its took two people to engage in the decision to send David Tate into the experiment. Steve asks Oscar where he himself would be without Oscar's decision to make him bionic. It is a rare moment where Oscar is hard on himself, and Steve gives him a reason to feel good about his difficult job.moreless
Lee Majors

Lee Majors

Colonel Steve Austin

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Oscar Goldman

Alan Oppenheimer

Alan Oppenheimer

Dr. Rudy Wells (2nd Pilot - Season 2)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions