The Six Million Dollar Man, a true story?

Alexis Wilke's picture

The Six Million Dollar ManWhen I was a kid I was watching The Six Million Dollar Man1. I like the story and all of these abilities: see far, run fast, twist steel, jump high... Only Steve Austin could resolve all of those problems without a problem.

If your that old... (I'm sure they run it again and again on some strange channels though!) you may recall the beginning of each episode, especially the older episodes, had a crashing spaceship. This is part of the story, Steve Austin went to space and when coming back, his space ship gets in a grave accident as he loses control of the ship and crashes in a desert generating a large amount of dust.

After that really bad accident, a doctor who has been working with Steve asks surgeons to replace his lost legs, his right arm and left eye with bionic parts. This is the start of many adventures of the Cyborg!

What I find really interesting about this TV show is that the generic at the start included a video by NASA. The video of the spaceship coming back to Earth and crashing in a desert is actually a real accident footage. Bruce Peterson, the pilot did get hurt but recovered from his injuries (except for one eye that got infected in the hospital!?)2

Obviously, the series were with an actor: Lee Majors. He had nothing to do with a real crash and Bruce was never interested in the series. However, I thought that it was a quite good idea for Hollywood to choose a real movie clip from NASA for their show. This was just a totally great marketing idea. That video is now available on YouTube: