Did You Know There Was Actually A Six Million Dollar Man Theme Song? Neither Did I

six1So I just happened to be at Target yesterday, and I ran across a 6-DVD set of the first season of The Six Million Dollar Man which also includes the first three made for TV movies and was selling for ten bucks. Naturally, that was the kind of thing that I wasn’t going to pass up. And, since I was looking for something to watch last night that would offset the previous night’s viewing of D.W. Griffith’s silent epic The Birth of a Nation – which I was watching in preparation for writing about his follow up-film Intolerance which I’ll be spotlighting in a Sight and Sound Top 250 post soon – I decided to pop in the first disk.

Isix3t’s always interesting, I think, to see just how these well-known shows actually started, and especially with the ones that weren’t necessarily designed to be pilots, but as stand-alone films, and follow the progression and development of the characters and situations as the original ideas were modified and changed, and The Six Million Dollar Man certainly didn’t disappoint in that realm.

I’m not going to go into the changes that were made, because they were actually quite numerous, and even changed quite a few times from the first pilot to the second movie to the actual series. However, there was one thing that definitely stood out as soon as I began the second TV movie, and that was the opening.

Let’s face it, the opening credits of this show are iconic. They’ve been quoted and parodied so much that they’ve become – along with that whole slow-motion “dit dit dit dit” bit) part of our shared cultural history. But just as a refresher, here’s one version (there were actually a couple of different ones used throughout the run of the series):

However, what came as a big shock to me is not so much that that opening wasn’t used for the second (and apparently also the third, though I haven’t gotten to that one yet) telefilm. After all, there were no real plans at that point to turn the movies into an actual weekly series, so that type of opening wasn’t needed.

No, what came as a surprise was what actually was used, namely a theme song – complete with lyrics penned by producer Glen A. Larson, and sung by none other than Dusty Springfield. Here, check it out:

Yeah, that’s just a bit… different. And by “different”, I do mean “bad”. In a way I find its use understandable, as the movie actually tries to turn Steve into a James Bond-style super agent, so I’m guessing that this was created to give the show that Bond-opening feel, but it really, really doesn’t work at all, and I really can’t imagine what effect it might have had if they had stuck with that instead of going with the one they ultimately did.

What do you think? Would this theme draw you in week after week? Lemme know below.

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One comment on “Did You Know There Was Actually A Six Million Dollar Man Theme Song? Neither Did I

  1. Paul says:

    What a stark difference. I think we know what the “effect” of having that alternate opening would be — we wouldn’t be talking about the show today The opening we all know and love sets the mood perfectly. The other one is so wrong it almost defies description. I don’t know who is responsible for designing the final opening-credit sequence, but he deserves a special award!

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