This TV movie was the pilot for the popular series The Six Million Dollar Man. In this maiden effort, we are told just how astronaut Steve Austin became a bionic man. Surviving a near-fatal crash, the mutilated Austin is given artificial limbs (plus one faux eye) and reassembled into a part-human, part-electronic entity, endowed with superstrength and the ability to run faster than anyone--a feat which is always depicted in slow motion. Put to work by the Office of Strategic Information, Col. Austin answers to his immediate superior Darren McGavin (replaced by Richard Anderson in the series proper). Martin Balsam plays the doctor responsible for Austin's superhuman status (Balsam's character was played on the series by Martin Brooks) Filmed in part at Edwards Air Force Base, The Six Million Dollar Man was first telecast on March 7, 1973, where it performed admirably opposite a Bob Hope special; the series itself began on a monthly basis in October of 1973, then became a weekly in January of 1974.
by Hal Erickson synopsis