The Six Million Dollar Man - Opening Sequence

Opening Sequence

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The lifting body seen crashing in the opening sequence of the show is real footage of the crash of the Northrop M2-F2, though the sequence is misleading in that it shows both the M2-F2 crash and images of a different model, the Northrop HL-10, being released from its B-52 mothership. This continuity error is notable by the presence of the central fin and dihedral of the outer fins of the HL-10 at one point followed by the lack of a central fin and presence of the vertical outer fins indicative of the M2-F2 on the crash footage a few seconds later. The dialogue spoken by actor Lee Majors during the opening credits is reportedly based upon communication prior to the M2-F2 crash that occurred on May 10, 1967: (“Flight com, I can’t hold her! She’s breaking up! She’s breaking—”). Test pilot Bruce Peterson lost an eye due to infection following the crash, but likewise also miraculously survived what appeared to be a fatal accident even though his lifting body aircraft hit the ground at approximately 250 mph (402 km/h) and tumbled six times. In the episode The Deadly Replay, Oscar Goldman refers to the lifting body aircraft in which Austin crashed as the "HL-10," stating "We've rebuilt the HL-10." In the 1987 TV film The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, Austin refers to the craft as the "M3-F5," which was the name used for the aircraft that crashed in the original Cyborg novel.)

In the opening sequence, a narrator (series producer Harve Bennett) identifies the protagonist, "Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive." Richard Anderson, in character as Oscar Goldman, then intones off-camera, "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster." During the first season, beginning with The Six Million Dollar Man: "Population Zero", Anderson, as Goldman, intoned more simply, “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better...stronger...faster.” During the operation, when he is having his bionics fitted, a list of items and numbers is displayed and lists his powerplant as "atomic".

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