Episode of Six Million Dollar Man Sort of Missing

Right off the bat I’d like to make clear that no episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man are actually missing. None. However, the original elements to the original broadcast version of “Welcome Home, Jaime – Part 1” (broadcast on January 11th, 1976) are missing and thus the syndicated version of the episode will be included in The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Collection when it is released as an exclusive by Time-Life on November 23rd, 2010. The official press release for the set, published by TVShowsOnDVD.com last week, includes the following:

*Note from the producers: Despite best efforts, Time Life was unable to locate the original master for “Welcome Home, Jaime – Part 1,” therefore, the syndicated version appears on these DVDs.

The episode in question was the first half of a two-part story that helped launch The Bionic Woman; it was later edited slightly and included in a syndication package for that show. The original broadcast featured opening credits for The Six Million Dollar Man; the syndicated version featured opening credits for The Bionic Woman. Other alterations have been documented at The Six 1973 (click on the Series Reassignment link on the right).

David Lambert of TVShowsOnDVD.com has written an in-depth article about the syndicated substitution, revealing that Universal Studios could not find the original elements to the episode, so Time-Life contacted a variety of institutions (like the Library of Congress and UCLA’s Film & Television Archive) hoping to find a copy. Time-Life also urged Universal to take another look and reached out to international distributors and licensees as well as fan consultants. Despite this exhaustive effort, no trace of the episode as originally broadcast was found.

In terms of pure story content, the way I understand it the syndicated episode is identical to the original broadcast version. It will not be cut or otherwise edited for time. It will likely look just as good as the other episodes. It will just have some “structural” differences. While it is unfortunate that the original elements are apparently gone for good, overall this really shouldn’t be an issue even for the most ardent of fans of The Six Million Dollar Man.

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4 Replies to “Episode of Six Million Dollar Man Sort of Missing”

  1. These crossover episodes can prove to be a real wrangle once the show hits syndication.

    Recently, I was watching episodes of ‘The Practice’ in syndication, and it had a number of episodes where characters from other series by Mr. David Kelly appeared on the series…’Boston Public’ and ‘Gideon’s Trumpet’ come to mind.

    However, I was very frustrated by the way ‘The Practice’ in syndication dealt with the crossover with ‘Ally McBeal’.

    FOX aired ‘Ally McBeal’: “The Inmates” on April 27th, 1998 at 9 pm where it garnered a 9.4HH rating. At 10 pm on the same date, ABC aired the conclusion to this 2-part episode aired on ‘The Practice’: “Axe Murderer” where it did a bit better with a 10.2HH rating.

    In syndication, however, ‘The Practice’ did a rather elaborate sequence of highlights from “The Inmates” saying “previously on The Practice” without showing the entire episode.

    I’m trying to think of other series crossovers (two-parters in particular) and how they were handled in syndication, and the only modern-era one I can think of is ‘Crossing Jordan’ and ‘Las Vegas’, and I’m not sure how they handled those episodes in syndication.

    Older series that also may or may not have had crossover complications in syndication would be ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ / ‘Petticoat Junction’ / ‘Green Acres’ and ‘Marcus Welby, M.D.’ / ‘Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law’, but it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen those series in syndication that I can’t remember how they handled them.

  2. Did they show Ally McBeal in any of those highlights or did they completely remove her?

    I don’t remember seeing the Magnum PI/Murder She Wrote crossover repeated in syndication.

    I think most studios just avoid the problem by removing crossovers from the syndication packages.

  3. How can television history posssibly be preserved if even the studio responsible for a series doesn’t have the master copy of a key episode? NBC/Universal is one of the worst when it comes to preserving their library (and you know what I refer to…). They’re concentrating on “what’s selling now” SO much, they might as well torch all of their pre-1960 material–oh, wait, a fire on their studio backlot almost took care of that, didn’t it? ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

  4. Pb Says:
    September 21st, 2010 at 12:13AM
    Did they show Ally McBeal in any of those highlights or did they completely remove her?
    They showed Ally and the other ‘Ally McBeal’ cast members in the highlights, as these cast members were also featured in the Part 2 episode on ‘The Practice’.

    For ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ and ‘The Bionic Woman’, Universal chose to assign these crossover episodes to one or the other series. Had I been in charge, I would have ensured that both sides of every crossover was part of both series, and done the same for ‘Ally McBeal’ / ‘The Practice’.

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