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Why the Six Million Dollar Man (review) is moving a little slowly
16 April 2012

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many are a hundred worth? It's a rhetorical question. I can do the maths, thank you.

We do tend to specialise in long and detailed reviews on this site. Take a look at Camus's recent coverage of The Cabin in the Woods. It's as long as a good many reviews out there, but our man still felt the need to classify it as a capsule review because it was shorter and a shade less analytical than the site norm. Of course, there's an argument for saying that we should do shorter reviews and cover more releases, a debate we've had a few times here too. But this is how we write and has become the site style, which has in turn attracted writers who also prefer to write lengthy reviews. It's a tough habit to break. Recently one of our reviewers made a pledge that he was going to keep his future submissions to eight-hundred words. Two reviews later he was back to his usual review length.

This does mean that reviews can sometimes take a little longer to write than they might if we were more concise (or should that be hurried?), and we thus get a little apprehensive when it comes to taking on box sets or television series. The latter in particular tend to get particularly detailed coverage, including personal reflections on individual episodes. It's perhaps for that reason that we tend to restrict such coverage to series we already have a strong affection for, which gives us a head start on the reviews because we already know the series in question. But to take on a series with which we're not familiar or only vaguely remember from childhood requires a disproportionate amount of time to cover in our usual detail, and would effectively put all other reviews on hold. And we do have day jobs and lives to lead. Honest.

Thus when we were offered the chance to review The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Collection, we passed. Yes, the series made a big impression on Camus and I in our younger days, but everything about how my tastes have changed in the intervening years was telling me I'd now look at the show with a twinge of embarrassment. And if I balk at the prospect of five disc sets, how on earth was I going to cope with one consisting of a staggering FORTY discs. Yes, you read that right. A hundred episodes spread over five series, plus something like seventeen hours of extra features. By our estimate this would take two of us something like four months to cover in our usual detail (and that's if we abandoned all other disc and film coverage and put our personal lives on hold), and the resulting review would go on for pages. No, not remotely possible.

Seemingly sympathetic to the work required to cover such a release in any real detail, distributor Fabulous Films (too good to be true, isn't it) put the release back by a few weeks. We still didn't bite. Then, to my horror, the buggers turned up anyway. All fifty of them. An email exchange with Camus confirmed my initial assessment, that this was too big a job for us to take on and do appropriate justice to. Then a few days ago, with the release date looming, I had a completely inexplicable change of heart and suggested that instead of our usual approach we take a more generalised look at the series, one that compared how the impact the show had on us as kids to how it plays now.

We're thus in the process of completely immersing ourselves in the world of Steve Austin, fully aware that the release date is already upon us, but determined nonetheless to do some sort of justice to the work that has clearly gone into making this the definitive Six Million Dollar Man DVD collection. So be assured, late though it may be, it's definitely on the way. And you know what? Immersing ourselves back in the world of Steve Austin has actually proved rather fun. Ah, nostalgia. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him...