Sunday, August 05, 2007

TV Tie-Ins Galore!

A month or two ago I mentioned some Get Smart tie-in paperbacks. Well, I have found a few more, courtesy of a local thrift store (no, not mine).

Now, when it came out in "1960-whenever," I read Martin Caidin's novel Cyborg, which a few years later was TV-formatted (that is, dumbed-down) to become The Six Million Dollar Man.

Believe me, the original novel wasn't 60s-pulp-TV-grade material. Of, yes, it was a fast-paced thriller, but not necessarily directly translatable to TV.

I don't remember much about it -- the bare-bones "in just $6 million bucks I can make you a man" (apologies to Rocky Horror) is there in the original book, it's just .. a little .. more intense and realistic on paper than on the TV screen.

The part of the book's plot that sticks with my memory is, I think, close to the end of the novel. Steve Austin (now remade as a cyborg -- take that, DC!) is traveling in a plane over the desert with a lovely maiden. He has rescued her, or maybe she's a reporter or maybe a scientist, I don't remember.

What I remember is that their plane crashes in the middle of the desert, and these two are the only survivors. Their travails involve trying to capture condensation on a tarp, and conserving body moisture by drinking their own urine (try that on TV).

What saves them is his bionic parts. They are described (I think) as emerging from the desert only dimly conscious. His bionic legs keep on pumping out the miles while she looks like a dried-out mummy (he's carried her in his one bionic arm) and he looks like a rusty robot with flesh flaking off.

Now that's a thriller that may be not ready for prime time!

Sometime I will read this 2nd Cyborg book, also by Caidin, and see if it was writtin in the original's style, or in TV-tie-in style.
Be seeing you!

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