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Saturday, November 01, 2008


The Bionic Woman: The Return of Bigfoot, Part 2
Music by Joe Harnell
JHCD 25 (US)
24 Tracks 46:09 mins

Despite the composer sadly no longer being with us, his website,, continues to put out recordings of his music, recently releasing his score for the second part of the original Bionic Woman adventure The Return of Bigfoot, Part 2. Part 1 was scored by J.J. Johnson, and was an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man series, for which Johnson was composer of choice. It was an interesting move to continue the story as part of the Bionic Woman series.
When Harnell came to score the episode, the only material he utilised from part 1 was the Six Million Dollar Man theme, as of course Steve Austin (Lee Majors) guest starred alongside Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner. Austin had originally encountered the bionically enhanced bigfoot and its alien creators in an earlier adventure, where the creature was played by Andre The Giant. For The Return, Addams Family star Ted Cassidy (Lurch, the family butler) took over the role.
Although Jerry Fielding wrote the original Bionic Woman theme, which was used over the main titles of every show, Harnell wrote his own main title theme which, though not featured in the show, is featured in this recording, first appearing as track 2, following the opening "Part One Recap," a mostly tense affair, though ending with quite a light variation on the SMD theme. Harnell's theme is revealed as a flowing slice of adventure, and its inclusion here is most welcome, a shorter version being heard over the "End Credit."
The score proper that follows is largely a mix of tension and action, in familiar '70s TV music style, though harking back a little to the '60s in its rhythms that at times could easily have come from something like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Indeed,some of this music does seem to come a little too close for comfort to material written for that show.
For Bigfoot, the composer came up with a suitably menacing and relentless affair, heard first in "Jaime Vs. Bigfoot," but reprised whenever the big man is on the scene. Harnell used similar music for his subsequent Incredible Hulk rampages. By complete contrast, there is a romantic trumpet-lead jazz theme, representing the attraction felt by Stefanie Powers' alien Shalon for Steve, first heard in "Shalon's Choice."
Overall, then an entertaining score and a nice reminder of a memorable episode of a series I followed faithfully in my youth.
The album concludes with four alternate takes, plus four timpani cues, part of a library of music Harnell composed for tracking into shows as necessary throughout the series, all very reminiscent of Richard Shores' U.N.C.L.E. music. All this, and an accompanying booklet with Randall D. Larson's detailed notes on the show and its music. Order your copy from


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