Steve Austin: One Leg Or Two?

So today at lunch, our nutty little minds started talking about Steve Austin — The Six Million Dollar Man, not the wrestler! — and one of our gang waxed on (and waxed off?) about the challenges Steve would’ve really had, as he only had one bionic leg, not two.

Randy’s contention was that while Steve may be able to run 60mph, he would only be able to do it in a circle, as his more human leg wouldn’t be able to keep up. Kinda like a big Curly, just doin’ doughnuts.

Now, I’d always believed that Steve had two bionic legs, thus making him able to not only go straight, but turn in whatever direction was necessary to thwart the bad guys.

So, who’s right?

Well, there seems to be no official answer that we’ve been able to find. There are anecdotal pieces at Nostalgia Central and the Wikipedia supporting my theory of symmetry. The closest thing I can come up with for proof is the opening sequence, which can be found here, and clearly shows that Steve had two bionic legs.

However, Randy was able to find other folks’ websites whose memories were different, and that Steve was not as symmetrical.

In his own defense, Randy found evidence of Mike Power, The Atomic Man, who was constructed with but one mega-leg. In fact the center panel on the comic strip confirms that Mike was not a dazzling marathon runner, but was more a 200mph pogo stick… despite visually appearing to run on a treadmill. Blatant disregard for the laws of physics! 🙂

(BTW, there’s tons of data out there about the show, too many fan stories, lots of speculation on the whole world of bionics and why it would or wouldn’t work. Wow…)

So we have no definitive answer. None. A whole day’s mental cycles spent, and no answer to this glaring question of ’70s pop culture. Oh well. I think I’ll still be able to sleep tonight!