I’m a sucker for teatime TV of the Seventies and Eighties; shows like The Six Million Dollar Man, Chips, Knight Rider, The A Team – I could go on and on. As I get older, I realise I don’t actually remember all that much about what happened in these shows, even though I can remember their theme tunes and opening credits as if I watched them yesterday. One of my favourite aspects of those opening credits was the ‘and’ character who appeared at the end. This slot was usually reserved for the boss and my favourite boss of them all was Oscar Goldman, boss of the bionic man Steve Austin.
Oscar Goldman, played by Richard Anderson, is the head of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence and the man who authorises six million actual dollars to be spent on rebuilding NASA astronaut Steve Austin after he is mortally wounded in a catastrophic rocket accident. Oscar then sends this bionic man on adventures.
Oscar is a snappy dresser who is popular with the ladies. He is a fatherly figure to Steve Austin; fiercely protective, which can lead to a testiness in their relationship as Steve can be a bit of a maverick. When Steve goes AWOL and becomes a stunt man moonlighting as a bounty hunter, their relationship can never be repaired (not sure if that bit is entirely true but Oscar Goldman never did appear in The Fall Guy).
Oscar had an even bigger role in The Bionic Woman, forming a double act with her bionicness Jaime Sommers, and taking centre stage in the crossover three-parter Kill Oscar! when he was abducted by killer robots…
I clearly need to invest in some box sets, as I recall very little of this.
Here are a few more of my favourites bosses. Who are yours?
See you tomorrow for a little surprise.