Illustration for article titled Licensing Problems Wreck Bionic Womans Cyber-Limbs

Why are there no cool cybernetic limbs (like on the left) in the new Bionic Woman TV show? Many of us speculated that the creators thought nanobots were cooler, and regular old cyborgs were too old-school. But it turns out the answer has more to do with legalities, according to creator David Eick:

Part of the challenge, says Eick, was "we only had the rights to the show's title and the character's name, but, legally, we couldn't depict mechanistic technology that involved parts being placed on the body."


I'm guessing this is the same legal circle jerk (involving the novel which the 1970s show was based on) which prevents a DVD release of the Lindsay Wagner series. In other words, Bionic Woman is reflecting our real-life universe: intellectual property keeps us from reaping the benefits of assistive technologies. Private ownership won't even let us imagine some possible futures. As a result, we don't have a cyborg with sturdy machine limbs, we have a much flimsier superhero. Image by Win McNamee for Getty Images.

Not Your Father's 'Bionic Woman'


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