- You may also be looking for the episode, Max
|Character played by: Bracken|
|Family/Relatives||Jaime Sommers, owner|
|Spouse(s) (if any:)|
|BW|| "The Bionic Dog"|
"The Bionic Dog (Part II)"
"Escape to Love"
"The Martians Are Coming, the Martians Are Coming"
"Which One Is Jaime?"
"On The Run"
|Reunion||Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (mentioned)|
Maximillian — often called simply "Max" — is a bionic German Shepherd dog. He is a recurring character from the third and final (1978) season of The Bionic Woman. Max was donated for laboratory use at the age of four months, and was critically injured in a chemical lab fire. At a time when Dr. Rudy Wells needed to test his bionic prototype, Max was the strong-willed animal that the OSI was looking for. The bionic implantation procedure cost one million dollars. Max had four bionic legs and a bionic jaw.
Max was confined to the West Coast Lab Kennel for observation for four years because he appeared to be experiencing a new kind of bionic rejection that comes with age. Max was scheduled for autopsy to investigate the possible health threat to the OSI's human cyborgs. However, Jaime Sommers discovered the problem was actually depression brought on by the prolonged confinement. Due to the lab fire, Max also suffered from severe pyrophobia that caused him to lash out at anyone handling any kind of flame. Eventually, Jaime was able to help Max overcome his depression, conquer his fear of fire, and convince Oscar Goldman of Max's mental stability. Jaime adopted Max after their first mission together.
Even while suffering from pyrophobia, Max still performed heroic deeds. Most notably, upon seeing a car rolling down a hill with a child inside, Max broke out of Jaime's car, ran after the car rolling down the hill, seized its rear bumper in his jaws, and brought the car to a stop with his bionic strength. Jaime takes him to the Elgin’s but after Jim lights the fireplace Max runs away. Oscar says that he must agree with Rudy and put Max down but Jaime refuses that outcome and runs away with Max. The pair end up going to Roger Grette an ex of Jaime and a park ranger. Max ends up running away after a fire is lit for dinner, he ends fighting a wolf that was attacked a flock of sheep. The owner of the sheep shoots Max thinking he was the one that attacked his flock. The bullet hits his jaw, damaging it. Jaime worried runs off to try and find him. Max ends up saving the same man that shot after he became caught in a bear trap however the injured bionic jaw ends up causing Max severe pain and driving him insane. The sparks from the injured bionic ends up igniting a fire in the woods. With the fire causing him PTSD he attacks Jaime but she manages to pull out a wire removing the pain and bringing Max back to normal. Roger finds them and the trio find an old steam engine in the middle of the Forrest fire. They get it running but Roger and Jaime fall unconscious from the smoke. Max runs off and overcomes his fear to save Jaime. He finds Oscar and Rudy and saves Jaime and Rogers lives.
Max is sent to Valerie a bionic scientist and her teenage nephew Bobby, while Jaime is receiving a bionic tuneup. While out for a walk with Bobby, Max is kidnapped by some goons who want to use him to uncover the secrets to bionics. Max refuses to cooperate so the goons kidnap Valerie so she can make Max do as they ask. Max freed himself from his cage and escaped, but Valerie remained kidnapped. Bobby eventually finds Max and the dog leads him back to the hideout to save Valerie. Bobby is captured so Max comes in to save them both, biting through their restraints. The trio run from the goons but Max steals the lead goons gun and breaks the chain on the fence, allowing them to escape as Oscar and his OSI agents arrive. Max and Jamie are reunited and return home to Ojai.
Max also was unusually intelligent. He was able to free himself while kidnapped in Max, opening his cage by biting the lock and opening the door that was trapping him. He was able to maneuver his way around the hideout and eventually escape. He was able to feed himself by biting open a can of dog food with his bionic jaw and pouring it into his food bowl. In one episode Max indicated to Jaime that he wanted her to make him spaghetti by bringing her a cookbook and opening it to the page with the recipe for spaghetti.
Max's fate after the end of the series is never revealed. However, eight years after his introduction, Rudy Wells refers to Max when talking about bionic breakthroughs with Steve Austin in Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, saying, "After Max, I went back to the drawing board." Since he is not present, Max presumably died before the time of the film (1987). If he were still alive, Max would have been 17 years old, an unusually long life for a German Shepherd.
Season 4 Comic
Max had his jaw and all four legs enhanced with bionics.
His legs give him both super strength and speed. He can run as fast as 90mph, surpassing his human bionic counterparts. He can also jump greater and farther then a normal dog, he was shown leaping over 10 feet high and over 15 feet in length. He could also safely land a fall from over 2 stories from the OSI headquarters. His legs were also capable of easily punching through glass windows and knocking down doors.
His jaw is strong enough to bite through solid steel, and also straight through wood, rubber, and even a bionic arm. In the lab where he was kept, a weight used to test Max’s strength was shown at 800lbs. In combination with his legs, Max was strong enough to stop a runaway car and pull it back to safety.
When his jaw was damaged by a bullet it ended up causing him severe pain and driving him insane due to the circuitry being connected to his brain.
He was also given a computer that kept track of his vitals and and contained a homing device. The device allowed his location to be found within 8km but its signal could be jammed.
In Issue #4 of The Bionic Man (Dynamite), Max is given a new backstory as a former drug detecting dog for the US Border. He was attacked after discovering the stash of a corrupt cop. Rudy used him as a test for bionics and saved him, keeping him as a pet in the OSI headquarters. He is later used by Rudy and Spencer to convince Steve to go through his bionic procedure. Showing him that it can be done safely and successfully.
In a further issue, he ends up saving Steve’s life by attacking the Bigfoot creature but is killed in the process.
This version of Max never meets Jaime, only interacting with Steve. Max additionally had his skull, ribs and spine bionically enhanced.