Wonder Woman – The Complete First Season

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman (Princess Diana aka Diana Prince)
Lyle Waggoner as Major Steve Trevor
Beatrice Colen as Etta Candy
Richard Eastham as Gen. Phil Blankenship
Debra Winger as Drusilla / Wonder Girl
Red Buttons as Ashley Norman
Cloris Leachman as The Queen
Carolyn Jones as Queen Hippolyta

Special Features:
All 14 episodes from 1976-77 season including the pilot with commentary by Lynda Carter and producer Douglas S. Cramer

Beauty, Brawn, and Bulletproof Bracelets: A Wonder Woman Retrospective

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Mono Sound
Running Time: 725 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the entire first season of the Wonder Woman TV series from the 1970′s. It is based on the DC Comic.

During World War II, Major Steve Trevor crash lands on a mysterious island in the Bermuda Triangle. There, an immortal race of Amazonian warriors live in peace and happiness isolated from the outside world. These women have extraordinary strength and powers as well as magical technology. Despite Trevor’s intrusion in their paradise, they nurse him back to health and promise to return him to the United States. He also catches the eye of Princess Diana. Smitten with this unique man, she volunteers to venture away from the island and return Trevor to Washington.

As Diana returns with Trevor to the U.S., she vows to stay with him until he regains his health. But as she becomes familiar with this new civilization, she discovers that her extraordinary powers are needed in this time of war. Wonder Woman, as she is dubbed, stops bank robbers, uncovers Nazi spies, and thwarts a bombing of the U.S. Seeing that she can make a difference and stay close to her love Steve Trevor, she becomes his secretary under the disguise of Diana Prince. Thus begins the new adventures of Wonder Woman!

Fourteen episodes are included on this DVD set:

Pilot – The New Original Wonder Woman
Episode 1 – Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther
Episode 2 – Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman
Episode 3 – Beauty on Parade
Episode 4 – The Feminum Mystique Part 1
Episode 5 – The Feminum Mystique Part 2
Episode 6 – Wonder Woman vs. Gargantua!
Episode 7 – The Pluto File
Episode 8 – Last Of The Two Dollar Bills
Episode 9 – Judgment From Outer Space Part 1
Episode 10 – Judgment From Outer Space Part 2
Episode 11 – Formula 407
Episode 12 – The Bushwhackers
Episode 13 – Wonder Woman in Hollywood

These episodes aren’t rated.

The Movie:
Like anyone that grew up in the 70′s, I religiously watched Wonder Woman. How could anyone resist the action, adventure, and Lynda Carter? All these years later I found myself watching the episodes again with my children who are now Wonder Woman fans. As soon as the catchy theme song comes on the screen, they can’t help but start dancing around (and it’s been stuck in my head ever since I watched it again).

I had forgotten that the first season was set during World War II. That’s actually faithful to the original comic. (Wonder Woman also briefly wears a skirt in the pilot which is faithful to the original comic, too.) WWII was actually a great setting for the series. It gave the show a retro feel and offered Wonder Woman plenty of villains to fight. And since Wonder Woman is practically dressed in the American flag, it’s additionally fitting that she be a WWII heroine.

One thing I did remember about the show was that it was cheesy, but I had forgotten just how cheesy it was. The effects were pretty B-grade. Shots of Wonder Woman flying in her invisible jet (with silly music in the background) were always bizarre. Much of the dialogue was bad, especially when Wonder Woman preached on the virtues of feminism. I could go on and on about the cheese, but that’s actually part of the fun of going back and watching the show. It doesn’t make it timeless, but it does offer some good laughs.

The most noteworthy thing about Wonder Woman was the casting of Lynda Carter. Rarely has a comic book character been so perfectly cast. Carter as Wonder Woman is on par with Christopher Reeve as Superman or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine as far as being the definitive person to play a comic character. Carter didn’t play the role as campy or stupid. She played Wonder Woman as a straight up action heroine and it worked. They could have easily gone the route of the old Batman series as far as trying to be too “comic book” or campy, but they didn’t. It didn’t hurt that Carter was stunningly beautiful, a worthy person to be the object of so many schoolboy crushes.

Wonder Woman also featured a real parade of co-stars and guest stars. There were cameos by Red Buttons, Cloris Leachman, Carolyn Jones (aka Morticia Adams), Roy Rogers, and a ton of others. They usually played silly characters, but it didn’t seem to matter when they were opposite Lynda Carter. Nobody really noticed. You also had to hand it to Waggoner who played Major Steve Trevor. He was handsome, equally serious about the role, and a great damsel in distress. I had also forgotten about Debra Winger as Drusilla, Wonder Woman’s little sister. It was quite a start for Winger who later went on to become a big name actress. It’s amusing to see how she started out.

I think if you’re a comic fan or if you’d just like a blast from the 70′s, then this Wonder Woman DVD is well worth checking out. It was a fun trip down memory lane and seeing it makes me eager to see a Wonder Woman movie done right. I think the character is well poised to take advantage of the recent wave of comic book films.

The Extras:
There are two extras included on this DVD:

Pilot with commentary by Lynda Carter and producer Douglas S. Cramer – This commentary is a lot of fun mainly because it’s the first time that Lynda Carter had seen it in quite a while. She laughs in amusement at how young she looks, talks about what it was like to film the show, the costume, the effects, and more. Her comments about the theme song are even interesting. Douglas S. Cramer also has lots of stories about how they got the show made. It’s a commentary well worth listening to.

Beauty, Brawn, and Bulletproof Bracelets: A Wonder Woman Retrospective – This is a great 20 or so minute documentary on Wonder Woman. There are interviews with Wonder Woman experts, artist Alex Ross, and of course Lynda Carter. You learn that Wonder Woman was created by the inventor of the lie detector (hence the magic lasso that makes people tell the truth), Lynda Carter came up with the idea of spinning to change costume, tricks about the effects, and more. It’s refreshing to see Carter so positive and enthusiastic about the role that was the defining one of her career. She also makes an interesting comment about how she wished she could see Wonder Woman become a mother because it is an aspect of womanhood that the character never explored. All in all, this is a first rate documentary. I just wish Lyle Waggoner had been interviewed.

The Bottom Line:
Comic fans will thoroughly enjoy getting Wonder Woman on DVD, but everyone else may want to consider the price before buying it. How much is a trip down memory lane worth?

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