Wonder Woman Season 1 Episode 1

The Wonder Woman series of the 1970's is a show that has a place near and dear to my heart. I loved this show as a kid. Lynda Carter is my first love. I don't know if I had ever seen the pilot before. Most of the reruns I saw as a kid were the episodes that took place in the 70's. One thing I was struck by is the tone of the pilot. I watched the 90 minute tv movie version. It seemed like they were trying for the campy Batman '66 feel, but it didn't quite make it. There were odd moments like Cloris Leachman as Queen Hippolyta biting her knuckles while talking about barbaric masculinity. There is Howard Gibson who seemed to think he was doing a skit on Laugh-In.

But Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner played their parts straight, keeping the whole thing from falling into the realm of complete farce. And while I'm ready to forgive bad special effects (honestly they are at least as good as those in Superboy almost 10 years later) and plot holes in a comic book sjow from the 70's, some things are just too silly to overlook. Things like the fact that the Amazons apparently all hang out on Paradise Island wearing nightgowns 24/7. Or the fact that they have been separate from the world for 1,000 years and have no signs of technology, except for the gun they have for their "ancient" ritual of bullets and bracelets and their invisible plane. Or that even though they have never heard of the U.S. they designed Diana's costume to look like Old Glory.

The plot is pretty standard, Nazi spies, secret bomber, clandestine plan to blow up a bomb sight prototype. The fight scenes are somewhat less than outstanding, with the judo trained Nazi spy seeming to rely less on her martial arts skills and more on WWE style chair bashing. Toward the end it looks like the budget may have begun to run out as the sets get noticeably cheaper looking. All of the secondary characters are more hammy than Porky Pig.

Still, even with all of this the show has charm. Of course most of that is Lynda Carter, who could probably sell a show of her reading a phone book, as long as she was wearing that red, white and blue bustier. Add in her running on a beach, throwing crooks around, and getting in a cat fight (no matter how poorly lit) and of course it is entertainment gold. I know I haven't talked much about the story, but surely everyone knows about Steve Trevor crashing on Paradise Island and being returned to the world of man by Princess Diana who then becomes Wonder Woman. The Nazi spy ring story is hardly an edge of your seat cliff hanger, even you haven't seen it before.  Being honest, Lynda and Lyle are the main reason to watch this. But rest assured, they are enough. I can't wait to watch the rest of this series.


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