Based on Characters Created by William M. Marston
Starring Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Norman Burton
- All twenty-one second season episodes plus the feature-length season premiere
- Docu: “Revolutionizing a Classic: From Comic Book to Television”
Released by: Warner Brothers.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Fans will want it.
It’s the 1970s now, and after helping America through World War II (in the first season), Diana (Carter) has returned from Paradise Island to protect the world once more. She’s allied herself with Steve Trevor’s son (played by Waggoner, who played Trevor, Sr., natch) and joined the Inter-Agency Defense Command. Sadly, she’s not protecting us from 70s fashion or disco, but from baddies like The Pied Piper (Martin Mull) and an evil toymaker (Frank Gorshin).
It’s hard to explain this series to somebody who was never there. I’m watching this little kid in the grocery store scan items in the self-checkout lane for her mother and marveling at how she’ll probably remember people whose job it was to do that for you as a weird novelty thing. “Imagine that.” Same thing with kids today looking back on shows like this one. It’s cheesy. Hell, we knew that back in the day while watching it. But it still manages to work.
The main reason for this is Lynda Carter. Andy Mangels (who covered the hell out of this show in the pages of TwoMorrows’ Back Issue) basically stole my line. Or I stole it from him first from his articles. There are two actors that spring to mind when you think of them playing iconic versions of superheroes. First up is Christopher Reeve for Superman. And a close second is Carter. She just is Wonder Woman. Your belief in her character makes up for any of the cornball special effects (or lack thereof) such as the really godawful invisible plane flying shot.
This season is evidence of the creative team trying to figure out how to make this work and keep working. They left the World War II era for the 70s, they lost all of the characters (but kept Waggoner), they brought in a boss to give Diana assignments, then later on canned him and gave Waggoner’s character a promotion to essentially push him to the side in favor of more focus on their lead character. There’s the mildly terrible full body swimsuit, then the even more terrible biker uniform (the swimsuit with a helmet). But somehow, again, Carter is the glue that holds it together and makes it work.
This set has only one feature: a docu where they talk with executive producer Douglas S. Cramer and Carter, but most of the time is spent with comic book artists Phil Jimenez, Adam Hughes and Alex Ross. This is nice because it’s going at it from two perspectives: Cramer’s there to talk about the new directions for the show and the artists are there to gush over Carter and talk about how they thought the series rocked when they were growing up. Mangels is on hand to provide info on the series as well–and seriously, if you’re a fan of this series, the Back Issue is ridiculous with stuff.
If you’re a fan of the show, then you’re going to love this set no matter what. If you’re on the fence, or if you don’t get it, it’s not going to make a believer out of you. You should at least give it a rental for posterity’s sake. Keep your giggling to a minimum, ya damn kids.