Tuesday, August 16, 2011
CULT TV FLASHBACK #139: The New Adventures of Wonder Woman: "The Boy Who Knew Her Secret" (1979)
Although producer David E. Kelley's 2011 Wonder Woman pilot starring Adrianne Palicki didn't make it to regular series status, longtime fans of the Amazonian super-heroine can continue to make do with the classic 1970s series starring Lynda Carter, currently available on DVD.
As you may recall, this cult-tv program ran for three seasons and 59 episodes on both CBS and ABC, and went first by the name The New, Original Wonder Woman and then The New Adventures of Wonder Woman.
In its first regular series iteration, Wonder Woman was set during the World War II era of the 1940s, as Wonder Woman (Carter) and air force pilot Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) battled the Axis Powers. In its second, perhaps more hip iteration, the still-youthful Wonder Woman/Diana Prince returned to America during the disco decade and again allied with a man named Trevor, only this time with Steve's son: Steve Jr. (also played by Waggoner). Like her comic-book counterpart, the TV version of Wonder Woman possessed an arsenal of fanciful weaponry, including a lasso that could make men tell the truth, and bullet-proof gold bracelets made of "feminum." On some occasions, the TV series even utilized Wonder Woman's famous invisible plane.
In the 1970s-era stories of the final two seasons, Diana Prince worked for a top-secret government agency called IADC (Inter Agency Defense Command), and often undertook solo missions of great danger, ones involving alien invasions and other diabolical, earth-shattering threats. She battled the Skrill and the evil Sardaur in "Mind Stealers from Outer Space" and also fought statue-makers, toy-makers and assassins galore. In the end, however, potential boyfriend and lover Steve Trevor became a desk bound boss like The Six Million Dollar Man's Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson), far removed from the action. Instead, Wonder Woman occasionally teamed in the field with resourceful teenagers, or even sassy kids ("The Man Who Could Not Die.")