THE NEW ORIGINAL WONDER WOMAN (1975)
Article 3399 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-23-2010
Posting Date: 12-4-2010
Directed by Leonard Horn
Featuring Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, John Randolph
What it is: Super hero TV pilot
During World War II, when an American pilot ends up on Paradise Island (the home of a race of Amazons) after having been badly injured, he is escorted back to the states by the queen’s daughter. The woman, who is immortal and has special powers, decides to stay and battle the Nazi threat.
I’ve never seen the TV series that was spawned from this pilot, so I’m coming to it fresh. Right off the bat, I noticed two things I like about this pilot (and I know what you’re thinking, so get your mind out of the gutter). First of all, I like the touch that they decided to opt for the period setting. Second, I like that they decided to go the route of light-hearted action adventure, walking a thin line between outright comedy while avoiding being overly serious. Any movie in which the Nazis are played by Stella Stevens, Red Buttons and Kenneth Mars is bound to be on the lighter side, and the addition of Henry Gibson (as a double agent) and Cloris Leachman (as the queen of the Amazons) adds to the fun. On the down side, Wonder Woman’s powers don’t seem particularly impressive; she doesn’t even twirl that silver lariat of hers, and though her reflexes are fast enough to deflect bullets, they don’t really seem all that impressive during the flimsy fight scenes here. Nevertheless, this was quite fun, and Lynda Carter plays the title role with the right amount of aplomb. Oh, and there are two other things I do like about this one (and you’re free to let your mind go anywhere it wants at this point).