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The Old and New Adventures of Wonder Woman

Culture | September 22, 2017

Wonder Woman made the leap from DC Comics to television in 1975, starring Lynda Carter (who was Miss World America 1972) as the Amazon super heroine for three seasons. With her bullet-deflecting bracelets, tiara, magic belt and golden lasso, she fought villains with style and ease. She had a groovy wardrobe, just because you're in disguise as your alter ego doesn't mean you can't look fabulous! The first season was set in WWII, the second and third season Wonder Woman was set in the late 1970’s. Diana Prince’s wardrobe was a perfect example of the disco-era; she had a collection of floppy hats, wide flared pants, over-sized earrings, flowing satin dresses and huge, Elton John-style glasses. 

When we first meet Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor (played by Lyle Wagoner from The Carol Burnett Show) crashed his airplane on the uncharted island after fighting a Nazi plane. This island just happens to be inhabited by Amazons, lucky guy! Cloris Leachman portrayed Diana Prince’s mother, the Amazon Queen. Diana leaves the island after disguising herself in an Olympic-style fight of Amazons to see who get’s to accompany Steve back home. Against her mother’s wishes, she leaves the island to help Steve fight the Germans. The TV series had her travel around in her invisible airplane, unlike the recent block-buster film. 

In Season One, Diana had a little sister, Wonder Girl, who was played by Debra Winger. Diana takes on the identity of a Navy Yeoman Petty Officer First Class for her alter ego. Season Two had Waggoner's character changed to Steve Trevor Jr., the son of his original character. Another change was the title, which was now “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman”. She become an agent with the Inter-Agency Defense Command (IADC), a CIA / FBI-type organization fighting crime. Also in Season Two, Lynda Carter was behind the craziest stunt of 1970’s TV, she risked her life for the ‘perfect’ shot. She had a stunt double who helped out with dangerous stunts, but this one she did all on her own! While filming the episode,”Anschluss 77” it was apparent that the stunt double didn't look anything like Carter. So with the sun setting and the chance to shoot the scene dwindling, Carter herself held onto the helicopter with her bare hands as it rose up in the air and she dangled from the strut.

Season Three, near the end of its run, Wonder Woman had a serious, emotional story in a two-part episode. Her identity is revealed, as a teenage boy sees Diana transforming into Wonder Woman. She wipes out his memory, but a photo in his pocket at the end of the show suggests the secret might come up again in his mind. This hints at where the series might have gone in a 4th season, in a more dramatic tone and also a move for Diana to Los Angeles.

Now a new audience has fallen in love with Wonder Woman, the 2017 film starring Gal Gadot as the iconic character raked in around half a billion at the box office. This gives new meaning to the term, “Girl Power”! 

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Cyn Felthousen-Post

Writer

Cyn loves history, music, Irish dancing, college football and nature. Social media is also her thing, keeping up with trends and celebrities with positive news. She can be found outside walking or hiking with her son when she's not working. Carpe diem is her fave quote, get out there and seize the day!