Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

It took a few tries before Wonder Woman made the successful leap from comic book to television screen. But once Lynda Carter donned the patriotic (and skintight) Lycra suit of this Amazonian princess, loyal fans of this 70 prime-time series arrived in droves to admire, ogle and cheer, each and every week.

After a failed pilot starring Cathy Lee Crosby in the title role, another pilot was released with Carter as the lead and more attention paid to the original comic book backstory. In that pilot, we meet WWII pilot Steve Trevor who crash lands on Paradise Island in the Bermuda Triangle. The island is populated by beautiful, immortal Amazons whose main power comes from the magical mineral “Feminum” that gives extraordinary powers.

The queen’s daughter, Diana, nurses the pilot back to health and chooses to be the one who returns him to his world. Diana, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, leaves Paradise for the war-torn United States, where she takes a job as Trevor’s secretary and uses the name Diana Prince as an alias. She also wears her hair in a bun and wears thick-rimmed glasses, ensuring that no one can recognize her.

Wonder Woman spends much of her fighting Nazi spies and agents using her golden belt, her bullet-deflecting bracelets, her truth lasso and her invisible plane. Memorably, Wonder Woman herself is not invisible while riding in the invisible plane, which is probably why she needs the bullet-deflecting bracelets.

For its second season, the show moved to CBS with one major change–action now took place in the modern day and Diana teamed up with Steve Trevor’s son, Steve Jr. There were fewer Nazis in the 70s (except in the second episode of the season, which did have Nazis) but there were still plenty of non-Nazi criminals to fight.

Wonder Woman had several trademark moves she used in every episode. For her transformation from Diana Prince to Wonder Woman, she twirled around really fast and in a flash of explosion, she was in the lycra suit. Whenever a bad guy tried to shoot her, she crossed her forearms in front of her to deflect the bullets with her bracelets. And when she needed the interrogate someone, Wonder Woman simply lassoed them in with her truth lariat and they sang like canaries.

For the third season, plotlines were introduced to reel in younger viewers. As a result, Wonder Woman became well acquainted with skateboarders, rollercoasters and discos. Her fighting style changed as well, becoming more physical and violent though still tame by today’s standards. Robots, invincible chimps and Wolfman Jack also made an appearance during this season. Really, there was something for everyone.

CBS cancelled Wonder Woman in 1979, moving The Incredible Hulk into her timeslot. The emerald guy with the muscles and infamous temper had a fine show of his own, but he didn’t do Lycra nearly as well. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, was a true hero and inspiration – someone that many a young girl aspired to be, and many a young boy aspired to be with.

Did you tune into the heroic adventures of Wonder Woman each week? We’d love to hear all of your memories of this popular series in our comments section below.

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