Wonder Woman, New Adventures of [Season 2, Episode 1]
The Return of Wonder Woman
This is an 80-minute special that introduces the campy 1970s show.
In her secret identity as Diana Prince [US secret agent] Wonderwoman wears a Clark Kent disguise. The difference between her and Superman [beyond the obvious] is that she spins OUTSIDE a phone booth, not in one. Of note, when she has changed into the special costume her normal-wear clothes are skimpier than her swimsuit!
Diana Prince goes to South America, and uncovers a Nazi plot to clone Adolf Hitler.
Guest-star Lew Ayres plays a scientist who develops a telekinesis machine. His test-subject, a middle-aged Japanese man, steals the machine and kidnaps the scientist. Diana Prince is called in to investigate. James Hong [a Chinese-American] plays the Japanese Ambassador.
As a boy the Jap was one of the Nisei, a civilian held in a Relocation [ie Concentration] camp in New Mexico. He uses his power to kidnap Steve [Lyle Waggoner]. Outwitted, Wonder Woman uses the memorable line I'll do whatever you want, unless it breaks any laws. Of course, there is a happy-happy ending.
The USA has built a secret nuclear reactor in the Bermuda Triangle, and only Diana Prince thinks this is dangerous! Of course, this is because her secret home is near there ...
The arch-villain is Raymond Manta - Deadly as the Manta Ray, we are told. This leads to a James Bond type situation, where the two Agents creep around his secret base [the South California Lighthouse used in V: Final Battle ] and avoid his small private army.
With the exception of a couple of studio shots, most of this episode takes place outdoors. This lets the Director use some stock footage of Pacific islands and US warships. The other give-away about the episode is that because it was filmed in South California there are lots of palm trees in view!
Manta notes that war leads to famine which leads to pestilence. To profit he sells guns, then food, then medicine. Of course, our so-called heroes must keep the world safe ... for American business interests!!!
One observation about this kind of show is that it implies the US Military-Industrial Complex has only ONE Agency, with only TWO Agents!
Diana goes to LA [without Waggoner] to defeat The Movement - a revolutionary group seemly based on the Symbionese Liberation Army and financed by the KGB. She meets a cabbie who looks like Paul Hogan, and we get to see her in a REAL swimsuit!
A Rock Musician hypnotizes young women into stealing for him.
Roddy McDowall [ Planet Of The Apes ] plays a mad scientist who uses a laser weapon to create volcanic eruptions around the world.
The Skrill - alien mind-thieves - are out to take over the world's top brains.
Frank Gorshin plays a mad toymaker who uses human androids to steal top-secret plans.
Special Guest Star Barney from Mission: Impossible hires the undercover Diana Prince to break into a secret vault. She is smuggled in using an ancient sarcophagus [on rollers!!], but has to use her super-powers to get out. One of her fellow robbers has a soft spot for her, but this is never developed. Neither is the fact that Barney's robbery doesn't threaten world peace or NATO security - it probably doesn't even fracture any laws!
Henry Gibson [ The Burbs ] plays an athlete-kidnapping megalomaniac.
Wonderwoman faces off against an occult magician.
A villainous master of disguise steals the Agency's supercomputer/AI. Diana Prince struts around in high heels, while as Wonderwoman her activities are limited to defeating non-human obstacles.
The real revelation of the episode is the robot dog. Its vocabulary is limited to meep meep and aw shit, but the fact that it lays explosive turds speaks volumes!
A janitor accidentally invents a hi-explosive formula. Diana Prince is assigned to compete for the formula against the rightful owners and some Industrial spies.
This episode has little or none of Lyle Waggoner in view - but then, nobody watches it for him anyhow. Instead, Diana gets a benji-looking mutt as her new sidekick. She has to rescue a pre-teen Amazon girl who has Wonderwoman-type powers! Villains want a tame Wonderwoman they can force to help them.
Wonderwoman states that she can't stop the submarine - but in the Bermuda Triangle episode she out-swims an ultra-modern one. Then she wipes the villains' minds and lets the cops lead them away. They aren't given their Miranda rights, but that doesn't matter because they can't confess anyway - she wiped their memories, remember?
Diana Prince visits a small Midwest town near a rocket range. The rocket's guidance system is the telekinesis helmet from the episode The Man Who Could Move The World.
The Action is mostly in long-shot, so we aren't supposed to realise that the stunts are done by men! We get to see Wonderwoman chained to a bed. Also, we discover that she has a biker costume - well, it's her so-called swimsuit with a motorbike helmet on top.
List of Books available at AMAZON.com (what better place to buy stuff about an amazon than on amazon)
Diana Prince gets a new partner this episode, as they go undercover to find a gang of car thieves led by Lance DeGault. Wonderwoman herself has very little to do. The new guy [a detective who specialises in stolen cars] gets most of the screen time. Lyle Waggoner sits around the office and talks to an AI.
The McGuffin is a roll of microfilm with details of an enemy weapon system on it, so the OSI can build a defence against it and maintain the balance of power. This is irrelevant to the episode itself, which is more like a lacklustre episode of a mundane cop show. Worst of all, the usual theme song has been replaced!
Roddy McDowell ( Planet of the Apes ) is a brainwashing scientist. Ed Begley Jnr gets mind-controlled, and art thefts are the result.
Wolfman Jack [American Graffiti] plays a psychic vampire.
Joan Van Ark plays a greedy 22nd-Century scientist.
The story concerns a Billionaire's disembodied brain.
Wonderwoman faces an alien criminal who is able to assume any shape.