3/24/10

The Boob Tube #13: The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (part one)


I think the best way to spread the love for Wonder Woman is to simply guide you through a typical episode. The episode I have chosen is one of my personal favorites: "The Bermuda Triangle". In the 1970's, there was a huge interest in the paranormal and unexplained. Leonard Nimoy led the pack with "In Search of...", and there was a nationwide fascination with Bigfoot, UFO's and The Loch Ness Monster.  Not least of all, was interest in The Bermuda Triangle, also called The Devil's Triangle.  This episode of Wonder Woman capitalizes on this craze.





It begins at headquarters where Diana Prince and Steve Trevor are briefed about a naval vessel going down in the dreaded Devil's Triangle.

The US government believes a notorious criminal, Raymond Manta, is behind it all. Once Manta is eliminated the US can build nuclear testing facility in that area.... not far from Paradise Island!

So, Diana is faced with a moral dilemma - her civic duty is to get rid of Manta, but in doing so, she will be aiding in placing a nuclear site right next to her homeland. She decides to consult her mom telepathically.  Evidently, this involves getting dressed like Wonder Woman - any excuse to get Linda Carter in that outfit!


Her mother's only advice is to tell her some cryptic saying: "When you see the heart of darkness, you will begin to see the light." WTF? Thanks a lot mom!

En route to their destination in The Triangle, Steve confides to Diana that The Bermuda Triangle killed his dad. A heartwarming moment ensues, until Raymond Manta spots their plane and tries to bring it down. A strange laser or tractor beam is emitted from an uncharted island, disabling their jet.


To save themselves, Steve and Diana must parachute out. Luckily, they land on an uncharted desert isle.  And lucky for the viewers, their clothes are all torn. Diana must wear some torn Daisy Dukes and Steve must go shirtless, exposing his macho hairiness. Don't criticize: this is critical to the storyline!



As it turns out, this island happens to be Raymond Manta's secret military installation. Steve and Diana quickly spring into action and "MacGyver" some sort of fuse box to send a transmission to HQ, signalling  their location.


Steve and Diana disguise themselves as members of Manta's Army (bye bye hot-pants); but, alas, it is to no avail. The are captured, given a "Dr. Evil" style speech by Raymond Manta, and put behind bars.

It would seem, Manta's soldiers aren't exactly high caliber men of war. Check out this next screen capture... Barny Fife was never this incompetent! He falls asleep with an automatic weapon within arms-reach of the prisoner?!?


So, Diana is able to escape and turns into Wonder Woman.  She locates a building conveniently labeled "munitions" which has a dozen or so mines happily lying around. She grabs one and tosses it into the ocean. What could Wonder Woman be up to?


Then the unthinkable happens - Wonder Woman changes into an entirely new suit! This never happened in the first season! When you think about it, this is actually an awesome power to change outfits at will - she is creating matter, a godlike ability that not many superheroes possess.

This outfit is for ocean adventures. Perhaps, the shows producers saw an avenue to make money off Wonder Woman merchandising and have a variety of suits for the kids to buy. Just a guess.


Wonder Woman swims to Raymond Manta's deadly submarine, The Stingray and attaches the mine to its side (eat your heart out, Aquaman). Manta's secret weapon is obliterated, and Manta is one pissed off son of a bitch. He's going to destroy the entire island with everyone on it, with a push of a button. He wouldn't!


Then, quite abruptly, Wonder Woman captures Manta, saves Steve, and the island is evacuated before it detonates.


What about Wonder Woman's moral dilemma? Now that Manta is out of commission, I guess the US military can build its nuclear testing facility near Paradise Island, right? Wrong. Buy a stroke of luck, the fissures created by the explosion of the island, the US military rendered this area too unstable for a nuclear site. Moral dilemma avoided!

But what of mama's cryptic message, ""When you see the heart of darkness, you will begin to see the light"? What did it mean? Not a freaking clue.  

Stay tuned for part 2 to Spreading the Love for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman.

9 comments:

  1. Great review, man! Totally agree with you on your love for the 70s WW. And the ability to change outfits was awesome and totally believable to us kids back then.

    You also hit on something I think is all too often missing from tv shows today - entertainment purely for entertainment sake. Those were the days, eh?

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  2. So, her pants tear into tiny shorts, but her nylons and glasses go unaffected?

    And if Lyle was shirtless, why in the next pic does he have it back on, while her pants are still torn?

    And he's now wearing a uniform?

    God, this is confusing.

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  3. I already had tremendous respect for this site, but I think I might have to marry it now.

    Gilligan. You, sir, are a patriot and a gentleman. Keep the Wonder Woman coming!

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  4. Wonder Woman was my hero! When I grew up I wanted to BE HER! Thanks for sharing this wonderful memory of a great show! Makes me wish when TV was actually FUN and didn't take itself too seriously.

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  5. We Love Wonder Woman at our house! You can watch for free from IMDB.com. We noticed that during the pilot she spun around and took a full 30 seconds to change, then she just magically changed when the season started, or shortly thereafter.

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  6. A truly awful show. Bad acting, bad writing and lots of cheap sets and stock footage. So of course I watched it in the 70's and own all three seasons on DVD so I can watch it with my kids.

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  7. Nice work as usual. I just tweeted this link.

    @DrZibbs in Twitter.

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  8. That is classic, I use to LOVE this series in the 70's - I think I had her poster on my bedroom wall

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  9. I've gone back to the year 2010 - also a godlike ability that not many superheroes possess. But I won't dwell here long because that year was my own personal Devil's Triangle (I saw the heart of darkness but in so doing found light) and anyway back in 2015 I have another episode to read about. In 2010 I didn't yet know about the joys of Retrospace but I see that you were already developing your style of benevolent snarkiness when it came to reviewing Wonder Woman. What an excellent episode and what a wonder-ful show. For one hour a week Linda Carter turned the boob-tube into the boobs-tube and gained my decades long admiration for doing so.

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