Wonder Woman: S2E9
Season 2 Episode 9: "The Man Who Made Volcanos"
Original air date: November 18, 1977
In which we get to see Roddy McDowall play Dr. Evil, a mega-cool dune buggy, and a Star Wars trash compactor scene. Director Alan Crosland Jr. is obviously a big fan of the down blouse shot, so it's got that going for it as well. Enjoy.
A big change to the show's intro which I don't particularly care for. They got rid of the cartoon intro in favor of a live action highlight reel. Also, they abandoned much of the theme song lyrics. The lyrics sung by the male vocalist are gone, with only an instrumental with female backup singers doing the refrain. Not much of an improvement.
What is an improvement is that Joe Atkinson has been "promoted" - i.e. he's been fired from the show. That guy was a major league dud.
So, Diana meets Steve at the airport and learns that volcanoes are sprouting up across the globe. But I had a hard time concentrating on the dialog because Linda Carter's boobs are jiggling like crazy as she walks. I can see she's wearing a bra, but Holy Weak Braziers, Batman!
I'm sad to report that, although Diana no longer feels the need to wear glasses to conceal her identity, she still is inclined to wear sunglasses - of the most enormous kind.
In preparation for her flight to Mexico, Diana purchases traveler's insurance from a vending machine..... let that sink in a moment.
Little does she realize, she's being watched by the a Slinky fondling spy from the People's Republic of China.
Also on the racks are some books on roulette and slots (?) and something called a "Mail Pooch". Anyone know what this is?
Diana drives to a hotel in Baja, Mexico driving a killer dune buggy. She gets a room and is introduced to Jack Corbin, manager of the establishment...
Corbin is played by Roger Davis who you may know from Alias Smith & Jones (as Peter Duel's replacement). In addition to a lot of TV guest appearances, Corbin founded Lonetree Production Company, and eventually became successful in real estate.
Oh, and he was married to Jaclyn Smith.
Anyway, Corbin is talking to the mastermind behind all these volcanoes, Professor Arthur Chapman, played by the one and only Roddy McDowall.
McDowall always amazes me - he pops up everywhere, from low-grade B-movies to guest spots on just about every television program on air.. and he always gives it his all. He never just phones it in, no matter how minor and "beneath him" the role may be.
While Professor Chapman instructs Corbin to "get rid of her", Diana inspects her hotel room for bugs. Indeed, we spend a ridiculously lengthy amount of time watching her inspection. My personal theory: this is just to allow the pervy male audience (of which I am a proud member) to catch glimpses down Linda Carter's unbuttoned shirt.
A trap door appears beneath Diana's feet and she is dropped to the bottom of a deep cell. The walls begin closing in (shades of the Star Wars trash compactor). A full 15 minutes into the show, Wonder Woman finally appears - the longest we've ever had to wait... and it's only for less than a minute! This was always my gripe with The Incredible Hulk - too much Banner, not enough Hulk.
Diana drives to the site of the laser that's causing these volcanic eruptions and is confronted by a couple of Chinese agents. A wildly erotic catfight ensues.
It seems the Chinese believe the United States is behind these crazy volcanoes. Diana assures them that they are mistaken.
Professor Chapman, Corbin and captured U.S. agent Pruitt (James R. Parkes) watch the monitor to observe the next volcano eruption.. in Maryland!
Perhaps now the Chi-Coms will believe America isn't behind this mess.
At the top of the mountain (where the volcano-inducing laser is located) there is a stand-off of Tarantino proportions. The Chinese, The Soviets, The United States (via WW) and Professor Chapman's militia all draw their weapons.
WW advises the Chinese and USSR reps to submit to Chapman's forces, and then she flees. (I'm sure they instantly regretted taking advice from an American, but too late.)
WW changes back to Diana and allows herself to be captured by Corbin. As he secures her handcuffs, the viewer keeps getting glimpses of Linda Carter's bra..... and, I kid you not, the handcuff application goes on for several minutes! This is the longest handcuffing moment in TV history - the director obviously milking Carter's unbuttoned shirt for all it's worth.
Inside his Secret Underground Lair, Dr. Chapman declares to the world's super powers that, unless they stop building nuclear weapons, he will turn the planet into a giant volcano.
You see, he's actually a man of peace.
WW arrives and tries to reason with Professor Chapman, and Corbin joins her side, pleading for him to stop the insanity.
But it's to no avail. Chapman pulls the Armageddon switch.
Of course, WW won't stand idly by while the earth is blown to bits. She jumps in front of the volcano laser and absorbs its mighty blast.
With the bad guy defeated, the Chinese agents notify their leader that they are resigning. We also learn that the two have have fallen in love and a little one is on the way (I guess they had sex when they were hostages? When did this happen?).
Anyway, it all ends the usual way - with an awkward joke and forced laughter. This is the first time, however, we don't depart with Steve and Joe Atkinson. The show has become a lot more about Linda Carter than her lame male colleagues.
Overall, it isn't one of the better episodes. No heavy duty T&A, no over-the-top camp, no unintentional hilarity. But have no fear - next up is the two parter: "Mind Stealers from Outer Space". I can hardly wait!