4/11/16

Wonder Woman: S2E10



Mind Stealers from Outer Space: Part 1 - December 2nd, 1977

To ride the gravy train that was the Star Wars craze, Wonder Woman, injected a little outer space mojo into the program - a two-part sci-fi bonanza.  The episode was directed by Michael Caffey, the dad of one of the Go-Go's. Will you be head over heels for these episodes? My lips are sealed.

My apologies for the puns - but they were necessary.  Read on....





Right out of the box, the show starts on a sci-fi tip.  Thirty-seven light years away, an alien menace, the Skrills, have escaped and are headed to Terra (Earth).


It's up to Andros (Dack Rambo) to stop the Skrill and save earth from this alien scourge.  He has six days to do it, or earth will be "decontaminated", resulting in the death of not only Skrill, but all life on earth.

Rambo, as you may recall, was a pretty big name on the small screen, with big roles on Dallas (as Jack Ewing) and soaps, as well as a mountain of primetime credentials (Gunsmoke, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, etc.).  Sadly, Rambo became one of the many public figures to contract AIDS during the late eighties/early nineties.  He passed away in 1992.



Of course, Inter-Agency Defense Command already is aware of the alien invasion.. and actually seems pretty casual about it.  Evidently, an attack from an alien race warrants only a casual meeting of four staffers outfitted in JCPenney fall/winter catalog fashions.


Enter the Skrill - evidently a race of pre-teens in spray-painted suits with Christmas garland accents.

A couple IADC agents are on their merry way to a secret telescope site, when they encounter the Skrill and, inexplicably, give the 'Heil Hitler' sign while saying "Welcome to our planet"....


The Skrill make quick work of these two idiots, planting a mind control thingy on their forehead.

Wonder Woman arrives and takes them to the hospital, and Steve orders the entire area cordoned off.


I bring this image to you, not because this scene is particularly important, but because of Steve's groovy jacket and tie.  I'm constantly in awe of Lyle Waggoner's epic wardrobe, and the way he poses like a catalog model in every scene.


Well, they haven't done too well at cordoning off the area, because there's a schoolbus full of community college kids on a field trip within the perimeter.  The bus driver is none other than Anne Ramsey, whom you may know from Throw Momma from the Train, The Goonies or Deadly Friend.

On the field trip are Debbie and Johnny.  Johnny is played by Vincent Van Patten, who was a teen heartthrob and had roles in two great cult movies: Hell Night and Rock 'n' Roll High School (and now is a professional poker player).  Debbie is played by Kristin Larkin, who did a few minor spots on TV then disappeared.


As you might predict, Debbie and Johnny fall victim to the Skrill.  In this case, the aliens actually inhabit the bodies of the teenagers, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style.


Debbie and Johnny carjack a guy driving a pickup truck... but not before we get to hear some killer CB lingo.

But while these two Skrill-possessed youths go on a crosstown rampage, WW enjoys a quiet evening by the fire with Andros...


Love that wicker glassware set.

Andros casually explains that the Skrill use these funky crystals to capture the minds of individuals; they then use the absorbed consciousness/memory to sell on the cosmic black market.

You see, "there are parts of the universe where it is quite legal to own slave minds.... they use them, for example, to operate mining equipment, to own as pets, or as part of a research library..." yada yada yada.


The gang manages to capture Debbie, but Skrill-Van-Patten is still at large.  WW uses her Lasso of Truth on Debbie in a scene that reminded me of The Exorcist.  Skrill-Debbie taunts everyone, making jest of their poor human qualities and self-doubt, just like Pazuzu.


Back at their secret lair, Skrill-Van-Patten summons a ferocious wheezing creature called Sardor. Obviously, a variation on Darth Vader, but a bit more animal-like - a proto Darth Maul, if you will.

How did he summon Sardor?  Skrill-Van-Patten has a vial of glitter which he describes as catnip for Sardor - "Sardor-nip, if you will". (Groan)


Skrill-Van-Patten enlists the help of Kim and Karen (twins Lana Marie Henricks and
Lori Ann Henricks in their only listed acting role).  They are to sprinkle the Sardor-nip at the residence of Diana Prince.


And so the show ends with a badass Sardor busting down the door and capturing Diana.  To be continued.

Whereas the last few episodes had fairly standard plots, with nothing particularly spectacular to advertise in TV Guide; this one definitely kicks things up a notch.  Unfortunately, the show's trademark eye-candy, the "jiggle TV" quality, is woefully lacking.  Previous episodes always found a way to provide at least a moment specifically for the dads in the audience; not this time.  This one was clearly aimed at the younger Star Wars obsessed crowd.  Seventies dads were SOL with this one; let's hope part two can pick up the slack.

But I won't complain too much.  I've got a kickass Darth Vader clone, a Skrill-Van-Patten, an Exorcist scene, CB talk, Waggoner fashions gone wild, and laser battles... I can't wait until next week!

5 comments:

  1. Very little T&A in this one, but nice recycling of the Metaluna footage from "This Island Earth."

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  2. The cold open scenes (first screencap) are lifted straight out of "This Island Earth".

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  3. This Island Earth, one of my fave Sci Fi films along with When Worlds Collide, and The War Of the Worlds.

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  4. The so-called Sexy Seventies. The suits had no idea what to do with those babes; nowadays they'd be efficiently exploited by movie tie-ins and skimpier costumes.

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  5. An episode that, in the edited version offered here anyway,leaves the impression that the showrunners just slung darts at a board and hoped a few of their efforts would stick.

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