Wonder Woman Saves The World
Wonder Woman faces aliens, bank robbers, evil toymakers, and athlete kidnappers. It's kind of all over the place.
Good news: Wonder Woman continues to be crazy. But its particular brand of craziness keeps changing, possibly because people behind the scenes kept arguing about what the show should be. It's slowly changing from a comic book show to a spy show, although the main character keeps turning into a superhero whenever she feels like it. Steve Trevor was just starting to be more fun, but he's about to get sidelined. Let's go!
"I Do, I Do"
This episode starts out with a surprise: Diana Prince marrying some guy we've never seen before. If it had been made in the last ten years, there definitely would have been a caption saying "Seven Days Earlier," but nobody had invented nonlinear storytelling yet. So instead, the show has to keep pretending that this is a real thing for fifteen minutes. Then, of course, it's a ruse. The plan is to honeymoon at a health spa that has ties to international terrorism. Or something like that, anyway. The backstory isn't important when you're dealing with villains who control minds through the art of massage.
What's The Best Quote? "She seems to take more massages than Muhammad Ali."
How Feminist Is This Episode? Zero feminist. Possibly negative. There's just something weird about Diana calling herself "Diana Harrison," even as a cover identity.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? Look at these gas prices!
Sixty-eight cents per gallon?! This country's in an energy crisis, I tell ya!
"The Man Who Made Volcanoes"
There's a lot to talk about here. The opening credits are new! That means no more of this really ugly comic-book thing they used to have:
It was terrible, but it was also distinctive. Now it's just a bunch of footage showing off what passed for action in 1978. There's also an attempt to make Lyle Waggoner look cool, which is a laudable goal. It's a shame that it's coming just as Steve Trevor has been promoted to being Diana's boss so he no longer goes on missions. From now on, Diana will be mostly working as a solo spy.
Okay, that gets us through the opening credits. Now for the real action: Roddy McDowall has a laser that causes volcanoes. And he's going to use it to blow up mountains until every country in the world promises to stop having wars. This naturally results in Diana going to Mexico, where she bumps into a team from China that thinks the United States is behind the whole thing.
What's The Best Quote? "Using the most powerful laser beam on Earth, powered by nuclear energy, I will turn the entire planet into a volcano!"
How Feminist Is This Episode? Diana is the only field agent for the IADC, so that's sort of a step forward. But she only got that job because the white dude got the promotion, so it's kind of a wash.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? Remember that Chinese team I mentioned? Guess how much kung fu they know. It's a lot!
"Mind Stealers From Outer Space, Parts I And II"
Remember Andros, that alien that visited Earth in 1942? Turns out he had a son! That son is chasing some intergalactic criminals, and if he doesn't catch them in one week, his alien pals are going to destroy Earth. The criminal aliens suffer from a very low alien-costume budget.
In fact, the regular aliens also have a pretty low budget, since the way that Andros astrally projects back to his flying saucer is represented by having him sit in a nook with a curtain.
As part of the ongoing recreation of the series, Diana and Steve now have a new ally: that blinking-lights computer from the season premiere. Its name is "IRAC" or "Ira" and it tells "jokes" like this:
IRAC my brains to make you look clever.
It's pretty awful.
What's The Best Quote? "BEEP BEEP BEEP" (by the Skrill aliens).
How Feminist Is This Episode? A tiny bit, in that when Andros Jr. invites Wonder Woman to go on an interplanetary date, she rejects him.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? There's a lot of CB talk by people who are not using CBs. This was a time when it was considered perfectly normal to call policemen "Smokey." Also, Diana has this wicked dune buggy:
"The Deadly Toys"
At first, it looks like this is going to be an episode about the evils of warfare, since it starts off with three scientists that are all working on one element of something none of them understands. So you'd think it would be a superweapon, right? No, that would be too sensible. Instead, the scientists are slowly being replaced by androids made by a kindly old toymaker. And it's the kind of toymaker that has a terrifying fake beard!
In case you're wondering where you've seen him before, this is Frank "The Riddler" Gorshin. Hi, Frank!
It's also an amazing toy store. I say that mostly because of this background robot toy:
I had that robot toy! It's not the focus of the shot because apparently people are more interested in watching Wonder Woman fight an exact android duplicate of herself. This effect was pretty simple to achieve, since they already had Wonder Woman's stunt double on hand, so they just needed to make sure that only one Wonder Woman was ever facing the camera. On that note, I highly recommend the documentary Double Dare, which will tell you all about Jeannie Epper, the great stunt woman who's doing all the difficult stuff while Lynda Carter smiles adorably in close-ups. You'll also learn about Zoe Bell, who was Lucy Lawless's double in Xena, Warrior Princess!
What's The Best Quote? "At last, your first voyage. Your maiden voyage. For it is a maiden that you shall be destroying." (The toymaker, as he prepared a remote-control airplane for a drone strike on Diana.)
How Feminist Is This Episode? Feminism is not in any way a theme of this episode.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? That robot toy from earlier dates this episode precisely at "the best time in history for awesome toys." By a shocking coincidence, that's when I was a kid playing with toys!
After a run of fun episodes about aliens and evil toys, somebody threw on the emergency brake. We don't want people having too much fun here! So this episode brings us back to basics: Diana infiltrates a gang of bank robbers.
That's it. That's all that happens. She's trying to catch the head bank robber in the act, but he's having trouble with his final score, so she helpfully gives him the plans for a burglar alarm. This seems like entrapment, since he wouldn't be robbing anything if she hadn't shown up. But she did, and she makes the arrest.
What's The Best Quote? "He must have gotten up on the wrong side of his battery charger." This is the sort of half-hearted zinger that characters are forced to say in order to give personality to the computer.
How Feminist Is This Episode? One of the bad guys is intended to be extra-bad because he keeps talking about how you can't trust women. Although he turns out to be completely correct in his instinct not to trust Diana, so it's not clear what message the audience is supposed to take away from this.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? The fashion, which is actually an answer that applies to every episode. Check it:
Now this is more like it! Meet Marion Mariposa:
Mariposa is, as you might be able to guess from the picture, a weirdo. He's also got his own country, which is called "Mariposalia" (or something that sounds like that), and he's angry that he doesn't have diplomatic recognition. So, obviously, he's kidnapping Olympic athletes so he can win all the gold medals. That's how the Olympics works, right? Athletes compete for any country where they have citizenship, or any country that's holding them hostage?
It's also worth noting that the main Olympian is played by Melanie Chartoff, who's Didi Pickles on Rugrats. And her boyfriend here is Rick Springfield! And of course you spotted that Mariposa is played by Henry Gibson, who played a completely different Nazi in Season 1.
What's The Best Quote? "So I says, I can't be in the cafeteria baking cookies and up in the booth at the same time." That's right: this episode contains an actual "So I says" anecdote.
How Feminist Is This Episode? Some of the athletes are women.
How Do We Know It's The 1970s? Nobody knows yet that the United States is going to boycott the next Olympics, which means that some of these athletes would probably be willing to pretend to be a Mariposalian anyway, since the only way they'll get to compete.
Episodes Left To Watch
IRAC The Sassy Computer
Monty's Wonder Woman Marathon Diary
Monty Ashley goes to the 1970s in his invisible jet on a quest to punch Nazis in the face.
- You're A Wonder, Wonder Woman
- Gorilla-Suit Follies
- Brilliant Nazi Disguises
- Wonder Woman vs. Technology
- Wonder Woman Saves The World
- '70s Fashion Was Scary
- Valley Of The Guest Stars
- Wonder Woman...To The Extreme!
- Wonder Woman Suits Up For One Last Adventure