Wonder Woman: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season (DVD)
With the strength of Hercules, the wisdom of Athena, the speed of Mercury and the beauty of Aphrodite, she's Wonder Woman. Beautiful Amazon princess Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) travels to 1940s America disguised as Diana Prince, assistant to handsome but trouble-prone Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner). Using her golden belt, which imbues her with astonishing strength, her bullet-deflecting bracelets, a golden lasso that dispels dishonesty and an invisible supersonic plane, Wonder Woman combats evil. Based on Charles Moulton's comic book character known to millions of fans throughout the world, this exciting series brings the strong and sexy goddess to life--Wonder Woman.]]>
"In your satin tights / Fighting for your rights / And the old Red, White, and Blue!... / Wonder Woman!" Could anyone who grew up in the '70s ever forget that super-catchy theme song? Originally packaged as the female version of the Batman TV show (producer Stanley Ralph Ross penned 32 of the caped crusader's episodes), Wonder Woman ended up redefining the campy, comic book genre. The primetime show immediately became a social and cultural phenomenon, attracting a wide audience that continued to tune in to America's favorite socially progressive superheroine.
Looking back on it now, it is easy to see the attraction of this unique show that oozed '70s culture, but was set in the 1940s. While trying to stop a Nazi plane from reaching the U.S., Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) is shot down, landing on mythical Paradise Island. The uncharted island is the hidden home to the lost tribe of eternally young Amazon women. The Amazons take in the Major and nurse him back to health. During his recovery he attracts the sympathy and interest of Princess Diana (Lynda Carter, former Miss USA 1973) who is intrigued by the man from the mainland and his tales of the evil Nazis. She decides she must follow the Major back to the U.S. and join the forces of good against the tyranny of evil. So begins the saga of the beautiful Amazon Wonder Woman, armed with super strength, bulletproof bracelets, and the unbreakable, "truth-telling," golden lasso. What sets season 1 apart from the two subsequent seasons is that the pilot and each of the 13 episodes take place during World War II, corresponding to the original comic stories. In this season we see Wonder Woman battle spies, uncover Fausta the Nazi Wonder Woman, stop thieves trying to steal the secret substance of Amazonian power (Feminum), wrestle a Nazi-trained circus gorilla, and rescue an interplanetary visitor held captive by the Third Reich--all of which are priceless.
Included with the pilot episode is an extremely fun commentary track by Lynda Carter and producer Douglas C. Kramer. Also added on the DVD set is the making-of featurette "Beauty, Brawn and Bulletproof Bracelets." Yes, it is very campy, cheesy, dated, and filled with double entendres and subtle innuendos. But below the surface, there is something special that makes the show timeless and a pleasure to watch. Calling Wonder Woman: The Complete First Season a time capsule would be an understatement. But a time capsule in the most wonderful sense of the phrase. --Rob Bracco
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Watching the show now, it does seem a bit silly and not as much fun as the Hulk(at least in the episodes I've watched so far), but Lynda still looks good in that tight patriotic suit, although that star spangled bottom looks more like granny pants! lol..... Hey don't get me wrong, she fills the outfit nicely! The episodes on this first season set look pretty clean and uncut and there are a few cool extra to go through.
I'm sure women who were girls back then have a different recollection of this show because not many shows featured a strong woman role model as the star. The set is well worth picking up for fans!
The original series was filmed and broadcast in the 1.33 aspect ratio, like all 20th century television series were. On a modern widescreen television, anything filmed in this ratio will display in the center of the screen with large black bars/columns at the right and left sides of the image (or you'll get a distorted image that's been stretched horizontally to fill the entire screen, if your TV is set that way).
The DVD sets of this series are presented in the proper 1.33 aspect ratio. But Amazon's streaming version actually crops off a large portion of both the top and bottom of the original image in order to fill the available space on a modern television. In effect, what you get is a "zoomed in" portion of the original image, resulting in the loss of something like 25% at the top and bottom (I haven't done the math because I suck at it, so this is a rough estimate).
I purchased the streaming versions of all three seasons earlier today, but when I started up the first episode of season one and realized right away that the image was butchered, I immediately went looking for a refund. I was able to get a refund for seasons two and three because I hadn't played any of those episodes yet, but I was unable to get a refund for season one because I had played one lousy minute of one episode. Which was the only way I could have even known there was a reason to seek a refund, since there's no mention on Amazon's store page that the streaming version is not in the original aspect ratio.
Once I realized I was stuck with season one, I jumped ahead to several other random episodes to see if they were all butchered in the same way. They are. So if you want to see all of the original image, stay away from Amazon's streaming version.
By the way, I believe Lynda Carter's interpretation of Wonder Woman as a child-woman is so pitch-perfect that no improvement is possible. Looking at stills of Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, with her living-doll face and wide child eyes, one hears delicate and inevitable music playing inside of her, as though her sensitive and yet slightly adrift mind could be expressed by a Mozart piano sonata.
Therefore, in any upcoming movie version, Lynda Carter should play Wonder Woman. Also, as a further aside, it is quite interesting to watch Lynda Carter's performance as Diana Prince. If one examines the matter closely, as I have, it becomes clear that Diana Prince is a fictional character that Wonder Woman has created as her disguise. That is, Diana Prince's personality is NOT AT ALL the same as Wonder Woman's personality. Diana Prince's personality is Wonder Woman's approximation of a normal American female. This personality is somewhat shallow, though well-intentioned, and quite subservient to men: Steve Trevor is Diana Prince's boss, though the relationship between Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman usually involves Wonder Woman carrying a limp and unconscious Steve Trevor in her arms. This may seem an obvious point, but it bears repeating, especially as it bears on Lynda Carter's performance: Diana Prince is Wonder Woman in character - pretending to be someone entirely different.
Update, 4.8.08... just having watched the episode Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman I can definitively report that after the pilot, the show's writing and acting - with the exception of Lynda Carter, went straight into the toilet and there seemed to remain. The shift in quality was so extreme, so abrupt that it was almost as if some guy in a blue-gray jumpsuit with orange, conical flashlights was GUIDING the writing and acting into the toilet. One can but empathize with Lynda Carter, who tried so valiantly to carry the show on her comely back. HER performance - given the ludicrous writing she had to work with - was continuously very good. Alas, but to little avail, as, after the pilot, the show's writing went from being a camp masterpiece to being geared for five-year-olds. Seemingly some boys in the front office got their hooks into things. One can almost hear them now, gesturing as the writing is lowered on the end of a cable, "Lower!.... Lower!" And then the reply, "Lowering!" How could they do it?! How could they do such a thing to Lynda Carter?! It's ungentlemanly to abuse a woman in this way. Oh and by the way, speaking of abuse, if you can stand to watch the scene of Wonder Woman being chloroformed and then dragged limply away you're made of sterner stuff than me. Can I get a witness?
They obviously put it out too quickly due to fan response.
The prints are also put out from medium quality film prints-check out the lines and hairs that appear from time to time.
True Wonder Woman fans will be outraged.
If the the second season is like this , I will not buy it!
Caveat Emptor!!(Buyer Beware)