Wonder Woman was an American television series based on the DC Comics comic book character Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston (Marston's wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston was also involved in her creation). It starred Lynda Carter as Princess Diana/Diana Prince. Wonder Woman aired on two American networks between 1975 and 1979. During its original run the series was extremely popular. It is also the title of a TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby, loosely based upon the character, that aired in 1974.
Though not successful at the first attempt, ABC still felt a Wonder Woman series had potential, and within a year another pilot was in production. Keen to make a distinction from the last pilot, the pilot was given the rather paradoxical title The New Original Wonder Woman. This pilot is available in its original length on the first season DVD, instead of the re-edited version of it which runs 60 mins. and was featured as the pilot when the series debuted a year later. This version is also the one shown on reruns. On the DVD version, however, the 1975 pilot movie title is changed to simply 'Wonder Woman', and the bullet-deflecting animated sequence is replaced by the lasso toss in the animated introduction and the rest of the television series.
Scripting duties were given to Stanley Ralph Ross, who had worked on Greenway's unbroadcast Wonder Woman pilot reel, but this time he was instructed to be more faithful to the comic book and to create a subtle "high comedy". Ross set the pilot in World War II, the era in which the original comic book began. Thanks to a generous budget and more relaxed shooting schedule, the feature length pilot was able to attain a level of polish and special effects beyond that of regular episodic television at the time.
Some of these effects, such as the expensive full sized invisible plane prop and the stunt bracelets (designed to carry small explosive charges for Wonder Woman's iconic 'bullets and bracelets' encounters) were then able to be carried forward into the series proper.
After an intensive talent search, a former beauty pageant winner from Arizona named Lynda Carter was chosen to play the lead role. For the key role of Steve Trevor, the producers chose Lyle Waggoner, who at the time was better known as a comedic actor after several years co-starring in The Carol Burnett Show. He was also known to Ross as having been one of the leading candidates to play Batman a decade earlier.
Although the pilot followed the original comic book closely, in particular the aspect of Wonder Woman joining the military under the assumed name, Diana Prince, a number of elements were dropped, presumably for practical reasons. The character of Etta Candy was no longer an obese member of Holliday College (the Holliday Girls never featured in the show), but a mature work colleague of Diana Prince. The ancient myths and legends which informed many of the early Wonder Woman comic book stories were lost too, in favour of more conventional stories involving Nazis. And, on a minor note, Steve Trevor was no longer blonde, but dark haired.
One change which was later to become synonymous with the show was the twirling transformation which dissolved Diana Prince into Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter claims to have suggested the move herself, having studied dance as a child. Coincidentally, this slow motion dissolve is similar to the illustrated "running" change sequences in the comic books of the era, in which Diana would peel off her uniform and add her tiara and boots. In both versions she is left with her outer uniform to stow somewhere.
|Lynda Carter||Wonder Woman|
|Lyle Waggoner||Steve Trevor|
|Beatrice Colen||Etta Candy|
|Richard Eastham||Philip Blankenship|
|The New Original Wonder Woman||11-7-1975|
|Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther||4-21-1976|
|Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman||4-28-1976|
|Beauty on Parade||10-13-1976|
|The Feminum Mystique (Part I)||11-6-1976|
|The Feminum Mystique (Part II)||11-8-1976|
|Wonder Woman vs. Gargantua!||12-18-1976|
|The Pluto File||12-25-1976|
|Last of the Two Dollar Bills||1-8-1977|
|Judgment from Outer Space (Part I)||1-15-1977|
|Judgment from Outer Space (Part II)||1-17-1977|
|Wonder Woman in Hollywood||2-16-1977|
|The Return of Wonder Woman||9-16-1977|
|The Man Who Could Move the World||9-30-1977|
|The Bermuda Triangle Crisis||10-7-1977|
|The Pied Piper||10-21-1977|
|The Queen and the Thief||10-28-1977|
|I Do, I Do||11-11-1977|
|The Man Who Made Volcanoes||11-18-1977|
|Mind Stealers from Outer Space (Part I)||12-2-1977|
|Mind Stealers from Outer Space (Part II)||12-9-1977|
|The Deadly Toys||12-30-1977|
|Diana's Disappearing Act||2-3-1978|
|Death in Disguise||2-10-1978|
|I.R.A.C. is Missing||2-17-1978|
|Flight to Oblivion||3-3-1978|
|Seance of Terror||3-10-1978|
|The Man Who Wouldn't Tell||3-31-1978|
|The Girl from Islandia||4-7-1978|
|The Murderous Missile||4-21-1978|
|My Teenage Idol is Missing||9-22-1978|
|The Deadly Sting||10-6-1978|
|The Fine Art of Crime||10-13-1978|
|The Deadly Dolphin||12-1-1978|
|Pot of Gold||12-22-1978|
|Going, Going, Gone||1-12-1979|
|The Starships are Coming||2-2-1979|
|Amazon Hot Wax||2-16-1979|
|The Richest Man in the World||2-19-1979|
|A Date With Doomsday||3-10-1979|
|The Girl With a Gift for Disaster||3-17-1978|
|The Boy Who Knew Her Secret (Part I)||5-28-1979|
|The Boy Who Knew Her Secret (Part II)||5-29-1979|
|The Man Who Could Not Die||8-28-1979|
|Phantom of the Roller Coaster (Part I)||9-4-1979|
|Phantom of the Roller Coaster (Part II)||9-11-1979|