I was very young when I first discovered the Wonder Woman television series. It was my first introduction to the character and sparked a lifelong love affair with the character.
I absolutely had to watch Wonder Woman every week, and my family had to remain in complete silence or else. The doll based on the show was one of the few "girl" toys I was allowed to have when I was little. Just another example of Wonder Woman paving the way and fighting for our rights.
Lynda Carter was so beautiful, and the brightly colored costume she wore masterfully designed by Donfeld was mesmerizing. How could it not be love at first sight? Throw in an invisible plane and a hunky Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor and you had me at "Hola!" Not to mention having a kickass theme song and comic book homage animated opening sequence!
The show also gave us Carolyn Jones (Morticia Adams) as Queen Hippolyta, Cloris Leachman (also as Hippolyta), and a young, unknown Debra Winger as Drusila (a.k.a. Wonder Girl). It was always a blast to watch WW deflect bullets with bracelets and extra fun to watch her skateboard or don her infamous blue dive suit.
Lynda truly embodied Wonder Woman in such a way that it's hard to imagine she had to fight for the part. Carter also wasn't the first Wonder Woman to grace the small screen. That honor went to Cathy Lee Crosby as a blonde, judo Wonder Woman in a TV movie pilot. Luckily, when the show went to series, former Miss World USA Lynda Carter eventually won the part with only 25 dollars in her bank account.
The first season took place in World War 2 and then took a disco spin into the present for its final two seasons. Speaking of spins, former dancer Lynda Carter herself created the iconic costume transformation spin when they needed a dynamic way for her to become Wonder Woman.
The show is beloved by many fans and has become relevant as debate begins surround the forthcoming Wonder Woman live-action feature film. Many people are unfairly comparing Carter's Wonder Woman to newly cast Gal Gadot before they have even given her a fair shake. Methinks Wonder Woman wouldn't approve of such behavior.
Carter herself has given support to Gadot and even expressed interest in being in the film. DC should make the excellent decision to cast Carter as Wonder Woman's mother Queen Hippolyta. Or at least give her some kind of cameo for Hera's sake! That's it! She can play Hera! It would be a big mistake not to let her take part, considering that for many she is, and will always will be, the definitive Wonder Woman.
40 years later, the show's special effects don't hold up very well, and the storylines are a little tame by today's comparisons. It was a little slow paced, and Wonder Woman really had very little screen time each episode. Which is another testament to the charisma of Carter's portrayal of the amazing Amazon and her civilian counterpart. It was just as much fun to watch Lynda play Diana Prince as it was Wonder Woman.
Fans of the show and Wonder Woman in general were treated to Wonder Woman '77 early this year. The digital-first comic series from DC Comics took a page from Batman '66 and was based on the Wonder Woman television series. Writer Marc Andreyko did a flawlessly fun job of blending elements of the beloved TV show with dynamic takes on Wonder Woman villains that never aired on the show.
It remains to be seen what kind of stamp the new WW film will make on the mythos of the character. But, it's clear to see that after 40 years, Lynda Carter's incarnation has had a lasting, indelible impression. Sometimes, when no one's looking, I do a little twirl. Hey! You never know!
Special thanks to writer, performer, and Wonder Woman aficionado Andy Mangels for supplying the Wonder artwork for the 40th anniversary. Learn more about Andy at www.andymangels.com.
That's it for another Wonder Woman Wednesday. Make sure to be here next week for another WWW. In the meantime, feel free to head over to the "I Am Wonder Fan" Facebook page and share what the Wonder Woman television series means to you!