There were a lot of feminine icons in the 1970s and into the '80s, but none so prevalent as Wonder Woman. She jumped onto the small screen in 1975 and continued capturing hearts of women – and men – through 1979. Now, Warner Bros. has released a remastered Blu-ray, Wonder Woman: The Complete Collection, which includes the full series, the original pilot movie, and amazing extras that are a must-watch for every Wonder Woman fan.
Wonder Woman originated in the 1940s in a time when many men were gone from the home and off to fight in World War II, and women all over the country were finding their footing in working for the first time. There was a great rally for women to take over the country while the men were away, and to do an even better job than their male counterparts. Not only that, approximately 350,000 women joined the ranks with men and served in the military overseas during the war. It was an absolutely unprecedented time for women to take part on the world stage.
It was during this time that William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist who (along with his wife) is credited with inventing the lie detector, created Wonder Woman. Anyone else thinking of the Lasso of Truth? He noticed the gap of femininity in comics and decided to fill a largely unknown need with Wonder Woman. She debuted in December 1941 in All Stars Comics #8. We all know the rest of the story from there.
Having not watched the original series since I was a kid, I found it to be just as amazing as it was then. The remastering is so well done that it’s like the series was originally shot for our large screens and HD. Lynda Carter is stunning, well-spoken, kind, and fun as the lead character. She plays Wonder Woman perfectly, and even though there have been re-imaginings of the character since, she’s truly the only one for me. She’ll defeat the bad guys (and gals) with cunning while trying to teach them the error of their ways. On top of that, she sets a stage for a working woman in her alter ego, Diana Prince. A woman who will do what needs to be done and who proves she is every bit as equal as the men. And, no matter if she’s Wonder Woman or Diana Prince, she’ll do it all with a sassy smirk and a killer smile.
The supporting cast and special guest stars also blew me away. I didn’t realize at the time who they had on the show – but it is a who’s who of stars. Cloris Leachman was brilliant in the pilot movie as Wonder Woman’s mother – funny as ever, but still standing strong. Lyle Waggoner (a regular on The Carol Burnett Show who sadly passed away earlier this year) is humorous as Major Steve Trevor with all his quirks, but still manages to support Wonder Woman’s cause, sometimes without realizing it. Add to this Debra Winger, Ed Begley, Jr., Roddy McDowell, Christine Belford, Red Buttons, Anne Francis, Joan Van Ark, Rick Springfield… the list goes on and on of who you see popping up as a friend or enemy of Wonder Woman.
The crucial point of Wonder Woman is to empower women. To show them that they can do anything they put their minds to. They can be as strong as men in every way and stand up for what’s right while keeping their femininity. Wonder Woman inspires women to rise to the top without being anti-male, which works very well. She works with the major and accepts what he can give to every investigation while retaining her role as an independent, incredible force of a woman.
Though set in the 1940s and filmed in the 1970s, Wonder Woman manages to capture everything that every woman from all decades needs to hear for strength and independence. To know that nothing can stop her, there are no limitations, and they can, too, find their voice and have it heard. I imagine for many decades to come, Wonder Woman will be there, fighting for truth and democracy, paving the road for every woman to stand tall.
Creative Team: Creators: William Moulton Marston, Stanley Ralph Ross; Starring: Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Tom Kratochvil
Studio: Warner Bros.
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