Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season

The comic book superhero has always been a fascinating subject for conversion either via ink and paper or television and movie screens. However, it's never been a sure thing, as history has proven with the slim handful of hits (Spider-man, Superman, X-Men) and the plentiful misses (Captain America, The Flash, The Phantom). Wonder Woman was an under-appreciated yet popular DC character who should have made more of a dent with her '70s television series. Starring the beautiful and well-proportioned Lynda Carter, the program definitely had a convincing and perfectly cast star to carry the weight. Unfortunately, with poor writing, weak plots and unfamiliar villains, Wonder Woman never really deserved more than its three seasons. Season two begins with an awkward transition period, moving to present day 1977 from the World War Two setting of the first season. Beginning with an almost identical opening as its pilot, Wonder Woman is residing on Paradise Island (her birthplace and a strict utopian society filled with wonderful Amazonian women and no men whatsoever) when a plane crashes just outside of the Bermuda Triangle. On board is the son of Steve Trevor, the man whom Diana Prince (aka Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman's human alter ego) worked with to battle the Nazis in season one. From this crash, Diana realises that she must go back to join Steve Jr. and the inferior human race and fulfil her duties as a crime fighter. It takes a while for the series to get out of its WWII obsession, reintroducing characters stuck in the past for the first few episodes. When it does break free, there isn't much in the way of world-threatening obstacles and devious bad guys to lure the viewer in. It's hard to deny that the show offers nothing in its second year, as there are some laughable guest spots (Rick Springfield, Phillip Michael Thomas, Bubba Smith) and even funnier villains (Martin Mull as the evil but pathetic Super Rock Star, Frank Gorshin as the evil toymaker). The cool gadgets (invisible plane, bullet-proof bracelets, the golden lasso), cheesy special effects (her explosion into costume), wonderful colours via the wardrobe (standard suit, wet suit and biker suit), settings and comic book intro also give it a strong and enjoyable camp quality. Yet, without the lovable recurring villains of the '60s Batman series or the character depth and humour of Lois and Clark, Wonder Woman was simply all T&A and nothing upstairs. The only special feature is a brief documentary exploring the history of the comic book icon, yet even that fails to make an impact, tiptoeing around her roots without any real in-depth analysis. Strictly for the hardcore fan or those looking for some kitschy nostalgia. (Warner)