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File:Lynda-Carter---Wonder-Woman 330 7907.jpg

Wonder Woman!

All the world's been waiting for you

And the power you possess

In your satin tights

Fighting for our rights

And the old red, white and blue!
—Series theme

Wonder Woman is an American live-action TV series that originally aired from 1975 to 1979, based on the comic book superhero Wonder Woman. It starred Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman and Lyle Waggoner as Steve Trevor.

The movie-length pilot episode and first season aired on ABC, and were set during World War II.

From the second season, the series moved to CBS, was retitled The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, and the setting moved to the present day (ie. The Seventies). Wonder Woman, being an ageless Amazon, hadn't aged a day, while Lyle Waggoner switched to playing the remarkably familiar-looking Steve Trevor Jr.

An unrelated failed Pilot Movie was broadcast about a year earlier, in 1974, starring Cathy Lee Crosby as a non-powered Wonder Woman in a very loose adaptation (verging on In Name Only). Even earlier, in the mid-1960s, William Dozier produced a five-minute Wonder Woman screen test which portrayed Diana as living with her mother.

NBC has reportedly passed on a revival of a Wonder Woman TV series for 2011. Adrianne Palicki, known for her role in Friday Night Lights was to be the new Wonder Woman but a poor pilot doomed the effort and the fanbase wasn't pleased with the first two versions of the costume that were released in advance publicity photos. The pilot has since leaked, and it turns out they made the main character into a full-on Complete Monster who casually commits torture (of a man in a hospital bed she put him in), violates several other legal and human rights, and at one point flat-out murders a security guard; all fully in the open with no legal repercussions at all. Perhaps most disturbing of all, it has a reporter positively comparing her to the guards at Abu Gharib.

Tropes used in Wonder Woman (TV series) include:


  • Adaptation Distillation: The TV show simplified the comics (none of Wonder Woman's supervillains ever appeared, for example) but still had a charm of its own.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Paradise Island is an uncharted island within the devil’s triangle. At 1942, The amazons wear togas and use arcs and arrows, but they had an invisible plane, a truth serum, and guns to use in her “Bullets and bracelets” challenge.
  • Appropriated Appellation: At the pilot:

 Queen Hippolyte: Go in peace my daughter. And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman.

Princess Diana: I will make you proud of me... and of Wonder Woman.

 Marion Mariposa: Oh, why are you so unpleased to see a familiar face? Did you enjoy the candy I sent you?

Diana Prince, waking from her induced sleep: Not in the least, and I enjoyed the flowers even less.

Marion Mariposa: What’s the matter? Lost your sense of humor?

Diana Prince: I was hoping we were rid of yours. Weren’t you supposed to be drowned at the north sea after our last encounter?

Marion Mariposa: By now you should know that I have my entrances and exits carefully choreographed, Diana. I had one of my submarines pick me up.

 Queen Hippolyta: For his safety - and ours. One of our young Amazon girls will escort him to his country, and then return to Paradise Island.

Princess Diana: But all the girls will want that task.

Queen Hippolyte: I know. To forestall any ill feelings, I have planned a tournament of athletic games, by which I alone will determine the strongest, nimblest, and most likely candidate for the assignment.

    • Princess Diana / Wonder Woman is the champion for Paradise Island, for Steve Trevor and for Liberty and Democracy while she stays in man’s world.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: This adaptation introduced the world to the way Diana Prince could spin to change her clothes, and even Wonder Woman could change back into Diana Prince (in the episode "The Feminum Mystique Part 1)"
  • Clark Kenting: Notably averted at "Mind Stealers from Outer Space (Part 1)" when the Skrills, an alien race who steals minds to sell them into slavery, discovers easily Diana Prince's secret with only a slide projector:

  Unquestionably, the same human.

  Queen Hippolyta: … We are stronger, wiser and more advanced than all those people in their jungles out there. Our civilization is perfection!

 Princess Diana: But all the girls will want that task.

Queen Hippolyta: I know. To forestall any ill feelings, I have planned a tournament of athletic games, by which I alone will determine the strongest, nimblest, and most likely candidate for the assignment.

    • Princess Diana is denied access to the tournament, so she throws a tantrum and retires to the summer palace… only to participate in secret and win, to show her commitment and knowing that her mother will forgive her.
  • Decoy Damsel: George in "The Murderous Missile."
  • Disguised in Drag: Starker in "Death in Disguise."
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: On one episode, she could mentally communicate with pigeons. In another, she does the same with a dog.
  • Doing It for the Art: Carter sometimes did her own stunts because it allowed better closeups of the action. In one memorable scene she hung from the bottom of a helicopter as it took off; she later stated that the producers were... less than pleased when they found out.
  • Enemy Mime: In "Diana's Disappearing Act."
  • Every Episode Ending: Each episode ends with a close-up of Diana smiling, followed by a freeze-frame.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: "Wonder Woman vs. Gargantua".
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The famous spin-change was proposed by Carter; the producers were nervous about having Wonder Woman simply take off her clothes every episode.
  • Fan Service/Ms. Fanservice/Parent Service: Carter herself, of course. And it only got better as time went on; in the second season the costume was tweaked to flatter her bust a bit more (she was never fond of the "bullet bra" pictured above), and her civilian clothes were sexier than the bulky military uniform she wore in the first season.
  • Fish Out of Water: Especially in the first season, Wonder Woman didn't entirely know how the world outside Paradise Island worked, and did things like reading books on slang so she could blend in better.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Definitely present in this portrayal of the character. If you want Wonder Woman to stay out of your secret compound, you'll need more than guard dogs. On one episode, she could mentally communicate with pigeons.
  • Gainaxing: There's a reason some say the Baywatch run" was invented by this series. Observe.
  • Gender Rarity Value: The unconscious Steve Trevor is the only man that had reached the Lady Land / Hidden Elf Village Paradise Island in millennia. There was fear that he would become worshipped, so Dangerously Genre Savvy Queen Hippolyta declares an amazon will escort him to his country.

 Princess Diana: But all the girls will want that task.

  • Gentleman Thief: Evan Robley in "The Queen and the Thief".
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Steve's inability to see that Diana was gorgeous was largely due to her glasses.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The IADC (Inter Agency Defense Command), of which Steve Trevor Jr, was an agent.
  • Heel Face Turn: Wonder Woman often tried to reform bad guys rather than defeat them, and sometimes she would succeed.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Paradise Island is an uncharted island within the devil’s triangle. Queen Hippolyta had decided to hide Paradise Island from the world: In the pilot, she claims that no one in the last thousand years has ever found it. She also claims that any amazon who leaves the island may lose her immortality and become a mortal again.
  • Hot Librarian: Diana Prince poses as one more than once. And while not actually a librarian, Diana has something of the general aesthetic in the 1970s.
  • Identical Grandson: After disappearing from "man's world" after World War II ended, Diana meets Steve Trevor Jr. in the first episode of the second season, "The Return of Wonder Woman", a Setting Update in 1977 (which was then the present day). At first, she is confused, thinking he hadn’t aged, but given she is an immortal amazon warrior, Queen Hippolyta explains the concept of "sons" to her.
  • Indy Ploy: In "Light-Fingered Lady," Diana poses as a thief to infiltrate a gang of criminals. They say she can earn their trust by stealing some plans they need. She uses her powers as Wonder Woman to complete this theft, but is caught doing so by one of the criminals, who was following her to make sure she was who she said she was. Thinking fast, Wonder Woman tells him she is on the trail of her criminal alter-ego, and when he won't tell her where she is, she locks him in a closet. Then she goes back to her street clothes and frees him, and the fact that she completed her mission even while Wonder Woman was supposedly after her convinces most of the group she's legitimate.
  • In Name Only: The Cathy Lee Crosby Pilot Movie featured a non-powered blond Wonder Woman in a track suit. While it does mention Diana's Amazon home and invisible plane, it generally plays more like a superspy knockoff of The Avengers than a superhero story.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: It never occurs to Wonder Woman that she is basically wearing a strapless bathing suit everywhere she goes (well, except in water), or that there is anything wrong with this.
  • Karma Houdini: Happens a lot. If someone is participating in a crime and seems to not really want to do it, or better yet does anything to thwart the rest of the criminals, they will never be punished at the end for the crimes they committed.
    • Also some villains escaped: Marion Mariposa in Screaming Javelins, Count Cagliostro in Diana's Disappearing Act, Bleaker in The girl from Ilandia and... Harlow Gault's brain in Gault's Brain
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The first TV pilot movie, starring Cathy Lee Crosby and Ricardo Montalban (as the bad guy), is mostly forgotten today. It was once released on VHS, but is now only available on bootleg DVDs.
  • Knockout Gas: Season 1 episode "Judgment from Outer Space (Part 1)": Wonder Woman is taken down by knockout gas.
  • Lady Land / One-Gender Race: The Amazons that live in Paradise Island are an all-female society, but still human (they just don't age on Paradise Island). However, Queen Hippolyta remembers the patriarchal societies of the past very well and she doesn’t want these to spoil her paradise, so she forces the expulsion of the only man that had reached the island in millennia by assigning an amazon to escort him to the exterior world.
  • Large Ham: Mariposa in "Screaming Javelins."
  • Lightning Bruiser: Her super-strength was obvious (notably when she stopped a tank in its tracks). Her super-speed was implied by feats like catching a bazooka shell in her hand, and her tendency to run rather than use a car when she needed to get somewhere quickly.
    • In "Death in Disguise," she runs forty-seven miles in less than four minutes.
  • Meaningful Name: Invoked by Queen Hippolyta:

  Queen Hippolyta: I named this island "Paradise" for an excellent reason. There are no men on it. Thus, it is free from their wars, their greed, their hostility, their... barbaric... masculine... behavior. [bites her hand]

  • Meganekko
  • "Mission Impossible" Cable Drop: Wonder Woman did something like this in the episode "The Queen and the Thief", hanging from a rope tied to her ankle so she could get into a safe in the middle of a room with an explosive floor. One wonders how many takes were ruined by Carter falling out of her top, because she looked about a centimeter away from it the whole time.
  • Most Common Superpower: Until the television series, Wonder Woman as portrayed in the comics as a slim, athletic figure. And then Lynda Carter filled out the costume (and then some!) on this show. Ever since, the comics portray her as the (second) bustiest, curviest superheroine in the DC Universe.
    • Fausta the Nazi Wonder Woman may have been even bigger, though far more covered.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The robot "Cori" in "IRAC Is Missing" has a feminine voice and a rectangular protrusion on her chest that is suggestive of breasts.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: "Just George," who turns out to be the mastermind in "The Murderous Missile."
  • Outside Ride: Wonder Woman (naturally) in "Mind Stealers From Outer Space" and "Death in Disguise."
  • Power Glows: There is always one of those just when Diana Prince spins to change clothes into Wonder Woman. (Notice that there wasn't any Audible Gleam nor Power Glows in "The Feminum Mystique Part 1", the only episode in the series where Wonder Woman is actually seen changing back into Diana Prince.
  • Pretty in Mink
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy / Perfect Pacifist People: In this incarnation, Paradise Island’s amazons are this. In contrast with the Proud Warrior Race Guys from the comics, the amazons were overpowered by the Nazis in “The Feminum Mystique”. However, the Amazons easily overpower the Nazis once Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl came back to liberate the Isle.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Partly as a result of Executive Meddling. The producers didn't want Wonder Woman to be too violent, thinking that it would alienate viewers, which is why you're more likely to see her tossing a heavy man into a pile of cardboard boxes than punching him in the face. Also see Heel Face Turn above.
  • Retool: Besides the update to the 1970s at the beginning of the second season, there was a planned retool that showed up in one episode of the third season (which should have been the season finale but was shown out of order). Diana was transferred to the Los Angeles branch of the IADC, with a new boss and supporting cast. The show never got a fourth season, so that was all we got.
  • Robot Master: Hoffman in "The Deadly Toys."
  • Scullery Maid: Diana in "The Queen and the Thief".
  • Series Continuity Error: The pilot establishes that Paradise Island, in 1942, is a Hidden Elf Village of HotAmazons who had never seen a man in a thousand years. Princess Diana is elected The Champion to travel to man’s world. She is the first amazon to leave Paradise Island in a thousand years. However, in the third season episode Diana's Disappearing Act, Cagliostro claims that Wonder Woman has stopped all his lineage plans since the original Cagliostro (born in the 18th century) and in Screaming Javelins, Diana remembers to have meet Napoleon Bonaparte, implying not only that she was in Europe those years, but that she was already doing her superhero job.
    • At the pilot and the first episodes, Wonder Woman uses spinning to change clothes into her costume. Later episodes show how she changes by spinning with Audible Sharpness and Power Glow. At the “Feminum Mystique part I”, Wonder Girl remembers Queen Hypolita teaching Wonder Woman how to change his clothes with Audible Sharpness and Power Glow before leaving Paradise Island.
  • Setting Update: The first episode of the Second Season, "The Return of Wonder Woman": Wonder Woman dissapeared when World War II ended, but another plane incident at Paradise Island forces her to return to man's world, by which time it's now:
  • The Seventies: The first episode of the second season was at 1977, which was the present day at the time.
  • Ship Tease: Diana and Steve would occasionally have a "moment" in the first season. They backed off from this in subsequent seasons (possibly nervous about the obvious 16-year age gap between Carter and Waggoner) to the point of making Steve Diana's boss so they wouldn't be working directly together anymore.
  • Small Secluded World: The amazons claim Paradise Island is this: the youngest of these immortals have never seen a man before. However, Princess Diana recognizes a parachute, and the Queen can read Trevor’s english written documents without any problem.
  • Smoke Out: Count Cagliostro (a descendant of THE Count Cagliostro) in "Diana's Disappearing Act," one of the few bad guys to just flat-out escape Wonder Woman.
  • Stage Magician: Several in "Diana's Disappearing Act."
  • Stunt Double: Fairly easy to spot, even from behind; the stunt doubles did not have Carter's wasp waist.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: After immortal Princess Diana of Paradise Island invokes What Is This Thing You Call Love? when he sees a man for the first time, her mother hilariously invokes this trope:

 Queen Hippolyta: There are some things that are better not known. Young Amazon minds are best occupied with athletic discipline, higher learning.

  Princess Diana: … When I look at Steve Trevor, I feel things. Things I've never known before.

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