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" your satin tights, fighting for your rights…
and the old Red, White and Blue..."

I have fond memories of watching WONDER WOMAN on television during my youth- boy did Lynda Carter look fantastic in that costume. Revisiting the show nearly thirty years later, the show is still a delight, mildly campy, yet one of the best adaptations of comic book character to appear on television up to that point- and, boy did Lynda Carter look fantastic in that costume. While WONDER WOMAN did run for three seasons on television, I think the first year was my favorite, since it had the characters fighting Nazis in a WWII setting, which made the whole enterprise a lot more fun than when the show moved to a contemporary setting for seasons two and three.

Oh, have I mentioned how fantastic Lynda Carter looked in her Wonder Woman costume? Well, in addition to filling out the costume, Lynda Carter also fit the character quite well, as she brought an essential innocence, plus a good deal of intelligence to the character, especially as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince makes the transition to the world of men after having been raised amongst her Amazon sisters on Paradise Island. WONDER WOMAN also starred Lyle Waggoner as heroic military man Major Steve Trevor, as well as Beatrice Colen and Richard Eastham. WONDER WOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features The New Original Wonder Woman pilot movie, plus the following thirteen episodes that were aired in the show’s freshman year: Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther, Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman, Beauty On Parade, The Feminum Mystique Part 1, The Feminum Mystique Part 2, Wonder Woman Vs. Gargantua!, The Pluto File, Last Of The Two Dollar Bills, Judgement From Outer Space Part 1, Judgement From Outer Space Part 2, Formula 407, The Bushwackers and Wonder Woman In Hollywood.

Warner Home Video has made WONDER WOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Considering the series is nearly thirty years old, I was actually kind of surprised how good the episodes look on DVD. The image is generally sharp and pretty nicely defined for a television production. There is some softness that creeps into individual shots, but overall, the image is quite pleasing. Colors appear strong and vivid, while the flesh tones come across in an appealing manner. All of the hues appear stable, without noise or smearing. Black are accurate, whites are crisp and contrast is just fine for a show intended for the broadcast medium. Shadow detail has its limitations, but it really isn’t bad. There are some instances of grain and a few blemishes along the way, but nothing really worth complaining about. Even with multiple episodes on a side of a DVD, digital compression artifacts aren’t a concern.

All of the episodes that constitute WONDER WOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON feature respectable Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks. Most of the background hiss and other audible anomalies have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the episodes with a generally smooth and reasonably pleasant sound. Of course, there are certain limitations in fidelity, which renders some of the music just a little flat and causes some of the sound effects to come across in a less than convincing manner. But then again, these soundtracks were designed for playback on cruddy television speakers and not the home theater environment. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. No other language tracks are provided, but English, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extra features. Series star Lynda Carter and executive producer Douglas Cramer are on hand to provide a running audio commentary for the pilot movie. Fans should get a big kick out of the track as Carter and Cramer’s talk proves to be rather fun and nostalgic. Also featured on the DVD set is Beauty, Brawn And Bulletproof Bracelets: A Wonder Woman Retrospective, a twenty minute program that looks back on the show and features new interviews with Lynda Carter and Douglas Cramer, amongst others

Nearly thirty years down the line, WONDER WOMAN remains a whole heck of a lot of fun. Not surprisingly, Warner has done a good job with the set, offering presentations that look almost as good as Lynda Carter did in her costume, plus a couple of interesting extras. If you are a Lynda Carter fan or a series fan, you’ll definitely want to check out on WONDER WOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON DVD. Recommended.



Wonder Woman - The Complete First Season (1976)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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