CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
Lynda Carter (Sky High)
Lyle Waggoner (Return To The Batcave)

THE DEADLY TOYS

Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
James A. Watson Jr. (Airplane 2)
John Rubinstein (Angel)

 Three world renowned scientists,  Dr. Tobias, Dr. Prescott and Dr. Lazaar and members of the military are seated around a conference table listening to Dr. Tobias discuss Project XYZ. He angrily tells them that when he and his colleagues realized they were developing the most devastating weapon that would escalate the arms race. Each of them was responsible for one part of its development. To prevent it from falling into the wrong hands they have burned every page of notes, every equation and every trace of their work. The military men look uncomfortable, except for  Major John Dexter [JOHN RUBINSTEIN]. As Dr. Tobias continues, a strange high-pitched buzzing sound is heard and it continues to grow louder.  Soon Dr. Tobias eyes are blinking in a mechanical, rhythmical manner. As the high-pitched sound becomes piercing, Dr. Tobias slowly begins to melt. While the people around the table look on with horror, Dr. Tobias melts to a blob of slightly smoking liquid plastic and formless clothing, hair and wiring.  The next day, Dexter, an old college friend of Steve’s, explains to Diana Prince  and Steve Trevor, Jr. That the real doctor was replaced by an android. Since all three scientists are involved in Project XYZ, there is the possibility that the other two, who are still flesh and blood, may also be replaced by an android. Steve and Diana decide that they must place both remaining scientists under tight security and Steve leaves to arrange this.

Diana leaves to check Tobias’ laboratory for clues. Somebody is already there when she arrives and he pulls out a gun and tells Diana not to move as he makes his escape. Diana sets off after him and spins into Wonder Woman. She captures the man with her lasso and asks him what he was doing in Tobias’ laboratory.   Meanwhile Steve, accompanied by Dexter, has just placed Prescott in a secure location and is returning to his car just as the phone rings. It is Diana who tells Steve that she wasn’t the only one at Tobias’ laboratory.  A short while later a package is delivered to Dr. Prescott -a set of toy soldiers, which he seems to have been expecting. As he places the soldiers into their positions a miniature cannon fires a needle into Prescott’s arm. He gasps, he eyes glaze over and he appears frozen, stupefied, mouth slack and eyes staring. The phone rings and a voice instructs him to do exactly as it says. He leaves the apartment, walking by the guard who suffered the same fate by a toy, and walks to the back stairway. Another Prescott appears and the real Prescott disappears.  It is the Christmas season and a toy maker,  Orlich Hoffman , is busy putting the finishing touches on a toy drummer when a buzzer sounds. He walks to the back of the toy shop and two men enter carrying a long coffin-like box. Inside the crate is the real Dr. Prescott, sound asleep.

Meanwhile, the android Prescott is being visited by Diana. He insists that she has a cup of tea. While questioning him about Project XYZ, she notices that one of his hands is on a hot burner with the coils glowing red, she pulls it off the coil. He quickly jerks his hand away but knowing he’s been caught with no chance of reprieve. He starts to speak and his eyes begin to blink rhythmically too, Diana releases that Prescott has also been replaced by an android. Diana rushes to Dr. Lazaar’s apartment and has a doctor verify that he is still human, warning him that he is the only one that hasn’t been replaced with an android. She tells him that he will have to be moved again so that he will be safe. She notices a set of toy soldiers and questions him as to where he purchased them, then leaves immediately for the toy shop. Diana arrives at the toy shop and meets the owner Hoffman, who grows suspicious when she asks to purchase toy soldiers. He invents many excuses and send her to another toy shop. He hands her a little Santa Claus to put on her dashboard, to make up for his rudeness. It is really a tracking device for a toy plane that will follow and kill Diana. As Diana drives away she notices the plane above her car. It swoops low and drops explosive devices. She stops the car and runs to take cover as more devices are fired toward her. She spins into Wonder Woman and uses her bracelets to deflect two further shots then leaps up and catches the plane. She carries it over to the car and realizes that the Santa Claus was a tracking device.  Later that night, Hoffman applies the finishing touches one of his most recent creations -another android identical in form, figure and costume to Wonder Woman.

Back at Steve’s office Diana tells Steve about the plane and is just telling him that she has had Lazaar moved when Dexter arrives. He seems very agitated and becomes more so when Diana refuses to tell either of them where she has moved Lazaar too. Diana has grown suspicious of Major Dexter. She checks him out with the computer console, IRAC. As IRAC flashes out the information she requests, she now knows that her suspicions were correct. Dexter and the toy maker are working together. While she is gathering her information, Dexter and Hoffman are together in the toy shop. They are making plans to capture Diana as she is the only one who knows where Dr. Lazaar is. Through a phony telephone call, using Steve Trevor’s voice to convince her, they lure her to a park in the middle of the night and to her surprise the android Wonder Woman is waiting for her. She tells her that the two missing scientists are in the basement of the toy shop. Diana follows warily.  She is greeted by Dexter, who points a gun at her and demands that she tells him where Lazaar is. She tells him that she knows he is behind the switches and that she won’t tell him Lazaar’s location. Hoffman opens the lid of a box near Diana and releases some toy butterflies. One lands on Diana’s hand. It clamps on and a needle appears where its mouth should be. As it bites her, she immediately staggers and falls to the ground, out cold. When she comes round Dexter is sitting beside her. The butterfly contained a truth serum and she tells Dexter that Lazaar is at her apartment. He leaves to get him and Wonder Woman is left to guard Diana. She slowly regains consciousness and sees Hoffman and ‘Wonder Woman” loading Prescott and Tobias onto a truck. She realizes she talked in her sleep and Dexter is on his way to get Lazaar in the hiding place. She gets up and whirls into the real Wonder Woman. The two Wonder Women battle and one crumples to the floor. Hoffman has no idea if it’s his android or not. The two continue loading the van and pick up Dexter. When they explain to him their reason for being late, he becomes suspicious He fires at Wonder Woman and she’s forced to deflect the bullet. He knows it is the real Wonder Woman. Hoffman runs but is knocked off his feet by Wonder Woman’s tiara. She stops Dexter from getting away by holding onto the back of the van.

Diana and Steve watch from a distance and they see Dexter and Hoffman drive off in the truck thinking that their precious cargo are the three scientists. Since the lasso makes people forget things that have happened, they are not aware that Steve and Diana have substituted three androids for the real scientists. Steve and Diana take great pleasure in realizing that Hoffman and Dexter will get what they deserve when the people who paid them for three live scientists will be getting three androids. Diana tells Steve she has something she needs to do.  Wonder Woman stands outside Hoffman’s toyshop, she sprays  “Merry Christmas W.W.” onto the window, turns around and smiles.

Wonder Woman is a classic show and the first Christmas episode was a classic and is one I watch every Christmas and will continue. Biggest highlight of course is Wonder Woman vs Wonder Woman.

POT OF GOLD

GUEST CAST
Dick O’ Neill (The Jerk)
Brian Davies (All My Children)
Steve Allie Collura (Perfect Gentleman)

Diana Prince  is on a stake-out in London. She picks up the car phone and reports to the Inspector that she is outside Thackery’s office and is waiting for someone to come out. Inside Thackery’s office, he is giving instructions to a courier  who is on a very important assignment to him. He is to deliver three elements required to produce hundred dollar bills. Counterfeit of course. Accompanying the courier will be a killer dog, Rasputin. The courier leaves the office for the airport with Diana following him. The dog is led to a room behind the counter and the courier leaves the counter and notices Diana behind him. He runs onto the field. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman and runs after him -leaping over planes -catches him. When she asks him where the counterfeit plates are, he informs her that they are on the dog. She looks up and sees that the plane has just taken off for America.

While this was happening in London, Pat O’Hanlon  a man in his fifties who talks with a thick Irish brogue and a cobbler by trade, is just closing his small store which is located on a quiet street in Washington, D.C. He leaves his store and is attacked by two men, Rancher  and Maxwell  who demand he turn his gold over to them. They put him in the back of their van and moments later, they turn to check on him and he is gone. He disappeared into thin air… They report this to their boss, Bonelli who is very angry. He needs the old shoemaker’s gold to buy the counterfeit plates. He promised Thackery the money and he wouldn’t dare not come through. In the meantime, Diana has contacted Steve  to clue him in about Rasputin. He drives to the airport and watches the animal crates being lowered. Unbeknown to Steve, a truck pulls up, stops and the driver gets out. As soon as the latch to the dog crate is opened, the driver blows a whistle and the dog reacts to the silent whistle by running across the airfield, jumps into the truck and the truck races out of sight. Steve stands there and watches it.   A few days later Thackery arrives in Washington. Bonelli toes not have the gold to pay him for the counterfeit plates. Thackery tells him that the dollar has gotten stronger against the pound and he is upping the price by $50,000. Bonelli must do something fast. He and his two henchmen pay Pat another visit. This time Pat takes them to the basement of hls shop and in the center of the floor, Pat sweeps away the dirt from a heavy lid. He raises the lid and there is a large receptacle filled to the top with gold coins. They take the gold and leave Pat locked in the basement. Through a secret trapdoor, Pat escapes and follows them to their hideout. He overhears them discussing that they must steal more gold. He hides in back of an armored truck. They leave for the next job; which is to steal a small shipment of gold. What they to not know is that is a set-up arranged by Steve and the IADC. So much gold has been stolen lately that the IADC was called in to help catch the thieves.
3696d4affd4b2e847380b40b0444a5deDiana is dressed as a security guard. Just as she is ready to catch Maxwell and Ranchers Pat flings open the back of the armored truck and ruins Diana’s chances. Pat is thrown to the ground as the truck quickly speeds off. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman, leaps into the air and lands on top of the truck. Pat is now up on his feet and tries to block the gateway. Rancher and Maxwell are about to run him over when Wonder Woman leaps from the top of the truck and saves Pat’s life. The two thugs get away.  Bonelli now makes plans to meet Thackery and get the counterfeit plates. Pat, who now knows where Bonelli’s hideout is, hears the plans. But, once again, he is caught and tied up. What Pat doesn’t know is that Diana has been following him, and when the thugs to meet Bonelli, she whirls into Wonder Woman and saves Pat. Once inside the hideout, they find an address and know that is where Bonelli is to meet Thackery. She instructs Pat to call Steve. Bonelli and Thackery meet at the appointed place. An exchange of the gold for the counterfeit plates is to take place when Thackery tells Bonelli that the plates are on the dog. As Bonelli reaches for the dog, Rasputin growls and snaps. Bonelli .now realizes that it is a double cross. Steve now moves in and captures Bonelli and his two henchmen. But, Thackery grabs Pat and uses him as a shield as he runs to a waiting helicopter. Diana whirls into Wonder Woman and comes running up behind the helicopter. The helicopter takes off and Thackery pushes Pat out the door. Wonder Woman easily catches him. She then unties her lasso, throws it and it wraps itself around one of the struts on the chopper. She begins pulling the chopper to earth by drawing on the
lasso and within minutes the chopper is on the ground. Thackery is taken away. Wonder Woman promises Pat he will get his gold back. He smiles so kindly that Rasputin turns into a playful little puppy dog…
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Thou not as memorable as The Deadly Toys, this episode Pot of Gold is still a nice episode it has a cuteness too it, thou a Christmas episode the Christmas theme is mostly just in the background so its one that can be watched anytime.
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REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN (2017)

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CAST

Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious)
Chris Pine (Star Trek)
Robin Wright (Blade Runner 2049)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything)
Connie Nielsen (Basic)
Elena Anaya (Point Blank)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Saïd Taghmaoui (Conan The Barbarian)
Samantha Jo (Mortal Kombat: Legacy)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Ann Ogbomo (World War Z)

In present-day Paris, Diana Prince, curator for the Louvre’s Department of Antiquities,[8] receives a World War I-era photographic plate couriered by the Wayne Enterprises and recalls her past.Diana was born and raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazon race of warrior women created by the gods of Mount Olympus to protect humankind. In the distant past, Ares, the god of war, slew all his fellow gods, but his father, Zeus, struck him down. Before perishing from his injuries, Zeus left the Amazons a weapon capable of killing his renegade son: the “Godkiller”, which Diana believes to be a ceremonial sword. Queen Hippolyta, Diana’s mother, believes that Ares will never return and forbids Diana from training as a warrior, but Diana and her aunt, General Antiope, defy the queen and begin training in secret. When the two are discovered by Hippolyta, Antiope convinces her sister to allow Diana’s training to continue.As a young woman, Diana rescues Captain Steve Trevor, a pilot with the American Expeditionary Forces,[9] after his plane crashes off the coast of Themyscira. The island is soon invaded by the landing party of a German cruiser pursuing Steve. The Amazons engage and kill all the German sailors, but Antiope dies intercepting a bullet meant for Diana. Interrogated with the Lasso of Truth, Steve reveals that World War I is raging in the outside world, and that he is an Allied spy. He stole a notebook with valuable information from chief chemist Isabel Maru, who is attempting to engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff. Believing Ares is responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the ceremonial sword and leaves Themyscira with Steve to find and destroy Ares.When the two arrive in London, they deliver Maru’s notebook to the Supreme War Council, including Sir Patrick Morgan, who is trying to negotiate an armistice with Germany. Diana translates Maru’s notes and reveals that the Germans plan to release the deadly gas at the warfront. Although forbidden by his commanders to act, Steve, with secret funding from Sir Patrick, recruits spy Sameer, marksman Charlie, and smuggler Chief to help prevent the gas from being released. When the team reaches the Western Front in Belgium, they are halted by the enemy line, but Diana pushes alone through No man’s land and rallies the Allied forces behind her to liberate the village of Veld. The team briefly celebrates and takes the group photograph from the beginning of the film. Later that night, Diana and Steve bond and share a kiss.The team learns that a gala will be held at the nearby German High Command. Steve infiltrates the party, intending to locate the mustard gas and destroy it. Diana, however, believes Ludendorff is Ares and that killing him will end the war. Steve stops her to avoid jeopardizing the mission. Ludendorff unleashes the gas on Veld, killing its inhabitants. Diana blames Steve for the deaths and pursues Ludendorff to a base where the gas is being loaded into a Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI bound for London. Diana fights and kills Ludendorff, but is confused when his death does not stop the war.Sir Patrick appears and reveals that he is Ares. He tells Diana that although he has subtly given humans ideas and inspirations, it is ultimately their decision to cause violence as they are inherently corrupt. After destroying the ceremonial sword, Ares reveals that Diana is the true “Godkiller”, as she is the daughter of Zeus. Ares attempts to convince Diana that she should help him destroy humankind to restore paradise on Earth. While the two battle and the rest of Steve’s team destroy Dr. Maru’s laboratory, Steve pilots the bomber carrying the gas to a safe altitude and detonates it, sacrificing himself in the process. Ares tries to harness Diana’s rage and grief by telling her to kill Dr. Maru, but Diana’s memories of Steve inspire her to decide that humans have good within them, and she spares Maru before destroying Ares. Back in London, the nation celebrates the end of the war.In the present day, Diana sends an e-mail to Bruce Wayne thanking him for the photographic plate of her and Steve and reaffirms her mission to protect the world as Wonder Woman.The film is well rounded, the plot never leaves you bored, the humor is fresh and relatable, and the actors are so good! The costumes are realistic and the fight choreography is some of the best I’ve seen in a while!  It’s an awesome entry for the DC film universe.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS CHRONICLES

CAST (VOICES)

Benjamin Bratt (Traffic)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Tamara Taylor (Bones)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds)
Daniel Hagen (The Bonfire of The Vanities)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Star Trek: DS9)
Josh Keaton (The Spectacular Spider-Man)
Tahmoh Penikett (Man of Steel)
Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Bruce Thomas (Legally Blonde)

Big changes were promised with Bruce Timm’s latest project at Warner Bros. Animations, offering an alternate take on DC Comics’ resident super-team in Justice League: Gods & Monsters. Re-imagining DC’s Big Three as the son of a Kryptonian general, a vampire, and a new god, the animated feature proved too limiting to show just what was made possible in terms of storytelling – meaning the early release of a number of Chronicles; animated shorts introducing fans to these radical takes. The first such episode sent a vampire Batman up against Harley Quinn (with predictable results), and the second installment, titled “Bomb,” shows a darker side of Superman. Not darker in his motivations or character, per se – simply willing to do things that the typical Man of Steel is not.


If the goal of these shorts is to show fans that Gods & Monsters is up to snuff with the rest of Timm’s work, we would say they are succeeding. Reinventing heroes simply to grab attention is nothing new, but we know Timm is interested in proving naysayers wrong – and “Bomb” shows that he and the writers aren’t wasting any opportunity to subvert their audience’s expectations.


People have proven to take exception to the idea of a Superman who kills, but Gods & Monsters manages to dodge those issues with its alternate timeline. In this version of the DC Universe, Amanda Waller has given up her role as the head of the Suicide Squad, residing instead in the White House (with the supervillain Dr. Sivana as a top advisor), with classic Superman villain Brainiac now an engineered Superman-deterrent.

From visionary producer and animator Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series), Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles turns the DC Universe upside-down. In this dark, alternate world, telling the good guys from the bad guys is never easy: Superman is not the son of Jor-El, he’s the son of General Zod; Wonder Woman is not from peaceful Themyscira, but rather the warring nation of Ares; and Batman is more vampire-bat than man…and he’s not Bruce Wayne. It is unclear if our greatest heroes are here to protect us…or to rule us. Machinima has already announced a second season, which will come out in 2016.

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN (2011)

CAST

Adrienne Palicki (Agents of Shield)
Elizabeth Hurley (EDtv)
Tracie Thoms (Cold Case)
Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones)
Justin Bruening (Knight Rider 2008)

In an inner city home a teenager tells his family that he has been accepted to college moments before he begins convulsing and bleeding from the eyes and ears. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman is in a foot chase with a super-strength criminal on Hollywood Blvd and, after knocking him out, takes a sample of his blood and leaves him to the police. Wonder Woman returns to the headquarters of Themyscira Industries, a large corporation which she runs as the CEO in her alter-ego of Diana Themyscira. Themyscira Industries owns and operates the concept of Wonder Woman as both a privately run crime fighting operation and for marketing the image of Wonder Woman as a role model to the outside world. Diana has trouble balancing her life as both the CEO of the corporation and as Wonder Woman. Diana’s frustration with having to maintain a perfect image to the outside world in both these capacities leads her to create a third identity for herself, “Diana Prince,” so that she can have an element of normalcy in her life and sit at home with her cat watching romantic comedies and surfing the internet.

At Themyscira Industries Diana grows suspicious of evil businesswoman Veronica Cale for distributing an illegal performance-enhancing drug that gives users super-human strength and endurance, but can cause death through repeated use. The blood sample she draws from the Hollywood Blvd fight and the story of the college bound teen confirm Diana’s suspicions. Without enough hard evidence to bring Cale to justice as Wonder Woman, Diana holds a press conference and airs her beliefs about Cale to the world. Cale in turn confronts Diana in person to intimidate her and threaten legal action. In a flash back, Diana ends up breaking it off with her boyfriend Steve Trevor because of her busy life. Back in present day, the college bound teenager dies from his drug sickness and Diana is galvanized to confront Cale as Wonder Woman. She arrives at Cale’s facilities, defeats all of her super-powered henchmen and confronts Cale face-to-face.

Cale threatens legal action and to release security footage of Wonder Woman killing the henchmen, but Wonder Woman responds by pulling Cale down with her lasso and throwing her against the wall. Later Cale is put in jail and a Justice Department representative comes to meet Diana. This turns out to be Steve Trevor who says that he will be working with Diana in her capacity as Wonder Woman but also reveals that he has married another woman.

The Wonder Woman pilot that is floating around on the internet is an unfinished work designed to function as a display for potential companies to sign it and assign to their network. Some of the digital effects are not finished and this apparently makes some people say that the show is low quality. Therefore if you are going to watch this you should be aware that it is in an unfinished form  I really enjoyed this pilot. From what I had been hearing I was expecting dreadful, but by comparison to what is on TV today on most channels I’m really disappointed that it never went to a full series.

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN – SEASON 1-3

CAST

Lynda Carter (Supegirl)
Lyle Waggoner (Love me Deadly)
Beatrice Colon (Happy Days)
Richard Eastham (Toast of The Town)
Norman Burton (Valley of The Dolls)
Saundra Sharp (The Learning Tree)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Red Buttons (The Longest Day)
Stella Stevens (The Poseidon Adventure)
Cloris Leachman (American Gods)
Christine Belford (Outlaws)
Lynda Day George (Chisum)
Anne Francis (Forbidfden Planet)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Linda Carpenter (Apoclaypse Now)
John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family 1964)
Debra Winger (Tears of Endearment)
Pamela Susan Shoop (Halloween 2)
Robert Loggia (Scarface)
Robert Reed (The Brady Bunch)
Tim O’ Connor (The Naked Gun 2 1/2)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Harris Yulin (Ghostbusters 2)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Fritz Weaver (Creepshow)
Bettye Ackerman (Rascal)
Jessica Walter (Arrested Development)
Brooke Bundy (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3/4)
Barry Dennen (The Shining)
James Hong (Agents of Shield)
Beatrice Straight (Poltergeist)
Bob Hastings (Batman: TAS)
Eve Plumb (Fudge)
Denny Miller (Wagon Train)
John Colicos (The Changeling)
Celeste Holm (High Society)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Dick Rambo (Another World)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Anne Ramsey (The Goonies)
Frank Gorshin (Batman 60s)
John Rubenstein (Angel)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Hal Englund (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Leif Garrett (The Outsides)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Lance LeGault (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation)
Craig T. Nelson (My Name Is Earl)
Mako (Conan The Barbarian)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
George Cheung (Rambo: First Blood)
Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha)
Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop)
Donnelly Rhodes (Tron Legacy)
Marc Alaimo (Total Recall)
Joan Van Ark (Knotts Landing)

Wonder Woman is a somewhat forgotten show, it’s not on syndication much, but it’s gotten a boost from a successful release on DVD. The first season takes place in the 1940s with Wonder Woman constantly fighting to dismantle the Nazi’s schemes. The following two seasons take place in the 1970s, and they will be released on DVD soon.

The show is always bordering on the level of high camp, but like most every show from the 1970s, it tells its’ story in a very plain straightforward fashion. Wonder Woman comes to the aid of Steve Trevor, who can never seem to help himself (the male in distress). Someone they know turns out to be an undercover Nazi spy, who is trying to steal valuable information or hurt many Americans.

Lynda Carter, first of all was amazing. She seemed to hit her stride in the part as the series continued and she is often so charming and innocent that you can’t help but like her. Her values and strength of character are idealistic, but they’re also missing in today’s female heroes, who are so dark sometimes, they lose their charm. In many ways, watching Lynda as Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air and of course, there still doesn’t seem to be a woman other than her who could wear that outfit and pull it off. When Wonder Woman first walks on the city streets in the pilot, you don’t know what to think, but Lynda plays her so innocently she’s fantastic.

She is the driving force, but the innocent quality of the show (good vs. bad) is unique from today’s perspective. The comic book captions at the leads of scenes give it a tie to the comics. The guest stars are often interesting and have good roles and Lyle Waggoner is consistent in a rather thankless role as Steve Trevor.  It may not hold up perfectly today, but it’s a nice time capsule series and Lynda Carter does hold up well in a role she was born to play. And along with the Hulk, this was the best of the slew of comic book hero shows from the 1970s-early 80s.

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN (1974)

CAST

Cathy Lee Crosby (Coach)
Kaz Garas (Mean Creek)
Andrew Prine (V)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
Charlene Holt (El Dorado)
Anitra Ford (The Big Bird Cage)

This Wonder Woman, which aired once in March 1974 and did well enough in the ratings for a series to be considered but was seriously retooled into the Lynda Carter vehicle. Thanks to Warner Archive, that 73 minute effort is now available for completists everywhere.
Yes, she’s Diana, princess of the Amazons and sent to man’s world. Somehow the unnamed Queen mother has decided the time has come for men everywhere to learn that women are of equal value so sends Diana to teach them. The very next scene has her playing the not very liberated role of secretary to Steve Trevor, who heads some federal agency. Absurdly, ten books with the names of 39 strategic agents around the world have been stolen by international mystery man Abner Smith. With seventy-two hours before they are exposed, the United States has to recover the books or pay millions in ransom. While a bunch of suits are given an hour to ponder the dilemma; Steve, with a wink and a nod, let’s Diana to take time off to see her “dentist”.  So much is left unexplained starting with how the Amazons have learned about the outside world and how Diana has acclimated to life in America. Her exact powers are never outlined nor is her bizarre not-very-secret identity. As written by executive producer John D.F. Black, we are expected to accept things on face value and go with it which is odd considering his extensive credits in dramatic television, including an influential role in the first half season of Star Trek.

Wonder Woman tracks down Smith, based in a nicely appointed hideout deep within the north face of the Grand Canyon. There’s some fighting, some deering-do and the odd arrival of fellow Amazon Angela, who has jealously followed Diana to the outside world to seek the wealth it offers.

What is interesting, though, is the banter between Diana and Smith or Diana and Smith’s flunky George. Here, Black demonstrates some nicely handled character, letting the bad guys be a bit more multidimensional than the star. It helps that Smith is played by Ricardo Montalban, decked out all in white long before he set up shop on Fantasy Island. He nicely chews the scenery and has nice chemistry with the Amazon Princess, woodenly played by tennis pro turned actress Cathy Lee Crosby. In civilian garb or an Olympic outfit masquerading as her costume, she lacks the imposing physique of an Amazon and her action sequences are not very athletic-looking. George is played with some relish by Andrew Prine who makes the most of his sidekick role. The rest of the cast is there to advance the story, nothing more, so Kaz Garas as Trevor or the fine character actor Richard X. Slattery have absolutely nothing to work with. Director Vincent McEveety, another Trek alum, does a by-the-numbers job with the story, making it look generic.

ABC actually thought enough of this film  to go to a series a year later. Thankfully, by then, they jettisoned Crosby for Carter and in November 1975, we got our first glimpse of what would be an icon of the decade. This film is worth watching for DC fans who like to complete sets but  this is nothing compared to Lynda Carters Wonder Woman.

REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS

CAST (VOICES)

Benjamin Bratt (Catwoman)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Tamara Taylor (Bones)
Paget Brewster (Community)
C. Thoms Howell (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Eric bauza (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Larry Cedar (Constantine)
Richard Chamberlain (Chuck)

In an alternate universe, the Justice League is a brutal force that maintains order on Earth. This universe has its own versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman:Superman is Hernan Guerra,[citation needed] the son of General Zod, who was rocketed to Earth as a child and raised by a family of honorable and hardworking Mexican migrant farmers. Having gone through the troubles that illegal immigrants face in the United States, he has become short tempered and withdrawn from humanity. Batman is Dr. Kirk Langstrom, a scientist who, after graduating college, has inadvertently transformed himself into a form of pseudo-vampire in an attempt to cure his cancer, feeding on criminals to satisfy his hunger after it begins to eat away at his humanity.
Wonder Woman is Bekka, a New God and the widow of Darkseid’s son Orion, who fled Apokolips for Earth using a mother box-sword after the New God Highfather killed her husband in a massacre of the Apokolips royal family.

The Justice League’s unaccountability is ultimately challenged by the world’s governments following the suspicious deaths of three renowned scientists: Victor Fries, who was drained of blood in the Arctic, Ray Palmer, who was sliced into two with a sharp weapon, with his car having traces of a high heel shoe, and Silas Stone, who was burned alive by an explosion of heat vision energy along with his young son Victor Stone. The true killers are dark, robotic creatures with appearances and attributes mirroring the Justice League’s, along with ‘Boom Tube’ teleportation abilities. As all suspicion falls on the Justice League, President Amanda Waller asks that they co-operate with the government’s investigation. Wonder Woman speaks to Steve Trevor to learn what the government knows while Superman invites Lois Lane to the Justice League’s HQ, where he tells her of his goals to help humanity, and reveals how little he knows about Krypton or his heritage.

Batman investigates himself and discovers an email on Silas’ computer that was sent to a number of scientists including Dr. Will Magnus, Kirk’s best friend and college roommate who helped his transformation. Having remained close friends with Magnus and his wife, Tina, Batman asks the doctor about “Project Fair Play,” which involved all the scientists under Lex Luthor’s employ, but Magnus tells him nothing. Later, Batman locates all the remaining scientists (consisting of Magnus, John Henry Irons, Michael Holt, Karen Beecher, Pat Dugan, Kimiyo Hoshi, Emil Hamilton, T. O. Morrow, and Stephen Shin) discussing the possible threat over their heads, when they are attacked by the robotic assassins, who travel via Boom Tube. Despite Batman and later, the other League Members intervening, the assassins slaughter the remaining scientists and Tina before ‘Booming’ out, with Magnus being severely burned, and the sole survivor of the attack.

The Justice League take Magnus to their HQ, the Tower of Justice, to recover, while Superman flies into orbit to a satellite, where Luthor now resides. Luthor reveals that Project Fair Play is a weapons program to destroy the League if necessary, while also revealing that he retained all the remaining information on Krypton from Superman’s shuttle, and tells him the truth about Zod, who Superman had envisioned as a hero trying to save his world. Luthor tells Superman that Waller has the original files, and as Superman leaves, a robotic assassin booms in and the satellite explodes. As Superman looks on in shock, Trevor shows satellite footage of the explosion and Superman’s presence to Waller, and she retaliates with Project Fair Play, which consists of troops and vehicles armed with energy weapons powered by red sunlight radiation.

Superman and Wonder Woman face the army at their door as Batman stays inside the Tower, where he activates the Tower’s forcefield, with the idea being that once Magnus recovers, he can clear the League. Suddenly, Tina arrives, confusing Batman, who saw her dead body, but before he can ask the obvious question, she subdues him and shapeshifts into a liquid metal robot. With Batman restrained by Tin, Magnus’ house robot, Tina revives Magnus, who is revealed to have orchestrated the framing of the League, with Nanites that enhance his physical strength to mildly superhuman levels. The assassins, and Tina, are in fact the Metal Men, and the assassins appear with a weapon. Magnus tells Batman that he intends to use a Nanite Bomb to forcefully link humanity together into a hive mind. He reveals to Batman that he accidentally killed the real Tina in a fit of rage one night early in their marriage. Overwhelmed with irrational jealousy, Will believed that she secretly loved Kirk, and was tired of her constantly begging him to find a cure for Kirk’s vampiric condition. After covering up her death, Magnus replaced her with a robotic duplicate named Platinum, and joined Fair Play soon after, intending to use its resources to fund his secret Nanite Bomb project, as he feels that his actions prove that humanity does not deserve to continue if even a brilliant, rational man like himself could do that to his own wife.

As Magnus prepares his weapon, Lex Luthor suddenly teleports into the middle of the battle outside and tells everyone that he has discovered Magnus’ plan. Inside, Batman destroys Tin and frees himself, then seizes an opportunity to drop the forcefield. The Justice League then do battle, with Batman fighting Magnus, Wonder Woman facing Platinum, and Superman fighting the other Metal Men, who quickly merge into a single, more powerful form. Eventually, they all succeed, the bomb is destroyed (at the cost of Superman’s Kryptonian escape craft) and a regretful Magnus commits suicide by disintegrating himself with nanites. week later, the Justice League has been cleared of all wrongdoing, and the world, along with Lois Lane, views them differently. Bekka decides to leave the Justice League to face her past along with Lex Luthor, who wants to explore other worlds after growing bored with this one. Before leaving through a Boom Tube, Lex Luthor gives Superman all the data on Krypton and tells him to be a “real hero”. The film ends with Superman and Batman deciding to sort through the data immediately to help humanity.Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett have really crafted a masterpiece here with ‘God’s and Monsters.’ Each of the 3 main Justice Leaguers or the trinity if you prefer, have been reimagined for this universe in very unique and imaginative ways, we enabled the writers to go further with our heroes than might be possible in the main DC continuity.