You Can’t Fool Me, Wonder Woman!
Lately I have been checking out series pilots for some of those cheesy seventies shows. The Six Million Dollar Man, The Man From Atlantis and The New Original Wonder Woman which appeared on television in 1975. I never watched any of these shows growing up. My parents preferred Archie Bunker and many of the police shows of the day like Baretta. Or how about Party Game……I can’t believe they watched that one. At least they let me watch reruns of Hogan’s Heroes after school around the dinner hour.
You have to remember these were the days of only one television and a remote control that was glued to a parents hand.
Tongue in cheek I thought I’d have some fun with the Wonder Woman pilot after spotting a strangely familiar scene.
After the credits finish rolling I am shocked to see Donald Sutherland, Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson pulling up by car to the ill fated chateau of The Dirty Dozen. Now although you can’t make out their faces in the car as it’s a long shot, you can’t fool me. The Dozen is my all time fave flick and the opening clip here has been lifted from the Robert Aldrich classic.
Next thing I know Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars) is moonlighting from Young Frankenstein to play a Nazi sending Victor Newman of The Young and Restless (Eric Braeden) to certain death in a flying mission thru the Bermuda Triangle. It’s here we’ll find Lyle Waggoner taking a break from playing the dashing hero of many Carol Burnett sketches meeting him in the skies for a fighter plane dogfight.
Lyle winds up wounded and parachutes on to an island where Cloris Leachman rules. Thankfully Lynda Carter takes a liking to the wounded pilot.
Hercules Unchained with Steve Reeves anyone? It’s so easy to go into countless sexual jokes here concerning an island of attractive women with not a man in sight or a decent performance to be found. Especially when the script has Cloris emoting lines like, “I named this island “Paradise” for an excellent reason. There are no men on it. Thus, it is free of their wars, their greed, their hostility, their… barbaric… masculine… behavior. All this as she bites her hand. Then of course she worries about her daughters virtue, ” Because I sense what might happen between you and that man.” Surely Cloris is looking for Mel Brooks on the sidelines.
Once Wonder Woman comes to America she meets everyone from Oscar winner Red Buttons to Jerry Lewis’ dream girl Stella Purdy (Stevens). It’s Stella who has a knock down drag out fight with our super hero in an Adam West fashion. It’s quite obvious that was the direction the producers were aiming for. They forgot to include the POW and SOCK effects.
Having never seen this I admit to having no idea it was going to take place during WW2. Kenneth Mars did his usual style of chin out stoic style ham job and turning up as his aid in a German uniform was Henry Gibson. Obviously in training for his role as the Head Nazi in The Blues Brothers.
Not wanting to upset the standard Clark Kent style formula, Lynda throws on a set of glasses and has Lyle fooled as the pilot movie ends and the lame Wonder Woman theme song kicks into high gear.
As for lifting that Dirty Dozen clip, does anyone remember when Dennis Weaver was edited out of Spielberg’s Duel with the remaining footage shoehorned into an episode of The Incredible Hulk?