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Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season (1977)

"Dr. Bleaker, I always wondered when I'd have the displeasure of meeting you."
- Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: February 28, 2005

Stars: Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner
Other Stars: Normann Burton
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 18h:14m:00s
Release Date: March 01, 2005
UPC: 012569595231
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-B+B C

DVD Review

Ok, I'll come right out and say it: Lynda Carter was my first crush. Granted, I was about seven when I first saw Wonder Woman on TV, and I still thought girls were "icky," but I remember having a hard time taking my eyes off the gorgeous Ms. Carter. Of course, I didn't know why at the time, but in revisiting the show now, it's obvious. Not only does Ms. Carter embody Wonder Woman as far as fighting crime went, but she had the perfect body as far as male comic book fans are concerned as well. Her voluptuous frame would have stopped any man in his tracks, and made a perfect comparison to the way Wonder Woman looked in the comic books that long preceded the TV show. Just as everyone will always associate Christopher Reeve with Superman, the world will forever see Lynda Carter as the ultimate Wonder Woman.

The strange thing about the 22 episodes in Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season is that the show jumps 35 years in time from when the first season's episodes took place. Season two has Wonder Woman fighting crime in the 1970s, while in the first season, she was involved in World War II. The show also shifted networks, jumping from ABC to CBS between those seasons. While some fans were initially turned off by this sudden shift, it turned out to be for the better, as Season Two featured tighter, overall better storylines that took the Wonder Woman character to a wider array of locations instead of confining her to the surroundings of the war.

Season Two is also the one that really put Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter on the pop culture map. Sure, Ms. Carter's career didn't amount to much when the show was prematurely cancelled after only three seasons, but her work in this season was compelling enough to cement the world's image of the Wonder Woman character forever. Unfortunately, this is also the reason that Ms. Carter didn't get much work following the show's cancellation, as superhero roles almost always lead to typecasting. (Christopher Reeve received few juicy roles once he appeared as Superman, and Michael Keaton's career was never the same following the first two Batman movies.) It's too bad that Lynda Carter followed the same path, but after seeing her in the featurette included in this set, she seems to be doing just fine without the Hollywood spotlight.

The season kicks off with the episode The Return of Wonder Woman. Given the title, this episode's storyline should come as no surprise. The son of Major Steve Trevor, Steve Trevor Jr. (again played by Lyle Waggoner) is in a plane crash near Paradise Island, where Wonder Woman is now living. When she finds Steve and mistakes him for his father, his further explanations cause Wonder Woman to realize that her powers are needed in the outside world again. After convincing her mother, the Queen of the Amazons, that this is the right thing to do, it's back to her crime fighting ways, and not a moment too soon.

With the season having started off with a bang of an episode, the show continues to improve from here on in. While the storyline isn't as linear as some fans would like, the individual stories and action sequences are incredible, especially for a late 1970s show. The writers even bring some of the villainous aspects of Wonder Woman's WWII days back into this second season; a nice touch, indeed.

Season Two concludes with the excellent episode, The Murderous Missile, with Wonder Woman tracking an experimental thought-controlled missile that has fallen into the wrong hands. Classic comic book stuff, the episode is the perfect send-off for this second outing. Reflected in these episodes is an amazingly seamless transfer not only between networks, but between three decades of time, and it's just a real shame that Wonder Woman didn't have the chance to fight crime for more than three television years.

The bottom line is that Wonder Woman would not have even lasted the three years that it did, had it not been for Lynda Carter. You get the sense throughout the course of the series, that she just simply had fun playing this legendary comic book character. The star delivers her overly cheesy lines with such flawless grace that you know she's in on the joke and loving every minute of it. Carter was obviously dedicated enough to her role to stay in great shape throughout the physically demanding season.

Wonder Woman: The Complete Second Season comes to DVD in similar fashion to the Season One set, although it's lacking any commentary tracks and includes a featurette that's shorter than the one in that set. Still, the video is better than expected and the audio will please purists and die-hard fans of the show alike. Hopefully, the next box will see a lot more extras, but finally having these shows at the ready is a bonus in and of itself.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: We have the original full-frame presentations that seem to have been cleaned up quite a bit from the source material. While grain is almost constantly apparent, the level of image detail has been greatly improved. Colors are much more bright and vivid than they originally showed up on TV, with black levels as consistently deep as they were for the first season's episodes on DVD. Overall, purists will be happy that their beloved show hasn't been digitally altered to appear "fake," with the cleanup sure to only add to their enjoyment of the show.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 mono is about as good as can be expected for this late 1970s show. Dialogue is crisp and clear, with only a minor hiss that creeps up, albeit infrequently. The great theme song sounds very good, even though it's limited given the overall range.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
4 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: DVD-18

Extras Review: The only extra in the entire boxed set is a good one. Revolutionizing a Classic: From Comic Book to Television is an 11-minute featurette featuring interviews with Lynda Carter and a few people who are currently involved in the comic book industry, as they reminisce about the Wonder Woman TV show. They mainly focus on how the series remained as true as possible to the comic book and its storylines.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Warner Home Video has done another nice job bringing Wonder Woman to DVD, although the extras are somewhat lacking. Watching Lynda Carter fighting crime as Wonder Woman is truly a sight to behold.

 


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