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Warner Home Video presents
Wonder Woman: The Complete Third Season (1978)

"Show's over, boys."
- Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 30, 2005

Stars: Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner
Other Stars: Leif Garrett, Roddy McDowall, Joan Van Ark, Ted Shackleford
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 18h:57m:00s
Release Date: June 07, 2005
UPC: 012569681415
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- AA-B B-

DVD Review

Another season of Wonder Woman can mean only one thing: more Lynda Carter! My beloved first childhood crush is back in action as everyone's favorite female superhero. She had completely embodied her role and become a household name back in the '70s, smack dab in the middle of the Star Wars craze. This third season of the show was, sadly, the last, but Carter was never better. Even today, when producers are clamoring to cast a modern Wonder Woman for a feature film, fans are beyond skeptical that no one will be able to handle the character like Carter did. Regardless of who they get, Lynda Carter will always be the Wonder Woman.

This final batch of episodes is our heroine's second go-around with fighting crime in modern (the late '70s) times. Picking up where the second season left off as far as visual flair and quirky storylines go, My Teenage Idol Is Missing has always been one of this show's most memorable efforts. The main reason for this is the guest starring role by then-pop-icon and heartthrob, Leif Garrett, playing dual roles as a pop star (what a stretch!) and his post-kidnapping, look-alike replacement. There's actually quite a bit of chemistry between Carter and Garrett, who hadn't had much previous acting experience.

The writers saved some of their best ideas for last, coming up with some truly memorable shows. The Fine Art of Crime is notable for an excellent guest turn by the great Roddy McDowall. There's an excellent story in Disco Devil, as Wonder Woman tries to stop a disco with some mind-altering experiments going on behind its scenes. This is definitely one of the episodes that "dates" Wonder Woman, as we don't see many TV shows set in discos these days.

There are more guest stars in Time Bomb, with Joan Van Ark and Ted Shackleford from Knots Landing showing up as a pair of time travelers who are up to no good. This episode really gets its kick from Van Ark's performance, who does a very convincing job as someone who will stop at nothing to change history to suit her purposes.

The best hours of the bunch were those near the end, including The Starships Are Coming, Amazon Hot Wax (Wonder Woman sings!), the two-parter The Boy Who Knew Her Secret, and what should have been the series finale, The Man Who Could Not Die. Both parts of The Boy Who Knew Her Secret focus on the importance of Wonder Woman's identity being secret and the repercussions of its revelation.

The Man Who Could Not Die features the underrated Lyle Waggoner's best performance in the show, as his character of Steve Trevor must look fate square in the eyes. Ending the series here would have worked perfectly, as so many plot points seemed to have been wrapped up quite nicely, including Diana Prince's move to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, these tidy bits of closure were thrown on their head in the final two-parter, The Phantom of the Roller Coaster.

For some reason, Diana is magically back on the East Coast and Steve is back in the picture. This would be all well and good if the reasons behind these inconsistencies were explained at all. They aren't, but, thanks to an exciting, very involving storyline that is worthy of being spread out over two episodes, all is forgiven, and the show goes out on a good note.

Wonder Woman is a show that left the airwaves way too soon. Sure, these days, revisiting the show might make it come across as pure camp, but it was much more. By creating multi-level storylines and characters that we actually cared about, tuning into the show every week became a ritual for comic book fans, as well as those who just love a good action-heavy show. Of course, having a childhood crush on Lynda Carter was enough to make a person tune in every week as well.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: In an improvement from the already impressive Season Two DVDs, each of these full-frame presentations shimmers with beauty. The colors are brighter and bolder than ever, capturing the wonderful comic book feel of the cinematography. These nicely restored transfers still feature some grain, but, again, this is mostly due to the age of the source material, and there is far less than in the previous DVD set.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Again, we get Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, and there's no improvement over the previous seasons' DVDs. This won't bother fans at all, though, as the dialogue still comes across clearly, with only minor problems at times. The sound effects are also crisp, and blend in with the music and dialogue flawlessly.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Lynda Carter
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: DVD-18

Extras Review: There are only a couple of extras in this set, including an audio commentary track by Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter. This can be heard during the first episode of the season, My Teenage Idol Is Missing, and Ms. Carter spends most of the time reflecting on being Wonder Woman, and also talks about working with Leif Garrett.

A featurette called Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Feminist Icon is nearly 14 minutes long, and features interviews with Carter and various women authors who are strong feminists. These interesting interviews are combined with footage from the show to make for a nice piece.

There's also a bonus, seventh DVD packaged along with this set, but in a separate sleeve. This platter is Volume Seven of Warner Home Video's 50-Year Anniversary Commemorative series, and features an episode of Shazam! This show was as campy as they come, but it was great to revisit it after all of these years.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

A quartet of DVD-18 discs house the final 24 episodes of Wonder Woman. Thankfully, Wonder Woman: The Complete Third Season presents these shows with excellent audio and video transfers. An audio commentary with Lynda Carter is the highlight of a rather paltry set of extras.


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