Wonder Woman-Complete First Season (1976)

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Released 15-Aug-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Lynda Carter And Douglas S. Cramer (Exec. Prod.) - Pilot
Featurette-Beauty, Brawn And Bulletproof Bracelets: A Retrospective
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1976
Running Time 690:17 (Case: 642)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jack Arnold
Ray Austin
Bruce Bilson
Michael Caffey
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Lynda Carter
Case ?
RPI $59.95 Music Charles Fox
Johnny Harris
Artie Kane


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
French
Dutch
Swedish
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

ď...in your satin tights, fighting for your rights, and the old red white and bluuuuuuuue...Ē

††† This show is totally brilliant. As my girlfriend puts it, itís like the feminist movement as conceived by the most sexist male chauvinist pig in the world.

††† Of course, a show like this must be viewed in light of the times Ė the pilot being aired in 1975, and the remainder of the first season across 1976 and 1977. During this time, the US was in a time of social and political upheaval, having just lost the Vietnam war, gone through the Watergate scandal and the resignation of Richard Nixon before his impending impeachment, the Cold War was entering its second phase with detente slowly coming to an end and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan looming, and there were growing tensions in US-Middle East relations. American morale was at an all time low, and President Jimmy Carter was keeping his head down. This show is a direct reflection of those times, and a very melodramatic attempt at ego-boosting.

††† Check out a typical scene from the first season:

INT: Day. A Hospital. MAJOR STEVE TREVOR (Lyle Waggoner) lies in bed with a bandage over his chest where he was shot. Around Steve stand GENERAL BLANKENSHIP (Richard Eastham) and the beautiful YOEMAN DIANA PRINCE A.K.A. WONDER WOMAN (Lynda Carter) in disguise.

STEVE
I must get out of bed. I have to get back to the war effort.

GENERAL BLANKENSHIP
No, youíre too badly injured.

STEVE
But Iím a war hero. And a tough one. Not like those pussies in Vietnam who chickened out when the going got tough and came home with all that long hair and drugs and joined the peace movement. Oh no, not like them. Iím tough.

YOEMAN PRINCE / WONDER WOMAN
(whispers) Anachronisms.

STEVE
(whispers) Oh s*** ó I mean, um, er, (back to normal ďgung hoĒ voice) Iím a war hero. One of those real World War II type war heroes. Ahem! Yeah, I donít chicken out after taking a few bullets. Oh no.

YOEMAN PRINCE / WONDER WOMAN
(under her breath) No, but you do tend to be a bit of a pussy getting yourself knocked out all the time. But I guess all those knocks to the head have left you with a little bit of brain damage.

STEVE
Whatís that Diana?

YOEMAN PRINCE / WONDER WOMAN
Oh, nothing. Youíre fantastic Steve. Fantastic. But donít you think you can rest a few more days.

STEVE
A real man never rests when his countryís under threat. He joins up in the army and fights for what is right.

GENERAL BLANKENSHIP
Well, actually Major, Yoeman Prince is right. Your help isnít desperately required. I mean, the Russians have the Germans pretty much taken care of. After luring them into Stalingrad and wiping them out, there was the battle of Kursk that all but obliterated the German Panzer divisions, and thenó

YOEMAN PRINCE / WONDER WOMAN
(Kicks the General in the ankle.) (Hisses.) You canít mention the Russians Ė itís the Cold War!

GENERAL BLANKENSHIP
Yes, yes. Of course, of course. The Americans, we won the war. Yes.

YOEMAN PRINCE / WONDER WOMAN
(whispers) Will win.

GENERAL BLANKENSHIP
Huh? Oh. I mean will win the war. Yes, will.

††† Okay, so thatís a little bit of an exaggeration ... but not much of one.

††† Donít get me wrong, Iíve just come off the back of a massive Wonder Woman binge (all three seasons in a weekend Ė awesome!), and Iím not sure Iíve laughed this hard in a while. Truly, whether intentional or not, this show is a total laugh riot. And once youíve been brainwashed with five or six episodes, itís really addictive.

††† All 14 episodes of The Complete First Season are here for your viewing pleasure. I do not intend to give you a full run down of each episode. Far better summaries than I could provide can be found at TV.com amongst other places. The following is a list of the contents as set out on these DVDs in original broadcast order:

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Disc 4

Disc 5

††† Sure, the later seasons were significantly better, particularly after they ditched all the Nazi stuff and the anachronisms that often went along with it. But even then itís hard not to see Steve, either Jr or Sr, as a total pussy by comparison to the awesome Wonder Woman. I sometimes think they should have got a similarly strong male character, and maybe played the chemistry a little better, like Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting. Not that I have an aversion in any way to watching Wonder Woman save Steve Ė with that whole spin around where she changes into her satin tights, itís all just so cool. And letís face it, Lynda Carter was and is a seriously hot babe. Iíd get myself in trouble just to be saved by her.

††† Okay, so Iím seriously biased where this show is concerned, having watched it semi-religiously as a child. And, yes, I had a major crush on Wonder Woman. But any which way you put it, this show has just the right level of camp to be funny, and is still engaging enough in its plots to keep you interested. Thereís also plenty of sex appeal going on, and enough to keep both kids and adults happy. If youíve never had the pleasure, and youíre a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series, I highly recommend you give it a go. Get into the 70s swing, and youíll have a ball...

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

††† Transferred here in its original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1, Full Frame, non-16x9 enhanced, this transfer is excellent for a show of this age. I was quite impressed.

††† Colour saturation exceeded my expectations, and is quite well balanced.

††† There is a touch of graininess, particularly in the shadowy scenes, but really much less than Iíve seen on other more recent series.

††† There are no MPEG artefacts, but there are some minor film-to-video transfer artefacts Ė the usual offenders of background aliasing and occasional moire, usually on blinds. I never found it distracting, and I really had to look for it.

††† There is a bit of dirt on the print, but it is limited to the credits and the special effects sequences. On the whole, this is an exceptionally clean print, particularly, again, for a show this old.

††† There are a variety of subtitles as listed above. They are white with a black/grey border. The English subtitles are quite accurate.

††† Although there are only 3 episodes per disc, I didnít spot one dual layer pause. I was expecting a pause inside at least one of the episodes, but I never saw one. Given that there is only 1.0 mono audio available, itís entirely possible that they could get two episodes on one layer, and one on another with the special features. Also, it would seem that there are only 3 discs in the commercial release, 2 dual-sided (and apparently dual-layered) and 1 single sided.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† Audio is available in English and French 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono track encoded at 192Kb/s. I listened to the English track and sampled the French track.

††† For a mono track, this is pretty darn good. Again, Iím nicely impressed with what Warner Home Video have done with this series. Like Paramount Home Entertainment did with Star Trek: The Original Series, Warner has done a very good remastering job, although without going to the extent of a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix (more's the pity).

††† Dialogue is clear and easily understood. The minor sync faults are definitely source faults.

††† The range is good for a mono track, although unfortunately we donít get any surround or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

††† All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio. The other menus are static and silent.

Audio Commentary: ďThe All New Wonder WomanĒ by Lynda Carter (Actress) and Douglas S. Cramer (Executive Producer) (Disc 1)

††† Presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, this is a very interesting commentary track, and well worth listening to, so long as you take everything said with a grain or two of salt.

Featurette: ďBeauty, Brawn And Bulletproof Bracelets: Wonder WomanĒ (21:12) (Disc 3)

††† Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, this is a great retrospective documentary.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† I do not have an R1 copy for an exact comparison, but from what I can tell the content is identical, aside from the NTSC picture format and the region coding. Buy whichever is cheapest.

Summary

††† Wonder Woman is an institution, with its catchy theme, cartoon storytelling, and a seriously foxy central character.

††† The DVD set is also pretty good, if a little light on extras. That said, Iíd rather have what weíve got than a whole bunch of promotional crap that would just drive the price up.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Monday, May 22, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS50 LCD Cineza Projector with HP 80" Widescreen (16:9) HDTV Mobile Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersDigital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R1 packaging vs R4 - Anonymous