Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lynda Carter!

I watched when Wonder Woman appeared on network television. I don't know if I first saw her as a guest-star on the cartoon show The Brady Kids. Or maybe you want to count the Kathy Lee Crosby "Wonder Woman" TV movie from 1974. Or The Super Friends cartoon that made its debut in 1973. Of course, I watched all of those. What I want to talk about here today, however, is the person most people think of when they hear the name "Wonder Woman"....Miss Lynda Carter! Today is her birthday; she is 62 years young. 

The first year and a half of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series was set during World War II and was broadcast on ABC. It was originally a trio of TV movies, but when the ratings came in ABC ordered a full year. They weren't sure what they had, though; they let the show go, where it was picked up by CBS and aired for another two years. During these two seasons the show was set in the present.

So if you are a DC comic-book geek, it's almost like the first season was set on Earth 2, and the last two seasons were set on Earth 1! (If you don't know what this means, never mind: you didn't read comics before 1985.)
Compare the costumes from the first season (above)....

Lyle Waggoner also appeared as Major Steve Trevor in the first half; as his son, Steve Trevor, Jr, in the second life.  In the WWII era stories Steve and Wonder Woman were something of an "item," but in the present day shows they were only friends. Oddly enough, I don't see any reference as to who his mother was in the series, although I'm sure Diana wasn't his mother!

....with the Modern Day version! 

I remember the first season set in the Forties. I remember the Nazis, and the period buildings and cars, and I thought it was fun. I probably watched an episode or two of the later shows but I don't remember them anywhere nearly as well as I remember the first ones. Besides, by 1978 I was "too old" to watch kiddie shows like this on a Friday night; I remember not watching Spider-Man or The Hulk, either, after the first few episodes.

Still, what I remember most fondly about this show was the star portraying the Amazing Amazon. I've read that Lynda Carter has said she took the job seriously, never acting like the character was a joke. I think it showed; she had her heart in it, and even when the series got more sci-fi stupid, the character was always respectable.

A few years ago my daughter and I watched the movie SKY HIGH, the comedy drama about the school for young super-heroes. Lynda Carter appears as the Principal of the school, and she is as charming and amazing as she always was. She is, dare I say it....wonderful!

Happy Birthday, Lynda Carter! 

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching Wonder Woman as a youngster in the '70's and an older brother watching with me. He'd always say, "Oh, MAN! WHY does she have to quit spinning?" whenever she became Wonder Woman. ;)