If Wonder Woman‘s pilot had been badly uneven, with all the guest characters twirling mustaches and playing comedy baddies, then this is much better, and far more toned down. It’s a simple, kid-friendly adventure with a script by Margaret Armen, and you have to be willing to accept secret passages out of federal prisons during wartime for this to work. For all of Batman‘s silliness, they never once pretended there were secret tunnels for the criminals to get out of Gotham State Prison.
Speaking of kid-friendly, this is the episode where Wonder Woman leaves her magic lasso in the care of a little boy whose dad is the prison’s warden. I was actually thinking this week about how I enjoyed the bit in the pilot movie where Wonder Woman didn’t understand much about American society, including money, and how the show would have been more entertaining if the character was still learning about everything. Instead, we got super-efficient Yeoman Diana Prince, with her Georgetown apartment.
Well, I say Georgetown, but that’s so California. There’s a bit at the “Old Virginia Stables,” and they were probably shooting M*A*S*H on the hill behind it and had the Dukes of Hazzard crew shooting there the next day.
Anyway, Wonder Woman is still naive enough to leave her lasso behind in a kid’s care for the Nazi saboteurs, led by Christine Belford and Bradford Dillman, to steal. Our son liked the kid, who was clearly there for the five year-olds in the audience. He said that he liked the beginning best, most likely meaning the two scenes where Wonder Woman rescues Steve from a couple of scrapes.
Casting note: this is the first episode with Richard Eastman as General Blankenship, and it pretends to introduce Beatrice Colen as Corporal Etta Candy. The character has exactly two lines and is not named, so we’ll call it a first appearance rather than an introduction.