Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Might've Been: Wonder Woman (1967)

The camp crimebuster craze that started with Batman came full circle when producer-narrator William Dozier decided that an adaptation of Wonder Woman would be done as more of a sitcom than an adventure series. This had to be the worst of Dozier's ideas in the three years of his Greenway/Greenlawn Productions. (Greenlawn was the name used for a Dick Tracy pilot that we'll discuss later)

The idea was that Diana Prince (Ellie Mae Walker) was a bachelorette who was still living with her mom (Maudie Prickett). Obviously realizing that Walker was not suitable to play Wonder Woman, Dozier hired a second actress, Linda Harrison (later of "Planet of the Apes"), to play the Amazing Amazon, totally against type. Suffice to say, the pilot didn't sell, and would spell the end for Dozier, as he never sold another series.

In all, Dozier had 4 series hit the air between 1965-68. We've previously reviewed Green Hornet here, and Batman was covered in Saturday Morning Archives. We'll either reprint that review, or do a fresh one down the line. Dozier, however, failed to click with a sitcom (The Tammy Grimes Show) and a Western (The Loner) in 1965, but, as I noted last time, once Batman ended, that was that for Dozier, whose last contribution to television was a PSA that reunited Burt Ward & Yvonne Craig (Robin & Batgirl), but with Dick Gautier (ex-Get Smart) subbing for Adam West as Batman. That'll be up some time soon. In the meantime, here is the infamous Wonder Woman pilot, in black & white, "Who's Afraid of Diana Prince?"

A teaser for this pilot was included on the Batgirl pilot VHS I refernced last time. That was enough for me.

Rating: F.


magicdog said...

I've seen this clip before and I think it failed because they wanted to camp it up like Batman, rather than take a more serious route (like with The Green Hornet).

Lucky for us, Linda Carter ended up making WW her own! She's still considered the embodiment of the character and the benchmark to strive for.

You mentioned Linda Harrison but I didn't see her anywhere in the clip - or was she hired after the clip for the series had it been greenlit?

hobbyfan said...

She's the one in the Wonder Woman costume in the mirror image.

Dozier didn't know what he was doing, thinking the camp format would work on another comics character, but Dick Tracy, with a rogues gallery twice as bizarre as Batman's, was being played up virtually on the same serious level as Green Hornet. Go figure.