The first, and so far only, live-action Wonder Woman TV series ran from 1975 to 1979, over three seasons and across two different networks. The show went through many changes over that time, but it had one constant -- Lynda Carter as the Amazing Amazon. Carter was always a pure delight to watch, even during the series' lesser episodes, making every episode worthwhile. But if you're just discovering this classic series for the first time, here are ten episodes you don't want to miss.
The New, Original Wonder Woman (Season 1)
The pilot episode for Wonder Woman is about as faithful a comic book adaptation as one could get during this era, adapting Diana's first appearance from 1941 pretty much beat for beat. Lynda Carter owns the role from the first moment she steps on screen, and comedy legend Cloris Leachman delightfully chews the scenery as her mother, Queen Hippolyta.
The reason this feature-length episode is titled "The New, Original Wonder Woman" is that, just a year beforehand, Warner Brothers had produced a Wonder Woman TV movie that bore little resemblance to the comic book. Blonde actress Cathy Lee Crosby played Diana, and instead of her classic costume, she wore a star-spangled track suit; with most of Wonder Woman's mythology jettisoned. By going back to the original William Marston concept for Wonder Woman, this second attempt featured a "new" yet "original" version of the character. It was also a million times more successful.
Wonder Woman Meets Baroness Von Gunther (Season 1)
In the series' first regular episode, Wonder Woman is on the case to help Colonel Steve Trevor, who is being framed for several incidents of sabotage against the U.S. Government. He suspects that the Baroness Paula Von Gunther, an imprisoned Nazi spy, is to blame. The Wonder Woman TV series almost never used any of the comic book's villains, mostly due to budgetary reasons. But Baroness Von Gunther is the rare example where they did pull from the Golden Age comics, and it all makes for a fun episode.
Wonder Woman Vs. Gargantua (Season 1)
In another early season one adventure, a group of Nazis capture a wild gorilla from the jungle named Gargantua and manipulate him into fighting Wonder Woman. I mean, what more do you need to know? It's Wonder Woman vs. a gorilla!
The Feminum Mystique (Season 1)
In this two-part episode, we meet Diana's younger sister Drusilla, who comes to Washington, D.C. to check on her big sis. Not only does she discover she can turn into Wonder Girl, but she gets tricked by Nazi agents into revealing the secret location of Paradise Island. The Nazis then invade Paradise Island and force the Amazons to mine Feminum ore, the substance that makes their bracelets invulnerable.
"The Feminum Mystique" provides one of the few return trips to the Amazons' homeland in the series, and offers a greater glimpse at their society. Wonder Girl is played by future Oscar-nominated actress Debra Winger, and Queen Hippolyta is played by The Addams Family's Morticia, Carolyn Jones. In fact, every time Hippolyta appeared a different actress would play her. (Poltergeist star Beatrice Straight would take on the role in season 2.) One of the more comic-booky episodes of the series, and therefore a big fan favorite.
Judgement from Space (Season 1)
In this homage to The Day the Earth Stood Still, a group of aliens arrive on Earth in the middle of World War II to render judgement on the human race based on the atrocities of World War II. Ultimately, Wonder Woman is able to convince their emissary, Andros, that humanity is worth saving, and he promises to return in 50 years time to check on Diana's progress in helping humanity change. This two-part episode got a sequel in season two, once the series moved to the '70s, and introduced Andros' son.
Anschluss '77 (Season 2)
When Wonder Woman's moved to the '70s in season two, she still had one last Nazi menace to fight. In this episode, Diana Prince has to prevent a group of war criminals who are hiding out in Argentina from establishing a Fourth Reich -- led by none other than a clone of Adolf Hitler himself. It's as wacky and over the top as it sounds, and just as much fun to watch.
The Pied Piper (Season 2)
This episode features character actor Martin Mull as a rock star who uses his flute to hypnotize his groupies into committing crimes. When he hypnotizes the daughter of one of Diana Prince's fellow agents (played by none other than The Brady Bunch's very own Jan, actress Eve Plumb), Wonder Woman comes to the rescue. This episode has the bad guy confine Diana Prince to a spinning chair, which ultimately spins so fast it transforms her into Wonder Woman. Convenient, but awesome.
Disco Devil (Season 3)
Like most television series of the late '70s, Wonder Woman had to have an episode touching upon the Disco craze. This episode features a telepathic dancer who uses his mental abilities to steal information from government scientists visiting a Washington, D.C. night club. Diana Prince then gets a second psychic to help stop him. There’s also a glorious scene where Wonder Woman fights iconic radio DJ Wolfman Jack right on the floor of a discotheque. This is Wonder Woman at peak '70s.
Skateboard Wiz (Season 3)
This third season episode touches on another late '70s trend -- skateboarding! Here, a ruthless businessman is looking to strong-arm his way into buying a beach club from its owner. Hey, not every case Wonder Woman was involved in was of global importance... This episode features Diana Prince spinning into her Wonder Woman skateboard gear. That alone makes it one of the show's very best.
Spaced Out (Season 3)
Diana Prince goes to a sci-fi convention to uncover a stolen laser. With the first Star Wars movie still playing in some theaters, this episode relished in late '70s stereotypes about what sci-fi fandom was all about; and it's dated in the best way possible. There are plenty of Easter eggs referring to sci-fi properties of the time, from Logan's Run to Forbidden Planet. But the biggest Easter egg for genre fans is one of its guest stars -- the laser thief is played by Rene Auberjonois, who would go on to play Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.