CLASSIC REVIEW: ‘Lois & Clark’ Season 1 DVD

‘Lois & Clark’ Season 1 DVD

CLASSIC REVIEW: ‘Lois & Clark’ Season 1 DVD

Up, up and away with season 1 of the classic 90s TV series on DVD for our first classic review.

‘Lois & Clark’ Season 1 DVD
‘Lois & Clark’ Season 1 DVD

Directed by various

Written by various

Purchase your copy @ Amazon.co.uk now

Beware of spoilers… if that’s still possible 20 years later!It’s Friday; it’s the end of the week so why not dive in to the vault and review a good old blast-from-the-past TV show that was a big part of my childhood.

It’s hard to believe that this show first premiered 20 years ago – September 12th 1993 to be exact – and still holds up well against modern day shows. This DVD set was released in 2006 and contains the first 21 episodes (click here for a complete list) across 6 discs and includes a small amount of bonus features:

  • Commentary on the pilot by Dean Cain, executive producer Deborah Joy LeVine, and director Robert Butler
  • From Rivals to Romance: series retrospective documentary
  • “Taking Flight: The Visual Effects of Lois & Clark
  • Original pilot presentation introducted by Deborah Joy LeVine
  • Interviews with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher

The premise of the show is to skip the years that Clark (Dean Cain) lived in Smallville and pickup the story as he arrives to start a new life in Metropolis. The usual cast of characters are present: Lois Lane (Terri Hatcher), Jimmy Olsen (here played by Michael Landes) and of course Perry White (Lane Smith). Also present is Martha Kent (K Callan) and in a change to the Superman mythos also Jonathan Kent (Eddie Jones).

It doesn’t take a genius to work out who the big-bad for the first season of the show is: Lex Luthor (John Shea).

The arc of the season follows the growing reputation of Superman and the burgeoning love triangle between Clark/Superman, Lois and Luthor. Thrown in for good measure are a whole load of brilliant villain of the week characters including: cyborgs, evil clones and Federal Agents working for the shady Bureau 39.

I’ve recently been re-watching this series and even upscaled through a blu-ray player the image holds up well. The special effects, as expected look pretty crude in places but are now just part of the charm of this little series. Much in the way that we look back at old episodes of Star Trek and fondly remember how the effects were at the forefront of technology available at the time.

The chemistry between Cain and Hatcher is the crux of the show but actually the relationships between all the characters function brilliantly thanks to the diligent work by the various writers who passed through the series during its run.

The show feeds off the will-they-wont-they which was such a draw for ‘Moonlighting’ before it and most recently ‘Bones’ which much like ‘Lois & Clark’ continued to be a success after the will-they-wont-they is resolved.

The DVD itself is a slip cover containing three small cases, each containing two discs and brief episode details on the slipcover. The artwork here isn’t outstanding but it never is for shows of this magnitude.

The special features are brief but it’s nice for me as a viewer who was too young to be interested in following behind the scenes of the show have a little insight in to the hysteria that surrounded the show.

For younger audiences who are perhaps more familiar with the ‘Smallville’ series or even just the ‘Superman Returns’ and ‘Man of Steel’ movies this would be a great insight in to Superman history as well being an all round enjoyable 90s TV drama.

I suggest you run out and pick this up if you haven’t already.

7/10

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E03 ‘Tests’

TV REVIEW: ‘Beware the Batman’ S01E03 ‘Tests’

Anarchy arrives in Gotham City.

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E03 ‘Tests’
‘Beware the Batman’ S01E03 ‘Tests’

Directed by Curt Geda

Written by Jim Krieg

Watch it on Cartoon Network USA @ 10:00 Saturdays!

Beware of spoilers!


This week on ‘Beware the Batman’ Anarky arrives in Gotham City and to cause… well… anarchy.

Here is another character with whom I am not familiar however he has recently been on my radar due to his inclusion in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins game to be released in October. My knowledge of him still only extends to knowing that he’s not too dissimilar to the Riddler.

After featuring Pyg & Toad in episode one this show has stuck to characters who put the viewer in mind of other (or is that more famous) villains from within the Batman mythos. I can’t decide if this is to help the viewer settle in to the idea of avoiding the a-list rogues gallery or purely coincidental because there are just so many villains out there that it is inevitable that characteristics will overlap.

Anarky sadly doesn’t quite carry the weight that I had hoped he would. Looking at his costume from the comics I’m not sure why the productions designers on this show have decided to go with an all-white look for him other than to allow references to Batman – dressed in full black – being his total opposite.

I’ve read in the press that producers are touting Anarky as being a major villain in this series and if this is to be true then I am disappointed that they have chosen to introduce him in an episode that feels rushed.

Much of Anarky’s plan is carried out by hired henchmen – albeit ones who appeared in the last episode in a moment of continued great continuity – which takes away from his ability to be a lone threat and as such his character feels weak in comparison to last week’s Magpie. This also affects the story which doesn’t feel as strong as the mystery of ‘Secrets’ but that’s not to say there isn’t a lot to take in and enjoy here.

I can’t fault the continuing storylines that a running throughout each episode in addition to the villain of the week. The story of Tatsu and her mistrust of Bruce is a highlight to the show and it’s a welcome change to have her still unaware that Bruce is Batman after three episodes although I don’t think it will be much longer before she learns the truth.

Alfred is still wearing the cast on his leg so the injury sustained in ‘Hunted’ is still lingering which although painful for him is just brilliant for continuity. I’m impressed with the attention to detail on this show which great for helping me forget that I’m watching a style of animation that I am not fond of in a 30min format.

One character that has been sadly lacking in this series is the city of Gotham itself. In episodes one and two it felt somewhat sterile which many of the scenes focussing on abandoned buildings and unpopulated areas but this week Anarchy has at least taken some of the action to Gotham’s citizens and this allows the show to widen its soundscape whilst providing a more realistic image on screen. It would be great to be introduced to further supporting players in this Gotham universe: perhaps Lucius Fox/Wayne Enterprises or even the Mayor of Gotham.

Overall this episode is a slightly bump in the road for a series which is still only in it early infancy on our screens.

5/10

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E02 ‘Secrets’

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E02 ‘Secrets’

It’s Magpie’s turn to step in to the spotlight in strong second episode to new Batman series.

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E02 ‘Secrets’
‘Beware the Batman’ S01E02 ‘Secrets’

Directed by Rick Morales

Written by Mitch Watson

Watch it on Cartoon Network USA @ 10:00 Saturdays!

Beware of spoilers!

Its week two in the world of CGI Batman and this week he’s facing off with a villainess who starts out struggling to step out from the shadow of Catwoman to make a name for herself.

I had the pleasure of being able to watch this episode live on TV in America as I was away on holiday for the original airdate. It was nice to be able to see the story unfold on screen before being able to be spoiled by the world of twitter.

As I have already covered some of the production aspects of this show in my review of episode one for this episode I will focus more on the story.

For a cartoon aimed at a young audience it is brilliant to see that storyline follow on directly from the conclusion of episode one. Scenes with Bruce, Alfred and Tatsu pick up immediately where they left off and events from that previous episode continue to have consequences here. The writers could easily have time jumped the show to a point where Alfred’s leg had healed from his injuries sustained at the hands of Pyg and Toad or could have dropped them completely as this isn’t an unknown tactic in children’s TV.

The continuing story will hopefully also apply to a bigger arc featuring Batman and the villains of the show as I think this would really help to set the show apart from previous versions of Batman on TV. The style of storytelling is reminiscent of recent DC animated shows like Young Justice and is a welcome addition to older viewers who will always undoubtedly tune in to this type of show.

This week’s villain is Magpie played by Grey DeLisle who is well known in the DC animation universe for appearing in many shows, DTV movies and also the recent Injustice: Gods Amongst Us video game. Just like Pyg and Toad I know very little about her history as a character and after her initial appearance on screen I struggled to set her apart from a clone of Catwoman but as the story progresses her insanity sets her apart from the the end she has carved herself a niche in this universe. Her character has enough personality and on-screen presence that she could easily slot in amongst some of the A-list villains that this show could pull out of its bag in the future.

It’s worth noting that after his brief appearance on the news in episode one Lt Gordon has a much beefed up role here and there’s even a surprise appearance by teenage daughter Barbara who is already showing an interest in the escapades of Batman. In a post BTAS world I’ve often felt that Gordon, along with other supporting players in the Batman world, hasn’t been portrayed well. The exception to that statement being Barbara’s recurring role in ‘The Batman’ season 3.

Those who felt that episode two was lacking some of Batman’s trademark detective skills will be happy to see that unlike the straight-up kidnapping in ‘Hunted’ there is an unmasking mystery at the heart of ‘Secrets’ which requires both Bruce and Batman to be on the ball. We’re seeing three different sides to the character being depicted in this show: the public side of Bruce Wayne; the real Bruce and Batman. Each has a distinctive tone to set them apart from the rest and here it continue to provide great material for Anthony Ruivivar to work with.

This series is shaping up to be a solid entry in to the animated Batman world and I’m looking forward to seeing the introduction of Anarchy in the next episode.

7/10

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E01 ‘Hunted’

TV REVIEW: ‘Beware the Batman’ S01E01 ‘Hunted’

The Dark Knight takes flight in a new CGI animated cartoon series on Cartoon Network.

‘Beware the Batman’ S01E01 ‘Hunted’
‘Beware the Batman’ S01E01 ‘Hunted’

Directed by Sam Liu

Written by Mitch Watson

Watch it on Cartoon Network USA @ 10:00 Saturdays!

Beware of spoilers!

’Beware the Batman’ is the Cartoon Network’s latest Saturday morning incarnation of The Dark Knight and in the Batman timeline it replaces ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ as the flagship Bat-show.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation in partnership with DC Entertainment the show is executive produced by Sam Register (co-producer of Teen Titans) and produced by Glen Murakami (Batman Beyond, Teen Titans) and Mitch Watson who also serves as the writer on this episode.

The premise of the show ousts the Batman origin – who doesn’t know it by now?! – and instead brings us in to a slightly altered Batman universe that focuses on elements often forgotten in other versions. The most obvious on show here is beefing up the history of Alfred as an ex-secret agent followed by the introduction of Katana.

The first was first announced just over a year ago and little was known about the format aside from sparse comments from the production team and a few images of the animation and I have to admit that in that year I was dubious about the idea of a CGI cartoon based on my favourite hero as I’m generally cautious around any 3D animated TV series.

But thankfully this pilot dispelled most of my fears.

Similar to when ‘The Batman’ first premiered in September 2004 this show is being heavily compared to ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ (hereby BTAS). Unless by some sheer miracle a new version of Batman comes along and de-thrones BTAS  every future cartoon will be unfairly compared to brilliance that was the 1992 show. This is not comparison you will find below… well maybe one reference…

This show has a much darker tone than ‘The Brave and the Bold’ which finds itself more in line with the Nolan movie series of recent years and in that I find this show to be a great return to form. I like ‘The Brave and the Bold’ but I didn’t love it.

There are few daylight scenes in this episode so the colour palette is naturally very dark and as you can see from the above screen-cap Batman’s costume is also in line with the movie universe in that it is almost entirely black.

There’s an interesting mix of modern and classic design which echoes the mashup of modern and art deco which became known as the dark deco of BTAS (there’s your one reference). It’s not a rip-off and looks in no way similar but it works well. I particularly like the design of the Bat-computer with its retro keyboard. Also keep an eye out for the various gadgets from the utility belt which all feature nifty designs.

The voice cast here is well suited. Anthony Ruivivar (Tropic Thunder, Third Watch) is our Batman and at times could be mistaken for Kevin Conroy (okay second reference) but is on his way to finding his individual Batman voice.

The voice which stood out most for me was JB Blanc (The Count of Monte Cristo and PotC: At World’s End) as Alfred. His portrayal is so un-typically Alfred that it takes some getting used to. Other reviewers have referred to this Alfred as a Jason Statham type and I am inclined to agree. His characterisation will take the most time to become accustomed to for many a fan but don’t discredit him; the potential for interesting development is there and waiting to be tapped.

The dialogue is strong and consistent throughout and from the opening scenes each of the characters has their own voice within this world. This Batman is younger and inexperienced and its made clear to us from the outset. We are treated to brief glimpses of Katana who we already know will be important in this world and there is also an introduction to Lt. Gordon.

The animation is also surprisingly strong and I was impressed with the fight choreography. The production team and using the CGI medium to their advantage and for that I am grateful. The texture of Batman’s costume is a little plastic for my liking but it’s a small gripe in a cartoon with wide scope.

I’ve not yet touched on the villains on show here. One major aspect of this series is that the production team plan to focus on lesser villains within the DC mythos. This week: Pyg and Toad. I have to plead ignorance on their histories but the characters here are interesting and have enough weight to carry the episode throughout. They’re not a replacement for Joker or Penguin but having an unknown villain each week adds a level of interest to the show which lacks when we already know our villains intimately.

Overall a good start to the series.

6/10

‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

TV REVIEW: ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

Even if you’ve spent the first half of 2011 living under a rock I’m sure you will have heard about the potential new Wonder Woman TV series originally due to be hitting our screens sometime during either the 2011/2012 or 2012/2013 season and unless that rock was seriously heavy you will also know that this series is now all but dead and unlikely to ever see the light of day short of a special DVD release or Comic Con screening.

Title Card for ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Title Card for ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

Being a comic book fan myself, although not a reader of the on-going Wonder Woman title, I had high hopes for seeing another of the DC Comics A-list brought to the small screen in an enjoyable fashion (especially having recently decided to give Smallville a second chance) although disappointed at the loss of a potential WW movie at the hands of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.

My (and many others) first disappointment with this series came with the announcement that Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley would be the showrunner. I have nothing against McBeal and her dancing baby personally but it was just not a show that I found myself particularly interested in and in terms of any adaptation of Wonder Woman under his guide it rang alarm bells regarding the essential action elements the show would require.

My second disappointment, one that was echoed by a huge cross section of the general public and fans of the character alike, came with the release of the first photo of lead actress Adrianne Palicki (Supernatural) in costume – through the course of this shows short lifespan this is has been a topic for heated debate and one which we will come back to during my thoughts on the pilot episode itself.

As the pilot story and premise of the show began to leak it seemed like this was going to be a badly modernised version of the character which would focus more on the personal struggles and integration of Wonder Woman in to a mass media culture. Shortly after this set videos and photos began to leak and excitement continued to dwindle. Throw in the casting of Elizabeth Hurley as the villain and unfortunately this show was marked for cancellation very early in its inception.

Doomed from the outset the show was initially passed on by all the major US TV networks before finding a short stay home on NBC upon its second trip round the executive shopping trolleys and for a while things were starting to look up for the Amazonian princess.

We’ll probably never know for sure but either the poor test scores from audience screenings of the sheer amount of anti-WW internet buzz killed this show off before the pilot was even finished and for a time it seemed that we would never see the show that was being singled out as one of the worst pilots in recent memory by the media.

But alas first several small clips appeared online and just days later a full copy of the episode, featuring unfinished effects, scratch dialogue and probably only temporary music arrived online and straight to my TV screen.

Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

The premise of this show takes a different approach from that which any fan of the character – devoted or casual – will be accustomed to. There are no scenes of Amazonian women fighting for the chance to travel to the US of A in order to return the injured war pilot Major Steve Trevor to his homeland. There’s no baby sculpted from the sands of Themiscyra. In this reworking the titular character is the owner of Themiscyra Industries, a company who aren’t actually seen to do anything but create Wonder Woman related merchandise and give Diana moral support upon her victorious battle with the evil CEO of rival company Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals – rounds of applause for her seem to be compulsory upon starting employment at their offices.

The general public are aware of Wonder Woman and also that her alter ego is Diana Themiscyra but what they are not aware of is the alter ego within the alter ego… Diana Prince (Diana T with her hair tied back and added glasses). Neither of the Diana’s receives much in the way of character development during this pilot outside of a few scarce scenes with Steve (Justin Buening – Knight Rider). In fact I’m not sure which of the Diana’s it was that Steve was dating but based on her glamorous appearance in these scenes it must have been Themiscyra and not Prince. So essentially we have Diana T who is a not-so-secret identity and basically just a name to use for Wonder Woman out of costume and Diana P who sits at home with her cat whilst browsing Facebook, I’m not sure which one to care for less.

‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

The daily running of Themiscyra Industries is left to Diana T/WW confidant Henry Johns (Cary Elwes – Twister) who seems to be the voice of reason amongst the Diana’s. There’s also trusty PA Etta Candy (Tracie Thoms – The Devil Wears Prada) who fulfils the role of best friend and probably only friend to Diana.

These two characters appear quite frequently throughout the pilot, usually together, in order to deal with Diana’s mood and to provide the voice of reason whilst the become hell bent on solving the lacklustre mystery that provides the plot.

Both actors do a fine job of shoring up Palicki in the lead role and given time for the series to develop these characters could have become a very tight knit group and offered a very true human element in a fantasy-tinged show. Etta is perhaps the less generic of the two characters here, especially when compared to her 1970s TV counterpart. Henry, although a compassionate and strong voice amongst the crowd, is a very generic male secondary character that could easily have been retooled by the time this show came to air.

Perhaps the biggest of the character cock-ups in this show is that of Steve Trevor. Anybody with a knowledge of Lynda Carter era Wonder Woman will know that Steve Trevor was the army pilot who’s crash landing on Themiscyra was the reason for Diana to travel to America in the first place. Jump on to the final season of the show and Steve Jnr is an agent working alongside Diana at the IADC.

Here Steve is nothing more than a mere plot device by which to aggravate one of the various Diana’s and make her more human. Quite early on in the story we learn that Diana (both of them) are lonely spinsters who have recently gone through a breakup with lover Steve. We are witness to their breakup via flashback scenes with the two of them having dinner together at a restaurant where it transpires that it was probably her life as Wonder Woman which took Diana away from the love of her life.

I don’t want to spoil the ending of this pilot for anybody who has yet to see it but his introduction into the cast as a major player is more like something from an episode of 90210 than a performance expected in a serious comic book adaption.

Justin Bruening in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Justin Bruening in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

The second biggest mistake made by Kelley here is Veronica Cale (Liz Hurley – Austin Powers). I would only be stating fact but she is not the strongest actress when it comes to serious material but luckily this pilot and the word serious do not belong in the same sentence and as such she becomes par for the course in terms of character. Whether Cale would have been used beyond this pilot is unknown as an episode order was never discussed and the term big bad is not mentioned but no amount of development could save this character from being a villain of the week.

In fact watching her character does nothing but evoke feelings of watching Sharon Stone in the Catwoman movie but if that doesn’t put you off watching this pilot nothing will. In a similar vein I think the same people behind that slashed vinyl pants and belt bra-top costume that Halle Berry wore must have crafted WW’s costume.

Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

We all saw that original photo with the shiny blue trousers and the blue boots (linked above) and gasped in horror: no starred hotpants? No red boots? Shiny material? There were many, many questions about the horror that was that first image but I can gladly tell you that particular costume makes only the briefest of appearances in the pilot itself.

In the opening sequence the blue trousers appear but they’re not the shiny ones seen in the released image and likewise the boots are red. It would appear the blue booted costume was used for a photo shoot for some WW advertising that appears in the background of the Themiscyra Industries conference room (see below image).

When WW lands one of her various stealth crafts on the roof of the building her trousers are the dark blue ones which will become the must used in the pilot but once she exits the elevator into the building the shiny trousers appear under (without the blue boots) an on screen message of ‘VFX MISSING – PANTS TO BE DARKENED’ so at least we know the production team were listening to fan complaints above the outfit.

The costume comes across as overly plastic-y and I don’t just mean the vinyl corset. The headband and belt look like they’ come straight off your Halloween speciality store costume shelf and throughout the pilot I expected to see them bouncing or moving like they were about to fall off, I was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t.

The wristbands also have an air of off-the-shelf about them. They don’t look like they’ll be stopping bullets any time soon; they do however get the chance to do so very briefly in the climactic moments of the show.

As you will see from the above image the hotpants do make an appearance in the show by the end. There’s no real discussion about why different costumes are worn at different times although a conversation does take place between Diana and Etta regarding the fact her costume was designed in order to help sell action figures.

Speaking of which: I do not agree with mass media WW…

‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

Perhaps the truest line spoken in the pilot is by Etta when she says ‘Wonder Woman isn’t vulgar’ but this is sadly followed up by a couple of uses of the word ‘tits’ and also the word ‘ass’ in describing the Amazonian woman – the only reference to her background.

You can poke holes in much of this pilot but the scenes discussing the mass marketing of the Wonder Woman brand make for some of the most cringe inducing watching. Diana sits with her creative team to discuss the impending launch of a new WW doll and how her anatomy has been oversized to help increase sales. I completely understand the point of this scene as Diana stands up for what she believes in and opposes modifying the female form in order to boost sales but it’s completely unnecessary as the character of WW shouldn’t need to be seen to define her strength of character, it’s just part of who she is but here it’s watered down and offered to us as an extremely obvious plot device.

The above use of vulgar language is part of a very clichéd and derivative script that I’m told is drastically improved over some leaked pages from several months ago. Like much of the rest of this pilot there is no depth to what is being said. Every word is spoken with true determination – Liz Hurley included – but there is not much room for emotion here.

Both Diana T/WW and Veronica Cale are often seen to monologue, as heroes and villains invariably do, but it all falls flat without a convincing cause to fight for.

The best lines appeared to be saved for Etta, who radically becomes the most human and believable character in the whole show. She would most definitely be one to watch out for if the show were to continue.

Adrianne Palicki and Joseph Gatt in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Adrianne Palicki and Joseph Gatt in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

Earlier on you’ll remember that I mentioned my reservations of David E. Kelley helming this project, as I was unaware of his ability to handle action scenes. You’ll also notice I have mentioned any action scenes as yet and that is because there aren’t many here.

This episode opens with a kind of double teaser: one which makes you say ‘what the f***?’ followed by another which makes you say ‘why wasn’t that the teaser?’ so leaving aside the WTF element of the pre-title card sequence lets look at our first action scene.

WW is chasing down what looks like an Observer from Fringe in his civvies; she’s running the streets, jumping on and even being knocked down by cars but she doesn’t stop chasing her prey. There’s a serious push to show that Kelley’s WW doesn’t stop for anything when she is after her man and that is a theme which runs throughout the show. There’s also anger to this incarnation that is a little misplaced here but not unwelcome.

This unfinished version shows off some wires whilst WW is leaping down some stairs but overall it’s well shot and well edited and there’s a reasonable sense of tension. It’s also nice to see that instead of some awful suiting up introduction a la Joel Schumacher era Batman or a simple action stance we are first show WW as she’s in mid-sprint and ready for a fight.

We also see the golden lasso quite early on here, one of several appearances, but sadly the effects have not been completed so it can look very fake at times. However you get the overall impression that this WW is gong to be badass and her actions are going to well represented.

Jump ahead to the utterly cliché climactic battle with the drugged up goons of Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals and the action is presented very differently. Firstly we are granted the cheesy suiting up scenes with the headband, wristbands and lasso (note the blue boots are in the background of this scene) and before kicking beefcake ass WW takes a very Lynda Carter –esque stance.

The actual fight itself is between WW and twenty drugs induced super soldiers who look like they’ve just left the gym (according to the only goon with a speaking role, by count there’s him and nine extras) and does sadly show off some of the wires used to help accentuate the action. The choreography is very hand-to-hand with Palicki’s WW throwing punches, high kicking and using her lasso to throw the goons around like dolls. It’s a far cry from Lynda Carter and fits the modern setting far better than simply tossing the bad guys around.

The scene is purposely shot and lit to allow Palicki’s face to be seen, she clearly did some of the fighting herself, but also to allow stunt performers to take over and do some of the bigger portions without being easily given away. The overall allusion is of a pretty grissly dogfight and a very pleasant surprise amongst some of the awful dialogue. Had this show made it to air then there was every chance that it would have appealed to a wider audience than a show more reflective of Lynda Cater’s WW would.

Here we’re faced with one of my more serious issues with the pilot: WW kills.

‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

I only noticed a body count of two in this pilot: a goon used to shield WW from the bullets of the above guard whom she through a pipe at. But where Batman and Superman are regularly shown to have strong beliefs when it comes to murder on the job this WW has no issue with taking out a guard at a moments notice.

If this show had been picked up I would have expected the anger which clearly lies only just beneath the surface of both WW and Diana T would be explored and developed because it is clearly an issue which Etta and Henry are concerned with and her determination to take down Veronica Cale is as murderous as any comic book villain.

Beyond this I’m not sure what further exploration could be offered to us beyond the pilot, there’s no overarching mystery involved as WW instead of investigating the reason for Cale-Anderson’s drug trials just takes out the boss and goes home to find Steve waiting for her. There’s a brief moment between our three Themiscyra leads which alluded to a sense of family which needs to be exploited further to make the audience care but short of Steve’s closing statement there is nothing in this pilot to follow-up in later episodes.

Ending the episode we return to the redundant Diana P’s home to sit at her computer join the rest of the world in becoming a member of Facebook. We get it: she’s trying to be normal.

Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot
Adrianne Palicki in ‘Wonder Woman’ Unaired Pilot

I’m going to make a controversial statement and say that this pilot is actually not as bad as I was expecting. Knowing that there is currently no show to follow it up with and bring further disappointment meant I could enjoy it for what it is: pure fluff. There’s nothing serious here, nothing beyond a shallow one-off superhero adventure and nothing that wouldn’t have been a massive hit with audiences in perhaps the 1970s.

Would I like to have seen more episodes? Yes, I think I would like to see at least a second episode to see if Kelley had a plan for where a season of this show would go as it doesn’t feel like any groundwork has been laid for anything other than a TV movie. Sadly this episode only clocks in at 41mins 40secs so unless there’s a lot on the cutting room floor it’s never going to make a TV movie. Then again if it was deemed bad enough to cut out of this edit I don’t think it should be seen at all.

There’s some reasonable action, some appalling dialogue and laughable temporary VFX but Wonder Woman is not unwatchable. For a rough edit it appears to be well executed if you can ignore a hospital scene with changeable lighting depending on the camera angle. I would still be interested to see a finished version to see the show how Kelley had intended.

If you get the chance to see this, even just once, I recommend you take that chance and see what was perhaps never meant to be seen.

2 stars

 

 

2 stars