Friday, May 3, 2013

Wonder Woman 1.9: Judgment from Outer Space, Part 1

Airdate: 1/15/77

In outer space, a planetary council has decided that earth’s newfound atomic power and warlike tendencies are a bad combination, and must be “sterilized” before humans can colonize other planets when they develop space travel. One lone councilmember, Andros, objects, and so it is agreed that he will travel to earth and judge whether the planet is salvageable. Immediately, he is greeted with guns and grenades by the U.S. Army, but asks to be taken to the president so he can discuss his mission. Steve Trevor and the rest of the military are suspicious, partially due to his imperviousness (courtesy the special protection offered him by the council), but Wonder Woman identifies with his “fish out of water” idealism, even if she disagrees with his solution to the problem despite her efforts to make the world a better place. At the Library of Congress, Andros is accosted by a Nazi spy posing as a Swedish newspaper reporter and captured, despite WW’s best rescue efforts. The council, seeing this as a good test, takes away Andros’s protective powers and decides that if he is killed, they will destroy earth as proof that its violent proclivities are unredeemable. WW tries to communicate with them to convince them otherwise, but evidently fails to do so.

Terrific beginning to a more sci-fi themed double installment finally hassomeone besides that Nazis as bad guys. Shades of The Day the Earth Stood Still offer some sobering reminders of the darker side of humanity, although one can’t help but notice he hypocrisy of the aliens’ rebuke of earth’s warlike tendencies and their destruction of it as punishment. Best scene: WW and Andros debate about the necessity of fighting for good or whether it’s still fighting (I’m reminded of the John Lennon quote – “Fighting for peace…”). Timely topics in 1977, particularly when space travel was a reality but a lengthy, costly war had just ended for America. Too timely these days as well.

First episode to have its title listed (perhaps because it’s a two parter). And again – WW’s Achilles’ heel, being gassed, stymies her rescue attempts during the episode’s climax. Of course, it’s not lethally poisonous gas, but that would sure be a quick way to do her in once and for all.

Check out General Blankenship’s walkie talkie near the end – it looks like the biggest cell phone ever!

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