Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wonder Woman 2.6: The Pied Piper

Airdate: 10/21/77

Trouble at the concert! A swinging, sleazy rock star, Hamlin Rule (Martin Mull) enjoys swarming popularity with legions of screaming teenage fans, but when his box office receipts keep getting stolen, he demands the money in full from the venue owners and publicists. The nature of the robberies, in which solid steel locks are pulverized, alarms I.A.D.C., and so Diane and Joe, worried about his AWOL daughter, Elena, at UCLA, trek to Los Angeles to get to the bottom of this not-so-groovy string of events. Diana discovers that Hamlin plays his flute to hypnotize female fans into conducting his robberies while he’s on stage, intending Elena to be his primary accomplice. Thwarted by Wonder Woman, he gives up his secret weapon and promises to use his talents for love, not destruction, and the world’s a happier place.

Hands down the campiest, silliest, most dated – and thus most fun WW episode to date, abetted strongly, at least for this Generation X-er, by the guest appearances of Martin Mull as Hamlin and Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) as Elena. Mull hams it up in his role of a sandy-haired hipster who gives his flute the most sex appeal since Jethro Tull (and let’s be honest: the implication behind “hypnotizing” these lithe beauties is sex, not cash theft – catch Plumb’s sultry look if you don’t believe). There’s possibly some commentary about the underpayment of rock musicians, overpayment of concert promoters/managers, which was just becoming an issue at the time, but I'll prefer just to watch WW tangle with a huge, burly bodyguard, and win against him by intercepting hollow prop “speakers” that looked, moments earlier, like 3-ton weights.

Series co-star Lyle Waggoner took a time out this week, appearing in only two scenes.

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