After more than 70 years of being one of pop culture's biggest icons, Wonder Woman is finally on the big screen. Before the new film starring Gal Gadot, of course, there was the 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter — and even before that, there were several attempts to bring the Amazonian warrior to live-action. The first one happened in 1967.
After the success of Adam West's Batman, the show's creator, William Dozier, set out to create another tongue-in-cheek superhero property, this time based around Wonder Woman. Dozier hired Stan Hart and Larry Siegel to write a script for a pilot, and from that came "#WhosAfraidOfDianaPrince?", a very short pilot starring Ellie Wood Walker, Linda Harrison and Maudie Prickett, produced by 20th Century Fox.
The episode never actually aired but it is available online. With #PattyJenkins' Wonder Woman right around the corner, it's time to give it some attention. Take a look:
Did you notice there was something different about Diana and Wonder Woman? That's because they're played by two different actresses. That's right, Diana was played by Ellie Wood Walker (Easy Riders) while Linda Harrison (Planet of the Apes) was in charge of bringing Wonder Woman to life.
As #WonderWoman fans will surely notice, the story took some considerable creative liberties with the character's backstory. For starters, Diana lives with her mother near a military base, not on the island of Themyschira. Secondly, her mother doesn't seem to be Hippolyta, the proud Amazonian queen. Instead, she seems to be a regular human being, concerned with her daughter's eating habits.
Even despite those two massive changes to her backstory, though, Diana is somehow still an ancient being, as she's 28 ... err, 27 million years old. Overall the only aspects the pilot took from the comics were Wonder Woman herself and Steve Trevor, whom the heroine has to pick up after his flight gets delayed.
It's easy to see why the series never happened. Although I do want to say this line by Diana's mother deserves to be highlighted:
"You can't be a decent martyr on an empty stomach."
One of the most interesting things about this project is that it was supposed to be even campier than Batman '66 and most of the comedy would come courtesy of #DianaPrince, who –– as you can see in the footage –– was supposed to be a bumbling woman, similar to Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent (even though this pilot came out over a decade before Richard Donner's take on the Man of Steel).
As cheesy as the pilot may be, it emphasized that Diana doesn't need a husband or kids to lead a fulfilling life and make big contributions to society, which was an important message for the 1960s. That part was very well-executed, with Diana's mother (Maudie Prickett) representing the ridiculousness of the era's expectations.
I must say, despite its shortcomings and strange structure, I would have liked to see where the show could have gone. While that never came to be, Wonder Woman will finally have a cool live-action adaptation flying into theaters on June 2.
What did you think of Who's Afraid Of Diana Prince? Would you have liked to see an entire series out of the pilot? Let me know in the comments!