Wonder Woman (2011 TV pilot)

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Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman logo.PNG
Genre Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Adventure, Action
Created by William M. Marston (characters)
Written by David E. Kelley
Directed by Jeffrey Reiner
Starring Adrianne Palicki
Cary Elwes
Elizabeth Hurley
Edward Herrmann
Tracie Thoms
Justin Bruening
Theme music composer Chris Bacon
Opening theme "I Only Know How to Love" by Christina Aguilera
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Bill D'Elia
David E. Kelley
Producer(s) Tommy Burns
Cinematography Colin Watkinson
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
DC Entertainment
Distributor NBC

Wonder Woman is a never-aired television pilot produced by Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment for NBC, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. David E. Kelley wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jeffrey Reiner. Adrianne Palicki starred as the main character.

The Wonder Woman pilot was expected to debut in 2011, but NBC opted not to buy the series.

Plot summary[edit]

The plot is described as "a reinvention of the iconic DC Comic in which Wonder Woman – aka Diana Themyscira – is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A., but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman....trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life."[1]

The pilot centers on "Diana Themyscira"/Wonder Woman's efforts to link evil businesswoman Veronica Cale to the distribution of an illegal performance enhancing drug (PED) that gives users super-human strength and endurance, but can cause death through repeated use; it is also learned that earlier "experimental" versions of this PED created hideous mutations in Cale's test subjects. Other subplots touched on during the episode include: Diana's frustration with having to maintain a 'perfect' image to the outside world (she has created a third identity for herself, "Diana Prince," just to have an element of normalcy in her life); the legal complications that hinder her as she tries to bring Cale to justice; and, her strained relationship with Steve Trevor. Flashback sequences show her reluctantly breaking up with Trevor due to the time demands of her new crime-fighting duties. At the end of the episode, Trevor comes to Diana in his new capacity as a Justice Department attorney; but to Diana's chagrin, he is also newly married to someone else.

In the pilot's first two acts, Wonder Woman wears a new version of her classic comic book uniform: the familiar red top with gold "W" insignia chestplate (formerly an eagle symbol chestplate) is still used, as are her golden belt and Lasso of Truth; but, these are now worn with blue slacks that have gold stars running along the sides, rather than with shorts. Her boots are red with gold trim (whereas the traditional boots had white, vertical trim). Her bulletproof bracelets/gauntlets are more stylized, and her tiara is much thinner (and in an elongated "W" shape). During the final act of the pilot, when Wonder Woman flies to Cale's hidden laboratory for the final showdown with the villain, her clothing switches from the blue pants, to the more-recognizable, shorts.

Though Wonder Woman's Golden Lasso is referred to as the "Lasso of Truth" by a reporter in the episode, she never uses it to compel anyone to tell the truth like in the previous television series. For instance, in the first act, she uses the Lasso to end a pursuit of a man down city streets at night; but, in order to compel him to answer police interrogation questions truthfully before turning him over to them, she stabs the suspect in the neck with a syringe containing a "truth serum"-like chemical. In a later scene, she breaks the arm of one of Cale's henchman to "make him talk", instead of using the Lasso's magic. In this interpretation of Wonder Woman, The Lasso is only employed as an entangling weapon; Wonder Woman snaps it round a target (usually the neck) then jerks it roughly, throwing the target off-balance. Her bracelets can still stop bullets (as in the Lynda Carter-starring, 1975-1979 TV series). For example, she uses them to protect herself from a security guard's gunfire during the episode's climax (and retaliates by hurling a steel pipe at the hapless guard, impaling him through the neck and killing him instantly). This interpretation's greatest departure from WW canon might be its version of her invisible plane/"the Invisible Jet." Here, she gets around Los Angeles in a very small, one-seater aircraft that is reminiscent of a shuttlecraft in a sci-fi space TV show. While highly sophisticated, the plane is also an highly visible (painted an opaque white).

Cast and characters[edit]


Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman.

Reports surfaced in October 2010 that Warner Bros. Television was teaming with writer-producer David E. Kelley to pitch a new Wonder Woman television series to networks.[6] The major networks all turned down the series,[7] but NBC, the final network to initially pass on the project, announced that they had ordered a pilot on January 21, 2011. In February 2011, Jeffrey Reiner was hired to direct the pilot.[8] A few days later, it was announced that Adrianne Palicki was selected to play the title role.[2] Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly commentated that compared to Lynda Carter's costume, Palicki's costume de-emphasized patriotism and played up the character's Greek mythological origin.[9] Lynda Carter said Palicki looked gorgeous.[10] Kyle Buchanan of New York stated the costume, "looked less like a superhero outfit and more like a Project Runway challenge gone awry, the kind of thing Nina Garcia would dismiss by sniffing, 'Shiny, cheap, and tacky'."[11] Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that the costume was causing a divide, with many exclaiming it was "too trashy and too bad porn-y".[12] After the first official images of Palicki in costume were revealed, Fox News republished a story criticizing the loss of Wonder Woman's American symbolism.[13] Warner Bros. later changed the costume, replacing the blue boots and rubbery pants, due to fan criticism.[14]

In March 2011, Elizabeth Hurley and Tracie Thoms were cast as villain Veronica Cale and Diana's personal assistant, Etta Candy, respectively.[3] Pedro Pascal was cast as Ed Indelicato, Wonder Woman's liaison to the police department and Cary Elwes as Henry Detmer, who runs the day-to-day operations of Diana's company.[4][5] Actor Justin Bruening was cast to play Steve Trevor.[2] On May 12, 2011, NBC announced that it would not be picking the project up for a series.[15]


After watching the pilot, television critic Alan Sepinwall described it as "embarrassing ... [I]t was all I had feared, and more".[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rice, Lynnette (January 21, 2011). "'Wonder Woman' project finds a home at NBC". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (March 25, 2011). "'Wonder Woman' adds 'Knight Rider' star as Steve Trevor". Zap2It.com. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2011). "Elizabeth Hurley & Tracie Thoms Join NBC's 'Wonder Woman'". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2011). "'The River' & 'Awakening' Find Their Leads, Two Board 'Tagged' & 'Wonder Woman'". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2011). "Cary Elwes Joins NBC's 'Wonder Woman'". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Wonder Woman Might Be Back... As A TV Series!". KSite TV. October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (January 7, 2011). "Wonder Woman Reboot Shelved". TV Line. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2011). "Jeffrey Reiner Closes In On ‘Wonder Woman’ Pilot Directing Gig". Deadline.com. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ Rice, Lynette (March 18, 2011). "'Wonder Woman': First look at Adrianne Palicki in costume -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ Bruce, Leslie; Fernandez, Sofia M. (2011-03-10). "Lynda Carter Reveals Opinion on New 'Wonder Woman' Costume". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  11. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (2011-03-30). "See Adrianne Palicki's Revised Wonder Woman Costume". New York. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  12. ^ Lindsay, Flans (2011-03-18). "Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman Revealed! (Pic)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (2011-03-18). "Fox News: New 'Wonder Woman' Outfit Lacks Patriotism". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  14. ^ Saad, Nardine (2011-04-01). "Adrianne Palicki in (new) new Wonder Woman costume". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  15. ^ Rise, Lynette (May 12, 2011). "NBC rejects 'Wonder Woman'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (2013-02-04). "Review: TNT's 'Monday Mornings's offers a refreshingly restrained David E. Kelley". HitFix. Retrieved February 5, 2013.  See the comments for Sepinwall's description

External links[edit]