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, under the alias Diana Prince, trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life."[1]

The pilot centers on Diana Themyscira/Wonder Woman's efforts to link Veronica Cale to the distribution of an illegal steroid that gives its user super-human strength and endurance, but can cause death through repeated use; it is also learned that earlier "experimental" versions of the steroid 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, so as 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 romance with Steve Trevor. Flashback sequences show her reluctantly breaking up with Steve on account of her new responsibilities as a crime-fighter. At the end of the episode, Steve comes to her in his new capacity as a Justice Department attorney – and, to Diana's chagrin, he has married someone else.

In the pilot's first two acts, Wonder Woman wears a new version of her classic uniform: the familiar red top with gold "W" insignia chestplate (formerly an eagle symbol chestplate) is still used, as are her golden belt and magic Lasso, 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 (where the boots worn by Lynda Carter during the 1975–79 TV series had white trim). Her bracelets are more stylized, and her tiara is slenderer (and W-shaped). During the final act of the pilot, when Wonder Woman flies to Cale's hidden laboratory for the final showdown with the villain, she switches from the pants to the more recognizable shorts.

Though Wonder Woman's golden Lasso is referred to as the "Lasso of Truth" by a reporter, she never uses it to compel anyone to tell the truth during the pilot. In a sequence when she is trying to get information out of one of Cale's henchmen, she breaks his arm to make him talk rather than use the Lasso's magic. The Lasso is only employed as an entangling weapon; Wonder Woman snaps it round a target (usually the neck) and jerks hard on it to throw the victim off-balance. Her bracelets can still stop bullets, as in the earlier TV series; 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). Rather than an invisible plane, she gets around Los Angeles in a stylized personal jet which, though highly sophisticated, is quite visible.

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]