Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some Wondering About the New WONDER WOMAN TV Series

As announced yesterday on various comics and entertainment news sites such as Deadline, producer David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal) is writing and producing a new television series based on DC Comics' classic character Wonder Woman.  Many who grew up in the Generation X era, such as myself, have fond memories of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series that aired from 1975-79 on ABC and CBS, so it should be interesting to see if Kelley can recreate that kind of TV magic for a completely different audience and time. 

Details on Kelley's approach are vague at the moment, but here's my own take on how the new TV series should be developed:

The Setting -- As far as I'm concerned, the best run of Wonder Woman comics was by George PĂ©rez, so his 1987 reboot of the character is a perfect foundation for the series, particularly the first six-issue arc, "Gods and Mortals."  After becoming the designated Amazonian champion to stop the evil Ares, god of war, from bringing death and destruction to the outside world, Princess Diana soon encounters Steve Trevor, a United States Air Force pilot.   Steve's F-22 fighter jet ends up being taken over by Ares and starts to attack Paradise Island, but Diana destroys the jet and rescues the injured Steve in the process.  The goddess Athena appears and tells Diana that the key to defeating Ares is located in "Man's World," where Steve comes from, and Athena transports Diana and Steve to a hospital near Harvard University in Massachusetts.  As Steve recuperates from his injuries, Diana meets Julia Kapatelis, a Greek mythology professor at the university, who brings Diana home to meet her daughter Vanessa.  Diana, with Julia and Vanessa's help, begins to learn about "Man's World" under the guise of Diana Prince while working to defeat the ever-increasing threat of Ares.

The Characters --

Wonder Woman/Princess Diana/Diana Prince -- Somewhere in her very early twenties, Diana is young and somewhat naive but incredibly intelligent and formidable.  A strong combination of the best modern-day TV heroines, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Buffy Summers, Alias' Sydney Bristow, Firefly's River Tam and Xena, Warrior Princess.

Captain Steve Trevor -- Essentially Diana's love interest, Steve is in his mid-to-late twenties and fiercely dedicated to the Air Force.  He can be a bit gung-ho and impulsive at times, but he excels as a fighter jet pilot and finds himself conflicted with his current relationship with Etta Candy and his sudden feelings for Diana.

Julia Kapatelis -- Taking on the role of Diana's new mentor, the fortysomething Julia helps Diana master the English language at an incredible pace and tries to help her adjust to her new life in America.  Very driven, practical and opinionated, Julia provides a good sounding board for Diana and naturally acts as a substitute mother figure.

Vanessa Kapatelis -- Desperate to live up to the accomplishments of her mother, eighteen-year-old Vanessa is just starting out as a freshman at Harvard.  Vanessa is initially thrown when her mother brings Diana home to stay in their house, but soon bonds with Diana who sees Vanessa as a younger sister with a much better grasp on life in America than her mother.

Ares/Colonel Ari Buchanan -- Possessing the human body of Air Force Colonel Ari Buchanan, the war god Ares becomes commanding officer of Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.  He wants nothing more than to grow the threat of war in order to become more powerful and finds Hanscom's Electronic Systems Center unit very useful for his plans of gaining control over the Air Force. 

Second Lieutenant Etta Candy -- Recently commissioned as an Air Force officer, Etta is assigned as Colonel Buchanan's administrative assistant.  She's involved in a relationship with Steve Trevor, but soon finds herself competing for his attention when Diana arrives.  Gradually, she begins to suspect Buchanan's actions as Hanscom's commanding officer and is forced to set aside her distrust of Diana in order to uncover Buchanan's true motives.


  1. Okay, Charles, I totally agree with the premise that the show should take. Now who would you cast in these roles?

  2. Mostly, I'd prefer to see unknowns to improve the chances of casting appropriately, but how about Serinda Swan (Zatanna from SMALLVILLE) as Wonder Woman?

  3. Honestly, It sounds more like a movie in scale. What's the recurring job she does when she's not Wonder Woman in an episodic format?

  4. Anthony, in the comics, George Perez generally had Diana just hanging out at the Kapatelis' house in between adventures, but perhaps Julia could arrange it for Diana to work as some form of assistant either for her or for an art history professor.