Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day: Wonder Woman


In your satin tights, Fighting for your rights…
Make a hawk a dove, Stop a war with love…
Stop a bullet cold, Make the Axis fold…
You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman is one of DC Comics iconic trinity of A-list heroes.

Like Superman and Batman before her, the character found a wider, mainstream audience in a TV adaptation of her adventures (though unlike the boys she has yet, despite repeated attempts in recent years, to make the leap to the big screen).

Wonder Woman, the TV series, debuted in 1975 (after a poorly received, unrelated TV movie the previous year) and ran for three seasons (59 episodes) before ending in 1979.

It starred former model Lynda Carter as the titular Amazon heroine (aka Princess Diana) and her alter ego Diana Prince, with Lyle Waggoner as her partner, US Air Force Major Steve Trevor.

Notable guest stars included a young Debra Winger, who played Diana’s little sister Drusilla (aka Wonder Girl) in three episodes of season 1, and future Airplane! star Robert Hays as a young airman (who if you look at this clip on YouTube, you’ll notice wears the exact same uniform – or a remarkably similar one – that he wore in Airplane!‘s flashback scenes).

The first season of Wonder Woman was set during World War II, the era of Wonder Woman’s earliest comic-book appearances, and stuck fairly closely to the basic setting of those early print adventures. Reflecting this close link to the comic’s origins, the opening titles mostly took the form of animated comic-book panels.

And then there was that wonderful theme song, which everyone remembers. It was written by composer Charles Fox and lyricist Norman Gimbel (who also wrote Killing Me Softly With His Song with Fox and the English-language version of The Girl From Ipanema, among many, may other songs and TV songs).

Here are the season one opening titles, taken from the pilot episode, which also helpfully included a little WWII recap:

In season 2, the show switched from ABC to CBS and the new network demanded the show be updated to the present day. This was explained by having Wonder Woman return to the US from a self-imposed exile on her Paradise Island home after a 35-year absence and team up with original partner Steve Trevor’s look-a-like son.

The opening titles were tweaked to remove the WWII references and the song was also tweaked to make it less militaristic (see below for both versions of the lyrics):

And then it all started to go a bit crap, in what is surely a textbook example of why if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it.

In the middle of season 2, the wonderful song we all remember and love was replaced by an instrumental version and, perhaps less damaging, the animated comic-book visuals were replaced with clips of the character in action:

And so on to season 3 and another change to a more disco-fied (and awful) instrumental version of the theme tune and a new montage of action clips:

And, for the sake of completeness, here’s the final variation of the opening titles, from the final episode of season 3 which, in an apparent set-up for a season 4 that never happened, Wonder Woman moves from Washington DC to Los Angeles and Steve Trevor was written out. The opening titles were tweaked to remove Waggoner, though the rubbish version of the theme tune remains:

Good though Lynda Carter was in the role, and much as I enjoyed watching the show when I was 10, she’s actually only my third-favourite TV Wonder Woman. My top two are a bit more contemporary.

Here’s number two on my list (sorry can’t embed it, so you have to click through to watch it on YouTube):

And here’s number one:

And finally, as promised, here are the lyrics from the two versions of the theme song. First, the season 1, WWII era version:

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All the world is waiting for you,
And the power you possess.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
And the wonders you can do.

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman.
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.

All our hopes are pinned upon you,
And the magic that you do.

Stop a bullet cold,
Make the Axis fold,
Change their minds
and change the world.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You’re a wonder. Wonder Woman.

And now the season 2, modern-era version:

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All the world is waiting for you,
And the wonders that you do.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for our rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All of us are counting on you,
And the power you possess.

Putting all your might
On the side of right,
And our courage to the test.

Wonder Woman.
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.

Here to fight the force of evil.
And your chance won’t be denied.

Woman of the hour,
With your superpower.
We’re so glad
you’re on our side.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You’re a wonder. Wonder Woman.

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4 Comments

Filed under Classic TV, Comics, Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day, TV Themes

4 responses to “Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day: Wonder Woman

  1. TBFTL

    Now I know where to park my bike!!!

  2. Are you making naughty comments about the photos I carefully selected to show the artistic achievement and cultural significance of this TV show?

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  4. Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this info.

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