Jun 18, 2020
The New Adventures of Wonder Woman "The Deadly Toys" (part 2 of 2)
In honor of the holiday season, and to take advantage of the upcoming Wonder Woman film and Lynda Carter’s return to TV in Supergirl, let’s take a look back at The New Adventures of Wonder Woman’s somewhat holiday-related episode from 1977 titled “The Deadly Toys”! (Click here for part 1 of this recap!)
In town, a creepy toy maker with a generic Eastern European accent talks to his nutcrackers. This is Orlich Hoffman (Frank Gorshin) and he’s keeping the real scientists in his toy store’s basement.
Steve asks IRA, the supercomputer and precursor to Google, for advice on the case. The computer suggests checking the scientists’ apartments for clues. Steve also asks for Christmas present ideas for Diana. IRA advises asking Wonder Woman. Did I say IRA was the precursor to Google? More like Ask Jeeves: it only pretends to be useful.
Diana goes to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s apartment to interrogate him about the case. She quickly discovers he’s an android.
Diana visits the remaining non-android scientist and notices he also has a set of toy soldiers. He explains he picked them up in town from a creepy Eastern European dude.
Diana goes to Hoffman’s toy shop to ask about army figurines but he claims he doesn’t sell any. Instead, he gives her a Santa ornament for her car. Diana accepts because it’s free and who wouldn’t accept free stuff?
The Santa ornament turns out to be a honing device for an airplane drone that shoots missiles at Diana.
She turns into Wonder Woman and takes it down.
“Aw man! I was hoping this was my Amazon shipment. 2 day shipping, my lasso.”
Diana reports the suspicious drone to Steve and the groovy government agent dude, and announces that she’s removed the remaining lead scientist to a different safe house. Groovy government agent dude is verrrrry interested in finding out the location of this new safe house, arousing Diana’s suspicions.
She asks IRA for information on groovy government agent dude, and after rephrasing her question several times for the best search engine optimization, she learns that groovy government agent has been in contact with Hoffman.
Groovy Government Agent is a turncoat who wants to sell Project XYZ secrets to foreign buyers and recruited Hoffman to carry out his plan. I don’t know about you guys, but if I was going to betray my country, I’d get better help than a toymaker.
Nonetheless, Hoffman uses a reject Muppet and a tape recorder to call Diana as Steve Trevor and convinces her to meet in the park.
Diana shows up and is surprised to see Wonder Woman and what her hairline really looks like.
In the toy shop’s basement, Groovy Government Agent reveals his dastardly plans, and Hoffman knocks out Diana with a box of butterflies. Must have been some ‘roided up butterflies, or Diana in her civilian form is super weak.
Groovy Government Agent gets the location of the remaining scientist from a barely conscious Diana and sets off to pick him up, while Hoffman and Wonder Woman 2.0 get ready for the drop off.
Diana transforms herself into Wonder Woman and breaks out of her prison.
Hoffman orders Wonder Woman 2.0 to stop her. Wonder Woman 2.0 does a sweet ass flip over the railing…
And Wonder Woman proceeds to kick her own ass. It’s awesome. It’s like in the “Heartbreaker” video when Mariah Carey fought Mariah Carey for stealing Mariah Carey’s boyfriend!
The real Wonder Woman won the fight but she pretends to be Wonder Woman 2.0 to get all the scientists and the groovy government agent and Hoffman all in one spot.
Groovy Government Agent suspects she’s not the real fake thing and shoots her. Wonder Woman fights the bullets off and both Hoffman and Groovy Government Agent try to make a break for it.
Too bad for them that Wonder Woman doesn’t skip leg day.
Diana informs Steve of Groovy Government Agent’s plans and reveals that Wonder Woman saved the scientists, replaced them with their android copies, and erased Hoffman and Groovy Government Agent’s memories so they think they’re transporting the real scientists to the foreign buyers. The androids will inevitably break down, so no foreign power will get the Project XYZ plans and… I guess Hoffamn and Groovy Government Agent will be arrested? She didn’t specifically mention that part, but I’m assuming they will be.
I mean, they have to be, right? This was the 1970s, when the Cold War was at an all time high. I don’t think the government will let people who tried to sell military weapons to foreign powers slide.
Well, Wonder Woman defaced Hoffman’s toyshop with a “Merry Christmas” message, so I guess that’s just as good of a punishment.
Final Thoughts: This episode was an hour long and boy, did it feel like it. The logic in the writing was pretty weak. Why exactly is Groovy Government Agent betraying his country? He mentioned in one line how he was tired of serving “idiots”, but no one seemed particularly stupid to me. Also, what is going to happen when the foreign buyers realize they got faulty androids? Wouldn’t it have been easier to wrap by the episode by saying, “We stopped the deal and forced Groovy Government Agent to give us the names of his contacts so we know who to keep an eye on” instead of these weird, convoluted plans to use the magic lasso to erase their memories so they think the deal went on as planned?
Unsurprisingly for a campy ’70s show, the acting was wooden and stiff; Lynda Carter’s acting was never impressive, as noted by Dr. Winston O’Boogie, but she does have this “it” quality that makes her Wonder Woman fun to watch.
Rating: 61% intense. Wonder Woman fighting herself was intense. Actually, all of the fight scenes were intense. Did Lynda Carter do her own stunts? That flip in the toy shop was awesome.