Close this search box.

Wonder Woman (1975): Episode 12 Review

A group of men look to their left standing in front of the sea in Episode 12 of Wonder Woman (1975)

Wonder Woman (1975) episode 12 is a return to the regular programme, following the conclusion of “Judgement from Outer Space”. 

This isn’t going to be a pleasure cruise.” – General Blankenship

Wonder Woman (1975) episode 12 (“Formula 407”) centres upon a special liquid that makes rubber impervious to explosives. Because this special liquid could be used to fit their vehicles with near-indestructible tyres, it’s of much interest to the Allied war effort. I suppose the bodies of said vehicles would remain liable to severe damage (unless the plan is to wrap entire trucks in this new fancy rubber), but the Americans don’t seem concerned about all that, so perhaps I shouldn’t be either. 

The scientist who’s come up with this special liquid lives in Argentina, so the U.S. war department is looking to send someone down there to collect the formula that produces it. They reckon that Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) is running these sorts of errands all the time, so another one won’t hurt him, and that he should take his secretary, Yeoman Diana Prince (Lynda Carter), with him, for she knows how to speak Spanish. Of course, the Axis wouldn’t mind having this special liquid either, so the twosome might run into some Nazis while they’re over there. 

Unfortunately then, after the formula-breaking “Judgement from Outer Space” (note the pun), Wonder Woman episode 12 falls straight back into the usual rhythm. There’s a secret project. The Americans and the Nazis want it. Steve and Diana are sent to have a look at the project, or to collect it, or do whatever with it. On the way there Steve gets into trouble. Diana finds a rock or a tree to hide behind, changes into her Wonder Woman costume, then saves him from being killed. Once at their destination, Steve gets into more trouble, Diana again changes outfits, and, as Wonder Woman, continues to save him from being done in. 

The rest of a Wonder Woman episode usually involves doing a certain thing by a certain time in order to come up trumps against the Nazis, some stomach-turning insinuations that Diana Prince has a thing for Steve Trevor, a few German-made comments on how Wonder Woman is (in fact, only) a woman, and a couple moments guaranteed to reinforce the certainty that Steve Trevor would be long dead if it wasn’t for his conveniently-appearing guardian angel. Wonder Woman episode 12 is very much a usual episode

A scientist tinkers with some pots in Episode 12 of Wonder Woman (1975)
Episode 12 of Wonder Woman (1975) (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

As you might have guessed, I don’t always enjoy this common story structure. Sometimes the episodically-repeating narrative-beats do strike me as being quaint, easy-to-watch, and an invitation to daydream about the millions of Americans who watched these same episodes on their sets almost fifty years ago. But, after the hard swerve away from normalcy in the previous two episodes, the immediate return to regularity in Wonder Woman episode 12 feels especially disappointing, spotlighting how dull the blueprint is really capable of being. Which, actually, is a damned shame, because the show so far has had some real, honest highlights, and it’s episodes like this one that betray them.

I wonder: did CBS improve things in this department when they picked up Wonder Woman after its first series, or do their two series’ (twenty-two episodes a-piece!) feature the same increasingly depressing familiarity? If they didn’t change much, I doubt I have the grit to wade through another fourty-four episodes like Wonder Woman episode 12 – episodes that are tired and predictable, episodes that primarily serve to illuminate how high the high’s have been, and how low the lows can get. 

But, please don’t doubt that there haven’t been highs. There are episodes scattered throughout the series so far that do demonstrate the potentially timeless strength of a Wonder Woman telly show, and (funnily enough) it’s those episodes that don’t focus on a secret code-named war project, or on Steve’s faux-charming ineptitude, or on another group of shallow and forgettable Nazi agents, that have been capable of doing so. 

Episode 12 of Wonder Woman (1975) is now available to watch on digital and on demand.

Wonder Woman (1975): Episode 13 Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Wonder Woman (1975) episode 13 features an uncharacteristically low number of Nazi agents, and takes place in the state of Texas.
Thank you for reading us! If you’d like to help us continue to bring you our coverage of films and TV and keep the site completely free for everyone, please consider a donation.