Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-06-11 Entry: "A (Potentially) Flawed Wonder"

Wednesday sees the rest of the Batman disc, the two part "Feat Of Clay" introducing Clayface to the animated show. We have an actor impersonating Bruce Wayne... and doing a pretty good job of it, but then he's got some face cream that allows him to reshape his face in to any form... and it's a good thing too considering he was in an accident and is horribly scarred.

Unfortunately for him, the crime kingpin who supplies his cream is upset that he failed the last mission and his goons forcefeed him a whole jarful of the cream... which turns him into the shapeshifting blob of clay calling himself Clayface.

And then he tries to get revenge, while Batman tries to stop him (and dodge the police, as they think Bruce is guilty of the attack at the start)...

Due to a number of scratched looking discs in the latest shipment, I've decided to skip the last disc of Batman Volume 1 for now, and watch Wonder Woman Season 3... at least until the picture breaks up at a scratch and I can justify sending it back...

Ooh, new theme tune... and it's horrible! We open with "My Teenage Idol Is Missing" and this is a really weak premise for Wonder Woman to get involved in - she's doing some business in town for the Government, and the company director she's dealing with has a daughter who managed to sneak on to the balcony of the teen star and watch him get kidnapped. Now the daughter is being a nuisance to persaude Diana to at least investigate...

"Hot Wheels" sees a whole lot of investigation going into the theft of classic cars... especially when one of them has secret military plans hidden inside it. Diana has to put up with an annoying cop as a partner, who doesn't have much time for women. And wow I'm losing interest...

Lets hope that "The Deadly Sting" is a better attention retainer. Okay, we're at a football game, and the transition betwen actual footage and staged shots for the show are completely laughable. Ooh... someone's shot the receiver with something... they're fixing the games, and presumably Steve will want Diana to investigate... because Steve doesn't do any of that sort of thing any more! I know this is Wonder Woman, but he's a bit helpless these days...

"The Fine Art Of Crime" starts the episodes on the second side of disc one... and this is the side with the scratches, so we'll see what happens. Anyway, we have a good guest cast - Ed Begley Jr, who we last saw as Henry Starling in Star Trek Voyager (Future's End), and Roddy McDowell who we last saw during the show rotation in Buck Rogers (Planet of the Slave Girls) and Wonder Woman season 2 (The Man Who Made Volcanoes). We have an artist (McDowell) who's creating extremely lifelike statues (and presumably using real people to do it), but there's also a string of robberies going on that Diana needs to look in to.

Thursday night (already?!) continues Wonder Woman with "Disco Devil" and we're at the disco, with a government scientist. The girl with him lures him in to a mirrored room, and then a guy comes in and reads his mind - removing the memories of the last 24 hours in the process. This does of course, mean he can't remember the code to disarm a bomb that they're they're testing at the nearby army base.

Fortunately, there's a second guy out there who can extract memories, but he's now wanted by the bad guys because the first guy is throwing his weight around. Of course, the second guy does almost find out that Diana is Wonder Woman... but the two mens powers cancel each other out at the end, so there won't be any more mind reading...

"Formicida" looks to be a silly episode, with a woman who can telepathically control bugs. She's bringing down buildings by having ants eat the superstructure, and she's got a thing against an industrialist who has a chemical plant producing a pesticide she wants destroyed.

"Time Bomb" opens with shots from Space 1999... claiming to be Earth in the year 2155 and there's a whole bunch of mushroom like habitation domes, at least once we've had the reused footage of one of the spacecraft. And there's some scientists with a time portal who are going to observe Washington in 1978... but one of them wants to accumulate stuff which appears to be outlawed in the future, so she's going to go back there. Of course, her research partner has to go back to stop her...

Of course, a guy in a silver suit is easy to keep track of, even if he has no idea how to get around in Washington DC... of course, he does let slip to Diana that there's a nuclear holocaust in 2007 (well, we're right on target if Bush continues in his usual manner... and I'd probably better move if Joe Straczynski has anything to contribute to the issue!).

The fictional beachfront town of Santa Corona takes center stage in "" and there's a Beach Club that a bad guy wants... and he's going to extreme lengths to get it - including wrecking the owner's daughter's car. As he says, "be thankful it's not your daughter" who presumably is the one the episode is titled for as she appears to be something of a "Skateboard Wiz."

That wasn't too bad, but we've got evil killer dolphins in the next episode... and we can't have enough evil killer dolphin entertainment! But at least he's called Bluebeard... that's a suitable name for a killer dolphin! Okay, "The Deadly Dolphin" is really about a kidnapped navy trained dolphin, but presumably he does some killing later on if he's supposed to be deadly?

Apparently, the dolphin's service records went missing, so the navy don't really know what he was trained for... who wrote this lunacy?! The dolphin was stolen out of the Caribbean and shipped to the Pacific, where he escaped, and then caught by the aquarium, and now kidnapped again... Okay, evil land developer wants the most expensive housing development in the US... so how is a dolphin going to get him that? Do navy dolphins successfully burrow through California soil? Are they trained to destroy new homesteads? They're given special training to hate ranch-style homes?

I'm sorry - this episode is just too silly for words... I know the third season is mostly goofy episodes (mindreaders, ant-controlling women, leprechauns, Spock's Brain, more aliens)... but this one takes the biscuit so far.

Ah, there's a golf course, and a developer called Mr. Goodspeed. If his first name is Stanley then we might be talking a bioweapons trained dolphin who needs to infiltrate a high security prison to stop a bunch of terrorists. But no... it's Ira Goodspeed, obviously we're talking about his son.

Ooh, now Diana has to save Gladys the dolphin from a whole bunch of sharks - this dolphin appears to have no clue how to deal with them - even I know dolphins deal with sharks all the time, but apparently this one needs Wonder Woman to emit mysterious red blasts of light at the sharks to drive them off!

It's Friday night... date night... oh, okay, ignore that... it's just a night where I don't have to get up for work tomorrow. As I seem to be pursuing a headache, we'll see how much of Wonder Woman I actually manage to get through. We kick off with "Stolen Faces" and there appears to be a duplicate Wonder Woman. Well, okay, there's a guy making really realistic rubber masks of people so he can pull off a cunning robbery. He didn't, however, count on his fake Wonder Woman rescuing a young boy and ending up in the hospital for her troubles...

"Pot Of Gold" has a guy trying to sell two plates to print perfect hundred-dollar-bills, and he wants a pot of gold in return. However, the buyer steals it from a leprechaun, and he's now out to get it back (according to the legend I've never heard of, he has to get it back all on his own, so he's not all that amused about Wonder Woman's interference).

In the next episode, aliens kidnap Mister Spock and remove his brain to power a computer in "Gault's Brain"... oh, no, wait, that's Gault, not Spock... okay, there's this industrialist see, and he's dead. But some crazy scientist has removed his brain and put it in a jar (and it has a really freaky eyestalk!). And now it has the powers of telekinesis and can read War And Peace in under an hour. What he really wants though, is a young athletic body to put his brain in...

I've finished the disc, and I've just spotted that Howl's Moving Castle is out at the cinema, so I'm going to listen to some music, sleep, and hopefully get to a showing of the new Miyazaki film tomorrow.

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