Episode Title: Judgement from Outer Space Part 1
Original Airdate: January 15, 1977
From Uncle Martin to Mork to Alf, classic TV shows often feature aliens. So, is it any surprise that a series based on comic book would encounter some beings from other worlds? In our episode today, Wonder Woman has to deal with a being known as Andross in Judgement from Outer Space Part 1.
We begin with a group of aliens who have been observing Earth from space for over 3,000 years. They are growing concerned with the warring ways of human beings and the fact that the development of atomic weapons is on the horizon. Most of the council believes that humans should be eliminated before they can cause more trouble. One alien named Andross (Tim O’Connor) wants to give them a chance. He decides to head down to Earth in his flying saucer to talk with their leaders.
When his ship lands, the military, including Steve Trevor and Diana Prince, are dispatched to take a look. Of course, the soldiers on hand nearly freak out. Luckily, Diana transforms into Wonder Woman to help calm things down. Not that Andross needs that much help from Wonder Woman. He holds an exploding grenade in his hand with no effect on him. In the end, the alien ends up going off with Steve. Meanwhile, one of the soldiers on hand gives info on the encounter to a Swedish reporter named Paul Bjornson, who is actually a Nazi spy.
Thinking that Andross is a scientist developing new weapons for the allies, Nazi agents try to apprehend him as he’s taken to a safe house. Wonder Woman once again intervenes. Strangely, though, the alien seems to recognize that Diana and Wonder Woman are one and the same. Guess the old glasses disguise doesn’t work on aliens. Meanwhile, Paul keeps digging for more info on Andross. This includes flirting a bit with Etta, who becomes quite infatuated with him.
As for Wonder Woman, she attempts to understand Andross better; meeting with him at the Lincoln Memorial It seems Andross met President Lincoln in the past. Andross eventually gets to meet with President Roosevelt, but FDR feels the alien may still be a threat. General Blankenship is ordered to prepare forces to be able to stand against Andross if needed. Later, Andross (who for some reason is allowed to roam freely) pays a visit to the Library of Congress. While there, Paul and his Nazi goons try to nab him. Wonder Woman shows up, but during the fight she is hit with some poison gas and knocked out. Now the Nazis have Andross. Upon seeing this, the other aliens decide to take away Andross’ alien powers. He is now just like a human.
Wonder Woman is sent to a hospital, but she doesn’t need modern medicine. Her body automatically starts to heal itself of the poison. After talking with Steve, she decides she needs to try and contact the other aliens. She goes to find Andross’ flying saucer, which is kind of hiding in plain sight, so she can communicate with the others. Little does she know that if she tries, the ship’s security system will automatically destroy her. Freeze frame…to be continued.
Two-part episodes of most TV shows tend to be a bit, shall we say, padded out. Many of the sequences in this episode are a lot heavier on dialogue than usual to help justify making this a two-parter. So we get extended sequences of aliens chit chatting, or Wonder Woman and Andross doing the tourist thing in Washington DC. I’m hoping that we get a bit more action in part two.
This episode does have one very nice action sequence in the form of the attack at the Library of Congress. Wonder Woman leaps into the scene and jumps over large bookcase is rather dramatic fashion. She later does a dominoes number on the shelves, pushing one which causes a chain reaction that brings down the rest. It’s a bit of a bummer, though, that after such a dramatic fight, she’s taken down somewhat easily by a gas bomb.
One interesting twist in this episode is that Etta plays a bit more of a role than usual. Her flirtations with the Swedish reporter/Nazi spy lead to her unwittingly helping out the enemy. I do feel a bit sorry for her that when she finally gets to do something, it’s not helping out the good guys. But, at least she’s got something to do. So far her presence in most episodes has been pretty inconsequential. At least she gets to factor into the story this time.
Tim O’Connor is solid choice to play Andross. He basically approaches the role in the exact same style as he does when he played Dr. Huer a few years after this on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He even wears a big round electronic device around his neck, which looks a little like the round computer known as Theo that Twiki wears on his chest in Buck Rogers.
We do get a little bit of a cliffhanger for this episode. As the screen freezes we’re led to believe that Wonder Woman is on the verge of being blown up. There’s not a lot of set up for this, though. I guess I’ve just gotten too used to the elaborate, and quite frankly ridiculous, cliffhanger from the 60’s Batman series. Something a bit more dramatic would’ve been nice. Even so, you’re going to have to wait until next time to see if Wonder Woman survives. I know you’re really nervous about the outcome. Come back next time to know for sure as we look at Judgement from Outer Space Part 2.