Episode Title: Formula 407
Original Airdate: January 22, 1977
Those crazy Nazis. They’ve just got their sticky little fingers into everything. One day they’re out looking around for the Ark of the Covenant, next day they are trying to steal formulas for rubber as strong a steel. That’s what’s at the center of today’s episode of Wonder Woman, Formula 407.
This time, Steve Trevor is dispatched to to Argentina (a neutral country in the war) to pick up a formula for super strong rubber from a scientist, Professor Moreno (Nehemiah Persoff). Diana gets to go along because she speaks fluent Spanish. Now, of course, the US Army aren’t the only ones out to get this formula. There is a Nazi agent named Keller (John Devlin) also trying to get ahold of it. Thing is, he is also the fiance of Moreno’s lab assistant, Maria (Marisa Pavan).
Steven and Diana encounter the Nazis early on, but luckily Wonder Woman shows up to stop them from kidnapping Steve and the US ambassador. Later, during a party at Moreno’s home, the Nazis strike again. They manage to kidnap Steve and Moreno’s lovely daughter Lydia (Maria Grimm), who is a bit sweet on Steve. When Wonder Woman tries to save them, she gets chloroformed and is captured as well. Wonder Woman and Steve are tied up in Moreno’s wine cellar while Lydia is taken off to an old shack out on the beach. Keller then tells Moreno that he must turn over the formula, as well as create a fake formula for the Americans, if he ever wants to see his daughter again.
Now, a few simple ropes aren’t going to hold Wonder Woman for long. She and Steve escape and get to Moreno. They try to have him pull a switch on Keller, but Keller sees through it quickly. After a short fight, he captures Trevor again and now plans on delivering not just the formula to his commanders, but also war hero Steve Trevor. Now it’s up to Wonder Woman to stop Keller, save Steve and rescue Lydia before the baddies make it to their sub.
This episode is a bit of a change of pace. It’s nice to see Steve and Diana get out of Washington DC. Of course, in this world Buenos Aires still looks like Washington DC, which looks like southern California. I guess it’s just nice to get away from the same backlot city street that’s been playing the role of 1942 Washington for the last several episodes.
One weird thing, though, about this episode is that this is a prime example of my Steve Trevor is a moron theory. Also known as the Lois Lane is a moron, too theory. Here’s the gist of it: Everyday, Major Trevor sits at his desk just a few feet away from a very beautiful woman with oversized glasses and her hair up. Somehow, this is enough to disguise the fact that this same woman is the gorgeous red, white, and blue wearing superhero who always saves him. In this episode, Steve and Diana head off to Argentina and, suddenly, Wonder Woman shows up…and Diana is nowhere to be found. Steve’s response, “Wonder Woman, what are you doing here?” IT’S DIANA GENIUS!!! This man has access to national security secrets, people.
While we’re on the subject of good ole’ Steve, and how, like Lois Lane, he is clueless, we do see something in this episode that sets him apart from Miss Lane. Early in the episode, when Wonder Woman rescues Steve, they exchange a little grin that implies the romantic relationship they both wish for. Especially when Steve suggests he take her to a movie sometime. Later that same night, Steve starts getting awfully cozy with the lovely Lydia. I don’t see Lois dumping Supes quite so quickly. I admit, I was a bit disappointed that a bit of jealousy on Wonder Woman’s part didn’t somehow enter into the story. I will say, though, that Diana does get some attention from a latin lothario who keeps telling her how pretty she’d be without the glasses.
I did enjoy the final race to catch the bad guys, both for some legitimate thrills and some unintentional laughs. As Wonder Woman comes on the scene, the Nazis lob grenades her way, which she catches and tosses back. However, in a few shots we see the grenade hit the ground and the explosion go off a few feet away, with the projectile left perfectly intact. Hey, it’s 70’s TV. A few gaffes don’t detract from this being a fun episode, though. Next time, Wonder Woman gets away from Washington again as she heads off to Lone Star State and meets up with a rancher played by a legendary singing cowboy. Join us next time for The Bushwackers.