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Wonder Woman

Season 2 Episode 9

The Man Who Made Volcanoes

Aired Unknown Nov 18, 1977 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Wonder Woman races to save the world from a scientist capable of controlling volcanos globally via the machinery he has built.

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  • Roddy McDowell for the first time

    The Man who Made Volcanos

    Roddy McDowell makes the first of his appearances on the show, a veteran of the DC universe having also appeared as The Bookworm in Batman and will go on to voice the The Mad Hatter in the animated series. We have competing Cold War powers including the Chinese and USSR, the first real acknowledgement that the conflict exists. The title sequence is revised with much of the cartoon and comic art removed. Very good performance from McDowell (what we can see of him through those specs) as a man prepared to cause great destruction in the name of peace and pretty thrilling scenes where WW stops the laser and is faced with being crushed by the walls closing in. One query, if McDowell's character is so dedicated to peace why does he pick such a sadistic way to try to kill off Diana? Last ep for Joe Atkinson, maybe now he can spend more time with his daughter?


  • This is an exhausting episode with very juvenile and politically incorrect scripting even by 1977's standards.

    The Russian and Chinese pairs are embarrassingly stereotypical here. Lynda holds her ground in the episode on her solo adventure and probably pulls off the strongest performance of all. McDowell is doing a 60s Batman episode - not sure if that's his choice or the direction, but he could have easily played it more seriously and the script may have worked better. Probably the first episode that clearly proves Carter is able to carry the series on her own if she needed to. Some favorite moments include Diana parking the dune buggy so carefully in front of the motel and the classic walls-are-closing-in room with bizarre cutback shots to the backpack sliding on the floor. Great art direction in the episode helps relieve some of the tedium.moreless
Lyle Waggoner

Lyle Waggoner

Major Steve Trevor/Colonel Steve Trevor, Jr.

Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter

Princess Diana/(Yeoman) Diana Prince/Wonder Woman

Norman Burton

Norman Burton

Joe Atkinson (1977-1979)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Goof: When Diana finds the map hidden by the other IADC agent in the hotel, it at first appears (in a tight shot) to be only lightly folded. However, when a wide shot of the map is shown, it is very crinkled, as if it was shoved into the hiding place in a hurry.

    • When Wonder Woman runs into the lab near the end of this episode, it seems to be a scene from a later take, since Lynda Carter appears to be out of breath (from doing repeated takes of rushing into the lab) and trying to maintain her composure.

    • The Chinese refer often to the city of Peking. Today, that city in English is called Beijing.

    • Goof: Professor Chapman's assistant (the hotel manager) mentions to his boss in the lab at the top of the mountain that he killed Diana Prince although admitting he did not see her with his own eyes but pushed the button to activate the crunching wall. Later on, when he plans an ambush for the Chinese and Russians, he says that they already have one American agent and he knows where to find the second one. Obviously the second one is dead, according to his previous belief, so the script is faulty in having him go take Diana Prince from where the Chinese left her.

    • Professor Chapman aims and fires his volcano-creating laser at Chevy Chase, Maryland as his US based target. Later in the episode, when Trevor and Atkinson are discussing recent developments in the case at IADC Headquarters in Washington, DC, they make no reference to the Chevy Chase incident. Chevy Chase is a DC suburb.

    • Trivia: When Diana is captured and taken to Chapman, he says it's been two years, suggesting they last saw each other two years ago. Diana only started working at the I.A.D.C. eight episodes ago, when Wonder Woman returned to the outside world from Paradise Island. So therefore, 2 years must have past since the beginning of Season 2 and this episode.

    • Goof: The block broken with a karate chop has an obvious seam before the blow is struck.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode marked the beginning of the producers' attempt to "retool" the series. Among the more noticeable changes, the theme song is changed to a mostly instrumental version, the opening credits sequence is changed from the comic-book style to live action, and as mentioned in other notes Steve Trevor's role is changed and reduced to minimal screen time.

    • This is the final episode to feature the character of Joe Atkinson.

    • In this episode, Steve Trevor is promoted to Joe Atkinson's position and is the one responsible for assigning Diana to her missions, rather than being her partner in them. This reduces the Steve Trevor character to minimal screen time in each episode.