Rare 1967 ‘Wonder Woman’ Pilot Clip and Batgirl Promo Footage Surface
Back in 1967, flush with the success of his campy ‘Batman’ TV series, producer William Dozier decided to try his hand at bringing Wonder Woman to the screen. The results were…well, now you can get a look at it yourself.
Comic Book Movie has unearthed some rare footage from those days: the first is a seven-minute promotional clip meant to introduce the character of Batgirl (played by the delicious Yvonne Craig) to the ‘Batman’ TV series for its third season. Ratings were starting to sag at that point, and Dozier thought Batgirl would add some sex appeal to the show. She did — but it didn’t help the series, which was canceled at the end of that year anyway.
The clip shows Batgirl, in her regular identity as librarian Barbara Gordon, helping millionaire Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and his ward Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) with some research. When the villain Killer Moth and his henchmen enter the library with a plan to kidnap a friend of Wayne’s, it’s time for Batman and Robin to step in — only to be aided by Batgirl, who has a convenient changing room in the librarian’s office.
The other clip — a “proof of concept” short for a proposed series called ‘Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?’ — is much more bizarre. It stars Ellie Wood Walker as nerdy Diana, who is sitting at home being berated by her mother (Maudie Pickett) for not finding a man, among other things. But she needs to get to the local Air Force base to help Steve (Trevor, we presume) and ducks into a closet where she comes out as Linda Harrison (Nova in the original ‘Planet of the Apes’) all decked out in her Wonder Woman corset and shorts.
Instead of rushing out to save the day, however, she preens in front of the mirror for a very bizarre two minutes or so, finally climbing out the window and flying off into the night. The whole tone of the thing is supposed to be funny, but just comes off as supremely awkward and ridiculous — which is why it never went further than this one clip.
Perhaps this material will be officially released one day if they ever let the ‘Batman’ TV series out of the vaults (it has never been released on any home video format due to a labyrinth of legal issues). Until then, however, enjoy.