Whoo hoo! I love an alien-testing-Earth scenario and here’s one of my faves! Watch as Andros visits Earth and Wonder Woman has to convince him humanity is worth saving (HINT: they probably aren’t … cats, dogs, ducks, dolphins, etc. — I’ll fight to the death for their right to flourish in the universe, but human history leaves me … unimpressed a lot of the time) !
Put on your magic bracelets and let’s enjoy a Judgement from Outer Space!
In an uncharted solar system in the vast regions of outer space (according to the caption) , an advanced council of aliens (that all look extremely human) are debating whether they should destroy the planet known as Earth against the background of some extremely dramatic music.
In fact, everything in this episode is EXTREMELY dramatic. The camera angles, the reactions and of course, the rush to judgement. It’s like RuPaul’s Drag Race, only with aliens and Wonder Woman.
One alien claims these less-advanced species always “call themselves human,” which feels like a rightfully-deserved burn. Andros (who is played by the actor who played Dr. Huer in Buck Rogers), loves humans. So much, that he’s lived among them for 3,000 years.
Andros argues that before a planet can be sterilized, the terms of the Compact state there must be a judgement. They all do a weird backhand clap that signifies …we agree? I dunno. Like RuPaul, they tell Andros not to f*ck it up … they don’t want these Earthers learning about nuclear bombs, then brining that madness into the vast regions of outer space. Fair enough! They tell Andros if he resists their judgement, he’ll get sterilized too. OUCH!
A meteor flies over DC that night and suddenly a thunderstorm starts. Add that to the dramatic background music, and I think we can figure out that this is no meteor. The next morning, Diana is fielding calls from everywhere about the UFO. Steve worries it could be some sort of flying missile the Nazis are working on (isn’t that called a rocket?). Either way, they have troops looking for it.
Andros chats with his outer space peeps via his TRULY Unfortunate (But Powerful) Neckwear. I don’t know what was going on in every 1970s TV show, but between Dallas, Logan’s Run and Wonder Woman … there is a disturbing trend of Unfortunate Neckwear Choices of all shapes, sizes and patterns.
Andros’ outer space neckwear might not be so bad, except it has flipping tiger stripes on it. It is … well, words don’t often fail me, but they just did. Andros heads outside and walks right up to the troops looking for him and says he’s an alien from outer space.
Amazingly, they don’t shoot him. They try, to be honest, but even as Diana has snuck off to become Wonder Woman, Andros has frozen them all with his magic medallion. Andros explains his plan – he wants to talk to the president, then the prime minister and every political leader on down the line until he chats with Hitler. All the while, Wonder Woman is pretty much hiding behind a tree, so I’m like, why did she even bother to change?
He unfreezes everyone, and then a guy tosses a grenade at him. Andros calmly picks it up and it explodes in his clasped hands, so no one gets hurt. MAGIC! Trevor decides this grenade-stopping alien should totally get into see the president. Wonder Woman leaves HAVING DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Next, we see one of the soldiers trying to sell the story to a Swedish reporter for $5. I know money was different back then, but gee whiz. A guy who can hold an exploding grenade is worth more. Think bigger, dude. Obviously, this Bjornsen reporter is a Nazi spy (it was just so telegraphed) , and before you know it, he’s at the trunk of his car radioing Berlin and saying this scientist has some weapons that will help them conquer the world.
Trevor and Blankenship won’t let Andros walk into the White House without some proof that he’s an alien. He has to set up a demonstration of his “techniques” as the general politely calls them. Andros quotes Socrates and Diana is the only one who knows it in the original Ancient Greek. All the while, Andros has been giving Diana and/or Wonder Woman stare-eyes, and now he says he sees he was not alone in meeting Socrates. The mere mortals look dumbfounded, but really, would you believe this alien when he infers your yeoman met Socrates? She’s not Bill and Ted, after all.
Steve and Diana take Andros to the government house he’ll be staying in. As they arrive, Nazi spies attack. Bjornsen is there and he acts like he’s helping. Wonder Woman shoes up and beats up the spies. Andros is happy to meet her, but is saddened by the eternal violent nature of humanity. As am I.
He talks about famous bad cities of the past like Sodom and Babylon, and claims Lincoln called him impatient. He tells Trevor to peace out, and throws up a force field as he heads out. All this time, his alien friends in the Council of Planets are watching them, so, it feels like you don’t need a live person to follow around, they could just judge from whatever magic drone they have following Andros.
Back at the War Department, Bjorn is still following Major Trevor around. Trevor says it’s all top secret now (it wasn’t BEFORE?) and Bjorn has to buzz off. Instead, he gets to work flattering General Blankenship, who is apparently a well-known military theoretician of airborne invasion techniques. He interviews Blankenship and flirts with Etta. Oh, my.
Diana and Steve try to figure out how to find Andros. She suggests Civil Defense could get involved. He likes her idea so much, he mansplains that any other good ideas she gets in her pretty little head, she should just do them. Which she does. She changes to Wonder Woman and heads to the Lincoln Memorial.
Which is where Andros is hanging out. I know whenever I am judging a planet and need to chill, I head for a giant statue of one of my dead, famous friends. So, it’s logical. She wonders how he knew she was Wonder Woman, which the question actually should be, how does everyone you work with NOT know?
Andros is maddeningly yet cosmically coy. He “felt the difference” between the two of them and all the mere mortals. He asks if she is like him, basically doing a job, but she says she is a volunteer in the fight for justice. Andros says he can’t help, he has to stay neutral, then shows the extent of his powers by WHISTLING UP AN ECLIPSE.
He then claims he doesn’t use his powers lightly … unless, you know, he needs to upend some planetary physics to prove a point to Wonder Woman. Wow. Then he says he needs a friend.
Bjorn tries to trick Etta Candy into telling him where the Andros demonstration is by betting her $20. WOW Etta. Then she flubs it and he figures it out and then she asks him out on a date with that $20. Oh, my.
At the demonstration, where Bjorn is COMPLETELY hidden behind a tree, Andros blasts a shed by summoning up a lightning storm. Watch out, Thor! Then he explains he’s more than an observer. He has to find proof humanity is worthy or it can NOT advance into space. If he has to “topple civilization, he will, because he is judge, jury and if necessary, executioner. GASP!
While Andros chats with the president, she hears echoes of all the things Andros has said, so she can get good and anxious about it. Steve and Blankenship are also waiting by the phone. After 45 minutes (MORE than enough time to determine the fate of the world, I think) the president calls. He wants a potential strike force against Andros if necessary.
Wonder Woman and Andros stroll around what is presumably the front lawn of the White House. She reminds him she and her sisters on Paradise Island would have to stop him, since, you know, she lives on Earth, too. He asks about Paradise Island and she describes it as … well, paradise. D’uh. She asks to use her lasso on him to make sure he’s telling the truth.
For his part, Andros wonders why she hasn’t stopped the war, and Wonder Woman explains her powers are limited, i.e., she can’t whistle up an eclipse. They debate good versus evil and Andros explains he was chosen for this job because he didn’t want it. Sure … not because you’d been hanging out for 3,000 years with Socrates and Lincoln?
Andros also adds, if he doesn’t make a report every three Earth days, a satellite will come and vaporize Earth. So, no pressure.
They continue walking, chatting and not at all strategizing on how to avert the looming disaster. Bjorn watches them from his car, and it looks like he gets way to close to them AND the White House. Later, Diana flat-out busts Steve for working on the strike force , which is named Strike Force: Alpha, but shouldn’t it be Strike Force: Andros?
When Steve says hits the patriotic thing to do, she uses Dr. Samuel Johnson quote on him “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” OUCH! Steve DISMISSES her and she gives him a sassy salute and stalks out. Right on, Diana!
Five seconds later, Strike Force Alpha has lost Andros. Bjorn tries to get info from Diana, but of course, she’s not having it. Andros goes to his ship, whistles it open. His Council of Planet pals have decided to speed things up. They see the strike force after him and say if they attack you, you’re on your own and if you die, we vaporize Earth. Bloodthirsty much?
Etta grabs Diana away from her future ex-boyfriend to tell her top-secret news on Andros’ whereabouts. They don’t move NEARLY far away enough from Bjorn, which you’d think Diana at least would notice. Andros is at the Library of Congress reading books and Steve wants Diana to go talk to him. Diana tries to tell Bjorn she has to take something and looks confused. Etta helps supply the word … “raincheck.” Guess you didn’t finish that whole book of American Slang last episode?
In the Library of Congress, a strike force guy is shadowing Andros. Then, Bjorn’s Nazi goons knock him out. They struggle with Andros and one snags his Unfortunate But Powerful Neckwear Choice off him! Wonder Woman comes in and knocks over some bookshelves, but Bjorn uses poison gas and knocks her out.
Two of the creepy Council of Planets people appear above a bookshelf like ghosts. Since he loves these humans so much, they are cutting his “power linkage” and he is no more than human himself. RUDE. The Nazis promptly kidnap him and run off.
As Steve FINALLY realizes Bjorn is a deep-state spy (here we go, conspiracy theorists! It all started in the 70s!), Wonder Woman is miraculously curing herself of the poison gas. She tells Steve she has to find Andros’ ship or the world is doomed. DOOMED. DOOMED!!
She manages to find it after a battalion of troops couldn’t, and figues out she can whistle her way in … WHICH SHE DOES. Oh, my Council of Planet people … your tech needs better security than what an iPhone has.
The Council watches her, but knows the satellite will still vaporize Earth unless the correct signal is sent and she’ll never get that … especially after loud sirens start blaring and we hit the “TO BE CONTINUED” button.
Oh, my! Well, for me, I love it. It hits all the cheesy, 1970s relevant-issue type of stuff and the magic medallion and whistling stuff … well, lets just say for weeks after this episode as a kid, I tried whistling doors open. Never worked, though.
Four out of five golden lassos for me. Let’s hope she can send the right signal or we won’t have any Retro Recap next week! See you then!