Wonder Woman Transformation
Seance of Terror - Episode 19 of the Second Season, originally broadcast March 10, 1978.
"You see, I take pictures, Mr Secretary, only the pictures I take, are things from another world. It used to scare me." - Matthew, the psychic boy
Diana Prince has come from the federal government agency the I.A.D.C. [Inter-Agency Defense Command] to investigate security issues just ahead of the World Peace Conference, and she's not pleased at how lax security is. She is reassured by the chief of security Colonel Dekker (Jan Ivan Dorin) that everything has been taken care of to protect the dignitaries coming for the event, and he is obviously annoyed with having to answer to a woman about something he thinks he's got completely under control (he doesn't).
Shortly thereafter, the Secretary of the Conference Mr Bakru (Adam Ageli) meets a young boy (Matthew, played by Todd Lookinland) who is wondering about within the facility and who claims to be able to take pictures of the dead using his camera (looks like an instamatic Polaroid) and by "thinking really hard." He shows Mr. Bakru a photo image that he just took which shows in the photo Mr. Bakru and a phantasm of a young women in the background which, in a shock, Bakru identifies as his dead wife. Promising more information, Matthew convinces Mr. Bakru to follow him.
Seeing Bakru's departure from a distance, Diana Prince pursues the vehicle carrying him while driving her pale blue Mercedes Convertible. Suddenly forced off the road by another car into a deserted graveling yard, she is captured by two well-tailored ruffians, one of which ties her onto a rock-carrying conveyor belt which will hurtle her to what the villains think will be her death, plunging down into a rocky quarry hillside. What they never suspected immediately follows when Diana Prince hits the rocks and starts rolling side-over-side, the twirling motion instantly beginning the transformation of Diana Prince, I.A.D.C. Officer, into the red-white-blue and gold costumed Wonder Woman. But when she returns to her Mercedes (by leaping into the air over the distance), she finds that the two thugs have, fortunately for them, departed.
Diana then reports back to the I.A.D.C. offices and discusses with Steve Trevor the situation and about evidence that she found at the location where Secretary Bakru was taken, the small photo that showed the eerie suspended image of the dead wife with the present day Mr. Bakru. We then learn she died a year earlier in a fire
Diana’s boss, Colonel Steve Trevor, thinks the photo is simply a fake, utilizing some older picture of Mrs. Bakru then double exposed with a new image of the now missing World Peace Conference Secretary. Diana points out that the photo appears geniune, and that the “lab boys” have determined it’s not a fake.
Steve is still convinced that the photo must still somehow be phony, though Diana Prince suggests it might be the result of someone with “incredible psychic talents.”
Steve asks about finger-prints on the photo, and Diana tells him that I.R.A., the I.A.D.C. super-computer, won’t have the information from a scan of the object until later that afternoon because I.R.A. is “booked solid,” and Steve responds jealously “humans should be so popular!”
Diana then learns that Colonel Dekker has blamed Secretary Bakru’s disappearance on her, and Diana protests by reminding Steve that Dekker had previously claimed he had everything under control. But Dekker goes over Trevor’s head in the I.A.D.C. bureaucracy and gets Diana banned from working further on the case. Trevor then orders Diana to take a vacation and to go to the beaches in Miami. She is told to relax there until she hears from him. Clearly miffed, Diana has other plans.
Diana instead goes to see the super computer I.R.A. who reveals that though the machine has been ordered to not provide any information about the case to Diana, the computer nonetheless reveals all the known facts anyway using doubletalk, such as "I am not allowed to tell you that the fingerprints clearly show that . Dr. Bakru had held the photo."
After Diana leaves the room, I.R.A. tells “Rover” (a small mobile computer unit) that, after all, Trevor said nothing about not revealing case information to Wonder Woman.
We see further mechanizations happening as two more attendees at the Peace Conference are lured to the “Psychic Research Institute” where psychic boy Matthew’s “Aunt Theodora” (Kres Mersky) and “Uncle Lawson” (Rick Jason) are preparing for a seance that night.
The two original well-dressed thugs that tried to kill Diana at the gravel pit now rig Diana’s car to explode on ignition, but she spots them as they're walking away from the vehicle. She almost immediately suspects what’s happening when she gets into her car, and is soon using the lasso-of-truth on them to discover who they're working for, which is the Psychic Institute where Matthew took Mr. Bakru earlier.
Going to the Psychic Institute in disguise (a very curly wig), Diana manipulates her way into the building past the resisting Aunt Theodora, pretending to need psychic help to contact her “late departed husband Jason” who hid a half-million dollars worth of diamonds before he died. She is sent to a waiting room, but she then meets with Matthew, who is clearly not involved in the criminal activity of the Psychic Institute, and she explains to Matthew how Uncle Larson is using the boy to con people. Only half-convinced, the boy is later forced into a seance featuring the three World Peace Conference leaders who are confronted by floating ghostly apparitions of their dead loved ones telling them that the peace conference must not succeed and the wars of their homelands must continue.
Though Diana is then tricked into dropping through a trap door and falling to the bottom of a cement shaft and then gassed ujnconcious by Uncle Lawson and Aunt Theodora, when she comes to, then changes into Wonder Woman, and invades the seance just in time, Wonder Woman finds that the "ghosts" are actually manipulated film footage run through a sophisticated computer and projected inside the darkened seance room where Matthew and the three World Peace Conference delegates are seated.
Ripping the control panel from the computer, Wonder Woman then pulls down the heavy curtain between the control room and the seance so that the people sitting at the table can see how they're being tricked.
The group then learns that Uncle Lawson and Aunt Theodora were hired by one of the warring countries to keep the conflict raging, sabotaging the Peace Conference.
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Original page December 2015 | Updated July 21, 2017