By Rich Heldenfels
Tribune News Service
You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: There was an ABC TV movie of Wonder Woman with Cathy Lee Crosby and Ricardo Montalban. What is the exact title and is it available on video?
A: The exact title, you will not be surprised, is “Wonder Woman.” It aired in 1974, more than a decade before the latest Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, was born. The made-for-TV movie had a teleplay by John D.F. Black and direction by Vincent McEveety. Crosby was Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman; Kaz Garas was Steve Trevor, and Montalban was the villain, Abner Smith. According to Lee Goldberg’s book “Unsold Television Pilots,” the film was meant to launch a TV series – but the studio, Warner Bros., decided instead to bring in a new team, leading to the Lynda Carter version of “Wonder Woman.” The Crosby version was set in the ‘70s; Carter’s began as a World War II adventure but underwent another revamp to become a ‘70s tale.
The Crosby “Wonder Woman” was released on DVD via the Warner Archive collection and is available through some retailers, including Amazon.com and Bestbuy.com. Amazon also has it for sale and rent digitally.
Q: Someone once told me that the music theme for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” is called “The March of the Marionettes.” But would you know the composer, dates written and what it was written for – opera, musical or marionette performance? If it was recorded on LP or CD, can it be found today?
A: The Hitchcock theme, actually called “Funeral March of a Marionette,” was composed by Charles Gounod in the 1870s. It is a stand-alone piece, although it was reportedly planned at one time as part of a larger work. There are many recordings of it, notably in collections of TV theme songs. There’s also an album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” that includes the theme and other songs as well as narration by Hitchcock.
Q: Do you know what happened to “The Tunnel” on PBS? It certainly didn’t seem to be over but suddenly stopped.
A: So far there have been two seasons of the suspense drama. The 10-episode first season aired in 2016. The second, eight-episode season, called “The Tunnel: Sabotage,” began on PBS in June, with the season finale set for Aug. 16. A third season, “The Tunnel: Vengeance,” is in the works; it will reportedly be the show’s last.
By the way, “The Tunnel” is derived from “Bron/Broen,” a series that also inspired the TV drama “The Bridge.” The original version involved bodies found on a bridge between Denmark and Sweden; “The Bridge” moved the action to between the U.S. and Mexico, and “The Tunnel” began in the Channel Tunnel between England and France.
Q: Did Cote de Pablo leave “NCIS” because she knew Michael Weatherly was going to star in his own series, “Bull”? Why did she leave? Where has she been since leaving the show? Why don’t we see her guest-starring on any shows? Since her “NCIS” character is dead, it would be a surprise to have her guest-star on “Bull.” They would enjoy the reunion, don’t you think?
A: Cote de Pablo made her last appearance as Ziva David on “NCIS” in October 2013, early in the show’s 11th season. Weatherly announced he was leaving “NCIS” in January 2016, and not long after made the pilot for “Bull.” His “NCIS” character, Tony DiNozzo, said goodbye in the 13th-season finale in May 2016. So the timing doesn’t fit your theory.
In an appearance in 2016, de Pablo said she left the show “because of political things and the scripts not being good enough. … I love this character. I worked eight years in crafting this character and loving her, so when I felt or I perceived the character was not being treated with the respect that she deserved, all the money in the world” couldn’t keep her. Since then, she has done a few projects, including the miniseries “The Dovekeepers,” movie “The 33” and “Prototype,” a 2016 pilot for Syfy. But Syfy decided not to go ahead with a “Prototype” series.
I don’t know how Weatherly and de Pablo would feel about a TV reunion.