'Wonder Woman' subtly snuck 'Star Trek' sound effects into its futuristic tech
The government supercomputer Ira borrows iconic sounds from the Starship Enterprise.
Wonder Woman may not have had her own Batcave to house gadgets, but in the 1970s TV series, Diana Prince did deal with her fair share of futuristic tech. From her invisible jet to the small robot "Rover" dog that roamed around the government office, the technology of Wonder Woman was as convincing as the most serious sci-fi shows. To pull that off, the series actually borrowed a little from that most innovative creative force on 1960s TV, Star Trek.
Yes, Wonder Woman incorporated iconic Star Trek sounds into early episodes that introduced I.R.A.C., the Information Retrieval Associative Computer, which fans know better by its informal nickname, Ira.
Ira first appeared in the first episode of season two, "The Return of Wonder Woman." A super-intelligent computer, Ira detects Diana's true identity as Wonder Woman, and at first, the supercomputer's only sound is a low hum and its robotic voice. In subsequent season two episodes, though, we're guessing the newly introduced sounds of Ira's processing system may have blipped on the radar of any Star Trek fans tuning in. The ambient bleeps and bloops of the Enterprise bridge noises that are so familiar in the Trek world can be heard whenever Ira's crunching data. Listen to compare both shows' sound effects in the clip below.
On Wonder Woman, Ira mostly talks over the sound effects, which is likely why this subtle usage slipped by loyal viewers of both shows. But the same sound effects seem to be used as part of the Rover dog robots much more overtly. We'll let you decide for yourself if it's the same sounds by listening to the clip below. Either way, it's clear and obvious that the "meep-meep" sound that the Rover makes is directly ripped from the Road Runner's mouth in Looney Tunes.
Wonder Woman had plenty of signature sound effects. And it wasn't the only show to borrow Star Trek sound effects to supplement its own. The flying saucer in the Charlie's Angels episode "Unidentified Flying Angels" also used the Enterprise's bridge background sounds. For The Monkees episode "Mijacogeo," any time someone pushed the Freebie Energizer button, any longtime Trekkie's ears likely perked up. And in 1966's Batman: the Movie, it was the sound of Star Trek photon torpedos going off that we heard when Mook went sailing over the ocean, propelled by a massive spring.
So while it seems highly illogical for different series to incorporate sounds that any TV fan would associate exclusively with Star Trek, it seems to have only expanded upon Trek's legacy to regularly hear its impact sneak into other TV worlds.