Isis

Tagged: TV

US juvenile tv series (1975-1976; vt The Secrets of Isis). Filmation Associates for CBS television. Directors were Hollingsworth Morse, Arnold Laven, Arthur H Badel and Earl Bellamy. Writers included Marc Richards and many others. Cast includes JoAnna Cameron, Brian Cutler and Joanne Pang. 22 30-minute episodes. Colour.

Isis was the first female Superhero to star in her own US Television series, beating both The Bionic Woman (1976-1978) – who can be counted as such – and the successful 1975 Lynda Carter version of Wonder Woman (see Wonder Woman Film/TV). This point is often overlooked since Isis was a Saturday-morning series.

Andrea Thomas (Cameron) is an archaeology teacher who discovers an ancient Egyptian amulet while on a dig, and quietly bring this home with her after learning she is descended from the ancient Queen who had it crafted. By saying "Oh, Mighty Isis!", Thomas is transformed into the titular character, with the ability to control the winds, fly, and wield enormous physical strength. Owing to the contemporary crusade against violence on US television, she defeats most opponents in non-violent ways, and would appear in an end-tag to add a moral homily on the episode just shown. This was a companion series to Shazam! (1974-1976), with crossover appearances by each protagonist in the other's series. Arguably Isis was the more interesting of the pair.

Reportedly Filmation could not afford rights to the entire Marvel family, and so created Isis instead. As with Shazam!, the special effects are bad even for the 1970s, and the low budget was often evident in other ways. Isis is nevertheless fondly recalled by many who watched it as children. The heroine returned in the Freedom Force segments of Tarzan and the Super 7 (1979-1980). [GFi]

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