geekery

SF OBSCURE: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO…

Howdy! It’s me RK, and I decided to start a little blog series called “SF OBSCURE” in which I will try to track down some of the SF/Fantasy shows and actors of yesteryear. (some series maybe best forgotten, but always good for a laugh).

 

Today is a WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO…..

 

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THE SECRETS OF ISIS

“O My Queen,” said the royal sorcerer to Hatshepsut, “with this amulet, you and your descendants are endowed by the goddess Isis with the powers of the animals and the elements. You will soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles, and command the elements of sky and earth.”

The Secrets of Isis was a live action series as part of the CBS cartoon morning line up. It was known as THE SHAZAM/ISIS hour from 1975 to 1977. If you don’t want to reveal how old you are, you can claim to have seen it later.  It was the first weekly live action series on American television with a female superhero. (*predating Wonder Woman).

The Secrets of Isis was geared to children, so the episodes focused on delivering a moral lesson- telling the truth, helping others, doing the right thing. JoAnna Cameron starred as Andrea Thomas- a high school science teacher who gains ‘the powers of Isis’ from an archeological dig.  (Because in fantasy land teachers get paid enough to finance expeditions in Egyptian ruins) Isis has a range of powers that she can summon usually by reciting a couplet such as,  “Time ruler of day, Stop all motion and make it stay”.

Most episodes began with a student, usually Cindy Lee (played by Joanna Pang) or Rennie Carol (played by Ronalda Douglas) stumbling across some danger- a ring of car thieves! an escaped gorilla;  a robbery gang.  Other shows would be more school related topics, bullying, practical jokes, cheating on exams. The acting was admittedly a bit hammy and the special effects not astounding; but it had a fun quality to it. In a later interview, JoAnna Cameron expressed fond memories of her time with the Isis show and her contribution to children’s television.

JoAnna Cameron went on to do appearances in several television shows and commercials. After she retired from acting and pursued a second career.

The Secrets of Isis
September 1975 through September 1977
Starring:
Joanna Pang as Cindy Lee.
JoAnna Cameron as Isis
Ronalda Douglas as Rennie Carol.
Brian Cutler as Rick Mason
Albert Reed as Dr. Barnes, principal of Larkspur high school

The Secrets of Isis-The Completes Series is available on DVD and on Amazon Instant Video Service.

 

*Secrets of Isis premiered in September 1975. Wonder Woman in November 1975 with a pilot, later picked up weekly in 1976. Wonder Woman did have a TV movie in 1974 with a different actress, costume, and backstory.

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12 thoughts on “SF OBSCURE: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO…

  1. Oh heck ya I remember this show. I can still hear the ‘Almighty Isis Isis Isis’ chant. And I still say Shazam! tho my kids give me blank looks. I’m surprised it hasn’t popped up on Netflix or cable somewhere. Fun memories 🙂

    And Sally, Spike and Angel are traveling the world, looking for glimpses of Buffy…

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  2. OMG, I totally remember Isis. AND Shazam! LOVED her costume. Our generation’s version of the Disney princess. I enjoyed Wonder Woman too but I remember thinking it was weird she ran around in a bathing suit. (And actually I still do.)

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    • The Wonder Woman costume… I don’t know what can really be done, unfortunately. I remember having Wonder Woman underoos as a kid.

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  3. I added a few notes about the Wonder Woman and Secrets of Isis premiere, for those who are interested.

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