The Secrets of Isis facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsThe Secrets of Isis
|Developed by||Marc Richards|
|Theme music composer||
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||22 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Arthur H. Nadel|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Syndication Studios (on behalf of DreamWorks Classics)|
|Original release||September 6, 1975– October 23, 1976|
The Secrets of Isis, originally broadcast as Isis, is an American live-action superhero television series produced by Filmation from 1975 to 1977 for CBS's Saturday morning lineup. The series was renamed The Secrets of Isis in syndication.
The program was the first weekly American live-action television series with a female superhero lead character, debuting September 6, 1975, predating the weekly debuts of both The Bionic Woman (January 14, 1976) and Wonder Woman (April 21, 1976). In the series, Isis (Joanna Cameron) is the alter ego of Andrea Thomas, a seemingly normal schoolteacher, who transforms into the Egyptian goddess when presented with crises a mere mortal cannot resolve.
Episodes of the series featured crossovers featuring Captain Marvel from the companion series, Shazam!. Likewise, Joanna Cameron appeared as Isis on Shazam! in return; and since then DC Comics has adopted the character of Isis into their mainstream continuity for modern comics.
Isis starred Joanna Cameron as Andrea Thomas, a science teacher at Larkspur High School who found an ancient mystical gold amulet, the "Tutmose amulet," on an archeological dig in Egypt. The Isiac amulet, which resembled the headdress of Hathor, had originally belonged to Queen Hatshepsut, an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh. The amulet gave the wearer (specifically, Hatshepsut and her descendants, of which Andrea was one) "the powers of the animals and the elements," which would be bestowed upon such wearer by the goddess Isis whenever it was exposed and her name invoked. Whenever Isis was needed, Andrea would reveal the Isiac amulet (which she wore as an everyday necklace) and recite an incantation—"Oh mighty Isis"—transforming her into the goddess/super-heroine.
The series co-starred Brian Cutler as fellow teacher Rick Mason who acted as Andrea's potential love interest, Joanna Pang as student Cindy Lee, and Albert Reed as Dr. Barnes, the school principal. In Season 2, Ronalda Douglas joined the cast as Rennie Carol, replacing the Cindy character. Guest stars on the show included Mike Lookinland, Debralee Scott, Leigh McCloskey, Phil Bruns, Mark Lambert, Steven Paul, Thomas Carter, Colleen Camp, Johnny Doran, William Engesser, Laurette Spang, Tommy Norden, Victor Sen Yung, Russ Marin and Christopher Norris.
Three episodes of the series featured crossover appearances by Captain Marvel (of the show's companion series, Shazam!). Likewise, Joanna Cameron appeared as Isis in three episodes of Shazam!
Most of the program's storylines involved Isis coming to the rescue of high school students who found themselves in danger due to unwise choices. A notable exception was the two-part series finale, "Now You See It...", and, "...Now You Don't", which had an espionage-related plotline revealing that Rick Mason has been working secretly for the U.S. government on a weather-making machine. This two-parter introduced a trio of crime-fighting teens dubbed "The Super-Sleuths;" the double episode was intended as a backdoor pilot for a Super-Sleuths series, which never materialized.
The Secrets of Isis often "broke the fourth wall," with Isis/Andrea winking at the camera or otherwise acknowledging the audience, at pertinent moments in a story. In signature Filmation fashion, each episode featured an epilogue with Isis directly addressing the camera and imparting a moral lesson derived from the preceding events of that episode. These moral-message segments were later deleted from syndication prints.
Powers and abilities
Isis displays a vast array of superpowers, usually invoked through incantation of a rhyming couplet. For example, Isis can take flight by reciting "O zephyr winds which blow on high / Lift me now so I can fly." Among her many powers, she exhibits superhuman strength, command of the elements (earth, air, fire, and water), and control of the weather. She can control the molecular density of her body and other matter, passing herself through walls, and in one instance, causing a car to pass unharmed through a road grader. She can divine the recent past, which is manifested for the viewer in the jewel of her diadem. Isis can cause living things, including trees and animals, to appear and disappear at will. She can increase local gravity, and stop and reverse the flow of time.
Isis' superhuman abilities are limited when in her Andrea Thomas form. She is still able to communicate telepathically with her pet crow, Tut, and in one instance, the reflection of light off her amulet restored a forgotten memory to a person.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||15||September 6, 1975||December 13, 1975|
|2||7||September 11, 1976||October 23, 1976|
Season 1 (1975)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"The Lights of Mystery Mountain"||Hollingsworth Morse||Russell Bates||September 6, 1975|
|A rash of UFO sightings leads Isis to an unscrupulous real estate developer.|
|2||2||"Fool's Dare"||Hollingsworth Morse||David Dworski||September 13, 1975|
|Cindy Lee enters a scrap yard on a dare and stumbles into a ring of car thieves. Guest starring Charles Cyphers.|
|3||3||"Spots of the Leopard"||Arnold Laven||James Schmerer||September 20, 1975|
|Isis helps an innocent man wrongfully accused of a jewel robbery. Guest starring Debralee Scott.|
|4||4||"The Sound of Silence"||Arnold Laven||Sid Morse||September 27, 1975|
|To get money for a car, a student steals a dangerous force field generator.|
|5||5||"Rockhound's Roost"||Arnold Laven||Robert F. Joseph||October 4, 1975|
|On a rock-hunting expedition, two students find themselves face-to-face with an angry bear. Guest starring Thomas Carter and Steven Paul.|
|6||6||"Lucky"||Hollingsworth Morse||Ann Udell||October 11, 1975|
|The loss of his dog leads a boy into danger as he learns about life and death.|
|7||7||"Bigfoot"||Arthur H. Nadel||J. Michael Reaves||October 18, 1975|
|A student looking for the legendary Bigfoot instead finds a giant man who shuns humanity.|
|8||8||"How to Find a Friend"||Hollingsworth Morse||Henry Colman||October 25, 1975|
|A boy tries to make a friend by giving an older boy his father's dangerous antique gun. Guest starring Mike Lookinland and Tommy Norden.|
|9||9||"The Show Off"||Arnold Laven||David Wise
|November 1, 1975|
|An escaped gorilla menaces the Science Club's camping trip. Guest starring Harry Gold (Brandy, Missy, and Tracey's dad).|
|10||10||"The Outsider"||Hollingsworth Morse||David Dworski
|November 8, 1975|
|A new student is framed for the theft of a rival school's mascot.|
|11||11||"No Drums, No Trumpets"||Hollingsworth Morse||Arthur H. Nadel||November 15, 1975|
|Exploring a ghost town lands Andrea and her students in the clutches of a robbery gang.|
|12||12||"Funny Gal"||Hollingsworth Morse||Sid Morse||November 22, 1975|
|An insecure overweight girl running for student council steals Mr. Mason's boat as a publicity stunt. Isis must call upon Captain Marvel to help with the rescue. Guest starring John Davey as Captain Marvel.|
|13||13||"Girl Driver"||Arnold Laven||David Wise
|November 29, 1975|
|A girl competes with her male rival in a road rally for the presidency of the Car Club, but his cheating puts them in danger. Guest starring Susan Lawrence (of Dr. Shrinker fame).|
|14||14||"Scuba Duba"||Arnold Laven||Sid Morse||December 6, 1975|
|A student in Mr. Mason's scuba diving class disregards safety rules and Isis must rescue him when he is trapped underwater. Guest starring Brian Byers and Eileen Chesis.|
|15||15||"Dreams of Flight"||Hollingsworth Morse||David Dworski
|December 13, 1975|
|A young girl stands up to her brother when he opposes her competing in a model airplane competition. Guest starring Cynthia Avila, Paul Hinckley, Tom Williams, and Fabian Gregory.|
Season 2 (1976)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|16||1||"Seeing Eye Horse"||Earl Bellamy||Peter L. Dixon
|September 11, 1976|
|A boy blinded in a riding accident must learn to trust a new guide horse when his family farm is threatened by fire. Guest starring George Elliot, Kathleen O’Malley, and James Griffith.|
|17||2||"The Hitchhiker"||Earl Bellamy||Sid Morse||September 18, 1976|
|A girl learns a lesson about the dangers of hitchhiking when the boy she rides with loses control of his car. Guest starring Barry Miller.|
|18||3||"The Class Clown"||Hollingsworth Morse||Arthur Nadel
|September 25, 1976|
|A new student's practical jokes endanger his fellow students.|
|19||4||"The Cheerleader"||Hollingsworth Morse||Sid Morse||October 2, 1976|
|A girl (Laurette Spang) cheats on her chemistry exam and frames a fellow cheerleader (Colleen Camp) in her desperation to become number one.|
|20||5||"Year of the Dragon"||Hollingsworth Morse||Ann Udell||October 16, 1976|
|A Chinese-American girl learns to overcome her shame of her immigrant father's (Victor Sen Yung) adherence to traditional customs.|
|21||6||"Now You See It..." (Part 1)||Arthur Nadel||Arthur Nadel (story)
Len Janson and Chuck Menville (teleplay)
|October 23, 1976|
|Rick is framed for the theft of part of a top-secret government device that can control the weather. Guest starring John Davey as Captain Marvel and Craig Wasson as "Feather".|
|22||7||"...Now You Don't" (Part 2)||Arthur Nadel||Arthur Nadel
Chuck Menville (story)
Len Janson and Chuck Menville (teleplay)
|October 23, 1976|
|The weather machine thieves kidnap Rick to compel him to turn over the plans for the rest of the weather control machine. Guest starring John Davey as Captain Marvel and Craig Wasson as "Feather".|
Chronological list of crossover episodes with Shazam!
- Shazam!, Season 2: "The Odd Couple" (Oct. 18, 1975)
- The Secrets of Isis, Season 1: "Funny Gal" (Nov. 22, 1975)
- Shazam!, Season 3: "Finders Keepers" (Oct. 2, 1976)
- Shazam!, Season 3: "Out of Focus" (Oct. 16, 1976)
- The Secrets of Isis, Season 2: "Now You See It ..." (Oct. 23, 1976)
- The Secrets of Isis, Season 2: "... Now You Don't" (Oct. 30, 1976)
Isis later appeared in animated form (voiced by Diane Pershing) on the Freedom Force segment of Filmation's Tarzan and the Super 7 show in 1980. The animated Isis also made a guest appearance on the Filmation cartoon Hero High in 1981 (voiced by Linda Gary).
Despite sharing a program block with Shazam! and appearing in 1970s DC Comics publications, Isis was an original Filmation property. The rights to the character are today controlled by Universal Television, which owns the rights to most of the Filmation catalog and characters. A considerably reworked comic-book version of the character, still connected with Captain Marvel and given the alter-ego "Adrianna Tomaz" in honor of the television character, was introduced in the 2006 DC weekly maxi-series 52. This version of Isis becomes the wife of Captain Marvel's nemesis Black Adam, attempting to reform him before her death and resurrection later drive both Adam and Isis into villainy.
Grammnet, actor/producer Kelsey Grammer's production company, has reportedly obtained the rights to produce a movie based on the character, to be called The Legend of Isis.
Isis appeared in the season 10 episode "Isis" of the CW Network's Superman-based drama series, Smallville. Portrayed by Smallville actress Erica Durance, this version saw the amulet take over the body of Lois Lane. However, there were nods to The Shazam!/Isis Hour and the modern character in Durance's portrayal.
The character of Zari Tomaz on The CW series Legends of Tomorrow, is inspired by the TV and comic versions of Isis, using a mystic amulet for her powers.
A feature film is in the works. It is reported that Dakota Johnson will sign as the lead character. No word if Joanna Cameron will make a cameo appearance.
The Secrets of Isis Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.