Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Discuss: Isis

Karen: Like its counterpart, Shazam, Isis is another show that people enjoyed and remember fondly. It was very formulaic, and only lasted 22 episodes, but who can forget "Zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly"? And of course, I'm sure many of you were drawn to the show by actress Joanna Cameron. Let's hear your Isis memories.


Chuck Wells said...

I freely admit that Joanna Cameron was the big draw for me, but thankfully the show wasn't too shabby either. I never understood why she didn't pop up more back then. She made a Saturday morning kids show heroine seem sexy as hell, despite the watered down intensity of the overall package; plus there was that neat tie-in monthly comics series from DC.

Edo Bosnar said...

I'll also admit that Joanna Cameron was a big draw for me; in fact, back then, I think I had more of a little boy-crush on her than was the case with the much, much more popular Linda Carter.
But you're right, Karen, it was very, very formulaic. About a year ago, I watched two or three episodes online (I think they are, or were, posted on YouTube), and found them quite bland even by the standards of 1970s Saturday morning live-action fare.
And even as a kid, I found it particularly annoying how nobody recognized Isis - there's often a scene in most episodes where someone says, "Isis, you saved us! Gosh! Where's Andrea?" I mean c'mon, she made no attempts to look or even act different when she was Isis!

humanbelly said...

Oy, the intro voice-over guy and his hard R's-! "You and YER descendants--" He sort of sounds like a British actor's broad parody of an American accent. . .

Her fashionably large "professor" glasses are a bit of a time-capsule artifact, as well.

Sadly, I had outgrown most of the Saturday morning fare by the time this show rolled out. I know I watched a few episodes-- but it never grabbed me. Too much like Shazaam (naturally) which had also failed to ignite my waning interest. Hmm-- where did this fall in relation to Electrowoman & Dynagirl?


david_b said...

Well, I'll be honest.. My attraction wasn't so much for Ms. Cameron, but for those little cute female sidekicks you always found getting into trouble, much like Ms. Hon from Ark II and Susan O'Hanlon from Jason of Star Command.

Seriously as for the show, it was a 70s CBS morning cartoon, so what does one expect..?

What did I coin a few months back..? IAWHBT: "It's all we had back then"

At least the British kids had fun/scary shows like Doctor Who, and the Anderson show reruns. Far more imagination went into them, without the obligatory moral lesson, the bane of any enjoyment/interest in American kid's television in the glorious Bronze Age..

Steve Does Comics said...

I don't think it ever got shown in Britain and I only know the TV version from watching clips on Youtube.

I did though have a copy of issue #7 of the comic, which was better than it had a right to be, bearing in mind its tie-in nature. It was certainly a lot more interesting than what I've seen of the TV show that spawned it.

Anonymous said...

The comics were better than most of D.C.'s "real" output at the time. The show's okay in small doses, but much like Law & Order or any other episodic show, it's pretty much the same each time.


Edo Bosnar said...

I only now played the title sequence link that you posted, and remembered another thing I didn't like about the show (which humanbelly notes as well): the voice-over. It always puzzled me why they didn't use a woman's voice (like Joanna Cameron herself) instead of this guy, who made not even the slightest effort to evoke the sense of mystery surrounding the Egyptian mythology he's talking about; instead, it sounds like he's reading for an infomericial about lawn care products.

pete doree said...

As Steve said, we never got it in the UK, but David's point about 'our' TV shows vs. 'your' TV shows raises an interesting side-point
( we can go off on tangents, right? ): Our shows didn't have moral lessons but they were mind-bendingly insane. As I've said before, if you want an exercise in barking madness, check out the 70's kids show 'Sky' and try to figure out what's going on!

Steve Gerber actually wrote a brilliant evisceration of the pressure groups that control USA TV in a couple of issues of Eclipse Monthly.
Can't remember the title of the story but basically, a TV writer for kids show's finds out that 'the moral majority' who insist on on 'clean, moral' shows for kids are actually filth-mongering satanists.
I know this is a slight hijack of the post, sorry, but I do remember being annoyed by the moral stuff in american kids TV in the 70's.
It must've driven you lot insane!
Even at that age I remember thinking: I'm not an idiot!

William Preston said...

Yet somehow, Shaggy, Scooby, and their constant snacking avoided the censors. I guess they came along before things were totally blandified.

Steve Does Comics said...

I was thinking earlier of making a similar point to the one Pete's made.

From what we saw of them on this side of the pond, American sci-fi shows of the 1970s always seemed cheery and reassuring, often featuring an agent of the establishment fighting to maintain order on behalf of that establishment (Man From Atlantis, Wonder Woman, 6 Million Dollar Man, etc).

British sc-fi shows, on the other hand, seemed bleak and fearful of the establishment, society in general and the future (Blake's 7, Sky, 1990, Timeslip, Changes, Escape into Night, etc).

I'm not sure whether it says something about the respective national psyches or just reflects the mind-sets of those who ran TV companies at the time.

david_b said...


Thanks much for your perspective from across the pond (as always) -Great insight..!

From the 'Let the OT Continue' department: As for William's point on Shaggy and Scooby, I'm actually MORE intriqued where Daphne and Fred would head off to each episode during the middle parts..

Both always seem quite young, fit and.. well, chummy.

Anonymous said...

The annoying "moral stuff in American kids TV in the 70's" was probably included to appease Action for Children's Television and other pressure groups. As for nobody ever recognizing Isis, maybe Andrea's glasses emitted radiation that hypnotized everyone she met and made them think that she was old and fat.

humanbelly said...

Another OTapalooza! (Well, too bad, really--)

@Steve- I think a British show that may have had a demographic target more comparable to Isis' would have been "The Tomorrow People", actually. And it would sporadically try to impart a moral lesson (Hmm-- avoid Satanism; Hitler Was Evil; Don't Wear Fashionable Jumpsuits; Etc), but they were obviously much less squeaky-clean and simplistic. And the Tom.Peeps kids definitely operated outside of the established authority structure. Were often harassed by it, in fact.

@William: You're right, in fact. Shag, Scoob & the gang premiered in the fall of 1969-- several years before the fatal sanitization of kids' television here in the U.S. The final nail in that particular coffin is when they seriously made an attempt to edit out the "overly-violent" sequences/moments in the Road-Runner/Coyote cartoons. Gags would be set-up w/out payoffs; no attempt at editing any sense into the cartoon; little more than random partial-sequences strung together-- but it DID make for a much shorter segment, leaving more time for candy and sugar-cereal commercials. . .
They stopped showing most of the Warner Brothers catalog not long after that (for awhile, at least).


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