Series / 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!"

3000 years later, a young science teacher dug up this lost treasure and found she was heir to... the secrets of Isis!

And so, unknown to even her closest friends, Rick Mason and Cindy Lee, she became a dual person — Andrea Thomas, teacher...

...and Isis! Dedicated foe of evil. Defender of the weak; Champion of truth and justice!

The series, part of Filmation's block of live-action programming in The '70s, is free to watch (with ads) on Hulu right here.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: As much as she can be in a minimally violent kids' show like this.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: At least for the original airings; the moral lessons were cut from the master tapes prior to syndication.
  • Aside Glance: Andrea (or Isis) would often give a knowing wink to the audience.
  • Attention Whore: The titular character of episode "Funny Girl", on the rationale that, if she's not perpetrating some outrageous public stunt, no one will like her.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "O Mighty Isis!"
  • Canon Immigrant: A character called Isis was eventually adopted into the DC Universe, but she bore only superficial resemblance to her incarnation here.
  • Character Title: When first aired (and in the title cards), the show was called simply Isis.
  • Civilized Animal: Tut the raven. Downplayed in that, although he does speak, he usually merely parrots what other characters say. He is intelligent enough to aid Isis when neccesary, and even to go find and fetch Captain Marvel, but he very rarely speaks of his own originality (one instance where he does so is the Shazam! episode "Finders Keepers").
  • Clark Kenting: One of the most egregious examples ever, moreso than even Superman. Seriously, Andrea doesn't even wear her glasses half the time!
  • Clear My Name / Not What It Looks Like: "Spots Of The Leopard" and "Now You See It"
  • Coconut Superpowers: About what you'd expect from a 1970's live-action kids show. Made easier by the fact that Isis never took a hands-on approach, she simply spoke rhyming couplets and magic happened.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Since the show was joined at the hip with Shazam! it made sense that DC Comics, rights holders to Captain Marvel would snap up Isis for her own comic, which actually outlived the series by a few months. Decades later, during the massive 52 event arc, a reimagined version of Isis was introduced into mainstream DC continuity, as the wife of Captain Marvel nemesis Black Adam, only to be more or less killed off. Prior to this, in the mid-2000s, Alias Comics (and later Blackwater Comics) ran Legend of Isis, another reimagining of the TV series concept.
  • Contrived Coincidence: So, Andrea Thomas is (implied to be) a descendant of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut and thus heir to the amulet and the powers of the goddess Isis. Well, it's a good thing then that she found the amulet on that archeological dig, rather than someone who might have used it for evil — or, at best, put it in a museum. To be fair, this can be easily Handwaved as the gods making sure the amulet winds up with its rightful owner.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: in "Fool's Dare" we get this shiny little gem:
    Boy: It's too much for a girl to handle.
    Girl: It's because I'm a girl, right?
  • Drives Like Crazy: "The Hitch Hikers"
  • Expy: Isis has been described as a Wonder Woman ripoff. In truth, Filmation wanted a female superhero alongside their show Shazam but they didn't want to pay licensing fees for Mary Marvel; they wanted to create a character, in-house, that they could own outright. So really, Isis would be more a Mary Marvel ripoff.
  • Glasses Pull: Andrea does this more often than her bespectacled superhero contemporaries... and yet her friends still can't see through her disguise.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Isis turns a hoaxer's hoax against him. "O ancient Sphinx, all-knowing and wise / Confront this man with his own lies!"
  • Hot Librarian: Andrea Thomas, hubba hubba.
  • Internalized Categorism: Julie Chen in "Year Of The Dragon" is ashamed of her Chinese heritage (although the script tries to play it off as her being embarrassed by her overly Chinese father). See also Political Correctness Gone Mad, below.
  • Invocation: Most of Isis' powers had to be activated by her speaking a rhyming couplet, even for something as simple as flying.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The titular "The Show Off"; similarly to the aforementioned "Funny Girl", he thinks no one will like him if he ever needs help. On anything.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Isis could do, quite literally, almost anything. It helps that her powers are vaguely defined to begin with, thus not painting her into any corners. She's also based upon a god, which helps further.
  • No Badge? No Problem!: Andrea, a high school chemistry teacher, often gets involved in police investigations and operations (or just conducts her own), and nobody bats an eye. See "The Lights Of Mystery Mountain", "Spots Of The Leopard" and the Shazam! episode "Out Of Focus".
  • Opening Narration
  • Panty Shot: Isis in a couple of instances.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In-Universe example with Julie Chen, who interprets everything anyone says to her — including compliments — as a racist slur, and (over)reacts accordingly.
    Boy: C'mon, Julie, we can figure this [kite assembly] out!
    Julie: Oh why, BECAUSE I'M CHINESE?
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The series' only two-part episode, "Now You See It"/"Now You Don't", was intended as a pilot for a spinoff series involving teen sleuths. It never materialized.
  • Rapunzel Hair: The transformation would give Isis hair down below her waist.
  • Replacement Goldfish: "Lucky"
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In "The Lights Of Mystery Mountain", a local cad is faking UFO sightings in order to drive away homeowners.
  • She's Got Legs: Show producer Lou Scheimer mentions that Joanna Cameron was hired because of her legs. Over and over and over again.
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted with, of all things, Andrea's car, a red Firebird which is stolen by a car racket in "Fool's Dare" and painted yellow. After Andrea recovers the car, it remains yellow for the rest of the show's run.
  • Stock Footage: for flying, or for Transformation Sequence (which see).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Rennie Carol for Cindy Lee; about the only difference between them is their race.
  • Syndication Title: The Secrets Of Isis, which is the title most everyone knows it as today.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • For the first couple of episodes, Isis' Transformation Sequence would be accompanied by her Leitmotif. Later episodes replaced this with generic "action" or "danger" music cues.
    • Whenever Captain Marvel turns up, he gets his own Theme Music Power Up.
  • Title Drop: "Now You See It" contains a musical number with the lyric "Now you see it, now you don't!"
  • Title, Please!: Like most Filmation live-action shows, there are no title cards.
  • Transformation Sequence: utilizing Stock Footage, of course; they had to use tricksy angles on Andrea/Isis to disguise the fact that the backgrounds don't always match up.
  • Transformation Trinket: The amulet. In fact, one episode revolves around Andrea dropping the amulet after taking a tumble, and trying to retrieve it so she can save the day.