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Series / The Secrets of Isis

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"O my queen! 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!"
Royal Sorcerer to Hatshepsut

3,000 years later, young science teacher Andrea Thomas (Joanna Cameron) dug up this lost treasure and found she was heir to the secrets of Isis!

And so, unknown to even her closest friends, fellow teacher/potential love interest Rick Mason (Brian Cutler) and student Cindy Lee (Joanna Pang), 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 was part of Filmation's block of live-action programming in The '70s, paired with Shazam! (1974) as the second half of The Shazam/Isis Hour. After the show's brief run, Isis appeared as one of the main characters of "Freedom Force," a segment on Filmation's Tarzan and the Super 7, and again in a guest role in an episode of Hero High.

Decades later (in 2005) DC revived the character, in reimagined form as "Adrianna Tomaz", as part of mainstream DC continuity within the Shazam! franchise. In 2010, Smallville had an episode, self-named "Isis", featuring Adrianna Tomaz as a museum curator while Lois Lane is possessed by Isis through the amulet, wearing a similar costume. In 2017, another version of the character, named Zari Tomaz, joined Legends of Tomorrow. Later it's revealed that Adrianna is her middle name. In one episode, "Phone Home," Zari briefly wears a costume based upon that worn by Joanna Cameron, and throughout the show she wears an amulet similar in appearance to the one worn by Cameron. Adrianna Tomaz (sans the Isis persona) made her movie debut in the Black Adam film set in the DC Extended Universe, played by Sarah Shahi.

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 title character of the 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!: Every week Andrea invoked her transformation with the phrase "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 necessary, 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: Downplayed. While glasses are a part of Andrea's appearance and she tends to be without them more often than not, the difference between her appearance and that of Isis is more than just glasses. Isis also has a different hair style, longer hair that's a darker color, dark eyeshadow, extremely long and bold eyeliner, and more severe-looking eyebrows.
  • 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: 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. It's quite fortunate that as a science teacher, she was the one who found the amulet instead of all the full-time archaeologists out there who would have put it in a museum.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: in "Fool's Dare" we get this shiny little gem:
    Ernie: It's dangerous. I don't think a girl could do it alone.
    Cindy Lee: Because I'm a girl, right?
    Ernie: Yup!
  • Everything Is Racist: 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?
  • Glasses Pull: Andrea does this more often than her bespectacled superhero contemporaries. Fortunately, the glasses are not the only difference between her normal appearance and that as Isis.
  • 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 is the science teacher many of us wished to have in high school.
  • 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).
  • Invocation: Many of Isis's powers came from a magic spells cast as a rhyming couplet. Her most common spell was for flying.
    Isis: Oh Zephyr Winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!
  • Leg Focus: Show producer Lou Scheimer mentioned that Joanna Cameron was hired because of her legs.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The episode "The Show Off" featured a character who thinks no one will like him if he ever needs help. On anything.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Isis's leg-baring costume provided plenty of this.
  • Myth Prologue: The show begins with an ancient Egyptian mystic presenting a magic amulet to his queen. "O my queen!" said the royal sorceror 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!" Much later, science teacher Andrea Thomas unearths this amulet, and being of Hatshepsut's bloodline, becomes the Mighty Isis, Champion of Justice.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: As a magic user, Isis could do almost anything. It helps that her powers are vaguely defined to begin with and she's essentially an avatar for a goddess, which helps further. However, she does have limits which are discussed in the episode "Lucky," in which she cannot save nor resurrect a boy's beloved dog, despite his belief that she has "all the powers!" She gently corrects him that this is one power she does not possess. note 
  • 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."
  • One-Steve Limit: Only behind the scenes: Andrea and Cindy's actors were both named Joanna.
  • 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 which never materialized.
  • Public Domain Character: Since the character is based on the ancient Egyptian goddess, it proved a relatively simple matter to adapt the character to the The DCU as the wife of the Shazam! Egyptian Supervillain / Anti-Hero Black Adam.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In "Lucky," a boy's pet dog is replaced with an identical puppy.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In "The Lights Of Mystery Mountain," a local cad is faking UFO sightings in order to drive away homeowners.
  • Secret Message Wink: Andrea (or Isis) often gives a knowing wink to the audience.
  • Stock Footage: for flying, or for the Transformation Sequence.
  • 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's 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.