“The Secrets of Isis” is a TV show that aired from 1975 to 1976, two seasons long. It can be best described as a “cheesy superhero show from the seventies,” a feel-good and predictable watch with a pinch of suspense and mystery. This was actually the first superhero television series to star a female lead!
Andrea Thomas is a science teacher who, during an archeological trip to Egypt, discovered an ancient mystical gold amulet. Andrea found that she was heir to Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess. The power of the amulet allows her to invoke mighty Isis, transforming her into the goddess herself, with the ability to fly, strength, and control over the natural elements. To harness these powers, she recites special prayers/rhymes.
The story follows Andrea living a double life as a science teacher who contains Isis as her secret identity during times of danger. Nobody knows her secret (as painfully obvious as it is!) There’s also Rick Mason, another science teacher, a close friend who may also be a love interest. And then there’s Cindy Lee, a student, who also has a close friendship with Andrea — in season 2, Cindy’s character is replaced with Rennie Carol, who plays the same role.
Each episode is about 22-minutes long, with an enticing puzzle that solves itself by the end. In episode 1, Cindy shows her teachers pictures of UFOs that she took on her camera, so they go out and do some investigating. The whole thing turns out to be a money-making scheme by a man who ends up getting caught and arrested, with the help of Isis of course. In episode 7, a Bigfoot spotting is suspected, which turns out to be simply a man who lives in the wilderness.
Although the show is very light, it also has substance with character development and social justice issues. Episode 9 features an arrogant character named “Steve,” who’s always showing off and trying to act tougher than he is. When Isis saves him from falling off a building, instead of thanking her, he becomes defensive about accepting help. It is soon revealed that his ego is a front for his insecurity about being a “small guy,” and actually has a great talent for birdwatching, that he is embarrassed about.
Episode 12 features a girl named Carrie who is insecure about her weight and looks, who is running for student body with the help of her friend Greg. He’s frustrated with her negative self-talk, and how she makes a joke out of everything in order to avoid closeness, so he hopes that winning council will boost her confidence. Carrie is also reckless and self-destructive, first getting into a car wreck that Isis saves her from, and then later stealing Mr. Mason’s boat. Isis calls upon Captain Marvel who makes an appearance, as the two join forces to save Carrie.
The series also tackles sexism. In episode 13, a male student has a fit over a female student who wants to be president of the Car Club, claiming “girls can’t drive.” And then in episode 20, a Chinese-American girl deals with racism and shame over her father’s cultural traditions.
The two-part series finale involves the theft of the government’s top secret weather-controlling device, in which Rick is falsely framed for, and sent to jail. Without too much spoiling, as you can guess how the series plays out at this point, rest assured that innocent Rick receives his justice!
I find “The Secrets of Isis” to be a wonderful TV show. It’s great for those who are looking for something lighthearted, yet still deep enough to keep your attention. Of course the graphics are laughable, but personally I find the show compelling enough to watch, despite that. You can find the whole series for free on Youtube.
I think a modern revamp of this show would be awesome! With better graphics and hour-long episodes, there’s potential for many deep storylines that go much further than the original. I would like to follow along with more of the characters and see greater development in their personal lives. I would love even more, to see what happens with Andrea and Rick!
I do appreciate the timing of when this show was made. They genuinely do not make shows like this anymore. And while I enjoy how dark and cynical most TV shows are these days, there is something special about that cheesiness — feeling comforted with predictable plot lines, seeing the positive conquer the negative, and learning a “lesson” after every episode.
- Rick: “Gee Andrea, every time Isis comes around, you always seem to miss her! What a coincidence!”
- Andrea: “Hmm, yes. What a coincidence.”*winks at the camera.*