The Secrets of Isis is the syndicated title of a live action CBS television series produced by Filmation in the 1970s originally titled Isisthat appeared during the Saturday morning cartoon lineup. The show was also aired in various countries around the world. As indicated on commentary in the 2007 DVD release of the series, and supported by examining broadcast premiere dates, The Secrets of Isis was the first weekly American live-action television series whose lead character was a female superhero, debuting September 6, 1975 and predating the weekly debuts of both Wonder Woman (April 21, 1976) and The Bionic Woman (January 14, 1976)
The Secrets of Isis (also called simply Isis) starred JoAnna Cameron as Andrea Thomas, a high school science teacher who found an ancient mystical amulet on an archeological dig in Egypt. The amulet belonged to Hatshepsut, an ancient Egyptian Queen and it gave the wearer the powers of Isis. Whenever Isis was needed, Andrea would reveal the amulet and recite an incantation (“O Mighty Isis!”) and she would be transformed into the goddess Isis.
The show co-starred Brian Cutler as Rick Mason, Joanna Pang as Cindy Lee and Albert Reed. In Season 2, Ronalda Douglas joined as Rennie Carol, replacing Cindy. 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, Russ Marin and Christopher Norris.
Three episodes of the series featured crossover appearances by Captain Marvel of the show’s companion series, Shazam! and Cameron likewise appeared as Isis in three episodes of the other series. (As of 2013, however, only a single episode of Shazam! has been released to DVD in North America).
Most storylines involved Isis coming to the rescue of high school students who find themselves endangered 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 government on a weather-making machine. This same two-parter introduced a trio of crime-fighting teens dubbed “The Super-Sleuths,” and according to the DVD notes, was intended as a backdoor pilot for a Super-Sleuths series that never materialized. It’s not known whether this sudden change in direction from school-related plotlines to more traditional superhero adventures would have continued had production not been discontinued.
The Secrets of Isis often broke the fourth wall with Isis/Andrea winking at the camera or otherwise acknowledging the audience at pertinent moments. Each episode featured a closing segment with Isis directly addressing viewers to impart a moral lesson derived from the action of the day’s episode.