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Date Posted: 15:36:26 09/03/07 Mon
Author: j DEX GOOR (VERY HAPPY MINUS JOANNA CAMERON'S ON DVD)
Author Host/IP: pool-96-224-100-140.nycmny.east.verizon.net / 184.108.40.206
Subject: ISIS: THE TV SERIES TO LAST A LIFE TIME ESSAY POSTED ON AMAZON.COM REVIEW
THE SECRETS OF ISIS: THE COMPLETE SERIES ON DVD by J. Dex Goor
Writing a review for this childhood series of mine is more a labor of love than anything else.
The Shazam/Isis hour and later “The Secrets of Isis” series were two shows that have stuck with me since childhood, and one I shall take with me through the sands of time and throughout my lifetime.
Why did these two shows resonate so much with me growing up? What did these shows convey that made them so memorable for me are things I want to express here in my review. I also want to convince fans to buy this wonderful series that still holds up today over 30 years later. Finally available on DVD, The secrets of Isis, is a long time in coming, and it is a series that I want to express my sincere feelings about. These are the topics about this wonderful DVD and Saturday Morning television show that I want to write about are: The interviews and the commentary; JoAnna Cameron’s speaking voice (so calming and soothing), the famous (thought provoking 30 second morals) at the end of each episode and the background music, which became an extra in the DVD as “the isolated background music,” tracks.
Growing up in the 1970s I watched Saturday morning TV. I don’t remember the first time I watched Shazam, but I do remember really liking it and making a connection that would forever stick. I am a very emotional person and really noticed and connected to the background music in a profound way. It would never leave my soul and at the age of 41 still lives with me. Then Shazam introduced Isis, and she would have her own show following his and the two shows merged and became, “The Shazam/Isis hour.” I would look forward to seeing Isis in her own series each and every week in a new exciting adventure. Like all good things, these shows 28 episodes for Shazam, and 22 episodes of Isis came to an end including airing repeats the shows would not be seen or heard from again. Shazam reruns came back for a short time in the early eighties plus 3 episodes with guest star Isis, and that was that. The shows may have left the air but they never left my soul especially the background music, JoAnna Cameron wonderful speaking voice and those morals. Everything in its proper place, but when something has a profound effect on you you don’t want to lose it, and when it was gone there was an empty space left inside me.
Finally after thinking I would never see this Saturday morning show ever again, I did get a chance to obtain them on Video in the early 1990s, with most deleted of the wonderful morals, however I was lucky to obtain 5 of those 30 second morals on some of the videos. Now finally on DVD I like so many fans not only have a chance to see the episodes clear and crisp and not a copy of a copy of a copy, but also filled with wonderful extras. Interviews with
the main cast (despite the biggest disappointment not having JoAnna Cameron the star, not wanting to be included in this one-time-only event) Interviews, with the creator and writers, designer and directors, were wonderful except that the interviews were in small box, why not a full screen. (I hope they do the Shazam interviews on a full screen not a box in a box. Otherwise they were wonderful to see and learn about the making of such a wonderful series. I was very happy to see commentary on at least one episode called, “Dreams of Flight.”
For years since I obtained the shows on video I would put the episodes on audio to listen to on the road on my headphones. I would also tape all the scenes with the same background music from the show and put them on audio as well. Yvette Blais and Jeff Michael wrote some of the most beautiful background music I have ever heard and will cherish them until the day I leave this world. I saw the background music as important and a part of each scene and episode as the actors and the storylines were. Both the theme songs for both Captain Marvel and Isis were incredibly awesome. There was action music to fit the scene, or when the scene needed to be tender and emotional, I felt it and connected with it. If you really listened you could hear the different instruments being played for each piece of music, a harp, flute, and a sweet violin. I can get overly sentimental and mushy over the music, but that is how it has made me feel all my life to this day. I just wished something or anything was said about it, which made this show even more memorable in the interviews and commentary segments. Thank you Yvette Blais and Jeff Michael for the music you both so beautifully created. I truly wish I knew where to write and thank you and obtain a photograph of what you both look like.
JoAnna Cameron was the perfect person to portray both Andrea Thomas and Isis. She was beautiful to look at and sexy in the Isis mini skirt and shoe boots. She didn’t have to say a word, and would say a million things with her eyes, facial expressions, and body movements. But the one thing that grabbed me about JoAnna portraying both characters was her speaking voice. Her voice had an innately calming, soothing effect when she spoke. Her speaking voice, a gift from G-d exuded caring, compassion, kindness and a calming effect that could put anyone at ease. I always say, if I or someone were suffering a traumatic experience or going thru a trauma in their life that JoAnna Cameron’s calming voice could get them thru it. I have always been attracted to wonderful speaking voices whether they are male or female and always compare those to JoAnna Cameron’s. When I die and hopefully go to heaven it is the speaking voice of JoAnna Cameron’s that I hope welcomes me into the gates of heaven. So thank you JoAnna Cameron, I hope your life is a healthy and happy one
and sorry you couldn’t join the interviews. When the Shazam series becomes available there is still hope that JoAnna Cameron is available to be interviewed for the interview segments.
I enjoyed the rest of the cast as well including Brian Cutler, JoAnna Pang, Ronalda Douglas, and Albert Reed. From Andrea Thomas/Isis, to the rest of the cast each had wonderful qualities and if we have friends in our life like them we should consider ourselves very lucky. Andrea Thomas portrayed a teacher that made her students feel they could do and achieve anything no matter what the odds. As we grew we may also have been lucky if
we had teachers like that in our own lives, because we will always remember them as I have Andrea Thomas and Isis.
It was great to have commentary on the “Dreams of Flight” episode, and would have been just as wonderful to have another episode with the cast members doing a commentary.
Watching the show for years on Video and as each episode would end minus the morals I knew something important was missing and there was. Those thirty-second thought provoking morals. Each story gave a message and a moral and it made each story complete. Each moral was never ever preachy; it just gave you a piece of wise sage to think about and hopefully follow. I thought I would never see them again, and when my friend Max told me that they were cut out of the original masters it made me so sad to think I would never get to see them again, they had meant so much to me. As the theme music played in the background Isis’ soft soothing voice gave the moral to the story that had just ended. When I heard that in one of the “special features” on the DVD, they would have rare scenes such as the morals, I became happy, but thought they would only include the ones that myself and collectors already had and nothing more. But as I bought “The Secrets of Isis” on my birthday I went straight to the morals and I was surprised beyond belief. Not only did they have the morals that I already had but many, many more I did not. I was so overwhelmed and emotional that my dream had come true, for the first time in almost thirty years those cherished thirty- second morals that I missed so much and thought would never see again was here to watch, enjoy and remember. The series and the morals still holds up today for me as it did when I first watched them on Saturday Morning in the seventies. I felt so blessed to see them again.
Excitedly, I looked forward to the “isolated background music” since I am a major fan of the shows background music. But I do wish they would have included episodes such as “Lucky” and “Dreams of Flight” since the background music was incredible in both, and wondered if the episodes that were chosen for the “isolated background music” were the only ones available or just chosen at random?
I hope when the Shazam series becomes available that they use more “isolated background music” since the background music in Isis was the same as Shazam. I hope they include such episodes as “The Odd Couple”, ”Riptide” and a couple from season one that had the same music as in “Dreams of Flight” from the Isis series. Andy Mangels if you read this please use your contacts and tell the powers that be when doing the Shazam series please tell them what the fans want, including the Shazam morals. As fans we would be so thankful. Thanks for your help and thanks so much for the wonderful work on “The secrets of Isis DVD.” Many times through the years, I thought I would never, ever see this series again and now not only do I have them, but they are wonderfully restored with the morals and so many extras.
So this is my homage, testimony, sincere love and sincerity that my favorite series of all time due to JoAnna Cameron, her soft soothing speaking voice, the compassion and kindness she exuded, the background music and thirty-second morals that were so powerful, that it in part helped me to become the man that writes this today. I hope I am a more caring, compassionate and honorable individual because of this show. So yes go out and buy this DVD and show it to the next generation so it will never be forgotten. This is a show with substance and meaning that should travel through time never losing what it set out to do, to entertain and include a message and a moral to young viewers as I too was once.
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