Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Matinee: Isis Unveiled

As a Neo-Jungian auto-didact nutcase, I'm obsessed with the concept of resonance. We're subjected to thousands of ideas and concepts every day, most of which are instantaneously flushed from our consciousness. But the memes that stick are the ones that fascinate me. And the UFO/Ancient Egypt meme is so prevalent, it's practically a cliche.

It was so even in 1975, when Isis (aka The Secrets of Isis) premiered on Saturday morning on the CBS network. The plot, such as it is, centers on a Scooby Doo-type villain faking UFO sightings and abductions so he can scare people off of their land. The "dual person" Isis is played by Joanna Cameron, an exotic beauty who made her name in a sex comedy called BS, I Love You. In the pilot, Andrea Thomas (another he/she name) and her chums, Rick Mason ("Masonic Ruler," who sports an enviable 70s pornstache) and the adorable Cindy ("Moon Goddess") Lee help her crack the UFO case while presenting local law enforcement with all sorts of scintillating erotic possibilities to speculate on. When the proceedings get mildly threatening, Isis shows up. You can still hear the children yawn.

Finally, the pilot is shot in the same kind of rugged yet somehow depressing California countryside that the near-simultaneous Escape to Witch Mountain was, which has similar Sirian semiotic undertones. Well, that takes care of the semiotics. Without them, Isis is about as entertaining as a sinus infection.

Aliens and Ancient Egypt collided yet again in The X-Files, of course, and a few months back we looked at the connections to TV's Isis and my personal redemptrix Dana Scully in "The Secret Identity of Isis." Worth re-reading after you've watched an episode or two of Isis.

For more deep background on Isis, check out the Unofficial Isis Appreciation Page. For some NSFW pix of Joanna Cameron (as well as some other sultry 60s sirens) click here. Interesting to note that Cameron lives today in Hawaii. Where else could "Isis" live in the Age of Obama?

Bonus factoid: Isis premiered on September 6, the 355th anniversary of the launch of the Mayflower from Plymouth, England. We looked at how that event played into the Gathering Memetic Singularity here. 9/6 also seems to be Day One in the Mayan calendar as well.