Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Secrets of Isis: "Scuba Duba" (December 6, 1975)

In “Scuba Duba,” a high school student, Steve (Brian Byers) is demonstrating impulsive, careless and even reckless behavior.  

First, he repels down a mountainside precipice at Rocky’s Point to photograph an eagle’s nest.

Then, he ignores all of instructor Rick Mason’s advice and goes scuba diving alone, without his partner Nancy (Eileen Chesis) at his side.  

On his swim, Steve gets caught between two rocks underwater, his air is low, and things look grim.

Fortunately, Isis (Joanna Cameron) has been keeping an eye on him.  She sees Steve’s struggle in the gem of her magical amulet, and races to the rescue…

Another wayward young student learns a valuable life lesson in this episode of Isis (1975 – 1976).  

The show’s consistent and repetitive modus operandi? Learn from your mistakes!  

In most stories of this Filmation Saturday morning series, a student commits a grievous (and life threatening) error, and then does it a second time.

That second time is the charm, however, and it scares the student straight. In both cases, Isis is around to prevent death, and pave the way for a moral reckoning.  Here, we get the message: “Thanks to Isis, Stevv is still with us.

“Scuba Duba” is unique primarily in terms of the venue it selects.  This is the first episode in which we see the superhero operating underwater.  Ingeniously (though not invisibly...) some shots consist of stock footage.  We see Isis flying, but a blue filter and bubbles have been superimposed over the footage to suggest she is cruising deep beneath the waves.

And yes, this is also the episode in which we see Joanna Cameron…wet.

Isis’s powers continue to be a bit inconsistent, episode-to-episode. Sometimes her magical Egyptian amulet can reveal problems in the future. Sometimes it can rewind to the past.  Here, it reveals Fred trapped underwater concurrently, and Isis arrives in time to rescue him. 

Basically, this amulet can do anything that Isis -- or series writers -- require of it.

Also in this episode, Isis summons “Sister, Goddess of the Wind” to return a broken rope to her position during the mountain climbing interlude. 

Once the rope obliges, Isis asks “strands of rope which were undone, come together now as one.”  The rope automatically fits back together!

Next week: "Dreams of Flight."

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