Saturday, May 02, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: The Secrets of Isis: "Seeing Eye Horse"

In “Seeing Eye Horse,” a young man named Noah (Gregory Elliott) who has been blinded in an accident is sad because he can no longer ride horses on his family ranch.  On the day his bandages are to be removed, he is disappointed to learn that his sight still hasn’t returned.

Hoping to help, Mrs. Thomas (Joanna Cameron) gets Noah a seeing-eye horse named Sonny, one who bonds with Noah, and helps him when tragedy strikes on the ranch. First, Noah nearly drowns in a lake, and then a fire starts on the property.

Fortunately, Isis is also around to render aid and assistance.  Specifically, she makes it rain to put the fire out.

The second and final season of the Filmation series The Secrets of Isis (1975 – 1976) commences with this episode, “Seeing Eye Horse.” 

The first thing to note regarding season changes is that Cindy Lee (Joanna Pang) -- Mrs. Thomas’s favored student -- is gone…apparently having graduated. She is replaced by Rennie Carol (Ronalda Douglas), another student.

Secondly, Isis herself looks a bit different this season.

In particular, when Thomas changes into the famous superhero, we see that Isis has lightened her hair, and it is no longer straight. Cameron, as Isis, also wears heavy eye-make up this season. Apparently the producers were going for a more Egyptian-styled look, but Cameron is a natural beauty, and to bury her expressive eyes in garish make-up seems a shame.

The second season’s first episode, “Seeing Eye Horse” re-establishes the continuing characters of the series, basically Mrs. Thomas, Rick Mason (Brian Cutler), and Tut the Raven. It also re-establishes the idea of focusing its narrative on a teenager with a problem, rather than a typical superhero-type crisis (like the committing of a crime, and the catching of the person responsible for it).

Here, a blind boy loves horses, and can’t ride them anymore, at least until Mrs. Thomas thoughtfully acquires him a Seeing Eye horse.  Filmation had already, at this point, done a similar story with a horse at its center, on the sister series, Shazam, 1974’s “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”

As is typical for Isis stories, there is no real villain here, only a set of dangerous circumstances that endangers people.  Noah falls off a pier into a lake, and a fire starts on the ranch.  Isis/Mrs. Thomas, spend a lot of time trying to encourage Noah, telling him that he can still achieve his dreams, if he is willing to do the hard work.  She notes that many professionals are blind.

Finally, there’s the Isis rescue scene, where she saves the day. In this case, she asks clouds to part, rain to fall, and the fire to be put out.

Next week: “The Hitchhiker.”

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