In an earlier post, we spoke of Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, and Isis as a kind of triumvirate of feminist heroines in the mid ’70s — but we left these two out. And boy did they make a big impression given the small size of their footprint: there were only sixteen 12-minute episodes of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl in 1976, installments on Sid and Mary Krofft’s Krofft Supershow. But somehow it’s just as memorable as those other shows.
The show was created by the team of Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the minds behind Scooby Doo. Electra Woman was the gorgeous, dignified and sophisticated former model Deidre Hall, who embarked on a completely different role the same year, that of Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives, a part she has played on and off for over 40 years. (This is the second time we’ve mentioned Days of Our Lives this week — I can’t imagine I’ll have cause to mention it ever again!) Prior to this, she’d been a regular on The Young and the Restless and Emergency, and had bit parts on shows like Adam-12 and Columbo. She was also a frequent guest on the talk shows of Mike Douglas, Merv, and Dinah Shore. She was pretty visible in pop culture at the time.
Naturally Electra Woman’s super-powers all were all connected to electricity, made possible by a device she wore on her wrist. Her sidekick Dyna Girl was played by Judy Strangis, a niece of Spike Jones who had previously been a regular on Room 222. She was naturally the Robin equivalent, although the visual impact was more like a Skipper to Deidre Hall’s Barbie. And speaking of Robin, like the old Batman TV series, one of the joys of the show was its constellation of supervillains, which came in teams: The Pharoah and Cleopatra (which naturally evoked Isis), The Empress of Evil and Lucretia, Glitter Rock and Side Man, and Spider Lady. The Sorcerer was played by Michael Constanine of Room 222. The fairly racist Ali Baba and the Genie were played by Malachi Throne (of It Takes a Thief) and Sid Haig.
I love the ’70s graphics with which they packaged the show, which today evoke disco, the crudity of early video, and that early “computer” font!