June 18, 2016

ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL

ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL
(ABC, September 11-December 25, 1976)


Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions

MAIN CAST:
Deidre Hall – Electra Woman/Lori
Judy Strangis – Dyna Girl/Judy
Norman Alden – Professor Frank Heflin
Marvin Miller - Narrator

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was one of the original segments of the 90-minute umbrella program The Krofft Supershow. Although Krofft was in the name, Sid & Marty Krofft weren’t the originators of the series. Rather, it was Hanna-Barbera veterans Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, then under contract with ABC to create and supervise Saturday morning projects, who created the show as the first in a partnership with the Kroffts. It was further developed by story editors Dick Robbins and Duane Poole.

Electra Woman, Dyna Girl and Frank in the ElectraBase.

The show was heavily influenced by the live-action Batman television series, as well as the popularity of Filmation’s Isis which led to a greater demand for strong female characters on Saturday mornings. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl were actually ace reporters for Newsmaker Magazine Lori (Deidre Hall, who was cast in her well-known role on Days of Our Lives while filming the show) and Judy (Judy Strangis, whose brother worked on Batman).  When crime reared its ugly head, Lori and Judy would “electra-change” into their costumes through a flash of light, operate out of a high-tech underground headquarters called the ElectraBase, and pursue their foes in the ElectraCar. The only other person privy to their secret identities was scientist Frank Helfin (Norman Alden), who remained in the ElectraBase to operate the CrimeScope computer and relay information to the duo in the field. Their primary weapons in the war on crime were the ElectraComs: bulky wrist devices that could perform a variety of functions depending on a given situation. A narrator (Marvin Miller) would set-up the episode for the audience and interject at key moments to heighten the drama, furthering the Batman comparison along with Dyna Girl’s tendencies to make exclamations beginning with “Electra” (as opposed to Robin’s “Holy”).

Ali Baba and his Genie with an evil Dyna Girl.

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl debuted with the rest of The Krofft Supershow on September 11, 1976. Each episode was only around 12-minutes in length, and like Batman ended on a cliffhanger that would be resolved the following week. The heroes would find themselves up against a colorful assortment of villains and their henchmen: The Sorcerer (Michael Constantine) and his assistant Miss Dazzel (Susan Lanier); the hypnotic musician Glitter Rock (John Mark Robinson); the Empress of Evil (Claudette Nevins) and her follower Lucrezia (Jacqueline Hyde); Ali Baba (Malachi Throne, who had played Falseface on Batman) and his Genie (Sig Haig); the Pharaoh (Peter Mark Richman) and his Cleopatra (Jane Elliot); and Spider Lady (Tiffany Bolling), mistress of disguise. Jimmy Haskell composed music for the series. Walter C. Miller and Jack Regas directed the series utilizing a variety of wild camera angles and shots that were used to hide many of the production flaws and limited special effects that plagued the series.

The 2001 and 2016 reboot attempts for the series.

While The Krofft Supershow was renewed for a second season, Electra Woman was not. It, along with fellow Supershow entry Dr. Shrinker were replaced. It wouldn’t be until 2001 that the concept was revisited when The WB commissioned a pilot fora sequel series. The show would have been a cynical parody of the original series, showing a disillusioned, bitter, alcoholic and promiscuous Electra Woman (Markie Post) who had retired and lost her husband to her former partner, Dyna Girl (Anne Stedman). The pilot was never aired, but has been posted online and included on bootleg DVDs of the original series. A second attempt came in 2016 when YouTube celebrities Grace Helbig and Hanna Hart were cast in a reboot. The film was initially released in 11-minute webisodes through Fullscreen’s streaming platform that April while the complete film was released in June through major platforms by Legendary Digital Studios and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Sony released it on DVD the following month.

Heroes--busted!

In 1976, the heroes were prominently displayed on a lunchbox from Aladdin featuring the first season entries of Supershow. In 1977, View-Master released a set adapting “The Spider Lady” episodes. “The Spider Lady” was also adapted into puzzle form by HG Toys, going along with the board game by Ideal, a puzzler toy by Harmony, and a costume by Ben Cooper. In 2010, Electric Tiki released a pair of mini-busts featuring Electra Woman and Dyna Girl in a semi-cartoon style. An Electra Woman action figure was made by Living Toyz as part of The Krofft Superstars series, however the line was cancelled before Dyna Girl was ever made.

VHS cover.

In 2000, Rhino Entertainment released four episodes to VHS edited together to form two complete stories. Episodes of the series were featured on the compilations The World of Sid & Marty Krofft by Rhino in 2002 and Sid & Marty Krofft’s Saturday Morning Hits by SMK Pictures in 2010. The complete series was made available as part of the The World of Sid and Marty Krofft—Complete Series released by Beyond Home Entertainment Australia, however they used the episodes edited together for later syndication rather than the original cuts. The series’ theme was included on the compilation CD H.R. Pufnstuf and Other Sid & Marty Krofft Favorites.

EPISODE GUIDE:
“The Sorcerer’s Golden Trick: Part 1” (9/11/76) – The Sorcerer escapes from prison for revenge on the heroes and all the gold in Fort Knox.

“The Sorcerer’s Golden Trick: Part 2” (9/18/76) – The Sorcerer traps the heroes with a man-eating tiger while he continues his raid on Fort Knox.

“Glitter Rock: Part 1” (9/25/76) – Lori’s former classmate and King of Touremburg stays with the ladies for their high school reunion and ends up kidnapped by Glitter Rock and Side Man.

“Glitter Rock: Part 2” (10/2/76) – The heroes rescue King Alex and try to prevent Glitter Rock from sending up a satellite that will beam hypnotic music all over the world.

“Empress of Evil: Part 1” (10/9/76) – The Empress of Evil makes her way into the ElectraBase to challenge Electra Woman and kidnaps Dyna Girl in the process.

“Empress of Evil: Part 2” (10/16/76) – While the heroes are being stretched apart, the Empress returns to the ElectraBase and confronts Frank.

“Ali Baba: Part 1” (10/23/76) – Ali Baba and his Genie kidnap a Russian scientist for his formula that will make good people bad.

“Ali Baba: Part 2” (10/30/76) – Ali Baba uses the formula to turn Dyna Girl evil and she helps them kidnap Frank from the ElectraBase.

“Return of the Sorcerer: Part 1” (11/6/76) – The Sorcerer and Miss Dazzle use Merlin’s mirror to steal priceless works of art.

“Return of the Sorcerer: Part 2” (11/13/76) – The Sorcerer contemplates continuing his crime spree or destroying the mirror that now holds the heroes captive.

“The Pharaoh: Part 1” (11/20/76) – The Pharaoh and Cleopatra steal a wooden pyramid from a museum, and in trying to retrieve it the heroes are hit with a mummifying spray.

“The Pharaoh: Part 2” (11/27/76) – The Pharaoh releases the energy-being Solaris from the pyramid and uses him to hold the city ransom by stealing all of its power.

“The Spider Lady: Part 1” (12/4/76) – The Spider Lady captures Electra Woman in order to disguise herself as her and steal the Golden Spider from the Baklava embassy.

“The Spider Lady: Part 2” (12/11/76) – The Spider Lady uses her disguise to enter the ElectraBase and set a bomb to destroy the Crimescope.

“Return of the Pharaoh: Part 1” (12/18/76) – The Pharaoh sets his sights on the Coptic Eye that is part of the recently-transplanted King Tut’s pyramid.

“Return of the Pharaoh: Part 2” (12/25/76) – The heroes confront the Pharaoh in the pyramid and end up trapped inside with them.

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