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Of all the various Sid & Marty Krofft endeavors, "Electra-Woman and
Girl" is the one that sticks out in my mind as the grooviest. By
coincidence, it's also the only one to feature foxy babes in tight costumes,
unless you count that one Bugaloo. The titular heroes are
gals who fight all evil deeds. They work for a magazine, hiding the
they lead. They don't have any super powers, save for the various
Electra-gadgets designed by their lumpy live-in scientist
Electra-Woman and Dyna Girl live together with Frank, who never
their basement. Their adventures don't make any sense. They're like fever
dreams, with no logic to guide them. Each episode will have
introducing some new invention, and then a silly-beyond-words villain (like
Glitter Rock, an incredibly annoying wannabe rock-star with a green afro and
hypnotic music) shows up and the only thing that can stop them is? Frank's
new invention. The bad guys always hide in abandoned theaters. Dyna Girl
constantly uses "Electra" as a prefix, like "Electra-wow!" or
"Electra-sneaky!", which makes me wonder why she isn't called Electragirl,
or at least say "Dyna-wow!" Everybody acts like they're on
But for all it's pitfalls, it's great TV. I figured out why Sid & Marty Krofft are far superior to other live-action kids programming giants like Saban: They loved what they were doing, they weren't in if for the money. They might have had crappy effects, but they loved their crappy effects! They were proud of those shots of the Electra-Car taking off- so proud that they used it in every episode! They probably thought that optic flash when the gals changed into their costumes was the coolest effect ever. It didn't matter that their stories made no sense and they used the same sets over and over. They loved this sub-Batman camp. They loved Electra-Woman, Dyna Girl, and Frank. They even loved Glitter Rock.
In fact, now that I think about it, my respect for the Krofft Empire spans their whole body of work, except for maybe "Pryor's Place". I love the nutty drug-filled antics of H.R. Puffnstuff. I love Hoo-Doo, and Sigmund, and Dr. Shrinker, and I like Magic Mongo and the Far Out Space Nuts as friends. So the next time one of your high-minded contemporaries scoffs at the oeuvre of S&MK, you can tell them that they're scoffing at love, baby, and they can scoff all they want but they'll scoff alone! Those philistines! They'll never know the touch of a felt hand puppet, the passion of an over-the-hill child star, or the fragrant odor of sweaty, under-paid dwarf in a dumb looking sea monster costume. They'll never know about back when TV was good and every show summed up it's premise in the theme song lyrics. I weep for them.
Or not. Whatever. Never mind.
I have almost no recollection of any episodes of this show. Having said that I do remember that stirring feeling that my seven year old body underwent on those 8 odd Saturday mornings when Croft Supershow wasn't running Wonderbug. I didn't understand at the time why I was transfixed to the TV when it usually just provided background noise while I played with Legos. Those skin tight costumes even today shape my ideal of the female form. Well that and Linda Carters Wonderwoman. I don't know how I'd react to seeing repeats today. Perhaps I'd see them as Gatsby saw Daisy. The pale light of memory shadows all flaws. I'd probably think of them as cheesy. But damn those girls were hot!
This show will always be to me a female version of "Batman". The only difference was that the two leads were not a rich millionaire and his teenage ward, they were a pair of reporters and their version of Alfred was the scientist who invented the special bracelets they wore. I'm just surprised that Howie Horwitz, the producer of "Batman" didn't sue over this show because of its similarities to it, especially Dyna Girl's use of phrases like "ELECTRA WOW" which could have easily been a version of Robin's "HOLY'S". Also, it is very ironic that Judy Strangis was cast in this show. Her father, Sam Strangis, was one of several directors used for the Batman series. In fact, Judy once had a cameo appearance in one episode. This was definitely one of the Krofft brothers wildest creations.
Only a handful of episodes were ever made for this addition to "The Krofft
Supershow", but it marks a milestone in entertainment history: the
introduction of Diedre Hall in her pre-"Days of our Lives"
Here, she portrays Lori, a career woman who, with her assistant Judy (Judy Strangis), also fight crime in the guise of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, with the help of their faithful butler Alfred...I mean, their friend Frank Heflin (Norman Alden).
Much like "Batman", EW and DG have an array of devices they use to fight crime and a vast selection of villains to fight against every episode. If memory serves, there was even a cave(!) they operated out of.
Though it reeked of '70s kiddie-show cheapness, the show had a bland kind of style as it tried to evoke the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder while splicing in Women's Lib at the same time.
Too bad. Maybe if they had Aaron Spelling as a producer?
Four stars for "Electra Woman and Dyna Girl" - Diedre Hall's finest hour (in 1976, that is).
One of three segments presented on the 70's Saturday morning kidvid THE
KROFT SUPERSHOW; The others were 'Wonderbug,' a Herbie The Love Bug
knockoff, and 'Doctor Shrinker,' about a mad scientist who shrinks
three teens. All three, if I remember right, were dumped in favor of
new short features when the SUPERSHOW came back for a second season,
though 'Wonderbug' might have stayed around. Only eight episodes of
'Electra-Woman And Dyna-Girl' were produced, but they're vividly, and
sometimes even fondly, remembered by Generation Xers. A weird,
low-budget pastiche of the campy 1960's BATMAN with a bit of Lynda
Carter WONDER WOMAN thrown in, the show starred Deidre Hall and Judy
Strangis as 'Lori' and 'Judy,' two magazine writers who, when trouble
strikes, usually in the form of a flamboyantly costumed, wildly
overplayed super-villain, become super-heroines Electra-Woman and
Dyna-Girl. They battled evil using their 'Electra-comps,'
clunky-looking devices worn on their wrists that allowed them to fire
various types of low-budget rays and kept them in communication with
Frank, the crusty scientific genius who invented the Comps and manned
the 'Electra-base' in Lori and Judy's basement.
What makes the show interesting and fun, if not exactly good, is the bizarre sense of conviction most of the actors bring to their roles. They all overact wildly, especially Judy Strangis, but seem perfectly attuned to the claustrophobic confines of the bizarre little world they inhabit. Despite looking like it was made in someone's basement, the show did its best to ape the fantastic comic books it copied, sending its heroines through time, into alternate dimensions, etc. Admittedly, it did it all with apparently two sets, a maximum of six actors, and a budget of twenty dollars, but it could be seen as trying to bring back the spirit of the old CAPTAIN VIDEO-type shows. Or not.
Sid and Marty Krofft have been really criticized and even ridiculed in some circles for the shows that they created during the 1970s. However, I have many fond childhood memories of the happiness they gave me with shows like Lidsville and H. R. Puff and Stuff (I don't think I spelled that correctly). They even had a special on the E channel a couple years ago about Puff and Stuff and tried to say that there was a hidden message about marijuana use in it. In fact with their colorful use of puppets, wild colors and psychodelic ambiance, you could say the Krofft brothers were like Mister Rogers on Captain Kangaroo on LSD. People have said that the Krofft's were like Ed Wood. Their projects were so campy and bad that they were almost good in a sort of way. Let me come to their defense and say that even though their shows might be laughable by today's standards, what kind of standards do we really have today I ask? Especially when it comes to entertainment for our kids. Maybe when you watched Land Of The Lost and other shows you laughed at the crude special effects, cheesy costumes and sets and dialogue, but you could at least let your kids watch it. It brought them joy what is wrong with that. I was so happy when the wonderfully nostaglic TV land channel had a Sid and Marty Marathon recently. I loved watching Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and Land Of The Lost Again (boy the special effects were just like Jurassic Park ha ha). However, finding Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was to me like Howard Carter finding King Tut's tomb. It was a lost treasure. I have always loved Diedre Hall, my favorite show with her was Our House, I had no idea she had starred in this one as well. EWADG has a tremendous cult following, its amazing because only eight episodes of this show were ever filmed. Its worth it because it reminds me so much of the Batman show I loved as a kid. Right down to the colorful villians like the Sorcerer (a wonderfully hammy Michael Constantine) to Professor Frank who was really like Alfred the Butler. Yes folks just but your brain on hold and open the heart to the inner child. Sid and Marty did a really fine thing and have nothing to be ashamed of. I cannot think of her name but the young actress who played Dyna Girl did an amazing job. She reminded me so much of Robin especially with her "Electra" phrases, the way Robin used "Holy" phrases on Batman.
The only episode of this show I remember involved a female bad..uh...woman
who had lots of spiders at her command. I know she was referred to as
of the spiders" and I think her name was Cleopatra, or some other
name that really doesn't go very well with the title of arachnid
That episode became the basis of many a Saturday afternoon. My sister and I would pretend we were trapped like Electra Woman and Dyna Girl were in this huge web with tarantulas everywhere (we were actually in a walk in closet with a tangle of old jump ropes and a smattering of plastic spiders from the dollar store).
Bout the only other things I remember about Sid and Marty Krofft is Dr. Shrinker and of course Land of the Lost. Really horribly cheesy stuff, and really strange...which probably explains why I can't remember very much of it.
This Saturday morning live-action show can best be summed up by four
Deidre Hall in spandex! All I can add to that is "Yowza!!!!"
OK, that may not be very politically correct, but for a show that seemingly had women's lib at its core, it sure seemed to spend a lot of time focusing on the attractive Ms. Hall and her sidekick in their tight spandex outfits, escaping from lame death traps, and carrying the biggest watches you'll ever see, this side of a Power Rangers show.
Like most Kroft shows, it was bright, colorful, and cheesy. The dialogue was beyond lame and the villains laughable (as in ineptly campy). The ladies did have a pretty cool car, though. The duo would be saved by some new gadget or function added to their enormous wrist devices, created by their mentor and scientist friend, Frank (Norman Alden). Ms. Hall and her friend looked fantastic, but no one could do this show with a straight face.
And there was no camp, no sneers, grins, winks, no comedy relief here.
Most Saturday morning shows which ran for only one season averaged sixteen episodes.
Electra Woman filled that requirement, but with the two parter continued next week, this resulted in eight complete episodes if shown in the half hour time slot.
When Tvland aired Electra Woman at the beginning of 2004, I recorded the shows off. They are indeed fun.
The Sorcerer would be Michael Constatine, Judy Strangis' (Dyna Girl) former Emmy award winning costar from Room 222. I think Constatine made a bit of a mini-comeback with Lainie Kazan in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
Ali Baba would be Malachi Throne, he of the two part story of the original Star Trek, as well as the uncredited villain, No Face or Unface, on the sixties Batman show, as well as endless other appearances.
Ali Baba's sidekick, the Genie, would be Sid Haig, he who likewise has endless credits to his name. And check out the evil Dyna Girl in this story! Her little eyes are as big around as her nostrils! Glitter Rock was apparently a prototype for Kaptain Kool.
The Pharaoh would be Peter Mark Richman, the Christopher Plummer lookalike who likewise has endless TV credits to his name, but I saw him first as Suzanne Somers' father on Three's Company, as the Reverend Snow.
His sidekick, Cleopatra, would be portrayed by Jane Elliot, she who appeared in the Elvis Presley-Mary Tyler Moore movie "Change of Habit" and would likewise have endless soap credits to her name, among them Diedre Hall's (Electra Woman) on Days of Our Lives.
The Empress of Evil was Claudette Nevins, who, when I IMDb'd her, I learned she was in a racy little comedy show that I began to believe I must have imagined, called Husbands Wives and Lovers. Created by Joan Rivers, just imagine Knots Landing with a laugh track.
The Spider Lady would be Tiffany Bolling.
Amusing thing about Bolling. A year after she was the Spider Lady, she would appear in the twilight zone type telemovie with William Shatner called Kingdom of the Spiders. Wonder if she felt typecast?
The Spider Lady would transform into Electra Woman, and upon doing this, the duplicate would be portrayed by Diedre Hall's own sister, Andrea, rather than resort to the usual split screen effect.
For eight small adventures, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl sure was a lot of fun.
The thing I remember about this show was the HUGE wrist 'communicators' that the girls wore when. They were about the size of a paperback novel, yet other characters NEVER seemed to notice them. How could you miss them ! Funny !
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