Saturday Memory: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl

Blast from the past a few weeks ago when General Hospital had Sabrina and her soon-to-be-stepdaughter Emma dress up as Electra Woman and Dyna Girl!

This episodic program by the Krofft brothers aired in 1976 so I was 5 and thus have very hazy memories. In fact, for a long time I had this show confused with Isis and Shazam. But I did remember the catchy theme song and the fact that there were women who were superheroes, not sidekicks to a man – wow. That didn’t happen again for a while.

Now I can see how sly the series was, the pokes and jabs at Batman and Robin which I also watched in reruns a few years later. Here’s the wikipedia summation of the plot:

The show followed the crime-fighting exploits of female caped crusader Electra Woman (played by Deidre Hall) and her teen sidekick Dyna Girl (Judy Strangis), who worked in their off-time as reporters for a magazine. (The full real names of the two were never revealed in any of the installments.) In each episode, the duo would don skintight spandex in a bright flash of light called an “Electra-Change,” get into the “ElectraCar,” and use an array of technically advanced gadgets to thwart an eclectic collection of supervillains. They were assisted by Frank Heflin (Norman Alden), a scientist who stayed at their “ElectraBase,” operating its highly sophisticated “CrimeScope” computer, a parody of the BatComputer, while keeping in continual contact with the pair through their “ElectraComs.”

But what matters with memories is perception, not reality, right? And my perception was really focused on Judy – Dyna Girl because she was the Midge to Barbie and I definitely felt like a Midge in life as I made my way through elementary school and high school. Judy was much more relatable than the glamorous Electra Woman (Lori) who was more suited for hanging out with the glamorous superheroes.

Many years later, some of my Electra Woman idealization was brutally murdered by the realization that she had morphed into Dr. Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives. I never really took to Marlena, perhaps because of that same aloof, icy beauty that struck me when she was running around in spandex fighting off the bad guys. Now she was fighting them in pantsuits and with the. help. of. men. Oh. She was being saved instead of doing much saving. Ah well.

While doing my exhaustive research for this blog piece, I discovered a never aired pilot “remake” from 2001. The premis was Lori had retired and become bitter and reclusive. She’s played by Markie Post to absolute perfection.