WHO is human Isis?: 50-year mystery is over, thanks to “The Trek Files”

All it took was finding that one piece of paper. 50 years later.

Finally, mystery solved: Who WAS Isis the cat in human form, from “Assignment: Earth”?

Look, maybe you’re not a “podcast person.” But you should be!
The best thing about my weekly podcast The Trek Files from Roddenberry Podcast Network is that, aside from just adding to the historical texture record—with both documents AND the voice of professional Trek veterans as guests—  we sometimes actually make actual news.

See, the world’s consumers have such 24/7 digital overload expectations that it’s almost incomprehensible to some that a credit can be “missing” in something as popular as original Star Trek, even among the ranks of the extras and crew people. (But hey— the two Dabo girls from the deleted Quark scene of Insurrection  remain unknown, too—due to missing paperwork.)

Today, The Trek Files  Ep. 2.28 solves the Isis  Trek mystery at last — and one that even seemed solved until the “answer” was found to be incorrect in 2010, and left the question still hanging: Who WAS Isis the cast in human form?

I mean, it’s only a couple of reaction shots of a second or two apiece, late in the unsold would-be pilot. But while “Human Isis” has no lines of dialogue ever spoken (or paid for and credited), these are not your typical background extra moments: It’s an intriguing and would-be running joke, if the series had sold. The cat-woman is definitely alluring and sexy and so bizarre— and even the butt of a joke, thanks to Terri Garr’s puzzled and then jealous-tinged reaction takes  as “Roberta Lincoln.”

Fandom data banks, despite Bjo Trimble’s great cataloging in her Concordance, were decades along before fandom began to demand databasing down to the level of extras and other non-speaking performers. Cat-lady’s name was not even included on the call sheet for the day—not untypical, but not typical for later series that noted special performances.

And then in this case we eventually had the wrong suspect —late in the game, but for years. In a brush with the legal system for shooting her husband,  Playboy’s onetime Miss September 1967 and the 1968 Playmate of the Year, Angela Dorian (aka Victoria Vetri ) had jail time —and in the media of the moment  finally got it on the record that she was not the woman behind Star Trek’s Isis.

Back to square one: still a mystery!

I realized that this was another case, despite Trek’s popularity, that specific  details like names of one-time non-speakers might now exist only on one piece of paper— and the mystery doubled down. Until now—when with the access to Gene’s actual The Trek Files,  we got our hands on, finally (and so simply, in the end)  the  “Independent Casting” included for epsiode on that date: Jan. 5, 1968.

So here’s April Tatro, along with a great story of that day — and immediately afterward: Take a listen now to today’s The Trek Files! And check out April’s career: for years as a dancer and a contortionist, even seen on network TV and as late as Ellen 2001. She’s still in the game, and today teaches pilates in North Hollywood.

 

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