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ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired

44. JAI’S AMNESIA ~ 1967.12.15

Jai's Amnesia (John Dehner ~ J.C. Crosby)
Jai suffers a loss of memory as a result of an accident and ends up involved in an attempt to steal a sacred ruby. 

Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Episode 44. JAI’S AMNESIA
Review By Charles Mento
Tarzan: You’ve never heard of Tarzan.

Jai: No

“I want you back, that’s all. You and Cheetah and me have been together a long time.”

That’s more like it! And I don’t like it---I love it. Yes, almost every action show has had someone knocked out or given amnesia and we won’t even go into soap operas doing it (though I don’t know if DARK SHADOWS ever did it though Quentin Collins didn’t know who he was for a time in the present day).

This is a Jai centered episode so I love it by default but it’s one of the best. A boy in trouble is always a good plot for an action adventure or even horror show or movie and here we also have two baby cubs sort of in danger. And Cheetah, too.

Okay so Jai’s fall is ridiculous. He chases Cheetah onto a boat and falls over the side INTO the boat! It looks like there’s a native who almost gets in his way on accident so maybe he was meant to bump into him? In any case Manuel does an EXCELLENT job here. The scene where the crooked lying Crosby tells a memory lossed Jai that the boy was in business has Manuel displaying sheer joy at the idea that he was in business for himself and ask Crosby what kind. THEN, when Crosby lies and tells him stealing, Manuel’s face changes completely. I feel that this kid was an underrated part of the show and an underrated actor and I wish he had gone on too much bigger things. He just works in this show totally.

In addition, Manuel has to lie still as if unconscious while Cheetah checks him out. Another great job. And Cheetah really does seem to love the boy…the chimp in real life must have as the scene where he hugs Jai is so very real.

Similarly, Ely and the chimp seem to have such a rapport that he moves his hand a certain way and the chimp does what he wants. The scene of him putting Cheetah on Jai’s raft (he has a raft?) is impressive as he kicks to move the raft through the water with the chimp on the raft!

I also feel the pit of spears that Jai has to be lowered down on ropes in order to steal a red ruby for the villains is one of the show’s best, probably greatest set pieces and dangers. It’s just so well played and filmed and set up.

We might be back in Irwin Allen guest star territory, though John Crawford (only credited as Captain) and John Dehner (as the evil Crosby who fakes being friends to Jai so he can use the boy to steal a ruby) have been in just about every action adventure show of the 60s-- and probably 70s --there is! Harmon Jones also directs again.

As par for the course for this series, the native who helps get info on the ruby, goes unpunished. It’s unclear if he is betraying his own tribe or not or if he is from another tribe but he doesn’t appear in many scenes or much at all. The dialog suggests that this native. N’Korba IS part of the tribe of the chief they are going to rob the Ruby from.

And while I love the set piece, WHY would a tribe keep a sacred ruby in just a wide open place? The betrayer is N’Korba and N’Korba is a friend of Crosby and a member of Chief N’Womba’s tribe. He has not yet met Lee and Molsen, Crosby’s partners, before this episode.

In the scene where the four criminals and Jai scope out the cave and the chief’s house from outside, yellow jacks seem to be buzzing the adults. It enough to make one itchy.

It just occurred to me that in DOUBLE CROSS, an episode of LAND OF THE GIANTS, two giant criminals use Barry, the boy of the Earth people stuck on the LAND OF THE GIANTS to slip through a key hole to open a lock in a door of a museum to rob a ruby…and the one who had amnesia is Fitzhugh.

God, those cubs are cute.

Virgil Richardson appears YET AGAIN as the chief of the M’bala or M’Belas. It hard to hear his name but it sounds like we don’t get to hear it at all.

In the last scene, Jai has his hand on his stomach before he wakes up and the he wakes up and his hand is on his chest. Also just before the leave, Tarzan turns to call Cheetah and the chimp might be doing something wrong as Tarzan’s tone sounds scolding. Cheetah was probably dipping into the bowl of fruit. Is this the Chief’s home?

Ewl. When Molsen and Lee put Cheetah in a sack to “get rid of it” there is a huge dirty spot on the outside that seems to have originated on the inside? Seems like they were going to drown Cheetah!

When Tarzan questions Molsen and Molsen starts to lie, he starts taking out his knife! This might mean he’s willing to use it on Molsen to talk about where “the boy” is. He then takes it entirely when Molsen only tells him that Crosby lives on the outskirts of town and only that. He will find out more.

Jai holds a gun on Tarzan. This is not the first time Jai held and a gun (THE CIRCUS) and it won’t be the last!

I’m so glad the writer didn’t make the criminals kill the mother lion and she just ran away. When she first appears in the cave to a very UNAFRAID amnesiac Jai, when there is not supposed to be anyone behind or near the lion, we see someone behind the animal…wearing some kind of animal skins for clothes (I think), it’s either Ely or stock footage from another episode, maybe the one with the blind girl as it might be a girl’s clothes but it’s hard to tell as it is only a flash. My bet is that it is Ely. Without a DVD it would be difficult to even see it there. A person standing behind the lion when no person should be there!

So the plot is basic: Jai falls and is knocked unconscious and forgets his name and who he is. He is on a boat when found…a boat that left the dock and the mean captain makes him work for his food and is mean to him, which one of the African crewmen tells the captain puts the captain in deadly danger from Tarzan. So the captain shoots at Tarzan in the water. Tarzan is not hit and beats and throws some of the crew men who fight him into the water (are they dead or drowning? We do not find out), looking for Jai. Cheetah finds Jai but two of the bad guys on orders from Crosby try to kill Cheetah and are beat down by Tarzan. Lee gets away and warns Crosby who is planning to use Jai to rob a ruby from a cave with info from a native. Even with his memory gone, Jai knows this is wrong and almost gets away but the horrid Crosby and his men threaten to kill two baby cubs Jai befriended. Tarzan rousts Crosby; Lee is killed by the tribe by being shot in the back with a rifle. When Tarzan catches up to Jai, Jai has a gun pointed at him, not believing Tarzan is his friend. Jai passes out and recovers later. Tarzan will take him to a hospital to get checked out.

And…I love it, did I mention that?

While chasing Crosby and Jai, there are strange shots of one or two African men with bows and arrows hiding in the jungle pointing their arrows but they do nothing. They don’t even seem to be part of the episode!? And one of them, I’m sorry, might be a woman!?

The scene where Jai and the cubs meet in the morning is odd because Jai just gets up, barefoot, and goes outside. In long shot he has on his new boots but in close up he is totally barefoot again! This is the only time other than when in water scenes or on beaches that Jai is barefoot.

Okay, one thing that seems odd is… when Cheetah is trying to relay to Tarzan what happened to Cheetah, Tarzan seems oblivious as to where Jai is and what he’s been up to. It takes an awfully long time for Cheetah to get through to Tarzan, which makes Tarzan look thick or as if he’s been separated from Jai for a long time!? What? Maybe Tarzan is returning from the Mountains of the Moon where he was away from Jai for a while? It feels as if they’ve been away from each other for some time, though Tarzan “wants him back,” after the amnesia incident.

At the dock, when first searching for Jai, Tarzan seems to know the dock manager Mr. Gerner, who seems to know Jai, too.

The next place the boat puts in is Williamstown.

I wouldn’t swear to it but the house used in this episode looks like one we’ve seen before in the series in episodes such as HOTEL HURRICANE.

Lee is killed by a rifle from the tribe.

When Crosby finds Jai listening from the door crack, he then pulls his hair to bring him out, his true colors finally showing. THEN, he has Lee threaten the cubs if Jai won’t do what he wants.

Who is the big African man in Crosby’s home that hides in a corner and hits Tarzan from behind? We’re not told. It’s a guess but maybe he was working for Crosby or a robber robbing Crosby? Cheetah seems, for the first time, to attack him but backs off quickly as the man brandishes a large stick. Cheetah almost looked like he was going to bite the man’s arm.

From where they are, Jai, Lee, and Crosby hear the commotion and Crosby comments, “If Tarzan is still alive…”   Jai, for some reason, stick his tongue way out to touch his nose almost. What?

As Jai reached for the ruby, one of the ropes he’s attached to looks like…it has caught fire!

As Manuel ascends the hole of spears it looks like some of the tips grazed his back. Is his grimace real?

When Jai emerges from the hole, he has the ruby in his other hand than the one we just saw it in a close up of the hole. It also looked like one of his fingers nails was black (a hang nail?).

One of chief’s guards is the muscle man extra we’ve seen many times before.

So did the big African man get away with his crime? What happens to Molsen? Did Tarzan bring him to authorities or leave him tied up first? Or kill him? Doubtful he killed him. What happens to Crosby? Does the tribe turn him over to authorities? Or kill him?

All in all one of my favorite, maybe my favorite episodes.

ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired

45.  CREEPING GIANTS  1967.12.29

 Creeping Giants (Robert Wilke ~ Colin Yeager, Raymond St. Jacques ~ Wilson, Joel Fluellen)
Tarzan fights a powerful land owner who has duped an engineer into dynamiting a mountain range, 
a project that will wipe out several native villages. 

Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Review By Charles Mento
“This is TARZAN, lord of the jungle. When he speaks, the king of beasts runs off to hide. Or so they say.”
“Happy birthday, Cheetah!”
“I’m going to punish you. You’re going to have to stay inside for two whole days.”

Note: Wikipedia AND IMDB both have the title wrong. Now, maybe the script called this horrible episode THE CREEPING GIANT or THE CREEPING GIANTS but on screen the title is CREEPING GIANTS.

Basic plot: Tarzan fights a powerful land owner (the wonderful under played villain Miquel Jimenz Brown—a good actor Will Kuluva) who has duped an engineer (the genuine Raymond St. Jacques as the duped Walter Wilson, one of the few black men to be a scientist in the show) into dynamiting a mountain range, a project that will wipe out several native villages. Tarzan becomes concerned when news reaches him of plans to build a dam in a geologically unsound area. He needs to prove the weakness in the plan and why none of the government surveys in the area have not uncovered the same issues.

The chief here is called L’Watumba and he’s played as almost dumb with dialog like, “Tarzan not here, Tarzan not here.”

Robert Wilke plays the mean but sneaky and snarky Colin Yeager, Miquel’s right hand man and enforcer.

Seven minutes in a friend of Tarzan named Womba, a handsome African man, approaches Tarzan, who didn’t see him coming. He was sent by the chief to inquire about Tarzan’s injury. Ely sport a huge wound/scar throughout this episode. We’ve seen this before but it looks worse here. He also has a wound scar on his hip.

This and other things (more on this later) lead me to believe that this was either the first episode filmed for this season or one close to the start of the second season’s filming. THAT or…or it was filmed for season one. I don’t think we see Womba again throughout the entire episode.

Womba also says that’s confused. He was sent by the chief and they didn’t use drums because they feared that the white men and their guards (?) would hear the drums, too, and send men to the border (of what countries?) to kill Tarzan. What? This is, at best, confused writing.

Other things, like Cheetah bothered plants, have no bearing on the plot at all. The villain’s main meeting area looks A LOT like the VOICE OF THE ELEPHANT’S huge fortress where Jai goes to find a lawyer.

Somehow I missed THE PROFESSION and THE CONVERT, the first two of 1968 but I will get to those later.

There are many reasons why, thus far, and unless some episode proves be as inept as this, one that this is the worst episode so far AND the worst episode of the entire series (at least, I’m hoping it is).

The basic plot isn’t terrible, though I can’t see how the main villain, a flower casting Bond villain if there ever was one but a low key one, doesn’t know his plan to hold onto his empire was going to fail. Second, Wilson, the straight laced geologist missed the volcanic rift that Tarzan and the natives ALL know about, calling the land the Creeping Giants. How did he miss that?

Now, we’ve had inept villains before in this series and while I love this series, it must be at the top of the list for dumb villains and their dumb moves. We have Miquel, who has men all around him with rifles pointed at the already wounded Wilson and the out in the open Tarzan (doesn’t he know what stealth is anymore?) take out a gas grenade (poison?). Tarzan throws something at him and the gas grenade falls and seemingly kills this dopey villain and his men.

One of the men killed or knocked down is Richard, another geologist working with Wilson. It’s unclear if Richard was part of the evil plan but it looks like he was fully aware of the villain’s plans.

On the other hand, another badly edited sequence seems to suggest that when Miquel pulls the gas grenade, Richard, one of the good guys after all, looks about to jump Miquel from behind. THEN, a quick cut and we see Miquel alone, no Richard behind him. Richard is on the ground when Tarzan throws a rock at Miquel and makes him drop the gas grenade which blows up. WHAT THE???? Now to be fair maybe this was cut from the finished episode or just edited for repeats and presents that way on the DVD but it does seem as if Richard were going to try to stop Miquel and was shot by him or one of his other men. There are a lot of other men working for the villain. It looks like Tarzan also knocked down a man with a rifle…why didn’t that man shoot Tarzan, instead giving him a chance to throw a rock at Miquel? It’s all badly edited.

In what is another dumb bad guy scene, it looks a lot like a guard with his rifle, holds it up too close to the electric fence and when he sees Tarzan, gets startled and gets it too close to the fence, electrocuting himself? Dumbest villain ever?

Why does Yeager call Miquel Bwana?

Previous to that, Yeager, running from Tarzan, in a land area that he probably show know about, runs right off a cliff to his death. He dumb.

The episode is filled with filler, most of it involving Cheetah and his exploration of the villa and the prison Tarzan is in. It has NO bearing on the plot as Cheetah does NOTHING to get Tarzan out. There is another sped up scene where Cheetah hits a man on the head with something and he and another guard run super speed out, away from Cheetah!?

How Tarzan gets out is as improbably as if Cheetah freed him. Tarzan steals a pack of bullets worn by the muscular native extra (who here plays one of Miquel’s guards and is for once, fully clothed and we do NOT see his excellent abs). Tarzan then asks for water and builds a bomb made from gun powder from the bullets which blows the door off of his cell. Really? Is this MacGuyver stuff? Maybe it’s me but I don’t know that that would really work?

Knowing the detonator will be guarded by Miquel and his men with lots of rifles, Tarzan and Wilson run straight for it, instead of say through the jungle or from the trees. Wilson gets shot in the shoulder but in the final scene where he’s already recovered, his arm is in a sling. The dam will be built but somewhere else. The natives will help.

This is not the first episode this season (and last season I think they did it, too) to call the setting AFRICA.

I have to watch this bad episode again as it was so boring, I kept falling asleep.

Another reason I believe this episode was filmed either last season or very early in this season (and held until non sweeps month January because it is so bad), is that Jai looks MUCH younger than he did in the episodes just before this one.

Another clue is that Jai does not have the boots on that he’s been wearing of the episodes around this one. He is back to his sandals, which, we all know is what Jai wore for most of season one and almost all the season two episodes before say BLUE MOUNTAINS? And only rarely of late. Again, though the first and finale scenes might have been filmed as filler earlier than the episode itself?

Gosh. Anyone who reads my reviews will have already come to know that I love the character of Jai almost as much as Tarzan, ditto Cheetah’s involvement. I also love Manuel Padilla Jr. and his performances as Jai. This episode DOES have Jai, though he’s ONLY at the tree house and not in ANY of the action or the main story.

This horrid episode is flagged from the start and end by two of the worst scenes in the series so far…NO, wait. The TWO worst scenes of the series so far. I can’t imagine anything getting worse than this. And sadly, both scenes involved Jai and Cheetah. The tree house interior looks slightly different every time we see it with different placement for the bed(s) or tables depending on the scene.

The first scene is at the start and has nothing to do with the episode. Jai has breakfast for two chimps, one of them Cheetah. He insists the chimps brush their teeth and wash up before. Cheetah does some antics and tries to escape by going down the elevator which baby elephant Hannibal is operating (is he tied to this elevator his whole life? It seem rather cruel). Jai snaps orders for Hannibal to bring it up while Cheetah snaps monkey talk to Hannibal to let him down. The film is sped up and not just when Hannibal goes back and forth on this. Upstairs in the tree house, before he does escape, Cheetah and his chimp mate’s antics are sped up and goofy, fooling with water and toothbrushes. It’s nauseating to watch. I’m not sure why.

Maybe because it seems to reduce Tarzan into camp. Ely doesn’t appear at all in the treehouse scenes or with Jai at all.

The scene is terribly edited, scripted (if it was, it seems improvised), and boring, embarrassing, for the first time in the series. We also get, among the other “cute” music, an obnoxious rendition of Rock-A-Bye Baby as the chimps seem to be trying to nap. At one point, Jai commands Cheetah to hurry up and the film super speeds as Cheetah brushes his teeth. Sigh.

Jai’s hair also seems to change from longer to shorter or different hair styles during this scene. He also slips on a banana peel. Was Batman making the producers thing a bit of slap dash “comedy” was needed? If so, they were so wrong.

Ely does appear with Cheetah later on. At one point just before going off on his adventure, Tarzan tells Cheetah to stay there but Cheetah does not and does not listen and follows Tarzan into the adventure, though contributes NOTHING to it at all.

The finale scene is just as bad. Cheetah runs from Tarzan for some reason and goes to the treehouse where Jai scolds him outside and tells him he will have to stay in the house for two whole days even though it is Cheetah’s birthday. It is too late to apologize the boy says. He lets Cheetah inside where birds and other chimps await the surprise party. Cheetah and the other chimps start a food fight with the cake and it’s painful to watch the cake smash into the fragile looking big bird’s face and neck. It also hit the other exotic birds (parrots?). We also see some other different monkeys, one of whom has his privates on screen in full view…a lot. Amid lots of other excruciating cute music, we also get a rendition of Happy Birthday in the tune but no one sings it, probably not allowed by the song rights.

We see something heavy thrown at one of the birds and it falls off the perch but hangs on. It looks like an alarm clock?

Maybe it is me taking things far too seriously but this scene and the first scene are just awful in every way and also feel like filler that was filmed to slot into any episode to waste time. And boy are these scenes time wasters.

BUT why single out those scenes. The rest of this feels bad, too, from Tarzan’s low key facing down to Miquel in Miquel’s compound prison (he uses it for miners that complain too much and has it surrounded by an electric fence) where dogs are and a panther, I believe. Tarzan’s escape seems ridiculous and the entire episode is really routine and boring, despite potential. I feel as if I haven’t even seen all of it because I kept falling asleep! From Womba’s confused appearance to the chief’s rambling pre-educated Tarzan type dialog to the stupidity of the villains AND ally Wilson to Tarzan’s seemingly lack of subterfuge and stealth to the two infamous and horrid Jai/Cheetah scenes, this IS the worst episode.

That an episode of this great series can be so bad is almost shocking and stunning.

Also rather unaccepting, Miquel also calls or refers to his house servant, a full grown man, “the boy” when he wants or refers to him servicing them with coffee or tea.

Oh and at one point, Tarzan is tranquilized and brought to the main compound of the villain by helicopter. When the copter lands, to Ely’s credit, he’s holding onto a kind of stretcher attached to it but…Tarzan is not supposed to be awake. Thus, it looks like they just tranquilized Tarzan and laid on the stretcher on the copter without tying him down, face down, and flew with him like that!? WTF? It’s typical of this episode.

ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired

46. THE PROFESSIONAL ~ 1968.01.05

(Pat Conway ~ Colonel Stone, Clarence Williams ~ Sorda)
A mad colonel and his heavily armed troops overrun the land of a peace-loving tribe, 
but he has reckoned without Tarzan. 

Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Review By Charles Mento

“You never can tell what you’ll run into out here.”
“Tarzan, is it? I should have known. Not too many peole go running around the jungle in a loin cloth.”
“Not too many people go running around the jungle with soldiers either.”

Well, this series has more soldiers than loin cloths but a lot of both but…

That’s more like it. Much better.

Of course, the plot is simpler than CREEPING GIANTS, which was a fine idea but a real mess of an episode. The worst episode, in fact. Here we have a simple plot and are all the better for it:

Tarzan encounters a group of soldiers looking for a local tribe. He is unsure of their motives or if he can trust them, but decides to lead them to the tribe so he can keep an eye on the man who leads them, who believes the government he is behind (which gov’t?) will back his even, at one point, killing off the entire tribe except for the chief’s son, Jai’s new friend.

Jack Colvin has a small part as …uhm, Jack, the Military Governor, who, at first, we wonder if he is complicit in the crimes, but isn’t. Jack also played ANOTHER Jack in the wonderful series THE INCREDIBLE HULK as the reporter Jack McGee who, wrongly, believed the Hulk was a murderer that killed David Banner and a female scientist. Without realizing Stone is being evil, Jack sends him reinforcements. Stone lied that the tribe was attacking his unit---they weren’t. What’s difficult to get here is that these extra men seem to be helping Stone but then turn on him when Tarzan and the tribe have tricked them into entering the town’s evacuated area and threaten them with fire with the doors to the walls closed (and locked or blocked?).

Clarence Williams the Third, who would go on to be the great Link in the wonderful series THE MOD SQUAD, is almost wasted here as Sorba the leader of the tribe that wants to stay isolated. He also has a young son that befriends Jai. The son is taller than Jai and oddly, he pokes Jai in the stomach, just near his navel when he first meets him and smiles. WTF? Jai responds to this by touching the boy’s necklace or something. Again? What? Is this how boys relate in the jungle?

Later on we see, maybe for the first time or so, Jai sleeping in a bed in the village outside but under some kind of roof topped structure. Jai is wearing his NEW boots again.

Cheetah has a part to play here that matters: he sees a native that was being forcibly questioned by the villain Colonel Stone and his men. The man dove into the rapid and has to be saved by Tarzan after Cheetah alerts Tarzan and Jai to this. Jai slips on the edge of the water bank.

The man only spoke Swahili ---and not English but Stone didn’t know that! Stone’s Sargent played by Anthony Costello (I think!) is quite good looking and sounds British but…

…what country is this gov’t building from? Stone sounds American as does Jack. Their boss, who Stone does NOT listen to, is played by Karl Swenson, and he seems British. Jack’s hat, at the end, seems British, too! The Sergeant sounds British.

Speaking of the end, it’s odd. It seems as if it were a set up for Colonel Stone to return. He’s captured but gets away and jumps into a raging river that is sure to kill him but as he dives in and tries to swim for it, one of Jack’s men shoots at him and seems to hit him…or so Tarzan thinks. Tarzan thinks it was a waste because the river would have killed him but Jack wonders what difference does it make. Tarzan explains at least he’d have a choice how to die. WHAT?

Jai has a major part here, too. He learns from the good looking Sergeant (that Tarzan dumps into a muddy puddle at one point but who is smart enough, later, to threaten Stone when it is time for he and his six or so men to give up and holds Stone at gun point…but is knocked down for it) how to operate a portable radio and it is he who warns Jack about the impending attack. Unfortunately, he and his new friend, the chief’s son Gorna (who’s dialog seems dubbed by another actor?), are captured by Stone’s men doing this.

Stone does present a lot of trouble for Tarzan but in the end when he challenges Tarzan to a sight…and Tarzan accepts, we know, physically, even before the fight starts (and sigh…we’ve seen far too many of these with villainous men who look far too wimpy to best Tarzan), we know Stone will lose and present almost NO physical threat to Tarzan. While the fight choreography is fine and even entertaining as fights go, we really needs more physically imposing villains that at least look like they will give Tarzan a run for his money and might possibly beat Tarzan physically. The show’s done this before but needed to do it again. I’m not sure they ever do.

Two things stand out. Sorba wants Tarzan to prove he is Tarzan, never having seen him before. Tarzan knew where the tribe—the Swadula-- lived but was never there and never met Sorba. To prove it, Tarzan is forced to pull ropes in both hands …ropes attached to FOUR horses and riders, two on each side of his body, for each hand/arm. Tarzan does this. How? Is he a super powered hero now? Can ANY man do this? Arnold? Rambo? Rocky? The guy from DIE HARD? It an impressive scene but not sure it works.

What does work…almost…is the elephant saving Tarzan from a firing squad. It’s nice to see an elephant saving Tarzan as in the older movies and Ely gets to motion the Tarzan cry again, which we haven’t heard in the episodes themselves for a VERY long time (the main credits aside). The way it is cut almost works. We don’t really see the elephant that close to the men trying to fire guns at Tarzan (and are these men part of Stone’s original small troop or part of the reinforcements Stone sent?). They scream. The elephant is seen putting dirt on itself or water to cool itself. It IS impressive to see the elephant stampede (by itself! I wonder if the original script had more than one elephant?) past the jeep where Jai and Gorna are, didn’t expect that.

On the negative side (!), why didn’t any of the SOLDIERS think of shooting at the elephant? I mean I wouldn’t want to see that but none of them even seem to try. It really should have been a full stampede of many elephants, though, one can accept it is not.

Visually stunning (as are all episodes, even the few bad ones such as MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON and CREEPING GIANTS), fast paced (and much faster than CREEPING GIANTS), better written, and with action that makes sense, THE PROFESSIONAL is a good, entertaining episode. I noticed though, that this episode and CREEPING GIANTS, have no female cast members other than extras in the tribes. It’s unusual for this show and I’d say refreshing but I find I miss some of the female interaction with Tarzan and Jai.

What does this title mean? I guess Stone thinks of himself as a Professional but he’s hardly that. Any one of the other gov’t men might be professionals, too.

Also: there’s some stock footage of natives watching, tossing spears, and the like. These come from different episodes and the natives in different shots look different from each other.

It also looks like we have this episode “produced” by someone new? Maurice Unger? Jai, Tarzan and Cheetah are shown cooking some kind of meat, ready to eat.

So…why does Tarzan change his mind so quickly? He, at first, will not show Stone, who lies about being on a diplomatic mission, where the Swadula tribe is. He, then, DOES lead them there and that creates the whole problem! If Tarzan didn’t, was he worried that these small handful (maybe five or six of them?) of soldiers would create problems as they did for the first native they questioned and chased, so much so that the man dove into the rapids, fearing for his life?

Tarzan, when first meeting Sorda (sounds like Soda), tells him that Stone and his military men are on a mission of peace! Does Tarzan really believe that after what he’s already seen Stone an his men do and Stone’s attitude?

Ahead of everyone else, with Cheetah in hand, why does Jai picks up a large stone?

For once, some of the native warriors seem like they are VERY young, one even looks about 13 or 14.

To stop Stone and his five men, Tarzan is back to using stealth.

Okay, at about 24 minutes in, there’s native watching, including women and a few young children. A mother in green removes a small son (?) from the group and smacks his bottom gently and sends him on his way away from the scene? WTF? This is part of Stone’s “trial” or punishment? This kid removes his hat. The next, a small girl, pours water on his left hand. The third, a slightly older boy, puts a noose around Stone’s neck. The fourth messes up his hair. Gorna is next and smacks him. This causes great amusement to the tribe but not to or from Tarzan and Jai.

The number of men Stone had to begin with seems to change from five to four, unless Tarzan killed one of them.

Stone admires Jai, who he says steps right along (actually he’s ahead of both Stone and Tarzan) and thinks Tarzan is training Jai.

Jack smokes, the dummy.

Jai expounds on the Tarzan call. He doesn’t exactly imply he’s tried it himself or done the call to the animals himself but he is explaining that he knows other ways to send messages…if he can’t do them himself or not is not known (though I do think he did use drums once). He talks about the lion and the elephant sending messages. Later, he will have to use the radio to call Jack for help. Tarzan and the sergeant are amused by Jai’s explanations of other ways of sending messages. This might be the first time in the dialog that the Tarzan call is actually mentioned and discussed.

This makes me wonder what the origins of the call are. Were they even used in the books? Were they just a movie convention?

During the course of his adventure, Tarzan, as usual, calls Jai Jai and “son” but he is not his son.

One of the gov’t soldiers looks like the muscular African extra. Unless I’m very mistaken, he’s also playing a native when we first see the chief and his son, unless it’s his brother or twin!? He looks like the guy that shoots Stone after Stone dives into the water. Was Stone going to return? There was a way for him to return in a sequel as we never see him actually die. He goes under and it is possible he was not really shot or did not drown. Or die.

Someone please tell me that Gorna, the chief’s son is NOT being played by a white boy in black make up?

IT IS impressive that Ely gets in and takes off in a helicopter as most stars would not do this and one can tell stunt people in shows like DOCTOR WHO and WONDER WOMAN and maybe even THE PRISONER are not the actual stars. Here, this IS Ely in the copter.

Stone does not recognize the provincial authorities to recall him. He claims his mission is for the Federal Gov’t. He claims the politicians don’t care how he gets the land as long as he gets it. So who is right? I don’t think we ever find out as he’s stopped by Tarzan and his plans.

Cheetah DOES emulate the Tarzan cry call.


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