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Volume 7463

TARZAN TV SERIES ~ 1991-1994
Starring Wolf Larson as Tarzan and Lydie Denier as Jane
Reviews by Charles Mento
Previews of Coming Episodes in Episode 2


“Next time, Tarzan will try to rescue Jack faster.”
“You beat me lasta time jungle man but not this time. This is my big chance. Now, we’ll settle up our score.”

This is the 21st second season episode produced. It aired first. The second season years are 1992 to 1993. So this year is up for grabs. Most likely it is meant to be late 1993 but if aired first, it seems like it could be the end of or in September of 1992.

The production number is 221.

The other thing to notice and the only positive change is that the episode title is now shown after the main credits sequence. Roger references Moby Dick.

Jack’s journal is Friday the 3rd. This could be Jan, April, or July. 1993 has September and December.

Jack calls Roger “old buddy.” Roger lies about a fish he caught. Jack has been on the river for two hours with no nibble.

The first things to notice in the episode is that the theme music is different and just not that good. I seem to recall something like it or IT playing in ep 4 of season one, the one with the model Kendra. Whoever made the choice to go with this theme should have been fired. It’s flat. The first season theme moved. The credits are mostly the same with only Errol Slue’s clips new and two new clips for Sean Roberge.

For some reason Jack is in a canoe while Roger and Cheetah are fishing, with Cheetah getting a fish and Roger not. A rock slide caused by Manuel (the villain from THE POISONED WATERS, which is almost an identical episode). We find out the villain right away as we see him in his muscly shirt. He drags Roger away while Cheetah runs off to alert Tarzan and Jane. Jane goes to Tarzan who is washing Tantor, who shoots water on Jane (this is the third time she’s done so).

Tarzan looks leaner and if anything even more muscled.

Manuel talks to himself and reveals all his plans—and even that he has a uranium mine. Of course, Roger and Jack are both unconscious at the time so can’t really hear him. Even so, this makes him even more insane. There’s no hiding the villain for later.

Jack is knocked out; Manuel tells Roger he doesn’t want the Bengali authorities blaming him for Roger’s death (otherwise he would shoot him right now!) but then sets Jack toward waterfalls in the canoe.

A fake looking croc attacks him so Tarzan rescues Jack anyway. Jack doesn’t get off to a great start as he jokingly berates Tarzan for not rescuing him sooner but Tarzan pulls him into the water. Tarzan, in a mishap, I would say, gets Jack’s boot in the side of his face, chin, and/or chest.  Wolf looks as if he could have gotten hurt.

Jane notices that Roger never misses a meal.

After Tarzan fights the croc, we do not see it survive or swim away. Did he kill it? BTW with Roger missing, would Tarzan playfully knock Jack out of his canoe into the water? And moments later Jack does not look wet. Tarzan does the chimp talk call, and does another call, a bird call, with a bird. A bird lands on his hand, too. He does the Tarzan call, too. Tarzan calls the bird Sueda? The bird and the chimps communicate with him. Cheetah, of course, does as well.

Roger insisted on cooking the catfish yesterday with the head on. Jane would not eat it that way. Jane’s interior of her lab area and cabin building look completely different. It’s also telling we do not see the outside of it. Manuel says he did his time in the “can” meaning jail.

Tarzan finds a button that belongs to a man that smokes cigars but it also has Roger’s scent on it. After finding Roger and bringing him back, Jane must cure him while the rest of the episode focuses on Tarzan’s finding Manuel and tracking him after Manuel hits him down and lures him to a trap or two.

Tarzan’s hair is longer but less thick.

Jane deduces, after they find a sick Roger, that there is a chemical in the river that is causing him to be sick: he ate a catfish the other day that she did not. He had stomach pains before the rock fall, too. After watching Manuel work with his uranium finds, polluting the river while smelting it or washing it, Tarzan confronts him. The shot of his face in the mirror (broken?) is interesting as that is in front of Manuel while Tarzan is behind him. Also of note, Wolf’s back as he confronts him looks like it has marks on it, big black marks as if he’s fallen on dirt coal?

Manuel fakes that he has a permit. Tarzan seems to know what a real permit looks like. He is foolish to let Manuel get behind him as Manuel knocks him out.

Manuel has a donkey. What happens to him at the end of this after Manuel dies?

Manuel wants to make Tarzan’s death look like an accident but what? He then uses dynamite twice!

After reviving, Tarzan has black marks / wounds on his stomach, too. Manuel makes it easy for Tarzan to find him.

It’s odd because in some shots Tarzan’s face and shoulders, neck even, are covered in dark dirt as if he’s been rolling around in a fight…and some scenes before and after do not have this dirt on him. WTF? He also has these marks on his legs and arms. Are some of these where Erol, as Jack, kicked him by mistake?

Manuel lures Tarzan into a rope wire that will trip dynamite but Tarzan steps over it. While Tarzan tracks him over and on a flimsy primitive wooden bridge over a canyon, from a tree, Manuel fires a gun that sets off the blast. The bridge falls in a spectacular stunt (for TV). Tarzan lands, Ely-like, and is spread out like Jesus (no, I’m not kidding; same thing happened at least once for Ely, possibly more).

When he finds that Tarzan is still breathing, Manuel will bury him where he was going to bury Roger where no one will find him. I thought he didn’t want deaths on his hands?

Tarzan now has more black marks and dirt all over him.

Tarzan knocks him down with a kick after reviving and being carried by him. Manuel had already thrown a stick of dynamite to cause a blast to bring rocks down on Tarzan. Tarzan tries to help him up as the blast hits but Manuel tries to fight again. Tarzan escapes and the rocks fall on Manuel and HE DIES.

The last scene as Jane tests the water on an ancient dock with the river and/or lagoon behind her and Tarzan is wholly beautiful. The water is now safe to drink. Roger and Cheetah go fishing. How long has it been since Manuel was killed?

Jack thinks it is funny that he makes Roger think Cheetah caught another fish, which Jack himself planted on the hook. He reveals this to Roger and everyone laughs. Cheetah raspberries Roger. Ha ha.

Like every episode of season one, this episode is serviceable. Just like those, too, it feels as if it could have been better. Manuel has no men this time to help him, talks to himself, and seems totally insane and driven to stay wherever he wants and to get even with the ape man. He makes little sense. It’s a shame as Jorge who plays Manuel makes a formidable foe in look and presence but there’s almost no fight here, just a few hits here and there and a kick before he’s killed. There is no real physicality to any of the confrontation. Tarzan even has his back to him and lets him get behind him.

Jorge is a bit man to lift Wolf over his shoulder when Manuel moves Tarzan.

Another thing is that this episode looks different from all those before it. It’s obviously filmed in a totally different place. The area where Roger fishes, Jack is on the river, and Tarzan is washing Tantor, not to mention when the other three are tracking down a hurt Roger and when Tarzan confronts Manuel ALL look like totally different, unseen locations from season one …or anywhere on TV before and maybe even after this. It looks visually stunning again. As does Lydie, Jorge, and Wolf. Even Sean looks a bit beefed up with more muscle.

Jack is serviceable, too. He performs his role. There is no plane or jeep here and Jack does what the script requires of him but I have to admit, I sort of do miss Simon here.

Again, not a bad episode but like all the others, there’s the feeling this could have been more adventurous, exciting and action packed. As such, it’s just okay. Again.


“Look, Tarzan, you know when I’m making things up, how about now?”
“Come on, Roger, you know Tarzan will never accuse you of lying.”

“Are all Presidents known for their honesty?”
“That’s a can of worms I think we better not open.”

“Do not worry, Jane. Tarzan is always careful.”

Is this one of those times we’re supposed to suspend disbelief and believe that that rubber suited man IS really a mutant sea man monster like the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON? Or is it the SCOOBY DO factor where a man is masquerading as a monster in a real rubber suit? Either way, the suit (in long shots it is very creepy and underwater looks slightly different from above water) is one of the more effective ones as monster fish men go on TV and movies.

Speaking of outfits, Jane’s seems rather inappropriate to be wearing around Roger (and probably Jack and Tarzan, too) as it consists of just a fringe top and tight denim cut off shorts!? What is she thinking?

It is Jack’s journal Tuesday the 14th. In 1992 this is in Jan, April, and July. In 1993 this is Sept and December. It is the 14th episode made, possibly. The production number is 114 so almost the middle of the season, though shown second in air order.

On the beach of a lagoon that Jack later tells Roger has been closed off to the ocean now that a storm caused a sand bar is in the way but was once open to the ocean, a mine goes off (roger threw a rock at it!?) and knocks Roger down.

It also brings a man monster mutant amphibian to the surface and it comes at Roger. Cheetah is also there. Jane is skeptical but Tarzan tells of a Somali tribe that spoke of a man fish that swims in the ocean. It chewed through their nets and escaped when they tried to catch it. This is the only legend Tarzan heard of a man fish monster.

Jack had a drawing that kind of looks like the man fish a while ago. Jack thinks the mine floated in there from WW2 and was hidden under some roots.

Roger knows Tarzan always knows when he’s exaggerating or making things up. Jane knows Tarzan would never accuse Roger of lying. Jane apologizes to Roger. Tarzan swims underwater extensively for the first time in beautiful photography. Once more, it looks like they are filming away from wherever the first season was filming. Tarzan just saw some fish and turtles.

In the first part of this episode, Roger’s hair is the neatest it has ever been in any episode before.

Roger seems to talk to Cheetah and Cheetah seems to fully understand him, too.

Roger mentions National Geographic again. Wouldn’t a story on Tarzan just be as good as any for him? Then again we don’t know a thing about Tarzan’s total past here. The DVD box sets say “Discouraged by civilization, Tarzan returns to the jungle where he grew up.” So far in this series, 27 episodes in we have NO proof he ever left this jungle at all. In fact, if he did, it must have been a VERY SHORT time because he knows little of conventional talk and modern day expressions and devices as well as history.

As usual, Tarzan is barefoot for the scenes in the water and when he comes out of the water.

A large lizard scares Jane and she falls (once again) into the water where a croc comes at her. Avoiding expectation, the mutant creature, NOT Tarzan saves her from it. She doesn’t see this!

In an odd moment, Tarzan surfaces on the lagoon and she calls him but stops as he dives right back down. He does not hear her.

The monster mask, if not the suit, looks VERY familiar to me. I would not be surprised if it were used before and/or after this episode in some other show or movie.

When the thing sneaks up behind Jane and grabs her, Roger pursues. She yells from its arms for him to get Tarzan but bravely, Roger dives into the water to follow them when it takes her underwater!

It brings her to an underwater grotto (yes, just like in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON). She calls for it not to leave her alone when it goes and she does not want to be left alone by it. WHAT?

Roger seems  a lot braver in this season and a lot less goofier, too. He actually starts to take his shirt off to help Tarzan search for Jane underwater but Tarzan tells him to go back to Jane’s compound. He says he will be back as soon as he can but later tells Cheetah that Tarzan told him to stay? He didn’t.

For whatever reason, the creature has brought two impact mines to the opening of the grotto underwater. Jane cannot swim out that way because of that. She sees the mines when she tries. Tarzan does too but he just brings them to the surface. What? How?

Roger figures the thing is a mutant cross between a lizard reptile and a prehistoric fish. It needs water because it has gills, he figures.

Tarzan gets Jane out but the monster almost intercepts them. Tarzan fights it as Jane, shoeless, swims to the shore. The mines explode near a log but Tarzan resurfaces, apparently affected. On shore, Jane has her shoes back on. Tarzan is not sure about ears. His ears, to make that clear.

They see the creature stumble and fall, out of the water. Tarzan tells Jane to “stay here” but she does not listen and goes to help him help the creature. When Jane arrives at Tarzan and the monster, we see the shadow of someone in the foreground. Roger arrives and helps lift the thing onto Tarzan’s shoulders. Tarzan brings it back to the ocean and it swims.

“The man fish is not bad, just wild like Numar.”

Jane locks arms with Tarzan and holds his hand as they go home. Tarzan pats Roger on the back and around the shoulder, “Roger did well.”

Ornithopods are open in the book Roger is referring to.  These are dinosaurs.

What those have to do with the creature and/or salmanders is anyone’s guess!?

Roger thinks, specifically, a salamander, is what he believes are the mutant creature’s ancestors. These only return to the water to breed so…they are more terrestrial.

He starts talking about this:

…and this?

Roger says it was a fossil found in 1726 but it was, as stated elsewhere 1725?

It was originally thought to be a man drowned in Noah’s flood.

Roger’s book says PRE-HISTORIC LIFE on the cover. He, Jane, Cheetah and Jack as sitting on the same dock from last episode.

Most unlike Tarzan, even this Tarzan, Tarzan comes up behind Roger with moss and greens on him to scare Roger.

The new theme might be growing on me but it’s no where near as great as the first season theme. Is it just the undertone to the old theme without the faster stuff?

Okay about this episode: Judging from this episode, the show seems to be dropping the environmental issues almost totally, though the mines are sort of a statement against man polluting and against war, sort of. This is a straight forward adventure in which there are no heavy handed messages or even light messages about the issues. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I mean the issues should be addressed some of the time and some of the time I’d like a straight forward action adventure which this is.

BUT yet again, we get no info about what will happen. Will Roger try to make a story about the monster? What will that mean for the area? For the monster? For the others? For the entire premise? Will monster hunters come? Will this endanger the monster? We also never get any definite info on WHAT the monster is or was. Clearly if its ancestors are as Roger claims (his theories only), it’s NOT a mutant. Thus, the ep title is wrong (and not for the first time in this series).

Wouldn’t Jane or Roger or even Jack want to find more evidence of this monster? Aren’t they interested in discovering more about it or capturing it? Or studying it? None of them, beyond Roger’s fascination with National Geographic, seem to be. Maybe that is for the best. I mean other Tarzan all of them, even Cheetah seem to be accident prone and always in need of rescuing.

On the other hand, there are a few unexpected things here: Jane is captured by  A REAL MONSTER and not some man in a suit criminal pretending. I do respect the show for trying something totally different for itself: a science fiction story. Tarzan doesn’t seem to be bothered very long by after effects of the mine blowing up.

So if this exists in this Tarzan show/universe what else does? IT is the only sea monster he’s ever heard of so this Tarzan hasn’t even had any other encounters with one though he is tight lipped and doesn’t tell them until AFTER at least one long conversation and doesn’t tell them until directly asked about the knowledge he has OF a sea monster man. You would think Tarzan would have brought this info up immediately when Roger told him about a sea fish man.

I suspect with titles ahead like Amazon Woman (the title on the DVD says “Woman” but it’s probably Women), Karate Warriors, Death Spiders, The Stone Man, and Sixth Sense we might get more far out, farfetched wild adventures that move more toward fantasy and science fiction. I’m not complaining.

At the same time, that, plus Jack, plus Roger’s newfound bravery and less comedic personality (he’s growing up?), plus Jane starting to have a perchance to wear more jungle “Jane of the 1940s” revealing outfits, plus what looks like a totally different jungle, plus a new theme song, ALL combine to make this feel like a totally different universe. Hinting at aliens in the first season is nothing like having an amphibian man/monster and this season seems like a totally different universe than the last season! Maybe that’s just me.

Again, not a bad episode but while there’s some action, it feels…too little compared to almost EVERY Ron Ely episode. Ely’s show almost never went to sci fi and supernatural (maybe ONE episode and that is suspect as a natural cause).


“Tarzan thinks he will be safer with his feet on the ground.”

Jack’s journal is Friday the 1st. 1992 has a 1st on a Friday only in May. This is the 12th episode produced for the second season. 1993 has Jan and October. Jack’s plane is housed under a canopy and in more of a jungle location than Simon’s was. It looks completely different. When the narration starts out with, “Today was rotten,” it’s not a great sign of things to come!

As such, the plot is wildly unbelievable: Jack has a balloon he won in a poker game from someone that sounds like Baba Gobear? Papa Engobae? Is that Jack’s father? He wants to go into business with Roger flying tourists? He has a sign that says Jack and Roger’s Birds Eye-Tours. Sigh.

Roger will be co pilot.

The valve line is broken and Jack didn’t check it ahead of time. He and Roger, and a revealed hiding Cheetah, crash about 60 miles north from Jane and Jack informs Jane on the radio but the radio starts to flicker out. Jane calls Bandali search and rescue. Tarzan figures, when Jane goes to him as he is with Tantor, that it will take a day and a night to get through the jungle to Jack and Roger. Tarzan will get the new value line and bring it to them. When Jane wants to go with him, Tarzan says no and it is because, “Jane is like a snail. She brings her whole house with her.”

Never noticed this before but Tarzan seems not to use the word “you”.

He lets Jane drive the jeep and this time he stands on the back holding onto the frame.

Roger has been watching Tarzan for months and thinks he can get food. Tarzan does the Tarzan call when Jane asks him which way to go. A lion comes and Tarzan uses hand signals to communicate and it tells him which way to go. As Roger “finds” food to eat, he relies on Cheetah to tell him which plants are safe to eat. Tarzan and Jane have to climb up a high hill. Tarzan says to her, “One day Jane will learn that the jungle has everything she needs.”

There are some strange bird sounds issuing forth as Tarzan secures a rope over Jane’s head and on her body. Wolf, once more, seems to have dark marks on his back as if he’s been in a bad fall? In long shots, it is NOT the actors going up the rocky hill but in medium shots it looks like IT IS THEM.

Roger finds some worms or maggots for them to eat but Jack refuses.

After climbing up, Tarzan gives Jane a massage but unlike other scenes he stands with about a foot between them. As impressive as it was that they didn’t make Jane fall while climbing, now, at the top, after the massage, Jane insists on carrying the backpack (which they call bag) which must have the valve line in it. Jane puts it over her back near the edge of the cliff and…falls, sliding down it!

Roger goes off to find shelter for the night.

Tarzan carries Jane to a cave he knows of where she can rest.

Jack tells Roger that Roger is always saying how he loves to bond with nature and is one with it but Roger complains. He wants Jack to let Papa Endobe and the guys to win the next time Jack plays poker with them. It will take Tarzan until the morning to get to them.

When Tarzan brings wood back for a fire and night falls, Jane asks how he knew of the cave. Tarzan tells her that when he was a boy, the mighty Kerchak had great rages. He was the leader and often tried to kill the other apes. Once he attacked Kala, the she ape who raised Tarzan. Tarzan stabbed him many times and then he attacked Tarzan. Tarzan ran and hid in this cave.

“An animal is not like a human. He does not hold a grudge or fight for revenge. When the rage had left Kerchak, he did not even remember why he fought.”

Jane says, “Life in the jungle. It’s so simple.”

In one of the first times, a recent episode brings up a past episode, let alone one from another season, the first one, Tarzan mentions that Jane did not like Tarzan when he fell and lost is memory. This, to Tarzan, means that he and Jane might not have been friends back when he was a boy.

What’s odd is that there is a memory of Jane’s about that episode but it seems newly filmed as if it didn’t happen before our eyes and is a sort of lost scene.  It’s not.

It is from an episode filmed before this one, TARZAN AND THE PRIMITIVE URGE, number 8. Since no one seems to have ANY air info about seasons two and three that I can easily get to (a very old book has info about many TV shows but I can’t check that now if I even still have that book), I am not sure when THE PRIMITIVE URGE aired but on the DVD it is placed AFTER this episode, THE WAYWARD BALLOON.

URGE is placed after MISSILE OF DOOM which is after WAYWARD BALLOON on the DVD. So in order of DVD: WAYWARD, MISSILE, and PRIMITIVE URGE. Production order, which is more reliable for the fictional details is :

“Tarzan and the Primitive Urge”
“Tarzan and the Mysterious Sheik”
“Tarzan and the Runaways”
“Tarzan Meets Jane”
“Tarzan and the Wayward Balloon”

I would go with the order of production number, meaning URGE is 8th and WAYWARD is 12th. This makes sense as WAYWARD contains a flashback to URGE!

What? Tarzan loses his memory AGAIN (he sort of lost it or regressed it in season one’s TARZAN IN THE SACRED CAVE, IF that is even the same universe as season two and / or three!?).

PRIMITIVE URGE is labeled episode 8 on Wikipedia and episode 5 (of season two of course) by You Tube! To make matters more confusing,

Are we to believe Tarzan and Jane sleep in the same cave, next to each other (again) and there is no hanky panky (sexual action?). Sigh.

In a scene where Wolf’s Tarzan acts, for maybe the first time, mischievous (scaring Roger in Mutant Creature not withstanding) and is reminiscent of Weissmuller’s Tarzan, Tarzan after a branch he is swinging from breaks, falls, and pretends to be knocked out when he is not so that he can fool and tease Jane. Jane tells Tarzan, when he comes too and pretends he is regressed again, that he knows she does not eat mushrooms.

He also shows her something we cannot see and I’m thinking it was a maggot or a worm for her to eat. His joke lasts for a brief few minutes.

She is happy but then calls him a beast and punches him with both hands into his stunning, rock hard abs. Until he stops her twice but she laughs and is inches from his mouth with her mouth. It’s a stunning scene in a way for this show but it ends just as fast as it started but it seems the point of this episode!

It’s also a bit…well, no other way to say it: sexual in a sort of innocent way?

The Bangali or Bendali rescue plane can’t find Roger and Jack and return to refuel and promise Jane they will return to the search.

Proving she’s accident prone, Jane somehow drops the valve line out of her backpack and a monkey picks it up and goes into the trees. What is wrong with her?

Tarzan chases him up a tree but the monkey or chimp tosses it into the water.

Tarzan retrieves it before a croc gets to it and thank goodness, he doesn’t have to fight the croc.

When Jack fires the flare it does not work but Cheetah fires it later and this brings Tarzan and Jane. Everyone laughs when Roger admits that. Ha ha.

In the last scene, Wolf has black marks on his chest as if he’s been scuffed again. What is that? Make up? Real life bangs and bruises from the stunts?

In that last scene, Cheetah releases the balloon, which is somehow ready to fly again, and Roger has to cling to the side. Or a stunt man or woman who looks NOTHING like Roger or Sean does. When Jack pulls Roger on board, Roger mentions, “No. I don’t want to go to Kansas.” Is this a reference to THE WIZARD OF OZ?

Tarzan does not get the reference but Jane will explain on the way home. Ha ha.

I’m so sorry, although there are strong contenders, possibly ONE only, for worst episode, this might be the worst episode so far. Visually, there’s nothing wrong with it, of course, the show is visually stunning. The lion comes from a waterfall area we’ve seen before but the rest of this looks lush. For some reason we seem to be avoiding Tarzan’s treehouse and even Jane’s base looks different when shown.

What’s wrong with this is that, aside from Jane and Tarzan foreplay which leads no where, this episode has no point other than to get to Jack and Roger who left stupidly and crashed stupidly AND to have Jane and Tarzan sort of flirt and tease. Oh, and a flashback to an episode that was made one episode again.

What’s the worst thing about this is…once more, ALL of Tarzan’s friends act incompetent, accident prone and downright stupid. Roger brags about knowing what to eat when he does not; if Cheetah weren’t along, they’d either go hungry until Tarzan found them or poison themselves; Jack can only thing of a bologna sandwich AND worse: he takes off the balloon without checking the valve line, wants Roger as his co pilot, and then wants to fly back with the others in his balloon. They’re smart not to go. Cheetah pulls the line and almost gets Roger killed (nice stunt work with the balloon and Roger clinging to it on the outside!).

Jane falls off the cliff by putting her back pack on while standing too close to it.  And drops the valve from the back pack!

In fact, Jack and Jane are probably stupider than Roger in this episode.

I can’t even say it’s an entertaining episode as Jack and Roger’s adventure goes nowhere and Jane and Tarzan talk. Tarzan gets to play hide and seek in a tree with a chimp and get the valve before a croc does.

It’s probably also one of the first episodes you might be able to say was boring if not for the Jane/Tarzan flirting. It is innocent by today’s standards but it is pretty and pretty sexual in a way. The brief bits of that are the highlight of a very badly plotted rest of the episode.

Balloons can often be used for a good excuse for an adventure as in FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON and the much maligned FLIGHT OF THE LOST BALLOON or in LAND OF THE GIANTS-TERROR GO ROUND and LAND OF THE LOST as well as at least on Lassie episode and one LITTLEST HOBO episode, each. They can be exciting, change locales, and present races or action in an unusual way. This does none of that.


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