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Volume 7542

TARZAN TV SERIES ~ 1991-1994
Starring Wolf Larson as Tarzan and Lydie Denier as Jane
Reviews by Charles Mento



“Cheetah! Tantor! Stop! You’re heading for trouble!”

One of the clips when Sean’s name is seen in the opening credits came from TARZAN AND THE MYSTERIOUS SHEIK.

Jack’s journal is Monday the 4th. This is May and March in 1992. It is Jan and October in 1993. It is August in 1997. It is May in 1998. Jack reveals he always wondered whether animals felt things like people or not and that today he learned the truth.

Roger feels Cheetah’s learning to read is just another failed experiment.

Jane’s top is quite revealing.

Roger sings some excerpts (?) such as : Scoobity Doobity? And Razz Ma Tazz? Scooby Do Wop Be? Tantor bothers Roger as he’s writing.

Jack tells Tarzan every time they’ve cleaned out poachers, another group appears.

Jack thinks a lion nearby might be Numa but it is a lion Tarzan does not know. Tarzan swings to the trees to draw it away from Jack, who is behind the jeep. Several shots of the lion jumping with Tarzan swinging in the same shot are impressive. The actor playing Jack does a great job of feeling scared and urgent. Well done. The lion leaps for Tarzan and again in the same shot at times. It’s very impressive but it gives up when it cannot catch Tarzan.

Tarzan is jovial about the whole thing and apparently, since he does not comment on its meaning, has heard the phrase, “More than one way to skin a cat.” Jungle fires have made the herds move to new areas. Jane and Roger must be warned not to come to the area until all the animal traps are removed. The two are going to put animal sensors up today.

Jane yells at Cheetah to get away from the area. Roger does the same to Tantor. Jane agrees that they are only trying to help but sometimes they do get in the way.

Tarzan swings in after Cheetah on Tantor leaves. He tells them not to go to the Zunuba area today. As they look for Tantor and Cheetah at the compound, we get a good look at it, possibly for the first time this season and…it doesn’t look much like the first season compound. OR does it?

The two have left a note GOODBYE and Tarzan asks the other two which one of them will explain. Jack sees the two animals and they ignore his warnings. Cheetah has even been covering up Tantor’s tracks.

This premise, the animals running away from the others after being hurt or upset, reminds me of at least a few of the Ely Tarzan episodes.

Tantor scares the lion away from Cheetah who fled up a tree.

Wait. Why are Jane and Roger proceeding with the placing of the sensors when Tarzan warned them NOT to?

Wolf has, as he tracks Tantor and Cheetah, dirt on his face. At first, Tarzan is amused Cheetah has used a branch to cover up the tracks. Wolf’s never looked better than in this episode, eight pack, perfect hair, skin and everything else. He looks the perfect Tarzan.

As the lion tracks them, Tantor steps into a rope trap. Cheetah was climbing on it so I’m not sure of the significance of that. Jack must have lost Cheetah but he calls Jane and thinks it might be Cheetah trying to join a chimp family but he’s not close enough to make a positive ID. Jack has a lagoon between himself and the chimps but he thinks Jane and Roger are closer to the chimps.

Jane thinks those chimps will tear Cheetah apart. There is no explanation of this and why they think that. Is that chimp behavior? WHY then would Cheetah attempt this?

Tantor’s trap looks like a yellow spear is pointed at him.

Tarzan btw has a headband on the entire ep.

Tarzan saves Tantor, freeing him and cutting the spear assembly apart in anger. Tantor seems to be called a HE here? Maybe? A good sequence.

Running from the lion, Cheetah falls into a pit. He throws rocks at the lion, who sticks his face into the hole. Tarzan lures the lion away and says something odd, “Lion can catch Tarzan, lion can eat.” Why wouldn’t he fight it? Chasing Tarzan, the lion falls into a pit.

Despite Cheetah’s protests, Tarzan frees the lion from the pit.

Jane tells Roger, “Tarzan said never go in the jungle alone. You know that.”

Jane and Roger stumble into the jungle to find the chimps as Tarzan reaches their empty jeep. Jack calls and tells them (but they do not hear; Tarzan does) that it was not Cheetah with the chimp pack.

Roger gets himself trapped in a hanging net over the lion and the rope is about to break. In another spectacular sequence and stunt, Tarzan swings to him, catches the rope and breaks Roger’s fall as the lion is scared off.

WHY have dumbos Jane and Roger separated?

Jane finds…shockingly what looks like a dead coyote hanging by a leg and she almost steps into a jagged bear trap!

Jane trips a wire that makes a giant log fall at her but Tarzan catches it and diverts it away. WHAT does Jane say when Roger finds them? “Ahh, the little ones?” OR, “How are the little ones?” What? It turns out she asked that about Tantor and Cheetah but Tarzan asks which little ones, “Tantor and Cheetah or Jane and Roger.”  And though, this is an exciting and for once, very danger filled episode, even shocking at times, this presents one of the problems the show had from the very start: making Tarzan’s friends, both animals and humans, dumb enough to get into trouble to be rescued from. BUT what great rescues this time out!

Later, back at the compound, Jane and Roger, Tarzan tells the two animals, love them. They sometimes say things they do not mean. The new lion is with them. Tarzan will go to the herds and the lion will follow.

The production number is 210.

This is a good episode but see above.


“Tarzan. It seems like you’re always saving my life.”
“Unusual man.”
“Jungle is not safe for Jane Porter and Roger Taft Jr.”
“Tarzan will not always be there to protect you.”

Jack’s journal, Friday the 15th. This journal also states a possible timeline, for the first time other than the one time they mentioned the year. Jack states that Jane and Roger have been in the jungle a whole year (so…1991 to 1992? So this IS still 1992?).

1992 has this date on a Friday only in May. 1993 has it in Jan and October. 1997 has this only in August. 1998 has this only in May.

Roger falls off a ladder putting up a banner or poster celebrating their year here. Cheetah escapes a snake, picking flowers but Jane wonders where the flowers are and goes to get some more. She’s unaware of a huge snake in a tree over her and it falls on her. Cheetah didn’t warn her? Tarzan saves her and without killing the very thick snake. We see a lot of Wolf, let’s leave it there. Tarzan has no head band on.

Jane flashes back, dreamily, to the first time they met. Tarzan and Cheetah are watching a jeep and troupe tramp through the jungle. Roger calls Jane Miss Porter. Jane looks at a butterfly or some other kind of flying insect when a lion shows up but Jane refuses to let her guide shoot it. Jane diverts a shot which blows a jeep tire and the guides flee as the lion comes at Jane. Tarzan uses his crossbow to fire an arrow onto a large fruit that falls off a tree and scares the lion off the front of the jeep from where it was menacing Jane and Roger. He gives a Tarzan yell.

The yell scares the guides completely away.

Jane, against Roger’s warning, goes off into the jungle to find the porters, hoping they didn’t run off too far. Tarzan sort of stalks her from the vines of trees. Tarzan fire an arrow to ward off a small snake which Jane does not see and she runs, declaring, “Savages! Savages!”

Tarzan drops a vine around her and pulls her up to him (the stunt person is climbing the tree). Tarzan meets her in the tree and then swings behind her WITH her.

Cheetah confronts Roger on the jeep and he thinks Cheetah will bite him but Tarzan tells him he will not bite Roger. Roger looks Tarzan up and down. Roger’s dad told him to finish college first. Roger tries to shake hands with Tarzan but Tarzan tells them both to leave the jungle. He does not care what the people in Bendali say, he does not want them here.

After Cheetah stymies Roger’s efforts to put up a tent, he chases the chimp toward a lagoon which Roger thinks is a great place to set up camp instead. It’s strongly implied, when Jane tells Roger Taft Jr not to go swimming with her, that she’s naked as she goes for a swim in the lagoon. A croc comes after her and Cheetah alerts Tarzan who runs to the water, dives in and fights the croc.

Tarzan tells Jane that he never heard Kala speak the way Jane speaks. The females did not disobey their leader Kershak when he spoke. He tells her that Kala raised him and that she was an ape. As she rants about not being helpless (she really is) and leaves, ranting that she can take care of herself, Cheetah has her hat on his head and Tarzan is amused by it all soon enough.

At night, Roger and Jane, away from the lagoon, sit in the tent, eating from cans. Roger is shirtless and Jane wears a long T shirt. A lion, which Roger says will never come into a tent, comes into the tent. This is Numa and Tarzan comes in and tells the lion Numa to go. Roger wants Tarzan to make Numa be friends with he and Jane. Jane rebuffs Tarzan, who turns down her request to eat with them out of cans. Roger has on some kind of pendant around his neck on a leather rope. Roger tells Tarzan he respects his way of life. Roger tells him that he and Jane would never harm the jungle but would work to maintain the natural environment. He is sorry they couldn’t be friends.

Roger calls Tarzan Mr. Tarzan.

Tarzan does not want the outside world to know about the jungle. Then, more people would come. Jane tells him they would work in privacy and make sure the Bendali gov’t could be convinced of how important their work will be and keep it going. NOTE: This proves NOT to be true and more people DO come to the jungle but it’s unclear is that is due to Jane and her work (SOME of it obviously is as some of the visitors are due to Roger and Jane!).

Tarzan refuses to help them find an area to build a camp, refuses to give them a few weeks to prove themselves and tells Jane that it is easy to talk the truth but harder to live it. He also claims people always come to the jungle to take, not to give. Tarzan will not let that happen.

We also hear hyena.

In the morning, Roger has on a short sleeve vest with no shirt underneath (Sean seems to be showing off his upper body this season a lot more). Saving Roger from a snake (they’re really pesky in this ep), Cheetah gets bitten (it looks like a cobra?).

When Tarzan is grateful for them saving Cheetah’s life, Roger tells Tarzan, Cheetah (using “he”) saved his life first.

Tarzan shows them (riding on Tantor) where they can have a base. Long ago, a missionary lived here. During the fixing up montage (Tarzan, Tantor, and Cheetah helping), Roger is shirtless, too. Tarzan had to finish Jane’s present after it was done and comes to the “open house” slightly late. It is a bikini he made for her!?! Roger comments, “It’s a pretty nice bikini!”

It is for Jane to swim in. Jane invites Roger on their swim but he is going to check out the area with Cheetah.

Tarzan will show Jane his favorite place to swim.

He gives her flowers then and now in the present. She kisses him and the angle is hard to tell if it was on the cheek or on the lips.

Tantor takes the ladder from under Roger when he’s hanging decorations (flowers? Lights?) and Roger seems to refer to Tantor as a “her”. Jack drank a fruit juice to toast Jane’s first year in the jungle. The trio rush out to see Roger dangling. Tarzan tells Roger to just say please, which he does. The others all laugh at this and think it is funny. Roger doesn’t think it is. Nor do I.

This episode has a caption before the end credits: dedicated to the memory of Miguel Tafich. He was the set designer.

This is production 211.


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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