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Volume 7552

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



“With you, Tarzan, I’m ready for anything.”

Okay, first, I’ve been doing this too long. I know they’re not but the credits look new to me somehow. I don’t remember Wolf running at the start of them or the stunt man being so noticeable as he swings early on in the credits. Like I wrote, too long. 65 episodes is a lot but I’ve cataloged other shows with many more episodes (DARK SHADOWS, DOCTOR WHO) so not sure what’s happening here. Need to move onto the Joe Lara era.

Dan’s journal: Monday the 1st  (1993 has Feb, March, and Nov; I can safely say that if the seasons go, like most TV shows from the 50s to the 2000s, from the end of one year to the first half the next year, that this is probably now 1994; 1994 has only August; 1997 has Sept and Dec; 1998 has only June). With the lack of care for time on this show it is difficult to say what the year is supposed to be. At this point, I’d say it is either early 1994 or August 1994 OR June of 1998 if we go by that one episode (DAMN!) where the criminal had served his time and was out of jail after that time. Sigh.

Dan’s journal gives us not one but two plot themes but again, with nothing spoiled. Something about symbols of the jungle and that, second, if you mess with the natural order of things in the jungle, you must suffer the consequences (as if this series has any consequences or suffering!).

Jane, Roger and Tarz’an (!) check a downed enclosure. Jane notes there was no storm last night and wonders how this happened. BTW Jane is wearing a top that is almost Tarzan like and worthy of Maureen O’Sullivan’s early (the first two?) more provocative jungle two pieces, the bottom piece here being cut off denims or something? Oh and now SHE’s wearing a head band. She wore this briefly in another episode with AND without the headband and the name of that episode was TARZAN AND THE SAPPHIRE ELEPHANT which is sort of ironic as…

Roger determines none of the animal patients are hurt and he recovers the fallen over Sapphire Elephant. Say, wasn’t Tarzan supposed to return that to the temple once the elephants were safely to the sacred ground? I mean why wait which was the beef I had with that earlier episode (it was in this season though) even though it was one of the better episodes.

Tarzan answers this in a few.

To help put the enclosure back up, Tarzan does the yell to call for Tantor’s help lift the roof back into place (though it looks like Tantor was already on her way anyway). When Tantor eyes the sapphire elephant, she backs off. Jane refers to Tantor as a “she” again.

Also note: I haven’t really been paying attention to Jane’s hair but here, I’ve noticed for the first time that…it looks blond (ish?) instead of brunette. Ish?

Tarzan takes the sapphire and tells Jane and Roger it is time: the elephants have passed the sacred ground and he must return the sapphire. What’s interesting is that in either air order or production order almost the same amount of episodes go by : six in air order and five in production order.

Also: I’m not sure I’ve made note of this before but Tarzan refers to himself in third person all the time. “Until it is home, Tantor will have no peace.”  Jane mentions the only way to the temple is through the fire fields (yes, again) and Roger mentions it is dangerous.

Later, at night, Tarzan tells Jane, Roger and Dan that many years ago the tribe known as Nuwandas (?) or Gowandas made this part of the jungle their home. Dan says that Ngombi told him about them. They were elephant worshippers and a couple of a thousand years ago, he said. Dan and Tarzan refer to Ngumbi as Poppa Ngombi. Who is this? We’ve heard mentions of him or elders like him. Is this Dan’s maternal grandfather? Someone just named Poppa? It’s one of the most annoying things about this series to just mention things here and there that feel like continuity but never really managing it.

Jane and then Tarzan mention Commissioner Claxton. Tarzan mentions that he took the sapphire to help Roger. The tribe learned to live without the things that the jungle could not give them. Tarzan explains that tribes worship animals for many things: the lion for its being brave, the Great Ape because he is smart and the elephant because he is the most powerful.

Wind blows out candles, opens the doors or windows, and the sapphire seems to glow. Is this supernatural? They hear an elephant sound.

Roger claims that since the elephant has been here it has been one accident after another: the shower collapsing, the wild boar stomping through camp. Dan adds something about a tree falling. Jane tells Dan that Tarzan told him it was….undecipherable …the ULONGA bugs, the subtitles on Amazon say.

Jane also thinks Tantor has the elephant colic to explain how she’s been acting.

Dan suggests that if the garlic he will pick up in town doesn’t work against supernatural stuff they can always eat pasta. Tarzan thinks the fire field is too dangerous for Jane to go with him.

Roger is superstitious and Jane didn’t know that.

Jane wants to take pictures of the temple so Tarzan will let him go with him. What?

Roger and Jane have a third change of clothes almost seven minutes in as the next day comes. Dan has a second change of clothing it seems. Jane and Tarzan take the jeep (he standing and holding onto the bar as usual) so far. Then, they walk. As they walk, they talk about the tribe, the elephant, and evolution. Tarzan thinks that Jane’s mind overworks so that she misses seeing what is right there. She wants to convince him someday that there is a logic to all this. She makes his point as she almost falls and he has to catch her.

Roger reads about primitive tribes believing some objects have magical powers. Roger ends up talking to Dan about the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France that date back to the Paleolithic Era, 14 thousand years BC.

Dan calls Roger little buddy again.

Dan and Roger see Cheetah jump on Tantor and then leave with the elephant. Roger thinks they are going to try to find Tarzan. Dan tells Roger to radio Jane and tell her but a scene later he is radioing Jane.

When Jane complains it is so hot, Tarzan claims there is no hurry and that they will rest at a cooling pond nearby. Jane claims Tarzan has kept this place a secret; he explains there are many secrets still in the jungle and there is a power behind the power of Jane’s science and that some cannot be explained by Jane’s science. As they talk about this, annoyingly, there are reeds of green that block their faces from the camera. This could be because Jane clings to his back and has her head seductively close to his own and he’s smiling. Maybe they were trying to block out any subtle sexuality here? Either way, it almost works both ways.

Jane pushes down on his shoulders and seems to playfully dunk him (as well as half her own face). He resurfaces behind her. He seems to hug her from behind. She laughs.

On the other hand, this doesn’t work. I’m not sure if it is because instead of focusing on their playful and almost sexual moments here, they continue their debate about science vs some science and when that stops and he resurfaces, he continues to ask her if she is ready for the caves.

I’m also not sure of their rapport, colored by my hearing how Lydie felt about Wolf (and I don’t agree with her at all; on the other hand, I’m still not sure about her as Jane either).

I’m also not sure that the makers of the show put those fucking reeds in the way to blind us to the fact that they didn’t have a rapport (which I think they did and do) or that they felt it was too sexual for a kid show (it’s not) or what or both.

Either way, it is a potentially great scene that only comes off as sort of nice and okay instead of powerful and playful and cementing their love rather than friendship.

This late in the series, it should have been the later and not the former but the show has lost all respect by this time as reaching for a somewhat adult take on TARZAN, which is NEVER was and never will be. It’s respectful in other ways, towards the audience I guess, but then why include a scene like this anyway? It’s almost a tease.

Roger tells Dan, when they cannot reach Jane, that they better get the tranquilizer gun. Do they really mean to tranquilize Tantor? And Cheetah?

Jane and Tarzan find a dead bird. Tarzan sniffs and deduces the gases from the fire field are spreading. They figure if there was an underground eruption and the fire field lies on a fault line and is disturbed any further, the whole jungle could be poisoned.

Shockingly, Cheetah falls off Tantor, face down. Jane and Tarzan find him and administer oxygen. Cheetah is called a “he.”

Dan and Roger arrive via jeep at his plane airfield…with a whole lot of dust. Jane contacts Roger. In their conversation, Jane refers to Tantor as a “he” now!? The plan: to blow up the fire field. What? Is that even possible? If an eruption is causing this, dynamite is the answer? Can’t that cause another eruption or a worsening of the one that’s already there?

In a few scenes, Cheetah, “sick” Cheetah anyway, looks like a doll. When Roger and Dan join Jane and Tarzan (pretty quickly, too), Roger pets…a doll Cheetah. In a later scene it’s the real chimp. Roger claims he and Cheetah will catch up later. Why? Why not bring Cheetah back to the compound now? Can’t be moved?

Dan, Jane and Tarzan go the fire field. Tarzan has to find the center hole to drop the dynamite in. In yet another impressive stunt/effect, Tarzan runs toward the area and a blast floors him, belly down. It’s hard to distinguish if it is Wolf or a stunt man or both but it really works well. In one terrifying moment, it looks like Wolf really was blasted by fires, somewhat seriously. On the way back, it is clearly the stunt double but it does not matter, it all looks terrific. Wolf, as I’ve always established, at least to me, looks, again to be the epitome of Tarzan, visually, except for the blond hair.

After a series of big blasts after Tarzan leaps back to his friends after a long run, Dan claims that he knows a couple of football teams that would be interested in him. This cleared the fire field, which might be Tarzan’s greatest challenge in this series.

Tarzan says that when one piece of the jungle is disturbed, all of the jungle suffers. Dan waits with Cheetah (and Jane and Roger keep telling Dan and Tantor and us that Cheetah is going to be okay) and Tantor while Jane and Roger follow Tarzan into the caves to return the sapphire. Not sure why all of them have to go in but we’ve seen these locations before and these traps. The traps are not emphasized, making this almost a useless sequence. It looks nice, though.

Before they can go in, we see an elephant shadow on the walls. Supernatural? Accompanying it we hear an elephant sound. There are the remains of those who tried to take the sapphire or ancestors of the tribal men?

Roger mentions he never thought he’d get to see this place again.

The first seconds of the trio going into the actual temple is in slow motion for some reason. Roger takes the knife out while Tarzan replaces the Sapphire Elephant, the counter balance. It glows and they hear the elephant sound.

Jane will not come back and video tape any of this. She claims she now thinks mysteries like this should remain unsolved. She’s learned the power of faith is strong. Some of what she says after that is beyond me. Had to check Amazon but the subtitles there didn’t help much as the dialog is fairly confusing. Something about our spirits kept holy and she must respect that. Sigh.

Jane has learned the wisdom of the elephants. I love spirituality in shows but this is just a mess and the dialog doesn’t help at all. I also love debates in shows but again, Jane seems to almost take one side and Tarzan seems to take another but both seem unconvinced by either their own side and/or the other side. The actual sides are unclear. He seems to think Science cannot explain everything, only some things, nor can books. She learned there are more things than can be explained. Not sure any of this is convincing. At all.

Roger gives Tarzan back his knife. Somehow, Roger and Tarzan’s scenes seem more convincing and their rapport, less focused on and with less dialog, seems to say more and convince more. Friendship, for sure but something more? Probably not. But Roger and Tarzan work more than Jane and Tarzan do, at least in this shaky episode.

After they leave, we hear more of the elephant “ghosts”.

This is production 315.

If I gave the impression I didn’t like this episode, I do. Like it. But as I’ve felt many times before, this episode has its deep flaws in the kid show premise and in the show itself by skirting serious issues and the dialog this time does NOT help or impress. It’s also a bit predictable. We’ve seen the fire field at least three times before this and we know how this will turn out. We’ve also seen the Sapphire Elephant temple and area around it. Cheetah being hurt is shocking and though we’re told he will be okay, we do not see an epilog where he is. The other thing that could have made this episode special is the Pond Swimming Scene but see above as to why it is not.

Visually, as ever, this episode is stunning. The lush jungles, the yellow and reds of the blasts and explosions, the stunts, the sense of urgency in the dynamite scene and the clothing and Wolf and Lydie looking absolutely perfect add up to an entertaining 23 minutes and a few seconds more. BUT…it could have been so much more. The show seems to be almost a tease right on the cusp of being so much more and then pulls back at the last second or earlier than even that from being anything different or taking the series into a new direction, afraid it will ruin the premise.

A reset button as in so many shows of 1950s to the 1990s (BUFFY changed a lot of that as did other series such as THE X FILES and even MILLENNIUM) is enacted and we’re back to where we were at the beginning of episode one of the first season, sort of. Tarzan and Jane seem more romantic than they did in that first episode but somehow it feels as if it might take to the end of the series or some r rated movie to consummate their sexual tension, IF there is any at all between this version of Tarzan and Jane.

On the plus side, Dan seems a useful character here.


“A man bent on revenge came to the jungle. He came to kill Tarzan.”
“You’re too late. Tarzan’s dead.”
“You know I never thought there’d be a time when Tarzan wasn’t around.”
“Yeah, I guess I thought he was eternal. Immortal, I don’t know.”
“Tarzan never killed anybody.”
“Dan and Roger are in danger. We must go.”

Dan’s journal: Wednesday the 16th: 1993 has June, 1994 has Feb, Nov, and March; 1997 has April and July; 1998 has Sept and December. “He came to kill Tarzan.”

A man named Michael Hauser consults a witch who makes a clay figure and she tells him she will make it a man, a boy, with a nerves to give pain to. Tarzan in his hammock wakes and seems to sense this. And he feels pain where she sticks the figure. She attacks his arm, eyes and upper stomach. He falls on the bridge, trying to get outside. Cheetah runs for Jane and wakes her up but Tarzan gets there moments later. Until Hauser burns the clay figure, Tarzan remains in a trance.

Running inside, Roger seems to …smile? Cheetah seems to have brought Roger to Jane’s and she instructs him to call Dan. Jane has stuck a wooden spoon (or something) in Tarzan’s mouth (to keep him from biting his tongue?). Blood is coming from his mouth!

Tarzan stops breathing. For a second Roger seems to be holding Tarzan’s arm and abs but he then seems to be giving him a heart starting procedure while Jane gives him mouth to mouth. Roger runs for the oxygen when this does not work but when he gets back Jane declares he is too late, “Tarzan’s dead.”

In the jungle, Hauser has a voice over memory of the witch who told him that he has 24 hours: if Tarzan is not burned in that time, he will live and the spell will be broken. I guess she means the body? Not the clay doll? I guess the show now commits to their being supernatural powers?

Jane puts Tarzan’s locket around his neck. She takes it from her things so maybe it is not HIS locket but one of her own? She kisses him. It is filmed from behind so we do not see their lips lock (and so was the CPR). Roger tells Cheetah that Tarzan is dead. Dan and Roger have Tarzan on a stretcher and will take him to the treehouse as per Jane’s request. How to say this? We see a lot more of Wolf’s right glute than usual. Also and forgive me: Jane does not seem to be wearing a bra?

I’ve not paid attention much to whoever is composing the music but it sounds, in this episode anyway, a lot like the music from FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES (which was mostly Fred Mollin, I believe).

Jane and Roger refer to Cheetah as a “he.”

When Jane goes outside after declaring she will stay with Tarzan’s body at night and that they will bury him tomorrow morning, Hauser arrives and pretends to be from the Geographic Traveler. He has a rifle. He claims to be here to do a photo shoot on Tarzan. When he believes she didn’t get his letter (he’s lying), she claims the mail is unreliable here. It never seemed to be in the past?!

She will show him to a guest tent for the night.

Roger and Dan discuss Tarzan. Roger never thought there would be a time Tarzan was not around. Dan guesses he thought Tarzan was eternal and immortal. Their conversation is as real as this show gets and it’s about grief. Roger tells Dan that he did something the other day and what he did doesn’t matter but he didn’t say he was sorry but wanted to and meant to but he didn’t and now Tarzan does not know. Dan tells him, “Most of all Tarzan knew you cared.”

In an odd moment, as Jane puts books in a box, wind blows another leather bound book slightly open?

Dan comes to Jane and deduces she is leaving as she packs. She cannot stay anymore. Dan hugs Jane after asking about “us” and her friends. Others, she said, can do her work but he hugs her as she cries. This shows off William Taylor’s acting abilities and proves he is one of the best actors to appear in any episode of this series.

Not sure if the next morning or if it is the same day but Hauser asks Dan and Roger what they are going to do with the body? He manipulates them into thinking about a Viking funeral for Tarzan: setting fire to a raft with the body on it at dawn.

Night: Moon: Jane is in her fringe tank top short crop shirt and headband. She is with Tarzan’s body. This is the most touching and sad episode up to now. She says, “I love you.”

Morning: Sun: Jane puts Tarzan’s favorite flowers on the raft, “Goodbye, my sweet prince.” She is wearing a loin cloth which might be the first time in the series that she does so. Roger has Tarzan’s bow and arrows. He puts them on the raft, “You may need these.”  Dan has Tarzan’s knife. He puts that on the raft, too. Jane runs off as the men, lead by Hauser (we’re not supposed to know that is his name yet), set fire to the raft.

Cheetah seems to alert Tantor and Numar and the trio run.

Roger turns back, “I feel like I’m deserting him. I’m going back. This doesn’t feel right.”  When Roger wants to turn back, Hauser pulls a gun, shocking Dan and Roger. He claims he wants Roger to go on a little errand.

Before the fire can reach the body, Tantor sprays the raft with water from her trunk and puts the fire out. She pulls the body off the raft onto the ground and pulls the purple sheet off Tarzan’s body.

Hauser claims Tarzan killed his brother who died at the Temple of the Sea Goddess. Roger claims Tarzan never killed anyone. “Tarzan never killed anybody.”

Dan tells him that Tarzan saved his brother but his brother was too greedy and ran back to get more treasure and the cave collapsed on him. This describes events, sort of, in TARZAN AND THE FORBIDDEN JEWELS (ep27) in the second season. Carl Hauser was also in ep2-TARZAN AND THE SILENT CHILD. Carl is also in ep8-RIVER OF DOOM where he is sentenced to five years and a 50 thousand dollar fine. HE is the reason we have to figure for five years between that episode and the one where he reappears, ep 27-FORBIDDEN JEWELS to place the year of the episodes after that one in season two. Also, oddly, in episode production number 48-TARZAN AND THE TOXIC TERROR, Karl reappears! AFTER HE DIED. This might be an argument for using air order as the sequence of episodes in order BUT TOXIC comes after JEWELS in air order, too. So either way Karl returns after he dies! AND before that he is in ep 27 after being sentenced to five years in prison in ep8…and nothing is said about his term being cut short!?

So continuity mishaps aside (discontinuity), Carl Hauser and his brother are the most prominent villains in sheer number of times they’ve been beaten by Tarzan. IMDB says Hauser was in TARZAN AND THE BROKEN PROMISE but trust me, HE IS NOT.

IMDB also claims James Healy was Carl Hauser in alternately five episodes and six episodes. He was not. He was in four.

As for him being dead in an episode and then reappearing a bit later: it doesn’t make sense but on the other hand, if we figure the connection to a witch here, maybe Karl Hauser (Carl?) found a way to come back from the dead at least one that we were not privy to?

Even more puzzling…when Roger asks how Michael killed Tarzan, he says, “With a little help from my friends.” Plural. We only saw the witch. Was there someone else?

Michael wants the treasure. His brother wrote to him about it.

Tantor uses her trunk to wake Tarzan up. Tarzan says something like, “Tatonga” or “the tonga”. Meaning? The witch? The spell?

Tantor uses her trunk to help Tarzan do an ab crunch. Or sit up.

Cheetah screams. He returns to Jane and hold her hand. She wants him to leave her alone but with more prodding, he gets her to follow him. Jane seems to understand Cheetah the least of the trio of Tarzan, Jane and Roger.

Numar tracks Hauser who has Dan and Roger with their hands tied behind their backs.

In order to get Dan to tell the true path to the Temple, Hauser elbows Roger in the stomach and then threatens him with a machete.

NOTE: we also see Jane’s navel for the first time.

Cheetah takes Jane to Tarzan and Tantor. He tells her Titunga casted a spell and he is not dead. She jumps into his arms and just as things seem to get romantic or heated up, they switch scenes to the captives and Hauser. Why the sudden fear of showing them being romantic and kissing? Maybe reactions from previous episodes? Maybe cowardice?

Jane pronounces the witch name as Catunga. Whaaa? Is her name?

Numar comes to Jane and Tarzan and communicates to Tarzan that Dan and Roger are in danger. Jane does not understand Numar but Tarzan does. In one of the only times I can recall, we see close up shots of the two of them in the same scene/shot as the lion.

Tarzan makes a sound that Dan fakes to Mike is hyenas coming to feed. Both Roger and Dan know it is Tarzan and smile. Tarzan appears to Hauser who starts shooting at him but then returns to Dan and Roger, who have both been freed by Jane but all three are now targets as Hauser confronts them. NOTE: Dan has a lot of sweat all over him up and down. Dan’s hands are still tied when Mike reappears.

Tarzan tries a ploy: that his spirit will not rest. If so he might not have yelled like a living man?
Hauser takes the doll to threaten Tarzan. He claims it is still cursed.

Tarzan drops from the caves and fights Hauser. Jane rescues the doll from the fire Hauser threw it in. After a good fight, Tarzan beats Hauser to the ground. Jane and Tarzan hug closely.

Later Tarzan comes up behind Jane and brings her flowers. She has a ring on. Tarzan spoke to Kungtunga and she promised not to use her bad magic again. Jane says that Hauser won’t be back again. HOW does she know?

She explains she could not live here without him. They declare their “care” for each other. She touches his hair, face, and chest. They hug again.

Production 316.

Okay, this is either the best episode of the entire series or one of the most frustrating. It starts out well enough with everyone displaying their grief over Tarzan’s death. I’m not sure this went far enough but it really was touching, the most touching of any episode. Then, we get Jane’s upset-ness. Would she really leave? And leave all the work she AND Tarzan cared about? Leave Cheetah and the others? Then, as ever, the “love” stuff isn’t taken far enough either and in many ways this episode holds back more than previous episodes. We cut away from ANYTHING that might be deemed as romantic or sexual or both. It’s almost as if the show is teasing us and is too cowardly to show anything, even a kiss, which they’ve shown before. It’s one of the most frustrating things about making Tarzan a kid’s show.

Not sure but the next one, the Joe Lara series, goes a whole different route and I’m not sure I’ve seen all of them or even one full episode but it was so STAR TREK/STARGATE/STARWARS I lost interest fast and without Jane or a Tarzan I could really like (no offense, I loved Lara in TARZAN IN MANHATTAN) it really felt like it wasn’t even Tarzan. I don’t know if he ever even had any romantic endeavors or aspirations in that show but more on that later. There’s still nine more episodes to go in the Wolf show.


“Everything is business nowadays, isn’t it? That’s the problem with the world.”
“You’re very lucky. To live here. To have a friend like Tarzan.”

Note: Almost every title with exceptions is TARZAN AND THE as here, TARZAN AND THE KING OF THE APES.


Season three had EVERY title being an “AND…” with only one not having the “THE” after the “AND” as in TARZAN AND CHEETAH’S DESPERATE ADVENTURE.

Dan’s journal: Wednesday the 2nd: 1993 (which at this point it is not reasonable to believe it is still 1993, maybe?) has June; 1994 has Feb, Nov, and March; 1997 (included here for completion) has April and July; and 1998 has Sept and Dec.

A word about this: this is not a great way to set up an order, fictionally. I understand they didn’t want to date the episodes by year because TV execs and even some writers and producers do not want to date the show, making it feel “old” before its time.

Fiction wise this makes little sense but business wise, it does make some sense. It does however leave little for those of us that love timelines and continuity and a time and a place as part of a setting in a universe (or as in this show, three universes, one for each season). This doesn’t establish the month or the year and barely establishes place. We can guess it is Africa but not being filmed there…it has the same issue Ely’s Tarzan often did.

Irwin Allen’s shows established a year some of the time but almost never established month or date, with some rare exceptions (LOST IN SPACE-THE KEEPER and VISIT TO A HOSTILE PLANET). Even then, when it tried as in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, it presented with two episodes, one in season one (THE EXILE) and one in season two (AND FIVE OF US ARE LEFT), two of the best.

However, the year dates tend to show that the season two episode took place BEFORE the season one episode. This would be fine but…the Seaview itself changed inside (the nose and the control room was combined in season two) AND the addition of the Flying Sub (which started to feature only in season two onward) to THE EXILE would have solved that episode’s main problem if IT WERE in the show at the time.

I digress. Now, back to TARZAN (long sound on the A?).

Dan explains that a gentle man is visiting. That makes for a change. He is older and has not been to the jungle for a long time.

Roger and Jane are sorting gorilla fur for a Dr. Rains, that Jane feels has more important work to do than that, so they are doing it. Rains taught Jane to love the jungle, to be organized, and to observe. Not sure I like Jane’s treatment of Roger here: she tells him those things he would be wise to learn and then she pats his head, leaving him to do the work.

Rains is with Dan in the jeep when Tarzan’s yell makes him have Dan stop it. Tarzan, swinging, does the yell again. It happens before the commercial break and after. When Rains thinks it is the male gorilla, Dan says, “Gorilla? Are you ever in for a surprise.”  Rains feels that the male gorilla is mostly bluff. Tarzan swings to them and Dan says, “Meet Tarzan.”

Okay, two things: this is Jane’s mentor and he doesn’t know about Tarzan, it seems at first. He asks where Tarzan learned the victory cry of the apes. Tarzan tells him that he grew up with the great apes. The man than tells him he’s heard so much about him. What? And not that basic fact? Cheetah is helping Roger categorize the gorilla fur but keeps handing him back the same one. This is when Rains arrives.

This shows Roger chastising Rains and saying he can sort his own fur when Rains arrives and overhears this, before able to announce his arrival. He also came here without giving notice to Jane. He shakes Roger’s hand and tells him he is Dr. Clyde Rains. Jane returns and passes Roger who tells her he is not angry. NOTE: this takes the production order commonly known into question because the clip of Roger just as he shakes hands with Rains is taken from this episode and put into the opening credits. If they filmed this, this late into season three, how did they have it for the opening credits? And it’s late in air order, too.

Before Jane arrives into his tent, Cheetah sees Rains taking pills. In the next scene, after Jane remeets her mentor in his tent, Roger…wait, what is with Roger’s buffed up hair in this scene? He wants to show Rains how smart Cheetah is. He wants to convince Rains the new field is in chimp communications. Cheetah nods his head up and down. Roger dreams of going on the talk show circuit for “us.”

Rains’ political work and on international law to help the jungle has relied on him relying on friends’ kindness for the field work. Tarzan joins Jane and Rains as they talk about the gorillas. They are being chased by bandits and poachers. Rains feels they are being killed and the species is in danger. Tarzan will never let the species die out. Later, in a short scene, Tarzan gathers more fur.

Night: Dan, Rains and Jane finish dinner and Dan seems to spoil the ending of a book for Cheetah…or something. He says the butler did it. Rains was one of the first to study the mountain gorillas. Rains was last here 20 years ago.

Cheetah wears Rains’ glasses. He tried to communicate with two captive gorillas using sign language. He realized what gentle, intelligent creatures they were feeling, sensitive beings. He came to the jungle after that to see them in their full glory.

While I appreciate what he’s saying here, something feels off about it. He calls the gorillas not mere lab pets…so…he thinks other animals are? And that other animals are not sensitive, feeling beings? This makes him a bit of a jerk. OR the writer.

Rains then describes the horrors of how gorillas are murdered and their hands used for ash trays! Their heads for trophies. What is wrong with mankind? Rains thinks if it continues, this mass murder will make the gorilla, for their children’s children will only be mythical creatures like the dragon and the unicorn.

Tarzan arrives and thinks it would be better if humans learned Cheetah’s language. He thinks humans are smart enough to learn but not smart enough to try.

Rains wants to find the Bengali or Bendali troop of gorillas. Their leader he called Bencuba. Or Macuba. Cheetah wants to go with Rains when Tarzan takes him to the gorillas. Or so he thinks. Tarzan leads Rains and Jane. He chats with a small monkey that is on an overhead tree and is led by that monkey on the trail.

Despite Jane telling Rains he should rest, he insists they find them, gently. Tarzan finds the gorillas have moved on and he does not know which trail. They go on to find them, anyway.

Roger’s been at showing Cheetah sign language cards for three hours and when Cheetah complains, Roger thinks if Coco the Gorilla can do it, so can Cheetah. Real world vs fictional world? He tries to use a banana to get Cheetah to continues but he leaves. Roger tells him to think about the book rights.

Tarzan tells Clyde, “In the jungle, there is no shame in sickness.”

Clyde tells Jane that with the medication he might live three to six months, maybe a year. He is very ill. Jane and Clyde can’t find his pills: they are not in the bag. Tarzan takes off into running.

Roger’s shirt on the back says SHARK. The tent Cheetah goes to hide in says EUREKA. And what is that shrine like stone structure to our left and Roger’s right as he searches for Cheetah? Jane calls Roger.

We see a lot of the compound.

Cheetah has the pills. What is not clear is if Cheetah took the pills as earlier he was interested in them or if he realized the doctor needed them BEFORE Jane called.

Jane tells Roger they are in the clearing just south of the Sementi hills. Or possibly Grumeti, which is a real place in Africa. It is in Tanzania.

However, not sure gorillas are there: see:

Rains says something about spending his life (blanking) at wind mills. Spitting? Ewl? What does he say? Tilting at windmills. What does that mean?

Jane tells Rains that apart from Dian Fosey, he has done more than anyone else. Rains says now Dian is dead.

Via jeep, Roger goes to Dan and they fly over the area, looking for the clearing.

Roger tells Dan he is positive Jane said below the Semanti Hills.

Tarzan has made a fluid that will ease the pain for Rains and tells Jane that his heart will not quit if it has hope.

As they rush to signal the plane, Wolf, for the first time I’ve ever seen, shakes his head to clear his face of his long hair.

Roger drops the pills out of the plane. The pills are on a parachute.

The plane says JBH. It also has a designation number on the tail.

Tarzan draws his knife when he find a lion near the pills but the lion just walks off. Tarzan runs and then we cut to stock of the gorillas, large and babies. The trio find the troop. Jane says it has grown since they last saw them. These are the Bengali/Bendali apes.

Rains sees and approaches the gorilla he knew. It seems to run away. Jane comforts Rains by telling him they are surviving because of him and people like him. He thanks his friends, Tarzan and Jane.

I can’t help but wonder if there was a better, more dramatic way to end this episode. Perhaps if when Tarzan and Jane left Rains alone, the gorilla or gorillas were around him to comfort him? Or maybe if Rains had a more joyous reunion with his gorilla? Either way, it might have been more unrealistic but more satisfying to end the episode.

Instead we get Rains crying and yes, this is probably the most touching episode up to now and might make you cry. BUT at the same time it feels a bit…of a let down, as most episodes do, in that Rains doesn’t seem to get a full on hug from his gorilla as we’ve seen other gorillas do in a real life. Also, though it’s due to budget, the show has to use stock footage for the gorilla/Rain reunion. It’s not a great reunion if I’m honest.

Later, for not the first time, Tarzan sneaks up behind Jane and puts a necklace of flowers around her neck, not unlike the way Hawaii airport staffers do when you land there. Tarzan was in the mountains and saw the gorillas. They have moved to a higher ground and will be safe. For now. Some time seems to have gone since the Rains visit. Jane has a letter from Clyde. He underwent some more therapy and it’s bought him time. He told her that legislation to protect the gorilla has finally become law. Tarzan hopes the poachers obey the laws. She feels like it is a losing battle but he tells her it is not a losing battle.

It ends with haunting footage of the gorillas.

Then, Wolf narrates, “Today there are less than 650 mountain gorillas still living in the jungle due to poaching and man’s destruction of their habitat, they are now an endangered species.” We hear one of them slightly roar.

A haunting ending rather than the HA HA laugh at that ending we usually get.

Production 317.

A different and unique episode for a number of reasons. Still, it is not without its flaws. Did Rains forget his meds? Did Cheetah steal them? Either way it makes Rains or Cheetah very dumb. Apart from that, it’s a nice episode. The narration at the end is unique and I’m surprised an episode like this didn’t happen far sooner in the life of a show about Tarzan, even this kiddie one.

What’s frustrating, again, about this show and this episode is that it has the feeling of being unfinished or unrefined. It could have been so much better (see above). For one, the gorillas. For an episode about gorillas, it feels daft to only have them represented by stock footage and not interact AT ALL with any of the human characters.

Instead we get a lion and yes, in the same shot as Tarzan again. And is this the same lion that plays Numar? BUT this lion looks great (as does Numar in his eps) but Tarzan as in past iterations does not wrestle with it. It just walks away.

There’s little drama here other than WILL RAINS DIE while waiting for his medication? Then, the entire thing hinging on the reunion of Rains his alpha (?) gorilla, the show sort of blows it by being almost too realistic in that nothing happens other than it runs away from Rains and doesn’t seem to recognize him and the dialog doesn’t really help much.

Still, this is a warm touching episode. BUT as ever, it could have been so much better if there were more money given to it and/or it was just slightly more adult.


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