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Volume 7679a

 Tarzan: The Epic Adventures ~ XVIII

Review by Charles Mento

Series Star:
Joe Lara as Tarzan
List of Credits is Featured in ERBzine 7670

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“This week on TARZAN!”

As they watch a native wrestling match (a big man defeating a skinny “kid”) Themba reveals to Tarzan he was second in his weight class at Oxford. Chief M’boko wants Themba to honor him, kindly, if he would take his son M’Taki’s opponent’s place in the second match. The opponent fell ill. The tribe is called the Ngomo (the sub titles have it as that and as Ingomo). All of this is played lighthearted. The son next to the chief is a handsome but lean boy. Tarzan tells Themba this tribe takes their wrestling very seriously. M’boko tells Themba not the son next to him but the taller, thicker, more muscled son in front of them that Themba only now sees.

Tarzan talks to Nadona, who is sister to the wrestler defeating Themba in a comedy routine. Themba is shirtless as he wrestles.

Tarzan takes a drink of some kind and has a vision of purple alien woman delivering a baby that Tarzan later calls not human and of an alien place he’s never been before. And there is blood on Tarzan’s hands that he says is from the baby. Disturbing.

The medicine man thinks Tarzan has a curse or spell on him and the chief tells Tarzan he has no choice and that he must have Tarzan leave. Tarzan and but not shirtless Themba, leaves.

Tarzan has a vision when he smells his hand: alien soldiers, a strange sea and women strapped down.

As he does, alien warrior soldiers kidnap Nadona.

Tarzan promises to bring the girl, the chief’s daughter, back. When on the well, ready to plunge down it or climb down it, a fly lands on Lara’s head and he leaves it there.

He follows the kidnappers into the well, where there is green water? He lands in a swirling, camera crazy world that soon stabilizes around him.

He hides from men on motorcycles and in dune buggies (?) and other vehicles who seem to be hunting one Carson Napier, urging him to be their brother. Tarzan seems to be on a rocky world, seemingly another planet?

This is a crossover with another ERB novel series:

The leader orders Carson shot on sight. After the men ride off, another one, in similar gear (mask, cape, lots of covering) taps on Tarzan from behind but does not attack him. Tarzan knocks him down but has to stop when acid rain hits and Tarzan is burned and has to hide under a rock covering. The man gets protective covering for Tarzan and later helps ease his burns. He puts green stuff on Tarzan that makes the burns vanish instantly.

Tarzan punches the man down; the man knows his name as Lord Greystoke. The man tells Tarzan they are on Amtor a planet in the Centurian galaxy many miles from Earth (so NOT Venus then?). The man tells Tarzan he sent him the vision via telepathy, a little skill he picked up in Tibet. He introduces himself as Carson Napier, anthropologist.

Carson saw them kidnap women as breeders and he followed them back through the well. The alien woman are sterile from the polluted planet. Carson can solve the destruction of the planet and wants Tarzan to help him do so. Tarzan is quite savage toward Carson and only wants to know if the aliens are using the Ngomo women as breeders and where Nadona is.

Filo, a more human man who is purple and has slicked back hair, reports to a more alien leader who has no hair and strange alien features. Filo wants their arrangement to be fulfilled. The leader asks if he spoke to Dwari about this. She failed to show for her review of the guard? What? She is his daughter. The leader talks about the Thar-ban who would find it difficult to control that daughter of his. Filo calls this alien leader the Yan and Yan is in need of an Amtoran heir.

Filo leaves as Dwari enters. Filo is the captain of the guard. Dwari knows Filo wants to join with her and only because he drools over the Yan’s throne. Dwari is in love with Carson and The Yan knows this.

An X8C3B is Carson’s gun to bring Amtor back to life. He’s created a formula to neutralize the acid by firing it into the sky via the rocket launchers. The salve used on Tarzan is a derivative of the formula.

Mintepp, lord and ruler of Amtor has the formula but Carson cannot make more because he does not have the chemical components to make more.

Carson gives Tarzan food that Tarzan seems to enjoy too much in a comedic moment. Ha ha.

Themba find out what happened. The chief is making the well a tomb by boarding it up…with branches? There is a boy that looks like the boy from last episode. Themba climbs down the well to Amtor.

Dwari comes to Carson and they kiss. She soon wants to have their baby using a human female. Carson tells her he does not approve of using humans this way. Hidden, Tarzan watches and listens. He seems to enjoy watching them kiss!

Dwari tells Carson that her father, the Yan, Mintepp, does not have his formula. She sees Tarzan’s boots sticking out from behind a curtain and moves the curtain to only find boots and no Tarzan.

NOTE: Carson and Themba seem taller than Tarzan.

When Tarzan appears a few moments later, Dwari gets mad that Carson did not trust her and she leaves.

Dwari’s father tells her that Carson’s formula is designed to control their minds, to ease their sufferings and free them, escape from it to free them rather than help them use their own minds to work through it. Huh?

Themba wakes up in a medical unit where he debates with an alien purple woman who is a doctor who is going to have Nadona bear a child!

Mintepp keeps the lab near the people to give the impression he is working for them. Tarzan already pointed out tunnels but now asks if there is another way. Carson tells him now that there are underground tunnels to get in. Carson tells Tarzan he is an anthropologist who hates bugs. Comedic moment. Carson tells him about the Thar-Ban, one bug you do not want to find yourself in an altercation with.

Tarzan smiles until Carson gives in.

The doctor shows Themba burns on her arms for not obeying orders. After she tells him about Carson Napier who gave them hope but might be dead, Themba tells her someone must carry on for him.

As Tarzan and Carson, in hooded cloaks, move through the people or workers, one (female?) tries to take Tarzan’s hood off for some reason. Carson just moves her or his arm away. What?

When the card doesn’t open the door, Carson worries they changed the code but Tarzan just kicks the door in. The doctor is named Zura. Zura will reverse the process on Nadona. I guess she was going to change her into an alien to breed?

Two women (?) including Nadona go into the platform to the well with Themba to go back to Africa, Earth.

Before the other three can, the motorcycle brigade come. Carson and Zuna go to delay them. The men start firing lasers and are bad shots. Tarzan, to escape, goes to the platform, too.

Predictably, Zura is shot and killed.

Themba wants to accompany Tarzan back to find Napier but Tarzan wants him to stay because there may be another raid.

Does that mean he wants Themba to organize a resistance if there is another raid? Or did he mean a raid to find the rebels on the other planet?

Dwari visits Carson in prison. He admits that his immune system is depleted and he may be dying. She tells him she betrayed him and no one was supposed to get hurt. She thought he and her father could reconcile. He already has forgiven her.

She then tells him she has always known where the formula is. What a jerk she is. He tells her to find Tarzan.

Tarzan vs the motorcycle men. He knocks one off a bike and takes his gun and fires it, setting one of them on fire. With fire on his bike and his back, he crashes off a cliff and falls into a lake.

Hi jinks with a motorcycle as Tarzan tries to figure out how to ride one. He doesn’t, acting like an ape who is confused by it. He runs.

Tarzan finds Dwari who tells him that her father betrayed her when he figures out she betrayed Carson. The place where her father keeps it is empty. Tarzan knocked two guards’ heads together and they fell, even though they had on helmets.

The former Yan gave too much love to his people, Carson yells at Minntep when he is put in the spider pit to be fed to it: the giant spider is the Thar Ban. Minntep tells Carson that they are in this mess due to the former Yan.

The Yan has the formula thrown down to Carson in the pit.

Did I miss something? Suddenly, Tarzan dives into the pit. No one shoots lasers at him? Dwari is there somewhere, too. BUT what’s odd is someone is in a buggy firing lasers back at them. It is Themba? Wot?

Tarzan jumps on the back of the spider. Dwari stops her father shooting Tarzan. They struggle and one of them is shot.

So, one Themba holds off an entire troop of guards? Tarzan and Carson rush out from under the guards and aren’t shot? Carson says his Indiana Jones line of how he hates bugs. Only in Indiana, it was snakes.

Though it looked like Dwari was shot, it was her father.

I remember coming into this episode somewhere during a laser battle when it first aired and frankly, it was not what I wanted out of a Tarzan. Seeing it now, it’s not bad. It IS straight forward action adventure but it still feels as if Tarzan is a sort of guest star in a show that’s not his own or in his own show. Additionally, it doesn’t feel like a Tarzan story at all. It’s almost Stargate or Star Trek.

Tarzan takes the gun terret and blows up one of the pursuing vehicles.

Napier suddenly becomes Dr. Smith of LOST IN SPACE and yells, “We’re gonna die!”

In what looks like a dangerous stunt, Tarzan leaps from one vehicle to the other (the actual leap is not Lara but the start of it and the end of it IS). Not sure why Filo wanted to get his vehicle so close when all he had to do was shoot his laser at it but there you go.

Tarzan beats Filo and the other man, the driver and throws another one off (I think!?) and drives it. As Filo starts to wake up, Tarzan punches him.

Carson and Themba load the formula (it must be the chemicals and not just a formula on paper) into the war head into the rocket launcher.

In another comedy moment, Carson says, “I sure hope it works,” and Tarzan says, “What?”  He explains and Tarzan wants to throttle him. “Am I gonna get hit again?”

It works. It rains.

Carson says, “Damn it, rain.”

THEN, what? Carson calls to Filo, “Filo! It worked!” Filo, who’s been trying to kill him and the others all along, waves to them. WHAT?

Minntep dies, saying that the legacy is reserved for better ones than he.

The dark cloud over the planet (a lens of some special effect?) lifts and we see it in full color for the first time.

Tarzan says, “I guess you won’t be needing me anymore.”

Carson gives Tarzan something to activate the well that will seal the portal. Tarzan realizes Carson is not coming. He will stay here as long as he lives.

Tarzan, soaking wet…looks as if he’s about to kiss Themba. “Themba…”


“This time I’m driving.”

Okay, I wanted straight forward adventure and I got it. There’s not much to complain about here other than that this feels like some other science fiction show than Tarzan. If the last episode feels like a crossover, this feels more like Tarzan is a guest star in another show but it’s not a bad 40something minutes (43?). It’s fun, entertaining and not boring and moves well.

Lara throws in his Tarzan humor faces and does well with it. He’s also very physical again and savage comes through at times in the right places. I like it. I love him as Tarzan.

And this is better than having Tarzan constantly questioning himself and doubting his actions, his life, and his returning to the jungle or worrying about his parents and his choices.


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