The following episode guide for Season Four was contributed by Ken Lynch who hails from Australia. Photos are by Patrick Sansano. Patrick is from France and has an excellent and entertaining Episode Guide of his own which I encourage you to visit. If you don’t speak French, use Google Translate to read his commentary.
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The Fourth Season
Note: photo slide show of Season Four at the bottom on this post.
However, the decline of the series was perhaps foreshadowed by a switch in time slot from a Tuesday to a Wednesday night in the US.
One of the core cast, Yale Summers, left the series after three seasons and Cheryl Miller was starting to become too old to play the ‘young innocent’ any more. In fact, a new shot of the older, longer-haired Miller is featured in the last season’s introductory titles.
Two new cast members were drafted – Jenny Jones (played by 7-year old Erin Moran) and Bart Jason, a camera-safari guide who was once a ranger. The first episode introduces them and sets them up for their stay for the rest of the series. Unfortunately, this new focus produced several overly saccharin episodes.
A few of the same production crew remained for this third season, notably writer Malvin Wald (5) while Marshall Thompson increased his behind-the-scenes involvement by writing one episode.
Regular Paul Landres returned to direct 4 episodes with Dick Moder (3). A new director Alan Crosland directed 3 while Marshall Thompson directed yet one more.
Fourth Season Episodes (First aired on Wednesdays on CBS)
4.1 (75) A Family for Jenny (First aired 25 Sept 1968)
When some orphans come for a visit to Wameru, Jenny Jones hides out with Judy, so that she will not have to return to the orphanage in Nogoro. Broken-hearted that Tracy will not adopt her, she agrees to return to the city with him. While driving to Nogoro, Hedley intercepts them and warns the two of a killer lioness on the loose. He informs them that the government has sent in a professional hunter, Bart Jason, to bring her down. It is Tracy who discovers that the lioness has a cub, perhaps the reason for her vicious tendencies, and he and Jenny set out to save her. Jenny is fearful that the cub will be made an orphan like herself, and as Jason and Tracy follow their prey, she follows the cub.
Notes: Co-written by Malvin Wald. Joan Anderson guest stars and would return in Episodes 4.6 and 4.8. Jack’s absence is explained early in the episode as being “back in the states on a research fellowship”. Marsh’s ultimate decision to adopt Jenny becomes clear when he refers to her as “Paula” on their trip into the bush. Cheryl Miller changes her look (mini skirt, boots) and is now more credible as the big sister (the actress was born in 1943 while Erin Moran was born in 1960!).
4.2 (76) Clarence the Lionhearted (First aired 2 Oct 1968)
Survival is the lesson that Clarence and a native tribesman-turned poacher must learn when they are faced with existing in the bush as outcasts. While Dr. Tracy is testing Clarence’s lionhood and ability to protect his own territory, the native who refuses to leave his land after it is evacuated by the government, stalks his future prey – Clarence. The lions come to Wameru and attach the animals in the Compound.
Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Alan Crosland. Includes one of the longest introductory segments (9 minutes). Some scenes of Judy and the baby bear playing in the cage are repeated from the first season. This episode continues the trend of showing newly filmed multiple animals at outdoor Africa USA locations, although a scene of lions from Episode 1.18 is re-used.
4.3 (77) African Heritage (First aired 9 Oct 1968)
A famous child author, Jan Ferris, who longs to write adult best sellers like her father, comes to Africa looking for excitement, violence and adventure. Discovering that life at Wameru Compound is too tame for her, she attempts to provoke an incident by entering a cage housing a sick cheetah after earlier seeing Dr. Tracy and Mike inside removing her cub. However, the cat lunges at her, escapes and desperately searches for her baby who is sleeping with Jenny in her room. Not until they hear Jan scream do Daktari and his household awake and become aware of danger, but by then the crazed cheetah is poised for attack outside Jenny’s window.
Notes: Joe Higgins makes a brief third appearance at the start in a new role after having played Lansing in Episodes 1.17 and 2.13. Watch for a look at Cheryl Miller’s long hair in the night time scene.
4.4 (78) The Outsider (First aired 16 Oct 1968)
Dr. Tracy’s new neighbours are newlyweds Anne and Alfred Benton. A big game hunter, Benton loses his hunting cheetah and comes to Daktari for help. Unknown to Benton, Mrs. Benton has secretly released the cat. Now, concerned for its life, she steals away to hunt for her husband’s pet on her own. While searching in the bush, she comes face to face with a wild killer cheetah.
Notes: Directed by Dick Moder. This is a fairly routine episode. Paula seems to have taken over the role of researcher from Jack (also note her wearing the same top as in the previous episode). Mike does not appear in this episode.
4.5 (79) Strike Like a Lion (First aired 23 Oct 1968)
A young and wealthy idealist from the States, Andy Brewster, disillusioned by man’s lack of concern for his fellow man, comes to Africa and enlists in a small country’s rebel army. His first assignment is to come to Wameru and get Bart Jason, well known all over the continent for his skill with weapons and knowledge of jungle warfare, to join the cause.
Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Alan Crosland. Scenes of lions from Episode 4.2 are re-used here. Lawrence Templar makes an impressive guest star in a story that makes a political statement. Jenny does not appear in this episode.
4.6 (80) Adam and Jenny (First aired 30 Oct 1968
The paths of a wild jungle dog and a runaway orphan named Adam cross with a lonely native couple living in an isolated bush area. The result involves Daktari, Paula, Mike, Hedley, Miss Pearce – and especially Jenny and Judy – conspiring to help Adam until he can find a real home of his own. While the two littIe schemers attempt to coax the husband and wife into adopting Adam, the boy finds himself alone in the bush – face to face with the vicious dog.
Notes: Co-written by Malvin Wald and directed by Paul Landres. A young Louis Gossett guest stars as an old man. Joan Anderson returns for the second time as June Pearce after being in Episode 4.1 and would return again in Episode 4.8.
4.7 (81) A Man’s Man (First aired 6 Nov 1968)
When a father and son, estranged by the death of his mother, are reunited at Wameru Compound, the tension rises. The father, Chet Rainey, a famous wild game hunter and oil tycoon, fears that his wife’s sensitivity may have had too great an influence on the boy. He sets out to make his kind of man out of his son, Ted. Bart agrees to take Chet and Ted on a camera safari. In the mountainous terrain, Ted at first seems to lack the stamina for the hunt, but when the party becomes separated, a stalking leopard tests not Ted’s, but Chet’s manhood.
Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Once again, Cheryl Miller rarely appears in this episode. It is actually the first episode in which Ross Hagen has the largest part in the episode and it also displays the obvious problem with the fourth season – the omnipresence of Erin Moran. The ‘leopard rocks’ from past episodes (particularly from the first season) are featured.
4.8 (82) The Runaways (First aired 13 Nov 1968)
When Jenny overhears Dr. Tracy and the orphanage worker, Miss Pearce, discussing the children’s show for the home in which Toto is to star, Jenny mistakenly thinks that she is being returned to the orphanage for good. Scared and hurt, she takes Judy and a small lion cub who has been temporarily separated from her sickly mother, and they head for the bush. But the mother lioness soon discovers her cub missing, breaks out of her cage, and in a rage follows her baby’s scent to Jenny’s treehouse hideaway where the helpless group is hiding unaware of their danger.
Notes: Directed by Alan Crosland and co-written by Doris Dowling who had actually previously appeared as an actress in Episodes 1.12, 2.10 and 3.11. Joan Anderson guest stars again after having been in Episodes 4.1 and 4.6. Her character was obviously designed to be a love interest for Marsh. Sid Melton has one quick scene too. Jenny’s bedroom is the one previously used by Paula who now has another one.
4.9 (83) African Showdown (First aired 20 Nov 1968)
When a backslapping American rancher, Joe Wonder, buys the homestead next to Wameru Compound, Daktari and his staff become suspicious of his motives after he uses guns. It soon becomes apparent that he intends to fence off his part of the bush for controlled game hunting, and charge hunters high fees for killing the stray animals from the reserve. After overhearing Daktari say that he can find no legal way to stop Big Joe, Jenny and her animal friends sneak over to his ranch at night and begin to cut down all his barbed wire fences – unaware that Wonder is on guard.
Notes: Directed by Dick Moder. Alan Hale Jr guest stars. Watch for when Paula shows some affection on Bart’s return from safari! Paula says Judy is five years old which doesn’t seem right when she was originally in Clarence and Flipper some 5-6 years earlier. Another odd occurrence is Mike flying a plane for the first time in over 80 episodes!
4.10 (84) Once Upon a Fang (First aired 27 Nov 1968)
When a teenage storyteller, Usumbu, is banished from his village, he runs into danger – a leopard who attacks him. Dr. Tracy, out observing herd movements, rescues Usumbu and takes him to Wameru. While Usumbu is recovering, Dr. Tracy, Paula, Mike and Jenny discover that it is more than the leopard clawing that is hurting Usumbu. After enchanting Jenny with his stories and puppets, he tells them that he was banished because he felt that being a warrior was more important than preserving the heritage of the tribe – his inherited craft. He runs away to again face the leopards in the bush just as Dr. Tracy finds a way for him to both prove his dignity as a man and his talent as a storyteller.
Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Ten episodes into the final season, there are several welcome references to Jack Dane, including the suggestion to ring him in the States. Bart is on safari and does not appear.
4.11 (85) The Divining Rods (First aired 11 Dec 1968)
An all-out fight for water breaks out between Dr. Tracy and aging Charlie Rone, chief engineer for a native resettlement project, when he errs in calculating the watershed, making Wameru Compound and the surrounding game reserve a virtual desert. Bart, who has known Rone for years, soon learns that he is insecure about his job since a young and very well-educated assistant, Tom Otis, joined him. Stubborn in his refusal to admit his mistake, he forces Tracy to go to Nogoro where the violation of Wameru’s water rights will be exposed. While Tracy is gone, Rone comes to the reserve and urges Bart to help find ground water for Wameru so that he can meet his project deadline and save the animals too. When the scientific instruments for water discovery fail to yield results, Bart turns to the natural talents of Wameru Center. He and Rone take two pet elephants out in the bush to use their sensitive trunks as divining rods in a race with time to tap water before the reserve animals die of thirst.
Notes: Directed by Paul Landres. Bruce Bennett (a former Tarzan) had guest starred in a role in Episodes 3.1 and 3.18, but here he plays a different one.
4.12 (86) Discovery (First aired 18 Dec 1968)
Judy’s life is endangered when momentary greed overcomes a husband and wife team distinguished for their motion picture documentaries on African wildlife. Judy stumbles onto a cave filled with rare and ancient artefacts, and when the photographers see her discovery, they devise a “get rich quick” plan which includes a well·publicised expedition to the cave. As they make their escape, a landslide seals Judy inside, but the two decide that her silence will increase the fame which they have spent a lifetime seeking.
Notes: Directed by John Florea who again does some fancy shots. Listen for Judy doing a Tarzan call. Bart does not appear.
4.13 (87) Jungle Heartbeat (First aired 1 Jan 1969)
Confrontation with an angry medicine man and the dangers of black magic begin to complicate Daktari’s work with the chief’s son who is dangerously ill. Crucial in the search to hopefully cure the sick boy are some seemingly unimportant questions asked by Jenny – why the caged tiger paces back and forth and why the captive elephant sways in the same rhythm?
Notes: Written by Richard Carlson and directed by John Florea. The elephant’s name is Lydia, the name of the elephant from the first season. Listen for when Marsh refers to the music man as “Shelly Manne”, the writer of the Daktari theme music.
4.14 (88) A Tiger’s Tale (First aired 8 Jan 1969)
When a Bengal tiger (Serina), formerly a pet of Dr. Tracy’s, shows up at Wameru Compound after three years, Mike and Marsh attempt to discover the mysterious reasons for her return. She becomes vicious in her cage so Marsh lets her go, tracking her into the dense bush country. It appears that he is being led into a trap when the tiger brings him to her sick cub – and a full-grown lion poised for attack.
Notes: Co-written by Marshall Thompson and directed by Dick Moder who shows an interesting new shot from inside the house looking out onto the verandah. Another nod to early Daktari history is the reference to Doris, an older chimp, who was a ‘friend’ of Judy – Doris was the name of the chimp played by Judy in the Clarence movie. Paula does not appear.
4.15 (89) Judy Come Home (First aired 15 Jan 1969)
An all-out search of the dense bush country surrounding Wameru is called after Judy and Clarence disappear. When four days have passed and there is still no trace of them, Jenny starts to worry. Fearing that they have been killed, she refuses to do anything but stand vigil. In an attempt to cheer her up, Marsh gets out Judy’s box containing souvenirs of past escapades. Using these as props, he begins to tell “Judy and Clarence’s Tales” while waiting to hear word of their rescue.
Notes: Written by Malvin Wald and directed by Dick Moder. The review of past episodes provides a fitting conclusion to the series.
Photo Slide Show Season Four
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