This could be a fun discussion — every show has bloopers — here’s some that Ken Lynch discovered.
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When television series were filmed in the 1960s, there was often little thought given to the potential for repeated viewings and the scrutiny that each episode could be subjected to. At most, the show’s producers could have expected a first screening on relatively small sized televisions and a limited
number of repeat screenings in syndication.
Since the 1960s, the advent of VHS video tapes, DVDs and big screen televisions has given fans an opportunity to watch their favourite shows over and over again. More particularly, it is possible to see mistakes made during filming that were not obvious at the time and to freeze-frame individual sequences.
Daktari is not immune to this situation. A recent viewing of early episodes has revealed at least one such ‘blooper’!
We all know that the majority of the outdoor scenes representing Wameru Reserve were filmed at ‘Africa USA’, a large area of open countryside located in Soledad Canyon about 40 miles north of Los Angeles. Because animals freely roamed the area, there were obviously fences erected around the property.
Every effort was made by the Daktari producers to create an impression of the remoteness of the African bush by disguising these fences and overhead wires which provided power to the area.
“Leopards of Mdala Gorge”
However, in Episode 1.6 “Leopards of Mdala Gorge”, there are two sequences in which such evidence of civilization can clearly be seen. The storyline concerns a team of archaeologists who pitch their tents and establish a camp in Mdala Gorge, a supposedly very remote area of the Wameru Reserve. Yet the following two pictures from this episode feature power poles and fences which are plainly visible!
Then in Episode 1.12 “Maneater of Wameru”, there are another two sequences containing ‘bloopers’. The storyline this time concerns a hostile tribe of poachers who attack Hedley in the middle of the isolated African bush. The first of the two pictures below from this episode shows the vapour trail of a jetliner crossing the ‘Africa USA’ skyline behind the poachers! The second shows a glimpse of a production light used to illuminate the filming of a sequence involving Clarence jumping from the back of Daktari’s truck.
Perhaps other readers of this website have spotted similar ‘bloopers’ while watching Daktari episodes on DVD? It might be interesting to reveal just how many other mistakes slipped past the producers at the time!
Got $4K? Check this out!
Here’s the description:
“This is an authentic original handbag made by French designer Vipiana Celine. Bought in Italy in 1964 when Celine first opened a leather factory in Italy producing the iconic Celine Box Bag. This purse belonged to the famous actress Cheryl Miller, celebrity of Daktari, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion, Mountain Man. The beautiful Cheryl Miller, known for being the caretaker of the MGM lion, Clarence, Dodge Girl, model, musician, and artist, has an extraordinary taste for fashion.
The purse is part of a larger collection of original pieces bought and worn by Cheryl Lynn Miller during the era between 1964 to 1989. Each article emanates from the Ateliers of France and Italy, and will include an autographed 8×10 portrait photograph, a note with a few words by the artist sharing her story from her adventures, and a Certification of Authenticity and Gratitude for your purchase.”
<sigh> Wish I had $4K! You can buy it on eBay.
We are pleased to feature this guest post by one of our contributes, Ken Lynch:
A December 2015 posting on this website recently spotlighted the ‘forgotten’ co-stars of Daktari – Yale Summers and Hari Rhodes. I say ‘forgotten’ as most commentaries on this TV show concentrate on Marshall Thompson and Cheryl Miller.
I have previously tried to redress this situation in an April 2014 posting on the website which revealed some surprisingly outspoken and honest comments by Yale Summers on what he thought of his time in Daktari.
Recent research has also revealed some similarly themed comments by Hari Rhodes – proving once again that all was not as it seemed behind the scenes!
Hari Rhodes joins Daktari
Hari Rhode’s career prior to joining Daktari in 1966 is well documented in his biographical information on this website.
Interestingly, it would appear that Rhodes was not actually a part of the original cast of Daktari. It is highly likely that Don Marshall was first cast as Yale Summers’ fellow intern but was then replaced by Rhodes after just three episodes (see the Daktari Season One Episode Guide opening narrative for further details).
Despite his apparent late entry to the fold, Rhodes remained with the show for all of its four seasons. Summers, however, left the show after the third season.
Hari Rhode’s Relationship with his Co-stars
In over 70 episodes of Daktari, Hari Rhodes and Yale Summers worked side by side assisting Marshall Thompson’s character at the Wameru Study Center. To the viewer, their on-screen relationship was amiable and strong at all times.
But it was very surprising to find at least two newspaper reports commenting on the fact that their off-screen relationship was not so friendly!
An article in the 21 October 1967 edition of The Deseret News indicated that “a feud has reportedly broken out on the Daktari set. Co-stars Yale Summers and Hari Rhodes make biting remarks about each other all day.”
Then an article dated 27 March 1968 in The Milwaukee Journal went even further stating that “Hari Rhodes was not the unhappiest guy in town when his Daktari co-star Yale Summers decided to leave the show. It’s been easier for Yale to get along with the animals on the series than to get along with Hari these last seasons. But, at least to Yale’s credit, he hasn’t been telling outsiders about the feud.”
Rhodes’ apparently negative attitude towards his co-stars may not have been restricted to just Yale Summers.
When the 4 September 1969 edition of The Pittsburgh Press reported that Africa USA had been deluged by floods, it included a quote by Rhodes that “when that happened the whole cast lit up sparks to celebrate. You got psyched up about that place, driving up and back every day. I knew every tree, the fence. The whole cast hated that show, except for Marshall Thompson, who pranced around as the Daktari.” Rhodes reportedly used falsetto at the end of that statement!
While it is disconcerting to read these accounts, it is probably understandable that the working relationship between the co-stars could have broken down under the pressure of the daily shooting schedules for this top rating TV show.
Hari Rhodes’ Relationship with Animals
Hari Rhodes was never as comfortable with animals as his co-stars Marshall Thompson, Cheryl Miller and (to a lesser extent) Yale Summers.
Never was this more evident than in the opening scenes of the first episode aired, “The Elephant Thieves”. Watch the (German-dubbed) YouTube clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejzhHhmM7is – particularly at the 3m30s mark – to see just how uncomfortable Rhodes was!
Despite this, it has to be admitted that he appeared more comfortable when animals were sedated or during fun sequences with escaping animals.
On Tuesday, January 11, 1966, Daktari premiered on CBS-TV at 7:30 pm. The first episode was “The Elephant Thieves.”
Happy 50th Anniversary, Daktari!
What are your favorite episodes?
Season One: Return of the Killer (Parts One and Two–this is the episode that introduced me to Daktari), Wall of Flames (Parts One and Two)
Season Two: Return of Clarence, Cry for Help, House of Lions, Countdown for Paula, Terror in the Bush (#1 favorite), A Bullet for Hedley
It’s been a long time since I saw this movie and I have to say it held up pretty well. While it does tend to ramble (but then doesn’t Daktari tend to do that anyway? :-)), it was cute. Clarence is adorable–how I’d love to have that big cat cuddle me the way he did Richard Hayden’s character, Mr. Rotbotham.
Cheryl Miller’s Paula was a bit sassy in the film and Marsh Tracy could be a bit of a curmudgeon at times. How I wish Betsy Drake could have continued her role as Julie on Daktari–such nice chemistry between her and Thompson and Miller.
The scene with Paula trying on the dress, all girl but obviously a tomboy at heart, was sweet. The last post talked about how Clarence essentially chose her for the part and you can see the shared affection. Cheryl was fearless with that python, my goodness!
I caught several clips from the movie making it into the credits for Daktari.
Anyway, enjoyed the nostalgia trip–here are some pix from the movie. If you have the movie, treat yourself, it’s a nice escape.