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!
“Maneater of Wameru”
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!