In 2003 Eric Kripke was hungry to get anything into production – his hit show Supernatural was still on the horizon – so when his pitch for an updated Tarzan series – with Jane as a police detective and Tarzan on the run from an evil uncle – he was at first happy that it got greenlit, but less than happy when he realized that he’d have to come up with an entire seasons worth of shows, and all he had was the pilot in his head. The series managed to lumber through eight episodes before being mercifully cancelled, and creator Eric Kripke is on record for saying it was, “A Piece of Crap?”
As I’ve been a lifelong fan of all things Tarzan I had to see just how bad it could be, and now having watched all eight episodes I can honestly say, “It was pretty bad.”
In The Pilot Detective Jane Porter meets a hunky Tarzan amongst the dangers of the concrete jungle. Tarzan himself is on the run from his evil Uncle.
In Secrets and Lies we get Tarzan facing a bunch of thrill junkies and Jane’s insane jealous boyfriend. Also Lucy Lawless shows up as Tarzan’s aunt. So that’s nice.
In Wages of Sin Jane gets all angsty about her relationship with Tarzan, and only take a break from worrying about her loins long enough to look for a kidnapped child.
In Rules of Engagement a vigilante sniper is prowling the rooftops of New York City but he makes a big mistake when he puts Tarzan’s girlfriend in his sights.
In Emotional Rescue Jane’s sister gets Tarzan to help free her best friend from the clutches of a serial killer.
In Surrender the police find out Jane and Tarzan were involved in Detective Foster’s death, and now they are on the run from friends and foe alike.
In For Love of Country Tarzan and Jane decide to flee to the countryside while two obsessed cops try and track them down. Sadly Jason Vorhees does not make an appearance
In The End of the Beginning Tarzan and Jane return to the city to face Richard Clayton and the murder charges they’ve been running from.
An updated version of Tarzan could have worked – having everyone’s favorite hero using his skills in the concrete jungle in aide of a Jane, who is now a police detective is not a terrible idea – but a decent premise and the talented cast of actors could not save this show. Without a clear idea in what direction to take the show creator Eric Kripke’s venture into the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs was doomed from the outset.
To see how Tarzan fared over the years in the movies check out: Tarzan at the Movies: From Weissmuller to Disney