Tarzan: The Epic Adventures
Logo of "Tarzan: The Epic Adventures"
Science fantasy
Based onCharacters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Developed byChristopher A. Roosen
StarringJoe Lara
Aaron Seville
Don McLeod
Nkhensani Manganyi
ComposerMichael Benghiat
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22
Executive producersMax Keller
Micheline Keller
Paul Siegel
Henry Siegel
ProducerJoe Lara
Running time45 minutes
Production companiesKeller Siegel Entertainment
Keller Entertainment Group
Original release
NetworkFirst-run syndication
ReleaseAugust 28, 1996 (1996-08-28) –
May 25, 1997 (1997-05-25)

Tarzan: The Epic Adventures is an American adventure drama series that aired for one season in syndication from August 28, 1996, until May 25, 1997. It focuses on the character of Tarzan in his early years, after his first exposure to civilization, but before his marriage to Jane. The inclusion of the character Nicholas Rokoff, and the fact that Tarzan is not yet married, sets this series in-between the two halves of The Return of Tarzan. The series uses much of the mythology of Edgar Rice Burroughs' books as background material.

This version of Tarzan was filmed in the Sun City resort in South Africa, making it one of the few Tarzan productions to actually film on that continent.[1]


The series begins with Tarzan, still living in Europe, returning home to Africa to foil the plans of the evil Count Rokoff. After defeating both Rokoff and his accomplice, Mora, queen of the flesh-eating monsters known as Mahars that lives in Pellucidar, a world below the surface of the Earth (Which Tarzan visted in the novel Tarzan at the Earth's Core), Tarzan decides to stay in Africa, and is reunited with his old friend Themba, who joins him in his adventures.

Similar to shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The Adventures of Sinbad, and The New Adventures of Robin Hood, the series places a heavy emphasis on fantasy. Among the common elements present were evil sorcerers, magical beings, journeys to other realms, and hidden civilizations. The show also had the recurring theme of who Tarzan really was, and the mystery of where Themba's tribe had vanished to.


Notes: Lara also played Tarzan in the otherwise unrelated CBS television movie Tarzan in Manhattan.[3] Denier played Jane Porter in the previous Tarzán television series. Some of Tarzan's yells were archived yells by Johnny Weissmuller who played Tarzan in several films in the 1930s and 40s.


No.TitleOriginal air date
1–2"Tarzan's Return"August 28, 1996 (1996-08-28)

Tarzan must stop the plans of the evil Count Nicholas Rokoff and the Mahars.

Note: Aired as a two-hour special premiere.
3"Tarzan and the Leopard Queen"
"Tarzan and the Leopard Woman"
September 28, 1996 (1996-09-28)
Tarzan is reunited with his old friend Themba, but their reunion is put on hold when Wazi people are being kidnapped by the Leopard Men.
4"Tarzan and the Lost Legion"October 5, 1996 (1996-10-05)
When Themba is kidnapped by Roman centurions, Tarzan finds himself working with a young woman to overthrow her evil uncle.
5"Tarzan and the Scarlet Diamond"October 12, 1996 (1996-10-12)
An evil explorer pits two tribes, the other being lizard men, against each other for his own plans.
6"Tarzan and the Black Orchid"October 19, 1996 (1996-10-19)
Tarzan must find a legendary plant to save Themba when he's infected with a strange disease.
7"Tarzan and the Reflections in an Evil Eye"October 26, 1996 (1996-10-26)
An evil medicine man hits Tarzan with a spell that divides the two halves of him: the human he is, and the ape he was raised as.
8"Tarzan and the Priestess of Opar"November 2, 1996 (1996-11-02)
The Lord of the Jungle becomes the object of affection for the priestess, La.
9"Tarzan and the Fury of the Zadu"November 9, 1996 (1996-11-09)
A sudden eclipse turns a tribe into savages, and Tarzan reluctantly asks for La's help to stop the evil spirit controlling them...which is also trying to possess the ape man.
10"Tarzan and the Revenge of Zimpala"November 16, 1996 (1996-11-16)
The brother of the hunter who killed Kala seeks revenge on Tarzan.
11"Tarzan and the Return of KuKulcan"November 23, 1996 (1996-11-23)
When Tashi is bitten by a snake, Tarzan and Themba take her to see a Mayan healer for help, but are soon caught up in the plans of the evil Snake People.
12"Tarzan and the White Pebble"January 26, 1997 (1997-01-26)
An oracle challenges Tarzan with a series of tests.
13"Tarzan and the Moon God"February 2, 1997 (1997-02-02)
A trio of pirates steal a statue from a tribe which holds a greater meaning than previously believed.
14"Tarzan and the Forbidden City"February 9, 1997 (1997-02-09)
When an old friend goes missing, Tarzan must work with the man's sister to rescue him, unaware of her true motives.
15"Tarzan and the Leopard Demon"February 16, 1997 (1997-02-16)
Tarzan must rescue an old friend from the Leopard Demon.
16"Tarzan and the Demon Within"February 23, 1997 (1997-02-23)

Tarzan must overcome his claustrophobia to save Themba.

Note: Clipshow episode.
17"Tarzan and the Mahars"March 2, 1997 (1997-03-02)
In a followup to the pilot, the Mahars return, and Tarzan must reluctantly work with Rokoff to stop them.
18"Tarzan and the Amtorans"April 27, 1997 (1997-04-27)
Tarzan finds himself transported to an alien world after he's accused of murder. Crossover with another Edgar Rice Burroughs creation, Carson Napier of Venus.
19"Tarzan and the Beast of Dunali"May 4, 1997 (1997-05-04)
Tarzan investigates a series of murders supposedly committed by apes. But the truth is far more disturbing...
20"Tarzan and the Shadow of Anger"May 11, 1997 (1997-05-11)
Tarzan must overcome mind control to stop a creature.
21"Tarzan and the Mystery of the Lake"May 18, 1997 (1997-05-18)
A group of explorers make two discoveries: a creature that may be the missing link... and a prehistoric monster living in a lake.
22"Tarzan and the Circus Hunter"May 25, 1997 (1997-05-25)
A trip turns deadly when Tarzan is caught up in a murder.

Planned second season

A second season was planned to air, but with actor Xavier DeClie replacing Lara in the lead, and Julie St. Claire cast as Jane.[4][5] However, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against the show's distributor Seagull Entertainment in summer 1997,[6] and a second season was never produced.


Tarzan: The Epic Adventures
AuthorR. A. Salvatore
SeriesTarzan (book series)
PublisherDel Rey
Publication date
October 1996
Media typetrade-paperback
Preceded byTarzan: The Lost Adventure (1995) 
Followed byThe Dark Heart of Time (1999) 

R. A. Salvatore wrote an authorized Tarzan novel based on pilot script which was published as a trade-paperback in 1996, and a mass-market paperback in 1997.

Nikolas Rokoff—Tarzan's nemesis from the first half of The Return of Tarzan—has a stolen crystal amulet with mystical power. The crystal can open gateways to the savage land of Pellucidar, and in so doing allows reptilian humanoids known as Mahars to attack the surface world. Tarzan therefore has to stop not only Rokoff, but also Mora, the Queen of the Mahars.


  1. ^ Hillman, Bill. “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” ERBzine (Volume 0014a, ©1996–2006)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Tarzan: The Epic Adventures - Full Cast & Crew". TV Guide. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Tarzan actor Joe Lara, 58, presumed dead in plane crash". BBC. May 31, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  4. ^ Louie, Elaine (May 5, 1997). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  5. ^ Pierce, Scott D. (July 4, 1997). "TNT comes to the rescue of sci-fi series 'Babylon 5'". Deseret News. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  6. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (July 29, 1997). "Seagull creditors file suit to liquidate group". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
Preceded byTarzan: The Lost Adventure Tarzan series Tarzan: The Epic Adventures Succeeded byThe Dark Heart of Time
Preceded byTarzán1991–1994 Tarzan: The Epic AdventuresTarzan: The Epic Adventures 1996–1997 Succeeded byThe Legend of Tarzan2001–2002