Sheena Queen of the Jungle - Episode 7
The Ganyika Kid

Director Arthur Pierson
Producer Edward Nassour
Screenplay Warren Wilson
Story Supervision Joel Murcott

Sheena Irish McCalla
Bob Rayburn Christian Drake
Chim Neal

Tomando Joe Adams
Rowdy Regan Howard Bryant
Kawula Andrew Tavida

PLOT - NOTE: Spoiler warning
Bob is guiding a bombastic fight promoter, Rowdy Regan (right), to the village of the Ganyikas because he is looking for a new prize fighter to replace his previous champion, Tomanda, who was once a Ganyika chief.  When they reach the village they are surprised to find Tomando (below right) has followed them to kill Regan for robbing and mistreating him.  Kawula, the tribe's strong leader (below left) protects Regan, so Tomando challenges him to a fight for leadership.  They fight savagely and Tomando emerges the victor, by using a dirty trick.  Bob intervenes when Tomado tries to kill Regan, and he is ordered to leave the village.  Sheena outsmarts Tomando by challenging him to let her take Regan into the jungle so that the new chief can prove his worth by hunting them.  She hides Bob and Regan in the jungle and then puts Regan's shoes on Chim to create a false trail.  When Tomando learns he has been tricked he tries to kill Sheena but she confronts him and he breaks down, realising that he is no longer the noble chief he once was.  The Ganyikas offer to teach him their ways and Bob arranges for the US courts to decide about the money owed to Tomando.

In my opinion, this is one of the better episodes in the series.  The character of Rowdy Regan is a bit of a caricature and the plot device of having Chim wear Regan's shoes to create a false trail is implausible.  However, the conflict between Tomando and the other characters is powerful, thanks to talented guest star, Joe Adams.  Adams taught himself public speaking by practicing in vacant lots and became one of the first black disc jockeys in LA, a career he held for many years.  But the thing he is most remembered for was the good judgment and skillful negotiation he exercised during the 49 years he was Ray Charles' personal manager.  He also appeared in 26 films, including Carmen Jones (1954), with Dorothy Dandridge, and The Manchurian Candidate (1962), playing Frank Sinatra's psychiatrist.  Rowdy Regan is played by Howard Bryant, the trainer of Neal, the animal that plays Chim.  Bryant was obviously a talented character actor and he was given the opportunity to appear in four different episodes of the series: Eyes of the Idol, Land of the Rogue, The Rival Queen, and this one (read more about Bryant on Page 7: Neal, in the Filming In Mexico section).   

Click on the images below to see two short scenes from this episode:

• The production credits and plot were taken from my DVD of this episode
• All of the photos used on this page are screenshots from my DVD of this episode
• The two video clips were uploaded to Youtube by me to use on this web page
• Read about Joe Adams' amazing life at the Offical Ray Charles website
• See photos of Howard Bryant with Irish and Neal on Page 7: Neal in the Filming In Mexico section
• Bag yourself a copy of this episode on VHS from Moviecraft; beware the high contrast and heavily cropped versions of these episodes currently available on DVD

SHEENA © is the property of Sony Pictures Corporation
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Sheena material is copyright © 2005-2007 Paul Wickham
This page was updated December 2007