Sheena Queen of the Jungle - Episode 25
Secret of the Temple

Director Carl K Hittleman
Producer Edward Nassour
Executive Producer Ismael Rodriguez
Screenplay Samuel Newson
Story Supervision Joel Murcott

Sheena Irish McCalla
Bob Rayburn Christian Drake
Chim Neal

Eddie Lewis Claude Brooks
Mitchell Heller Carl Galan
Sylvia Heller Betty Sheridan
Ngatsu Lee Weaver
The Ancient One Henry Lucero

PLOT - NOTE: Spoiler warning
Sheena and Bob must rush to help save the life of Dr Mitchell Heller (below left) whose life is in danger from Eddie Lewis, a treacherous safari guide (below centre).  Sylvia, Heller's daughter (right), tells them that her father is attempting to reach the Temple of the Elders because he has become obsessed with finding a drug to prolong life.  She also says Lewis stands to collect a large amount of money, even if Heller dies during the expedition. Sheena protects Heller from Lewis but Lewis forces her to lead them to the temple by threatening to shoot Chim.  Sheena leaves a trail for Bob to follow but when they reach the temple Sheena, Lewis and Heller are all taken captive.  The 300-year-old Ancient One condemns them to imbibe the youth potion which is a deadly poison to anyone who has not taken it daily since childhood.  Bob arrives and points out Heller is a good man with an unhealthy obsession and that Lewis forced Sheena to guide them to the temple. Lewis grabs Bob's rifle, steals the Ancient One's potion but he is killed by a guard's spear.  Heller realises that the value of life lies in it's quality and is reunited with Sylvia. 

This is a fascinating episode for several reasons.  The story of lost temples and ancient youth potions is straight out of the pages of old pulp magazines, a genre that suits Sheena perfectly.  It is a refreshing change from the "bad hunters" or "bad natives" tales that typically dominate this series.  It is also the only episode I know of that features old, overgrown, crumbling Spanish Colonial ruins, here posing, as old, overgrown, crumbling African ruins.  They add an exotic colour perfectly in keeping with the pulp tone of the tale.  Lastly, it was the final episode filmed in Mexico and Irish appears considerably leaner after her continued bouts of dysentery (see Page 6: Working Conditions in the Filming in Mexico section).  It isn't without some hackneyed performances and appalling dialogue (the Ancient One is particularly absurd), but it does feature Sheena prominently throughout.  Claude Brook, here billed as Brooks, makes his third appearance in the series.  He played Chester, the crooked tax agent in Jungle Pursuit and Andy, the crashed pilot, in Crash in the Jungle.

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

Click on the image below to see the complete episode illustrated with photographs, and with French captions:

• The production credits and plot were taken from my DVD of this film
• All of the photos used on this page are screenshots from my DVD of this film
• The two video clips were uploaded to Youtube by me specifically to use on this web page
• The montage of Télé Romans covers are from my personal collection
• 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 © 2005-2008 Paul Wickham
This page was updated February 2008