Sheena (TV series)
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Based upon W. Morgan Thomas's comic book character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, which previously spawned a popular 1950's TV series of the same title; this turn-of-the-millennium version updated its title character to the 21st century. There were two seasons, containing 22 and 13 episodes. It starred Baywatch veterans Gena Lee Nolin and John Allen Nelson, and was developed for television by Douglas Schwartz (Baywatch's co-creator) and Steven L. Sears. In this version, Sheena was given the mystical ability to transform into almost any jungle animal; she also spoke whole sentences, unlike Irish McCalla's interpretation of the character. Several episodes from the first season are available to view for free in Minisode format on Crackle, as well as on Hulu.
Sheena's parents were archaeologists who died in the jungle when she was about six years old, orphaning their daughter Shirley Hamilton (as explained in the episode "Stranded in the Jungle"; otherwise, Sheena remembers nothing of her parents, or of her pre-Africa childhood). She was taken in by Kali, a local Shamaness of a tribe who brought her up; five years ago, she was taught how to morph into birds and other animals...thus acquiring their abilities, up to and including flight. Moreover, she became a mythical creature called "The Darak'na" who relies on people' fear of the unknown. For this, she covers herself in a dark liquid mud which allows her to be largely unseen in the low light of the jungle. With above-average strength, agility and speed - and armed with a pair of bone-clawed gloves - she is a formidable one-woman fighting force. She does kill sometimes.
In the first episode she meets Matt Cutter who runs a safari business by air, water and land. In his youth, Cutter had a promising career as a football player till a knee injury ruined it (he has no apparent injury now). He joined the CIA, being code-named "Jericho" and fought as a mercenary. He was a first class sniper but an accident meant he killed an innocent person which caused him to abandon his old life for the life he now leads.
On their first meeting, Sheena is not sure what side Cutter is on, as she is a protector of the jungle and Cutter seems willing to do anything for money. He is unknowingly helping criminals. Within several episodes Cutter had become more responsible, and less booze and money orientated. Sometimes there is some chemistry between Sheena and Cutter and other times she seems to just use him. This is notable in an episode where she meets an old "Agency" friend of Cutters and sleeps with him, something she has not been seen doing with Cutter.
Mendelsohn is a run down buddy of Cutter's who services his plane and does odd jobs for him. The three come up against the local petty tyrant, would be dictators, small armies, a police officer who cannot wholly be trusted, evil tribesmen, evil foreigners, people from their past, assorted traps, etc.
1. "Pilot"- Matt Cutter is in for a life changing experience when he meets Sheena.
2. "Fallout"-An American satellite crashes near by, and the information is sought after by the Russians and the troops of the corrupt president N'Gama.
3. "Revenge of the Jirds"-Sheena and Cutter try to find out who's smuggling mice-like creatures called jirds into the country.
4. "A Rite of Passage"-An ugly secret from Kali's past reemerges on Sheena's birthday.
5. "Tourist Trap"-Terrorists steal a dangerous virus and hold Cutter's tourist group hostage.
6. "Buried Secrets"-Sheena and Cutter are trapped in a cave while investigating an area from Sheena's childhood. And they aren't alone...
7. "Lost Boy"- A runaway military school student leads a tribe against N'Gama's troops.
8. "Wild Thing"-Cutter and Kali must rescue a half transformed Sheena.
9. "Doing as The Romans"- Sheena and Cutter go undercover to rescue a woman from becoming one of N'Gama's wives.
10. "Children of the LaMistas"-An old enemy from the past leads Sheena and Cutter to a gene splicing nightmare....
11. "Prey"-Sheena and Cutter try to stop a group of hunters who target endangered species, but find themselves as prey.
12. "Divas of the Jungle"-Cutter is hired to guide a photographer and models through the jungle. But the photographer is what he seems...
13. "Forbidden Fruit"-Sheena and Cutter turn on each other after eating a mysterious fruit.
14. "The Fool Monty"-A documeter ends up causing a tribal war while searching for the Darak'na.
15. "Sanctuary"-Sheena and Cutter try to help refugees reach a sanctuary, only to get involved with a fight against the warlord's soldiers.
17. "Friendly Fire"
18. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place"
19. "Tyler Returns"
20. "Unsafe Passage"
22. "Cult of One"
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released both seasons on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. Season 1 was released on June 5, 2012, while season 2 was released on July 3, 2012. These are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available via Amazon.com, DVDEmpire.com & Warner Archive Collection.
- Lambert, David (June 1, 2012). "Sheena - Availability Date for 'The Complete 1st Season' with Gena Lee Nolan". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved June 8, 2012.