Series notes / Movie notes / General notes
These notes were written by me after viewing all available Ramar episodes. I am not an expert. So if you have any corrections, please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your responses and corrections. I have verified the episodes as correctly as I can by viewing the 16mm film prints and getting the production information from the film leaders. Other episodes were acquired from MovieCraft, Alpha Video, and collector's tapes. There are some facts I’m pretty sure of but won’t list them as correct if I can’t verify them.
52 episodes were produced, filmed in black and white, approximately 26 minutes each
produced by Arrow Productions, Inc
released by Independent Television Corporation (ITC)
Executive Producer Leon Fromkess
Produced by Rudolph Flothow
The Episodes are set in Africa and India, but filmed in California at Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California
Jon Hall as Ramar, research scientist Dr. Tom Reynolds
Ray Montgomery as Chemistry Professor Howard Ogden
James Fairfax as Charlie, Cockney Guide (in Africa)
Victor Millan as Zahir, Indian Guide (in India)
Nick Stewart as Willy, African Guide (in Africa)
Ludwig Stossel as Peter Van Tyne, trading post proprietor (in Africa)
M'liss McClure as Trudy Van Tyne, daughter of Peter Van Tyne
Directors: Wallace Fox, Paul Landres, Sam Newfield, and Spencer Gordon Bennett, each directing one series of 13 episodes
Assistant Director: Stanley Neufield
Writers: William Lively, Dwight Babcock, Sherman Lowe, Eric Taylor, and Barry Shipman
Cinematography: Clark Ramsey, Kenneth Peach, and William P. Whitely
Film Editing: Dwight Caldwell
Four series were produced starting 1n 1952. There were 13 episodes in each. I believe the first 26 episodes (series 1 and series 2) are considered the first season with stories taking place in Africa and then India. The second 26 episodes, taking place again in Africa, are the second season. Each director was credited for a series of 13 episodes, and they are distinguished by different opening and closing credits for each.
The syndicated airdates I have listed for the episodes are from Epilog magazine, Issue #19. I can not verify these other than to trust Epilog’s research. I wish I knew what their source was. These are airdates. Not a chronological film production order.
The production order is different than the order of airdates and storylines and indications on the original film leaders confirm this. For example in syndicated episode #2 White Savages, the White Goddess and her accomplices die, yet in #4 Tribal Feud the White Goddess is alive. In syndicated #7 Voice in the Sky, Ramar and Howard are in India, yet in the beginning of #11 Mark of Shaitan they are shown just arriving in India. There are numerous examples of these chronoligical inconsistencies with airdates. I have seen the production numbers printed on many of the film leaders and they do not match the syndication airdate order. Thus, I have made available a chronological production list of episode titles from the ones I can confirm. For my convenience of reference, I prepared an alphabetical list of titles.
The credits change with each director and each series which helps to identify the chronological order in which the episodes were filmed.
First series episodes open with a lion walking in the jungle, Ramar comes upon it, and fires his rifle at the screen (the lion). Closing credits are shown over a jungle landscape. These episodes take place in Africa. All of these episodes (1-13) are directed by Wallace Fox. In the first episode of the series, Evil Trek, Ramar introduces himself to the Van Tyne’s and explains his reasons for being in Africa. Charley is Ramar’s guide and is announced as having been hired on in Capetown. Ramar and Howard live in a house at Cooper’s Corral, an abandoned area left by a big game hunter.
The second series episodes open with a scene of a roaring tiger. The end credits are shown on top of an Indian design. All of these episodes (14-27) take place in India and are directed by Paul Landres. In the first episode of the series, Mark of Shaitan, Ramar and Howard are on a plane for Bombay, India, and talk about leaving their adventures in Africa and finding more adventures in India. In this episode Ramar is introduced to Zahir, who has been assigned by the Maharaja as his guide. Ramar and his Howard live in a tent and travel by Jeep, which gives them the mobility to change locations for their different adventures. In dialogue they clearly indicate throughout the episodes that they are traveling to different locations. Finally, at the end of the series, the Maharaja bids them farewell to return to Africa.
The third series episodes open with a scene of a river in the African jungle. Closing credits are printed over a native mask. All of these episodes (28-39) are directed by Sam Newfield and take place in Africa. In the first episode of the series, Call to Danger, Ramar arrives at a missionary’s home and explains that he is glad to be back in Africa. In this series Willy is Ramar’s guide and they say only that he was hired as the guide. Ramar and Howard live in a tent in the Jungle. The Van Tyne’s and the trading post are no longer in these episodes because Ramar has returned to a different part of Africa. In Call to Danger the monkey Babette belongs to the missionaries. But in other episodes he belongs to Willy, a gift of the missionaries. Willy refers to himself as Willy-Willy, but Ramar and Howard call him Willy.
Fourth series episodes open with a native tribe dancing in a village. Credits at the end are over an African Mask, same as third series. All of these episodes (40-52) are directed by Spencer Bennet, These episodes continue to take place in Africa and Willy remains as Ramar’s guide.
Production Episode List
This production episode list indicates chronologically how the four series of episodes were produced. It is derived mostly from the numbers on the film leaders or very reliable sources. An “unknown” means I don’t know for sure what episode is that exact number. Sometimes I indicate the probable choice because I know what series that episode belongs to. For example, I know Voice in the Sky is from the second series, I just don’t know which episode of the series it is.
1st series: Directed by Wallace Fox. Africa. Charlie is guide.
Opening Title: Lion, Ramar shoots at it. Closing credits: jungle landscape
1 Evil Trek
3 Jungle Terror
4 Striped Fury
5 Blue Treasure
7 Sacred Monkey
8 Drums of the Jungle
9 Doomed Safari
10 Tribal Feud
12 Danger in Disguise
13 White Savages
(Reliable sources indicate that Mask of Kreenah is of this series)
2nd series: Directed by Paul Landres. India. Zahir is guide.
Opening Title: roaring tiger. Closing credits: Indian design
14 Mark of Shaitan
15 Devil Soul
16 Urn of Destiny
18 Crocodile God of Kaa
19 Tiger's Claw
20 Forbidden Village
23 Bride of the Idol
24 Road of No Return
25 Unknown Terror
(Flower of Doom Mystic Pawn Hidden Treasure, and Voice in the Sky are of this series)
3rd series: Directed by Sam Newfield. They return to Africa. Willy is guide
Opening Title: jungle river. Closing credits: Over native mask
27 Call to Danger
28 Blind Peril
29 unknown, probably Jungle Vengeance
30 King of the Watus
31 Idol Voo-Doo
32 Mark of the Bola
33 unknown, probably Curse of the Devil Doll (by process of elimination)
34 Dark Venture
35 Lady of the Leopards
36 Drums of Doom
37 White Man's Magic
38 Voice of the Past
39 Savage Challenge
4th series: Directed by Spencer Bennet. Africa. Willy is guide
Opening Title: Tribe dancing. Closing credits: Over native mask, same as third series
40 Lost Safari
41 Golden Tablet
42 Flaming Mountain
43 Zombie Terror
46 Trail to Danger
47 Jungle Treasure
49 Thunder Over Sangoland
51 Evil Strangers
52 Dark Justice (listed by a reliable film source as episode 52)
Alphabetical Order of Episodes cross referenced with chronological production order
Here I have listed the episode titles alphabetically. My notes for series and episode indicate which of the four series the episode was produced in and which episode number of the total 52 it is. If I am not absolutely sure, I indicate with a #. For example, 2.18 Crocodile God of Kaa is confirmed to be from the second series of episodes, and number 18 of the total 52. Thus, being #18 it was directed by Paul Landres, takes place in India and features Zahir as the guide. A “0” means I have not seen that episode so I can not verify what series it is from.
Episode title / series.episode
1 Blind Peril 3.28
2 The Blue Treasure 1.5
3 The Bride of the Idol 2.23
4 The Burning Barrier 0
5 Call to Danger 3.27
6 Contraband 1.2
7 The Crocodile God of Kaa 2.18
8 Curse of the Devil Doll 3.#
9 Danger in Disguise 1.12
10 Dark Justice 4.52
11 Dark Venture 3.34
12 The Devil Soul 2.15
13 The Doomed Safari 1.9
14 Drums of Doom" 3.36
15 Drums of the Jungle 1.8
16 Evil Strangers 4.51
17 Evil Trek 1.1
18 The Flaming Mountain 4.42
19 The Flower of Doom 2.#
20 The Forbidden Village 2.20
21 The Golden Tablet 4.41
22 The Hidden Treasure 2.#
23 Idol Voo-Doo 3.31
24 Jungle Terror 1.3
25 Jungle Treasure 4.47
26 Jungle Vengeance 3.#
27 King of the Watus 3.30
28 Lady of the Leopards 3.35
29 The Lost Safari 4.40
30 The Mark of Shaitan 2.14
31 Mark of the Bola 3.32
32 The Mask of Kreenah 1.#
33 The Mystic Pawn 2.#
34 Queen of the Sidonis 0
35 The Road of No Return 2.24
36 The Sacred Monkey 1.7
37 Savage Challenge 3.39
38 Savage Fury 4.#
39 Striped Fury 1.4
40 Thunder over Sangland 4.49
41 The Tiger's Claw 2.19
42 Trail to Danger 4.46
43 The Tree of Death 0
44 Tribal Feud 1.10
45 The Unknown Terror 2.25
46 Urn of Destiny 2.16
47 Valley of No Return 0
48 The Voice in the Sky 2.#
49 Voice of the Past 3.38
50 White Man’ s Magic 3.37
51 White Savages 1.13
52 Zombie Terror 4.43
Remember this is a syndicated show and the order in which they were filmed is different than the order in which they aired. There are many inconsistencies in the order of storylines and chronological events that must have confused the viewers. But the kids who loved the show probably didn't even realize it. For example if the episode Flower of Doom was aired in March of 1954, how did it get to be part of the movie Eyes of the Jungle released in 1953? If the White Goddess dies in the episode Savage Challenges in April, 1953, how does she come back alive again next month in the episode Tribal Feud? But who cares. It was just adventure!
The four movies were derived from each of the four series by editing together three episodes from each. The first two movies (1953) were created from the first, last, and one of the middle episodes of that series. For example in the movie White Goddess, Evil Trek, the first episode, starts the story, Tribal Feud, #10, continues the story, and White Savages, #13, ends the story. The last two movies (1955) appear to be created from the first three episodes of series three and four. Makes sense as the second season episodes hadn't finished filming yet. Thus, four theatrical movies were planned and ratheer inexpensively created by editing from existing episodes.
In 1964 ITC realized more money could be made by releasing Ramar to television, so six television movies were edited from various episodes. Of course by now 52 episodes were available to draw from but they did have to be careful to use episodes with the same characters for consistency. The stories were often disconnected as the episodes weren't related. That's why such comprehensive titles as "The Hidden Terrors" or "The Savage Challenges". All that was needed was a narrator to keep everything flowing.
White Goddess (1953)
In this first movie Ramar and Howard live in a wooden house in Africa, at Cooper's Corral, with Charlie and Walter. I have never seen this movie but have seen these episodes and the promotional literature. From the available descriptions, Ramar searches for valuable medicinal herbs, and encounters a tribe of natives ruled by a White Goddess. Lobby Cards and other promotional data confirm this story and these episodes. I have no doubt of the correctness because all episodes and #s fit the storyline.
The movie is composed of episode #1: Evil Trek / episode #10 Tribal Feud / episode #13 White Savages
Eyes of the Jungle (1953)
The second movie takes place in India and is composed of episodes from series two: Mark of Shaitan #14/ Flower of Doom #/ #26 Voice in the Sky #26
I have never seen Flower of Doom as an individual episode, but the description and production number fits. If the pattern continues then Voice in the Sky would be episode #26. I have no doubt as to the correctness of this, but until I see a film leader with the #26 marking or see official documentation I can not absolutely verify its number.
Thunder Over Sangoland (1955)
The third movie has Willie as the guide and his pet monkey Babette. Episodes are of course from the third series. The team lives in a tent in Africa.
Missionaries Richard and Lyla are warned by a native girl of native disturbances and danger. The villains are Galvin and Danforth. Ramar has a record player at his tent which attracts the natives and the missionaries are about to be killed when the record player scares the natives off. Ramar saves a native that has been shot. Willie has a girlfriend named Memoni. They are held prisoner by natives, as they are set up by the two villains, Galvin and Danforth. Galvin and Danforth kidnap the missionary's wife. The natives find them and capture the girl. Ramar and company rescue her and are trapped in a cave. At the end of the movie, Babette is a gift to Willy from the missionaries.
This movie is composed of: Call to Danger #27 / Blind Peril #28 / Jungle Vengeance #29
I have never seen Jungle Vengeance as an individual episode but the description and episode number fit. However, without being able to view the episode I can not absolutely verify this.
Phantom of the Jungle (1955)
The fourth and final theatrical movie is again with Willie and his pet monkey Babette, and from the fourth series of episodes. The team lives in a tent in Africa.
A group consisting of Dr. Arlington, his daughter Nancy, Blake, and Dexter is on a quest for a Golden Egyptian Tablet.
In the first episode, Lost Safari, Blake schemes to get the tablet. Nancy is kidnapped. Dexter takes the tablet and runs.
In the second episode, Golden Tablet,
Blake leads Nancy to find her father who has been presumed dead and is being held captive by Blake. Nancy leaves a tape recorder recording which serves as a clue to Ramar. The tablet is recovered and given back to natives. Ramar shoots Blake.
In the third episode, Flaming Mountain, the natives hold Dexter, Arlington, and Nancy as prisoners. They escape and Tom and Howard are then held as prisoners. Tom finally gets the tablet back from Dexter and returns it to the natives. A Volcano erupts and all barely escape.
The movie is composed of: Lost Safari #40 / Golden Tablet #41/ Flaming Mountain #42
I have seen all individual episodes and confirm that this is correct.
Ramar and the Savage Challenges (1964)
References sometimes list this tv movie as Savage "Challengers". Even some ITC promotional literature lists the title as "Challengers". The correct title on the film print is "Challenges". Apparently the sales department wasn't always kept informed.
Ramar has four "challenges". The first is to save a tribal chief, in the second robbers try to gain oil rights by getting the tribes to fight amongst themselves, the third is to find the truth of a body of a poisoned husband in a grave, and the fourth is of a lady hypnotized to believe she is a leopard.
The movie is composed of film edited from four episodes. A narrator tells the storyline to bring some continuity to the otherwise disconnected episodes. The episode titles are: Savage Challenge, Thunder Over Sangoland, Dark Justice, and Lady of the Leopards. As I have never seen the episode Thunder Over Sangoland, I can not absolutely confirm that this is the correct title.
Ramar and the Hidden Terrors(1964)
Promotional literature lists the title as "Unknown" Terrors. I have viewed the film and the correct title in the credits is "Hidden" Terrors. Again the staff at ITC didn't do their homework. The credits do indicate it was released by I.T.C. in 1964. Four episodes directed by Sam Newfield and Spencer Bennett make up this film. Like the other television movies the episodes are tied together by the voice of a narrator. The episode titles are: Mark of the Bola, Zombie Terror, Curse of the Devil Doll, and King of the Watus. The movie runs slightly over 80 minutes. At a time when ITC was having financial trouble and not making much revenue off of a ten year old tv show that had been rerun to death, It was easy for them to take four 25 minute episodes, cut out the credits and edit out some stock jungle footage to get about 20 minutes of story, edit four stories together for an 80 minute television film, add a couple of minutes of opening and closing titles, tie the stories together by overlaying a narration track, and sell this to television. All it cost them was a little editing time. The episodes of course had to be from the same production series so that the guides and locations remained the same throughout, but the material was there. With titles like "Savage Challenges" and "Hidden Terrors" you could just about select any four episodes you wanted and make them fit together.
General Notes and Useless Trivia
Ramar is often described as "White Witch Doctor". In several episodes it is pointed out that the name Ramar means "White Medicine Man". Never in the series is he described as "White Witch Doctor" that I know of. However, many ads and pieces of promotional literature for the series do label Ramar as such. I guess the marketing departmant was not alwasy aware of what they were selling.
Nick Stewart who played Willy the guide played Lightnin' in the Amos 'n Andy tv series.
The name of the trading post seen in the series is the Van Tyne's Trading Post and it is located at Cooper's Corners. You can find this in the first episode Evil Trek and other first series episodes.
In the series Tom Reynolds, Ramar, is returning to Africa. His parents were missionaries there when he was a child. This is made clear in the opening of the first episode Evil Trek.
Willy's pet monkey Babette belongs to the missionaries they meet in the beginning of the third series. They present Babette to Willy as a gift. This can be seen in the movie Thunder Over Sangoland.
Willy's girl friend is Mirmonee.
Charlie Smart, the Cockney guide, was hired in Capetown when Ramar and Howard arrived in Africa.
Charlie’s parrot is named Walter.
The White Goddess is named Irma Brook. Her husband met the two escaped convicts in jail.
The Kutchi Gundi tribe are the "Pack Rats" Gundi means "Rat", Kutchi means "storage". From the Golden Tablet.
I recall in "Voice in the Sky, Howard says it sounds like the voice really is coming from the sky, and Tom replies that it is just an echo from the surrounding hills. Now if this guy is educated and a research assistant and he can't tell what an echo is.....
But that's what makes the series fun!
The last time I know of Ramar being on tv: I recall seeing the made for tv Ramar movies on Turner's television station back in the 70s. It was Superstation WTCG Ch. 17 from Atlanta, Before TNT and TCM. They were on in the early morning hours on weekdays. Wish they had VCRs back then!
OK, you folks out there watch these episodes. If you have any good trivia or notes for this page, please email them to me.
"Epi-Log" Magazine, issue #19, June, 1992
Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com