Daktari

Daktari

1966 - United States

Based on the 1965 movie 'Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion,' and appearing on television in the same year as the motion picture 'Born Free' this series tapped into the public's sudden affection for all things wildlife. 

Daktari (the Swahili name for doctor) which replaced Rawhide on CBS was set at the Wameru Study Centre for Animal Behaviour in East Africa and was run by Dr. Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson) and his daughter/assistant Paula (Cheryl Miller), assisted by US conservationist Jack Dane (Yale Summers), and Mike (Hari Rhodes), a native African. In truth, the series was filmed (rather convincingly) at Africa, USA, a wildlife park near Los Angeles. 

The real stars of the series were Clarence the lion and Judy the chimpanzee. Judy loved to climb on Clarence's back for a free ride and the lion was so mild mannered that it let her. The concept was developed by producer Ivan Tors who was inspired by the work of Dr. A.M. Harthoorn at his animal rights orphanage in Nairobi and a visit to Africa, USA where he first came across Clarence and the animal's odd physical condition. When the audience saw what Clarence saw, it was in double vision. In the last season a seven-year old orphan joined the family. Young Jenny Jones was played by Erin Moran who would find even greater television fame as Joanie Cunningham in both Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi

Published on December 6th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Seaspray

Australian series about a widowed father travelling the Southern Pacific seas with his two sons, daughter and a deckhand.

Also released in 1966

Alice in Wonderland

Unimpressed with Disney's 1951 animated version of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Jonathan Miller was keen to develop a new version which would bring to the fore undertones of the story that had been glossed over in the often 'traditional' presentation of this classic children's tale.

Also released in 1966

kung fu

US action-adventure drama in which a Shaolin monk who travels through the American Old West, armed only with his spiritual training and his skill in martial arts, goes in search of his half-brother.

Also tagged Us Adventure Series

Batman TV Series

Unable to secure the rights to a new television revival of the classic masked western hero the Lone Ranger, producer William Dozier instead turned his attention to another masked vigilante...

Also released in 1966

Cathy Come Home

Harrowing drama of one family's downward spiral into poverty that sparked a national debate in the Houses of Parliament on the plight of the homeless.

Also released in 1966

The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin

TV series based on one of Hollywood's biggest stars of the 1920s, Rin Tin Tin was one of two survivor of an Apache assault on a wagon train, a scenario that wasn't a million miles from the dog's true origins.

Also tagged Animals In Television

Flipper

The show that was dubbed an "aquatic Lassie" - Flipper comes to the rescue in a series of nautical adventures.

Also tagged Animals In Television

The Baron

An antiques dealer works in an informal capacity as an agent for British Diplomatic Intelligence.

Also released in 1966