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'Ramar of the Jungle'

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: September 17, 2009

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Continuing with his series on ’Yesterday’s TV’, Alan Keeling explains that the show ’Ramar of the Jungle’ was as popular in film format as it was on television:

"It was one of a number of jungle adventures that occupied TV screens in the nineteen fifties and sixties, but Ramar was probably the best remembered. It was produced in 1952/53 by Rudolph Flothow for Arrow Productions and distributed by ITC. The 52 half-hour monochrome episodes starred Jon Hall as Dr Tom Reynolds, commonly known by members of the native tribes he dealt with as Ramar the white witch doctor. Alongside Jon Hall starred Ray Montgomery as Professor Howard Ogden.

Monkey

"During the first 13 episodes, Reynolds and Ogden were helped by a cockney guide named Charlie who was played by James Fairfax, and in the final 26 shows Nick Stewart played a character called Willy, a native guide who was always accompanied by his pet monkey, Babette. Filmed in Hollywood the series proved so popular that four compilation films were made for release at the cinema. Taken from various TV episodes, they included White Goddess (1953), Eyes of the Jungle (1953), Thunder over Sangoland (1955), and Phantom of the Jungle (1955).

"In 1964 seven more compilation films followed, but this time they were made specifically for television and released by ITC. There was Ramar and the Burning Barrier ... the Deadly Females ...the Jungle Secrets ... Mission to India ... The Savage Challenges ... The Hidden Terrors ... and Ramar and the Jungle Voodoo.

"The TV series was first screened in the Midlands on ATV in 1956/57 at 5.30 in the evening, and re-run in 1966 in a 5.25pm children’s slot, followed by occasional repeats on Saturday nights as late as 1970.

"Fifteen years after it was first made the series looked amusingly dated and caused viewers to comment on its somewhat ’hammy’ acting and the 1930s stock footage that was used during the opening titles and in between various. Ramar of the Jungle was very successful in its day, but unlike some TV series of its ilk, it became outdated very quickly."

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