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SHEENA

REVENGE OF THE JIRDS
aka Of Mice And Men


EPISODE NO. 03
Season 1, episode 03
Series 103
1st release: 10/16/00
2nd release:
Production number: 102
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 11-19-00


REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS 1 by Sally Dye
SYNOPSIS 2 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 1 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 2 by Thomas Chaser
JUST MORPHING AROUND
LINKS


REGULAR CAST
Gena Lee Nolin (Sheena)
Margo Moorer (Kali)
John Allen Nelson (Matt Cutter)
Kevin Quigley (Mendehlson)

CREDITS
Written by Babs Greyhosky
Directed by Scott Paulin

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.




TV GUIDE PROMO

A rather lively "coffee" cargo sends Sheena and Cutter hightailing it after animal smugglers. ClickTV

The cargo of coffee that Cutter was hired to deliver turns out to be a shipment of smuggled animals from the jungle known as Jirds. Sheena and Cutter begin a search for the Jird smugglers, which leads Cutter into a heated discovery. SheenaTV.com

Sheena and Cutter must find a poacher in search of prey before he kills again.


AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION

1st RELEASE: 10/16/00
An AA average of 1.9
Competition from Action Hours:
Andromeda 3.5
The X-Files 3.5
Stargate SG-1 3.2
Xena 3.2
Earth: Final Conflict 2.2
Profiler 1.9
Sheena 1.9
Invisible Man 1.6
Pretender 1.6
Relic Hunter 1.6



SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

A poacher named Burke is killed by a man named Coumar because his last shipment was damaged -- i.e. dead -- and Coumar is apparently not a man who is into giving second chances.

In La Mista, the darak'na is chasing a man through the jungle. The man gets away but drops a pouch containing a bill of sale with Cutter's name on it.

Act I

Mendelson overhears a wildlife student named Tracy enthusing over "cuddling" with Cutter. After she leaves, Mendelson teases Cutter about it. Cutter says he just doesn't want to "rush into anything" and that he just dosn't seem to be responding to Tracy for some reason. Mendelson says it must be because of Sheena. Cutter knows he hasn't told Mendelson about Sheena, so he wonders where this came from. Mendelson says Cutter calls Sheena's name out in his sleep.

Kali comes by to pick up some books that Sheena has ordered. Cutter says they are romance books, easily understood by women -- words not too big, plot not too complicated. Kali just smirks and says that she's sure Sheena will appreciate that. Sheena "drops in" at that moment and grabs Cutter by the throat. She wants to know what he has done with the jirds. Cutter doesn't know what she's talking about.. Sheena pries open a crate of what is supposed to be coffee and out hop several small mouse-like creatures -- the jirds. Cutter is surprised that they were in the crates. Sheena says that poachers have been trapping the jirds because their glands are supposed to cure impotence. The jirds are worth thousands of dollars each. Sheena notices that one of the jirds must have bitten its captor because it has human blood on it. She wants Cutter to prove he is not involved with the poachers by helping her catch the real culprits.

Sheena goes with Cutter in his plane when he takes the shipment of "coffee" to its destination. They arrive at an isolated airstrip and are met by two Somalis with rifles.

Act II

The Somalis unload the cargo and drive away. Cutter and Sheena take off in the plane. Sheena says when the buyers find out that they only have coffee they'll go after the seller, and that's when she will get them. After warning Cutter not to follow the Somalis, Sheena jumps out of the plane and morphs into an eagle. She flies down to the jungle and sets the jirds free.

Cutter sees the Somalis' jeep and decides to follow it anyway. They shoot several holes in his plane and he flies away.

Mr. Coumar is very upset when he discovers that there is only coffee in the shipment. He plans to go after the supplier until the men tell him that they were followed by Cutter.

Act III

Mendelson tells Cutter that Burke was found dead in his ofice with coffee grains stuffed down his throat. Cutter realizes that Burke had been involved in the poaching. Tracy comes by to tell Cutter she is going out to photograph the wildlife at one of the water holes and that she will she him later that evening.

Cutter is alone in his office and Sheena arrives. She asks why he's been yelling her name when all he has to do is whisper it. He whispers her name and they kiss passionately. Cutter wakes up and he's holding two jirds. He realizes he was dreaming. He hears someone come into his office and tackles them. It's Tracy. She rolls on top of him and holds him down. Suddenly a large vulture swoops down and attacks Tracy, pecking and biting her before flying up and perching on a rafter. Tracy cleans her wounds and says that their romantic evening will have to wait. After she leaves, Cutter yells at the vulture, thinking it's Sheena. Suddenly Sheena appears and is exasperated that he would think she was a vulture. He says the last time he saw her she was a bird, so... She is angry that Cutter followed the Somalis when she told him not to, and she and Cutter argue. Sheena picks up the towel that Tracy had used to clean her wounds and realizes by the blood scent that Tracy must be the seller. She runs out.

Cutter follows Sheena into the jungle. Sheena says if he wants to help, to ask Tracy to help him with some injured jirds. When she tries to take them, they'll have the proof they need that she is the seller.

Cutter goes to the way station and tells Tracy he needs her help. She is eager to go with him to help with the jirds. Coumar and the Somalis follow them.

Act IV

Sheena changes into the darak'na.

Cutter and Tracy find the "injured" jirds. Tracy tries to get them out of the trap and one of them bites her. She says she'd better take them back to the way station to take care of them. Cutter says they'd better call the authorities first, and Tracy pulls a gun on him. However, Cutter had removed the clip while they were at the way station, so the gun is useless. Tracy says she really needs the money she will get from the sale of the jirds, so why doesn't Cutter help her and she will cut him in. Cutter says he can't, that he made a promise to someone.

Coumar and the Somalis arrive. They are about to kill Cutter and Tracy when the darak'na's growling is heard and something grabs the guns out of their hands. Cutter fights Coumar and Sheena takes on the Somalis. After the bad guys are down for the count, they look around and Tracy is gone. Sheena says, "It's being handled."

Tracy returns to the way station and is packing up her things, when the jirds start appearing. They are everywhere. They climb all over Tracy, biting and attacking her. Sheena, watching as the darak'na, just growls.

Epilogue

Cutter finds Sheena swimming in a clear pool. He says Tracy has been sent back to the States and the jirds are safe. Sheena says yes, until another animal is found to be useful to man's preoccupation with sex. Cutter says it's why we -- and the animals -- are here and for Sheena not to knock it til she's tried it. Sheena just looks mysterious. Cutter says, "Have you ever?" and Sheena replies, "In your dreams."



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

A man "Burke" is gunned down by a client that is extremely upset when his shipment of "Jirds" (similar to gerbils) were delivered dead and thereby valueless hidden within coffee.

The Drak'na attacks a Somalian, poacher of Jirds, in the jungle and recovers his cache of the little rodents and discovers an invoice for Cutter Unlimited. Matt Cutter's own firm.

Meanwhile, Cutter entertains Tracy, a student studying for her Ph.D. in animal behavior, as she recounts their intimate evening of cuddling. Mendelson overhears with interest and teases him as she leaves. Cutter admits he isn't responding to her and Mendelson reveals he's heard, even Nairobi has heard, him call out Sheena's name while having a dream. Mendelson wants to meet her.

Out of coffee, Cutter goes to the supply room to pop open one of the boxes that hold the multiple cans of coffee as he's low on caffeine. Kali intercepts him and he tells of his buying Sheena a gift, a romance novel, a "chick book" to which Kali asks, "a book about poultry?" Cutter explains it's a romance book, a huggy/kissy type novel with not too complicated a plot. He rethinks it a moment and decides he'll give her the book him- self. Kali smiles but says nothing. He returns to his place.

Sheena bursts in at that moment and grabs Cutter by the throat and jams him against the nearest wall. Livid, she demands answers about the invoice she found. She accuses him of smuggling jirds and he swears he's unaware. Sheena races to the supply room, tears open a wooden box and uncovers a can of coffee only to spill out several jirds among the coffee beans. One jird is injured and Sheena, as well as Kali, smell the blood.

Kali tells that the jirds, the LaMista jirds, are worth thousands of dollars each. Myth holds that their glandular extract cures impotency. "It's merely a myth but it doesn't stop men from draining the gland while they're awake - then leave them to die a slow, painful death." Sheena mentions it's for tumescence, or "swelling", a word that is frequently used in romance novels.

Cutter insists no knowledge of any of this and tells him that if he's innocent, prove it.

Cutter flies in a new shipment with Sheena riding shotgun. She's curious how they manage to stay aloft if the planes wing don't move. She starts playing with buttons which Cutter playfully slaps her hands away and having to work at getting the plane back to level flight. He yells at her to keep her hands off the controls. Cutter tells Sheena that the men that are expecting the shipment insisted that he be alone, and mentions his mantra, "don't get involved." Sheena says, "No will see me. No one can ever see me."

Cutter pulls the plane to a stop and meets the men awaiting the shipment. They offload the boxes themselves and perceive his nervousness. They look inside but see no one.

The men leave and Sheena reveals that she had stashed herself in a rear hold behind a curtain. She wants the seller. Cutter asks if she had come up with this from reading any of her romance novels and she says, "No, from common sense."

Once more in the air, Cutter is eager to follow the buyers and Sheena tells him not to follow not less than three times. Sheena bails from the plane holding a small bag. As she plummets to Earth she makes eye contact with a large bird and on her way down morphs into a similar bird. She lands, changing back to Sheena as she touches down, and handily catching the small sack which she uncinches and allows the contents, several jirds, to climb out and be once again released into the wild. From above, Cutter watches in utter amazement as Sheena morphs into the bird and lands. He wishes he could do that, too.

Cutter spots the jeep and follows anyway and his plane gets shot at. Mendelson looks over the wounds that Cutter calls, "flesh wounds" to which Mendelson uses a screwdriver blade to inflict a flesh wound on Cutter. "Now THAT is a flesh wound." Tracy reappears just in time to administer the necessary first aid.

Cutter has a sex dream of he and Sheena and winds up awakening holding a jird in each fist. He hears a door open and sees someone pass. He attacks the "intruder" only to find it is Tracy and she tells him that she can be bad, very bad. She smothers him with kisses which he rejects. They are still together when they are both attacked by a vulture.

Sheena smells the blood on Cutter's discarded towel, after the attack, and questions him who's blood is on the towel other than his. He is incredulous that she can tell the difference, as an animal would. He tells her that the other blood is Tracy's. Sheena then knows that she is the seller. The scent matched the scent on the injured jird she had encountered initially.

Sheena tells Cutter to ask for Tracy's help with the jirds. Cutter agrees.

Koumar's men, meanwhile, have Mendelson and are trying to pound Cutter's whereabouts out of him, they take him with them only to find out that the "way station" was accurate. They dump Mendelson out of the car.

Cutter encounters Tracy with the jirds (3 in a cage) and he tells he that he should contact "Rasheed" (the authorities) and she explains she's an 8 yr student and she got started doing this for the needed bucks. Cutter explains that he made a promise to someone and was going to keep it.

Koumar and his henchmen approach Cutter and Tracy with guns drawn. They want the jirds they have and then Koumar orders both of them killed.

Sheena appears as the Drak'na and the fight is on. She slices up the bad guys with her talon claws and wedges one guy in a tree. She finishes Koumar with a razor-sharp claw to his crotch.

Tracy scampers away unscathed as the fighting stops and Sheena shimmies up a tree. Cutter asks about Tracy. Sheena tells him, "she's being taken care of."

Tracy, back at her camp, rapidly packs up only to be suddenly covered by jirds. From everywhere, her pack, her camp the jirds come. They drop on her, climb through her clothing and bite her as they go.

Down on the ground, she screams as the little creatures continue to attack, and finally exact their own revenge.

Alone, Sheena bathes in a lake and Cutter comes up on her. Cutter was there to tell her that Tracy was headed back to the states and he asks her about sex. He wonders if she ever had sex.

Sheena smiles and says, "in your dreams."



COMMENTARY 1:

This commentary is by Loretta Miller .

I was with this episode up until the very end. When the jirds "attacked" Tracy and managed to down her and have her crawl in a desperate attempt to get away: well, I laughed.

Straight from "The Birds", the attack of the vulture and then the final assault by the jirds...the attack on the evil...it brings up a question: why was Cutter injured by the vulture as well? In the wrong place a the wrong time?

Otherwise, this episode was good. But, it had its weak moments. I just KNEW Cutter was going to follow the jeep when Sheena told him three times not to follow the jeep. For a moment there I thought of her as a Mom scolding a young child...not a friend talking to a friend. But, perhaps this was used to display Sheena's growing closeness and caring for him. To keep him from harm's way and she felt that it would take several times to get through to him. But, it didn't work anyway. His testosterone kicked into overdrive and he knew he'd get the valuable information for his Sheena, casting his personal safety aside valiantly for the cause. It didn't work and he was SURPRISED when he was shot at? He was begging for it.

If that was an intent to score points with Sheena, he didn't come across as anything but foolish. Perhaps there is more under that blond hair than we first thought.

Tracy, an 8-yr student, evidently is stuck in a jungle and a field of study that she seemed to detest. "Bug bites" is only one of the few things she complained bitterly about as her little scheme unraveled. Was this a naive, innocent girl that took up smuggling to make ends meet? "I can be bad, very bad," couldn't have been clearer. She had an innocent face with a river of evil intent just under the surface. Running with such ruthless characters as Koumar, she's surprised when he double crosses her? She acted as though this was her first transaction with the man.

I simply loved the morphing they did of Sheena going in to the bird as she fell from the plane. It didn't look like they were THAT high for Sheena to leap from the plane THEN make an eye connection with a passing bird. Personally, I'd want a LITTLE more of a safety net available. But, as she touched down and right back into Sheena and she reached up just in time to catch the little bag she had with her: that was good. I liked the moment of her gently letting the little buggers out of the bag and scamper back into the wild.

Cutter continues to grow and while we're seeing more of Sheena (especially of her "changing" into the Drak'na), we need to understand her more. We certainly know that she is protecting her home and the animals within it and will even stand against Cutter in order to ensure its safety. Admirable.



COMMENTARY 2:

This commentary is by Thomas Chaser.

"Revenge of the Jirds" opens with a scraggly-faced man docking his little jon boat and walking into his office. He takes a slug of liquor from a dirty flask and turns, suprised that the Evil Dude Du Jour is waiting for him. Apparently the Evil Dude is upset because the last shipment (of what, we find out later) was damaged and so he has found a new courier. The scraggly-faced man offers to replace the goods or refund the money, but the Evil Dude isn't accepting his money. He no longer needs the scraggly-faced man, so like most Evil Dudes he kills him, while his two African henchman look on.

Of the three "Sheena" scene openers so far, this one is the weakest. The actor playing the scraggly-faced man turns in a good performance (better than the actor playing Cutter, but more on that later) but there just isn't any tension, probably because we already have seen this sort of setup before. We just know the scraggly-faced man is going to get whacked, we just don't know how long its going to take to do it.

After the credits, we're treated to some poor dialogue between Cutter and his mechanic Quigley (or was it Quincey? I can't remember) and then between Cutter and the guest actress playing a doctoral research student, and then between Cutter and Sheena. The common element? Poor dialogue between Cutter and whomever he's speaking with. The actor playing Cutter runs his diction like he just walked off a daytime soap opera, with all the melodrama and edginess of a husband who's wife is in a coma while he's inking a million dollar deal and doing his business partner's wife on the side. Its about that bad.

Anyway, it seems that Cutter had been hired by the Evil Dude to transport coffee beans, which are actually containers of coffee mixed with jirds. A jird, you see, is a gerbil unique to the forbidden zone of the jungle where Sheena protects the animals. She's been trying to catch the seller and has traced the animals to Cutter. Cutter, of course, thinks he's just transporting coffee until Sheena explains the real deal. Since Cutter wants to get on Sheena's good side (it seems he's been calling out her name in his sleep) he decides to help her catch the jird traders. Sheena stows away on his plane as Cutter is flying to make his rendezvous at the cargo drop-off point.

At the drop-off point, there's a moment of tension as the two African henchman notice Cutter acting jittery and suspect him of being up to no good. They search his plane and just as we think they've found Sheena, the silent henchman pulls out a generic dirty magazine. Obviously, a white man living on the edge of the jungle would be nervous about a girlie mag in his plane. Yeah. Fortunately, the African henchmen are no different from other comic book henchman and aren't very bright, so they believe that the magazine is the reason why Cutter didn't want them to search his plane. They get the cargo and he takes off.

He's following the henchmen's jeep, but Sheena (who had been hiding in the tail of the plane) tells him not to follow them because she doesn't want them to get spooked. She then bails out of the plane in midflight without a parachute, transforming into an eagle or vulture or something as she tumbles earthward. Cutter, on his own in the plane, decides to disobey Sheena and follows the henchmen, who promptly fire their AK-47s at his plane, damaging the cockpit. He decides to return to his home base and leave the surveillance up to Sheena.

Now, in this storyline there's a subplot - the doctoral research student is flirting with Cutter. She's visiting his hangar and sees the damage to the plane and the scratch on his arm (caused when his mechanic playfully dragged a screwdriver across Cutter's forearm). She bandages him up and coyly walks away.

So far, the best acting in this episode has come from the two African henchmen, only one of whom has any speaking lines (during one of the Evil Dude's speeches, he alludes to the fact that he cut out the silent henchman's tongue as punishment for irritating him). The actor playing the scraggly-faced man did a pretty good job, too. Everybody else is over-dramatic in their pausing and speech patterns. I don't know if that's poor directing or just a lack of talent, but there's too much of it to be ignored. The gerbils are doing a good job of being jirds, but then, that's not really much of a stretch for them.

One performance that does stand out is by Gena Lee Nolin's stunt double, Vicky (Roberts? Robinson? I can't recall the last name at the moment). This person puts the "pro" in "professional". She's asked to perform her stunts while covered in mud, wearing a prosthetic mask, topless, and hanging upside down. If that's not a true test of both athletic ability and personal modesty, I don't know what is. Vicky also happens to be, in my opinion, in much better physical shape and much more attractive (except for the prosthetic mask, of course). If anyone out there is reading this and organizing a sci-fi convention, you should book Vicky for an autograph session instead of GLN. Vicky would probably be cheaper and would be the real jungle girl we all know and love.

Ok, enough of my soapbox. The show winds down with the Evil Dude and his two henchmen holding the doctoral student and Cutter at gun point in the jungle. It seems that the Evil Dude has decided to take out his seller - the research student - and his courier at the same time. Fortunately, Sheena comes to the rescue (in the form of the Da'Rakma, played by Vicky) and several fist-fights break out, resulting in the Evil Dude and his two henchmen being subdued. The doctoral student flees and returns to her camp, where the jirds have decided to exact their revenge.

I have to give credit to the actress playing the researcher. She's covered in gerbils for a good length of time - in her hair, down her shirt, up her legs, etc. - before falling to the ground. Is she dead? Probably. We're never told for certain, but there's no mention of her being arrested by the authorities so perhaps the jirds meted out some jird justice.

Anyway, the epilogue consists of Vicky swimming naked in the river while Gena recites some dialogue. Confused? You'll just have to watch the show to understand.



JUST MORPHING AROUND

10-17-00. Executive Producer Steven L. Sears told me several times that the name of the episode "Of Mice and Men" had been changed to "Revenge of the Jirds", but I looked on the official site today and it was listed as "Of Mice and Men". Out of respect to Mr. Sears I will keep it as Revenge, even though I must admit my faith is beginning to waver...

10-11-00. The episode title was changed from "Of Mice and Men" to "Revenge of the Jirds".

10-04-00. Writer Babs Greyhosky has been an executive producer of several series, including the first show SHEENA Executive Producer Steven L. Sears ever worked on, RIPTIDE.



LINKS:

Teaser from official page. Needs RealVideo player.




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