Whoosh!
Online Edition


SHEENA

TOURIST TRAP


EPISODE NO. 05
Season 1, episode 05
Series 105
1st release: 10/30/00
2nd release:
Production number: 104
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 05-02-01


REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
SYNOPSIS 1 by Sally Dye
SYNOPSIS 2 by Loretta Miller
SYNOPSIS 3 by Thomas Chaser
COMMENTARY 1 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 2 by Thomas Chaser
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR


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

GUEST CAST
Jim R. Coleman (Ngama)

CREDITS
Written by Keith Thompson
Directed by Scott Paulin

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.




TV GUIDE PROMO

Virus smugglers capture Cutter and a group of tourists. ClickTV

Cutter and his tour group are taken hostage by terrorists who have stolen a sample of the Ebola virus. Sheenatv.com

Terrorists who have stolen a sample of the Ebola virus take Cutter and his tour group hostage. ExciteTV






SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

Several jeeps, filled with Rashid and his fellow rangers, approach an abandoned truck. On the seat of the truck is a case marked "Biohazard". One of the rangers gets the case. Suddenly several men emerge from the jungle and open fire. All of the rangers are shot. The terrorist leader tells his men to get the rangers' jackets. He picks up the case.

Mendelson and Cutter drive up to a group of tourists -- an older couple and a woman and her little girl -- in an old run-down bus. The tourists are angry that he is late. He tells them he is allowing them time to experience Africa and bond with it. They are skeptical, except for the little girl, Mariah, who says she has already bonded with Africa. They all get on the bus.

Sheena finds the rangers and finds that only Rashid is still alive. He tells her that the terrorists must be stopped because they plan to "kill us all".

Act I

Engama discovers that his sample of the ebola virus is missing and is very angry. He tells his men to go and get it back.

Cutter is trying to impress the tourists. The older man, Buck, just wants to see something kill something else, but the nearby lions won't cooperate. Mariah wants to see the jungle princess. Cutter asks if she means the darak'na, but her mother says it's from a story she read to Mariah. Cutter sees an insignia on Mariah's cap of an organization that grants terminally ill children's last wishes. He realizes that Mariah must be dying.

Sheena takes Rashid to Kali. She is telling Kali what Rashid said when they hear a bus driving up. It's Cutter and his tourists. Sheena goes back into the jungle, and Kali takes Cutter to see Rashid. She tells Cutter he should take the tourists back to safety. Just then Mariah's mother notices that Mariah is missing.

Mariah has gone off in search of the jungle princess. She encounters a huge lion, which is sent away by Sheena. Mariah thinks Sheena is the jungle princess, who can grant wishes. She tells Sheena that she has Grayson's disease and asks her for a wish. They are interrupted by Cutter and her mom, and Sheena melts into the jungle before she can be seen.

Sheena asks Kali about Grayson's disease. Kali has a book on uncommon diseases, and they consult it.

The terrorists get stuck in their jeep. Just then Cutter's bus happens by and stops to help, thinking they are rangers. Cutter realizes that something is suspicious, though, and has Mendelson drive off quickly. Unfortunately, the bus crashes before they can get very far.

Act II

The terrorists want Mendelson to take them across the border into Dafari. Cutter says they must cross the La Mistas. The terrorists throw all the luggage off the bus, in spite of Mariah's mother's protests that Mariah's medicine is in one of the bags. They force Mendelson to drive off. Sheena watches from the jungle and follows.

When Mendelson stops the bus to look for a way across the swamp, a huge elephant attacks the bus, damaging the ballast tanks. Cutter falls out the door, and the elephant scoops him up and lumbers off into the jungle with him. The terrorist leader, Mabuli, is angry and tells Mendelson that they will go on anyway. He looks around for a place to hide the virus capsule and sees Mariah's doll.

The elephant dumps Cutter on the ground and starts to step on him.

Act III

The elephant morphs into Sheena, who is extending her hand to help Cutter up. She tells Cutter that they must go and stop Engama's military, because the terrorists might unleash the virus if they are attacked. They begin making preparations.

A convoy of Engama's men is coming down the road. Cutter decoys them onto a side trail and into a trap. The soldiers are overcome by fumes from a concoction Sheena put together. She disables their vehicles, and she and Cutter take off.

The terrorists make camp for the night. Sheena and Cutter sneak close without being seen and see that Mariah is getting weak and sick without her medicine. They see Mabuli holding her doll and realize that he must have hidden the virus in it. Sheena gets some panther friends to help and they shake the terrorists up. Sheena takes on Mabuli and gets the doll from him. Cutter gets the tourists away. Sheena tells Cutter that they must get Mariah to Kali.

Act IV

They get Mariah to Kali's village. The villagers and the tourists go off to hide in the jungle while Cutter and Mendelson set up defenses. Sheena tells Kali that she read up on Grayson's disease, and that scientists are studying lions for a cure. She plans to begin to change into a lion and transfuse her blood into Mariah. They begin the transfusion just as the terrorists attack the village.

Cutter and Mendelson hold off the terrorists until they run out of bullets. The terrorists take their guns. When they approach Kali's hut, Sheena, who is half lion and half human, leaps out and attacks them, putting them all out of commission. Then she runs off into the jungle. Mendelson says he does not want to know what that was.

Epilogue

The tourists are happy with their tour. Mariah is looking better, and Kali says she thinks Sheena has managed to give Mariah her wish. Mariah asks Cutter to "thank her for me", and Cutter says he will. Sheena watches from the jungle with a smile on her face as they drive away.



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

Hundreds of birds fly tightly together in tremendous dark clouds, rising and falling as if on an invisible wave. Other animals run in tight circles. Something is terribly wrong.

While Kali celebrates Sheena's birthday, twenty years ago that very day, the restless animals watch them. Just as Sheena blows out a candle on her birthday cupcake, offered to her by Cutter, a rogue gorilla attacks them. The attack injures Kali.

Sheena fights valiantly yet she is tossed about like a rag doll. Cutter races to his jeep for his gun and returns with gun drawn but no clear shot and the gorilla escapes into the jungle.

Sheena is stunned that Kali can't or won't describe the gorilla. Sheena reminds her that the rogue has to be hunted down and killed before another attack. Kali won't hear of it. Rasheed tells Cutter to disregard Kali's rule of "no weapons in the village" and to leave his gun loaded and nearby.

The rogue gorilla returns to his kind and we see that he is injured.

Kali sees the gorilla footprints and blood. She fingers a sample and smells it.

Sheena finds arrows hidden in the jungle and Cutter follows her: she's hunting the rogue. He suggests that she turn into a gorilla so it'll be a fair fight. She tells him that she can't change into a rogue, as she cannot get a hold of their manta. She adds that rogues are limited by species. Cutter asks if there can be a rogue housecat as that would explain everything about his ex-girlfriend's cat. Sheena rolls her eyes as she heads off. She is intent on the hunt and changing Kali's mind.

They go to Kali's hut and find not only Kali missing but all of her herbs, medicines, even the rock-gift that Sheena had given her gone as well.

They step outside Kali's hut to witness the birds once again hoarding together in mid-air flying to and fro in huge ominous clouds. "Something is very wrong."

Injured from the gorilla attack, Sheena smashes her shoulder into a tree with a sickening crunch that makes Cutter wince. She explains that her shoulder had been dislocated and although now it is back in place, it's likely to slow her down. She sprints off with Cutter aghast. "Oh, you're at a virtual crawl now."

Kali goes to the entrance of her old village, makes eye contact with a zebra and lynx and they back away and allow her passage inside.

Cutter follows Sheena in the thick brush. She tells him that he doesn't have to come along and he tells her that "it's not a good thing to let a friend get lonely." Sheena takes in the word "friend" and then continues on, her trek unabated. Sheena is following Kali's scent. "What does Kali smell like?" Cutter asks. "Kali smells like Kali."

Kali, at her old village, picks up discarded plates and other things that trigger memories of her happy past when she was younger and laughing in the company of a man.

A water buffalo charges which forces both Sheena and Cutter into a tree. Sheena knows that she is unable to follow Kali's scent from above. From their vantage point Sheena sees Kali far ahead…at an altar. She is going through some sort of ceremony as she lights incense, cuts her arm and while in some sort of prayer, she morphs into a gorilla.

Cutter asks, "I thought you needed an animal to change off of." "You do," Sheena replies admitting that she is as shocked as Cutter is at the transformation they had witnessed.

Kali, as a gorilla, tracks down the injured rogue.

Meanwhile, Rasheed finds another village attacked, the villagers tell him that the animals are "wild" - like they are driving them out of their towns and villages.

Sheena admits that with Kali being with the rogues as a gorilla is not a good thing. She fears for Kali's safety.

Kali morphs back into her human form as does the rogue and he's a man. Sheena finds her and approaches cautiously. She tells Sheena that he is Naya, her husband.

Cutter tries to get his jeep back to them through the thick jungle while Kali tells Sheena that she is content to stay right where she is with her husband for the remainder of their lives and that this old village once was theirs. Kali explains that she was the last of the tribe, as she knew it. The others had changed into animals. They gave up Kaya when they became animals for good and that the Kaya and the rogues are one in the same.

Sheena, deeply hurt and disillusioned thought Kaya stood for goodness and discovers the unvarnished truth: they are nothing but killers. Kali tells her that Naya had convinced all but one (herself) to change. She explained that as western civilization had imposed itself too much on the Kaya way of life, they believed a peaceful loving existence was not possible. They decided to give up their human form. Kali remained in the human form because she knew that she was born human and that the human traits, like hatred, that we possess, would go with them as they transformed. She says that animals don't possess hatred but humans do. She wanted to be wrong but she was not. Sheena says she should have been told but Kali counters with, "no reason to. It's not an easy thing to talk about or think about." Sheena says that the rogue nearly killed her. Kali made the change at a great risk to herself but she knew that he wanted to be with her again. She tends to his wounds and hopes for a return to their once loving relationship of old.

Cutter is stuck in the mud and a lion forces him into his jeep and he manages to rock the vehicle out of the muck but not before the lion was nearly entirely in his back seat. He finds his way to Sheena and Kali and Kali asks if he had any problems enroute. "Only your normal rush hour gridlock."

Cutter transports Sheena, Kali and the still unconscious Naya toward his own village. The animals are seen to be restless and Kali explains that they are confused, without a leader to guide them. Cutter asks her how she changed into a gorilla without the benefit of another gorilla to change off of. It's the "perks of having seniority," she explains. Cutter smiles in response.

At Cutter's village, they find it vacant. Not a soul remains behind. Kali asks Cutter if they (her and Naya) can spend the night with him and he agrees. Naya comes to and Cutter leaves them alone.

Sheena, inside Cutter's place, angrily paces. She says that Kali is acting like a blind woman unable to see the danger that she is in. "He (Naya) didn't want civilization thirty years ago, he won't want it now." She says that the terror will begin again and it has to stop but the only way to stop it is to kill Naya. Sheena tells Cutter that she knows what he meant by not wanting your friends to be lonely.

Kali rigs a lean-to for her and Naya. She tells Naya of Sheena calling her "the link to the modern world, to take Kaya to the next generation. She resists what she has to do."

Rasheed suggests that Cutter take refuge in a shelter but he insists he can "ride out the storm". Rasheed tells him of his own unprovoked attack where he had to kill a hyena. Cutter muses that it's probably like Florida's hurricanes and Rasheed cautions him that this is not Florida.

Kali and Cutter talk early the next morning and Kali talks of the anniversary. She wanted to forget this day as it was saddest day in her life then ten years later Sheena enters her life on that very day and makes it the happiest. Suddenly she felt hope restored. She tells Cutter that Naya is gone and that Sheena's instincts were correct. He didn't come back for love; he came back to destroy.

A rogue gorilla charges through town, forcing Cutter to scramble up the side of his own business place. Cutter races inside for ammo. Then it goes after Kali and Sheena intervenes. Cutter, with his weapon now loaded tries to get a bead on it, but no luck. Sheena throws dirt into its eyes and he grabs her and throws her about once more like a rag doll. Cutter tries in vain, for there is no clear shot. Suddenly an arrow hits the beast as it rears itself up over the prone Sheena and it falls. Kali, deeply hurt, walks off. She had killed Naya.

At the graveside, they place the last rocks on top. Cutter suggests a prayer and looks to Kali but she doesn't have the right words and he says that silence is good too. Sometimes silence, and solitude is best.

For now they are safe.

Cutter leaves Kali and Sheena alone to talk. Sheena cries and embraces Kali saying that she is so sorry. They hold hands as Kali tells her "I have placed an enormous discovery at your feet." And it'll take time for both of them. The laws of the jungle are simpler than the laws of the heart. They embrace once more as Sheena tells her, "I thought I lost you forever." Kali smiles: "Never, my child, never."



SYNOPSIS 3:

This synopsis is by Thomas Chaser .

The show opens with some national rangers (the good guys) being ambushed by a group of terrorists (the bad guys) with automatic weapons. Most of the rangers are killed except one, Rashid, who is the same ranger that helped the village in last week's episode "Rite of Passage". The terrorists have captured a vial of a deadly virus which the government had been holding as a biological weapon. The terrorists take the rangers' jackets and their jeep and run for the border.

Meanwhile, Cutter has started a safari tour business, and his first group is an elderly man (who looks like Sir Richard Attenborough of "Jurassic Park") and his wife and a mother and her daughter. We later find out the little girl is dying of an incurable disease. The ailing daughter wants to find the jungle fairy princess and request a wish, which is to be cured of her disease. You can see where this sub-plot is going, can't you?

The tour bus stops briefly at Sheena's village and they discover Rashid being tended to by Kali. Sheena had found Rashid and had brought him back to the village. Rashid warns Cutter about the terrorists, but Cutter has to take his tour group on an adventure so off he goes into the jungle.

As the tour bus is travelling through the jungle, Cutter comes upon the jeep. Cutter sees through the terrorists' disguise of being national rangers, and tries to escape, but the bus is carjacked by the terrorists, who need the vehicle because their jeep has gotten stuck in the mud. As the bus is driving away, a crazed elephant attacks it, damaging the bus and grabbing Cutter. It was Sheena, trying to get Cutter away from the terrorists.

They track the terrorists until nightfall, when Sheena summons the jaguars and uses them to frighten and attack the terrorists. Following the melee, the terrorist leader and some henchmen escape but Cutter has gotten the vial. Cutter, Sheena, and the others return to the village and to Rashid, who has recovered sufficiently from his wounds to travel back to the main town with the vial. With the terrorists still on the loose, Rashid orders the evacuation of the town.

Sheena then turns to the dying girl. Sheena has learned that a possible cure might be found in using lion's blood as an antidote, but true lion's blood is rejected by humans so she undergoes a partial transformation into a lion and donates her mutated blood to the girl. The girl regains her strength, but as she does so, the terrorists return to the village, where Cutter and Mendelson try to defend Kali's hut with a pair of old bolt-action rifles. They are soon overrun by the terrorists, and as the terrorist leader enters Kali's hut, he is attacked by the half-lion Sheena. The terrorists are subdued and all is well again.



COMMENTARY 1:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

I liked this episode. Although the taking of the Ebola virus and who actually had it wasn't made entirely clear, the tourists looking for an adventure eventually got their monies worth.

The little girl, Mariah, for me made the entire episode. A heart-warming tale of a sick little girl going to Africa, as her last wish, to meet her Jungle Princess that can make everything all right. The little girl brought out Sheena's maternal side and we saw her put her welfare first over all the others. While the Ebola virus scenario was good, the welfare of the girl kept my attention.

Sheena let her believe that she was the Jungle Princess and capable of anything and it was that absolute faith that helped through that morph-transfusion that happened near the end of the episode. Personally I don't know of Grayson's Disease, and certainly wouldn't know if anyone IS actually studying lions blood for properties within it to offset the affects, but the premise seemed plausible.

As much as I'm getting to know Cutter, I never thought I'd hear him declare himself "a small time tour operator", it just seemed beneath him. I thought with him naming his business, "Cutter Unlimited", that he felt more highly of himself and his exploits.

The elephant business was great! Sheena's changing into the elephant to ram the bus and take out their ballast tanks (by accident, I think not!) and skillfully hoist Cutter up on her trunk and lead him away so she could talk to him was clever. Good morphing technique with the elephants large limb only two inches above Cutter's chest and then seeing Sheena's hand: good going. Guess Cutter wasn't the least bit thrilled with the "ride" and told his mysterious morphing friend, "a wink and a nod from the brush would have been enough." Ah, my friend, what's an adventure if it's not for a charging elephant hot for your bod? (G)

Actually, I was surprised at Sheena's seeming disgust at Cutter's arrival with his tour. She seemed truly annoyed by the interference that his tour causes to the village.

I simply LOVED Buck: what a contemptible, yet lovable loud mouth. He had chutzpah and character. There was no mistaking how he felt. Buck was out for the great African tour and he almost got more than he bargained for.

Cutter may think he's "a small time tour operator" but he certainly knows how to find an adventure. Or is it, it finds him?



COMMENTARY 2:

This commentary is by Thomas Chaser.

Overall, this episode isn't any better than the first two were. Sheena's even wearing her old one-piece costume, which makes me wonder if this episode might have been done out-of-sequence with the intended story cycle.

I'm glad to see a couple of supporting characters come back - Rashid and the leader of the generic nation (I've forgotten the name) - and the actors that portray them. The guy playing Rashid does a pretty good job, as does the guy playing the terrorist leader, though I think he would make a better Good Guy than Bad Guy. Acting by the regulars is about the same as always, but I think I'm becoming desensitized to Nelson's portrayal of Cutter - the bad acting didn't seem as bad this time around.

Stuntwork was pretty good, though there wasn't any Da'Rakna this time around. I suspect that Vicky Phillips was supposed to be the Da'Rakna in the scene where Cutter and Sheena attack the terrorist camp, but for some reason the producers decided to have Sheena call the jungle cats instead. The scene where Cutter goes through the windshield of the bus and lands in a mudhole was fairly dynamic. I'm sure the stuntman was going to feel that in the morning.

Cheesecake factor was exceptionally low, as was plot complexity. Violence level was up due to the increased gun play, but no blood or gore or anything too terribly shocking. I suspect that this show would do better on a Saturday morning kid-oriented program slot rather than during prime time.



THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

05-02-01. From Edgecenter. Inside joke: Tanya "Sheena" Roberts starred in a movie before her stardom called "Tourist Trap".




Episode
Guide Table of ContentsBack to Whoosh!