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Richard C. Sarafian
Diana Firestone (Elizabeth Montgomery) is an archeologist from the African Institute of Natural History, who is in search of the remnants of a prehistoric man. However the site she wishes to explore is also being used by Tobias Williams (Robert Foxworth), an Englishman who is after meerschaum. Their agendas and common stubbornness cause hostilities, until love intrudes.
Made before Montgomery's marriage to Foxworth, his odd English accent is an indication of their varying degrees in skill. The material doesn't offer her many challenges, apart from a geographical one though her bra-less jungle wear is possibly ill-advised, but she is verbally assaultive and supplies an uninhibited drunken laugh.
The teleplay by John Sweet and Edward Pomerantz presents a battle of the sexes, with a woman previously presented as independent magically falling into submission after the man kisses her. The only other physicality between them is Diana's slap when Tobias suggests she is mothering someone because she's never had any children of her own. Diana is selfish when she leaves Tobias after he gives her a fossil without a thank you, but she questions the Massai tribesman's treatment of Enjoro (Richard Ngatia), a boy who has been shunned for joining Tobias' camp. Tobias as the Englishman accepts situations as they are, but Diana as the American wants to change what she finds unacceptable, and it is through her that Njoro is able to rejoin the tribe as a warrior. In spite of the historical importance of the discovery of a 3 million year old man, what leads to it is relatively minor - petty squabbling, a cave-in, and a rogue lion.
Director Lou Antonio, who also appears in a small role, seems out of his element here. Perhaps that explains why he disappears for the bulk of the narrative. This Africa seems very comfortable for the inhabitants - when Diana warns Tobias not to move, our expectation of a venomous creature is disappointed when she sights the skull she is after, barely buried in the ground. Perhaps the biggest flaw is that Montgomery needs a better adversary than Foxworth.
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