Tarzan was an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of novels about a man raised by apes in the jungle. It ran on NBC from 1966-68 and starred Ron Ely in the title role along with Manuel Padilla, Jr. as his boy sidekick, Jai, and Cheetah the Chimp as himself. The Ultimatum is a good episode of the series. I would have given it a higher rating except for an ending that was both confusing and cliched. The storyline concerns a pistol packin' mama (played by Ruth Roman) out for revenge against Tarzan, whom she holds responsible for the death of her brother. To gain this revenge she hires four killers and threatens to destroy an African village unless Tarzan is turned over to her for "justice."
The best part of the episode is Ruth Roman's performance as villainess Madeline Riker. It's very reminiscent of a performance she gave in an episode of The Untouchables entitled Man Killer. Just as Roman gave Eliot Ness and Fran Nitti both a rough time in that episode, here she gives Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, a run for his money.
Ralph Meeker should also be mentioned. He plays one of Roman's hired killers. No matter what the role, Meeker was always a professional throughout his career and he never gave a bad performance. Such is the case here.
If the series did have a flaw it was that quite often the characters of Jai and Cheetah could be quite irritating in their scenes. Fortunately, both their screen time is limited in this episode. So check it out if you ever get the chance.moreless