Tarzan (2003 TV series)

Tarzan is an American adventure-drama television series that premiered on The WB on October 5, 2003, and ended on November 23, 2003. Based on the Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs and developed by Eric Kripke, Mike Werb and Michael Colleary, the show was set in New York City and depicted modern-day adaptations of Burroughs' characters. In December 2003, the series was canceled after eight episodes.

Promotional poster
Created byEric Kripke
Mike Werb
Michael Colleary
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Eric Kripke
David Gerber
P.K. Simonds
Laura Ziskin
Running time45 minutes
Production company(s)Laura Ziskin Productions
David Gerber Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original networkThe WB
Picture format720p (HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 5 
November 23, 2003 (2003-11-23)

Synopsis and creator commentary

NYPD detective Jane Porter's ordinary life is disrupted when a routine case unexpectedly leads her to John Clayton, who prefers to be called Tarzan. After being proclaimed dead for 20 years, John Clayton was found in the jungles of Africa by his billionaire uncle, Richard Clayton, who is the CEO of powerful Greystoke Industries. Held against his will at his uncle's home, Tarzan escapes and prowls all over the city, helping others in need. Upon meeting Jane, he begins to follow her from her home to crime scenes, simultaneously assisting her with her police cases.

Kripke was critical of the show, calling it "a piece of crap" and saying: "I'll stand behind the pilot. It has a beginning, middle, and -- the problem -- it ends. I was hungry to have anything in production, so I wrote a 50-page story that ended. Then it got made and I had something in production, and it was all my dreams come true. They said to me, 'Let's do 12 more.' I said, 'Uh, wait! What's the story?' So, Tarzan was a hell ride in every way, and we only did eight before they wisely put us out of our misery."



Recurring and guest stars


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1"Pilot"David NutterEric KripkeOctober 5, 2003 (2003-10-05)176650
Detective Jane Porter meets John Clayton who escaped from his billionaire uncle's confinement at the headquarters of Greystoke Industries. Porter and her partner, Sam Sullivan involve themselves in a homicide case.
2"Secrets and Lies"David NutterEric KripkeOctober 12, 2003 (2003-10-12)176651
Tarzan assists Jane with a police case, helping her find a group of men responsible for attacking a young woman in Central Park. After discovering Tarzan is still alive, Jane's fiance Michael negotiates with Tarzan's uncle to capture him. Meanwhile, Jane contacts Tarzan's aunt, Kathleen Clayton, whom she hopes will protect Tarzan from his uncle.
3"Wages of Sin"David SolomonP. K. SimondsOctober 19, 2003 (2003-10-19)176652
Jane enlists Tarzan's help to aid her investigation by using his extraordinary tracking skills to find a child who has disappeared. Sam learns of Tarzan's involvement and his role in Michael's death, and becomes conflicted with the decision of turning Tarzan in.
4"Rules of Engagement"Perry LangMolly NewmanOctober 26, 2003 (2003-10-26)176653
Richard Clayton discovers that his estranged sister Kathleen has been sheltering Tarzan from him. Meanwhile, Jane meets the sole witness to Michael's death. Sam disagrees with her actions as she attempts to prevent the witness from testifying and possibly incriminating Tarzan before Richard can get to him.
5"Emotional Rescue"James MarshallLeonard DickNovember 2, 2003 (2003-11-02)176654
Nicki worries over her friend's disappearance. Jane and Sam suspect a man whom Nicki's friend met over the internet and who may be more dangerous than he appears. As the investigation on Michael's killer continues, Jane pleads to Tarzan to stay hidden at his aunt's house. However, Nicki enlists Tarzan's help to make sure her friend is safe.
6"Surrender"Harry WinerLynne LittNovember 9, 2003 (2003-11-09)176655
Coerced by Richard, Donald Ingram, the lone witness to Michael's death, falsely names Tarzan as the one responsible for the crime and in the process incriminating Jane as well. In exchange for Tarzan's safety, Kathleen contemplates on giving up her entire shares of Greystoke Industries to Richard. Tarzan considers returning to the jungle.
7"For Love of Country"Thomas J. WrightLeonard Dick & Mere SmithNovember 16, 2003 (2003-11-16)176656
Tarzan and Jane flee into the mountains to escape the vengeful cops seeking to arrest them. Jane places her trust in Tarzan, relying on his jungle skills to survive in the woods.
8"The End of the Beginning"Peter EllisLynne Litt & Michael ReiszNovember 23, 2003 (2003-11-23)176657
The police arrest Jane and in exchange for Jane's safety and freedom, Tarzan surrenders himself to Richard. Richard attempts to have Tarzan declared legally insane so that he can claim legal custody of him and his Greystoke shares. In the meantime, Kathleen fights to free them both. But when Richard goes back on his promise to help Jane, Tarzan breaks free and begins hunting Richard.

List of songs used

The opening theme song is "Try" by Paloalto.

1. Pilot
2. Secrets and Lies
3. Wages of Sin
  • "Recall" by Luckytown
  • "I Saw" by Matt Nathanson
  • "Forever" by The Red West
4. Rules of Engagement
5. Emotional Rescue
6. Surrender
7. For Love of Country
8. The End of the Beginning



On Metacritic the show has a score of 45% based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[1]

See also


  1. "Tarzan". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
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