NYOKA AND THE TIGERMEN (1942)
(a.k.a. PERILS OF NYOKA) (Serial)
Article #1591 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-23-2005
Posting Date: 12-20-2005
Directed by William Witney
Featuring Kay Aldridge, Clayton Moore, Lorna Gray
A team of scientists are looking for the lost tablets of Hippocrates because they contain a cure for cancer. They run up against the villainous Vultura, who wants the tablets for herself because they lead to a priceless treasure.
Given the fact that I’m not a big fan of knock-down drag-out fistfights (even the Republic warehouse-destroying ones wear thin after a bit), I tend to gravitate to serials with a greater degree of novelty value. That’s a big reason I like this one. Nyoka is one of serialdom’s rare female heroes; she takes an active part in the fight scenes, and is sometimes the rescuer rather than the rescuee. Clayton Moore is also on the side of the good guys, though I have trouble recognizing him without the mask. The villainness also keeps a pet man-in-a-gorilla-suit named Satan (would he have been so mean if she had named him Cuddles?). The cliffhangers are entertaining and creative, and I prefer serials like this that get me out in the open air than the more city-bound ones. Of course, my question about the whole setup is this; just how dependable is a cure for cancer from an ancient Greek? Yes, Hippocrates was one of the most advanced physicians of his time, but I still keep envisioning his cure being something along the lines of rubbing the cancerous area with a liniment made up of crushed herbs and goat’s dung and then making a healthy contribution at the altar of Apollo (or whoever the Greek God of medicine was). I also wondered if the tablets would prove to be tablets not in the Ten Commandments sense, but in the Tylenol sense.