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DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MR. RODDY McDOWELL

 

 

 

 

Tales of the Gold Monkey was a 1982 adventure television show from ABC.

Most critics saw the program as the network's attempt to capitalize on the success of the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, released the previous year. Tales of the Gold Monkey is often thought of in the same vein as the television series Bring 'Em Back Alive, which aired on CBS around the same time. Certain aspects of Tales bear resemblance to the films Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Casablanca (1942), and To Have and Have Not (1944). Series creator Donald P. Bellisario ( Beauty and the Beast )had been trying to get Tales commissioned since the late 1970s, but executives felt that audiences wouldn't be interested in an adventure series set in the 1930s. It was the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark that changed their minds. The series featured the romance of early aviation, exotic locales and cliff-hanging action

CAST

 

 

Steven Collins
Jeff MacKay
Caitlin O'Heaney
Roddy McDowell
Ron Moody
John Calvin
Marta Dubois
Les Jankey
Leo
Jake Cutter
Corky
Sarah White
Bon Chance Louie
Bon Louie (pilot only)
Rev. Tenboom
Princess Koji
Gushie
JACK

 

 

 

Set in the South Pacific in 1938, the series is about an ex-Flying Tigers pilot named Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins). Now the operator of an air cargo delivery service based on the fictional South Seas island Bora Gora, he flies a red and white Grumman Goose called Cutter's Goose. Jake's best friend is his mechanic Corky (Jeff MacKay), a good-hearted alcoholic whose memory is hazy as a result of the quantity of booze he consumes. However, a one-eyed Jack Russell terrier named Jack, who barks once for "no" and twice for "yes" (or the opposite if it suits him) would dispute just who Jake's best friend really is. Jack wears an eye patch, but used to have a false eye made of opal with a star sapphire center that Jake lost in a poker game—and refuses to let Jake forget it.

Jake's love interest/U.S. Government spy contact is Sarah Stickney White (Caitlin O'Heaney). She sings in the Monkey Bar as a cover for her espionage activities. The Reverend Willie Tenboom (John Calvin), a phony man of the cloth who likes to "bless" the female natives in private "prayer", is in actuality a Nazi spy named Willy, with interests in both sides.

"Bon Chance" Louie (played by Ron Moody in the pilot, Roddy McDowall in the series) is the owner of the Monkey Bar and the French magistrate for Bora Gora. Jake's nemesis is the Japanese princess Koji (Marta DuBois), a Dragon Lady type of character who has eyes for Jake. Koji's devoted bodyguard is Todo (John Fujioka), a fierce practitioner of Bushido and loyal to the princess. (Although Calvin, DuBois and Fujioka were billed on the opening credits of each episode, they actually only appeared on a semi-regular basis in a handful of episodes.)

The title is derived from a gigantic mythical golden statue, that is the focal point of the pilot episode, seen only by the viewer at the end of the show. The characters end their search for the statue after finding a substitute brass monkey that is kept at the Monkey Bar for the rest of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This could be the last official image of the plane from the series when it was stored at Universal Studios California. It could have burned in the Universal backlot fire in 1990. 

 

EPISODE GUIDE

     There are 22 episodes in the series, which ran from Sept of 1982 until June of 1983. The pilot movie counts as two episodes. Roddy McDowell did not appear in the pilot, but was in the rest of the series. There were two scripts that never made into series episodes.  

NOTE: Series star Steven Collins also starred in the WB's hit series '7th Heaven'.

 

1. Pilot Movie 9.22.82
     Jake meets Sarah and helps her mission to stop the Nazis, led by the evil Fritz (john hillerman 'Higgins'), from retrieving the legendary Gold Monkey. 

2. Shanghaied 9.29.82
     Corky is shanghaied by a mysterious man with a hook for a hand to repair his ship. So Jake sets out to find him while battling a nasty case of malaria. (This episode also pieced with 'Trunk from the Past' to create a TV movie titled... 'Curse at the Gold Monkey'.)

3. Black Pearl 10.13.82
     The evil Nazis are back, attempting to create the atom bomb. Jake Cutter is the worlds only hope to save the day.

4. Legends Are Forever 10.20.82
     Jake's old pal is back, Grandy Dancer (William Lucking), talking Jake into helping him transport medical supplies to Watusi tribe and locate the treasure of King Solomon's Mines. One of the few episodes where Louie actually adventures with Jake.

5. Escape From Death Island 10.27.82
     Jake and Corky are held prisoner in a penal colony after helping a man attempt to rescue his son. They soon discover that the prisoners are running the joint. 

6. Trunk From The Past 11.3.82
     Sarah first receives the Ancient Egyptian trunk her father was murdered upon and then a visit from her ex-fiance (Jared Martin), who's searching for the temple of Amon-Ra. Jake seems far less afraid of becoming a victum of the Pharaohs curse than admitting his feelings for Sarah and making a commitment.

7. Once A Tiger 11.17.82 (pre-empted on 11.10)
     Jake sets out to rescue is nemesis from his Flying Tiger days (Lance Gualt) and his important cargo. Jake later finds himself set-up.

8. Honor Thy Brother 11.24.82
     A Japanese fighter pilot (Soon Tek Oh) seeks revenge against Jake for killing his brother during a dog-fight over China a year earlier. And in this episode, Jake is able to get Jack's eye back for him.

9. The Lady and the Tiger 12.8.82 (pre-empted 11.31.82)
     Jake crash lands on a Japanese held island, inhabited by Amish and a tiger. Jake also admits in this episode that his parents weren't married and he never knew his father.

10. The Late Sarah White 12.22.82 (pre-empted 12.15.82)
     Jake sets out to Manilla after he's informed that Sarah has died from hepatitis while on a mission there. Jake risks his life and saves General Mac Author, and stops a civil war from breaking out in the Philippines just because he can feel that Sarah's alive.

11. The Sultan of Swat 1.5.83 (pre-empted 12.29.82)
     Jake's boyhood idol, a Babe Ruth type baseball player comes to the island and is framed for murdering an island girl (Nia Pebbles) by his agent. Jake must rescue his idol before the girls father hangs him.

12. Ape Boy 1.12.83
     After an emergency landing on a supposedly un-inhabited island, Jake and his friends discover a boy raised by apes (Tarzan? No.)

13. God Save the Queen 1.19.83
     A British Lord attempts to steal the Royal Jewels ( not those jewels, real ones) and threatens to blow up the luxury liner, the Queen Victoria, with the Duke of Windsor, Jake, Corky and Jack on board.

14. High Stakes Lady 1.26.83
     Jake falls for a mysterious card shark (Shelley Smith) who gets him involved in a high stakes poker game and international intrigue. The card shark is a German Spy.

15. Force of Habit 2.2.83
     Jake's former girlfriend, now a novice nun, tries to recover stolen vaccine meant for missionaries.

16. Cooked Goose 3.4.83
     A clipper co-pilot is left for dead and his new bride is kidnapped and the evidence points to Princess Koji. This was the first episode to not air in the family hour and the writers made the most of their freedom with a risqué hot tub sequence. 

17. Last Chance Louie 3.11.83
     Louie goes on trial for the murder of a fellow former Legionnaire who deserted and collaborated with the Germans during WWI. Jake and the mans daughter go to Saigon to find information to clear Louie. The daughter turns out to be Louie's daughter and is killed proving his innocence. (Faye Grant, Genevieve the daughter, later became the real Mrs. Steven Collins.) 

18. Naka Jima Kill 3.18.83
     Sarah's college roommate, Whitney Bunting (Kim Cattral of Sex in the City), a newsreel reporter, arrives to get an interview with Japanese Defense Minister, the recent subject of an assassination attempt. Unfortunately, she go to any length, including putting everybody's lives in danger, to get the job done. 

19. Boragora or Bust 3.25.83
     Jake's friend, an old prospector, discovers a platinum mine and within days Boragora is crawling with would-be miners and a charming, yet devious American businessman. There is a great motorcycle jump in this episode.

20. A Distant Shout of Thunder 4.8.83
     All sorts of mayhem occur when Sarah inadvertently takes a statue of the 'Fire God', Pele. The angry natives try to sacrifice Sarah, not by throwing her into the volcano, but by drugging her and politely asking her to jump. Then Jake saves her from this bunch by reciting poetry. 

21. Mourning Becomes Matuka 6.1.83
     Someone's trying to kill Princess Koji during her birthday celebration. So she blackmails Jake into acting as her bodyguard, by threatening to reveal that Sarah is actually a spy.

Two un-produced script titles...
1. Lady From a Colder Clime:
2. Visions From the Past

 

 

END OF LINE

 


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