The Monkees

Season 1 Episode 1

The Royal Flush

Aired Monday 7:30 PM Sep 12, 1966 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Royal Flush
The Monkees are hip to a plot endangering the life of The Princess Bettina, Duchess of Harmonica.

Monkee Music Includes: This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day and Take A Giant Step

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  • When a princess' life is in danger our four white knights, known as the Monkees, come to her rescue and save her from her evil uncle, the Archduke.

    Even though this was the third episode shot in the series, the producers obvious thought a lot of it to make it the series premiere. And they were certainly right with their decision, since it earned the series an emmy award.

    The Monkees are at their best as the fight off the evil Uncle Otto and save the princess in their own unique way, with comedy and charm. The musical romps in this episode are the best. We see Micky and Peter distracting Sigmund, while Davy and Bettina frolic on the beach, unaware what is going on around them. And of course there is the climatic scene at the Royal Ball where Davy saves the princess by dueling her uncle, Otto, which no matter what Peter thinks Davy did a great job at(watch the interview at the end of the episode to get what I mean). However, thank goodness Peter was able to find phone to call and get the time before something really bad happen. ;) All in all, this is a great episode that subsequently was a great start to a legandary sitcom.moreless
James Frawley

James Frawley

Voice on Telephone(uncredited)

Guest Star

Vincent Beck

Vincent Beck


Guest Star

Ceil Cabot

Ceil Cabot


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (44)

    • When the Monkees are listening to Otto tell Sigmund his plan, Otto is in a suit. A few seconds later, when Micky calls him, he is now wearing a smoking jacket.

    • During the dueling scene, the person wearing the sunglasses keeps changing.

    • When Davy is trying to convince the boys into going to the hotel with him, Peter's hands keep changing positions.

    • When Davy is trying to convince the boys into going to the hotel with him, Peter's part in his hair keeps changing.

    • During the musical romp scene, Davy and Bettina are wearing the same clothes they did when they left the hotel, but Peter and Micky are wearing different clothes. However, when Davy and Bettina arrive back at the Monkee pad Micky and Peter are back in their suits.

    • Bettina's back is toward Davy when he walks in, but the next shot she is facing Davy.

    • When Micky is on the phone with Archduke Otto, the boys start to leave to make the throne and Davy heads towards the chair they are going to use by the door. However, in the next shot Davy is in the middle of the room with Mike and Peter.

    • When Davy hangs up the phone he is still holding it, but in the next shot the phone is now on the desk behind him.

    • When Princess Bettina and Davy are talking about who gave her the raft, her hair keeps changing between shots.

    • When the boys are making the royal throne while Micky's on the phone, Peter opens a suitcase to get the materials out. However, there is a close up shot later of Peter opening the suitcase again.

    • When Davy is telling Mike and Peter about the princess's life being in danger, Peter's hands keep moving back and forth from his hips to his sides.

    • When Mike is talking to the former maid now owner of the Ritz Swank Hotel, his hands are in his pockets, but in the next shot they are at his sides.

    • When Otto tells the Monkees of his plan about taking the princess and leaving the four of them with Sigmund he begins to walk in front of Micky, Peter, and Mike, but then there is a close-up shot of the three and Otto is no longer standing in front of them. However, in the next shot he is standing on the other side meaning he had to walk past them.

    • Director James Frawley's voice can be heard when Sigmund calls the wrong number on the telephone.

    • When Davy and Bettina are hiding from the Archduke and Sigmund in the hallway, they hide behind the indented door frame, but when Otto and Sigmund walk by the indented door frame they hid behind, it is no longer there. Also, there is a sign that says Royal Suite, but it is not in the same place in the shots with Davy and Bettina as it is with Otto and Sigmund.

    • The sandwich bites in Mike's sandwich keep changing when he is talking to Davy about the princess and her uncle the Archduke.

    • James Frawley was not only the director of this episode and many others, but he worked with The Monkees for three months prior to shooting to work on improvisation.

    • While playing Princess Bettina, Katherine Walsh had to watch out for her murderous Uncle Otto, but in real life Katherine Walsh lost her life when she was murdered in 1970.

    • The boy's heads change position when Sigmund goes from being behind them to blocking the front door in the blink of an eye.

    • Davy and Bettina's hands keep switching positions between shots when they confront Otto and Sigmund.

    • The scene where Sigmund comes out of a large sewer pipe is shown twice.

    • When Micky is being chased by Sigmund, the camera crew's shadow can be seen as they film Micky and Sigmund running underneath them.

    • The outline of Sigmund in the door after he busts through it is not the same one that Archduke Otto stands in when he yells at Sigmund.

    • When Otto discovers that Bettina is missing he hands his cane to Sigmund with the hook facing to the left, but in the next shot it is facing to the right. Also, when Sigmund walks towards Otto he tosses the cane away, but in the next shot Sigmund is holding the cane again.

    • When Davy and Bettina start to sneak past Archduke Otto, Davy grabs Bettina's hand to lead the way, but when they cross behind Otto and Sigmund into the closet they are no longer holding hands.

    • When Davy starts to leave the Royal Suite with Princess Bettina he grabs the tape recorder in his left hand and Bettina's hand in his right. When they come out of the suite, Davy is no longer holding Bettina's hand and the tape recorder is in his right hand.

    • When the boys are trying to figure out how to save the princess, the suction cup microphone falls off the wall and a putty substance can be seen that was holding it up.

    • When the four boys are listening to Archduke Otto talk to Sigmund in the next room, all four are standing and Micky is in the middle. When they cut back to them Davy is now in the middle and is sitting on the desk.

    • When Davy repeats the saying that Archduke Otto told him to Mike and Peter it is not the same saying.

    • When the boys sneak into the room next to the royal suite by having Mike be W.H. Woolhat he points at the window to ask what time the sun comes through it. The next shot his finger is no longer pointing at the window.

    • This episode is one of David Jones' favorites, along with No. 44, "Hitting The High Seas", and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper").

    • Prior to the airing of this debut episode, David Bordon of United Artists and David Yarnell of RKO sued Screen Gems to the tune of $6,850,000, claiming they unwittingly duplicated the idea of The Monkees from them (Liverpool U.S.A.). They tried unsuccessfully to stop the series from being telecast until the suit was settled, and the case was resolved, out of court, for an undisclosed amount.

    • Further royalty-themed Monkees episodes are No. 21, "The Prince And The Paupers", No. 35, "Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", and No. 48, "Fairytale".

    • In the scene where The Monkees rig the front door for the villains, Micky boasts, "They have about as much chance of finding us here as I do becoming Miss America!" Sure enough, three loud knocks ring out, and Michael uses this opportunity to sing "There she is, Miss America!," the first line of that popular Bernie Wayne-composed tune which has become an American institution, heard each and every year of the annual Miss America Pageant.

    • Both Otto and Bettina know David's name, despite never having heard it - Otto calls him Mr. Jones, while Bettina calls him Davy.

    • In Rhino's restoration of the original first-run edition of "The Royal Flush" for its release as part of the 1995 Deluxe Limited Edition Box Set and the 1996 individual select release, its end credits has a beat missing where researcher Andrew Sandoval had to edit together 2 separate sets of end credits to get the proper song listing. That "beat" was, in fact, the portion of the credits which features the caption "Music Supervision DON KIRSHNER"; this is a native of the NBC repeat of the episode from May 8, 1967 (Kirshner was long gone by that point).

    • David renews his fencing prowess (first displayed here in the swordsman climax with Otto set to the tune of "Take A Giant Step") in Episode No. 21, "The Prince And The Paupers" (in a fencing lesson with Max [Joe Higgins]), No. 44, "Hitting The High Seas" (engaging Micky, Peter and the crew in mad swordplay in the romp set to "Daydream Believer"), and in No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor" (in a duel with Sir Twiggly Toppin-Middlebottom [Bernard Fox], which he loses!).

    • In the interview, when told by Micky to stand up and show the audience how tall he is, David retorts, jokingly, "I am standing up!" This gag would be repeated in Episode No. 16, "The Son Of A Gypsy", 23, "Captain Crocodile", 38, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling", and 46, "The Monkees On The Wheel".

    • The 1986 Colex syndicated edition of "The Royal Flush" featured the soundtrack from its May 8, 1967 repeat on NBC (featuring the songs "You Told Me" and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere") and the end credits augmented from its February 13, 1971 (Peter Tork's 29th birthday!) repeat on CBS Saturday Afternoon (which lists the songs "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears" and "Good Clean Fun"). Rhino set the record straight on both counts for its 1995 inclusion in The Monkees Video Box Set, and the syndication package now uses the upgraded print of the episode with the original songs (though the CBS end credits remain intact!).

    • A close-up shot from this episode of David clad in his swordsman refinery a la Erroll Flynn with a sword (dueling with Otto next to the buffet table in the ballroom during the "Take A Giant Step" romp) is edited into the first season main title sequence for The Monkees.

    • The 309 Usurper throne, which "throne merchant" Micky pitches to Otto, was reused thrice: in Episode No. 21, "The Prince And The Paupers", No. 43, "A Coffin Too Frequent", and No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork". The Usurper throne can also be briefly seen in The Monkees 1968 movie HEAD, immediately following the "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?" birthday party boogie sequence.

    • Note a certain incision on David Jones' lower left abdomen, which is due to an appendetomy he had years back. He refers to it in Episode No. 10, "Here Come The Monkees" (Original Pilot Film).

    • The late Theodore Marcuse (Otto) had numerous villainous stints, including the diabolical Dr. Gamma on Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (ABC, 1964-68), and Lescaux in the November 11, 1966 episode of The Time Tunnel (ABC, 1966-67), "Devil's Island," which also featured future Monkee villain Oscar Beregi ("The Prince And The Paupers"). His appearance as Korob in the October 27, 1967 episode of Star Trek (NBC, 1966-69), "Catspaw", turned out to be his last, as it aired one month before his tragic death.

    • The signs used by Peter for his digging project: "Danger Hole Started," "Watch Out Half A Hole," and "Caution Whole Hole."

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (Micky has a safe hanging above the door)
      Peter: Are you sure we lost him?
      Micky What are you worried about? We got the door all rigged, and besides, they have about as much chance of finding us here as I do of becoming Miss America.
      (a loud knock is heard at the door)
      Mike: (singing) There she is, Miss America…

    • Bob: Peter, what'd you think about it, hey?
      Peter: Well, I thought it was alright except for the dueling scene.
      Davy: What ya talkin' about? That fencing scene was great. None o'ya coulda done it.
      Peter: Fencing scene? Great? Davy's, you know, short, and I coulda done it better.
      Davy: (mouth full of food) He's always pickin' on me cos I'm small!
      Micky: He's not short. Stand up, Davy and show him how tall you are.
      Davy: I am standing up.
      Bob: Fellas, wait, wait! Listen to me, all of you. What I wanna know is one thing, seriously now.
      Davy: That's two things.
      Bob: What, what, what do you really want this show to do for you?
      Davy: (smiling) I wanna go home!
      Bob: Whatta you gonna do when you get home?
      Davy: I'm gonna feed my dog; I'm gonna take a bath; gonna set my hair…

    • Bob: Monkees? Monkees? Uh, the show is over, but we've got one problem; we're one minute short.
      Micky: Hi there, America!
      (Davy starts laughing at Micky)
      Bob: Tell me, uh, Mike, what do you think of the show you just did?
      Mike: I thought it was one minute short.

    • Sigmund appears by the front door in the blink of an eye
      Micky: (to the camera) He's fast!

    • (Sigmund busts through the door leaving an outline of himself)
      Otto: Sigmund, how many times have I told you? Only when they're locked!

    • Mike: (stops the maid from leaving) Uh, work hard, play hard, get plenty of roughage in your diet and some day you will own this hotel.
      Maid: Thank you.
      Mike: Uh, miss. I have a tip for you.
      Maid: Oh, thank you!
      Mike: Buy International Steel at 28 1/2.

    • Maid: Look, wait a minute! What is this?
      Micky: That's W.H. Woolhat! The W.H. Woolhat!
      Maid: Who's he?
      Micky: You've heard of wool hats, haven't you?
      The maid nods yes
      Micky: (pointing to Mike): That's him!

    • Mike: What time does the sun come through that window?
      Peter: (to the maid) What time does the sun come through that window?
      Maid: About twelve noon, I think.
      Mike: No good! I want here by 10:30 in the morning.
      Peter: Right, W.H. 10:30 in the morning!

    • Mike: Davy, look man, you cannot go down to the rich swank hotel, barge in there on a suspicion.
      Davy: Look, will you trust me?
      (Peter and Mike say nothing)
      Davy: She's got my jacket.
      Mike: Oh, well, if she's got your jacket…
      Davy: Yeah!
      Mike: (turns to Peter) She's got his jacket.

    • Mike: Well, the cupboard's bare, and it's not about to get any fuller unless we play a gig.
      Davy: (talking on the phone) No, I don't wanna buy a princess phone, I'm trying to locate a princess. Princess Bettina.
      Mike: Do you know we haven't worked in a month?
      Peter: Gee, it seems more like four weeks.
      Davy: (still talking on the phone) Look, I don't care what colors they come in, and I don't care what they do when you pick the phone up. Will you please look under Harmonica. H-A-R-M…look, it's a country. There is so! (hangs up the phone)
      Micky: (reading the newspaper) Hey, Davy, you talkin' about a chick, her name's Bettina? She's a Princess?
      Davy: That's right.
      Micky: And she's here with her uncle the Archduke?
      Davy: Otto!
      Micky: Yeah, Otto! And a, uh, a bodyguard?
      Davy: Sigmund!
      Micky: Ah, nah, that one's Igor. Must be a different princess.

  • NOTES (14)

    • 8,450,000 viewers watched this episode.

    • The Monkees' first single, Last Train To Clarksville, is #67 on Billboard's Top 100 during the week this episode is shown. It was #101 last week.

    • This episode was the third episode shot and it was filmed between June 7 and June 10 1966.

    • A table-read and rehearsal of "The Royal Flush" ocurred at SG Studios Stage 7, on Monday, June 6, 1966, the day prior to the beginning of shooting.

    • This was the only episode in the entire series not to have a reasonably full listing of songs in the end titles, which, in this case, were Boyce & Hart's "This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day" and Goffin & King's "Take A Giant Step." It showed the names of the composers (under an intricate "Songs by" credit), but not the titles of the songs they wrote.

    • "This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day" appears here and in Episode No. 9, "The Chaperone," in a alternate take, with an extra minute of music during the instrumental bridge not heard in the take on The Monkees' first album.

    • The third Monkees episode to be filmed, "The Royal Flush" was the first to be helmed by James Frawley, an initial member of innovative NYC comedy troupe The Premise, who would go on to direct the bulk of The Monkees' 58 half-hour segments (32 to be exact). Frawley would soon be greatly rewarded for his efforts on "The Royal Flush"; it won the Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement In A Comedy Series for 1966-67.

    • The harpsichord rendition of The Monkees' theme (arranged by underscore composer Stu Phillips) first appears here.

    • The concept of the little tag sequence where David, Micky, Peter and Michael sat and chatted (at the end of this and 11 more episodes of The Monkees) came about when director Jim Frawley found that "The Royal Flush" was very long in its original director's cut. He trimmed it very tight to accommodate tight airtime space for NBC, resulting in it being 2 minutes short. Instead of putting back those 2 minutes (6 frames @ a time), Frawley opted to put The Monkees in front of the camera and improvise a little tag. (The particular interview seen here was most likely shot during production on the musical numbers of "Last Train To Clarksville ," "[I'm Not Your] Steppin' Stone," and "Sweet Young Thing," which surface in future episodes, and that of the "[Theme From] The Monkees", which appears in the first-season opening titles.)

    • An alternate ending to "The Royal Flush" has The Chambermaid (Ceil Cabot) forcing Michael and Micky to clean up the battle-scarred ballroom!

    • A technique dubbed the "double-guitar iris" transition was first used here. It featured an outer guitar (shown in red, orange, light green, light blue, or black) slanted @ an approximate 180-degree angle, zooming into the screen (taking us out of the previous scene), followed by an inner guitar, which introduces the next scene. Other Monkees episodes to employ this technique were the next one, "Monkee See, Monkee Die", No. 4, "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers", No. 5, "The Spy Who Came In From The Cool", No. 8, "Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth", No. 9, "The Chaperone", No. 11, "Monkees A La Carte", and No. 13, "One Man Shy".

    • The end credits for "The Royal Flush" and all further Kellogg's-sponsored NBC-TV telecasts of The Monkees sported package faces of Kellogg's popular cereals: Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Special K, Variety-Pak, and Pop Tarts.

    • An alternate print of "The Royal Flush" features a clip of The Monkees performing "Last Train To Clarksville" replacing the tag interview segment.

    • The Monkees started sessions for their first album after finishing production on "The Royal Flush."


    • When Micky tells Mike that, "They have about as much chance of finding us here as I do becoming Miss America!" Mike sings "There she is, Miss America!," when Archduke Otto and Sigmund find them at the apartment. This is the first line of the popular Bernie Wayne-composed tune which is heard each year at the annual Miss America Pageant.