Tales of the Gold Monkey

Season 1 Episode 1

Tales of the Gold Monkey (Part 1 & 2)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 22, 1982 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
9 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Tales of the Gold Monkey (Part 1 & 2)
Freelance pilot Jake Cutter and his mechanic Corky become involved with Nazis and British Sarah Stickney White while searching the south Pacific for a mythical gold monkey.

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  • In the South Pacific in 1938, freelance pilot Jake Cutter meets Sarah Stickney White, not knowing her to be an undercover spy, and gets tangled up with Nazis, in a hunt for a mythical statue of a Gold Monkey. A fair Pilot to the series...moreless

    'Tales of the Gold Monkey' was shown here in the U.K. on BBC One on Monday evenings, in a slot also filled by other one-season-wonders such as 'Manimal' and 'Automan' (long-running 'The Dukes of Hazzard' also filled the slot sometimes when it wasn't on Saturdays). I was only five when it began airing, and it sadly has never been repeated, but I remember how much I loved it.

    Most of my other favourites of the era ('The A-Team', 'Knight Rider', 'Airwolf', aforementioned 'Dukes', etc.) were shown enough for me to later grab some off-air recordings, but with 'Gold Monkey' only even ran once (we didn't even have a video recorder when it began) I sadly had no recordings to relive the series; all I had to remember the show was a quite rare UK-published annual! That was until a couple of years ago, when I purchased an "unofficial" set of the episodes on DVD from a collectors site. Although the first couple were watchable, sadly the recording quality soon became so bad (due to being copied from an x-th generation VHS copy), as well as other things taking up my time at that period, that I reluctantly gave up.

    Then a couple of years ago we had a wonderful surprise – the whole series was released, sharp picture and uncut, on DVD. So here I go again, watching a series that I haven't seen in almost 30 years, but remember really enjoying.

    This is a pretty good Pilot to the series, and introduces the characters well.

    The opening scenes, with the German soldiers shooting the wild monkeys, is pretty hard to watch – but the monkeys get their own back by ripping the soldiers apart! (By the way, most of the monkeys are obviously actors in monkey suits; if this was today it would no-doubt be CGI!)

    Things do start to sag very slightly, mostly on the scenes on at Louie's bar, but soon pick up again on the search for the Golden Monkey, and the second half is pretty exciting.

    Special Guest Star 'Fritz the Monocle' is played by John Hillerman, having a break from Donald P. Bellisario's other series at the time, 'Magnum, p.i.' (of which I am a huge fan, and have reviewed every single episode for this site). Also interesting to note is that Marta DuBois (Princess Koji), John Fujioka (Todo) and John Calvin (Willie) also had guest roles on many other Bellisario shows, including 'Magnum'. Not only that, but Jake's surname, Cutter, was originally the working name for 'Magnum'.

    The production, especially the air sequences, are lovingly shot. Although use of stock footage in places (most notably the volcano erupting) is very obvious, for the most part things look great, especially considering the budget and technical limitations of the era.

    All-in-all, a good Pilot. Although a bit slow paced in places in the first half, on the whole it is very exciting and watchable. I give it 9/10.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Continuity goof: In the scene where Jake first meets Sarah on the jetty, as he talks to the man harassing her, there are several shots of Jack by Sarah's legs, where she can clearly been see to be sitting back on the crates. But she doesn't actually sit back on the crates until the fight breaks out a few moments later!

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (1)


    • The music played in the Monkey Bar throughout the episode bears more than a passing resemblance to the song "As Time Goes By", famous for being sung in the movie Casablanca.

    • Princess Kogi: I know that somewhere in the Maravalas there is supposed to be a gold idol as big as a house guarded by giant monkeys. There is also supposed to be a Zulu tribe with the treasure of King Solomon's Mines. And the lost Arc of the Covenant..."

      King Solomon's Mines is a novel by Henry Rider Haggard which was turned into several movies.

      The Arc of the Covenant was sought by the Nazis in the movie Raiders of the Lost Arc, just like they seek the gold monkey in this episode.