Tales of the Gold Monkey

Season 1 Episode 11

The Sultan of Swat

1
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 05, 1983 on ABC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Sultan of Swat
AIRED:
Jake tries to help a former baseball hero who is accused of raping and murdering a local girl on Boragora. Will he be able to help his hero prove his innocence?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Jake meets one of his heroes, baseball player Gamble Rogers, when he visits the island. But after Gamble is involved in a brawl with a native, the man's daughter is later found murdered; Jake must prove Gamble's innocence. Not the best, but fair...moreless

    8.0
    This review contains spoilers.



    'The Sultan of Swat'... a fair episode, an interesting murder mystery story, but while okay on it's own merit, there are more standout episodes in 'Gold Monkey's one season run, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it plays out well, but it just doesn't have the excitement that many of the other episodes have.



    This is the only episode that Caitlin O'Heaney (Sarah) does not appear in. She is only briefly mentioned, when Jake tells Gamble that she is in Manila and won't be back for another week. Sarah appeared in the original script, but was written out of the final filmed episode; not sure why, presumably O'Heaney requested some time off. Whatever the reason, the story holds up without her, but her absence does stand out a little bit.



    I suppose John Di Santi is fair in the role of baseball hero Gamble, but I think much of "what he's about" is probably lost on me, and would make more sense to American audiences, where baseball stars are held in higher esteem (here in the U.K., baseball is only really a minority sport).



    I did feel the story suffered from a bit of padding here and there, particularly early on. Sure we need to be introduced to Gamble (and the other passengers of the clipper) so that we might engage in the ensuing murder mystery, but I felt that a couple of the scenes were slightly too long; the scene of Jack taking Gamble up in the Goose served little real purpose other than to fill screen time (and to add some aerial shots in what, bar one sequence later on, is a nearly entirely island-bound story). Story padding is something a couple of the early episodes of the series suffered from, but by this point, things were generally starting to get a bit tighter, so I did notice it with this story.



    The best moments of this episode come from Jack the dog! Never mind a local native girl we've never met before being killed; when we find that Jack is suffering concussion, slurring his "yes" and "no" barks, after a blow to the head, *that's* what really concerned me about the story. I love the scene(s) where Jack is tucked up all comfy in the plush bed, while everyone else makes do sleeping in chairs around the room.



    Gamble's brash, carefree attitude makes you question if he really was involved in the girl's sexual assault and murder. The true culprit turns out to be his travelling partner (his agent? It was never made overly clear), Harvey Bean. At the climax, Bean dies (after falling from the upper story of the Monkey Bar) before really being able to reveal his motive for trying to frame Gamble.



    In all, this is a reasonable episode, certainly not terrible, although in my view, the sort that once you've seen it, know the plot and the true murderer, there's little to have you come rushing back to re-watch it any time soon. For much of my time watching, I had this instalment pegged at about a 7.5 rating; the more interesting developments later on, and some nice character moments, just nudge this up to an 8. Fair, but there's far better in the 'Gold Monkey' barrel.moreless
James Callahan

James Callahan

Harvey Bean

Guest Star

John Di Santi

John Di Santi

Gamble Rogers

Guest Star

Calvin Jung

Calvin Jung

Harada

Guest Star

Les Jankey

Les Jankey

Gushie the Waiter

Recurring Role

Ahmed Kalane

Ahmed Kalane

The Bartender

Recurring Role

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