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Broadcast on ABC in early 80s, the series became a massive hit following the success of Indiana Jones’s ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’. This 22-hour long series is set in a backwater corner of the South Pacific a young American adventurer and his ragtag group of friends become involved in death-defying hi-jinx, transporting people-on-the-run in a well-worn Grumman Goose seaplane. Set in 1938, this series captures the ambiance and character of a mysterious romantic era. Directors: Harvey S Laidman, Virgil W Vogel, James Frawley, Winrich Kolbe, Ray Austin, James Fargo. Stars: Stephen Collins (Private Practice, 7th Heaven, Blood Diamond), Caitlin O’Heaney, Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes), Jeff Mackay (JAG, Magnum PI, Black Sheep Squadron.) Show Created by: Donald P Bellisario (Magnum, Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS).
Stephen Collins heroically tries to keep up with the (Indiana) Joneses as rakishly charming soldier of misfortune Jake Cutter, who works as a pilot for hire on the South Pacific island of Boragora in 1938. Comparisons with Raiders of the Lost Ark are inevitable, but according to the series retrospective included as a bonus feature on this six-disc set, producer Don Bellisario (Quantum Leap, Magnum P.I., and NCIS) pitched this to the networks before Indy ever cracked his whip. It was only after Raiders became such a colossal hit that ABC saw gold in Monkey. Alas, this series never really took off, but nearly 30 years later, it's a grandly entertaining bit of escapist fare that packs old Hollywood Saturday matinee thrills and adventure into every episode. The colorful characters include Corky (Jeff Mackay), Jake's trusty (when he's not drunk) mechanic and sidekick; Bon Chance Louie (the peerless Roddy McDowall), the ethically questionable French liaison and governor, and owner of the disreputable hangout the Monkey Bar; and Sarah Stickney White (Caitlin O'Hearney), chanteuse and spy. Stealing nearly every scene he's in is Jack, Jake's one-eyed dog, always good for a comical cutaway. You can't beat the Nazis for villainy (check out John Hillerman's outrageous accent in the feature-length pilot episode), but Monkey steps over the PC line with deadly dragon lady Koji (Marta Du Bois) and her samurai henchman. These Tales are told mostly tongue-in-cheek. Expensive for its day, the series nevertheless has a B-movie look, which enhances its hokey charms. In addition to the newly filmed interviews with cast and creators, the bonus features include five immersive audio commentaries, as well as detailed character bios and a series "fact file." Virtually unseen since its original broadcast, Tales of the Gold Monkey is of more than nostalgic interest. Stephen Collins fans will surely be in--wait for it--7th Heaven. --Donald Liebenson
I enjoyed watching these, but was a bit disappointed as one of the disc could not be read.Published 10 days ago by Tony H.
I loved this series when it first appeared on television in 1982, and was dismayed when the series was cancelled. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gregory Bennett
The old series holds up well and we're enjoying watching it again, though the sound and width of shot don't play as well on modern electronics. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Samantha Dunaway Bryant
Great flying scenes with a relatively rare flying boat and other WW2 era planes. Some plots are typical 70's cheesy but in context it is entertaining.Published 2 months ago by William
Loved this when it ran on TV - nice job putting the series on DVD!Published 3 months ago by Howard Waddell
|Topic||From this Discussion|
Subtitles, and CC are usually turned on differently. If you can't get them on I would say blame a cheaply made DVD. I wish there were some way of preventing manufacturers who are not going to offer all features from buying up the rights to these shows. If Congress wanted to really do something... Read More
Apr 2, 2012 by Mocha's Mom | See all 4 posts
|Coming to DVD in Spring 2010||
There have been several "box sets" of the show, both on VHS and DVD that you could buy for about five years now. It seems they first came from a very loyal fan who had okay air checks of the show from when it first was broadcasted. It actually included a "director's cut" of... Read More
Jun 2, 2010 by Tarkus | See all 5 posts