Kung Fu: Season 3
DVD | Box Set
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He is a man of peace in a violent land. He is Kwai Chang Caine, schooled in the spirit-mind-body ways of the Shaolin priesthood by the blind avuncular Master Po and the stern, yet loving, Master Kan. Caine speaks softly but he hits hard. He lives humbly, yet knows great contentment. He is the Old West's most unusual hero.
Documentaries:"David Carradine's Shaolin Diary: Back to the Beginning" a documentary shot in China with David Carradine tracing his trip to the Shaolin Temple Monestary
While it may not rank with Richard Kimble's fateful meeting with the One-Armed Man in the series finale of The Fugitive, Caine's reunion with his long-lost brother, Danny, brings Kung Fu, to quote the title of the four-episode story arc's conclusion, "Full Circle." The series' rich iconography and episodes featuring returning characters may make this final season heady going for newcomers. But those who have faithfully followed Caine (David Carradine in his iconic role) on his nomadic adventures will be richly rewarded with some of the series' best episodes. The season begins with a stellar two-parter, "Blood of the Dragon," in which Caine seeks the truth about his grandfather's murder, while Imperial assassins are dispatched to kill Caine. The venerable Patricia Neal guest-stars as the grandfather's iron-willed, cold-hearted former lover. Eddie Albert also stars as a doctor who sides with Caine. Other memorable guest stars this season include William Shatner broguing it up, Scotty-style, as a sea captain who arrives with an Imperial pardon for Caine (but at what cost?) in "A Small Beheading." Barbara Hershey portrays an aspiring Shoalin priest in the two-parter, "Besieged." In "The Brothers Caine," a pre-Airplane Leslie Nielsen is a ruthless magnate who puts a $10,000 price on Danny's head, making for an awkward reunion when Danny thinks that Caine is a bounty hunter. David's father, John, returns as blind preacher Serenity Johnson in "Ambush."
This season was distinguished by innovative episodes set in China during Caine's "Grasshopper" tutelage. In "The Demon God," the youth, poisoned by a prince, experiences mystical visions of his older, wandering self, who is stung by a scorpion. In "The Thief of Chendo," young Caine's Master imagines an adventure for the aspiring priest. Two Carradine commentaries, and a near-hour long chronicle of Carradine's 30-years-on visit to a Shoalin monastery in China (an incredible journey that ends with Carradine's soulful rendition of "America the Beautiful") help to give Kung Fu a worthy DVD send-off. --Donald Liebenson
- 24 episodes on four discs
- "David Carradine's Shaolin Diary: Back to Beginning": new documentary shot in China follows David Carradine as he returns to the Shaolin Temple Monastery
- All-new season introduction by David Carradine
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Top customer reviews
Granted, by today's standards, the show may be slow paced and at times presents some seemingly awkward dialog.
But if one has the patience and willingness (traits that are also illustrated example lessons brought up for consideration as part of the storylines) to slow down and really 'absorb' what is trying to be said... the main character's situation as a stranger in a foriegn land...wanted (regretfully but unjustly, also a matter of perspective) for murder... despised and looked down upon because of the ignorance of those who do not understand his race and culture and yet he posseses a physical discipline and spiritual wisdom to deal with how and why these things are all part of the human condition, you'll find the character of Kwai Chang Caine a very inspiring and unique individual.
Pretty deep stuff for an 11 yr. old (or for that matter, American television back then).
Great life lessons are a part of the benefit of this show.
As much as I loved Kung Fu, it would be great to see a tv show today which (perhaps in an updated sophisticated setting that younger people can relate to, although I do have a hard time endeavoring to be tolerant with some of today's moral standards) would present some of the thought provoking scenarios that were prevalent in alot of the episodes in this series.
But now that I've watched the entire 3rd season on DVD I see that my giving up on the show was premature. There are treasures here. Some of these episodes do indeed rank right up there with the gems of the first 2 seasons. I particularly enjoyed the four-part ending (follow the episode-order given by another reviewer so as to watch these four last and see Caine's final bow at the end.)
There are indeed mystical aspects in several of the episodes which do detract from the integrity of the show. (We're not talking about spirituality here: we're talking about the physically impossible and downright ludicrous.) But don't let that put you off, because there are still plenty of other episodes that do not suffer from this flaw.
If you enjoyed the first 2 seasons you won't want to miss the 3rd. It's not as good as the first 2 seasons, but it is till better than almost any dramatic series on TV since.
The extras are also good. I felt a real warmth from David Carradine as he reminisced about the show, and the trip to China captured the sense of camaraderie amongst the travelers.
In the third season, Caine meets up with many of his relations. I created a family-tree chart to help keep track of them, and added this to the "customer images" in the product photo gallery, above.
Most recent customer reviews
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