Tales of the Gold Monkey

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Name: Tales of the Gold Monkey
Creator: Donald P. Bellisario
Date(s): 1982
Medium: tv
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: wikipedia
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About: One Fan's View

It was a magical world, a South Seas island we wouldn't mind being deserted on, a world where anything could happen; an ancient Egyptian culture could live for thousands of years undiscovered by modern man, a one-eyed dog could be understood by and understand the humans who surround him, and a Germ spy called his "enemies" friends.

"Tales of the Gold Monkey" took us back to a time that seems a lot simpler than the one we know now. It brought history alive for those of us too young to remember the Duluth Dukes, clipper ships, and the beat of the big bands. In some instances, it even rewrote the past.

But if we noticed, we didn't mind. "Tales of the Gold Monkey" was about people. There was always plenty of action and adventure, but the emphasis was on the relationships of the characters. The talented actors and actresses involved in the series brought a special spark of life to the inhabitants of Boragora and Matuka that had us tuning in week after week. And that wasn't always easy. ABC decided to play tick-tack-toe with its television schedule, pre-empting it and moving it around so that it wasn't always easy to find. And then because the ratings weren't as good as they liked, it was canceled.

But it could have been worse. ABC, in its infinite wisdom, could have decided to revamp the show. After all, they know the formula for a hit -- they've been watching NBC. Picture Jake Cutter, playboy pilot, super sleuth and part-time stuntman ("We have to cover all the bases, kid.") gathering up his mercenaries together each week to solve crimes around the world. To help him there's Sarah, his beautiful co-pilot who never mixes business with pleasure -- well, almost never. And there's his best friend Corky, a computer genius who lives on a boat ("But, there weren't any computers in 1938." "That's okay, kid. There weren't any Flying Tigers then, either. It's called dramatic license."), and Bon Chance Louie who bartends at the local watering hole. And let's not forget Jake's nemesis, Princess Koji, who each week gets closer and closer to luring him into her hot tub ("Will she catch him?" "Are you crazy, kid? We'll let 'em hang on 'til fourth season."), and the mandatory two plane chases each week.

Well, "Tales of the Gold Monkey" may be off the air, but it's not forgotten. Over the last couple of years I've had the fun of writing to, talking with and, in some lucky instances, meeting "Gold Monkey" fans from all over the world. We've kept each other updated on what the former residents of the Marivellas are doing now, and we've discussed and dissected our favorite characters and our favorite episodes. The show has influenced us in ways we never expect. There are those of us who would now rather listen to the sounds of Glen Miller than the Beatles or study the inside of an airplane engine than worry about the klunking noise the car is making. For me, it's awakened an avid interest in the Flying Tigers whom, I'm ashamed to say, I had never heard of until I watched "Tales of the Gold Monkey". And watching Jake gracefully land the Goose on one engine - or less - each week helped me get over the white-knuckled [fear of] flying I was prone too. Other people probably think we're crazy to be so enthusiastic over what is, after all, only a television program, and a cancelled one at that, but I know that I've never known a more supportive and caring group of people than these fans. And talented! [1]


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  1. ^ from the editorial in Cutter's Goose #1 (1985)