Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982) – Shanghaied & Black Pearl


Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins) and his one-eyed dog Jake are in for it this time!

Roddy McDowall joins the cast this episode, Shanghaied, as Bon Chance Louie. It originally aired 29 September, 1982. It was written by Bellisario, and throws our heroes right into the fire.

Corky (Jeff MacKay) is kidnapped by a George R.R. Martin look-alike calling himself Ahab (Guy Stockwell) to repair his slaver ship (he is actually harboring a secret that ties him to Koji), the Pandora. Jake, Sarah (Caitlin O’Heaney) and Jack take off after him, despite the fact that Jake is suffering from malaria.

Running down a lead that Ahab may have worked for Princess Koji (Marta DuBois), they take Cutter’s Goose into the Japanese Mandate to get answers. Then Koji with Todo (John Fujioka) and a number of samurai in tow, they head out to save Corky.

Meanwhile, Ahab keeps Corky in check by threatening the Mud People he has captured for selling, though Corky tries to nurse a couple of them to strength so he can use them as help but also hopefully facilitate an escape.

Allying themselves with the Mud People, Jake and company have to come up with a plan to save Corky.

This is good rip-snorting fun, wonderfully embracing the feel of the 1930s serials and the melodramas of that time.


Black Pearl, penned by Bellisario, Dennis Capps, George Geiger, Paul Savage and Bob Foster aired October 13, 1982.

Flying an American named Kimble (Cliff Potts), who we learn is a double agent, to Bora Gora, Jake and Corky rescue a dying slave who is carrying radioactive material, stolen from a top-secret Nazi installation where they are working on a new kind of bomb.

Taking a risk, and making sure that Sarah and Corky will follow him, Jake poses as Kimble (after Sarah Mickey Finns him), and meets with the Germans. But as time runs out to the weapon’s test, Jake’s true identity is learned, and Corky and Sarah may not find him in time.

While not as all out as the previous episode, this one continues to make the world of the Gold Monkey fun, and full of melodrama, and gives a familiar Bellisario name to the wheel-chair bound waiter of Louis’ bar… Gushie (Les Jankey).

There is some nice wordplay between Jake and Sarah, when Jake learns that Kimble is in Sarah’s room, but she’s trying to keep it a secret, as they continue to dance around their feelings for one another.

All of the characters are developing nicely, and it’s fun to see the undercover Nazi agent, Reverend Tenboom (John Calvin) dealing with the idea of betraying his country or helping Jake.

Corky’s drinking will continue to cause problems for him throughout the series, and while sometimes it’s used as a joke, the undertone of it treats it as a real problem, and I like how Sarah, Jake and Jack all worry about his problem.

More trouble awaits our heroes next week as the Cutter’s Goose flies into more adventure!!!


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Game of Thrones S02 E09 – Blackwater

From the moment I reached this point in Clash of Kings, I have been waiting to see the adaptation of it in the television series on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

I was further delighted to see that George R.R. Martin, the author of the series, the man who can kill your favorite characters indiscriminately, wrote this episode.

It got even better, in my opinion, when Neil Marshall got behind the camera to direct it. He’s done a number of movies that I consider fun (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday, Centurion), and one of my favorite horror films (The Descent).

Once the battle is engaged, I had no doubt that Neil Marshall was directing it… there was blood and gore aplenty.

All the political maneuvering, all the scheming, all the back-stabbing has led us to this moment, the penultimate moments of season 2, and when Tyrion unleashes the wildfire attack on Stannis’ fleet… AWESOME!

The explosion practically wipes out the entire Baratheon fleet in one fell swoop, and it’s green flame lights up the night! WOW!

All of this while Joffrey is whining and trying to be boss, and then using the summons from his mother to flee the battlefield all while Tyrion proves himself a better tactician than his father believed.

I also like the byplay between Bronn and The Hound as the battle rages around them.

He also gets to deliver a speech to urge the people of King’s Landing to fight, ending with the line… “Those are brave men knocking at your door… Let’s go kill them!”

Cersei spends most of the episode terrifying Sansa with stories of what will happen to them, should Stannis take the Red Keep (where they have sequestered themselves), but at Shae’s urging she flees, only to come across “The Hound” Clegane in her rooms, offering to take her with him, his fear of fire outweighing his commitment to Joffrey.

The entire episode takes place in and around King’s Landing, no other characters are dealt with this week, though I’m sure we’ll catch up with them next week, and then be left hanging until Season 3.

But for now, this is by far my favorite episode, Tyrion has some wonderful moments, which will be a launching off point for next season, though he’s now scarred after barely surviving an attack by a duplicitous King’s Guard, under orders of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the machinations that go on in all the families, and all the schemes, all the maneuvering, but this episode shows that they can do the action sequences on a grand scale as well.

This show just gets better and better, and even knowing what’s coming doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of it, which is weird, cause I’m not a big fan of spoilers…

Game of Thrones continues to entertain, and Season 2 comes to a close next week on HBO!

Game of Thrones Exhibit at the Lightbox

Yup, sometimes being here in Toronto is pretty cool. It also helps to have some awesome friends who offered me a free ticket to take in the Game of Thrones Exhibit being put on at the Lightbox, the home of the Toronto International Film Festival.

I have to say that I like the Lightbox, and I keep toying around with getting a membership. We’ll see what happens.

Howver, I was very eager to take a look at the props, photos, costumes, and behind the scenes info first hand.

And, the exhibit did not disappoint, though I felt, honestly, that they could’ve had more.

What there is made you think how cool it would be to see more.

They had a little sampling of everything, their were banners, plates, cups, a dragon egg, and some very nice weapons. The work on the scabbards was incredibly detailed, things that would never show up on camera, but simply added to the detail of the world – that is the kind of work I admire – making the world as real as possible.

There was a centerpiece of costumes, and my favorite had to be Jon Snow’s costume from the first series, his black, fur collared cloak, and his outfit. Very cool. Once again the details on it just made the world seem all that more lived in.

There were pics from the first series, as well as some images from the second series that I hadn’t seen yet, though, I’ve been kind of avoiding exposure to the second series, despite the fact that I already know what happens, having read the source material.

I ripped through the books. I had only watched the first episode, and was totally hooked by it, and promptly went out and bought the books, I am waiting, ever so patiently for Dance of Dragons to hit paperback (I have the rest in paperback, so it wouldn’t do to change format types right now – it would throw my bookshelves right out of whack, and I’m a little OCD about those types of things).

George RR Martin has created a fully realized, complex, and deceitful world. He also has no qualms about killing off his characters. The bodycount simply grows as the series progresses, and new characters are introduced all the time. For now though, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, and Arya Stark are holding on. They’re my favotrites. Course, now that I’ve put that out there, I have probably sealed their fates. Sigh.

I’m looking forward to the series return on HBO in April, but I also know that the season will fly by, and I’ll be left wanting more…