Tales of the Gold Monkey (1983) – Ape Boy & God Save The Queen

Gold Monkey

Cutter’s Goose flies into a storm of adventure this week with two more episodes in the much beloved, and cut too short series, Tales of the Gold Monkey.

The first episode, which aired 12 January 1983, and was written by William Driskill, Andrew Schneider, and Eric Lerner, is a bit of a spin on the classic Tarzan story, and gets to see the monkey suits from the series premiere put back into action, as Jake (Stephen Collins), Corky (Jeff MacKay), Sarah (Caitlin O’Heaney) and Jack are forced to land on a remote island populated by apes, and a lost young man who has been raised by them. He also believes that Sarah, upon seeing her, is his mother.

Meanwhile, Louie (Roddy McDowall) is awaiting their arrival for the Bastille Day celebrations.

Princess Koji (Marta DuBois) has met with an Englishman, the wheelchair-bound Halliburton (Michael Ensign) who is on his way to the same island, in search of his lost son… the Ape Boy (Shane Sinutko), who ends up being captured by Todo (John Fujioka) and some ruffians.

This ends up being another of the iffy episodes, it could have been so much more, and once again, made me think how much more adventurous, and character driven such a series would be now, it would be pretty stunning today I think, a mix of the melodrama we’d come to expect from the genre, but also the great character writing and arcs that seem to be inherent in the best of today’s television series.

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The second episode, God Save the Queen, aired 19 January, 1983, and was written by George Geiger.

Jake gets his tux on, as he ends up on a cruise ship, but ends up in trouble, when he learns that the British nobleman, Lord Hedricks (Roy Dotrice – Beauty and the Beast) he flew into the ship has planted a series of bombs on board, with the intention of detonating it, unless the captain hands over the royal jewels, which the Duke of Windsor (Madison Mason) is traveling with.

Hedricks is cold, calculating, and refuses to back down from his position, while Jake, Corky, and Jack try to figure out how to find the bomb, and defuse it before the bomb explodes. The captain won’t let our heroes leave, as they are part of Hedricks escape plan.

James Avery (Uncle Philip from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) makes an appearance as one of the engineering crew, Gabriel.

Set against the glamor of a 30s era cruise ship, the episode looks great, and there are also a couple of nice references to previous episodes, showing that they were trying to expand the show’s mythology and history a little but at a time, and I love the baseball signals Jake uses to cause a distraction so he can escape and hunt down the bomb. He also gets to trot out an intentionally horrific Englsih accent.

And just like that we are 14 episodes in on a short 22 episode series.

 

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