Tales of the Gold Monkey (1983) – A Distant Shout of Thunder & Mourning Becomes Matuka


And just like that, we’ve come to the end of the run for Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins), Jack, Corky (Jeff MacKay), Sarah (Caitlin O’Heaney), Gushie (Les Jankey), Reverned Tenboom (John Calvin), Princess Koji (Marta DuBois) and Louie (Roddy McDowall).

The series too-short run aired its penultimate episode on 8 April, 1983, with an adventure written by George Geiger and Tom Greene, and features a cameo by Bellisario himself.

When Sarah mistakenly removes a statue of the fire god Pele during a solar eclipse, a local fanatic, Lucien (Jose De Vega) blames her for a rash of unusual weather, bleeding statues, and odd occurrences.

As events progress, and people prepare to flee the island, as the local volcano seems very close to blowing its stack, Lucien gathers more followers, and they are intent on sacrificing Sarah to appease Pele.

Our heroes are intent on stopping them, and happily, despite the fact that Sarah is being dragged to her doom, she isn’t quite reduced to the damsel in distress stereotype, though there are a couple of times that she comes close.

Although it doesn’t quite delve as deeply into the spooky and mysterious as the Anubis cult episode, with its cult and Sarah seeing her father, this one does hint at some strange happenings, though by episode’s end a lot of them are disproved, but… not all of them.

And that brings us to the final episode, as Cutter’s Goose prepares to fly off into the sunset, leaving us with happy memories and could-have-beens.


The final episode of Tales of the Gold Monkey aired 1 June, 1983 (two months after the previous episode!!), and was written by George Geiger, Tom Greene and Jay Huguely.

Jake is forced to lie to Corky, Sarah and Jack when he’s hired by Princess Koji to be her bodyguard, as she fears there may be an assassination attempt on her during her birthday celebrations. Blackmailed into it, by the threat of revealing that Sarah is an American agent, Jake reluctantly agrees.

If this series, and this episode had come along a couple of years later, it, no doubt, would have been crafted into a cliffhanger season ending with not only Koji’s life in question, but Sarah’s cover in the possibility of being blown, and Jake’s life in constant danger from those he suspects of attempting to kill Koji.

Instead, it’s all crammed into one episode, and is nowhere near the final bow I would have asked for from Jake and company. It would have been so much more interesting to see these characters grow over time, see how things change when Americans become involved in the war, and all the other misadventures they would have gone through…

And of course, we’re left to wonder, and no doubt hoping that someday, Jake got Jack’s eye back for good.

The second season would have had tons of potential… sigh.

Now, before I start with Magnum, which as mentioned previously, I came to late, I’m moving forward to the next Bellisario project, which follows another pilot, this time of a top of the line helicopter. Starting next week, I’ll be taking a look at Airwolf.

Goodbye, Jake.





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