Saturday, June 12, 2010
Episode 1: Pilot
I enjoyed seeing this as much now as I did in 1982. Sure the monkey costumes are cheesy, and the writing/directing/acting isn’t the best ever, but it’s entertaining. You know the good guys will always win, and I like that. I also enjoyed the stock footage of the Pan Am Clipper that was spliced in. I thought it was neat to see that even if it was in black and white. The picture quality of the DVD has been a pleasant surprise, although it’s in full screen, not widescreen.
A lot of people have dismissed the show as a Raiders of the Lost Ark knockoff. In fact, the producer, Donald Bellisario, pitched the idea in 1979, but it wasn’t picked up until after the success of Raiders. Personally, I never saw them as the same beyond the late ‘30s setting. An archaeologist and a cargo pilot are very different to me. Sure, they both fought Nazis and looked for treasures... I hadn’t seen Raiders before Gold Monkey, so maybe I didn’t have the same bias most people did. They obviously both owe a lot to the adventure serials of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Bellisario has cited the 1939 Cary Grant movie Only Angels Have Wings as an inspiration. I’ve never seen it mentioned, but I think the Turk Madden stories of Louis L’Amour must have also been an inspiration.