Although I've been neglecting my other blogs, and I actually resolved not to start another blog this year, and blogging itself is apparently passé, I've decided to start a new blog devoted to my favorite television show of all time, Tales of the Gold Monkey. Set in 1938, the series starred Stephen Collins as Jake Cutter, a former Flying Tiger turned cargo pilot who flies a Grumman Goose seaplane throughout the fictional Marivellas island chain of the South Pacific along with his mechanic Corky (Jeff MacKay), singer/spy Sarah Stickney White (Caitlin O’Heaney) and one-eyed dog Jack (Leo the dog). Home base is Boragora where Bon Chance Louie (Roddy McDowall) runs the Monkey Bar and German-spy-masquerading-as-Dutch-minister Reverend Willie (John Calvin) gives “blessings” to the island girls. Nearby Matuka is home to the evil Princess Koji (Marta Dubois) and her faithful Samurai (John Fujioka).
The series premiered in the fall of 1982 and lasted just one season. I had just started 5th grade and was almost 11 years old when the series began. I was already interested in the South Pacific due to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific which my parents had introduced to me at an early age. Plus my father, who had travelled extensively in South East Asia and was rather nostalgic for the 30s and 40s, was also very interested in watching the series (as well as the competing series Bring ‘Em Back Alive). So we eagerly watched the 2-hour series pilot and all 20 subsequent episodes. I was enthralled from the start. It had everything: a dashing, handsome hero, a beautiful and smart heroine (who wasn’t blond), adventure, intrigue, romance, excitement, humor, singing, Nazis, you name it! It quickly became the highlight of my week. Naturally I was very disappointed that it was cancelled after just one season. A few years later it was in syndication on cable. We didn’t have cable, but I managed to see a few episodes here and there. About 10 years ago a few episodes were shown on TV Land, which I taped. I had been tempted to purchase unofficial VHS tapes and later DVDs of the series, but always hesitated, first because it just wasn’t right, and because the picture quality was quite poor.
Well, my almost 28 years (28 years?!) of waiting finally paid off when the official complete series was released on DVD this week. I pre-ordered months in advance from Amazon and was delighted when my copy arrived yesterday. I’ve watched the pilot episode, and the picture quality is very good, better than I expected, really. I’ve decided to blog about each episode and also post some of my Gold Monkey memorabilia. So tune in for each episode, and welcome to Boragora!