Tales of the Gold Monkey

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Our Mission is to convince Universal to Bring all 22 Episodes of Tales of the Gold Monkey to DVD







 Tales of the Gold Monkey



Tales of the Gold Monkey Stephen Collins


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The Nostalgia of Tales of the Gold Monkey

In 1982, a miraculous TV show came appeared on the ABC network. It's called "Tales of the Gold Monkey." The first time I saw commercials for the premiere, the thing I thought to myself is that it reminded me of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Though I was young, I remembered precisely. I usually watched "The Incredible Hulk" at that time, but the premiere was on the same time slot. When it came time watch, my favorite show, "The Incredible Hulk," I decided to watch the 2 hour pilot of Tales of the Gold Monkey instead. I remember my older brother astounded that I decided to not see my favorite weekly show.

Tales of the Gold Monkey stars Stephen Cohen as Jake Cutter he flies a plane in the south Pacific called Cutter's goose. He frequents a bar called the Monkey Bar run by Bon Chance" Louie (Ronny McDonwell). Masquering as a singer at the club is Sara Stickney White (Caitlin O'Heaney) who is really a spy.

Most notably, the series was a major influence of the Disney cartoon show , Tailspin. The cartoon included a plane, called and similar character as the TV show.

Donald P. Bellisario is the creator of Tales of the Gold Monkey and thought of the ideal for the series in the late 70's. He was not successful getting the series launched at first. However, after the sucess of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, ABC decided to develop the series.

Raiders of the Lost Ark "Rip-off?"

Though perceived as a "rip-off" of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the series actually was different. Jake Cutter was not a archeologist like Indian Jones, but he was a pilot who flew a cargo plane . However, it was logical to deduct the similarities since Jake Cutter wore a similar beige outfit as Indiana Jones. However, Jake wored a pilot hat instead of the fedora hat of Indiana., and he wore a brown military jacket probably from his days as a military pilot with The Flying Tigers. Like in Raiders, the show takes place in the 1930's, and there were numerous aspects influenced by the movie. One episode, Jake is in the jungle ensnared by booby traps. Jakes also had to deal with natives who cover their bodies in a grey coating, most likely compose of volcanic ash. Jake Cutter also had to battle Nazi's.

Actor, Stephen Collins

Today, Stephen Collins is most known for being the star of Dawson's Creek. However, when Tales of the Gold Monkey aired, he probably is most noted for being the third captain of the Starship Enterprise. The first was Captain Christopher Pike. Then it was Captain James T. Kirk. Stephen Collins played the third captain at the helm, Captain Willard Decker in Star Trek the Motion Picture


Actor, Stephen Collins

Today, Stephen Collins is most known for being the star of Dawson's Creek. However, when Tales of the Gold Monkey aired, he probably is most noted for being the third captain of the Starship Enterprise. The first was Captain Christopher Pike. Then it was Captain James T. Kirk. Stephen Collins played the third captain at the helm, Captain Willard Decker in Star Trek the Motion Picture



cutter's goose

Tales of the Gold Monkey DVD release rumor

courtesy of www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Tales-Gold-Monkey-Rumors/8315



Update : May 9, 2008

So far we believe that this is just rumor. With the release of the Indiana Jones IV movie just a week away, we can find no information about the DVD release of the series which is why we must continue our efforts to petition Universal to bring this show to DVD.


Back in the late '70s, Donald P. Bellisario attempted to get the networks to green-light a show called Tales of the Gold Monkey . Bellisario is the creator of such shows likeAirwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS.  The networks passed on the ideal, though, until their minds were changed in 1981 by the success of a movie called Raiders of the Lost Ark! The first "Indy Jones" film showed that there was viewership and a longing for adventure stories involving a jungle setting set in the 1930's, proving Bellisario was on the in right direction. ABC had the show on the air by September 1982, starring Stephen Collins in the starring role of Jake Cutter. Other cast members included Jeff MacKay as a bungling, chubby character named "Corky", Caitlin O'Heaney as a female spy named "Sarah", and Roddy McDowall as "Bon Chance Louis," the owner of the monkey bar.  Roddy McDowall is an iconic actor having played the role of an ape in the Planet of the Apes movie. He took over this role for  Ron Moody, who played the played the character in the two hour pilot.

In addition to that 2 hour telefilm, there were 20 additional episodes produced and aired. But the show was unfortunately canceled, after one season, because it could not beat its competition for its timeslot, NBC's top-rated reality show Real People.

Since when entire seasons of TV series appeared on DVD like Wonder Women and Knight Rider, fans have eagerly wanted this show to come out on disc, and now we've gotten rumors from a source that this might happen. A source inside the industry have informed us that Universal Studios Home Entertainment is looking to release Tales of the Gold Monkey - The Complete Series on DVD in the Spring 20 08 timeframe. One gossiper says that the goal is to tie in the DVD release with the fourth sequel to Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (due in movie theaters on May 22, 2008).

How true is that? Well, it's a rumor, so take it with a huge grain of salt for now. But it makes perfect sense to us, and we're sure the studio is smart and savvy enough to take advantage of such a tie-in opportunity . Stay tuned, and we'll keep you updated whenever we hear more about this one.


The Influence of Tales of the Gold Monkey

By Steven Jared

Courtesy of Raider dot net.

If not for the internet I would probably think back twenty-some years and wonder if it was just a dream…

Hollywood in the 1980’s, led by the brilliant film-makers,  Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, rediscovered the fun of movies from the 1930’s. I was young and impressionable at the time and at the movies every weekend eating up these films with an fervor impossible to quinch. And then it hit my TV screen. An unshaven hero in worn leather jacket like Indy in Raiders of the Lost Ark. At his side was a dog with an eye-patch. The dog’s name was Jack and the hero’s name was Jake (played by Steven Collins). Jake Cutter. Jake flew for the elite pilote team, the flying tigers defending the Chinese from their neighbors but as this story began, he was flying a freighter sea plane called Cutter’s Goose. Jake was a great adventurer, pilot for hire and friend to the decent wherever danger lurked.

Jack & Jake Cutter.
I also remember a singer named Sarah White (played by Caitlin O'Heaney) dispatched to the South Seas as a spy posing as a lounge singer for the American government. The 1930’s were ending with the world at war and the South Pacific was a problematic region. Sidekick to Jake was a comical airplane mechanic who had the suitable name of Corky (played by Jeff MacKay) and there was a French Magistrate with the name of Bon Chance Louie (played by the legendary, Roddey McDowall) ; he was given the name Bon Chance because he had earlier survived a beheading by guillotine. There was a German priest, strangely attentive to the beautiful female islanders, and a manipulative Japanese Princess who had an insidious crush on Jake. This colorful cast of characters as well as other inhabitants of Boragora would spend their time at a cozy place of wicker peacock chairs and ceiling fans called the Monkey Bar made distinctive by three the gold monkey statue that it housed.

Tales of the Gold Monkey was a lavishly conceived television series with high production value putting in the world of the South Pacific. Sadly, the series was canceled after one season but thanks to the dedication of fans, a couple clicks on Google and it all comes back. It was not a dream. It was all real. But due to the change of mondern taste in televison, and as so much time has gone by, it now seems a very rare bird, its breed extinct from studio backlots and writer’s conference rooms forever.

TV-series opening title.
Reportedly, Donald P. Bellisario approached networks with his Tales of the Gold Monkey concept in the very late 1970’s. He had a hit series called Magnum P.I. starring Tom Selleck but still the networks rejected his Gold Monkey project, believing there would be no public interest, and then Raiders of the Lost Ark changed their minds. To many, Gold Monkey seemed a shrewd rip-off of Indiana Jones. However, Raiders did not inspire Gold Monkey. The films and literary works that inspired Lucas and Spielberg are the same films and literary works that inspired Bellisario.

Pulp authors, serial stars and classic adventure films of the 30’ and 40’s, combined with an open cash box for anything Indiana Jones-ish, gave Tales of the Gold Monkey its foundation and chance in the competitive world of prime time television. The year was 1982 and it lasted one season only. And yet, evidence of the concept’s strength could be found in the way it threaded references throughout to such classics as Tarzan, Lost Horizon, King Solomon’s Mines, Casablanca and Only Angels Have Wings. All the while tributes were called out to these giants of adventure, Gold Monkey never lost a lasting identity of its own. References to the show today call it a cult classic and in 1997 there was a fifteenth year anniversary celebration, which reunited cast members and allowed fans to reminisce.

Jake, Corky & Sarah.
Hopes are slim for Hollywood to once again return to the product of its
much-celebrated past. Executives are forward-minded folks desperate to cater to a hip and hyper-critical crowd. One recent example of old fashioned fare, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, seemed so self-conscious of it’s geekiness that attempts at humor had to be hammered over anything resembling a heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping or poignant moment, effectively killing off any possibility to register on an emotional level with audiences. It seemed the filmmakers were geeky enough to like the look of old fashioned adventure films but not geeky enough to like the sentiments expressed.

Public tastes and the industry’s fervent desire to follow them are not all that have changed. The demand for sensitivity when writing and casting bad guys has dramatically altered the look of Hollywood product over the years. It is unfortunate Hollywood has decided that the majority of the population can not distinguish between national and moral identity because fear of offending a few – and offense has rarely been meant – has trumped the limitless boundaries of storytelling for the masses. Tales of the Gold Monkey could not possibly exist in today’s television world of homogenized cultures. Casablanca, possibly the greatest movie ever made, would face harsh criticism if released today for its stereotypes. Painfully aware of that, Hollywood simply would not produce it.

All leads together.
The best of adventure films and literary works serve to remind us of the wonders present and potential in all our lives. One episode of Gold Monkey involved an old friend of Jake who spent his life pursuing myths he believed were real. He became convinced that he knew the path to King Solomon’s Mines and Jake was skeptical but moved by the possibility of ancient discovery. Toward the end, Jake’s friend lay poisoned and Jake embellished their unremarkable journey in his final words to his dying friend, convincing him they had in fact found the mines and extraordinary treasure. The courageous and noble Cutter, with a cheroot clamped tightly between his teeth, clearly identified with his friend’s allure to mysterious and enchanting lands. He identified with the promise of romance, the promise of fortune and glory, the promise of good’s great triumph over evil and the promise of unending adventures. Jake didn’t find the treasure but then at the very end there was an indication to the audience that Jake may have found it without realizing it. Hardly the contrived ending typical of Hollywood product of this sort; here it served to remind viewers again that anything is possible.

Tales of the Gold Monkey did more than pay homage to Hollywood’s classic adventures. In drawing inspiration from the sentiments expressed in those stories it replicated the values of those times. 1930’s America needed heroes with amazing courage to face the world’s darkest days. Popular pulp hero, Doc Savage, swashbuckled through story after story of high adventure with exotic enemies, faithful sidekicks and unusual locales. Jake Cutter, like Doc Savage and Rick Blaine and Indiana Jones and so many others, was a hero advocating self-sacrifice and bonding with other cultures to achieve a greater good. Perhaps these values are the secret strength to Gold Monkey’s lasting legacy. (Stephen Jared)


News Regarding Indiana Jones : Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I'm interested in seeing what everybody else thinks about this. Last summer, I ran into a guy on the TrekToday.com message board, (JacksonKirk), who claimed to have seen the Indy 4 treatment, which was shipped to his company as he works in film advertisement. The document in question was in "treatment" format, but was supposedly a detailed summery of the script. This was in July of 2007, and so far, everything he said has been confirmed by spoilers, toy pictures, on-set videos, the trailer, ETC. Apparently, this guy has given out spoilers about other films that have since been released, and has been proven correct in the past. He has pretty secretive about it, but here's the info I and others were able to glean from him. I've only updated the character's names, as he wouldn't reveal them at the time:

"The adventure begins in 1957. The Cold War is in full swing. We are reintroduced to Dr. Henry Jones Jr, AKA Indiana Jones, (Harrison Ford) as he’s being pursued by Soviets in the Midwest American desert with his friend and sometimes competitor, the unscrupulous Archaeologist, Mac (Ray Winstone). Indy and Mac stumble across a facsimile of a town filled with manikins, and realize they are on a bombing range; they manage to survive a nuclear blast, and escape the scene.

Later, Jones returns to his life as a Professor of Archaeology at Barnett College/Yale. He makes his way to class, attempting to teach despite the turmoil of an “Anti-Red,” rally on the campus outside. After his class, Jones is approached by a young “greaser,” a rebel who arrives on a large motorcycle. The young man introduces himself as “Mutt Williams,” (Shia LaBeouf), and much to Jones’ surprise, reveals that Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), is his mother. Mutt states that his mother has recently disappeared while looking for the Lost City of Gold, a mythical kingdom related to the 13 crystal skulls, mysterious artifacts of unknown origin. Also missing is an old friend of both Indy’s and Marion’s, Professor Harold Oxley, (John Hurt), an expert in both the Lost City and the Crystal Skulls, who apparently found the city several years ago but also went slightly insane. Jones agrees to help Mutt find his mother; however their meeting is interrupted by Soviet Agents, leading to a chase through the bustling college campus as Indy and Mutt are pursued on their motorcycle by several dark Soviet sedans. The pair slip away, and head off to find Marion.

Indy confers with a friend of his, a fellow professor at the college, (Jim Broadbent). Afterwards, the pair heads to Connecticut, then New Mexico (where they visit Area 51), and Mexico City as they head for South America. Unfortunately, Indy and Mutt are being followed by a large contingent of Soviet soldiers, lead by the devious Agent Irina Spalko, (Cate Blanchett), and her officers, (Pavel Lychnikoff,
Igor Jijikine). It seems the Soviets want the 13 Crystal Skulls because these artifacts are “psychic amplifiers,” allowing the Russians to controls others completely, (thereby allowing for the dominance of the Soviet Union).

Eventually, Indy and Mutt make it South America/Peru, and seek assistance from Mac and Harold Oxley in their search for Marion. At one point, they find that Spalko and the Soviets have captured Marion, and try to use her to blackmail Jones into helping them find the skulls. Later, Indy is captured by Spalko and interrogated, while the Soviet soldiers dance around a bonfire in celebration of capturing the skull. Indy has to deal with giant ants, but escapes, resulting in a sword duel between Mutt and Spalko through the jungle.

Now, the race is on for Indy and his friends to find the Lost City of Gold before the Soviets in the jungles of Peru. There are a number of large confrontations between Indy and the Soviets, including a chase on a river involving crocodiles (and possibly piranhas), where Indy and Marion steal an amphibious truck; finally, Indy and his friends are chased by a number of Soviet trucks and “tree-mulchers,” large vehicles with saws on the front to clear trees from their path, which Indy and Mutt have to hide from until Indy gets his hands on a bazooka. Towards the end of the second act, Indy, Mutt and Marion are captured by Agent Spalko’s Soviets, and left over a hill of flesh-easting ants/quicksand, where it is revealed that Mutt is in fact Indiana Jones’s son from a tryst he had with Marion shortly after “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Indy, Mutt, and Marion escape and finally reach the Lost City of Gold, AKA the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Russians also reach the city, and enter a massive pyramid called the lost Temple of Akator. Indy and Mutt have to solve the mysteries of the Temple. Once they enter, the characters find that the pyramid is populated not with mummies, but with hibernating “aliens,” who were the original creators of the skulls. The presence of the Crystal Skulls causes the aliens to awaken, and the pyramid turns out to be an ancient spaceship. The spaceship/pyramid lifts off from the ground, entering a portal in the sky and returning to another dimension. Indy and his friends just manage to escape, while Agent Spalko and her Soviet forces suffer a gristly fate.

The film ends with the marriage of Indy and Marion. After the ceremony, the happy pair rides off into the sunset, while Indy’s fedora falls off his head and lands at Mutt’s feet. Mutt picks up the hat and looks at it with wonder, implying that Mutt will continue Indy’s adventures.

There may be plans to spin-off Mutt Williams into his own series of films. Alternatively, there may be a new television series featuring Mutt and his sister, as the Jones siblings go on multi-episode searches for assorted artifacts around the world."

I was very incredulous over this at the time, but it seems pretty similar to what has been revealed since, so I just thought I'd share it here...