TV

Monkey (Japan 1979)

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Japanese fantasy adventure series Monkey was much loved in the UK thanks to a superb English language adaptation by David Weir that bore no resemblance to the original script and some great voice over work by the likes of David Collings, Andrew Sachs and Miriam Margolyes.

What was it about then?

After crossing the Gods Monkey is ordered to accompany Buddhist priest Tripitaka. Also travelling with the pair were the usually depressed Sandy and the Gluttonous Pigsy. Tripitaka was travelling from China to India in the 7th century. Monkey could summon a cloud down from the sky to help transport him places and although a great fighter Monkey was never far away from trouble.

The series also had one of TV’s best theme tunes (see You Tube clip below), incidentally the male Tripitaka was played by a female actress because she had more of the essential spirit required than all of the male actors who auditioned.

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cast
MASAAKI SAKAI as Monkey / MASAKO NATSUME as Tripitaka / TOSHIYUKI NISHIDA as Pigsy (1) / TONPEI HIDARI as Pigsy (2) / SHIRO KISHIBE as Sandy / SHUNJI FUJIMURA as Yu Lung

production details
Japan / NTV-Kokusai Hoei / 39×45 minute episodes / 1979-82

Book: Wu Ch’eng-en / English adaptation: David Weir

THE OPENING AND CLOSING THEME ON YOU TUBE