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TV

Tales of the Gold Monkey (ABC 1982-1983, Stephen Collins, Jeff MacKay)

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Like any true success, Raiders of the Lost Ark was frequently imitated. Tales of the Gold Monkey was frequently lumped in with the ‘Raiders’ clones but it had actually been dreamt up by creator Donald Bellisario two years before Spielberg’s film came out. It was initially rejected by network executives, who thought no one would care for a show set in the 1930’s. However, Tales was quickly snapped up by ABC once Raiders of the Lost Ark proved audiences would respond to a period adventure.

The show was set on the fictional Pacific island of Boragora in 1938. The protagonist was Jake Cutter, a dashing cargo pilot who provided the only inter-island transportation via his plan,e the Grumman Goose. Cutter’s best friends were Corky, his often-drunk mechanic, and Jack, a one-eyed terrier who could communicate with his owner (one bark for ‘no’, two for ‘yes’).

Cutter lived in a room over the Monkey Bar, the island’s central hub of activity. This little waterhole/meeting place/brawl epicenter was owned by Bon Chance Louis, a roguish French magistrate who did a lot of shady business behind closed doors. Also working at the Monkey Bar was Sarah, a torch singer who was secretly an American spy. Our man Jake, her would-be suitor, was the only one who knew her secret. Princess Koji maintained a trading ship fleet on a nearby island, Matuka, with the help of her main henchman Todo. The cast was rounded out by Reverend Tenboom, a German spy masquerading as a Dutch holy man.

Plotlines on the show usually stemmed from Jake’s line of work. Although he was a cargo pilot, Jake would frequently end up using his plane to search for missing people or recover stolen goods. Tying these stories together was the search for the mystical object mentioned in the show’s title, an idol made of alloy that was supposedly heat-resistant. Also, there were a large number of German and Japanese spies around the island chain that Jake would have frequent run-ins with.

The show was canceled in July of 1983 after 21 episodes (including the two-hour pilot). Audiences gave up on the Indiana Jones-ish glut of TV programming (including Bring ‘em Back Alive and The Quest), and all were cancelled within one season. Donald Bellisario recovered nicely, however, going on to create shows like Airwolf and Quantum Leap.

production details
USA / ABC / 21×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 22 September 1982 – 3 August 1983

Creator/Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario / Theme Music: Peter Carpenter, Mike Post

cast
Stephen Collins as Jake Cutter
Jeff MacKay as Corky
Ron Moody as Bon Chance Louie
Roddy McDowall as Bon Chance Louie
Caitlin O’Heaney as Sarah Stickney-White
Marta DuBois as Princess Kogi
John Fujioka as Todo
Bernie Ingram as Otto Wolfschmidt
John Calvin as Rev. Willie Tenboom
Les Genky as Gouchie

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TV

Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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