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Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Some enchanted evening...."

Oops, wrong thing set in the South Pacific. Jason Bennion reminds me of a show I really liked as a kid, Tales of the Gold Monkey. This was a high-adventure pulp show that aired in the 1982-1983 season on ABC, undoubtedly greenlighted in light of the smash 1981 box office success of Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, Gold Monkey wasn't a mere Raiders knock-off, any more than Battlestar Galactica was a Star Wars rip.

Here's a Gold Monkey website, with plenty of relevant lore for the show (including the citation of a film to which Gold Monkey was far more indebted inspirationally than Raiders). Gold Monkey only lasted a single season, but it made a far better impression than the high-adventure pulp show that aired on CBS that same season, the Bruce Boxleitner vehicle Bring 'Em Back Alive, which was based on the exploits in Southeast Asia of big-game hunter Frank Buck. I faithfully watched both shows, but I must admit that Gold Monkey was a lot more fun.

(I never watched Voyagers!, though. I vaguely recall it being on in a timeslot during which we were watching something else, and sure enough, a glance at the Voyagers! IMDb entry confirms this: it was on Sundays at 7:00. In my household, as a ten-year-old geek I knew that suggesting that my parents forego 60 Minutes was a non-starter.)

And just to get my early-80s high-adventure pulp mini-craze credentials really in order, I owned all three issues of this Marvel series. And it was in the year after Raiders came out that something really seminal for me happened. This was back in the days before infomercials, when TV stations would show old movies on Saturday afternoons. There was one period where Buffalo's Channel 7 ran, each Saturday afternoon, an Errol Flynn movie. Now, Mara Maru was not a particularly good movie. But The Sea Hawk and The Adventures of Robin Hood? I was wounded for life when I saw those, and in a good way.

Fun times, those were!

1 comment:

LC Scotty said...

I loved this show. Do you remember Cliffhangers?