I had a spare afternoon recently so I sat down and wrote out four new blog posts – four weeks’ worth of pointless tosh … and now I can’t find them. I suspect I saved them to my desktop and then deleted them in some frenzied docu-purge … but I can’t be sure.
So, instead of what was probably a torrent of meaningless rambling, I’m forced to write something meaningful and insightful … or talk about 80’s TV.
Yeah, fuck it, 80’s TV it is.
There are certain TV programmes I loved as a kid which no-one else appears to have heard of. Well, clearly not no-one because somebody must have heard of them or seen them. I find it highly unlikely I was the only person in the UK to have watched these things … it just sometimes feels like that.
Which is a shame, because these programmes are an important part of my childhood memories – they’re cultural touchstones only I seem to have touched… thus rendering them completely and utterly useless. I mean, what’s the point of holding onto a memory for thirty-odd years if you can’t reminisce about them with anyone? So this post (and any subsequent ones, if I can be arsed) are solely designed to see if anyone else shared these tiny moments of joy in the dark and dangerous past.
TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY! What a fucking awesome show! It had everything: planes, violence, a one-eyed dog, sexy (important to a ten year old) women, violence, Nazis, exotic locations and more violence. And cigars.
Cigars were very important on TV in the 80’s.
Tales of the Gold Monkey was a cross between (rip off of) Indiana Jones and Only Angels Have Wings (which apparently no-one else has seen either, so it’s pointless mentioning).
Set on a fictional South Sea island (probably – I was ten! I have no idea where it was set.) Tales of the Gold Monkey was a rollicking adventure series, the story of pilot Jake Cutter, played by Decker from Star Trek (not to be confused with Riker from ST:TNG who was completely different. Completely. Honest, he had a beard and everything!).
Jake was the pilot (and one time owner, until he lost it in a poker game or something like that) of Cutter’s Goose, a frankly awesome sea plane … or possibly the only sea plane I’ve seen portrayed in a TV show. One of the two.
Jake, together with his alcoholic engineer, Corky(?) …
… and Jack (a one-eyed dog who barked once for yes and twice for no (or the other way round, probably the other way round) and was the most intelligent character in the show)
… they flew around a bit and fought Nazis and hunted treasure and punched people and … just generally had adventures. They may or may not have discovered a few lost civilisations – I can’t remember.
Yes, I know I can just use the Internet to fill in the details, but that’s really not the point, is it?
There was Sarah (I think she was called Sarah, she looks like a Sarah in my head) who was … um … something. A US spy, perhaps? Did she run the company which employed Jake? That sounds about right. I think she owned Cutter’s Goose. Or maybe she didn’t?
Now I come to think of it, maybe Jake lost Jack’s eye in a poker game and not the plane? I’m guessing Sarah was Jake’s will-they/won’t-they love interest and/or added to keep Dads from turning over in the way all 80’s adventure shows added at least one token woman to be tokenly sexy … but then usually dressed them in oddly unsexy, neck to ankle dresses with lots of frills.
Apart from Jodie in The Fall Guy, of course.
Oh, and Daisy Duke.
And maybe one of the truck-bound engineer women in Knightrider? I’ve a feeling there were two of them and one was decidedly more token-sexy than the other … but I may be wrong.
Did this happen on women-based adventure shows like Charlie’s Angels or The Bionic Woman? Did they chuck in a scantily clad bloke just for kicks? Probably not.
Fuck it, I will – just to add balance.
Tales of the Gold Monkey did have a female co-lead (or co-sub-lead) anyway. Oh and a Dragon Lady-type character who probably wasn’t actually Chinese since I’m not sure they let Chinese people be on telly much in the 80’s.
In my mind she ran the drug trade and was in league with the Nazis and was very sexy, but I might be getting her confused with a character from Buck Rogers?
Or maybe even Flash Gordon?
Fucking hell, did Princesses in space never wear clothes?
I think there was a fornicating vicar who was a Nazi spy and a guy who ran the bar (Golden Monkey Bar?) who might have been in Planet of the Apes.
Or am I making this up now?
Maybe Tales of the Gold Monkey wasn’t as formative a memory as I first thought? There certainly seems to be less of it than I thought I remembered.
I don’t know why no-one except me saw this show. Possibly it was an age thing? It only ran for one season so anyone a year or two younger than me (apart from my brother, who definitely saw it) might not have been allowed to stay up until whenever it was on whatever day it was on?
Or maybe it was shit?
Maybe I’m largely getting mixed up with this:
I’ve got a vague feeling Bring ’em Back Alive was on at the same time on the other side (yes, THE other side. There were only two channels back then … if you don’t count BBC 2, which no one did when we were ten).
Regardless of the quality of the actual Tales of the Gold Monkey, the version in my head is awesome and I’d love to write a movie version of it. So, you know, if you can arrange that for me it would be greatly appreciated.
I’m going to stop now because I’m bored.
TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY – find it, watch it, love it!