Tales of the Gold Monkey 1.2 – Shanghaied

So with the first hour-long episode of Tales, Roddy McDowall takes over the role of Bon Chance Louie. I like McDowall a lot, as I’m sure everyone does, but I do kind of wish Ron Moody had been able to continue in the part. There’s a fun scene pictured here where Louie insists that Jake fly with a co-pilot and Jack does not qualify. That’s not because he’s a dog, but because he only has one eye. And that’s the only fun thing about this hour, honestly.

I’ll give the script credit: it doesn’t back down from or make light of Corky’s alcoholism, and the villains are slavers and it’s played really seriously as well. But I think at its core, this show wants to be a light adventure series and this episode is directed and edited as heavily as lead. I think it’s early and the show’s finding its feet, but even the music works against this adventure. It’s just ponderous. The kid enjoyed a “distraction” where Jake draws fire from the slavers’ big machine gun, but I didn’t enjoy much of anything here.

We’re watching these episodes in transmission order, as they appear on Fabulous Films’ collection. Either these were shown out of production order or they just never filmed a story where Sarah meets Princess Koji and her bad guy cohorts, because she knows who they are here. I have a feeling that the dynamic between these two characters is going to annoy me, because the villain is far, far more interesting than the female lead, who isn’t written very well at all so far.

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