And now back to the South Pacific, 1938, or ABC Television, 1983, whichever pleases you, for the second half of Tales of Jake Cutter’s Awesome Dog. In this morning’s episode, they broke out that great big set from the pilot movie, along with redressed versions of the ape costumes – these don’t have the nail-like teeth of the ones we saw first time around – for a story about a kid raised by apes. I do enjoy the idea that the South Pacific in this show is honeycombed with islands full of lost tribes and cargo cults and intelligent apes and volcanoes. It’s not really set in our past, but a mythical never-never land of ideas from fiction. This one comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs, but the flaw in this script is simple: this kid’s not in charge of his own destiny. He’s at the mercy of people who are looking for him, and our heroes – believably enough – have no idea how to manage this situation. None of us particularly cared for it, but I’m sure there are better ones ahead.
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