Tales of the Gold Monkey 1.13 – God Save the Queen

Throughout this silly blog’s life, I’ve been incredibly amused by oddball coincidences in actors or plots showing up where I can make a connection. Last night, I was so thrilled by something my wife and I saw that I wanted to write one of my very sporadic “What We’re Not Watching” posts, and mentioned that Roy Dotrice had played Simon Carne / Klimo in a very fun 1971 episode of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Twelve years – and one evening on the sofa – later, and here’s Dotrice again, playing the villain in an episode of Tales of the Gold Monkey.

This one was a ton better than episode twelve. Dotrice has planted bombs on a cruise ship, demanding some jewels, but it turns out that the Duke of Windsor – the former King Edward VIII – is on board as well. Surely the criminal who put together this meticulously planned operation would know that, right? Also on board, a young duchess played by Kathryn Leigh Scott. She had been the token American in several British programs in the 1970s – Thriller, Space: 1999, the BBC’s Dial M for Murder anthology – so at least she’d had the opportunity to pick up a passable accent, which is more than can be said for some of the “jolly ‘oliday wiv yooo”s coming from the fellows playing deckhands.

The kid enjoyed it, apart from the obligatory good long smooch between Scott and Stephen Collins, and afterward we explained why the Duke of Windsor had said that he used to be king, because that seems like the sort of job a fellow has for life. Apart from misremembering and calling him VII instead of VIII, I think I got it mostly right, although I probably know even less about British royal family shenanigans than I do any other subject on the planet. Some other royal abdicated something recently and moved to Canada or Boise or someplace. I didn’t think we threw all that tea in Boston Harbor to give a flip about who royals can marry, but apparently lots of Americans are crazy interested, if the magazines in the grocery store checkout aisle are any indication.

Police Squad! 1.1 – A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise)

Here’s an idea. If you don’t have a kid of your own, borrow somebody else’s. Tell ’em you’re going to watch a cop show. Put on Police Squad!, but don’t tell ’em it’s a comedy. About the point where Abraham Lincoln stands up and returns fire, that kid’s going to sit up straight and have a ball.

Police Squad! starred Leslie Nielsen and Alan North. It ran on ABC for six weeks in the spring of 1982 and Kathryn Leigh Scott was the main guest star in its first episode. It later inspired three successful movies called The Naked Gun, and the locksmith gag in episode five made me stop breathing recently. I don’t actually intend to blog about this show, but I am going to sprinkle the episodes here and there over the course of the year, maybe on an evening I don’t feel like writing. It’s a show that loses its shine very, very quickly; watching all six in even a week gets pretty old really fast. But I’ll treat the kid to one every once in a while, and I do mean treat. Even with a good half the gags sailing over his head, he was wide-eyed and glowing. “That was HILARIOUS,” he shouted.