Bulletin Board #1 [March 14-May 17]
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Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com Good to hear back from you. I've continued to "wade" through all your notes, and it's wonderful to think that so many people still enjoy something I did so long ago! Cable is a wonderful thing these days with all the new channels, but it does make one seem very old. Since the SciFi Channel started many shows I did are back on the air, including the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. When I think that's over twenty years ago, it makes me want to get a walker and eat soft boil eggs! When these shows were originally broadcast, long before video and/or cable, we all thought it was going to be lost forever... now every show I wrote and produced is on the air in reruns somewhere in the country.
To answer your questions. Yes, please feel free to download my comments, or whatever onto your page, and yes, it would be okay to give out my e-mail address. I welcome any questions you all may have. As I said before, producing and writing Gold Monkey was one of the warmest memories I have, and it is fun to relive them! (I noticed though that my name was left out of the crew list... they always forget the producer!)
I'll give you a quick brief history of my involvement in TOTGM: I came aboard as producer and main writer on the show after several episodes were already done. I was producing Don's other series "Magnum PI" when he asked me to come over to Gold Monkey. As wonderful as Magnum was to do... and it was great fun, and hard work... there was something about Gold Monkey that really hit a deep creative nerve with me. First off, I'm a hand's on creative producer, which means I not only write, but actually am involved in production. I love going on the set every day and coming up with ideas, or working with the directors, crew, etc. On Magnum I was the "Hollywood" producer, which meant I spent most of my time at Universal Studios and not on the set in Hawaii. As you know, Magnum was shot totally on the island. On that show my responsibilities were mostly in scripts, casting, and post production, and I would only fly over to Hawaii when there were problems. I missed walking onto the sound stage for inspiration, and to really work! Monkey (except for some scenes in the pilot, and for second unit flying sequences) was shot totally on the Lot at Universal. It was a brilliant job... since the Monkey Bar was created in such a way, that when shot at a distance, you'd see a mountain behind it. No one knew that a very busy street, and a large apartment complex was just under that mountain! We also had amazing matte shots, many done by the famous Matte Artist Albert Whitlock, who rarely did TV shows. I had worked with Albert on many movies when I was much younger, and it was great fun to work with him and see his magic. My favorite shot was when he totally created a China Clipper for my episode FORCE OF HABIT, which is also one of my favorites.
Anyway, I also was good friends with Steve Collins, since I was on a softball league with him. It was an "all star" cast softball team (why I was on it, is anyone's guess!), which included Judd Hirsch, Jeff Goldblum, Bruno Kirby, and on and on. I also had met him when he was doing the original Star Trek movie, since I had worked with the director, Robert Wise, and would visit him on the set.
When I was working on Magnum I would wander over to the Gold Monkey sets over and over again. It really was like a ride at Disneyland, since you were instantly transported to a new and magic land many years before. Don is well known for exacting detail when it comes to production, and if anything, he taught me how to treat a TV show like a zillion dollar feature, and show how it could be done! His shows have always looked that way, and I've tried to do the same on my shows ever since.
They were having script problems, and while I was still doing Magnum, Don asked if I could write a script for Gold Monkey... over the weekend! He had a story... just a few lines... that he had bought, but didn't like the direction the writer wanted to go with it. He told me... write something about Jake and a nun. That was about it. The big reason that he wanted me to write the script, was that I was becoming known for writing fast, and having lots of production background, he wanted a script that could be shot quicker to save money. Some of the shows before had gone a few days over, and he wanted to get things back on budget. My idea, immediately was to do a "ship in the bottle" show. It was a tried and true method of getting things back on schedule. The idea is to put your characters in a "ship in a bottle"... that is, in one location for a majority of the show, so you could shoot it quicker, and cheaper. But it meant good writing, a strong story, good acting and a good director. We had all those and more. I thought I'd have the Nun be an ex-girlfriend of Jake's... who's father actually taught Jake to fly (which meant she could fly also). She comes to the island with her Mother Superior, on a China Clipper, right before she's about to give her final vows. They are carrying smallpox vaccinations along with gold for the orphanages. The Clipper is stolen the next day and the nun steals Jake's Goose to chase it down for the vaccine. Jake and Corky get on the Goose just in time, and the chase is on. Therefore, most of the action takes place in the cockpit as they chase the Clipper, almost out of fuel, and with other problems, like no radio... and while they chase the plane, their old romance warms up.
When I have time, I'll give you many funny moments about that episode, which frankly I'm very proud of. There's many "clever" twists and turns... like how they keep the Goose flying when it runs out of gas! Point is... Don had created such a perfect show, with such wonderful characters, that it was a breeze to write that script... in two days! In fact, the script over long, and there was even a scene where they land on an island, and Corky helps give birth to a native's child which we had to cut. Don loved the script, and I guess realized that this kind of show was really in my soul... and he asked me to come aboard. If you notice, virtually every script after that had my name on it, since we didn't hire any more writers.
All the shows were written by myself and George Geiger after that. George was the story editor, who had done a brilliant script for us on Magnum, and was hired by Don to come aboard on Monkey. Don's office's were in the old Hitchcock complex and George's office was actually Hitchcock's projection booth! It was a strange-shaped cubical, and the windows where the projector's lens stuck out were still there!
It got a great routine. On Monday we'd sit in his office (my office was way up the hill in what was once the fire station), and come up with a story and write it out. The story was approved (or not) by Don, and then it went to all departments, casting, art director, special effects, etc. George and I would go off and write, finishing two acts the next day, and two acts the day after that. By Wednesday, we'd have a finished script (remember we were also doing the show at the same time), and it would go into production that Thursday! We did that each week until the show was over! George went on to become a major producer with such shows as Simon and Simon to his credit.
One thing I learned from all this is that you don't need lots of time to write good scripts. When I think that we wrote most of those scripts in three days, I'm amazed, and they are as good as anything I did having ten times that much time!
One more thing about Force of Habit. Harvey Laidman was brought in to direct it. I had used Harvey on many shows before that. He is one of TV's best directors, and I've never seen anyone as organized. Long before anyone else was using computers, Harvey would come in with a computerized "shot list". After Monkey, I used Harvey on KNIGHTRIDER, and also had him direct half of a Mini-Series I created called WILDSIDE. It was a western, which brought the world Meg Ryan. I'm proud of that. I'm working on a new series now, and would love to use Harvey again!
By the way, Elizabeth Huddle, who played the Mother Superior on Force of Habit, was doing a play in town where she played... yes, a Mother Superior. The night before Don asked me to do this script, I had gone and seen the play and was blown away by her performance. Strange then when Don asked me the next morning to do the "Nun Story". My first thought was "get that great actress!" We did, and she was wonderful, especially in her scenes with the "Reverend".
By the way... many people have asked me about the name "Corky". The reason being is that my own brother is named Corky, and being such an unusual name, everyone thinks I had something to do with naming the character. It also didn't help that I put the name Corky in all my other shows. To set the record straight... obviously Don came up with the name, since he created the show long before I was involved in it. As to how he came up with it, I never asked him!
A trivia quiz: one thing that I always do in anything script I write, or show I produce, is put in a reference from my favorite movie of all time: 2001. And yes, Gold Monkey is full of them. Can anyone out there find the references?
Oh, quickly, I noticed that you were aware that Faye Grant married Steve in real life. I'm very proud to say that I was somewhat responsible for that, since I co-wrote that episode, created the character that Faye played, and cast her! We had many, many real French actresses in to read for that part, but Faye... a very American woman... did a better French accent than they did. And yes, they fell very quickly in love during the shooting of that episode and the rest is history!
Another side note on "ship in the bottle" shows. Last year I produced a series called THUNDER IN PARADISE with Hulk Hogan. It plays now on TNT. On the last show I was asked to save money again, and since I was writing and directing the episode as well, to do.. you guessed it... a "ship in the bottle" show. The idea of Hulk with a Nun didn't appeal to me... but I did put him in a life boat for most of the episode, and I shot the show in three days! We usually had eight to shoot the shows. The episode is called DEAD RECKONING, and it repeats all the time.
On last thing about Thunder (for now). I had written a show for Gold Monkey called A DISTANT SHOUT OF THUNDER, and always loved that title. I used it in dialogue in other shows since then, and when I did THUNDER IN PARADISE, I couldn't resist... so I actually stole my own title, and yes there is an episode of THUNDER IN PARADISE also called "A Distant Shout of Thunder".
Okay, must go now. If you have any questions, please let me know. When I find the time, I'll try to write down some more of the many, many stories that came out of that special series.
And just when you thought that Tom was finally finished...
Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com I just sent you perhaps a too long "quick" few notes on Monkey and the such, and realized I didn't answer your question about scripts. This thing about scripts is a sticky subject, since I've done so many popular shows and my scripts are all over town being sold in actual stores! As you know there are all kinds of places cropping up that sell old TV scripts. All I can say is that these have been around for years, and the WGA, a very, very protective union hasn't said much, so having scripts to read on the internet shouldn't be a problem. Obviously the only time that should be a problem is if you were making money on my scripts. Now these other shops are doing just that... and no one is doing anything about it.... I see what you do as more of a research library. I've donated scripts of mine to may libraries, and of course, there's no problem to that. I'd love to see what versions you have. By the way, can you download the scripts. or only read them on line?
Oh, and also by the way, as I might have mentioned. I don't want to open a can of worms here, but I do have most of the uncut shows of Monkey. Perhaps if gently talked about, I could make some copies, at cost and postage (actually I'd have my assistant do that) to those interested. I also have a rough-cut copy (before titles and fun stuff is put in) of FORCE OF HABIT that includes a wonderful scene in a church between Steve and his soon-to-be-wife Faye which we had to cut fromt he final show.
Anyway, again, great web site!
Speak to you soon.
Thanks a lot for your quick and informative responses. Let me try to take a few points:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but not every show you ever wrote and produced in rerunning in the US. Yes, GOLD MONKEY hasn't been broadcast in this country for over six years! That's part of the reason I started the web site in the first place, to try to get some cable channel to run the series.
The crew lists I received were dated 10/27/82 and 12/3/82, just prior to your joining the show, I assume. I'm sure they listed you on later crew lists.
Regarding 2001: Thank you! I always wondered why Jake's favorite author was named Haywood Floyd. I knew there had to be a connection.
My scripts are fully downloadable. Each script has been lovingly typed, usually by the hands of my wonderful "partner in crime", Lesley Pohl, so you can read it in any text-readable software program. And it's funny that you compare the site to a research library. I think I missed my calling and should have become a research librarian, like Katharine Hepburn in "Desk Set". I just love know everything and share my knowledge with others, but not in an obnoxious way.
And just how gentle do I have to be to get my hands on those uncut shows? I've got copies from copies of the USA Network and most ABC broadcasts, but they have gaps and are fading fast. I've been writing to MCA to release the series on home video, but haven't made much headway with them. Since they won't sell videos, I've been making copies for all comers, just charging for postage and blank tapes. So if you just send copies to me, and perhaps my "partner in crime", Lesley, we could make copies for everybody else.
Again, thanks for all the "neato stories". Y'all come back now, y'hear.
Marilyn MVictor924@aol.com Would you believe I found your website because I was envious of a co-workers computer wallpaper of Duncan McCloud from Highlander? I figured with Stephen Collins having a new TV series, there had to be a website somewhere with a photo of him I could download. Do you have any idea how many guys by the name of Stephen Collins are on the internet? Geez.
Anyway, I can't tell you how happy I am to find you. Haven't had a chance to read all of the site yet, but I'm looking forward to it, believe me. I'm a fortysomething fan, who's also been a fan of Stephen Collins since he was in STTMP. A couple years after TGM was cancelled, I even published a couple issues of a fanzine called "Cutters Goose." I also had the privilege of meeting Caitlin O'Heaney when she was filming "The Charmings." She is a really sweet lady.
Hope to find some time soon to catch up with the board and read all the wonderful things everyone has written. It's nice to know that there's a group of people out there who won't give me a dumb look when I say my fave show was TGM.
Thanks for the really cool web page!
You're welcome, Marilyn. BTW, do you still have any copies of your fanzine? I'd love to add them to the site. I'll even give you some *really* great .bmp files of Stephen Collins that would put the Highlander stuff to shame!
Brian Curley firstname.lastname@example.org Howdy, I just discovered your best darn TOTGM Episode Guide. And I thought I was alone in remebering the show. Anyway, I've got to ask... and excuse me if there's a FAQ list on this... but do you know anywhere that might have episodes of the show for sale on NTSC (U.S. standard) video tape?
Thanks a ton,
I don't have a FAQ list yet. I started one, but the only FAQ I could come up with is "Do you know where I can get tapes of the series?" And yes, I do know. I have 2nd generation copies of all the episodes. I offer copies to EVERYONE! All I ask in return is a little something to cover the cost of blank tapes and postage. My standard prices for the entire series to be shipped within the US are $25 in SP mode (11 tapes), $15 in LP mode (5 tapes) and $10 in SLP mode (3 tapes). It's a pain to ship to Canada, but it's possible. For 11 tapes, the cost is US$30 and it takes about a month for them to arrive (Customs, you know). I've only shipped to Canada once, so I don't know how much it would be for fewer tapes. If you just want specific episodes, it usually averages around $3/tape. Let me know if your interested.
Jayme Blaschke email@example.com Patricia, If you thought I spent too much time figuring out where Gandy went to college a month back, you'll love this:
(From Webster's Third International Dictionary-)
GANDY DANCER (n.) [possibly from defunct Gandy Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Ill., which made tools used by railroad workers]
1, Laborer in a railroad section gang. 2, an itenerant or seasonal laborer.
Neat, huh? Truth to tell, I stumbled across it while trying to look up "Godolfo."
7th Heaven news... the week's ratings are in, and Mr. C's show finished No. 117 out of 118 with a 2.0 rating. It beat out "Kirk" though, so I guess that's something...
Thanks for the definition and the TV ratings. BTW, I see that you finally have your very own e-mail address. Congratulations! And what in the world is "Godolfo"? I can't find it in my mega-dictionary, but then, they didn't have Gandy Dancer either. I want my money back!!!
Jayme Blaschke firstname.lastname@example.org I dunno what Godolfo is, that's why I was looking it up! (I saw it as a title of a book "The Road to Godolfo." I'm probably misspelling it. I think it's a region or town in Italy around Vatican City.
The E-mail is mine, thank you, but it's free floating. I'm not set up at home yet, but the nice thing about this account is that I can access it from any computer in the world.
Jayme Blaschke email@example.com Found it. Castel Gondolfo. It's the pope's summer residence.
Great. Now we can all sleep better knowing that the mystery's been solved. :-)
SCRIPT TIME! Yes, I'm still uploading the script texts, even though I could get into BIG trouble. Isn't it strange that after I told Tom Greene that the scripts were downloadable (just about everything is downloadable on the World Wide Web), we haven't heard from him since? You don't think he's planning to get the WGA to picket my house or anything, do you? Oh well, I'll take my chances. I've just uploaded one of Tom's scripts, 'Last Chance Louie'. I hope you don't mind, Tom.
Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com Hello all again! Well, I asked for it. I said feel free to e-mail me and ask questions... and God... did I get a slew of them! Don't get me wrong. I love getting the e-mail. When you work in TV, you work in a vacuum and never really get to see any "audience reaction". When I've gone to the theaters to see movies I've written screened, I can hear the laughter (or lack of it... which is not so much fun), or screams of terror... or whatever, and of course with a play, you get instant gratification... but in TV, you never know if anyone is watching (until the horrid Nielson's come out!), or what they think. So to get so many intelligent and thought-provoking questions for a show I did over fourteen years ago... well, as Maynord G. Kreps used to say (long before any of us were born), "it gets me all misty eyed". Thanks in advance for the attention. Really. And as for the "fear" of scripts and all. Don't worry. As I said, no one is making a dime out of having the scripts "on-line", so I don't see a problem with it, and in fact, welcome it. But don't quote me. God knows what the WGA says about such things. But they are understanding people, in general. Keep it coming!
It would take too long, and frankly, I wish I had more time, to answer all the questions individually, but there were many in which the same subject matter came up, so I'll try to answer them collectively.
First off, many of you came up with the 2001 references. And you're all correct. Your "leader" in the web site, hit it first and very brilliantly, by discovering "Heywood Floyd" as Jake's favorite writer. And yes, it's the same Heywood Floyd in 2001. I'd like to know who this person is and how she knows so much about everything??!!!
Someone else wrote to tell me that they had actually gone into Don's office at Universal and was struck with the fact that he had many of the props from his shows in his office, including the original "gold monkey" which sat in the Monkey Bar. She asked if I had any. The answer is yes, and there's a few funny stories about that. I have the bottle of "Purple Label Rum" that was used to fuel the Goose's tank in FORCE OF HABIT, for example. The most interesting prop I have... with a fun story behind it, is the "god" that Sara picks up in the beginning of DISTANT SHOUT OF THUNDER. What's interesting about it is how that episode came to be. Someone else wondered how we did all that production value, what with the volcano and the earthquake, etc. Actually what happened was that while I was writing/producing the show, I had little to no time to relax. Suddenly on one Sunday, I just couldn't take it, and went home, and vegged out in front of the TV for two whole hours before going back to work at the studio (yes we did work seven days a week). I thought my mind was going because I turned on the TV and saw Spencer Tracy and Frank Sinatra walking around OUR set! The church was there, as was the outside of the Monkey Bar and Hotel. I was ready to check myself into Betty Ford, when I realized that this was indeed an old movie. One that I suddenly remembered: DEVIL AT FOUR O'CLOCK, and sure enough, it was the exact set that we had. I knew that was impossible, since I was on the backlot while they were building the sets (right next to the "parting of the red sea" that the Tram went through, and yes, we had to stop shooting when it came past!).
By the way, the hotel was on wheels, and could be pulled away, so that the outdoor "jungle" could be used for other locations. Anyway, I immediately called our Art Director, and asked him about it. He laughed and said, sure... he had used the exact same blue prints that he developed for the movie for the TV show. I'm sure Don knew about this, in fact it may have even been his idea, but of course, I didn't now anything about it. As I was talking to him, I saw the Church, the Monkey Bar, the whole island being destroyed by a volcano... and an earthquake in the movie. The idea hit me to buy the stock footage (sans Frank and Spencer, and any other main cast members), and storyboard it, so that we could shoot our people in an earthquake and a volcano and match the two very easily. When I told Don about it, he was all for the idea, and especially loved the volcano (there's a whole other "volcano" story attached to that, which, after a bit of sake, I may pass on to you at a later date!). We discovered that we could indeed get the footage, and I started to run the film (in those days, you didn't have videos, so you literally sat in a projection room running the film back and forth and making notes!) and find just the right pieces.
Now all we needed was a story. That's where the prop "god" comes in. It's a replica of something my father brought back from W.W.II. He was in the Merchant Marines, and traveled all over the world, bringing back objects from all the ports he landed in. This strange looking "statue" was from somewhere in North Africa, I think. Anyway, I'm the youngest of three brothers, so 'natch, I was the butt of many practical jokes. Older brothers are like that. When I was little they had me believing that if I even touched that statue that sat up on the bookshelf, that I would cause horrid things to happen around me. Like earthquakes, and floods and the like. Of course, when no one was looking I would pick up the statue, and of course, each time, we did have an earthquake, or a flood or a huge rain storm... once it even snowed in Los Angeles! Scared the hell out of me! When I moved out of the house, I took the statue with me, thinking, perhaps wrongly that maybe it didn't have such great powers. Anyway, I was looking at it, as I sat at the typewriter (yes, we wrote scripts with things called typewriters back then!), and the idea came to me, that Sarah would find this statue, and afterwards all kinds of horrid things would happen, and someone on the island, sort of a native Joe McCarthy would take advantage of that, to gain power and blame her for the earthquakes, etc. I added an eclipse of the sun just when she picks up the statue to make it seem more magical. I gave the original statue to the prop department, and they made a replica of it.
So that's how the story was written. Jim Fargo, the director did a brilliant job of matching the two elements, the film clips and the footage we shot, and we had great fun shaking the hell out of the monkey bar. It's funny, since the moment I walked on the set of the Monkey bar, while I was still doing Magnum, my first thought was, I'd love to do a show where we blew the heck out of the place, and that's just what we did when I ended up doing the show. The first time I saw the great wooden monkeys over the bar, a thought came to me which was, what if blood started to come out of their eyes and ears. Like a Stigmata. I didn't know what to do with that thought... until, of course we did this episode. I think we even had frogs... to make it very Biblical. I do remember having a frog wrangler on the set, and having them get away, and hearing them "croak" for weeks to come... but that may have been for another show, or a scene that was cut. I'll have to go back and look at the episode.
The episode, by the way, was supposed to be our last show, which is why the whole island blows up at the end, but for some reason the MOURNING BECOMES episode came after that. A sad fact, if you watch that show, is that the wonderful Roddy isn't in that episode. We had to write him out at the last moment when he came down with Shingles. He felt terrible, since he loved doing the show so much, and was never, ever sick or late or unprepared, and he felt he let us down, since we had to do a quick re-write. Roddy is perhaps the most professional actor I've ever worked with, and he comes for a whole different world of actors that we will never see again!
Actually we had done something similar in a show before this, called LAST CHANCE LOUIE, which Jim Fargo also directed, and is one of my all time favorites. The writing was very inspired in that show, since we were trying to do "Tales of Two Cities", and therefore it had a very literary bend to it. In that show, when Jake and Faye are running through the streets of Saigon during the rebellion, we used stock from 55 DAYS AT PEKING. Jim again did such a seamless job, I even can't tell which is which! I've since used this technique in most of my other shows. It was used in great effect in my Mini-Series WILDSIDE, and to this day people still ask how I got some of these huge scenes on a TV Budget. In fact, I just completed directing a pilot for my new series JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and again used the same technique. It turned out looking like I spent about twenty million!
Onto another question: A few people asked me about the spectacular motorcycle stunt at the end of BORAGORA OR BUST. I find that funny and very ironic, since the whole seed of that story came from the very stunt. What happened was that when Jim Fargo was shooting the Saigon scene for LAST CHANCE LOUIE, one of the prop men had put in a motorcycle with a side-car on the street, just to dress it up. I had become great friends with our stunt coordinator, Diamond Farnsworth (his father is the magnificent actor, and also once a stuntman himself Richard Farnsworth). I asked Diamond if that motorcycle worked. He said he thought so. I was desperate for an idea for our next show, since we were going to start shooting it in about five days and we didn't even have an idea yet! I then asked him if he could "jump" a motorcycle with a side-car...something I'd never seen before. He thought he could. (I was to discover there was nothing Diamond couldn't do!). The image of Jake on the motorcycle, and Corky in the side-car... racing out of a cave then leaping over a bridge with a huge explosion behind them came to mind. I then worked backwards. Why would they be racing out of a cave... and why would it be exploding? That's how the whole story of the "gold rush fever" and the Aussie prospector suddenly came to mind, and the story, sort of fell into place. By the way, that episode was directed by Ivan Dixon, who was a regular on Hogan's Hero's. He, and the art department did an amazing job of making the Monkey Bar suddenly turn into a gold rush town.
A funny little side note. I created a character in LAST CHANCE LOUIE of a French pornographer played by Gerald Hiken. I liked him so much, that I brought him back in BUST, this time he was also selling women. A rumor suddenly turned up at ABC that the women in the brawl scene weren't wearing any underwear and that you could "see" their privates. I had to go to ABC and sit in a projection room with their censors (again, we didn't have video back then), and watch those scenes frame by frame to reassure her that there wasn't anything "naughty bits" in those scenes. There wasn't. As for the Gerald Hiken who played the pornographer, I liked him so much as an actor that I told him that one day I'd create a character of a priest, so that he could play "both sides of the fence". True to my world, in Wildside he played a blind priest named Father Cruel.
Another question that was asked is about all the French used in the LAST CHANCE LOUIE episode. When George Geiger and I wrote that episode, we were going to have half of it in French with sub-titles. Especially the courtroom scenes. But alas, the network was afraid of that. However the courtroom scenes are done in French, but they still didn't let us use sub-titles. George's wife spoke fluent French, so she was a great help. She also found for us the French drinking song they sing at the end of that episode. It was a traditional old French song, and I must have received over a 100 letters from people wanting to know where to get that!
Also, if you remember, while Louie is giving his speech about why he shot the man, and how much he hates him, we had a porno version of "Alice in Wonderland" going on in the background. Yes, it's in French, and I remember being at the dubbing session when the French actors did the voices for that. I actually wrote a very, very "adult" scene with Alice and Dwiddle Dumb and Dwiddle Dee (if you remember there's a line that Louie says: "Be sure not to miss the Dwiddle Dumb scene!"). I never would have gotten past the censors if it was in English, and I assume the actors read our "script" in French. I remember they couldn't keep from laughing, and the girl who did the Alice voice blushed a few times. For those who speak French out there, see if you can translate! In fact, somewhere I may even have the script for that scene.
Lots more... but I have to end this session. Thanks again for all the kind words. It's great for the ego! I promise to finish answering these questions when I get the time... and any more that come into Cyberland.
Wow, thanks for the note and taking the time to answer everyone's questions! This is more neat stuff than I ever dreamed of getting. Since you've answered everyone's questions so thoroughly, I'll answer your question about how I know so much about everything. Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to know EVERYTHING! I don't like it when somebody knows something that I don't. In particular, I love knowing little details that others don't, the more trivial, the better. In fact, I was a strange child (as if I'm not a strange adult!). My favorite TV show when I was 5 was the game show, "The Joker's Wild". Also, I've been blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with a bizarre memory. I read or see something once and it usually sticks itself in the back of my mind until the information's needed. This will come in handy to help achieve my ultimate goal, becoming a five-time, undefeated champion on "Jeopardy!". Now, if they'd ever hold a contestant search in the Boston area, I'd be on my way!
Also, 'A Distant Shout of Thunder' did indeed include a scene with frogs. I mention the "Exodus-type mayhem" in my description of this episode in my Episode Guide, which is part of my site.
Now, since you enjoy answering all these questions about "Tales of the Gold Monkey", here's another. I noticed that the episodes that you wrote and/or produced were much less action-oriented than the earlier episodes and concentrated more on the characters and their inter-personal relationships. How much of that shift had to do with your personal writing style and how much had to do with time and money concerns?
Talk about instant gratification! Less than two hours after I sent Tom my question, I get this reply...
Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com As usual, a very good question. If you remember, when I told you how I became involved in the series to begin with, a lot of the change in style, was Don's own desire to do the show the way he had always envisioned it, which is how it ended up. After the brilliant pilot (which of course Don wrote), the show, partly because of network needs, and partly because of the style of the writing staff at the time, became a bit more comic book than Don had wanted. At least this is how it was presented to me, when Don talked to me about coming aboard. If I remember, the first shows had giant squids, and half-naked Monkey people, etc. The last "Magnum PI" that I had written, which is also my favorite, was called FOILED AGAIN, and in it, Higgins is fencing an old enemy and schoolmate (who had taken his girl away from him), and there is an "accident", and the electra-foil electrocutes his opponent. (Actually, at the time, I was a fencer myself, and had a minor version of that happen to me... as you know, writer's use everything!) All evidence points to Higgins, but, of course Magnum doesn't believe it. Even Higgins himself says he's guilty, although we all know he's not. I set up a whole group of "who dunnit" characters, and the show was very much more about these characters and their inter-personal relationships, than about action. It also had some "quirky" scenes, including the opening which was a flashback of Higgins as a child in an English boarding school, when the child version of his opponent "thrashes" him, publicly humiliating him. There's another moment, when Higgins, in present day, goes to see his long lost love... and when he opens the door, we are suddenly looking through a door, in a converted French farm-house, now a make-shift hospital during WW II, and his love is a beautiful young Nurse, and Higgins, a dashing officer. A moment later we're back to the present day, and we suddenly know all we have to about how Higgins looks at this woman in his mind. Don loved that kind of stuff, and actually no one did that better than him! So when he called me into his office, these were the kinds of things he wanted in MONKEY. Since he had cast a group of exceptionally fine actors, who could pull it off... we were able to write those kinds of stories. Secondly, the show moved to 10:00 PM which allowed us to have more adult themes, and to have more relationships than just flying monkeys. Those were the main factors for the shift in style (it had nothing to do with budget), and yes, looking back at the scripts, and seeing what I've done since then, I'd say that my own personal style of writing did have a part in the shift. You can't help it, when you're involved that heavily. My style of writing depends on relationships first, and action next. Although I do almost nothing but "action" TV, I've found that the action part only works if you truly care about your characters. So if you want to be successful, you must concentrate on their characters first, care about them, identify with them, and *then* put them in jeopardy. If you watch the Mini-Series that I did after this show, WILDSIDE, although it was very much a "Magnificent Seven" type of show, there was great care to see the deep roots of the characters. For example, one of my favorite episodes is the one where Howard Rollin's character Banister is about to propose to a woman he has been in love with for a very long time. In the morning when he goes to see her, he discovers to his horror that she died the night before. He is convinced that she was murdered, and almost rips the "Wildside Five" apart trying to prove this. The whole point of the story is that she indeed died of natural causes, and that in life, sometimes things happen that are not fair. That you must keep going, you must know how to let go. You must accept the random strange reasons for the good and evil. Meg Ryan has a scene with Howard, a long "talk" scene which I still show as an example of what I believe to be a perfect moment in TV (I can say that since I didn't write that specific scene... the extremely talented writer, who works on most of my shows, named William Whitehead wrote it!).
Hope that answers your question. Oh, and since you've got my fingers warmed up, I'll answer another question that several people have asked me. They wanted to know about the casting of the transvestite spy in NAKA-JIMA KILL. I actually was in Don's office during that casting. It wasn't unusual that casting for the guest star parts was done in Don's office. It was usually done across the street from the main lot, in the casting department, or in what we called the "motel", since it was once a motel. But Don knew that it was imperative that we cast someone who would look like a woman, who you could believe that Corky could fall in love with... and still be a "man" underneath. To do that, we spend extra money to have five actors go to the makeup department and wardrobe and get "dressed" up. I personally had never been in a room with a group of men who looked so much like women, and it was a very freaky site! Actually, what was even funnier was that Don's son at the time was only about five or so and he walked into the office just as the "men" were coming in all made up and dressed to kill. Since the actors knew he was the son of the Executive Producer they all came over to him, and in their own deep voices said hello. He looked up at them, started to cry, and ran from the room. I laughed, since it's exactly how I felt at the time!
And to answer another question, yes, the truth is now out of the bag... we did indeed "cheat" by dubbing in an actress' voice in post production! This episode is also one of the times when I look back and kick myself for a decision I made. Our costumer showed me a group of drawings for her wardrobe. One of the drawings was of a very Kate Hepburn type of pants suit. Somehow I thought that putting him/her in that pants suit, which was very "in" during the period of our show, would make it even harder for anyone to guess that "she" was a "he". Sort of reverse logic. You know... the assassin wouldn't actually wear something as "masculine" as a pants suit, if he was really a he! Only a woman would do that! Although it did separate him from the Whitney character, I still cringe when I see that. "He" should have been done up in a very feminine dress!
And to answer your question about changing the person their killing from the Prime Minister of Japan to a minister of the government... you're very right in your assumption. The Prime Minister was very much alive then, and the Network censors felt it was too sensitive an area. Their big fear was what would happen if after we aired the show, and the PM was assassinated! So it was changed.
One bit of trivia about that show. The man who is killed in the beginning, who had witnessed the attempted assassination, and thus had to be killed, since he might recognize the assassin, was an actor named Sandy Ward. I had used him many times before. But where I first met him, was on the Movie of the Week, "The Law", which was one of the very first shows I worked on. There was a scene were he's talking to Judd Hirsch (Judd's very first show, in fact). It's night, and Judd is on the roof of his house, feeling sorry for himself, and Sandy is on the ground shouting up at him. It was shot on location, and it was freezing. I don't remember the details of why this happened, but Judd and Sandy set up an elaborate bobby-trap, so that I kept getting doused with water as I stood under the roof! I promised both of them, that I would get them back. So years later, when I was writing NAKA-JIMA, I wrote a part for Sandy, in which he has to fall into the freezing waters off the pier on the backlot, yes, you guessed it... at night! I wrote it in such a way, that you really had to use the actor, and not a double for the part. And, of course I cast Sandy in the part. And yes, he had to fall into the freezing water, on a freezing Los Angeles night! It was only after the third take (the "keeper"), when he was coming out, shivering and saying some colorful words, that I reminded him of my "revenge". He was actually great about it, and I think laughed like crazy! As for Judd. I'm still waiting for the moment!
Karen J. McLean firstname.lastname@example.org I don't have time to go through all of this great stuff right now, but as soon as I get back from my nephew's bday party, I'LL BE BACK!
THANK YOU OH THANK YOU OH THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
email@example.com -- Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
YOU'RE WELCOME OH YOU'RE WELCOME OH YOU'RE WELCOME!!!!!!!! Hope you had a good time at the party.
Tom Craig firstname.lastname@example.org Hi: I stumbled onto your site, and was amazed to find that someone else remembers Tales of the Gold Monkey!
That was one great show, and I was disappointed when it went off the air.
It's kind of neat to see that someone else liked it.
Judging by my trusty counter, lots of other people liked it too. We're edging toward 7,000 satisified customers.
Karen J. McLean email@example.com I'm back now. The chocolate birthday cake was good. :)
Since I just found this site today, I might be a little late answering this, but hey. The show hasn't been on in my area for thirteen years, so ...
*** 1) How old were you when you first saw the show?
I was twelve years old. I turned thirteen in March of 1983.
*** 2) Why did you first watch the show?
I was babysitting the first time I saw the show and it looked reallly interesting. First of all, it had a dog in it (very important). Secondly, it had spies in it. And third, it seemed very cool.
*** 3) Which element of the show did you like the best (e.g. action, writing, acting, etc.)?
I really enjoyed the storylines and the sense of humour that ran underneath it all.
*** 4) What was your favorite episode and why?
I can't really think of a favourite episode because my memory is getting so hazy. The one I remember best is the one with Sarah's friend and Jack's allergy to foam rubber. I had taken my audio tape recorder babysitting with me and smooshed it up against the TV speaker so I could tape the show. My absolute FAVOURITE part is when Jake sings about the "Three Itty Fishies".
*** 5) Who was your favorite character and why?
This one's easy to answer. I wanted to grow up to be Sarah Stickney White. She could sing ("Am I Blue?"), she was a spy, and, best of all, she got to hang out with Jack, Jake, Corky and Louie. Oh, and it doesn't snow in Boragora. :)
*** EXTRA CREDIT: Why, after all these years, do you still care enough about the show tovisit this web site and answer this survey?
Well, it's like this ... When I was twelve years old, I was just beginning to realize that I liked to write stories. I had always had a very vivid imagination, but it wasn't until I started watching "Tales" that I actually started to write my ideas out in script form. (In those days, I was naive enough to believe that I could actually send something, unsolicited, and get some feedback on it.) I credit this show with starting me off in a career in writing. It inspired me, and actually got me putting pen to paper. I wrote nine scripts, and would you believe that most of them came in at about 44 minutes each?
Side note: (You probably think this will qualify as a novel by the time I'm done, but I've been waiting thirteen years...) I was such a fan of "Tales of the Gold Monkey" that I would call our local TV station every week to see if the show was going to be on. It got so that the receptionist recognized my voice when I called (how many twelve-year-olds call and ask the same thing?). Anyway, when she broke the news to me that the show had been cancelled, and I broke down crying, she took my name and address and arranged to have two black and white publicity shots to be sent to me so I would still have something left. (The FauxLouie was in it, but hey). I still have one of the pictures, but lost the other one. (sniff).
ANYWAY ... I'm so excited to see this site. By the way, if that audio tape still works, I might be able to get most of the theme song off it. I distinctly remember that the end part is missing. I filled it in with "ba-DUM". If it's salvageable, would you like me to send it to you?
Any ideas where I can get video tapes? :)
I forgot to tell you, I included you as a link from one of my pages:
PS - I can't find the fishy song. Was I hallucinating?
No, you weren't hallucinating, but you're thinking of the wrong episode. The episode you have is 'Naka Jima Kill'. The episode with the fishy song is 'Force of Habit'. Here are the lyrics as listed in the script. You can find almost all the scripts (We're still working on the pilot and 'Ape Boy') linked in the episode guide.
'Down in the meadow in the iddy biddy pool
Swam three iddy fishes and the mama fishy too
Swim said the mama fishy, swim if you can
And they swam and they swam all over the dam!'
'Bop bob diddum dotdum wadum chu
Bop bob diddum dotdum wadum chu
Bop bob diddum dotdum wadum chu
And they swam and they swam all over the dam!'
'Stop said the mama fish or you will get caught
The three little fishies didn't want to be bossed
The three little fishies went off on a spree
And they swam and they swam right out to the sea!'
And I have copies of all the episodes on video. I'm already busy making copies for two other people, but in a week or two I should be done. Let me know if you're interested in copies. However, be warned. These copies are the best quality. Also, due to customs regulations, it takes a long time to ship something from the US to Canada. The last batch of tapes I sent up there took over a month to get to their destination. But then, you've waited 13 years, what's an extra month or two?
EXTRA! EXTRA! It's finally finished. The Tales of the Gold Monkey Annual is now uploaded. Check out the cool stories, cartoons, biographies, the quiz and yes, PICTURES! It was obviously meant for children and young adults, but who cares. It's fun reading!!
Davie Dec 9538216@EIGG.SMS.ED.AC.UK> Dear whatever your name is,
Obviously, not an Emily Post graduate! ;-)
I am from Scotland buy the way, I thought I should get that straight at the start! Well my friend is a big fan of the programme Monkey (you know, Monkey magic) and he was telling me that he could not find any web page and kept going on about all these links to golden monkeys or something! And then it all came flooding back! I was only about 8 at the time, but it used to be on once a week! My mum would rush us home from our swimming lessons, we would buy some sweets and then settle down to watch that fabulous show you are talking about! i can't remember much about, just the plane, the spinning gold monkey, that monkey cave thing and a theme tune that I can still hum. Anyway, i am all for showing repeats so that i can relive my childhood, so i'll be writing to those American guys, although that will be to get it shown in America so is not much use to me, but never mind! Oh yeah, i never realised Bilisarius made all these class progs, i mean airwolf AND battlestar Galactica...next you'll be telling me they made Night Rider!
Anyway, gotta go, but it would be great if you could write back as you truly are some sort of God if you have written all that about TOTGM!
Hey, Davie, if you want to see repeats in the UK, write to MCA. I've already heard from an MCA employee who is trying to get the series shown in Europe via Pay TV. I have MCA's address on the front page of my web site.
Also, sorry to tell you that Don Bellisario had nothing to do with Knight Rider. That was from Glen Larson, who was also creator/executive producer of Battlestar Galactica.
I'm glad I helped bring back some fond childhood memories.
Karen J. McLean firstname.lastname@example.org I think we really need a TotGM IRC chat sometime. What do you think? :)
I don't know if we can swing it. Most of the people I "talk" to are doing all this during work hours. In fact, I do almost all my work on the site on the job (on break, of course). Also, I have a hard enough time getting people to send me a quick e-mail. A chat session may be too much to ask for. But if we can get enough people and can agree to a time and date, I'm for it.
By the way, I think I'm addicted to your web site, Patricia. It's even worse than my addiction to Diet Pepsi.
WOW! My site is even better than CAFFEINE?! Now *that's* a compliment! :-)
BIG NEWS!!!! I just got a better systems provider than AOL. I'm keeping AOL for the web access, so the email@example.com address will still work, but I won't be checking it that often. My new, improved e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I wanted "goldmonkey", but they limit you to 8 characters.
Leanne Shawler email@example.com What Karen suggested sounds like fun ... on a mailing list I administrate, we are, at the moment, having a once a week irc chat around 4pm (West Coast Time) ... it's only a small group from 2 to 6 people but the time's so situated so that people from most of the timezones around the world can join in.
Okay, that's one yes for the chat. Actually, I like that 4 pm Pacific time suggestion. That would be 7 pm for me and 8 pm for Karen. Unfortunately for me, it would mean that I'd either have to borrow a laptop and modem from work or break down and buy a PC. I don't know if we could get enough people for once a week, but at the very least once a month. Perhaps we could also get a few cast and crew members to pop in. Let's see if we can get everybody to agree on a day and time.
BTW, the upcoming 7th Heaven episode looks like a keeper! I was stunned, when I told my husband the plot (that a church is burnt down) ... he says "ah, they're using current issues". And I'm like, they're what? People are burning down churches???
I guess that's the naive Aussie coming out in me again :)
Consider yourself lucky, little Aussie girl. It seems like these sort of things only happen in America. As I'm sure your husband told you, there have been a rash of church fires (mainly predominately black churches) across the country. In fact, at the end of this episode there will be a plea from the National Council of Churches for its Burned Church Fund. This episode is so special that Stephen Collins will discuss it in Extra's AOL site (keyword: EXTRA) this Sunday at 9 pm ET (6 pm Pacific). I don't know if you can participate in the chat through Extra's web site (www.extratv.com) but it's worth a try. And on a sad note, 7th Heaven finished last again in the ratings. So show Steve how much you like the show and tell everyone you know to watch it.
Karen J. McLean firstname.lastname@example.org Regarding a possible IRC chat -- weeknights are best for me, and I think a 7 pm Easstern time would work. Others?
May I suggest Tuesdays at 7 pm ET. I don't think we could do this by next Tuesday, but perhaps Oct. 22. Of course, I may not be able to get my hands on the proper equipment in time, but I'll try. If our first chat turns out well, we'll make it weekly. If the turnout is light, we'll go for bi-weekly or monthly. But before we set this in stone, I'd like to get some sort of idea of the number of participants. Also, I want to wait a bit until I hear from my "partner in crime", Lesley Pohl, who won't be back from her family reunion until the 21st. I wouldn't dream of setting up a chat session without inviting her.
Subject: Princess Kogi's buddy
Was I the only one who thought his name was Dodo? :)
Probably not, Karen, but you're the only one who'll admit it. :-)
It's time for some more Q & A with Gold Monkey cast and crew.
Me - You mentioned in an earlier note that 'A Distant Shout of Thunder' was supposed to be the last episode, which is why the whole island blows up in the end. Did you mean that episode was always intended to be the final episode of the series, not just the season? Was it fairly certain at that time that ABC would not renew the series for a second season? And how was the relationship between the production staff and the ABC brass (better known in my site as "those ABC weenies")?
Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. I'm on a huge deadline on my new TV series JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and have to get the pilot script done...like always... by yesterday. But a once again... you ask a very good question.
First off concerning DISTANT SHOUT OF THUNDER. There was a hint it may be the end, though we were more concerned with ending the season show with a "bang", and not really destroying the world! Obviously if it was renewed, all you'd need would be some people picking up some lava and sweeping up a bit, and everything would be fine! I remember there was some rumors floating around that since Magnum was obviously going another season, to move Gold Monkey to Hawaii also, so maybe there was a thought of having them move to another Island. However the sets were so perfect, and were so expensive (and brillant, thanks to Don's vision), I doubt if they'd want to move anything. Magnum was done on the only studio in Hawaii, which was owned by Jack Lord (it was called the Lord studios if I remember, and of course was built for Hawaii 5-0), and was very small, and very, very crowded. I don't think they could have taken on TWO shows at once!
As for your question about the series. No, I don't believe there was any positive proof that the show was not being renewed... but in our business, you can sort of "read the handwriting on the wall" rather quickly. It reminds me of a relationship that's suddenly not going well. When your date suddenly is "going to be busy this weekend", and has to "visit a sick friend", or "take someone to the airport", or "I just have to be alone to get some things in order", you know you're in deep fried rice. Then when you get the "I think we need to talk", and "maybe you're just more involved in me than I am in you"... and "I love you... but I don't now if I'm *in* love with you"... it's really time to start putting ads in the personals. Well, that's very much what it's like with a network. It very much is a relationship. You go in and pitch an idea, which is like your first meeting with a date. If they like it, they ask for a script... that's the first meeting at Starbucks... then they may order a pilot... that's sort of like, "why don't you come over for dinner?" If they order the series, that's like going off to the "springs" for a long weekend, and then assuming you'll do the dinner and the movie on Saturday night. A given.
And, at first there's the long phone calls in the middle of the night. The sweet little presents for no reason... the excitement when she brings over tells at dinner that she has to be home by at least nine the next morning to see her mother... yes, the first blush of romance! With the Network, it's the seven calls a day over script notes. It's the late-night calls after they've screen the dailies, with praise, or worries (usually more worries than praise), suggestions on the color of the trees, and what kind of hat Jake is wearing... more dog... less dog... more action... less talk... more volcano.. no volcano... does it have to be a volcano? Things like that. Executives come to the set, all smiles, like when you go to your girlfriend's art exhibit at the local alternative book store. But then, if ratings and all aren't doing all that well, all that changes, and the horrid "I can't see you this weekend, I have to visit a sick friend", or "Let's just play it by ear" takes over. The notes stop, the suggestions stop... no one shows up any more. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you most likely won't have a date on New Year's Eve.
Actually, I must say that one ABC Executive, who, at the time didn't have the power he ended up having a few years later was loyal to the end. He had loved the show, and showing a lot of class and integrity, stood with the show to the end. He was the only executive at ABC to show up at the wrap party, for example. His name was Jordan Kerner. A terrific executive, who actually played a part in getting the show on the air, if memory is correct (and it's fading, so I could be wrong!). But he was real first class, which is rare in this town! As a loyal supporter of Monkey, the God's looked down on him, because of all the execs at the time, Jordan by far, as done the best. He's now a very, very successful producer in his own right! See... love Monkey and the world opens up to you!
Gad, I really rambled on that one. Did I answer the question?!
Thanks for your reply and yes, you did answer my question. I'll let you get back to JASON, so that's all for now. When you have the time, could you give us more info on your new series? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would love to know the details.
Bill Cosson BillPresto@gnn.com Was shooting a TV show was as grueling as we hear (long hours, long weeks, etc.) or was it a wonderfully fun time. Or somewhere in between.
Jeff MacKay email@example.com Steve and I worked almost every day and we're talking from before daylight to after dark. The saving grace was that he and the rest of our gang (including the crew) were not only terrific at what they did, but also wonderful company. Truthfully, I'd have to say it was both grueling and a wonderfully fun time. Somehow, when you're doing what you love to do... it doesn't seem like work.
Jayme Blaschke firstname.lastname@example.org Patricia, The Aussies aren't as lucky as all that. Yesterday a story came over the foreign wire, and it didn't look good. Seems they've got their very own version of Pete Wilson over there. She wants to kick the Aboriginies off welfare (doesn't matter they have no land left and no jobs) and reinstitute a whites-only immigration policy. Seem some Down Under are afraid Asians are overrunning their poor country. Hmmm.
But has it turned violent? Oh sure, there are "Us First" politicians everywhere, but when it comes to hate crimes and random acts of senseless violence, the US seems to lead the pack. Now I don't want to hear from ultra, right-wing fanatics. I'm just exercising my 1st Amendment right to free speech. Besides, I'm paying for this page, gosh darn it!
On a different note, the wife and I saw First Wives Club over the weekend. Mr. C turns a quite convincing performance as a snivelling little weasel (ok, well he didn't snivel THAT much, but still...)
I still haven't seen it yet. I'll probably wait for video. But, I'm curious. Was it your wife's idea to see the movie? I guess the honeymoon's over, eh? :-)
Chuck Patten email@example.com Thanks for putting this up and keeping it there! I hope we can get the show back somehow.
I'm trying my best, but I still like to think we're making headway. Every little bit of support from people like you helps. Thanks.
Rob Merritt firstname.lastname@example.org I like your page devoted to the Gold Monkey. I'm not a fan of the show but I did enjoy your page
Thanks, er, I think. Now I'm curious, Rob. If you're not a fan of the show, what made you stop by? Did you stumble across the page by accident or did someone tell you to visit just for the heck of it?
Leanne Shawler email@example.com I read what Jayme had to say and immediately went on the hunt for this madwoman ... thinking that you know, maybe that Liberal chick with the beehive hairdo (her name escapes me) had completely flipped this time. No --it's just an Independant (who looks a lot like aforementioned Liberal, but with bottled red hair) making her maiden speech in Parliament ... not only has she made comments like Jayme mentioned but she's also advocating withdrawal from the UN, stopping foreign aid and beginning a national service thing so young people can go build and maintain roads and whatnot. Unbelievable! But then her advisors include this guy who assisted an imbecilic former QLD Premier (Joh Bjelke-Peterson) on a vain dash to Canberra. He didn't make it, but his wife (who has a neat scone recipe) made it into the Senate. The PM has acknowledged her right to speak, but hasn't spoken about what she said and people are getting antsy about *that*. Anyway, go here: http://www.smh.com.au/daily/features/961012-features7.html if you're interested ...
Oh, and there's been no violence as yet -- so far as I know. We had a problem earlier in the year with Jewish synagogues being stoned but so far the only reaction to Ms Hanson has been polls and talks ...
We now return you to your regular programming.
Which, if this were a perfect world, would be Gold Monkey reruns. But, as we've discovered in more ways than one, this most certainly is not a perfect world.
Karen J. McLean firstname.lastname@example.org Just Karen the Monkiac (I love that term, Patricia!) checking in. It has been a whole week now since I stumbled across this site, and my life has truly changed for the better. I lost 50 lbs., my hair grew long and wavy, my bank account balances all jumped to seven figures *before* the decimal point, I have had an out-of-body experience, *and* I've been getting singing lessons from a mysterious stranger who lives behind the mirror in my closet. Thank you, Patricia, for changing my life. Now if we could just do something about the on-set of winter, my life would truly be complete.
(Reads much better than "I'm still here, how are you?", doesn't it?)
No fair! I've been running this site for 7 months now and I've put on a few pounds! Something is really outta whack here!!!
(Reads a bit better than "I'm fine. How's things?", doesn't it?)
Marilyn MVictor924@aol.com The two issues of Cutters Goose should be winging their way to you on Monday. Hope you enjoy them. I know I was chuckling as I stood by the copier trying to to covertly copy 100+ pages that weren't work related. Brought back a lot of memories.
I also started reading the bulletin boards on your web page and the facts sheet and was reminded of a highlight of one of my trips to California. A friend and I had bought one of those maps that tells you where all of the current movies and TV series are being filmed for the week, so we drove down the coast to see the filming of "Back to the Beach." We got to talk to Frankie Avalon and saw Connie Stevens and Annette Funicello, but the real thrill was when we recognized John Calvin! I think it was a thrill for him too, because he couldn't believe we recognized him from Tales of The Gold Monkey! He posed for pictures and talked with us till he had to go back to work. A really nice guy.
And speaking of photos, I have some nice candid shots of Stephen taken backstage at a play he was doing (given to me by a lucky friend who got to see him), of his wife Faye when I saw her in "Singing in the Rain," of Caitlin when I saw her on the Charmings and pix of her with her dogs and horses (a friend of mine is a friend of hers). They are of course, and you'll hear this from me a lot, in storage. I have a 5x5x10 storage unit that is packed to the ceiling. And after putting $1500 in my car this month (ouch), I don't think there's much chance of my living arrangements changing before spring. But I could wrangle copies from friends if you're interested.
Gee, Marilyn, do you really think I'd be interested in any of this stuff? GIMME! GIMME! GIMME! :-)
Thank you again for the terrific web site. I'm really enjoying it. Unfortunately I fight with two other people for time on the Net, so my access time is limited. Wish I could think of a question for Stephen. I would like to tell him how much I enjoyed "Eye Contact." Being an unpublished mystery writer myself, I really enjoyed the twists and turns it took and the risks Nick took with her life certainly had me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait for his next one.
I'll pass along your comments to Stephen. I'll also ask him when his new novel will be coming out.
WEll, I'm off. I'm going to write long letters to all of my old TMG pals and alert them to your website. I know my friend in England is at least on-line and she would love to be able to connect--a huge Roddy McDowell fan.
Thanks for the free publicity and of course for all the little goodies coming my way, which of course, I'll share with the whole world.
Yes, it's time for another installment of "Ask Mr. C".
Bec Another question - If memory serves me correctly, I'm sure that I saw our favourite pilot bob up in one of those dreadful made for tv Danielle Steel films, looking and acting magnetic and charismatic and generally lifting the tone of the piece. Is it hard not to laugh when everyone but you is taking the script seriously? In an ideal world, what thespianish activities would you want to be doing? Directing? Acting in film noirish thrillers? Writing screenplays? Being in charge of the dolly grip (whatever that is)?
Stephen Collins So many questions: the only Danielle Steel thing I've done was a feature film in 1979 with Kathleen Quinlan called "The Promise." Ms. Steele actually novelized the book from the screenplay of the movie, which was finished but not yet released. If you check the book, you'll see the credit, "from a screenplay by Garry Michael White." The only way to make trashy stuff work is to play it straight, but also to maintain a sense of humor through the character you're playing.
In an ideal world I would have played Hamlet by now (I was offered it once and, stupidly, said no), and also would've played a baseball player in a movie. I would write and direct more and act less. I have almost no desire to write screenplays, but very much want to keep writing novels.
The dolly grip, FYI, is the person who pushes the camera dolly (the four-wheeled contraption on which the camera is planted) around when the camera moves in a particular shot. He (I've yet to see a woman dolly grip) also raises and lowers the camera as needed during the shot.
Bill Cosson BillPresto@gnn.com Hello there Patricia. Saw "Mourning Becomes Matuka" over the weekend. Did I not read somewhere that the lady who played Princess Kogi's sister in the show (Alexa Hamilton) is actually Marta DuBois' sister in real life? Or do I imagine things, which sometimes happens? You are the info queen; please advise.
I don't know if you read it somewhere, but I never read anything about them being sisters. Sorry.
Karen J. McLean email@example.com Hewwo, Padrisha, Dis is da Monkiac Kawen. I hab a code in by node and I'b nod habby bowd it. I want do fly do Bowagowa so I can ged sub sun. Can you caw Jake for be? I neeb a pie-wit an a pwane.
(feeling truly miserable in New Brunswick)
Gee, Karen, I think it could take some time to get the Goose from Boragora to New Brunswick. In the meantime, drink plenty of liquids, eat lots of chicken soup and rest. I'll try to get Jake there ASAP.
Just saw this on the Facts Page:
"When photographing Jack, try and stay away from a straight-on shot. Attempt a side angle that doesn't make him appear indecently exposed."
Get off that cold floor, missy! No wonder you're sick! :-)
Adrian Rhodes firstname.lastname@example.org HI there....I too liked the show, altho I was only able to see a few episodes. I'm also an fs4 pilot. I can find you more info on the plane if you give me a while.
A few fun facts about me:
I currently fly a pby catalina...the planes look something alike...in fs4.
Nice flyin' boat...
I'm a sociologist from Canada..currently working freelance...you know anyone needs research done I'm the person to talk to. Give me a yell back, Monkeyac!
Thanks for your note. Sorry, but I don't know anybody who needs any research done. Now, if you were talking *therapy*...;-)
Linda Sardaro LSard@aol.com Patricia, I can't believe how much new mail has been added. There is so much to read I can hardly keep up. How do you do it?? Once again, I have been impressed by the quality of this site. It just keeps getting better and better. I'm just dying to get some episodes. What's the scoop on the uncut versions?
No scoop yet. Maybe if we all pout in unison, Tom Greene will take pity on us and send me the tapes. I'd ask him again, but I don't want to seem pushy and greedy. Well, I am pushy and greedy, but I don't want to *seem* that way. Besides, I'm really busy trying to keep up with all the mail and adding all sorts of cool stuff to the site, so I don't have the time to harrass TV producers.
Also, I just caught my first episode of 7th Heaven (I know... I know... I'm late) and I liked it. I'm getting hooked on these feel good family shows. Although, a great adventure series with the caliber of TOTGM is what I'm really in the mood for.
Well, just wanted to say "Hi", and keep up the GREAT work!! I'll be checking in soon.
Thanks a lot, Linda. Come back again soon.
Leanne Shawler email@example.com Just thought I'd report that there are three positive letters about "7th Heaven" in the TV Guide this week (the one with Brooke Shields on the cover) and none against it!
That's great news! You see, just about everybody who sees the show loves it, except for that TV Guide Couch Critic Weenie. Of course, the problem is that not many people see the show, for a variety of reasons. Let's hope the positive word of mouth translates into better ratings.
Just wanted to let all fellow Monkiacs out there to know that if they're clueless about irc (what program to use, how to get there, etc etc) I'm more than happy to help!
Thanks for the offer, Leanne. I'm sure there are quite a few people who may need a little assistance. Now, I just need to buy the software. That's the drawback to using company equipment. I could try to put in a requisition for Netscape and Netscape Chat for my laptop, but somehow I don't think it'll get through.
(Yes, Patricia, I *will* get back to typing up that script!)
Well, I'm very proud to announce that I've finally finished the pilot script! It's now online and linked to the episode guide. We're all just waiting on you, Leanne, to wrap this whole thing up.
Imelda C. Santos firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Patricia, I'm writing in behalf of the Musgrave Foundation, an informal, Internet-based fan club and mailing list for Roddy McDowall. Its main address is http://www.fentonnet.com/smithway/rm/roddy1.html.
We'd like to ask your permission to add a link in our website to http://www.goldmonkey.com/annual/roddy.html. The document contains biographical data on McDowall as a regular cast member of Tales of the Gold Monkey.
We'd also appreciate it if you'd add a link in this document leading to our website.
Please say yes? :-)
No need to be so formal, Imelda. Sure, I'd love to trade links. The more, the merrier.
Justin Wilson email@example.com I liked the tales of The Golden Monken page. Lots of good info!!!!
Keep up the good work.
Justin S. Wilson
Thanks for your note.
Harvey Laidman Hlaidman@vine.org Patricia, I just saw the postings from Tom Greene. I can't tell you how much I miss working with him. His intelligence and enthusiasm oozed right off the screen, and it was one of those rare times when I felt encouraged to do great work. Working with Tom was a true collaboration - and lots of fun.
Finally saw Steven again after all that time, and looking forward to 7th Heaven. Patricia, you've really made my year by allowing me to get in touch with all those great people, Steven, Jeff, Tom, etc. Thanks!
You're welcome, Harvey. Believe me, I didn't plan it this way. I never even expected anybody associated with the series to stop by, let alone start reuniting cast and crew members. I'm glad that, in some small way, I helped. Come back soon and if you find anymore GOLD MONKEY people, send them on by.
Miquel firstname.lastname@example.org Hi Patricia: Congratilations for your Web "Tales of the Gold Monkey". I used to think that i was the only person in the world who likes this TV serie, but now i'm very happy because i met you.
I'm sorry for my english, but i'm spanish (i live in Barcelona).
When i was 13th (1984) i saw the serie for firt time and i fell in love whith it.
i'd like to talk to you by e-mail (or irc) if it's possible.
P.D. Please answer this message
Thank you very much for your note. I think we will have to communicate with e-mail for a while. We're still working out the details for our IRC chats. The problem with the IRC chat is that we were planning on holding them at what would probably be around midnight or 1:00 am for you. It's very difficult to find a suitable time for everyone since we have fans literally all around the world. But, I'll post your note and your e-mail address to the bulletin board, so other people can talk with you too.
Mark C. NMHG57A@prodigy.com First of all, I loved TOTGM even though I don't remember that much about it. Thanks for the web page, It is pretty awesome. I have a question,that is not about TOTGM, but of another show that I think was showing about the same time period. It seem's like there used to be a show about a gang or a group of people who went around fighting crime and they dressed up as a skeleton crew or something to that effect. I think the show was called "The Renagade's", although I was to young to remember. If you have the slightest idea of what Im talking about could you shed some light on my vague memory! In the mean time, Keep up the awesome work!
Yep, that's me, the TV trivia maven. You'll be pleased to know that your memory isn't all that vague. The Renegades aired right before TOTGM when the show moved to Friday nights. It starred Patrick Swayze and had something to do with gang members fighting crime. I don't remember the details because I never watched the show. Obviously, not many other people did either, as the show was the second lowest rated TV series that season. Only NBC's news magazine, Monitor had fewer viewers.
Scott S.Fowler@OPENMAIL1.UEDB411.sukepabe.simis.com Hello Patricia, I just found your page by accident the other day and have quickly read over all 4 boards to date. I'm rather relieved that I'm not the only one that was daft on TOTGM. Stuck in Central Scotland at 15, a Grumman Goose, the South Pacific and adventure kept me going on a wet Monday evening. I'll drop you a further note once I've made sure this letter gets through. I'm still fumbling when it comes to surfing the net.
Message received and understood. Awaiting further instructions.
Ed Eezeeover@aol.com I won't try your delicacies by saying what I was searching for, but The God Monkey was nowhere on my mind.
Even so, I was delighted to find you, and have added you to my Favorite Spots bookmark list. Loved the series, really did. Will it EVER be syndicated???
We're working on it. I don't think it will be offered into general synidcation (i.e. free to air TV), but there's always cable. You can write to the cable channels I've posted on the main web page (USA, TNT and fX) and MCA/Universal asking them to make the show available for us to watch over and over again. And thanks for sending this note, bookmarking my page, and not trying my delicacies. :-)
Tom Greene TJGCOWBOY@aol.com Hello again! No, I haven't forgotten you. I'm on an amazingly crazy deadline on this JASON project, and my time is to longer my own. As I think I told you, I'm also a "cowboy", I live in Los Angeles, but also have a ranch in Amarillo, Texas, where I raise cattle and rescue horses, so I've been doing a lot of traveling. Although I'll never make it to the NFR, I do like to do the last permit rodeos before the big bash (which, alas I will not be able to go to this year... as a spectator), since the PRCA-sanctioned events have the best rough stock and the competition is... well, you're against the best of the best... and then there's me... somewhere down the line! Somehow they make even this city boy look good! Before you ask, I'm a bulldogger, team roper (header), and team penner (mostly one-on-one). Anyway it's taking up a whole lot of time. I need to ask all you wonderful fans for lots of positive vibes on this script for Jason! I need energy to get it done! I've just been informed I have until November 1st to write it, and I only got the green light on the story yesterday. I'm back to my Gold Monkey schedule!
First off... you asked me for some tapes, and a cowboy always keeps his promises. However, a crew from the BBC, or some English TV company came to my house here in LA, and did an interview with me. They moved a case with all my tapes (of my shows) on it, and naturally it crashed to the ground. They were very good about it, and piled everything back up... but of course its now totally out of order, and what is always the case... several tapes are missing! I have some of the shows, and I will have my assistant start duplicating them for you... but I don't want to send them out until I get the whole group. The one I want you to have, especially... is FORCE OF HABIT, which is still under a couch somewhere.
Now... you'll have to give me am mailing address, so that when I finally get them all copied, I can send them to you!
Now... I've received, again, lots of questions, all good. I can't answer them all right now... you have no idea the amount of guilt I feel just stopping writing to do this... but let me make a dent in the pile of e-mail. First off, thank you all again for your wonderful comments and all. As I've said, Monkey always brings back wonderful memories, and the theme song alone brings back a warm feeling of a very special time in my life.
I heard... but haven't seen it yet, that the great director, Harvey Laidman, said some kind words about me! Well, as I think I said... he is by far one of the best directors I've ever worked with. It is so rare to find a director with his experience... who still tackles each project as if he's a brilliant and talented (which he is in spades!) director fresh out of film school, full of ideas, and wonderful energy. Someone asked how I chose which director should do each project... so that's question number one. In Harvey's case, I actually knew him when he was an assistant director, and (I could be very wrong about this), he may even have been a script supervisor. But I defiantly remember him as an assistant director, and I was just a kid... and I saw right away that this was the guy I would want to direct things I did! So much of choosing a director has to do with their availability. When you're good, and Harvey's reputation in Hollywood is stellar... everyone want's you. His agent basically signs up his "dance card" at the beginning of the season, and HOPE you can get him for your show! I had mentioned Harvey to Don long before I was even doing Gold Monkey while I was still producing Magnum. Don was already a fan and had hired him before. In that case, I'm sure Don hired him, since I was still on Magnum... but I was delighted. I remember the first day I met Harvey when he came in for his prep on FORCE OF HABIT, when went out to breakfast. I was very, very young... the writer and producer, and even though I knew Harvey, here I was, suddenly "his boss". I had a real passion for that script, and wanted it to be great... I knew Harvey would make it great, since besides all his other talents, he really works with the actors. I remember sitting at a restaurant called Patys near the studio early on the morning of the first day of prep, and talking about this and that... but wanting to go scene by scene. For many directors when a producer does this, it is a sign that he's concerned about the director. It's called "auditioning for dailies". I had enormous respect for Harvey (of course still do!), and didn't know how to get into it... I didn't want him to think I was concerned... it's just I have very strong visions of what I'd like to see up on the screen. We were almost finished with breakfast, and still I didn't open the script. But then... before I could open my mouth, Harvey says: "Now... let's go through this scene by scene and see what you had in mind..."!!!! That's Harvey! He had amazingly wonderful ideas, and it showed on the screen.
One thing I'll never forgive Harvey for, was years later I ran into him when I was at Lorimar Studios. I was about to shoot a pilot, and it needed Harvey's energy, and style. We were in the commissary, and I told him I'd love him to do it. He was delighted. All through my own lunch I thought I had it made. If Harvey was going to direct it... then I knew we'd have a sale! After lunch though I saw him again. I think he was having lunch with his agent...or he called his agent, and he told me regrettably that he was totally booked at the time I was shooting. I ended up having to take someone who... well... wasn't anywhere as good, and the pilot crash landed! If he'd been available, I could have retired to my ranch by now instead of fighting a November 1st deadline!
Another question: I was also asked if there was any scene I'd written that I regretted when we were shooting. Thank God, since I do mostly action shows...I've never written anything that has caused even a minor accident. And nothing on Gold Monkey. The motorcycle stunt, in BORAGORA, which I've spoken about before, did worry me, and, in fact I didn't even go to the set to watch it... and I love explosions.
Actually though I just remember a few of them, and I don't mean this to be a Harvey Laidman web page, they all have to do with him (come to think of it!). In FORCE OF HABIT, there's is a huge explosion in an upstairs apartment of the Monkey Bar... killing the pilot of the Clipper to create a diversion so that the bad guys can steal it. I kept telling Harvey and the special effects people exactly the kind of explosion I wanted. It was after a very quiet moment... in fact a few very low-key scenes and I wanted to jar the audiences. I love explosions, and was there on the set to watch it. Harvey and crew kept telling me it would be big. When they were shooting it. I stood on the ground looking up. The blast went off, and a big hand grabbed me and threw me to the ground. A split-second later I could feel the hot debris of primer cord and bits of wall and set flying over my head! There was flames everywhere, and the sandy ground was dotted with bits of fire. I looked up. It was Harvey. He was laughing. He was the one who threw me down! Then he said: That big enough for you?"
There's another story, which also fits into another question I got which was "have I ever had to fire someone?". Never on Gold Monkey... and in fact...since Don was the Executive Producer, I had no authority to do such a thing in the first place! I'm sure Don, a profectionist to the max (and it shows in the quality of his product), must have! He did let go the producing and writing staff before I came aboard, which gave me the great joy of doing the series. Anyway, combining that question with "did I regret any scenes I've written": On Wildside, my western Mini-Series, Harvey directing again, I did wrote what I thought was a very "innocent" scene where the Wildside Five are sitting around the restaurant, as they did every day, and the big strongman of the group, played by a great friend, and professional wrestler Terry Funk (who's my neighbor, in fact, in Texas!), gets angry about something, and tells the others how he's going to wring someone's neck. He takes a long-neck bottle of hot sauce and "wrings" it. I wrote that it's suppose to break open and the sauce goes over everyone's meal.. ruining it for them. They did the scene and the bottle (a breakaway) neck snaps and the sauces goes everywhere! Then suddenly Terry grabs his face in pain. The idiot prop man put REAL hot sauce in the bottle! I can not tell you how stupid that was! This was an old time prop man who should have known better. Terry was rushed to the hospital, and in the end was okay. But one... I was so worried I wished I hadn't written that scene, and two... I fired the prop man... the only person I've ever fired off a show of mine... and on that show... I did have the authority to do that!
Remember how I told you about Gerald Hiken, who played in two GOLD MONKEY'S as a French pimp and a pornographer, and how I used him again in Wildside as a blind priest name Father Cruel? Well one last regret. I wrote a scene where the regulars are playing baseball out in the Wildside Square... and, yes I had Father Cruel, black-out glasses on... blind as a bat... up at bat! The glasses they gave him (the same prop man, two days before I fired him), gave Gerald glasses that were literally blacked out. He could NOT see out of them. So here he is up at bat, and in the script he had to hit the ball for a home run! Well, poor Harvey Laidman had to shoot that scene, maybe thirty times so that Gerald, not any kind of athlete to begin with, would hit the ball. In TV you did may three takes... 30 is for features! I remember Harvey looking at me and saying: "Don't ever write a scene with a blind priest and a baseball game again!"
I was also asked a question about Alexia Hamilton, and if she was the Princess' real sister. I'd have to say, no. Alexia was a very beautiful and sexy lady... and very, very bright. I remember I was writing a screenplay at the time I was doing Monkey, and we talked a whole bunch about it. I remember sending it to her, just to get her advice. She wrote back with a whole slew of notes... all excellent! I used her again in a Knightrider I remember, and don't know what happened to her since. But I remember that she was something to see, and amazingly bright! I think she looked very much like the Princess (which is, of course why we cast her) and that may be why you think they were sisters in real life.
I think I can do one more question now before I really will be arrested for not getting back to work: Someone asked if there was any tense moments on the set, since we all seem to talk about the great friendship and joy. I wouldn't say tension... but I remember one time when not everyone was happy... and a bit worried. When I did "Distant Shout of Thunder" (by the way... the Thunder In Paradise version of that... in title alone, is on, I think next Monday!), which of course was about all these strange things happening to the weather and all... of course... in real life, while we were filming, we had the biggest rainstorm in LA history! We had built a full volcano set on one of the biggest soundstages, which was down a hill. I remember coming to the studio in the pouring rain, and the road leading down to the stage was a literal river. It would have swept you away if you tried to cross it. Someone has left the huge stage doors open, and the "river" was going right into the stage! And yes... it filled up the whole volcano! We had a lake, not a crater! Everyone had a very hard time coming to work with accidents, mud slides, and all the other horrors that happens in a city that doesn't now what to do with any kind of weather. I think lots of looks were given to me by people wondering if I had unleashed the wrath of the gods by writing that script! Oh... and we had a small earthquake in real life... the day we were shooting the earthquake sequence in Monkey. Remember it was our second to last show, and everyone was tired. We didn't need this! One last funny memory was that on the same day of the volcano flood, the Will Rogers Institute had come to the studio to give everyone free blood pressure tests. We all got them, and we all had very very high blood pressure... from all the work and all. So we were all walking around wondering if we were going to see another day or drop dead! Everything worked out... but it was a very muddy, wet day!
Okay... lots more questions, and I promise to get to them. Please be patient! And again... yes it's true.. you united a whole bunch of people who worked on the show, who you can see are great fans of each other! Don't think all of showbiz is this full of praise. We were just lucky... maybe because of Don's taste, to have so many talented and great people gathered together! As, I'm sure Harvey will tell you... and Steve and Jeff... it's not always that much fun!!
Keep them card and letters coming!
All my best: Tom Greene
Thanks a lot for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer everyone's questions. We really appreciate it. I also appreciate the tapes. I'm copying some episodes for someone now and I'm embarrassed by the poor quality tapes I'm using. Take your time making copies. I'm in no hurry. However, I'm sure the studio is in a hurry for JASON, so GET BACK TO WORK!
Well, you knew it was just a matter of time. You really didn't think that Jake and Corky would stop by and leave poor Sarah behind, did you? :-)
Caitlin O'Heaney Dear Patricia, I'm absolutely delighted to find your TOTGM website. I'm astonished and thrilled to find that the loyalty of the fans has not waivered after all these years. "Tales of the Gold Monkey" remains to this day one of my fondest career memories. I have yet to work on a show, be it film, tv, or theatre where I had more fun. Stephen, Roddy, and Jeff kept me in constant stitches, often right up to the point when the director would call "Action." An absolutely sterling cast to work with. I send them all love and good wishes. I'd be happy to answer anyone's questions if they'd send them through you. This is my friend's E-mail address, so I have to ask you not to give it out.
Peace and Love,
Thanks very much for your note and your offer. I'll post this to the bulletin board and, I'm certain, the questions will come pouring in shortly. I guess I should start this off with the standard first question, What was your favorite episode and why? I'd think of something more clever to ask, but I've got to run. I've got to get home and wait for my new washing machine to be delivered. As much as I love TOTGM, the web site and the people I've met because of it, laundry comes first. I'll be back in touch again soon.
Karen J. McLean email@example.com Good morning, Patricia! Congratulations on the new baby washer! Is it a Maytag or a Kenmore? How much does it weigh? :)
Maytag and a lot! Thanks for asking. :-)
Is the IRC chat a go for Tuesday night, 7:00 PM Eastern? I'll be starting a new job this week, but I should be home by then. I suggest we go with either Efnet or Dalnet because Undernet has been so busy lately. Then again, on a Tuesday night, it might not be so bad. What do you think?
I don't think anything's really been set for this week. And actually, I've never participated in any IRC chats. Remember, I'm doing all this with work PCs. It's bad enough to be running a web site on company time, but there's no way I could get away with chats! But, fear not, I just saw a sale ad for the PC I've been waiting to buy, the Packard Bell Platinum 40. I'll probably buy it next Saturday, so I should be ready to chat by the following Tuesday.
I have managed to digitize the theme song (complete with my ba-DUM at the end of it.) Would you like me to send it to you? Which encoding do you prefer?
Thanks! I'm not fussy about encoding. BTW, if and when I do get my PC, it has a video capture feature. I'm going to try to create a MPEG file of the opening credits! Wish me luck.
My cold is almost gone (I think), but I went to a hockey game last night and sat in the second row, so we'll see. :) The team lost. :(
You know, the least they could have done was win the game for you. After all, you risked your health for them!
I'll write more later, providing I survive the Mad Scientist's Rocket Launch this afternoon (long story). :)
Which you better tell me later!
Scott Fowler S.Fowler@OPENMAIL1.UEDB411.sukepabe.simis.com Hello again Patricia, I'm pleased the comms worked - I've even tried the new address. I looked out my episodes of TOTGM at the weekend - I have 10 - sat down and ended up watching the lot again ! I still can't make up my mind on what was the best episode, although to complete your quiz.
1 I was 15
2&3 I was daft about the Goose/flying
4 Can't make up my mind on the episode, probably one with Nazi's getting outwitted by Jake.
5 Surprise Surprise, I wanted to be Jake
The other appeal about the show was that over here in Britain, there is a famous character called Biggles. A pilot from World war one, who drifted around the thirties in a seaplane saving the British empire from the Bad guys or having Indiana Jones adventures before Mr Spielburg could walk. In fact Biggles was published from 1933 right up to 1968. A geriatric adventurer!
They both fitted in at around the same period, and they must have had an effect. In 1992, I travelled to Lubbock to get my pilots license, and in 1994 to Florida to get my Seaplane rating. I'm over in December, so if anybody does dual conversions in a Goose, let me know ! Extra credit surely.
The ten episodes I have, (Both Beta - original - and VHS) are: - Legends are forever, Escape from Death Island,Trunk from the past,God save the Queen, An old Habit, Last chance Louie, Nakajima kill, A distant shout of thunder,Borogora or Bust and Mourning becomes Matuka.
I'd be really interested in receiving the other episodes, so let me know what to do and what to send. Or if you know anybody near Aberdeen in Scotland with them already let me know.
P.S. I wont be able to read the Bullitin board for two weeks as I travel offshore to work on an oil rig, although my email is still available.
Well, I'd offer you the remaining episodes, Scott, but it's incredibly difficult to send tapes to the UK. Between shipping costs and customs, it probably wouldn't be worth the cost, especially since my copies aren't that terrific. I keep hearing from folks in the UK about trying to get tapes, but I haven't had much luck getting them for people. I'll post your request to the bulletin board and see if anybody over there has the remaining episodes. Or you could tell me where you're going to be in December and I could send them to you there. Of course, then you'd still have to get them through customs.
Sally Mierop firstname.lastname@example.org Hello Patricia, I heard about your site from *our* Tribute to Roddy McDowall website
group and am here the second time to read more of your fabulous Tales.
Unfortunately, for me, I might of only saw two episodes when it first aired back in 1982-83. I am a huge fan of Mr. McDowall's but in those years I was enlisted in the Navy and didn't have the time to watch TOTGM while stationed in Hawaii. But now thru your website, I can see exactly what I missed.
Keep up the good work and I'll be stopping by now and then.
Thanks very much for your note, Sally. Sorry you missed the show the first time around, but with some luck and lots of letters, we may be able to get the show available of cable or home video. Then you could really see exactly what you missed.
Congratulations! We've managed to fill up BB #5 in less than 3 weeks. A new record!! Now it's time to move on to Bulletin Board #6.
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