Broadcast on ABC in early 80s, the series became a massive hit following the success of Indiana Jones ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’. This 22-hour long series is set in a backwater corner of the South Pacific a young American adventurer and his ragtag group of friends become involved in death-defying hi-jinx, transporting people-on-the-run in a well-worn Grumman Goose seaplane. Set in 1938, this series captures the ambiance and character of a mysterious romantic era.
Set in the South Pacific in 1938, the series is about an ex-Flying Tigers pilot named Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins). Now the operator of an air cargo delivery service based on the fictional South Seas island Bora Gora, he flies a red and white Grumman Goose called Cutter's Goose. Jake's best friend is his mechanic Corky (Jeff MacKay), a good-hearted alcoholic whose memory is hazy as a result of the quantity of booze he consumes. However, a one-eyed Jack Russell terrier named Jack, who barks once for "no" and twice for "yes" (or the opposite if it suits him) would dispute just who Jake's best friend really is. Jack wears an eye patch, but used to have a false eye made of opal with a star sapphire center that Jake lost in a poker game—and refuses to let Jake forget it.
Jake's love interest/U.S. Government spy contact is Sarah Stickney White (Caitlin O'Heaney). She sings in the Monkey Bar as a cover for her espionage activities. The Reverend Willie Tenboom (John Calvin), a phony man of the cloth who likes to "bless" the female natives in private "prayer", is in actuality a Nazi spy named Willy, with interests in both sides.
"Bon Chance" Louie (played by Ron Moody in the pilot, Roddy McDowall in the series) is the owner of the Monkey Bar and the French magistrate for Bora Gora. Jake's nemesis is the Japanese princess Koji (Marta DuBois), a Dragon Lady type of character who has eyes for Jake. Koji's devoted bodyguard is Todo (John Fujioka), a fierce practitioner of Bushido and loyal to the princess. (Although Calvin, DuBois and Fujioka were billed on the opening credits of each episode, they actually only appeared on a semi-regular basis in a handful of episodes.)
The title is derived from a valuable statue that is the focal point of the pilot episode, that is kept at the Monkey Bar for the rest of the series.
Tales of the Gold Monkey stars Stephen Cohen as Jake Cutter he flies a plane in the south Pacific called Cutter's goose. He frequents a bar called the Monkey Bar run by Bon Chance" Louie (Ronny McDonwell). Masquering as a singer at the club is Sara Stickney White (Caitlin O'Heaney) who is really a spy.
Most notably, the series was a major influence of the Disney cartoon show , Tailspin. The cartoon included a plane, called and similar character as the TV show.
Donald P. Bellisario is the creator of Tales of the Gold Monkey and thought of the ideal for the series in the late 70's. He was not successful getting the series launched at first. However, after the sucess of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1981, ABC decided to develop the series.
Stephen Collins as Jake Cutter
Jeff MacKay as Corky
Marta DuBois as Princess Koji
John Calvin as Reverend Willie Tenboom
John Fujioka as Todo
Leo the Dog as Jack
Caitlin O'Heaney as Sarah Stickney White
Roddy McDowall as Bon Chance Louie
Les Jankey as Gushie the Waiter
Ahmed Kalane as Bartender