Pleased to be streaming old favorites to television

Published 2:05 am Saturday, February 3, 2018

I am excited to learn that I can watch “The Tales of the Gold Monkey,” a series that aired in 1982, by means of streaming video to my television. The story centered on a handsome pilot, Jake Cutter, who flew a cargo plane around the South Pacific before the beginning of World War II. There were only twenty hour-long episodes. It was one of my favorite shows.

My husband also liked it, mainly because he had always dreamed of adventures in far-away places. His 20-year military career, which began as a youth at 17, afforded him plenty of travel, but he always enjoyed movies that transported him to places he missed in his youth. I haven’t checked on its availability yet, but I hope I can find one of his all-time favorites, “Father Goose,” starring Cary Grant, who portrayed a coast watcher during World War II. He always kept those tapes handy to watch when our family gathered at Christmas.

I remember that that the main character in” The Tales of the Gold Monkey” owned an amphibious airplane he kept dockside at The Gold Monkey bar. Jake Cutter dealt with almost impossible challenges. He was exposed to beautiful scenery, hazardous flights and mysterious places, where he and his friends sometimes wound up fighting for their lives.

My husband and I sat side-by-side weekly in our recliners and soared around those South Pacific islands with Cutter, his forgetful boat mechanic, and sometimes a beautiful young girl (who was an American secret agent). We survived crashes, explosions, capture by hostile natives, and scheming enemies of the United States. We held our breath as Cutter struggled in knock-down, drag-out fights one could only live through in make-believe. He got into those kinds of scraps in almost every episode.

One of the most appealing parts of the series was Jake’s battle-scarred, eight-year-old terrier, named Jack. Cutter and Jack often had “serious” confrontations and Cutter addressed him as if he were a person. Jack’s means of communication included one bark which meant “no,” and two which meant “yes.” He wore an expensive and exquisite right artificial eye made from an opal with a sapphire center. Unfortunately, Cutter once lost it in a card game and had to cover Jack’s eye with a leather pouch. All along, he received reports of the eye’s whereabouts and made every effort to retrieve it. During one adventure, he did so, but lost it again when his friends had to use it as pay to save Cutter’s life. Jack flew with Cutter, but he hated take-offs and retreated to his “special place” when they took off, or when they battled rough weather or engaged in air battles.

Among Cutter’s other friends were the bar owner and French magistrate, who had escaped the Guillotine, and a Dutchman who was secretly a German officer and spy who hated Hitler.

I got almost as addicted to “Tales of the Gold Monkey” as my husband was to “Father Goose.”


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper industry.