Arguably one of the most iconic TV shows of the 80s, Monkey, has been resurrected by Australian national TV station ABC – basically, the BBC of Down Under.
Little is known about the new show, called The New Legends of Monkey, but the principal characters are the same – Tripitaka, Pigsy, Sandy and of course Monkey – played by Luciane Buchanan, Josh Thomson, Emilie Cocquerel and Chai Hansen, respectively. And a trailer has just dropped…
Originally transmitted in Japan and called Saiyûki, it was two series of 26 episodes; this was changed to three series of 13 episodes when transmitted in the UK in early 80s. The final 13 episodes (the second half of series 2) were never translated into English until Fabulours Films translated them for DVD release in 2002. The series was made with an ensemble cast and on low budget and the sets were clearly recycled from episode to episode…but when you heard the opening narration and that funky music kicked in, it became the best show on British television.
In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order, but the phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four worlds formed again and yet again, as endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essences of Heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the Sun and the Moon all worked upon a certain rock old as creation, and it magically became fertile. That first egg was named Thought. Tatagatha Buddha, the father Buddha said, “With our thoughts, we make the world.” Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it then came a stone monkey… The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!
Anyone whose age currently begins with a four, and who grew up in the UK, desperately wanted a cloud to ride around on and a cool staff weapon that could be conveniently kept behind your ear.
The official blurb says, “Inspired by the 16th century Chinese fable Journey to the west, ABC ME’s The Legend of Monkey is 10-part half-hour series that follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world.”
The new series was first announced back in April last year and is being produced by Seesaw Films and Jump Film & TV in partnership with the ABC, Netflix and TVNZ. It will premiere first on ABC and TVNZ on January 28th in Australia and Netflix will later screen the series globally to its 93 million members.
Here’s that classic opening theme…
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