Monkey: The Complete Series – Worldwide Blu-Ray Premiere!

❉ “Born from an egg on a mountain top….” Monkey is available for the first time ever on Blu-ray!

One of the most anticipated releases of the year is finally here!  The Worldwide Blu-Ray Premiere Of Monkey!  All 52 episodes have now been restored and are presented in this all new collection available on DVD and for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

“In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heaven sought order. But the Phoenix can fly only when it’s 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 worked upon a certain rock, old as creation. And it became magically fertile. That first egg was named “Thought”. Tathagata 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….”   (Try explaining that to your children)

Three fallen angels: Monkey (the cloud-flying Monkey God, born from an egg on a mountain top), Pigsy (the pig monster and embodiment of gluttony and lust) and Sandy (the morose ex-cannibal and sea monster) have been thrown out of heaven for various acts of sacrilege and general misbehaviour, they hook up with a young Buddhist monk, Tripitaka and embark on an epic, adventure-packed pilgrimage to spread the teachings of Buddha throughout the world and to hopefully gain some enlightenment themselves.

Monkey took the country by storm when it was first screened on BBC2 on Friday evenings in 1979. Children around the country were kung fu fighting in the playgrounds and  summoning fluffy pink clouds by fanning two fingers over their mouths. The BBC screened 39 of the original 52 episodes. Fabulous Films dubbed the “lost” 13 episodes with the original cast in 2004.

The dubbing was as much a part of the show’s success as the martial arts, panto special effects, magic tricks, ’70s disco music and amazing theme tune. Scriptwriter David Weir was asked to re-work Monkey (a 1970s Japanese drama, based on a Chinese tale from the 16th century, about a Buddhist priest from the 7th century) for the 1970s British audience after he successfully adapted another oriental literary classic The Water Margin. Armed with a translation of the original dialogue (as he had no understanding of Japanese or Chinese), Weir wrote the original script which brilliantly appealed to a British sense of humour with the odd bit of Buddhist philosophy thrown in for good measure.

David Collings who voiced Monkey sadly died in March this year, although a mainstay of the Royal Shakespeare Company he was a cult favourite for sci-fi fans appearing in Doctor Who, Sapphire and Steel, Blake’s 7 and UFO (produced by the Thunderbirds’ Gerry and Sylvia Anderson). The voice of Pigsy was Peter Woodthorpe who died a few weeks after Fabulous Films finished dubbing the “lost” episodes in 2004. Woodthorpe is recognised for his role as the grumpy pathologist Max on Morse and as Reg Trotter, the long-absent father, who turns up in the 1983 Christmas Day special of Only Fools and Horses. Miriam Margolyes voiced many of the female characters and Andrew Sachs voiced Horse (Tripitaka’s shy talking horse who’s really a Water Dragon). The “lost” episodes were narrated by Bert Kwouk who was best known for being Cato in the Pink Panther films. The dubbing director for the “lost” episodes George Roubicek , is well known for playing Commander Praji in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Netflix is now airing the second season of the new Monkey series The New Legends of Monkey. It’s huge worldwide success is sparking new interest in this classic series.

Bonus features include:

Documentary filmed around the dubbing of the lost 13 episodes and PDF scans of all the 39 original BBC dubbing scripts!

❉ Monkey: The Complete Series (Restored) is by Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises on Blu-Ray and DVD, 5 October 2020. Certificate: 12. Running Time: BR: 2317mins/DVD: 2231mins. Price BR: £99.99. DVD: £69.99. CLICK TO ORDER FROM AMAZON: DVD | BLU-RAY

❉ News source: @FabulousFilmsTV

❉ We Are Cult is not responsible for the content of this news release.

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  1. Does this only have the dubbed audio? I really enjoyed the subtitled episodes that were on the previous dvds and i’d love tonwatch the whole series in thw original language.

  2. On the Australian distributors website (Umbrella Entertainment) there’s a short video that gives people an idea of the quality. The blu-Ray listing states its 4:3 in 1080p, and has a “-” for the bu-ray region so the aussie version at least might be region unlocked (I dont know for Certain). The Quality looks better than the Original DVD boxset i bought a few years back so I just preordered the Blu-ray for my nephew. I was also suprised to find out it is discounted from the marked price of $179.95 to about $155 including postage once its in your cart.–tv-series-1978—blu-ray.html?#search_query=monkey&results=12

  3. Unfortunately it comes with English audio only. Which sucks because it is not an adaptation, it is, pretty much, a complete rewrite. According to Weir’s daughter, not only he did not speak a word of Japanese, but many times he did not have a script at all and simply chose words that fit the mouth movements

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