Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Monkey Challenge: At The Top Of The Mountain

So Tripitaka has a dream that his mother is sick, Monkey flies on his cloud to visit her and sees her die, then pretends to be her so Tripitaka thinks his mother's alright really, then gets found out, then Buddha sends his mother's ghost to see her son one last time.

That's the plot in a nutshell, and while not nearly as... dark... as the last episode was, it's still not a typical Monkey episode, with Buddha's appearance once more heralding a serious lesson. That lesson is 'life goes on' although you could be forgiven for thinking it should be 'don't impersonate your friend's recently deceased mother.'

Well with that I have now reached the end of episode 39, which means I have reached the end of the original run of Monkey on British TV. The remaining 13 were not dubbed back in 1979-80; it took until 2004 before Channel 4 finished the job begun by the BBC.

This also means they weren't shown on British TV until 2004, which means Mothers and At The Top Of The Mountain would have been the final two episodes shown in the original run - a surprisingly sombre ending for such a joyful, energetic and - above all - fun series.

The episodes I have still to watch are available in a separate boxed set entitled 'The Thirteen Lost Episodes' while the same 13 episodes appear in the main boxed set in their original, un-dubbed form - this makes for an odd (I might even say jarring) contrast if you watch all the episodes on a DVD in order, getting three dubbed into English then one in Japanese with English subtitles.

While I could continue the Monkey Challenge by watching the subtitled versions, I very much prefer the dubbed episodes so will use them. There are a few differences (caused by the passing of 24 years between) which I intend to highlight in the upcoming episodes.

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