It's a pity that much of the great telly you watched as a kid turns out to be a bit rubbish if you happen to catch it on Bravo or some such cable graveyard. Monkey, however, is even more of a laugh than it was in the old days (it first appeared in 1979). Back in the day, no playground scrap passed without one of the participants blowing on his fingers to summon up the magic and yelling 'I like to fiiiight!'
And yes, it was a bit strange at the time fancying boy-priest Tripitaka, but it turns out he was played by a lady. We don't know why, but the mix of cod-Japanese philosophy banter, kung fu and the most ridiculous stories in TV history is tremendously entertaining.
Download the opening credits here
Episode Guide (each volume contains three episodes)
Monkey steals the heavenly peaches, Tripitaka is summoned to go on a journey and Pigsy joins the gang.
Pigsy falls in love, Monkey is sent back to the mountain of fruit and flowers and Tripitaka is kidnapped.
Pigsy stands up to the village monster, Monkey saves a widow who falls for Tripitaka and Monkey rescues a girl from some bandits.
Tripitaka unmasks the fake king of Cockcrow, Monkey and Pigsy fall in love while Tripitaka reunites night and day and Monkey ends the reign of terror in the land of Codslow.
Pigsy impersonates a slug monster to impress a selfish woman, one of the gang is accused of being a shape-changer and Monkey uses his magic to help some pilgrims tunnel through a mountain.
The King of Unicorns wants Monkey's magic wishing staff for his potential son-in-law, Tripitaka is confronted by a woman claiming to be his mother and Monkey helps the pilgrims against the Demon Queen Grasshopper.
Tripitaka becomes critically ill with Tibetan Fever, the sprit of Pigsy supposedly possesses Tripitaka and Monkey and Sandy set out to save a land where pigs are sacred from being ruled by the Spirit of the Red Hog.
Three witches plan to kidnap Tripitaka in order for them to be brought to life, Pigsy and Sandy become pregnant when they drink from the Well of Small Blessings and the gang try to obtain a fan from the Queen of Fire so that they can put out some volcanoes.
The intrepid gang venture into the Land of Nightmares, Tripitaka is captured by the King of All Geological Ages and Monkey flies home to the Kingdom of Fruit and Flowers