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Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp (The Original TV Series)
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Move over, James Bond! Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp swings into action as the greatest super spy ever to foil international evil-doers, charm the ladies and drive a really cool car! In this hilarious all-chimp spy spoof airing from 1970 to 1972, Link and his stunning sidekick Mata Hairi adopt more and more outrageous disguises as they use their considerable wit and cunning to battle the Baron, his chauffeur Creto, the Duchess, Dr. Strangemind, Wang Fu and Ali Assa Seen. When he's not fighting diabolical criminals, Lancelot gets groovy as the leader of the psychedelic pop band Evolution Revolution, which rocks out in these 22 memorable episodes.
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I can't find a complete episode guide online so I don't know how many were made. I can find titles for 14 episodes on the internet but one episode (or pair of episodes) from this DVD is NOT on that list. How many more are missing from that list? Does anybody know?
Here's what you get (with episode numbers courtesy [...])
1.9) The Dreaded Hong Kong Sneeze / The Great Bank Robbery
1.6) The Reluctant Robot / The Royal Foil
1.7) The Great Great Race / The Great Plane Plot
?) The Lone A.P.E. / Missile Beach Party
1.13) The Evolution Revolution / The Great Water Robbery
1.1) There's No Business Like Snow Business parts 1 & 2
1.5) Bonana / The Greatest Chase In The World
1.12A) The Chump Code Caper
1.3) Lance Of Arabia / The Doctor Goes A.P.E.
1.4) The Surfin' Spy / The Missing Link
1.11) The Golden Swwword / The Chilling Clump Chase
1.8) Landlubber Lance / The Temporary Thanksgiving Turkey Truce
The ones we're missing:
1.2) The Great Brain Drain / The Great Double Double Cross
1.10) The Sour Taste Of Success / The Baron's Birthday Ball
1.12B) Weather Or Not
1.14) The Spy Who Went Out In The Cold / Too Many Chumps
I find it strange that they'd leave off a handful of episodes and VERY strange that they chopped episode 12 in half, showing only the first part of it. The Weather Or Not segment is missing. End Credits roll after the musical interlude. Weird.
Still, it's Lance Link and Mata Hairy on DVD so I'm happy. Well worth the [...]. The show hasn't been cleaned up and is rather grainy and faded but that's part of the charm, really. The only special feature is an option to play just the musical segments.
Here's hoping Image releases a volume 2.
"Lancelot Link" was a campy send up of various spy shows of the 1960, particularly "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," but also "Get Smart," "I Spy," and even the James Bond movies. Lancelot had a beautiful associate, Mata Hairi, a boss who was a lot like M, Commander Darwin, and a host of baddies working for evil agency C.H.U.M.P. What more could you ask for in Saturday morning television?
Each week, Lancelot and Mata Hairi would thwart the evil schemes of C.H.U.M.P., using Mata's cleverness, Lancelot's cluelessness, and miscellaneous gadgets that appeared a lot like ordinary devices. The jokes were frequently corny, the chase scenes were laughable, and the script lines frequently elicited groans, and yet, it was all fascinating. Matching the voices to the movements of the chimpanzee's mouths was excellent. The chimps moved well and their training was phenomenal. Even now, I am amazed at the attention to detail and how well the chimpanzees appeared to perform everyday tasks.
Also included in this collection are a bunch of songs from Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution. The music is essentially late 60's pop, mimicking groups like The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats, only with fur; mostly forgettable, but still clever. Both disks permit you to select the music videos independent of the episodes.
I do like this collection, but only because the collection is the only one available. This collection, unfortunately, has flaws.
The biggest flaws are that these episodes are neither all the episodes nor are they the whole show. "Lancelot Link" was shown for an hour in its first season, with cartoons between the live-action portions, and for a half hour in the second season. All that is included on these DVD's are live action portions and a goodly number of songs from Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution.
I could probably forgive deleting the cartoon portions of the show if we got all the live action episodes, but out of the 33 episodes produced (counting "There's no Business like Snow Business" as one episode, even though it was two parts), this two DVD set only has 22 episodes. 11 episodes are missing. Why make the collection at all if you are not going to provide all the episodes?
The other problem I have is that the video has had zero clean up. The images are grainy and dirty. It looks like they put the film into a projector and copied the result. Okay, I understand that the audience is limited for shows like "Lancelot Link," but why charge a price for this collection that is comparable to the prices for collections that are in much better condition?
How can I recommend this collection? Missing episodes and grainy video are difficult to recommend. On the other hand, this collection is the most complete available, to my knowledge. If you have been waiting more than three decades to get your hands on Lancelot Link episodes, then maybe you should get these. If you would really like to have Lancelot Link but you want all the episodes, perhaps you should wait a little longer. However, a truly complete collection may never exist, and I am not getting any younger. As Mata Hairi frequently says, "Oh, Lancie!"
It was James Bond/Man from U.N.C.L.E. (when is that series coming to DVD)like show combined with heavy dose of Get Smart (another missing DVD show!) thrown in for good measure, done for kids. the story was simple...Lance (Dayton Allen trying to voice a Don Adams wantabee) worked for A.P.E (Agency to Prevent Evil) again CHUMP, just like UNCLE and Control. He had a Mr Wavely type in the boss Darwin, and Mata Haira, his assistant similar to 99 on Get Smart, always solving before Lance
It also poked fun at all other genres other than the spy format show like Westerns (the Lone A.P.E.), Laugh-in (with their Chimpee), Ed Sullivan and even the cartoon band the Archies (with the ape band-the Evolution Revolution)
I recently recieved this two dvd box set. It said 12 episodes, originally there were 16 showsin the aired series-so four were missing. Then I started to watch this, the episodes were very grainy, scratched dirty copies, when I buy a DVD-I expect a clean, clear copy.
Now the good news, the satire is STILL cute and fun..simple saturday morning fare from 1970. The talent of Daytron Allen, Joan Gerber and Bernie (Siefred from Get Smart) Kopell as the voices of Lance, Mata Haire and the Baron works so well. It Takes a Thief's Malachi Throne as the narrator give this satire an over the top edge. and Mel Blanc did other voices!
I give it 3 stars for the show's biting satire which is still cute and watchable 36 years later and the show's good casting . Be on note, the DVD copies look TERRIBLE! It seems worse than a few Bootleg film copies I have seen over the years and this is a professional company, suppose to put out a profession product
Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOWORLD
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