"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 became magically fertile. That first egg was named 'Thought'... Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch; from it then came a stone monkey. The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!"

NTV-Kokusai Hoei (BBC2)


39 episodes (45 minutes)


Based on Hsi Yu Chi (The Journey to the West) by Wu Ch'êng-ên; translated into English as Monkey by Arthur Waley

Produced by Tsunbeo Hayakawa, Muneo Yamada, Tadahiro Nagatomi (first season only), Yoji Katori, Kazuo Morikawa, Ken Kumagaya (first season only), Sadamasa Arikawa (second season only)

Music by Micky/Mickie Yoshino

Regular Cast: Masaaki Sakai (Monkey), Masako Natsume (Tripitaka), Shiro Kishibe (Sandy), Toshiyuki Nishida/Tonpei Hidari (second season only) (Pigsy), Shunji Fujimura (Yu-Lung) (second season only)

English adaptation by David Weir

First Season (16 Nov 79 - 14 Mar 80, 31 Oct 80 - 9 Jan 81)
1 Monkey Goes Wild About Heaven (16 Nov 79)
(Mamoru Sasaki, Isoa Okishima/Yusuke Watanabe)
2 Monkey Turns Nursemaid (23 Nov 79)
(Mamoru Sasaki/Jun Fukuda)
3 The Great Journey Begins (30 Nov 79)
(Tetsuro Abe/Daisuke Yamazaki)
4 Monkey Swallows the Universe (7 Dec 79)
(Hiroichi Fuse/Daisuke Yamazaki)
5 The Power of Youth (14 Dec 79)
(Motoo Nagai/Yusuke Watanabe)
6 Even Monsters Can be People (11 Jan 80)
(Yu Tagami/Daisuke Yamazaki)
7 The Beginning of Wisdom (18 Jan 80)
(James Miki/Yasutaka Tanaka)
8 Pigsy Woos a Widow (25 Jan 80)
(James Miki/Yasutaka Tanaka)
9 What Monkey Calls the Dog-Woman (1 Feb 80)
(Yu Tagami/Jun Fukuda)
10 Pigsy's in the Well (8 Feb 80)
(Hirokazo Fuse/Jun Fukuda)
11 The Difference Between Night and Day (15 Feb 80)
(Eizaburo Shiba/Daisuke Yamazaki)
12 Pearls Before Swine (22 Feb 80)
(Eizaburo Shiba/Daisuke Yamazaki)
13 The Minx and the Slug (29 Feb 80)
(James Miki/Yusuke Watanabe)
14 Catfish, Saint and the Shape-Changer (7 Mar 80)

15 Monkey Meets the Demon Digger (14 Mar 80)
16 The Most Monstrous Monster (31 Oct 80)
17 Truth and the Grey Gloves Devil (7 Nov 80)
18 Land for the Locusts (14 Nov 80)
19 Vampire Master (21 Nov 80)
20 Outrageous Coincidences (28 Nov 80)
21 Pigsy, King and God (5 Dec 80)
22 Village of the Undead (12 Dec 80)
23 Two Little Blessings (19 Dec 80)
24 The Fires of Jealousy (26 Dec 80)
25 The Country of Nightmares (2 Jan 81)
26 The End of the Way (a.k.a. The Odd Odyssey of Tripitaka) (9 Jan 81)

Second Season (16 Jan 81 - 3 Apr 81)
27 Pigsy's Ten Thousand Ladies (16 Jan 81)
28 The Dogs of Death (23 Jan 81)
29 The Foolish Philosopher (30 Jan 81)
30 Who Am I? (6 Feb 81)
31 What is Wisdom? (13 Feb 81)
(Mtomu Yoshida/Yoshiyuki Kuroda)
32 The Fountain of Youth (20 Feb 81)
(James Miki/Satoshi Aoki)
33 A Shadow So Huge (27 Feb 81)
(Takayuki Kase/Akikazu Oota)
34 Keep on Dancing (6 Mar 81)
(Mtotmu Yoshida/Satoshi Aoki)
35 Give and Take (13 Mar 81)
(Susumu Takami/Satoshi Aoki)
36 Such a Nice Monster (20 Mar 81)
(Motomu Yoshida/Kazuo Ikehiro)
37 Pretty as a Picture (2 Apr 81)
(James Miki/Kazuo Ikehiro)
38 Mothers (27 Mar 81)
(Hirokazu Fuse/Satoshi Aoki)
39 At the Top of the Mountain (3 Apr 81)
(Hirokazu Fuse/Jun Fukuda)

The above list refers to Monkey as transmitted by the BBC in the late 70s/early 80s. The dating/ordering information is, in part, courtesy of Keith Topping and Vanessa Meachen. Australia's ABC transmitted Monkey as one season of 26 episodes and one season of 13 episodes (this latter season having the 'more human' Pigsy (i.e. they had a different actor) and the horse becoming a character), which better reflects the programme's production. The second (Japanese) season also comprises 26 episodes, although 13 of these episodes were never dubbed into English (see the undubbed episodes page on the Monkey Heaven site for more details). I hope to complete the rest of the writers/directors credits soon. (Thanks to the Monkey Heaven page and Koschei 'Luke' Sabato.)