Jack of All Trades (TV series)

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Jack of All Trades
JackOfAllTrades Complete.jpg
Genre Action-comedy
Created by Eric A. Morris
Starring Bruce Campbell
Angela Dotchin
Stuart Devenie
Chris Easley
Theme music composer Joseph Loduca
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 22
Production
Producer(s) Rob Tapert
Sam Raimi
Bruce Campbell
Location(s) Auckland, New Zealand
Running time 22 Minutes
Production company(s) Renaissance Pictures
Universal Network Television
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run January 17, 2000 – December 2, 2000

Jack of All Trades is a half-hour long syndicated action-comedy television series which ran for two seasons in 2000. With Cleopatra 2525, it formed the Back2Back Action Hour and both shows were notable for being the first American non-animated action series to be produced in the half-hour format since the 1970s. The show was canceled in the middle of its second season.

The program is set at the turn of the 19th century on the fictional French-controlled island of Pulau-Pulau[1] in the East Indies. Jack Stiles is an American secret agent sent there by President Jefferson. While there, he meets his British contact and love interest, English spy Emilia Rothschild. Together, the two work to stop Napoleon and various other threats to the United States. To the public, Jack is seen as Emilia's attaché (she sometimes serves as his), and in order to protect his identity as a secret agent, while acting against the enemies of America, Jack often adopts the identity of a legendary (though otherwise fictional) masked hero: "the Daring Dragoon".

The show contained many on-going gags, such as deliberate historical inaccuracies (such as Canada being a French territory rather than part of the British Empire), Jack being responsible for many important historical events but not receiving credit, Emilia inventing a miraculous invention in an obvious deus ex machina, sexual puns and innuendos, and Jack and Emilia's ongoing romantic tension.

The premise of a masked swashbuckler thwarting the endless machinations of a corrupt governor, his cravenly servile captain, and their bumbling retinue of soldiers is borrowed rather unabashedly from that of Zorro, particularly the youth-oriented film serials and TV series. In many ways, the show was meant to be a historical fantasy in the vein of Campbell's 1993–1994 western series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. and the 1965–1969 adventure show The Wild Wild West. The Jack Stiles character also resembles the flamboyant Autolycus ("the King of Thieves"), a recurring role Campbell played on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

As the show's producer and star, Bruce Campbell had an opportunity to use many one-liner jokes for which he is known.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1[2]

Episode Number Episode title Original air date
1-1 "Return of the Dragoon" January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22)
The adventure begins when Jack Stiles is sent by Thomas Jefferson to a tiny island in the East Indies where he teams up with a beautiful British inventor and secret agent to take on Napoleon Bonaparte.
1–2 "Sex and the Single Spy" January 29, 2000 (2000-01-29)
Jack tutors Emilia in the art of seduction, and she then tests her skills on an eminent French spy from whom she must retrieve a secret code.
1–3 "The Floundering Father" February 5, 2000 (2000-02-05)
Benjamin Franklin is kidnapped while journeying to France to build a weapon of mass destruction for Napoleon, and Jack and Emilia must come to his rescue.
1–4 "Once You Go Jack..." February 12, 2000 (2000-02-12)
Kentucky Sue, Jack's former partner and old flame, returns with guns blazing—literally—and proposing marriage.
1–5 "The People's Dragoon" February 19, 2000 (2000-02-19)
Emilia and Jack, who is disguised as the Dragoon, work together to retrieve a shipment of American gold that has been intercepted by the corrupt Governor Croque.
1–6 "Raging Bully" February 26, 2000 (2000-02-26)
The stakes are high when Jack must beat Napoleon in a game of poker to win Louisiana back from the French—and save his own life.
1–7 "Daddy Dearest" March 4, 2000 (2000-03-04)
It's all in the family when Emilia's father, who also happens to be Britain's most decorated spy, comes to Pulau Pulau to supervise a mission.
1–8 "One Wedding and an Execution" March 11, 2000 (2000-03-11)
Jack is determined to save Emilia from saying "I do" after she agrees to marry Napoleon in an attempt to save England from a French invasion.
1–9 "Croque for a Day" April 15, 2000 (2000-04-15)
When Napoleon sends an inspector to evaluate Croque, Jack and Emilia scheme to keep the benign governor in office rather than have him replaced by someone who will bring real damage.
1–10 "Dead Woman Walking" April 22, 2000 (2000-04-22)
When the Dragoon is blamed for the desecration of a cemetery, Emilia plays dead in an effort to clear his name.
1–11 "Love Potion No. 10" April 29, 2000 (2000-04-29)
Hoping to keep the peace on the island, Jack and Emilia help Croque to satisfy his young wife's libido.
1–12 "Up the Creek" May 6, 2000 (2000-05-06)
The famed explorers Lewis and Clark, two men who really should just ask for directions, think their deserted island is actually Oregon and can't fathom the idea that the Revolutionary War is over.
1–13 "X Marquis the Spot" May 13, 2000 (2000-05-13)
It's a little bit of pleasure and a whole lot of pain when Jack and Emilia are sent to the Marquis de Sade's island of torture and participate in a leather-clad triathlon in order to retrieve King George's stolen crown.
1–14 "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Opera" May 20, 2000 (2000-05-20)
It's not over until the fat lady sings when Jack and Emilia are assigned to protect the unstable King George from a staged assassination attempt.

Season 2

Episode Number Episode title Original air date
2-1 "A Horse of a Different Color" October 7, 2000 (2000-10-07)
Someone's horsing around with the safety of the island when Katherine the Great threatens to destroy Palau Palau unless her champion horse is returned within 24 hours.
2-2 "Shark Bait" October 14, 2000 (2000-10-14)
It's all hands onboard when Jack and Emilia enlist the help of the legendary pirate Blackbeard to thwart Leonardo Da Vinci's great, great, great, great grandson from destroying the annual Founding Father/Son cruise.
2–3 "Monkey Business" October 28, 2000 (2000-10-28)
A priceless silver monkey by the WallaWalla Bing Bang tribe has Emilia and Jack ape mad at each other when they're both ordered to send it to their respective countries.
2–4 "The Morning After" November 4, 2000 (2000-11-04)
There's a lot of bitter grapes going around when Jack and Emilia wake up in bed together after drinking the "special" wine that Napoleon plans to send to every world leader.
2–5 "Croquey in the Pokey" November 11, 2000 (2000-11-11)
When the governor is jailed for a planned assassination attempt on Napoleon, it's a battle behind the bars as Jack gets himself sent to prison so he can protect Croque from every thug he's ever sentenced.
2–6 "One, Two, Three, Give Me Lady Liberty" November 18, 2000 (2000-11-18)
Napoleon seems to be turning over a new leaf when he has a special statue sculpted to give to America, but Emilia and Jack soon learn that behind the stone beauty lies a beast.
2–7 "Hamnesia" November 25, 2000 (2000-11-25)
Emilia goes hog wild when an accident erases her memory, including the location of a priceless land deed, and Jack convinces her that she's really an uninhibited party animal.
2–8 "Seventy Brides for One Brother" December 2, 2000 (2000-12-02)
Emilia finds herself one woman among many when she is kidnapped and placed in a sultan's harem, but the longer she stays, the more she refuses to leave without the other "wives."

Theme song[edit]

The show used a rollicking theme song, sung by a bunch of early 19th century barflies. The tune and lyrics are based on numerous period songs, such as the "Marines' Hymn" and "Yankee Doodle". The theme song was nominated for the "Outstanding Main Theme Title Song" Emmy in 2000, but lost to The West Wing.

In eighteen-hundred-one, the Revolution had been won
And Uncle Sam’s favorite son had a job he needed done
Which brought Jack to a lady, both beautiful and smart
Who found his mix intriguing; a scoundrel with a heart!
From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
There was never a leatherneck braver, a Daring Dragoon is he
He’ll halt the bold advance of Napoleon’s attack
There ain’t a French or pirate rogue who don’t... know Jack!
From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
Sailin’ ’round the bloody world to defend democracy
And when ya need a fightin’ man ya’d trust to watch yer back
Just ask the bloke right next ta ya – (parrot: "Damn right!") – it’s... Jack!

Historical figures[edit]

Many episodes of Jack of All Trades involved real historical figures, usually drastically parodied for the sake of humor. Furthering the show's intentional inaccuracies, some of these figures died before the show's 1801 time period.

The following is a list of historical figures who appeared on the show:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season 1, Episode 13, 01:59
  2. ^ "Jack of All Trades – The Complete Series". Retrieved May 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]