Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

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Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
Kftlclgo.png
Format Action/Drama
Created by Ed Spielman
Starring David Carradine
Chris Potter
Narrated by Richard Anderson
Country of origin Canada
United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 88
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Sloan
Running time 44 minutes
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution/Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel PTEN
Audio format Stereo
Original run January 27, 1993 – January 1, 1997

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues is a spin-off of the 1972–1975 television series Kung Fu. David Carradine and Chris Potter starred as a father and son trained in kung fu - Carradine playing a Shaolin monk, Potter a police detective.[1][2] This series aired in syndication for four seasons, from January 27, 1993 to January 1, 1997, and was broadcast in over 70 countries. Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[3] Reruns of the show have been aired on TNT.

The show was canceled when its producer, Prime Time Entertainment Network (also known as PTEN), ceased operations and no other network opted to continue the series.

Story[edit]

Like his grandfather and namesake from the original TV series, Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) is a Shaolin priest. Caine was the head of a temple in Northern California, where his son Peter (Chris Potter) also lived and studied, until the temple was destroyed in a fire caused by a renegade priest who believed the priests would serve better as mercenaries. After the destruction of the temple, each believed the other had perished and went on their separate ways; Caine wandered and traveled, much as his grandfather had, while Peter became a foster child and eventually a police officer. The series begins when Caine comes to New York city and ends up in a Chinatown section, where Peter's precinct is, and they are reunited after being separated for 15 years.

Cast[edit]

Notable guest stars[edit]

Characters[edit]

Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine)
Kwai Chang Caine is the protagonist of the series. He is a Shaolin priest and leader of a Shaolin temple located somewhere in California roughly 15 years before the series begins. He is the grandson of Kwai Chang Caine, the lead character from the original series.[4] He is highly intelligent, wise, and honorable, as well as a master of Kung-Fu. As the series progresses, we find out that his extensive training and mastery of many various arts and skills allow him to perform impressive and often impossible superhuman feats. These include opening locked doors, extinguishing flame with the wave of a hand, going without oxygen for extended periods of time, appearing in places he should not have been able to reach, and even using forms of pyrokinesis and psychokinesis, as well as physically defending himself. In the third season, he becomes a Shambhala master, which greatly increases his ability. He eventually found himself in the same city as his son Peter when he was looking for the boy who would inherit the Chinese throne. A running gag throughout the series has Caine quoting a piece of insight to another character (usually Peter), who guesses that it is from an ancient Eastern philosopher. Caine then reveals the source to be a celebrity, often a musician such as Frank Zappa or John Lennon. David Carradine appeared in all the episodes of the series.
Early in the series, Caine sets up a kwoon, a facility where he teaches the basics of kung fu to interested locals. He closes it down and leaves the city at the end of the first season, but returns six months later (in the second-season premiere) and moves into an apartment in Chinatown, setting himself up as an apothecary. During the series finale, he turns the apartment over to Peter and leaves the city again, this time to find out whether or not his wife is still alive. He is often seen playing the flute in his spare time - usually a modern metal one, but occasionally a bamboo instrument similar to that used by his grandfather. Both in the present and in flashbacks, he frequently gives Peter a gentle slap to the cheek or the side of the head when reminding him about some piece of wisdom, because "it pushes the lesson in" ("Rain's Only Friend").
Peter Caine (Chris Potter)
The son of Kwai Chang Caine, Peter became a detective and eventually came to work at New York's 101st Precinct in a Chinatown district after being separated from his father as a child. Believing his father to be dead and all he knew as a child destroyed and taken from him, Peter was forced to grow up in the "real world," raised by a foster family, and has become somewhat cynical and cold about life and the world in general and, obviously, continues to carry the pain of the loss of his father among other things. In the beginning of the series, he very much personifies the stereotypical, average, big city police detective, having forgotten and buried much of what he was taught as a child; however, Caine often reminds him of moments at the temple that prove to be helpful in his work. Peter has also become a good marksman and regularly demonstrates this skill in the performance of his duties as a cop. He also seems to have maintained some of the martial arts expertise which he learned in early childhood.
Later in the series, Peter undergoes the full Shaolin training regimen and completes it successfully, but stops just short of becoming a priest. He also begins to learn some of the tricks and "magical" abilities that his father uses; during the series finale, he turns in his badge and becomes a Shaolin priest in his own right. Throughout all four seasons, Peter addresses Caine as "Pop," initially to Caine's visible dislike (which lessens considerably as the series progresses). He drives a black Chevrolet Corvette convertible during the first season, then changes to a blue Dodge Stealth coupe for the other three. Chris Potter also appeared in all the episodes of the series.
The character was described by critic Jonathan Storm as "one of those seat-of-the-pants, tough-guy cops who always winds up in trouble at the same time he's getting his man."[3]
The Ancient (Lo Si) / Ping Hai (Kim Chan)
An old and mysterious "wise man" who has accumulated much ancient mystic, herbal, and historical knowledge, as well as being quite capable of defending himself even in his old age. Most characters refer to him simply as "The Ancient," though the name "Lo Si" is sometimes used to denote him. In the series finale, he reveals that he is actually Ping Hai, one of the monks who oversaw the California temple along with Caine. (Numerous flashbacks throughout the series depict Ping Hai as having the same voice and appearance as the Ancient, but without the latter's hair, beard/mustache, and eyeglasses.)
The Ancient was also part of the Chinese council that protected the child who would inherit the Chinese throne. The Ancient also came to the city because of his daughter, helping to relocate her and her grandfather to the area. After that he kept his distance and watched her grow up and start a family of her own, before revealing himself as her father. He plays a significant supporting role throughout the series. His favorite phrase is "Bloody marvelous," usually said after he has either witnessed or performed a significant feat.
Various times in the series, it has been suggested that the Ancient was an immortal. In a time travel episode, a monk who looked identical to Ping Hai appeared several centuries in the past, when kung fu was first created. When confronted with this, the Ancient smiled and said "That would make me 'really' ancient."
Matthew Caine (David Carradine)
Grandfather of Peter Caine and father of Kwai Chang Caine. Believed to be dead. He was first seen in the present time of the series in the Season 3 episode "The Sacred Chalice of I Ching," though he appeared in occasional flashbacks before and after this episode. Matthew was a medic with the Allies in World War II and an amateur archaeologist. He discovered a chalice that was, according to legend, given to Jesus during his wanderings as a gift from a Shaolin Temple. Matthew was reunited with his surviving family in the same episode, having lived for decades near the church where the chalice had been hidden.

101st Precinct[edit]

Primary police officers[edit]

  • Captain Paul Blaisdell (Robert Lansing) - Captain of the 101st Precinct. Adoptive father of Peter Caine. An enigmatic and secretive man. It's obvious that he's had an interesting and turbulent past. He used to be a mercenary, along with other members of his police precinct (Seasons 1 & 2). He and his wife Annie (who is blind) have two daughters.
  • Captain Karen Simms (Kate Trotter) - Takes command of the precinct after Blaisdell leaves at the end of the second season to deal with his personal problems. She's a very strong and independent woman and a very efficient police captain. She and Kermit Griffin develop a very close friendship, but her working relationship with Peter gets off to a very rough start (Seasons 3 & 4). She is divorced, with a son who is enrolled at a military academy.
  • Chief Frank Strenlich (William Dunlop) - Chief of Detectives. An ex-marine/soldier. An excellent police officer, although his short temper gets him into trouble occasionally.
  • Detective Kermit Griffin (Scott Wentworth) - Has extensive computer and technological skill as well as combat training and an enigmatic background as a mercenary. He remains mysterious throughout the series and is a strong supporting character. Drives a lime green Chevrolet Corvair, carries a Desert Eagle pistol with optical scope and laser guides, and is rarely seen without his dark green sunglasses. He has one sister, as well as a younger brother who had been a police officer until he was murdered. It is hinted at one point that he may have a son, but this is never confirmed or denied. He is a lot more open minded with all the mystical sides of Kung Fu than most of the cops, even at one point witnessing Peter trying to and succeed in mastering his father's pyrokinetic gun melting technique.
  • Blake (Robert Nicholson) - A communications and surveillance expert. Gets nervous in the field and prefers assignments which keep him in the background. His video camera footage is usually very shaky, earning him some ridicule from other officers, and he is very bad at mixing drinks.
  • Detective Thomas Jefferson Kincaid (Sandey Grinn) - Another detective, he is the son of the police commissioner and as a result, is sometimes not treated as an equal to the rest of the squad. He deals in rare coins, stamps, and real estate on the side, and hates being called "T.J." He seems to have some interest and experience with the paranormal and supernatural. Although it is strongly hinted that these things played a role in his past, it is never revealed.
  • Detective Mary Margaret Skalany (Victoria Snow)- A partner of Peter's; also becomes a love interest of Caine's as the series progresses.
  • Detective Jody Powell (Belinda Metz) - Another partner of Peter's, she is the sister of a love interest of Peter's who died. Jody herself fell in love with Peter, but for reasons unknown to viewers, Peter does not engage in a relationship with her and instead decides to just remain friends.
  • Detective Roger Chin (Oscar Hsu) - An undercover agent.
  • Marvin Katz (Robert King[disambiguation needed]) - A desk sergeant.
  • John Broderick (John Bourgeois) - A desk sergeant.
  • Dr. Nicholas J. "Nicky" Elder (David Hewlett) - A county coroner who has little trouble establishing causes of death in unusual homicide cases.

Other police officers[edit]

  • Captain Bartlett Stiles (Richard Anderson) - Head of the SWAT team, and a past member of the mercenary squad headed by Blaisdell. Often clashes with the main character police officers.
  • Detective Janet Morgan

Episodes[edit]

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues lasted four seasons with a total of 88 episodes. The pilot episode, "Initiation," was presented as a two-parter. It established the main characters and introduced many of the concepts that are seen throughout the series. As with the rest of the series, much of the storytelling was done through flashbacks.

Season 1[edit]

  • 1.1 Initiation: Part 1
  • 1.2 Initiation: Part 2
  • 1.3 Shadow Assassin
  • 1.4 Sunday at the Hotel with George
  • 1.5 Sacred Trust
  • 1.6 Force of Habit
  • 1.7 Pai Gow
  • 1.8 Challenge
  • 1.9 Disciple
  • 1.10 Rain's Only Friend
  • 1.11 Secret Place
  • 1.12 Dragon's Eye
  • 1.13 Blind Eye
  • 1.14 The Lacquered Box
  • 1.15 Illusion
  • 1.16 Straitjacket
  • 1.17 Reunion
  • 1.18 Dragonswing
  • 1.19 Shaman
  • 1.20 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
  • 1.21 Redemption: Part 1
  • 1.22 Redemption: Part 2

Season 2[edit]

  • 2.1 Return of the Shadow Assassin
  • 2.2 May I Ride with You
  • 2.3 Dragon's Daughter
  • 2.4 An Ancient Lottery
  • 2.5 Laurie's Friend
  • 2.6 Temple
  • 2.7 Only the Strong Survive
  • 2.8 Out of the Woods
  • 2.9 Tournament
  • 2.10 The Bardo
  • 2.11 The Possessed
  • 2.12 Warlord
  • 2.13 The Innocent
  • 2.14 Magic Trick
  • 2.15 Aspects of the Soul
  • 2.16 Kundela
  • 2.17 The Gang of Three
  • 2.18 Sunday at the Museum with George
  • 2.19 Dragonswing II
  • 2.20 Sing Wah
  • 2.21 Enter the Tiger
  • 2.22 Retribution

Season 3[edit]

  • 3.1 Rite of Passage
  • 3.2 Plague
  • 3.3 May I Walk with You
  • 3.4 The Return of Sing Ling
  • 3.5 Manhunt
  • 3.6 Gunfighters (featuring the original Caine and Cheyenne Bodie.)
  • 3.7 A Chinatown Murder Mystery: The Case of the Poison Hand
  • 3.8 Target
  • 3.9 Citizen Caine
  • 3.10 Quake!
  • 3.11 Goodbye, Mr. Caine
  • 3.12 The Sacred Chalice of I Ching
  • 3.13 Eye Witness
  • 3.14 Demons
  • 3.15 Deadly Fashion
  • 3.16 Cruise Missiles
  • 3.17 The Promise
  • 3.18 Flying Fists of Fury II: Masters of Illusion
  • 3.19 Banker's Hours
  • 3.20 Kung Fu Blues
  • 3.21 Brotherhood of the Bell
  • 3.22 Destiny

Season 4[edit]

  • 4.1 Dark Vision
  • 4.2 The First Temple
  • 4.3 Circle of Light
  • 4.4 Prism
  • 4.5 Black Widow
  • 4.6 Shaolin Shot
  • 4.7 Phoenix
  • 4.8 Special Forces
  • 4.9 Dragon's Lair
  • 4.10 Veil of Tears
  • 4.11 Chill Ride
  • 4.12 Escape
  • 4.13 Who is Kwai Chang Caine?
  • 4.14 Storm Warning
  • 4.15 A Shaolin Treasure
  • 4.16 Dark Side of the Chi
  • 4.17 Ancient Love
  • 4.18 Blackout
  • 4.19 Time Prisoners
  • 4.20 A Shaolin Christmas
  • 4.21 May I Talk With You
  • 4.22 Requiem

DVD release[edit]

On May 27, 2014, Warner Bros. released the complete first season on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time in the USA only not Canada, via their Warner Archive Collection.[5]

International broadcasters[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV REVIEWS : Carradine Kicks In With New 'Kung Fu'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  2. ^ "Retro : Kung Fu: Alive and Kicking". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Storm (1993-01-27). "Still Alive and Kickin' David Carradine Is Back in "Kung Fu" - 150 Years Older and a Little Wiser". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  4. ^ John Stanley (1993-01-24). "New Fu: David Carradine revives successful '70s series in 'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues'". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ Available Sooner (Now!) and Cheaper: 'The Complete 1st Season' DVDs

External links[edit]