Trader Tom of the China Seas

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Trader Tom of the China Seas
Directed by Franklin Adreon
Produced by Franklin Adreon
Written by Ronald Davidson
Starring Harry Lauter
Aline Towne
Lyle Talbot
Robert Shayne
Fred Graham
Richard Reeves
Cinematography Bud Thackery
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release dates
United States 11 January 1954 (serial)[1]
1966 (TV)[1]
Running time
12 chapters (167 minutes (serial)[1]
100 minutes (TV)[1]
Language English
Budget $172,789 (negative cost: $169,248)[1]

Trader Tom of the China Seas (1954) is a Republic film serial. In 1966 the serial was edited into a 100-minute television film with the new title Target: Sea of China.


The United Nations has island trader Tom Rogers and Vivian Wells, daughter of a schooner captain, spearheading the effort to keep subversive native groups from starting revolutions in Burmatra and neighboring Asian countries...



Trader Tom of the China Seas was budgeted at $172,789 although the final negative cost was $169,248 (a $3,541, or 2%, under spend). It was the cheapest Republic serial of 1954.[1] It was filmed between 8 September and 28 September 1953.[1] The serial's production number was 1937.[1]


Special Effects[edit]

Special effects were created by the Lydecker brothers.



Trader Tom of the China Seas's official release date is 11 January 1954, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1] This was followed by a re-release of Secret Service in Darkest Africa, re-titled as Manhunt in the African Jungles, instead of a new serial. The next new serial, Man with the Steel Whip, followed in the summer.[1]


Trader Tom of the China Seas was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to Target: Sea of China. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Cline describes this serial as just a "quickie."[2]

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Sea Saboteurs (20min)
  2. Death Takes the Deck (13min 20s)
  3. Five Fathoms Down (13min 20s)
  4. On Target (13min 20s)
  5. The Fire Ship (13min 20s)
  6. Collision (13min 20s)
  7. War in the Hills (13min 20s)
  8. Native Execution (13min 20s)
  9. Mass Attack (13min 20s)
  10. Machine Murder (13min 20s) - a re-cap chapter
  11. Underwater Ambush (13min 20s)
  12. Twisted Vengeance (13min 20s)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 136–137. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8. 
  2. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "5. A Cheer for the Champions (The Heroes and Heroines)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 91. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 
  3. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 255–256. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders (1953)
Republic Serial
Trader Tom of the China Seas (1954)
Succeeded by
Man with the Steel Whip (1954)