The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu
Also known as The Adventures of Fu Manchu
Genre Adventure
Directed by Franklin Adreon
William Witney
Starring Glen Gordon
Lester Matthews
Clark Howat
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hollywood Television Service
Original network NBC
Picture format Black and white
Audio format Monaural
Original release September 3 – November 26, 1956

The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu is a syndicated American television series that aired in 1956. The show was produced by Hollywood Television Service, a subsidiary of Republic Pictures.[1]


Early in the 1950s, an NBC pilot starring Cedric Hardwicke was made, but the sponsors were disappointed in the scripts, and the TV series never materialized.[2][3]

In 1955, Republic Pictures paid US$4 million to Sax Rohmer and announced they would film 78 episodes, but only 13 were made following a protracted court battle over the rights between Rohmer and the producers.[4]


Each episode would start off with Fu Manchu and Nayland Smith playing a game of chess with the narrator telling us, "Black and white. Life and death. Good and evil. Two sides of a chess game. Two forces of the universe, one magnificent, the other sinister. It is said the Devil plays for men's souls. So does Dr. Fu Manchu, Satan himself, evil incarnate." At the end of each episode, after Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie had foiled Fu Manchu's latest fiendish scheme, Fu Manchu would be seen breaking a black chess piece as the closing credits rolled.

The series was directed by noted serial director Franklin Adreon as well as William Witney. Unlike the Holmes/Watson type relationship of the films, the series featured Smith as a law enforcement official and Petrie as a staff member of the Surgeon General.

The series was similar in some ways to a serial but each episode ended in a resolution rather than a cliffhanger. Republic sent out a film crew to Hong Kong to shoot background footage and supplied stock footage from its library of films.

Feature films[edit]

Several of the episodes were put together into feature films that were released in Germany.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]


  1. ^ Hardy, Phil The BFI Companion to Crime University of California Press 1998
  2. ^ Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1976). The Complete Encyclopedia of Television Programs 1947-1976 (Vol. 1). South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Company. ISBN 0-498-01561-0.
  4. ^ Mank, Gregory William. Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films From The Genre's Golden Age. McFarland & Co, 2001. p. 84
  5. ^ p.78 Bergfelder, Tim International Adventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-productions in the 1960s Berghahn Books, 1 Jan 2005
  6. ^ Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6409-8. Pp. 26-27.

External links[edit]