1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 3 (USA)
17 x 60 minute episodes
Inspired by the box office success of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), CBS brought this period adventure series to TV viewers the following year.
“Bring ’em back alive” was the motto of American adventurer Frank Buck (Bruce Boxleitner), a legendary guide and collector of wild animals – he captured them alive to be brought back to zoos – who lived in Malaya during the years immediately before World War II.
Operating out of the Raffles Hotel bar in Singapore, an establishment managed by his good friend Myles Delaney (Sean McClory), Frank donned a pith helmet and ventured forth each week to deal with the baddies of Southeast Asia.
His foes ran from smugglers, warlords and bounty hunters to spies, strutting Nazis and menacing Japs. Lantern-jawed Frank dispatched them all with elan, although G B VonTurgo (John Zee) – top man in the Singapore underworld – did manage to create recurring problems for Frank and his friends.
On the side of the good guys were Gloria Marlowe (Cindy Morgan), the pretty and spunky new American vice-consul in Singapore (pictured at right); the regal and flamboyant sultan of Johore (Ron O’Neal); and Frank’s loyal and faithful assistant, Ali (Clyde Kusatsu).
Bhundi (Harvey Jason) was an associate of VonTurgo who, though essentially a criminal, would switch sides if he thought it could benefit him.
There was a real Frank Buck. He was a famous animal trapper in the 1940s, and the book which provided the title for this series was about his exploits.
Any resemblance, however, between the real Buck and the character portrayed in this series was purely coincidental.
H.H., the Sultan of Johore
John A. Zee