Fu Manchu--The Television Shows

Updated 30 June 2004

1949  The Queen of Hearts and The Coughing Horror

In July 1949, the B.B.C. purchased the rights to do two short TV films, "The Queen of Hearts" and "The Coughing Horror."  The records of his agent, A. P. Watt, do not indicate whether Rohmer wrote the scripts or merely sold the TV rights for scripting by someone else.

1952 The Zayat Kiss  (B&W)

Herles Enterprises, 1952. 26 min., sd., b&w, 16 mm.
Based on the character created by Sax Rohmer (pseud. of Arthur Sarsfield Ward)
First in a series of television mysteries intended for NBC featuring the villainous Dr. Fu-Manchu.
CREDITS: Producer, Herbert Swope, Jr.; director, William Cameron Menzies; television play, John L. Gerstad, Herbert Swope, Jr.; adapted by Sax Rohmer and Elizabeth Knox. CAST: Cedric Hardwicke, John Carradine, Rita Gam.

Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Script by Sax Rohmer and Elizabeth Knox Rohmer
Cast: John Carradine - Fu Manchu;  Sir Cedric Hardwicke - Nayland Smith;  Rita Gam

1955-56 The Adventures of Fu Manchu (B&W)

Hollywood Television Productions (a subsidiary of Republic   Studios).

Thirteen half-hour episodes
Associate Producer: Franklin Adreon
Directors: first 7 episodes, Franklin Adreon;  last 6 episodes, William Witney.

Continuing cast:
Glenn Gordon as Dr. Fu Manchu
Lester Matthews as Sir Denis Nayland Smith
Clark Howat as Dr. Jack Petrie
Laurette Luez as Karamaneh
Carla Balenda as Betty Leonard (Dr. Petrie's nurse)
John George as Kolb (Fu Manchu's chief minion)

Filmed in 1955. The last six episodes, directed by veteran action film and serial director William Witney, were filmed in three to four days each, all during December, 1955.

Days, times, and order of episodes varied from one city to another. The dates in the following list are those of the first New York City showings. The third round of re-runs (7 episodes) was shown on Channel 11 (WPIX) at 8:00pm on Saturdays during September and October, 1956. (All the episodes are, or have been, available on videotape from various dealers.)  --  Information supplied by R. E. Briney, Francis M. Nevins, Jr., and the late Ray Stanich.

The Episodes:

#1: The Prisoner of Dr. Fu Manchu
March 3,1956

Teleplay by Barry Shipman
Additional cast: Leonard Strong (Professor Hugh Yan),  Morris Ankrum (Professor Rutledge), Steven Geray (Otto Helgaard)

#2: The Golden God of Dr. Fu Manchu 
March 10, 1956

Teleplay by Richard Landau
Additional cast: Rick Vallin (Morgan), Jean Willes (Ann Judson), Keye Luke (Lum Sen)

#3: The Secret of Dr. Fu Manchu
March 17,  1956

Teleplay by Richard Landau
Additional cast: John Bryant (Franklin Arnold, Jr.), Stuart Randall (Daniels)

#4: The Vengeance of Dr. Fu Manchu
March 24, 1956

Teleplay by Ronald Davidson
Additional cast: Philip Van Zandt (Manson), Charles Meredith (Baldwin)

#5: Dr. Fu Manchu, Incorporated
March 31, 1956

Teleplay by Bob Williams
Additional cast: Ted de Corsia (Big Syd Vesta), Milton Parsons (Mardel)

#6: The Plague of Dr. Fu Manchu
April 7, 1956

Teleplay by Richard Landau
Additional cast: Mimi Gibson (Maggie), Eve Miller (Woman)

#7: The Slave of Dr. Fu Manchu
April 14, 1956

Teleplay by John K. Butler
Additional cast: Mark Dana (Clyde Johnson), Frank Gerstle (Ivan Thor)

#8: Dr. Fu Manchu's Raid
April 28, 1956

Teleplay by Houston Branch
Additional cast: Mel Welles (Rudnick), Dan Sturkie (Field), Herb Butterfield (Harper), Otto Reichow (Capt. Hans Jalmer), Noel Cravat (Pilot), Bill Baldwin (Newscaster), Richard Powers (Air Raid Warden), James Stone (First Scientist), Jack Moyles (Commentator)

#9: The Death Ships of Dr. Fu Manchu
May 5, 1956

Teleplay by Ronald Davidson
Additional cast: Peter Mamakos (Carsten), Hugh Sanders (Capt. Warren), Tyler MacDuff (Radio Operator), Weaver Levy (Night Watchman), Reginald Lal Singh (Bartender), Joe Yrigoyen (Bartender)

#10: The Counterfeiters of Dr. Fu Manchu
May 19, 1956

Teleplay by Sloan Nibley
Additional cast: Howard Wright (Walter Stafford), Dorothy Bernard (Martha Stafford), Boyd "Red" Morgan (Corbett), Tom Black (Marton), Alan Reynolds (Grover Wells), Vernon Rich (Harvey Gates), Art Gilmore (Ammouncer)

#11: The Master Plan of Dr. Fu Manchu
June 2, 1956

Teleplay by Arthur Orloff
Additional cast: Alan Dexter (Dr. Harlow Henderson), Steven Geray (Mr. X), Damian O'Flynn (Regional Director), Eugene Borden (French Representative), Don Kennedy (Second Detective), Stuart Whitman (Operator), Keith McConnell (Co-Pilot), Satini (Koko), Bob Nelson (First Detective)

#12: The Satellites of Dr. Fu Manchu
July 28, 1956

Teleplay by Maurice Tombragel
Additional cast: Jon Shepodd (Stan), Pierre Watkin (Secretary of Commerce), Otto Waldis (Dr. Vosburg), Pat Waltz (Pilot), John R. McKee (Co-Pilot), Paul Fierro (Guard)

#13: The Assassins of Dr. Fu Manchu
August 11, 1956

Teleplay by Richard Landau
Additional cast: Mason Alan Dinehart III (George), Gregory Gay (Mr. Black), John Maxwell (Adams), Frank Wilcox (Donald Scott), Ernest Sarracino (Chef), Thomas B. Henry (Brackett), John Eldredge (Mr. Bishop), Michael Whalen (Mr. Randolph), Leon Tyler (First Teenager), Tommy Ivo (Second Teenager), Virginia Carroll (Annie), Jack Shea (Security Officer)

Glen Gordon as Fu Manchu

Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible

 "Frenzy of Tongs" was broadcast 19 November 2001 with the villain Hang Man Chang with his evil daughter Woo Woo.There is a desk Sgt. called Sgt. Rohmer.

"A series of six half hour spoofs taking their inspiration from British horror films of the 60s and 70s. Devised by Graham Duff, who had previously written for the Radio Four programme Stereonations, and produced by comedian Steve Coogan's company Baby Cow, the series was co-written by Duff, Coogan and Henry Normal. Filming for the show took place at Shepperton Studios over the summer of 2001. Coogan portrayed the host of the show, Dr Terrible, as well as taking the leading role in each episode. The series was directed by Matt Lipsey."

The name Sir Donald Tyburn is derived from the short lived film production company Tyburn Fims. Steve Coogan's character Nathan Blaze is a mixture of Peter Wyngarde and Edwardian adventurer Adam Adamant Lives! The episode is a spoof of the Fu Manchu tales written by Sax Rohmer. Some of the action takes place on Talon Street - a nod to the Doctor Who adventure The Talons Of Weng-Chiang which featured a giant rat in the sewers beneath London. This spoof features a giant crab."  ----Action TV

Steve Coogan .... Smith
Mark Benton .... Sgt. Rohmer
David Cheung .... Wong
Lourdes Faberes .... Woo Woo
Mark Gatiss .... Hang Man Chang
Melanie Gutteridge .... Elizabeth
Paul Courtenay Hyu .... Insp. Fong
Tony Tang .... Torturer
John Thomson .... Sir Donald Tyburn









                                                            --reported by Brian MacDonald

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