Rod Taylor and his TV show "Hong
Kong" were the subject of one installment of this nostalgic
series that aired in Australia during the late 1980s.
Its co-creator and host was popular Australian TV critic David
Lyle. For each installment, he featured beloved shows from the 1950s
and '60s -- including "The Rifleman," "Adventures in Paradise,"
"Have Gun Will Travel," "Dragnet," "Batman," "Zorro," "The Mickey
Mouse Club," etc.
Lyle presented the shows in an affectionate, laid-back manner,
with the touch of irony that comes with time and perspective.
In presenting an episode of "Hong Kong," Lyle both praises and
pokes fun at "Our Rod." But it's done in such a fond and humorous
way that you (almost) don't mind.
At the start of this installment of "The Golden Years of
Television," Lyle describes the premise of "Hong Kong"
(and presented his theory that Rod was not a newspaperman
but a spy!).
Here's some of what Lyle had to say:
The newspaper reporter aspect is not really
necessary as we never saw Evans do anything vaguely connected
with journalism beyond phoning some person in the States who he
claimed was his editor. With over 25 years hindsight, I think
it's clear that the newspaper thing was a cover. ...
When he wasn't acting as a newspaperman,
which was all the time, he was chasing adventure and romance --
both with the sort of two-fisted bluntness we like to think of
And that was the show's extra appeal for us
Australians. The star was a local boy made good.
Rod Taylor had been in Hollywood for six years before Hong
Kong and in that time played the sorts of roles that made him
look destined to succeed in a big way.
He had good looks, the swagger of a man of action and could get
by in comedy. And as you can see, he had the pectorals of a real
man. [Beefcake shot at right illustrated this point.]
The following video shows David Lyle's commentary and the still photos that illustrate some of his points and punch lines. To view "The
Jade Empress," the episode of "Hong Kong" that Lyle discusses,
visit this YouTube link.