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The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu

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Genre  Adventure
Original language(s)  English
Final episode date  26 November 1956
Number of episodes  13
7.3/10 IMDb

Country of origin  United States
First episode date  3 September 1956
Number of seasons  1
Cast  Lester Matthews
Also known as  The Adventures of Fu Manchu
Directed by  Franklin Adreon William Witney
Starring  Glen Gordon Lester Matthews Clark Howat
Directors  Franklin Adreon, William Witney
Similar  The Spike Jones Show, Fractured Flickers, Frontier Doctor, The Adventures of Jim Bo, Family Classics

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.


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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.

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.


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

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

Cast and characters

  • Glen Gordon as Dr. Fu Manchu
  • Lester Matthews as Sir Denis Nayland Smith
  • Clark Howat as Dr. John Petrie
  • Carla Balenda as Nurse Betty Leonard
  • Laurette Luez as Karamaneh
  • John George as Kolb.
  • References

    The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu Wikipedia

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