Adventures in Paradise (TV Series 1959–1962) Poster


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People and cargo in the South Pacific
bkoganbing18 October 2017
There's never been another TV series like Adventures In Paradise. It's kind of disillusioning to know that the show never got off 20th Century Fox's studio back lot. At least it should have been shot in Hawaii and in color.

Set in the South Pacific our protagonist is Gardner McKay who captained a schooner and he carried people and cargo anywhere from Hawaii to Australia. This of course set the stage for countless adventures in what some consider the most exotic setting in the world.

The show was inspired of course by the writings of James Michener who wrote such work as Tales Of The South Pacific and Hawaii.

McKay's character Adam Troy was a veteran of the recent Pacific War and like many others serving there thought what a beautiful place this was and would be again when nations stopped shooting at each other. I'm sure the show was popular among Pacific veterans.

Without the World War 2 references this one could use a remake on location and in color.
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Adventures in Paradise an inspirational show.
nbelmont10 June 2016
I also fantasized about Captain Adam Troy and the schooner Tiki. My travels to the Pacific and far away islands were inspired by this. I was fortunate in that I met a sea captain with a schooner and sailed away into the sunset. I played the musical score for him and to my surprise he wrote the words down to the music for me. I still have the original record and the words he wrote so many years ago. I also went aboard the Tiki during Op Sail in 1976. I lived it all, the music, the words, the captain, the schooner and even the Tiki. I spent years carving Tiki heads out of balsa wood. I wish I would have kept one. To this day, I can't see a sail at sea without feeling wind blowing through my hair.
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Husbands favorite Series
hinkywil42910 March 2012
My husband loved this series Adventures In Paradise and the captain Adam Troy and all his South Seas adventures.. He loved it so much we actually named our son "Adam Troy" after his beloved sea Captain played by Gardner McKay..

We often speak of that and wonder if there were others that named their sons after him.. Would be interesting to know...Our son is now 43 and has never heard of Gardner McKay..LOL Oh my how old does that make me feel. I do wish there were more Series like this one was, made one actually consider going abroad on a little wooden vessel to see the world and all it has to offer...
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Nostalgic Trip
TotonotinKansas27 June 2010
I was about 7 years old when this show was first broadcast, I was captivated by the boat, the scenery, the sense of free-spirited adventure. It was one of my favorites even though as a kid the plot intricacies didn't always hold my attention. I always kept AIP in the back of my mind, I'm sure it contributed to an interest in sailing which continues to this day. I had an opportunity to view some dvds of the original shows recently. It was interesting to see how they held up, at least in my mind, in the context of 50 years of TV evolution. It was a bit like being in a time machine, I was a kid again. Like most other "serious" shows of the era, AIP was somewhat formulaic; the passengers brought the drama on board with their baggage, usually a bad guy with a gun, and an attractive femme fatale who would fall for Capt. Troy, who would bring her to her senses in the end with gentlemanly resistance, there would be a fist fight and the bad guy would be hauled away. Seems funny now to see that all the women passengers wore dresses, heels, and jewelry on board the Tiki, the June Cleaver standard of the times. Even with these criticisms, I still consider it a great show of its era, and an awesome nostalgic trip for those like me who originally watched it back in the day. Great to see it well-rated here, I couldn't agree more.
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All Time Favorite
gstanley753 September 2009
I lived near the ocean in Biloxi, Mississippi when Adventures in Paradise was in its prime. Sailing the oceans became a fantasy of mine. In 1963, I moved to Okinawa with my family and learned to sail at age 11. My fantasy was coming true. When bored in school, all my doodles were of schooners docked on tropical islands with puffy clouds and golden sunsets.

To this day, I still have a wanderlust and spend as much time as possible vacationing, sailing and fishing in the South Pacific islands. I attribute this to AIP and my Hawaiian lineage.

I have visited Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia countless times and have sailed all of these areas. I have also sailed the California coast, St. Vincent and the Genadines, and the areas around Seattle and Victoria, BC.

My adventures are not quite as exciting as Capt. Troy's, but I enjoy every moment in the South Pacific and elsewhere.

I would love to have a boxed set of these TV classics for old time's sake.
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Adventures In Paradise:One of the greatest shows to come out of the late 1950's
rcj53653 July 2009
"Adventures in Paradise" was perhaps one of the most attractive and breathtaking action-adventure series of the late 1950's and early 1960's. The series itself was swift-paced combined with high adventure and excitement each week along with the mystery/crime/romance and suspense and peril that came with it in most of the episodes. During its three seasons on the air,"Adventures in Paradise" became very popular and very successful in its own right. Each week audiences,myself among them, were taking to exotic locations in the South Pacific along with seeing unchartered islands and meeting interesting people along the way.

"Adventures in Paradise" was produced by Martin Manulis along with Gene Levitt and William Self,who was the executive in charge of production in association with 20th Century-Fox Television for ABC-TV. Created by James A. Michener,the series produced an astounding 92 episodes,all in classic black and white from the premiere episode on October 5,1959 until the final episode of the series on April 1, 1962. The series centered around Captain Adam Troy(attractive Gardner McKay)who each week found trouble,danger,and romance aboard his schooner "The Tiki". "Adventures in Paradise" was also 20th Century Fox's first foray into the action-adventure genre,and it became very successful,especially among women who were watching the show and became instant fans of Gardner McKay,along with the men who basically tuned in for the action.

Nearly thirty directors ranging from movie veterans Roy Del Ruth, Jacques Tourneur,Mitchell Leisen,James B. Clark, Robert Aldrich to Tom Gries,Richard E. Bare,Paul Stanley,Sutton Roley to Justus Addiss did outstanding work for this series along with some of the writers principally Fred Freiberger, George and Judy George, Edward J. Lasko, Richard Landau,Alvin Sapinsley and Carey Wilbur contributed to some of its fascinating stories. There were minor changes during the series through its first three seasons. Regulars during season one(1959-60)in addition to Gardner McKay were Weaver Levy as Oliver Lee and George Tobias as Trader Penrose. During its second season(1960-61),Linda Lawson joined the cast along with Henry Slate,Sondi Sonsai,and Lani Kai. Its final season(1961-62)Guy Stockwell joined the cast along with Chris Parker and talented Frenchman Marcel Hilaire.

The guest star roster of Hollywood's Best with included: Hazel Court, Kurt Kasznar, Claude Akins, Robert Middleton,Ricardo Montalban,Gail Kobe,Barbara Bain, Brock Peters, Elsa Lanchester, Susan Hampshire,Martin Landau, Bruce Gordon, Pippa Scott, Constance Towers, Vincent Price,Virginia Gregg, Raymond Massey, Ray Walston,Carroll O'Connor, Edward Asner, Buddy Ebsen, Yvonne De Carlo,Bert Freed,Cecil Kellaway, Edgar Barrier, Dick York,with Kent Smith,Lizbeth Scott,and Jack Lord. The Best Episodes from this series included its pilot episode "The Pit of Silence",along with "The Reluctant Hero","The Amazon","Walk Through The Night","The Appointment at Tara-Bi".

Many intelligent producers carried out assignments for other personnel in this series,which remained for three seasons as one of the highest-quality series in the history of television. The series concept with Captain Adam Troy as a Korean War veteran who sails the seas of the South Pacific in search of adventure was one of the best of the golden age of late 50's television. If "Adventures in Paradise" have stay on for a fourth season,audiences would have gotten the chance to see this series and its exotic locates in full color,which would have been brilliant. It was cancelled anyway in the Spring of 1962 after 92 episodes.
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Adventures In Paradise.....Starring Gardner McKay as Adam Troy
raysond14 June 2009
Television in the late 1950's,for those of us who remember it,was largely in shades of gray(black and white)and was composite of live variety shows from New York or Hollywood,lighthearted situation family comedies,detective series and the average television adult western,not to mention films that from the 1930's and 1940's that were usually filmed and made in Hollywood was design for the new medium. Most of the filmed television shows at that time were centered around the setting for contemporary big city detectives and larger-than-life western figures.

In the fall of 1959,20th Century Fox decided to try something that totally beyond the norm at that time and something that was different than any other show on television. At the time this series came out,the only shows that was on television were western programs along with the situation family comedies and detective/mystery shows along with the usual big bang variety programs of that era. Westerns were at the top of the Nielsens with the shows "Gunsmoke" and "Wagon Train" being at the top of the ratings stats. In 1959,ABC-TV also introduced two very unique shows at the time,one of them was the period-piece crime drama series "The Untouchables",and the other was the action-adventure series "Adventures In Paradise".

"Adventures In Paradise" was also 20th Century Fox's first television entry in the action-adventure format which was a huge difference to audiences in 1959. Borrowing from the literary works of James Michener,the producers constructed a series set in the South Pacific around a modern day roving South Seas captain,Adam Troy and his Edwardian schooner "The Tiki" along with his first mate,as they each week sail the seas toward some fantastic adventures toward uncharted islands and somewhere along the way encounter the unexpected along the action-adventure/mystery,romance and the usual suspense in some of the episodes. The series starred Gardner McKay as Captain Adam Troy. This was television at its finest hour. Long before the days of "Hawaii 5-0",and "Mangum P.I."

Created by James A. Michener and produced by Martin Manulis along with Art Wallace and Gene Levitt,and William Self(executive producer in charge of production)for 20th Century Fox Television,this series was a huge hit for ABC-TV producing 92 episodes,all in black and white from the premiere episode on October 5, 1959 until the final episode of the series on April 1,1962. The series was in its day remarkably popular with audiences,especially women who were watching the show each week seeing Gardner McKay sailing the seas toward fantastic adventures. Also to note the program intro was unique for its time,hince the opening theme done by Max Steiner,also by Lionel Newman. The episodes for this series were brilliant,but 20th Century Fox did little to enhance the series during its three seasons on the air,failing to transfer the South Pacific setting to actual locations(since it was filmed on the backlot of the Fox studios),and by ignoring the color process that was at the time recently introduced to television audiences(the only television that had the color process in 1959 was at NBC with the premiere series western "Bonanza",which was the only program of its kind in color back then with some of its episodes filmed on location in parts of California and Nevada which gave it that cinematic theatrical Technicolor look).

Haven't "Adventures In Paradise" stayed on for its fourth season on ABC-TV(from the 1962-63 season),audiences would have finally gotten the chance to see Captain Troy and his adventures aboard the "Tiki" in full color which ABC would have made the jump the following year with half of its programming in color. The series was cancelled anyway in 1962. Some great guest stars appeared in some of the episodes. Actors like Claude Akins, Barbara Bain, Dick York, Lizbeth Scott, Johanna Barnes, Tom Drake, Jack Lord, Peter Thompson, Susan Hampshire were guest stars.

The Best Episodes from this series were "The Pit of Silence"(the pilot episode),"The Reluctant Hero", "Incident at Suva", "The Amazon", and "The Appointment at Tara-Bi".
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We Are the People our Parents Warned us About (tribute to Gardner McKay by Jimmy Buffett)
dmills793825 May 2008
We are the people our parents warned us about By: jimmy buffet 1983 For Ed Pollock

Chorus: We are the people, they couldn't figure out We are the people our parents warned us about

Hey hey, Gardner McKay Take us on the leaky Tiki with you Clear skies bound for shanghai Sailing cross the ocean blue (do do do do) So blue (do do do do ooh) (do do do do) (do do do do ooh)

Now I got quarters in my loafers trying to fight inflation When it only used to take a cent Sometimes I wish I was back in my crash pad days fore I knew what cash flow meant

Seems everybody's jogging or heavy into health shoot Don't tell me that I ought to get rolled cause I love Cajun martinis and playing afternoon golf

Chorus: We are the people there isn't any doubt We are the people they still cant figure out We are the people who love to sing twist and shout Shake it up baby

We are the people our parents warned us about (do do do do) Idn any doubt (do do do do ooh) Hey hey hey (do do do do) Gardner McKay (do do do do, Gardner McKay) (do do do do) I wanna sail away today (do do do do ooh) Isn't any doubt (do do do do) They warned us about (do do do do ooh) Hey hey hey (do do do do) Cmon now Gardner McKay (do do do do ooh) I wanna sail away today
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Make it available to everyone
housemouce126 January 2007
My life was changed by this series of Adventures. Like the amicable Captain of the Tiki III My life became one of adventure in the South Pacific. Traveling through the Micronesean Islands, Yap, Ulithi, Enewetok, Anguar Palau, Kwajalein, Wake, Kure, always brought me back to the days when I first watched this series on Television, never to miss an episode, I was able to recreate the adventures to some degree in my own life. It is true that one can achieve the vast number of friends throughout the islands in a short few years especially when sailing the speed of a Schooner in the Tropics. The interesting item is that on many of the islands I visited in the early 1960's I found the natives living the same as they depicted in the Series. The true grass skirts, kimonos, mumus, the grass huts and bamboo framing of the native houses. How idillic to have all my dreams proved to be fact. The memories will live with me forever. Now I beg the copyright owners to provide the entire series in sequential DVD's or VHS to allow the younger generation to know the facts that they too can follow in the adventures in the South Pacific. Live the life that you desire through the adventures of this series. I did it and so can you. James A. Mitchner's writings came from experience, and need to be shared with the world in boxed sets. Lets all put forth the effort to have these series and other old series made available to everyone.
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South Seas Cruise
jtmazibrook20 August 2006
Before Magnum PI told us about another day in Paradise, James Mitchner and his Adam Troy lived it for us on the black and white miniature silver screen in our living room. These episodes were my first taste of Island adventure that I have feasted on many times since then. The shows were very adventuresome for the time but they were also exciting and demanded our attention as we watched.

All my memories of the show are good and I too wish that someone would release the shows in a boxed DVD set for us "real" baby bloomers who watched TV in our very early teen years.

I highly recommend any of the episodes for anyone who thinks McGarret is overkill and wants to see a normal person get in and out of trouble without any special effects creating the explosions we see on current shows.

If only the old TV networks would pick this up or if digital recording was available in the 1950's.
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Exotic tropical adventures with handsome schooner captain
roghache3 May 2006
My husband & I both grew up on this series and remember it fondly, though for different reasons. He liked the adventure tales (sometimes involving a certain sense of danger), while I was besotted with Adam Troy, the handsome, likable young captain, oozing with boyish charm and wonderfully portrayed by actor Gardner McKay. I haven't seen the program for decades so have no adult take on it, but expect based on my memories, that I would find it entertaining escapist fare. I was very surprised to discover recently that this series was created by James Mitchener, the famous author of Hawaii and other books.

The series revolves around the seafaring adventures of an American Korean War vet named Adam Troy, who captains the schooner, Tiki III, around the South Seas. Accompanied by his first mate, he drifts from one adventure to another, carrying both cargo and passengers around exotic locales. During his tropical travels, he encounters many old friends, enemies, and lost loves. Others have commented that Troy is too young to have had such a rich past, but that certainly didn't bother me at the time. Realism was definitely not a requirement.

Apart from the charm of the captain, the series with its exotic paradise travels appealed to some sense of wanderlust in me. Admittedly, I haven't managed to do much tropical traveling, but if I did...the ports of call from Adventures in Paradise would rank high on my list, especially French Polynesia. To this very day, whenever I hear the names of some of these South Pacific islands (especially Tahiti and its capital, Papeete), I recall Adam Troy and his romantic schooner sailing adventures.
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Still in my imagination and in my heart...
All_Is_Well_In_NJ19 March 2006
I was in my late teens when I first started watching this show. And to this day I still have wonderful fantasies of sailing the Pacific with Gardner McKay on the Tiki.

Life has never been quite as wonderful as my imagination leads me to believe it was on this show. The music, the idea of being anyone, anywhere, doing anything adventurous, with friends, and time, and the ocean ....

One of these days I think I'll hop a plane to the Caribbean and get on one of those "windjammers".

And.. maybe I'll go out and get the DVD set - or will that spoil what's in my head and heart?
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AIP: One of the 2 best series ever...
mso8811 February 2006
Adventures in Paradise and Route 66 remain the 2 greatest television series ever produced. (I just secured the DVD set)! Nothing since has been able to whisk an audience away to exotic locations, and capture the mood, as effectively as these two hits. Maybe it was the unique combination of Gardner McKay (a competent, engaging actor), schooner Tiki, and the South Seas. Or the similar appeal of Tod 'n Buzz, the Corvette, and the open highway. Whatever. The magic worked every time, regardless of the limited budgets,and 4:3 black-and-white presentation on a 19" GE. The theme music certainly helped; both are etched into the memory and conjure up the required mental images. Re-makes would be disasters today, either as series or features, tip-toeing through today's PC minefields, and ending up like bland and pointless like TV series and movies today.

And yet, and yet we somehow must find a way to bring them back. They're not lost, just misplaced.
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Adventures in Paradise VHS
trader52 February 2006
Adventures in Paradise was my favorite childhood shows, partly because it came on at 9PM and I wasn't allowed to watch it very often. I think I loved the adventure, and the sea and sailboats, which I have always been interested in...maybe because of the show. The theme song still awakens my sense of adventure. I have tried to find the these song but can't find it on CD but did find a copy included with other tropical music on a record. I have been buying copies of Adventures in Paradise on VHS. I hate to say it but the the shows aren't quite as exotic as I remember but still a great childhood memory and they still evoke a sense of adventure. There were many futures stars that played in the series, Raymond Massey, Ray Walston, Harvey Korman, Martin Landau, Buddy Ebsen, Yvonne De Carlo, Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker) to name just a few. Anyway, at the risk of revealing my secret source, you can buy Adventures in Paradise shows at Ronnie Cramer's Cult Film Site. I also ran across a super French site that has tons of information about the series and Gardner McKay if you search under "Adventures in Paradise" "Lionel Newman". Lionel Newman wrote the theme song which you can download for free from the site.
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What if Adam Troy was Lt. Cable?
schappe17 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I, too, remember this one from my youth. I recall it as being re-run in the afternoons in the 60's, about the time I got home from school. It enabled me to immediately release the problems and tensions of school and go off into another world. I eventually made it only as far as Hawaii, (I'm kind of a homebody), but my brother has spent much of his life traveling the world, including many of the real locations the fictional Adam Troy had visited and, as a professor of history at the University of Hawaii has written extensively about that area of the world.

I've been able to get some episodes of the series from internet collectors and thus have been able to revisit Adam Troy's world four decades later as an adult. Naturally, that impacts my thinking on the subject.

My first impression is that, as good a job as they did with this, what an incredible show this would have been if they'd decided to shoot it on location and in color! That wouldn't have been such a far-fetched idea. Bonanza debuted the same year in color with many scenes shot on location in Nevada and California. Route 66 started the next year, (that also should have been in color), with episodes shot all over the country and not too many years later, I Spy was shot in color around the world. There is a trend toward remakes of old shows, both in the movies and on TV and Adventures in Paradise would be an ideal subject if they did it right- which would include setting it in its original time period, in the places where it takes place and in vibrant color.

My major problem with the show, however, is that Gardner McKay is simply too young to play this character. He's clearly a sailor of considerable experience and has spent enough time in the pacific to have old friend, old enemies and old flames in every port. It takes a while to build a life like that up. In one episode, ( 11/16/59 Safari at Sea), Troy meets an old friend from his college days and they reminisce about their graduation five years before and how they couldn't have imagined being where they are now. (the friend, played by John Ericson, is married to a movie star). In other words, Troy, in five years, has learned all he knows about sailing schooners around the South Pacific and had all kinds of previous adventures where he has met all these people.

I prefer to think of Troy as what Lt. Cable of James Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific" would have become had he lived. Cable was from Philadelphia, (Troy is from Texas), and found himself in a different world after he joined the Navy during WWII. He overcame his prejudices to fall in love with the new place and with the native girl in the story. Supposed he had lived and something had happened to end that relationship. He might have, after the war, sought a position in the merchant marine, decided to save up to buy his own boat and wound up in the Tikki. He might have gotten that in the early 50's and had a decade of adventures in Paradise and all the knowledge and relationship building the character has clearly gone through by the time the show started in 1959. He would have been young enough to still be handsome and sexy but old enough to be an experienced seaman and adventurer.

That would have pushed the agreeable but boyish Gardener McKay out the picture. Who would have played Cable/Troy then? Among the actors that come to mind who were working in television then are Robert Stack, (who got a good gig for himself that same year as Elliott Ness), John Russell, (who already had one on "Lawman"), Guy Williams, (whose "Zorro" was just winding up at that time), Anthony George, Richard Egan, Tom Tryon and- how about this- Jack Lord! All were about a decade older than McKay or a little more but still handsome and virile. They all would have been convincing as WWII veterans, (as I suspect they all were in one way or another), who elected to stay in the Pacific.

But then there's the opinion of a friend who also remembered the show from his youth and told me that Adam Troy didn't look too young to him at the time because he was just a kid. I suspect that the secret of enjoying this series is to be "just a kid" and to allow it to return you to your youth whenever you get to see it.
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One of the Highest Quality Adventure-Drama Series Ever; Great Stories
silverscreen8885 November 2005
"Adventures in Paradise" was one of the most attractive and swift=paced adventure series of the early 1869s. In its three seasons, it featured hundreds of fine actors, and took the viewers, myself among them, to exotic locations in the Pacific ocean. The series centered about skipper Adam Troy (attractive Gardner McKay), who found trouble, danger and romance aboard his schooner the Tiki. Nearly thirty directors ranging from movie veterans Roy del Ruth, Jacques Tourneur, Mitchell Leisen, James B. Clark, Robert Aldrich, and Tom Gries to Justus Addiss, Richard l. Bare, Paul Stanley, Felix E. Feist, Richard Florey, Gerald Mayer, Alvin Ganzer, James Lejtes, John Peyser and Sutton Roleydid outstanding work for the series; and almost 60 writers including principally Fred Freiberger, George W. George and Judy George ,John Kneubuhl, Edward J. Lakso, Richard Landau, Michael Pertwee, Alvin Sapinsley and Carey Wilber contributed to its fascinating stories. There were minor changes in the series through its three full seasons. Regulars in 1859-60 in addition to Gardner McKay were Weaver Levy as oliver Lee and George Tobias as Trader Penrose. During 1960-61, Linda Lawson played Renee, Henry Slate was Bulldog Lovey, James Holden was Clay Baker and Sondi Sonsai played Sondi with Lani Kai as Kelly. In 1861-52, Dean Stockwell's brother Guy Stockwell was added to the cast as Chris Parker along with talented Frenchman Marcel Hilaire as Inspector Bouchard. "Walk Through the Night" starring Brock Peters may have been the series' best show; but there were many fine ones, which featured outstanding guest stars including notably Hazel Court, Kurt Kasznar, Claode Akins, Robrrt Middleton, Ricardo Montalban, Pippa Scott, Viveca Lindfors, Vincent Price, Robert Douglas, Oscar Beregi, Jr;, Elsa Lanchester, Inger Stevens, Constance Towers, Martin Landau, John Van Dreelin, Thomas Mitchell, Gail Kobe, Dan O'Herlihy, Bruce Gordon, Edgar Barrier, Raymond Massey, Virgina Gregg, Cecil Kellaway, Kent Smith, Constance Ford and Bert Freed among others. Beyond obvious quality in these phases, the shows' technical artistries were all above average. Lloyd Ahern was the principal cinematographer, along with Perry Finnerman and a few others; the music for the show was composed by some great talents including Alex North, Hugo Friedhofer, Charles E. King, Lionel Newman, Henry Mancini. Daniele Amfitheatrof, and others uncredited such as Franz Waxman and Bernard Herrmann. Many intelligent producers carried out assignments for producers of the series, which remained for three years one of the highest-quality series in the history of series' television, expensive but worth every penny. This series concept which featured Troy as a Korean War veteran who stayed on in the Pacific; the wide-ranging format allowed him to sail practically anywhere and gave him many opportunities to be hired into, involved or accidentally available for danger and fascinating encounters. A cult favorite; unforgotten and first-rate through nearly 90 episodes.
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From the South Atlantic to the South Pacific in the Tikki
esteladominguez8 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As a teenager in Buenos Aires in the early sixties I would travel every week from the South Atlantic to the South Pacific with the handsome Captain Adam Troy and his Tikki. I know it was a black and white movie but I could swear it was all in bright colors for me. I am happy I found this site and other viewers comments because this series have stayed with me all my life. I too get the taste of adventure by watching this show. A couple of years ago I landed in Hong Kong and I did it with Adventures in the Paradise music in the back of my mind. I would like to add that one regular guest was Agnes Moorehead, I believe it was her name.
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Paradise Rediscovered
WOverly044 September 2005
Television in the late 1950s, for those of us who remember it, was largely black and white and a composite of live shows from New York, old films from the 1930s and 40s, and filmed series (usually made in Hollywood) designed for the new medium. Most of the filmed television series were centered around the folklore of 19th century western figures or contemporary big city detectives.

In 1959, 20th Century Fox decided to try something different. So, borrowing from the literary works of James Michener, they constructed a series centered around a modern day roving South Pacific sea captain. As luck would have it, a producer happened to spot 6' 5", 200 lb., 27 year old actor Gardner McKay sitting in the studio commissary reading--of all things--a book of poetry.

To help promote the new hour long series on ABC Television, Life Magazine writer Shana Alexander was called in to do a feature story. When she met the star, she changed the whole focus of her story to the new leading man, including a cover photo of McKay in a contemporary Apollo Belvedere pose.

Describing him as a likely candidate for the best looking man in America, she used a centerfold photo of McKay's face as a template for the handsome man, comparing him with former film star glamor boys Robert Taylor, Tyrone Power, Gregory Peck and Rock Hudson.

That magazine layout embarrassed McKay to the point that he once told an interviewer he never even FELT good looking. What was worse was that, despite the fact that he actually had been an experienced sailor, he was a very inhibited and inexperienced actor.

Critics mauled his lack of thespian-ism, but fans loved the guy (especially women). He was unassuming and likable despite his lack of theatrical talent. His acting abilities improved modestly (with much coaching), but 20th Century Fox did little to enhance the series (which was remarkably popular), failing to transfer the South Pacific setting to actual locations and ignoring the color process that had been recently introduced to t.v. audiences. McKay, however, continued to be personally popular--with both male fans of the series and admiring women.

He had done some minor roles in television and films before Paradise and did some after it, appearing on interview shows and doing theater in the round in addition to some primary roles and even one leading role in motion pictures. But the critics (justifiably) continued to ravage his efforts.

Fed up with the whole business, McKay turned down a personal film offer from Marilyn Monroe and left acting forever. He traveled the world, married and settled in Hawaii as a playwright and novelist, where he was very successful until his death in November of 2001 from prostate cancer.

But Adventures in Paradise lives on in the minds of everyone who was a fan. Gardner McKay was part of that fond memory. Perhaps the handsomest man to ever pass through Hollywood's portals, he was perfect as the gentle sea captain chasing a tropic paradise. And each week, he took us along for the trip. It was a great escape from the realities of everyday life and an unforgettable memory.
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memorable early TV series
cms3865527 July 2005
I was 14 years old when I 'fell in love' with Captain Troy. Then I became enamored with the whole idea of sailing on a schooner while classical music buoyed our spirits and encouraged us to participate in fantastic adventures on the South Seas. This early visual escapist series has always resided in my 'happy childhood memory bank.' While sailing, one did not have to worry about the mundane life issues such as bills, taxes, etc.

When I recently visited Hawaii, I managed to sail on a schooner for a couple of days and I fondly remembered this series. .

I know a lot of preservation work is occurring with old movies and TV series as technology improves. If a DVD box set ever comes available, I would be proud to own a set. With all the complications of today's world, a visit to a more innocent time would be happily welcomed.
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AIP re-visited today (French Polynesia)
Thomas Marshall10 May 2005
I have wonderful memories of watching Adventures in Paradise when I was a young child. The program has lived in my heart for years and as a result I'm now an avid lover of all things associated with tropical paradises.

I visit tropical locations almost every year and particularly love French Polynesia as a result of watching AIP.

FYI - anyone who loved this program needs to visit F.P., and I highly recommend Bora Bora, Moorea, Rangiroa, and Huahine, all these Islands will remind you of the program and provide you with a trip of a lifetime.

If you're interested in visiting French Polynesia then you should check out this wonderful forum specializing in these Islands (""). Any questions you might have about visiting these magnificent Islands can be answered here as well as many trip reports and pictures of these most beautiful Islands and their knock out hotels.

Good luck and may all of you find a piece of paradise in your life.
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DVD box set of "Adventures In Paradise"
les-schwerak28 January 2004
My call to the producers and owners of the rights of the series: Why not transcript all the episodes in a beautiful DVD box set, before thousands of meters of film are waisted in some remote forgotten draw... Like many of the fans, many young viewers would be delighted to discover what their elders have watched with so much passion in their youth! They would then understand why some of their parents became either sailors, adventurers or travellers, and had their lives changed by watching Captain Troy and his schooner Tiki!
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Viewing this program as a youth led to world travel
bernies9324 October 2003
I often wanted to somehow contact Garden McKay for his work in the TV series: Adventures in Paradise. The show, with 'Adam Troy' as the hero/adventurer, started a wanderlust cycle in me that has led to the South Pacific as well as Southeast Asia. The program intro was unique and captivating, the song penetrating (Claire d' Lune by Debussey, and the locations completely fascinating ..... to an idealistic 8th grader at the time. I've tried to track down the modernized videos with no luck. I loved the series as a youth and am sorry that Gardner McKay took himself out of TV and movies way too soon. "Welcome to James A. Michener's Adventures in Paradise, with Gardner McKay as Adam Troy .... sailing the South Seas....
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A Pleasant hour of Entertainment
Bruce Corneil24 February 2003
This series enjoyed enormous popularity here in Australia due to its South Pacific setting. In fact, several Australian actors cropped up in the cast during the life of the show.

"Adventures" became a favorite of mine during the 1970s when it was being re run in a late afternoon time slot. Of course, these days, we all know that the whole thing was filmed on a back lot at 20th Century Fox in smoggy old L.A but it looked convincing. Gardner McKay was ideal as Captain Adam Troy, master of the romantic Edwardian schooner the 'Tiki' and it was always a pleasant hour of entertainment.

As others have already mentioned, the musical theme was so dreamy and evocative of the South seas. One of my most prized collectibles is a copy of the sheet music with a photo of Captain Troy on the cover standing at the wheel of the "Tiki" which, by the way, was moored in Sydney Harbour for several years as I understand.
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TexasMike3 February 2003
I was a fan of Adventures in Paradise (AIP) many years ago as a kid. It's nice to find a web site that has some info on it. Kudos to IMDB. I remember little more about this show than a big sailboat, a cute dark-haired girl, and a lot of exciting episodes. Oh, and of course, the theme music, which, by the way, you can download from a link on page 13 of this IMDB site. Many of these old TV shows were not preserved. Wouldn't it be nice if AIP was still available? I don't know if it is or not, but it would be fun to share it with my young ones. It beats much of what's on now. Makes you wonder what our kids will be reminiscing about years from now. Scary... I'm still looking for a site with photos from this series.
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Adam Troy and my fantasy life
Tocky1 May 2002
I was only eleven when the series debuted, but immediately developed a major crush on "Adam Troy". Yes the music was great. I know I would recognize it if I heard it but couldn't begin to tell you how it goes. Many balmy summer nights as I tried to get to sleep, I would fantasize about living in Tahiti on a white beach with turquoise water lapping at my feet, learning to surf, sailing a catamaran, sailing to exotic locales with "Adam" etc etc. You get the picture. Gardner McKay's life story was unique. Not your typical Hollywood ego maniac hunk. He seems to have been much more interested in the world than in having the world interested in him. Was very sorry to hear of his death in Nov 2001.
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