Kung Fu: Season 1, Episode 0

Pilot (22 Feb. 1972)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 948 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 critic

After avenging the death of his teacher, a Shaolin monk flees China to the American West and helps people while being pursued by bounty hunters.



(teleplay), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Episode complete credited cast:
Wayne Maunder ...
Benson Fong ...
Richard Loo ...
Philip Ahn ...
Victor Sen Yung ...
John Leoning ...
Master Teh
David Chow ...


From the tiger, he learns tenacity and power. From the white crane, gracefulness. And the dragon teaches him to ride the wind. It could take a lifetime to master just one of the many Kung Fu disciplines. But young Kwai Chang Caine knows them all. He was educated in a Shaolin monastery around 1800 by the monks. Against all forms of violence he face his ultimate challenge when his preferred master was killed by the hands of the imperial forces. After avenging the death of his teacher, as a Shaolin monk, he flees China to the American West and helps people defending the weak and fighting against the evil while being pursued by Chinese bounty hunters. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

22 February 1972 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Bruce Lee's wife Linda Lee Cadwell, the concept of the series was conceived by Bruce, and he met with the producers for countless hours to shape the show. However, the producers did not offer him the role since they did not feel that the American audience (at that time) would accept a Chinese actor as a lead, and eventually went with the Caucasion actor David Carradine. See more »


Master Kan: Avoid, rather than check. Check, rather than hurt. Hurt, rather than maim. Maim, rather than kill. For all life is precious, nor can any be replaced.
See more »


Follows Kung Fu (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

A fine television series.
4 February 2007 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Warner Brothers shows that in the 70's you didn't need a hospital, courtroom nor police station set to create great drama. And compared to the so-called "reality" drek that's pervaded the airwaves over the last several years, one almost wishes it was the 1970s all over again.

How do "Survivor", "American Idol", "Big Brother", "The Simple Life" and even the somewhat more high-budgeted "Law & Order" franchise compete with shows like "Kung Fu"? Watching the stories unfold with high production values one becomes puzzled how the "reality" genre ever got a toehold.

David Carradine, the well seasoned actor, gives us a monastic Shao Lin outcast in search of refuge and family. The best performances come from all, but I found myself liking Master Po the best, played by the late great Keye Luke. Nitpicking; I would've shot it somewhat differently, and I'm not sure I would've cast Carradine in the role, but, given the character that needed to be portrayed I'm at a loss of who else could've done the job. Carradine is a capable actor who brings us a character (to paraphrase Kwai-Chan) seeks not answers, but only to "understand the questions." If only all humankind had such wisdom.

Thankfully Kwai Chan's exploits and insights, and those of his teachers, have been forever preserved on three DVD sets :-) Carradine's character wanders the countrysides of Cathay and and a century old United States in a Western-leaning genre of drama and action.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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