Kung Fu: Season 1, Episode 0

Pilot (22 Feb. 1972)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Western
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 933 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

22 February 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Loo here plays Shaolin Master Sun, a character he would reprise in two episodes, Kung Fu: Blood Brother (1973) during the first season, and Kung Fu: Besieged: Cannon at the Gates (1974) during the third. He would also feature in three other entries, playing three different characters: Kung Fu: The Tong (1973), Kung Fu: Arrogant Dragon (1974) and Kung Fu: The Devil's Champion (1974). See more »


Young Caine: You cannot see.
Master Po: You think I cannot see?
Young Caine: Of all things, to live in darkness must be worst.
Master Po: Fear is the only darkness.
See more »


Referenced in On the Set of Sightlines (2003) 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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