Kung Fu: Season 2, Episode 21

The Nature of Evil (21 Mar. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 38 users  
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Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) and blind preacher Serenity Johnson (JOHN CARRADINE) choose a path toward a confrontation with evil when they encounter a man possessed by the devil in his own dual nature.


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Episode complete credited cast:
The Hanged Man
Shelly Novack ...
Kelly Thordsen ...
Mule Jesse
Robert Donley ...
Bartlett Robinson ...
Larry Robb ...
Poker Player
Dan Magiera ...
Poker Player # 2 (as Dan Mageira)
James Weatherill ...
Poker Player # 3


Caine (DAVID CARRADINE) and blind preacher Serenity Johnson (JOHN CARRADINE) choose a path toward a confrontation with evil when they encounter a man possessed by the devil in his own dual nature.

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Release Date:

21 March 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Morgan Woodward's mysterious villain, whose name is never revealed on screen, is listed in reference sources as "The Adversary", but is actually identified in the episode as simply "The Hanged Man". See more »


Serenity Johnson's well-worn tarot cards are from the world's most popular tarot deck created by A.E. Waite and drawn by P.C. Smith, which was first published in 1910 in England. Kung Fu takes place in the old West of the 1870s, about 40 years before the deck was published. See more »


The Hanged Man: You BORE me, Caine!
[These are his last words; he does the rest of the talking with his gun and, when he runs out of bullets, he goes after Caine with any handy and deadly weapon until he gets too close and Caine kicks him into an acid tank]
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User Reviews

Superb Direction, Kung Fu Goes Gothic, Father Meets Son
18 November 2013 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

We tend to treat this series as iconic, and indeed it is. Which is not to say that every episode was a gem. As I already covered in my review of the series as a whole, they took shortcuts here and there, like recycling the same Chinese character actors into different parts, gambling that North American eyes would not notice. (TV was strange in those days -- in the Six Million Dollar Man, they saved a few bucks in the action scenes by repeating the same footage, in slo-mo, sequentially, gambling that viewers, distracted by the slo-mo, would not notice that Steve Austin was seemingly stuck in a Star Trek "time loop.") And they had trouble coming up with new story ideas week to week. If I had a dime for every episode that starts with Caine being mistaken for someone he is not (and getting arrested); or accused of doing something he did not (and getting arrested); or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and getting arrested); I would be writing this from my island. This episode re-teams the star with his actor-father John Carradine and I have to say that director Robert Michael Lewis outdid himself. The lighting, the sets, the way the actors peer at each other from dark spots in the room, contribute to making this episode unique in the series, a wonderful mixing of Gothic terror with the usually dusty, open-space, western theme.

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