Cult TV Essentials

Cult TV Essentials: Jack of All Trades

Remember Y2K? Yeah, I try to forget that hot mess too. However, there was some good that came out of it. Jack of All Trades, the forgotten steampunk series starring Bruce Campbell premiered on January 22nd 2000.

This half hour comedy was shot in New Zealand which doubled for Palau Palau. The show centered around Jack Stiles, a 19th century American spy sent to the island by Thomas Jefferson to keep an eye on Napoleon.

He is teamed up with an English agent named Emilia Rothschild (Angela Marie Dotchin). Emilia is also his love interest. Although they valiantly attempt to keep their relationship on a professional level, their overwhelming attraction to one another can’t be hidden or denied. Together, they help to fight against threats to the United States.

In addition to being a secret agent, Jack also moonlights as the legendary masked hero, The Daring Dragoon. An interesting fact, the series star, Bruce Campbell used to play Zorro as a young boy growing up in suburban Detroit.  Also worthy of note, The Daring Dragoon was very close in character to Campbell’s Autolycus from Hercules and Xena. So, in a sense as an adult, the actor got to live out a childhood fantasy of being a swashbuckler of sorts.

The show only lasted for twenty-two episodes. One of the hallmarks of the program was the fabulous inventions that Emily would create every week. From bulletproof capes to other impressive discoveries, they were always a surprise! Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t.

Bruce Campbell’s impeccable comedic timing was another reason for tuning into the show.  Known predominantly for being in the horror genre, he is a versatile actor who is comfortable slicing and dicing Deadites with a chainsaw or trading double entendres. He can always be counted on for bringing the levity in a grim situation.

Oddly enough, most of Campbell’s legion of fans forgets this particular venture. Possibly because it didn’t get its full run and also because it was in a weird timeslot. If you happened to miss this series the first time around, don’t worry. It is available on DVD.





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