Kung Fu

David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine

Kung Fu aired originally in the United States on ABC Television, with 60 x 50 minute episodes from 1972 until 1975. David Carradine stars as Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine, in this extremely popular award-winning western drama series made by Warner Brothers. Kung Fu was created by Ed Spielman, produced by Jerry Thorpe and developed for television by Herman Miller.

In the series which is set in the 1870s, we follow the exploits of Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine), whose Chinese mother and American father are dead. The orphaned Caine had been brought up in a Shaolin monastery in the Hunan Province of China and the monks at the monastery had trained Caine to become a Shaolin master.

Sometime after Caine had achieved the status of Shaolin master, his mentor, the unsighted Master Po (Keye Luke) was killed by the emperor's nephew. Kwai Chang Caine then kills Master Po's murderer, flees China and heads for the American Southwest. Whilst Caine is in America, he learns that he has a half brother - Danny Caine, and starts the search to find his sibling.

Kwai Chang Caine now has a price on his head for the killing of the emperor's nephew. Caine's wish for anonymity is in vain, for wherever he travels he almost invariably encounters hostility and is obliged, reluctantly, to invoke his training as a Shaolin master. Caine is pursued relentlessly by American bounty-hunters and Chinese assasins alike, who are hoping to claim the not inconsiderable reward of $10, 000 for Caine alive, or $5,000 dead.

During Kwai Chang Caine's quest to find his brother, he encounters many situations where he feels it incumbent upon him to help his fellow human being. This sense of duty and social resonsibility has been instilled in him from his earliest memory, but very often leaves Caine in vulnerable situations. He is frequently forced to reveal his training as a Shaolin Priest in order to resolve a conflict. As soon as Caine has dealt with the situation and the status quo has been restored, Caine then moves on to a new location in the relentless search for his sibling.


June 4 2009: The death of David Carradine has been announced