The New Legends of Monkey
Based onJourney to the West
by Wu Cheng'en
Written by
Directed byGerard Johnstone
ComposerPeter van der Fluit
Country of origin
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
  • Rachael Gardner
  • Robin Scholes
  • D.J. Stipsen
  • Dave Garbett
Running time24 minutes
Production companies
Original release
Release28 January 2018 (2018-01-28) –
7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)

The New Legends of Monkey is a fantasy adventure television series inspired by Monkey, a Japanese production from the 1970s and 1980s which garnered a cult following in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and South Africa. The Japanese production was based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West.[2] This new series is an international co-production between the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, New Zealand's TVNZ and Netflix.

The first season, consisting of ten episodes, premiered on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Me television channel in Australia on 28 January 2018, and later debuted outside Australia and New Zealand on Netflix on 28 April. A second season, also ten episodes, was released on Netflix on August 7, 2020.[3]


It follows a young monk, escorted by a group of gods, on a journey across an ancient and fantastical land now ruled by evil demons to collect lost scrolls of wisdom.[4]


The Monkey King was imprisoned under a mountain 500 years ago by his enemies in Heaven. Five hundred years later, the Earthly realm is overrun, and its humans oppressed, by demons. The gods and immortals are in hiding or oppressed by demons as well. A scholar secretly concocts a plan to bring together a few warriors and a monk, named Tripitaka, to undertake a quest to resurrect the Monkey King and find the Heavenly scrolls that were stolen by Monkey 500 years ago and hidden away secretly on earth. Anyone who finds the scrolls would gain unlimited power. However, the night the group is about to start on their quest, a demon attacks the scholar's home and kills everyone inside except for the scholar's adopted daughter, taking the golden crown necessary to revive the Monkey King. In his last moments, the scholar entrusts his daughter with the quest. She takes on the identity of Tripitaka and ventures out into the world, narrowly escaping death herself.

In a town she gives charity to a monk and ends up forced to work for a tavern owner, thus gaining a job and a room to sleep in. When the same demon that killed her adoptive father shows up, she secretly steals the magical crown and makes a run for it. When demons begin searching the town for her and the magic crown, she is disguised as a monk by the same monk she helped and successfully makes her way out of the city. In an opening along the side of a mountain, she finds the stony visage of the Monkey King's face, and puts the crown on his head. Finally, the Monkey King is free but he soon discovers that the crown is repressing most of his godly abilities. The pair return to the town and join up with Pigsy and Sandy, who are also gods, and the four of them begin their quest of finding the lost scrolls and gaining enough power to overthrow all the demons.





SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
11028 January 2018 (2018-01-28)4 February 2018 (2018-02-04)
2107 August 2020 (2020-08-07)

Season 1 (2018)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Hope Must Never Die"Gerard JohnstoneJacquelin Perske28 January 2018 (2018-01-28)
After a demon steals a magical crown from warrior monks, an orphaned girl flees the monastery in a quest to awaken the long-petrified Monkey King.
22"The Edge of Nowhere"Gerard JohnstoneJacquelin Perske28 January 2018 (2018-01-28)
Tripitaka learns a troubling legend about Monkey, but the pair gains a surprising new ally before setting out to find the seven sacred scrolls.
33"The Journey Begins"Gerard JohnstoneJacquelin Perske28 January 2018 (2018-01-28)
A demon jeopardises the trio's quest before it even begins. Tripitaka makes a startling discovery about Pigsy, who makes a momentous decision.
44"The Monkey King Returns"Gerard JohnstoneCraig Irvin & Jacquelin Perske29 January 2018 (2018-01-29)
An eccentric clan of loyal Monkey King zealots guides the group toward a sacred scroll's hiding place, but booby traps and betrayal await them.
55"The Breaking Ground"Craig IrvinCraig Irvin30 January 2018 (2018-01-30)
A shaman uses trance-like mind games to trick the gods into translating divine scrolls, sending Monkey dangerously far into his own subconscious.
66"A Crown Does Not Make You"Craig IrvinJacquelin Perske31 January 2018 (2018-01-31)
Trapped in the depths of his mind, Monkey relives terrible events of centuries before, when his arrogance led to tragedy and his banishment.
77"Until I Met You"Gerard JohnstoneCraig Irvin1 February 2018 (2018-02-01)
The shaman hires nightmarish forest dwellers to hunt the group down. A foe from Monkey's past sows seeds of doubt in Tripitaka's mind.
88"A Part of You That's Missing"Gerard JohnstoneSamantha Strauss2 February 2018 (2018-02-02)
Tripitaka leaves the quest to find her mother but faces even greater peril. Monkey and Pigsy strike a bargain with the demon hounding them.
99"In Search of Tripitaka"Craig IrvinCraig Irvin3 February 2018 (2018-02-03)
With help from an unlikely ally, Monkey and Pigsy infiltrate Jade Mountain to help Tripitaka thwart the fiendish plans of demon master Davari.
1010"A Hero to Save Us All"Craig IrvinJacquelin Perske4 February 2018 (2018-02-04)
As Davari's quest for immortality nears fruition, Tripitaka races to unlock a secret that could destroy the demon's hold on power.

Season 2 (2020)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Graveyard of the Gods"Peter AndrikidisChristiaan Van Vuuren7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
The Monkey King, Tripitaka, Pigsy, and Sandy set out in search of the sacred scrolls. Demons learn of Monkey's return and vow to destroy him.
122"Quest for Knowledge"Peter AndrikidisConnor Van Vuuren7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
At the Archive of Infinite Scrolls, Monkey and friends must solve—and survive—various riddles to gain access to the Scroll of Knowledge.
133"Village of Lost Children"Peter AndrikidisJane Allen7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
A shape-shifting demon uses her powers to assume Sandy's appearance, then kidnaps village children to make Monkey's group seem like the evil ones.
144"Puppet Master"Peter AndrikidisCraig Irvin7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
On the path to the Scroll of Creation, the demon Hagfish reveals who is pulling all the strings when he traps Tripitaka in his doll collection.
155"Finding Paradise"Thomas RobinsGreg Waters7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
The Monkey King and crew meet the mysterious Mycelia in a garden that is too good to be true before helping Pigsy avoid a flavorful but deadly fate.
166"Gladiators"Thomas RobinsJane Allen7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
Monkey hatches a plan to retrieve the scrolls from the demon Gorm by posing as a human, while a dispute between demon generals leads to an epic battle.
177"Masterchef"Thomas RobinsCraig Irvin7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
As the demons head to Lion Heart Rock to fight Monkey, Pigsy must sharpen his skills in the kitchen to impress General Khan as her personal chef.
188"The Real Tripitaka"Thomas RobinsGreg Waters7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
The scrolls foretold of only one Tripitaka ... but when Monkey and friends reach Lion Heart Rock, they discover that might not be so true.
199"The Spider Web"Thomas RobinsConnor Van Vuuren7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
The rebel army ignores Tripitaka's warning and ends up regretting it while on the battlefield. Hagfish creates a clone whose powers may match Monkey's.
2010"Shadow Boxing"Peter AndrikidisChristiaan Van Vuuren7 August 2020 (2020-08-07)
With the rebels scattered and the fate of the sacred scrolls still at stake, Monkey realises he is his own worst enemy—in more ways than one.


The first three episodes debuted in Australia on 28 January as a single 90-minute telemovie. Subsequent episodes of the ten-episode series were released daily until 4 February 2018. It debuted on Netflix worldwide on April 28, 2018.[5][6] In late October 2020, CBBC acquired television broadcast rights to the series in the United Kingdom, despite Netflix already holding the rights in the country, and planned to air it by early 2021.[7]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 100% with an average rating of 6/10, based on 6 critic reviews.[8]

Awards and nominations

2018 New Zealand Television Awards
8th AACTA Awards
18th Annual Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Awards
46th Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards
48th Daytime Emmy Awards
ASSG Awards 2021


  1. ^ "Watch the New Legends of Monkey | Episodes | TVNZ OnDemand". Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  2. ^ Lodderhouse, Diana (20 April 2017). "See-Saw & Jump Team On 'Legend Of The Monkey' For ABC Australia, Netflix". Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ "'The New Legends of Monkey' Season 2 Coming to Netflix in August 2020 - What's on Netflix". 10 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ "The New Legends of Monkey (2017) - The Screen Guide - Screen Australia". Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Robert (20 April 2017). "See-Saw's 'Legend of the Monkey' Swings Into Production for ABC Australia, Netflix". Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Australian Television: The New Legends of Monkey: episode guide". Archived from the original on 4 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  7. ^ Ryan Tuchow (30 October 2020). "Deals of the Week: Screen Australia, CBBC, Toonz". Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  8. ^ "The New Legends of Monkey". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 May 2023.