Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk and the Astronaut 

Despite everyone's disbelief that a hero making the news is actually a coldblooded killer, Adrian tries to prove that a celebrity astronaut is responsible, despite an airtight alibi.


Randy Zisk


Andy Breckman (created by), David Breckman | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Shalhoub ... Adrian Monk
Traylor Howard ... Natalie Teeger
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Randall Disher
Ted Levine ... Captain Leland Stottlemeyer
Jeffrey Donovan ... Steve Wagner
Eric Allan Kramer ... Darrell Cain
Emmy Clarke ... Julie Teeger
Brianna Brown ... Joanne Raphelson
Michael Belcher ... Bobby
Ariel Winter ... Donna Cain
Natasha Pavlovich ... Nicole Wagner
Stanley Kamel ... Dr. Charles Kroger
Albert Malafronte ... Congressman
Billy Mayo ... Mechanic
Brandon Matthew Parker Brandon Matthew Parker ... First Boy


Despite everyone's disbelief that a hero making the news is actually a coldblooded killer, Adrian tries to prove that a celebrity astronaut is responsible, despite an airtight alibi.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Tom Ohmer, who played a sergeant in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective," reprises his role in "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut." There's an interesting interview with Ohmer, who in real-life is an ex-cop, in which he talks about working with Ted Levine and other members of the cast and crew. See more »


When addressing the class at Career Day, Steve Wagner (Jeffrey Donovan) says he flew the shuttle over Florida and splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. Space Shuttles orbit the earth from west to east, so he would have had to flown over Texas to get to the gulf, not Florida. See more »


Steve Wagner: Can we talk? Man to muss.
See more »


Spoofed in Monk: Mr. Monk and the Actor (2006) See more »


It's a Jungle Out There
Written by Randy Newman
Performed by Randy Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr Monk and the airtight alibi killer
11 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

"Mr Monk and the Astronaut" is not one of the best 'Monk' episodes, and it is not quite up there with the very best of Season 4 (though in the better half). It is however significantly better than the previous episode "Mr Monk and the Big Reward", one of the few average or less early seasons episodes and a rare case of not feeling like 'Monk' at all. At least "Mr Monk and the Astronaut" feels like a 'Monk' episode. Do have to agree that some of the episode has some ridiculous aspects.

This is particularly true with the climax, one of the show's most far-fetched, and that the killer took so many risks and left so much incriminating evidence somehow without arousing any suspicion. The scene in the classroom was a lot of fun, showed off Tony Shalhoub's versatility brilliantly and showed exactly what the character is all about, but anybody who works in a school will have a very hard time getting their heads around how Monk was treated by the children and the behaviour somehow is condoned.

However, apart from some ridiculousness, the mystery itself is one of the fourth season's strongest. How the murder was done and everything with the airtight alibi was very cleverly done while the killer is one of the most ruthless and interesting on 'Monk'. His interaction with Monk is just terrific.

Character moments-wise, the highlights are the scene between Monk and Kroger, the exchanges between Disher and Stottlemeyer ("let's pretend this globe represents the earth" is classic Disher), the hallway confrontation between Monk and Wagner and when Monk stands up to Wagner and stands for what he believes in (the viewer completely relates and cheers him in). Did enjoy the classroom scene, providing that its lack of realism doesn't take away from things too much.

Natalie is down to earth, sympathetic and sassy, also being sensitive to Monk's needs and quirks which Traylor Howard does well bringing out. Stottlemeyer and Disher have some good moments too, and Ted Levine and Jason Gray-Stanford are great.

As said many times, one of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching.

It's not just the cast or story though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done, particularly the last one. The quirks are sympathetically done and never exploited or overdone. Jeffrey Donovan is excellent as Wagner.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now. Oh and a good job is done with the different opening credits sequence to accommodate the changes made.

All in all, despite its ridiculousness it's a very solid episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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