ITC Entertainment Series - Appreciation Thread

ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
This might be absent from the forums, entirely, as I've not found it anywhere yet, but I would like to dedicate this thread to the magnificent production that made the best of the spy thriller series back in the sixties. Lew Grade and Brian Clements (who recently passed away, rest his soul) being the key people to the most of them. Without them, would we have had The Saint and The Persuaders!with Roger Moore, Danger Man and The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan, The Baron with Steve Forrest, Man In A Suitcase with Richard Bradford, Department S and Jason King with Peter Wyngarde and so on...? As a fan of the spy genre, I thought I'd post this, see if a fandom exists in here.
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Comments

  • Posts: 7,164
    Love The Saint, the Persuaders, Danger man, the Baron and Jason King are less familiar with the rest of the tittles.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited February 2015 Posts: 15,423
    The Prisoner, Man In A Suitcase and Department S are worth watching, @SaintMark. :)

    The Prisoner is sort of a sequel to Danger Man that has been in debate for a long time whether McGoohan's character was the same in that show as the previous one or not.

    Department S is an official prequel to Jason King.

    Man In A Suitcase deals with a government agent gone blacklisted, which inspired the more modern show we know as Burn Notice.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.Moderator
    Posts: 10,699
    Big fan of Man In A Suitcase, right here. Damn shame that only one series was made. But watching the interview that comes as an extra on the DVD set, it sounded like it was a troubled production.

    McGill+with+pistol+and+flashlight+Walther+PPK+gun+leather+jacket+Richard+Bradford+Man+in+a+Suitcase.png
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Didn't that episode feature Donald Sutherland, @MajorDSmythe? :D
    Agreed, Man In A Suitcase is a brilliant television series. What can I say? Long live McGill!
  • Posts: 10,671
    So many memories, I loved them all, great 60s TV. =D>
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    DrGorner wrote: »
    So many memories, I loved them all, great 60s TV. =D>
    To me, 60s IS the TV! :D
  • Posts: 10,671
    I can even remember sticking a home made moustache on, so I could
    Be Jason King. :))
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited February 2015 Posts: 15,423
    DrGorner wrote: »
    I can even remember sticking a home made moustache on, so I could
    Be Jason King. :))
    Can't blame you, Doctor. :D Peter Wyngarde is a king of cool! Jason King is... marvelous! :D
  • Posts: 10,671
    ;) Dept S, in my opinion is one of the best themes ever put over a title sequence. =D>
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    DrGorner wrote: »
    ;) Dept S, in my opinion is one of the best themes ever put over a title sequence. =D>
    There you go, the theme tune, Doctor! :D
    Well, Edwin Astley was the soul of ITC's sound. To think of how many hours he dedicated to the productions since the start... for two decades... he's a franchise! :D
  • Posts: 10,671
    Wonderful, I had that on tape for the car. When it was playing, in my mind
    I WAS Jason King in an E type jag ! :D
    I always thought the organ work sounded very " Bach"
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Astley's magic that is, Doctor. :D
  • Posts: 10,671
    They even had it on an episode of Top Gear " The Interceptors " a spoof
    60s title sequence.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe S.A.R.A.H.Moderator
    Posts: 10,699
    Didn't that episode feature Donald Sutherland, @MajorDSmythe? :D
    Agreed, Man In A Suitcase is a brilliant television series. What can I say? Long live McGill!

    That's right, Day Of Execution, the first of two, to guest star Sutherland.
  • Posts: 3,758
    I spent so many hours during my youth (and afterwards) watching those wonderful series. So I bought the two compilations of the music of those series on iTunes recently. So many memories watching "Danger Man", "The Prisoner", "The Saint", "Department S", "The Champions", "Man in a Suitcase", "The Adventurer", "The Protectors", and of course "The Persuaders". I didn't like "The Baron" very much, mainly because I had read the novels before watching it, and I didn't find the characters I loved in the TV series. But during the 60s and 70s, Sir Lew Grade was the king of great entertaining TV. They don't make them like that anymore, and that's a shame. Don't you think so ?
  • Posts: 10,671
    From watching many of those shows, it got me into reading many books. I
    Loved the Saint stories and the man from uncle books, later even the new
    Avenger books. :)
  • ivegotarocketivegotarocket Bristol
    Posts: 14
    The Prisoner is easily the best of the bunch, managing to be simultaneously very Sixties and to also transcend its time of production completely.
    The Champions can be quite fun too, if a little anodyne.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    edited February 2015 Posts: 15,423
    Gerard wrote: »
    I spent so many hours during my youth (and afterwards) watching those wonderful series. So I bought the two compilations of the music of those series on iTunes recently. So many memories watching "Danger Man", "The Prisoner", "The Saint", "Department S", "The Champions", "Man in a Suitcase", "The Adventurer", "The Protectors", and of course "The Persuaders". I didn't like "The Baron" very much, mainly because I had read the novels before watching it, and I didn't find the characters I loved in the TV series. But during the 60s and 70s, Sir Lew Grade was the king of great entertaining TV. They don't make them like that anymore, and that's a shame. Don't you think so ?
    I most certainly agree with your assessment, @Gerard. The Baron, while fun, was untruthful to its source material. The original character was British in the books, but due to unknown reasons, probably they couldn't find someone looking the part, they picked Steven Forrest, who was heavy with his Southern US English accent (or should I say Texan?), it was kind of a cross between Danger Man and The Saint. Ran only for one season. But, it was fun, I have to admit that. Some of the car chases were brilliant in it. It's just a shame they don't make them like these anymore, like you said. Sir Lew Grade was indeed the king in his own league that no many people can forge.
    The Prisoner is easily the best of the bunch, managing to be simultaneously very Sixties and to also transcend its time of production completely.
    The Champions can be quite fun too, if a little anodyne.
    The Prisoner was very intensive. I had to watch them a couple of times to understand its atmosphere. At first, it might sound weird to the viewer, but then if you understand the message Patrick McGoohan was delivering, it's the case of... "there is no escape." He said that during his 1977 interview, which I did love when he explained his intentions and ideology with making the show. To this day, I can't cease to watch it.
  • Posts: 3,823
    When you think of the news agenda at the moment - Privacy, CCTV, internet snooping, Snowden etc etc, The Prisoner was WAY ahead of its time. Great TV
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    patb wrote: »
    When you think of the news agenda at the moment - Privacy, CCTV, internet snooping, Snowden etc etc, The Prisoner was WAY ahead of its time. Great TV
    He all talks about it in here, pleasant interview, @patb.
  • I recently started watching some 'Saint' episodes and while they have dated somewhat they still do make relatively entertaining 50 years on.

    Not much is really required of Moore in the episodes, Simon Templar is essentially a prototype James Bond except for the fact he's a little more bland and heroic. The central conceit of the show is also a little odd as Templar seems to have been cast as a latter-day Robin Hood and often inexplicably finds himself in places where some kind of fowl play is taking place. As the show progressed it's clear they took more and more influece form the Bond films, especially in the TV movie 'Vendetta for The Saint'; here there is a great action setpiece in the last half of the show. Also Roger was such a pretty looking man back in those days, maybe even a little too effete.




    I also have watched a few episodes of 'The Persuaders' which I much prefer. There is a looser energy to show and it's clear all the parties involved are having a great time making it. It's odd the show was so short-lived or no one has attempted to remake it as the jet-setting lifestyles of billionaire playboys in the south of France makes for entertaining television. It's a rather unusual show but Moore and Curtis have great chemistry together with Moore getting all the witty one-liners. Furthermore, one of the great highlights of the show is seeing how a pretty girl will get woven into the narrative.

    All the episodes are on Dailymotion in 720p

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x273itk_the-persuaders-e03-take-seven_shortfilms
  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 6,756
    Those were the days when they wrote the most amazing theme tunes. So when a modern show like 'Hustle' comes along and captures the sound of the 60s spy shows it simply catapults you back.
  • Posts: 3,758
    Seeing as we are on a forum about the most famous secret agent of them all, I think we could start to note the various connections between the ITC series and our dear 007. And there are quite a few, not always related to the actors. of course, there's Roger Moore, who starred in "The Saint" and "The Persuaders" before going on to play Bond. Catherine Schell was the lead actress in "The Adventurer", and Lois Maxwell appeared in two episodes of "The Saint" and one of "The Persuaders" (in which she played the "femme fatale" with great aplomb). And I'm sure there were many others.

    But, there's more : John Barry penned the themes for "The Adventurer" and "The Persuaders", while Paul and Linda McCartney wrote the theme for "The Zoo Gang". And, starngest of all, the helicopter scene from FRWL is used in the credits of "The Protectors". Proof below, at 8 seconds :



    BTW, "The Men of ITC" ? That''s quite a disservice to all those lovely leading ladies, like Rosemary Nichols, Sue Lloyd, Anette André, Catherine Schell, Anneke Wills, Nyree Dawn Porter, Joanna Lumley, and my favourite, Alexandra Bastedo.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 13,458
    A few years ago they aired some Persuaders episodes on saturday afternoons here in France, I loved sitting down in front of the telly and watching them. Sir Rog was THE man back then.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited February 2015 Posts: 3,139
    The Persuaders Volume 1/2 (4 discs) But i have seen all 24 episodes
    The Saint Season 1&2 (3x 4 disc box)

    The Champions (2x 3 disc set)
    I bought it in February 2013 and couple of days later i making unboxing as part of my buying from that month https://youtube.com/watch?v=SZv4WDTjExw
  • MrcogginsMrcoggins Following in the footsteps of Quentin Quigley.
    edited February 2015 Posts: 3,133
    Tony christy the avenues and alleyways was the theme song to the Protectors if I remember rightly I've not seen it in years
    Whilst I am here does anyone remember the Itc series UFO from the early 1970s .
  • edited February 2015 Posts: 3,823
    The opening credits from Protectors is one of the coolest 30 seconds of TV you will ever see (and hear),: orange pyjamas, Irish wolf hounds, omelettes, Robert Vaugan, cars rolling, etc etc, all to just a fantastic theme with a hook that you will take to you grave..just love it,
    PS re UFO, got the DVD box set for Xmas, wonderful stuff.
  • Posts: 3,823
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    I recently started watching some 'Saint' episodes and while they have dated somewhat they still do make relatively entertaining 50 years on.

    Not much is really required of Moore in the episodes, Simon Templar is essentially a prototype James Bond except for the fact he's a little more bland and heroic. The central conceit of the show is also a little odd as Templar seems to have been cast as a latter-day Robin Hood and often inexplicably finds himself in places where some kind of fowl play is taking place. As the show progressed it's clear they took more and more influece form the Bond films, especially in the TV movie 'Vendetta for The Saint'; here there is a great action setpiece in the last half of the show. Also Roger was such a pretty looking man back in those days, maybe even a little too effete.

    I also have watched a few episodes of 'The Persuaders' which I much prefer. There is a looser energy to show and it's clear all the parties involved are having a great time making it. It's odd the show was so short-lived or no one has attempted to remake it as the jet-setting lifestyles of billionaire playboys in the south of France makes for entertaining television. It's a rather unusual show but Moore and Curtis have great chemistry together with Moore getting all the witty one-liners. Furthermore, one of the great highlights of the show is seeing how a pretty girl will get woven into the narrative.
    Well said, @Pierce2Daniel. Simon Templar, however, was more like a good kind of righteous yet rogue person who loved to help innocent people. From his background, as Leslie Charteris created him, he was used to be a Robin Hood-like burglar who stole from "the ungodly" and gave it to the ones who needed it. Of course, he looked after himself quite well now he's a rich man while being an adventurer. I think, if we were to connect him to Bond, the aspects of the gentlemanly and light humour that 007 had, was borrowed from Templar, and not the other way around. Moore wanted the light weight for his Bond, after all. Vendetta for The Saint is very similar to For Your Eyes Only, especially the mountain climbing elements, while being very "Saintly". :D

    The Persuaders was a very brilliant show! Second favourite of mine next to Danger Man, followed by The Saint. It's like, whenever you want a good laugh, not in insulting way of course, just cocky ones, kind of serious slapstick, then that show is for you. I watch it from time to time whenever I need to cheer up. Even though, I like watching Brett Sinclair more, my imitation of characteristics are more like Simon Templar, and preference in fashion and behaviour as well. :) Tony Curtis, of course, was fitting like a glove as Moore's co-star in the series. They both understood the humour of one another. A good friend of mine, Mike Smith, arranged a re-union back in 2003 for Roger and Tony to come over and lend their signatures on Brett Sinclair's Aston Martin DBS 1968. Boy, he tells me those stories I feel really overwhelmed in a good way. :D
    Gerard wrote: »
    Seeing as we are on a forum about the most famous secret agent of them all, I think we could start to note the various connections between the ITC series and our dear 007. And there are quite a few, not always related to the actors. of course, there's Roger Moore, who starred in "The Saint" and "The Persuaders" before going on to play Bond. Catherine Schell was the lead actress in "The Adventurer", and Lois Maxwell appeared in two episodes of "The Saint" and one of "The Persuaders" (in which she played the "femme fatale" with great aplomb). And I'm sure there were many others.

    But, there's more : John Barry penned the themes for "The Adventurer" and "The Persuaders", while Paul and Linda McCartney wrote the theme for "The Zoo Gang". And, starngest of all, the helicopter scene from FRWL is used in the credits of "The Protectors". Proof below, at 8 seconds :

    BTW, "The Men of ITC" ? That''s quite a disservice to all those lovely leading ladies, like Rosemary Nichols, Sue Lloyd, Anette André, Catherine Schell, Anneke Wills, Nyree Dawn Porter, Joanna Lumley, and my favourite, Alexandra Bastedo.

    Brilliant assessment, @Gerard! :D

    There are more Bond alumnus in ITC Series than there were on any other shows. Let's go to mention Shirley Eaton's various appearances in The Saint, two episodes during the first season, and one episode in the last one. Then, there was David Hedison, Geoffrey Keen, and many others. Not to mention, Danger Man had Charles Gray, Lois Maxwell and Donald Pleasance. I quite enjoy them all.

    Of course, The Protectors was outstanding, especially for Robert Vaughn's comeback since the cancellation of MGM's The Man From UNCLE (can't blame the negative notes on the show, because of the third season, which was godawful.) to a spy-themed show. One thing I would have wanted to see in a Bond film was Allan Cuthbertson. Man, he's very underrated. Brilliant actor with brilliant presence! He would have been a terrific Bond villain.

    Ohh, don't mind The Men From ITC. ;) It was supposed to be channeling the title The Man From UNCLE, after all the majority of the protagonists were male. That doesn't mean to demean women at all. Not even in a billion years.

    UFO, even though I haven't seen it in years, did leave a good impact on me. Didn't it feature Benedict Cumberbatch's mother in one of the episodes? Or was it The Champions?
  • MrcogginsMrcoggins Following in the footsteps of Quentin Quigley.
    Posts: 3,133
    Wanda Ventham Benedict Cumberbatchs Mum played Col. Virginia Lake in UFO as well as a few other minor parts in a number of ITC shows.
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