Man In A Suitcase
1967 - 1968
This 30-part series (27/07/1967 to 17/04/1968), starred Richard Bradford as McGill, a discredited US agent who can be hired to solve any crisis for just $300 per week plus expenses. McGill worked anywhere ie. copious stock footage of Paris or the Cote d'Azur, with exteriors filmed at Pinewood. This episode, Sweet Sue, first aired on 08/11/1967. Ron Grainer composed the fab theme tune, which was adopted by Chris Evans for TFI Friday on Channel Four in the 1990s.
This highly entertaining action/adventure romp was probably the most ambitious and expensive of ITC's filmed series. The Persuaders! were rough-diamond American millionaire Danny Wilde (Tony Curtis) and suave British aristocrat Lord Brett Sinclair (Roger Moore). Equally-matched and from different backgrounds, they were teamed, reluctantly, by Judge Fulton (Laurence Naismith) to solve cases the courts could not. Curtis and Moore are said to have clashed while filming it, but it wasn't serious, they loved each other really! Despite being a big hit in the UK and Europe, it was not successful in the USA and was cancelled after just one series of 24 episodes.
1971 - International Trailers
Re-discovered in 2001, these 1971 trailers for European TV stations show Tony Curtis and Roger Moore tucking into chop suey and teasing viewers in their very own languages. Roger's an impressive and cunning linguist, as these French and German examples demonstrate. If you are offended by bad language, you are advised not to view the second clip, which contains a blooper and a non-bleeped expletive.
1967 - 1968
Patrick McGoohan and producer David Tomblin created Everyman Films to make 17 episodes for ITC. McGoohan also executive produced, and has many more credits as writer and director. The guest cast was pretty distinguished: Paul Eddington, Leo McKern, Mary Morris, Eric Portman, Colin Gordon, Peter Bowles, Patrick Cargill, Rosalie Crutchley among others. The unique title sequence set the scene: McGoohan's unnamed character resigns from a secret position. Intent on taking a holiday, he is overcome by smoke pumping into his home via the keyhole. He wakes up in a village in which individuality is forbidden and everyone is allocated a number. He refuses to give up his individuality to the system, or divulge the reason for his decision to resign.
1967 - 1968 Break Bumpers / 1992 Channel 4 Continuity
Original break bumpers, plus Channel Four continuity from the 25th anniversary repeat of the series beginning on 23/09/1992. It is impossible to do justice to this excellent and complex series within the confines of a paragraph, even so The Prisoner is often considered to be one of the most thought-provoking series ever made. Nothing like it had ever been seen on British TV before, and little has outshone it since, certainly not the re-make of 2009.
Randall and Hopkirk Deceased
1969 - 1970
Dennis Spooner created this quirky, 26-part detective series, syndicated in the USA as My Partner The Ghost. That title says it all really. Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) finds solutions to traumas and dilemmas that would elude anyone without the aid of an invisible partner, Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope), who is run over by a car in the opening titles and comes back as a ghost. Only Jeff can see Marty, who still cares deeply for his wife Jean (Annette Andre). He's hugely jealous of any romantic interest she shows in his living partner.
Randall and Hopkirk Deceased
1969 - 1970
There were two title sequences. The first was re-made for reasons that no-one really knows. Perhaps to delete the fake-looking cemetery, the setting, in fact, for Kenneth Cope's screen test. The stirring title music was composed by Edwin Astley, who also composed the theme tune to The Saint. Speaking of which...
1962 - 1968
Roger Moore stars as Simon Templar, smooth hero of the Leslie Charteris Saint novels. Roger peaked his eyebrow through 118 episodes, 46 in colour. Our series 3 example, The Scorpion, guest starred Philip Latham & Dudley Sutton (tx: 29/10/1964). We also have a colour example from 1966 and these titles make tremendous use of optical effects and colour filters to generate a convincing low-budget take on Maurice Binder's big-screen 007 titles from the same era. ITV viewers would not have felt short-changed by these, even though they would have been unable to see these shows in colour at the time.
Roger Moore Interview
From a Welsh local news programme, a great insight into Roger Moore's witty take on Simon Templar. For example, he claims to have been paid only in Green Shield stamps, and now he's collected enough to claim a new washing machine. The TWW journalist asks one or two rather inane questions, one of which makes Roger crack up, hence the blooper clip.
1966 - Trailers
This could only have been made in the 1960s. "Roger Moore stars as the Saint, always surrounded by a galaxy of gorgeous girls!" There's also a very fine example of back projection in an action scene!
Return Of The Saint
1978 - 1979
Simon Templar came back with a vengeance in 1978, played by Ian Ogilvy. Once again, Templar was shown travelling around Britain and Europe, helping out the people in need, sometimes the result of past encounters. There was just one series of 24 episodes, which aired from 10/09/1978 - 11/03/1979, a co-production with Italian broadcaster RAI. The title sequence features some highly entertaining single-frame animation of the emblematic Saint stick figure as he fights, jumps, swims and smooches.
In this series, Adam Strange (Anthony Quayle) was the investigator who used advanced scientific methods to solve complex crimes. Operating from a flat in Paddington, and with an unlicensed black taxi as his favoured mode of transport, he quickly became renowned for solving all the cases that baffled Scotland Yard. Strange was assisted by a British Museum researcher, Hamlyn (Kaz Garas) and a model, Evelyn (Anneke Wills). I expect it made for riveting viewing in 1968 and travelled very well.
The Zoo Gang
The Zoo Gang boasted a high calibre leading cast: John Mills, Lilli Palmer, Barry Morse and Brian Keith, plus quality guests and a Paul McCartney theme. However, the complexities of bringing together so many big, busy stars for location filming in France and then interiors at Pinewood meant that only six episodes were made, not enough for international syndication, which meant that the show never took off. This episode, The Counterfeit Trap, dates from 03/05/1974. The gang consisted of four World War II resistance fighters, once known by animal codenames, who reunite in France in the 1970s to avenge themselves on the man who betrayed them to the Nazis.