Biff Baker, U.S.A. (TV Series 1952–1954) Poster

(1952–1954)

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The Skipper's First TV Series
krorie30 March 2006
Alan Hale, Jr., later the Skipper to his little buddy, made a fine espionage hero in "Biff Baker, U.S.A." Randy Stuart, whose main claim to fame was as the wife to "The Incredible Shrinking Man" in that famous sci-fi film from the same era, plays Louise Baker always accompanying her husband on his international travels. Seems he and his wife are big timers in the overseas import business. Biff was not an official spy but rather a businessman who somehow got involved in espionage as he and his wife plied their trade while globe trotting. Though a serious show, there was always an element of humor and lightness in each episode. Biff was always laughing at himself with his wife joining in. They were a compatible couple comparable to Nick and Nora Charles or Pam and Jerry North.

The program began with Biff and Louise preparing to board a plane on some international jaunt, a valet leading the way carrying the suitcases as they enter a restricted zone. Two suitcases and what appears to be a hat box are placed on a belt for loading. The big suitcase reads: "Biff Baker, USA." This is followed by the introduction of the two stars.

The episode I recently watched on DVD was called "Grey Market." Apparently a grey market was somewhere between the legitimate market and the black market. The story begins in Marsailles, France, with Biff and Louise picking up valuable imports through the help of a chef who obviously enjoys his own cooking. The two then stumble onto a grey market going on in their hotel involving the elevator operator. When the rascal picks on a helpless old woman and her son who are trying to leave the country for South America, Biff and Louise come to the rescue.
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6/10
A fun early 1950s show with Alan Hale, Jr.
Paularoc22 May 2012
Biff Baker is an agent for a large American import/export company. He and his wife travel throughout Europe buying a wide variety of materials and items (e.g., lace and clay). And, of course, they get involved in intrigues at every location. I was not familiar with this series and stumbled across it on the Matinée Classics web site, which has beautiful prints of four episodes. The Blue Mosque takes place in Cairo and revolves around a stolen truck and a terrorist group, Grey Market is about those who prey upon refugees in Marseilles (Jay Novello does a wonderful job as a particularly nasty crook), Crash Landing concerns the rescue of an American pilot who crash landed in Czechoslovakia, and Mona Lisa about art works stolen during World War II

I often watched Gilligan's Island and have always liked Alan Hale, Jr.'s performances. In this one, he is a big jovial American who doesn't go looking for trouble but trouble always finds him. I liked the interaction between Biff and his wife Louise – they laughed a lot together and cuddled a lot. I'm surprised this show lasted only one season, as it's a fun watch.
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8/10
Good clean Fun show
girvsjoint7 February 2017
Always liked Alan Hale Jnr. and in this, his first TV series he doesn't disappoint, playing his usual jovial, laughing self, it's a fun husband/wife adventure, not too serious, and although he's big enough to handle trouble if need be, Hale prefers to talk his way out of situations if he can. Lots of exotic locales, Hollywood back lot style, the charisma between Alan and Randy Stuart is good, not forced in any way and you could imagine them as a real married couple, which is a large part of the charm of these kind of shows.It's a shame this show didn't last beyond it's 26 episodes, and also that only 8 seem to have survived for DVD release.
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