This spin-off from the earlier "Department S" continued the adventures of hedonistic, womanizing dandy Jason King. After leaving Department S, Jason settled down to a full-time career of ... See full summary »
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 Jason King (26 episodes, 1971-1972)
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This spin-off from the earlier "Department S" continued the adventures of hedonistic, womanizing dandy Jason King. After leaving Department S, Jason settled down to a full-time career of writing (trashy) Mark Caine novels. He philandered his way around the world, doing research for his stories and tripping over a variety of odd--often verging on surreal--cases, usually involving beautiful women. He was occasionally blackmailed into working for British Intelligence under the threat of being arrested for unpaid back taxes. Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

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Action | Adventure

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15 September 1971 (UK)  »

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(26 episodes)

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1.33 : 1
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Style over Substance
31 May 2006 | by (Middlesbrough, England) – See all my reviews

Compared to its predecessor Department S, Jason King was a generally enjoyable but sometimes uneven show which pointed to the impending decline of the ITC adventure series. Though many of the stories were good with excellent guest actors, and there was an emphasis on style, the series suffered from budgetary constraints compared to its contemporaries in 1971. These included grainy 16mm film, too much studio filming/stock footage and no matter where in the world a particular episode was set, any cars used tended to be right hand drive including in particular a recurring Vauxhall Viva that turned up in episodes set in France, Turkey and the Far East among others. Other ITC series disguised these discrepancies better.

It was also sometimes slow moving and lacking in atmosphere, concentrating on King's style, flamboyance, social graces and relationships with whichever guest actress(es) were in the particular episode, rather than other characters and the ultimate plots, which were becoming clichéd. The show may have benefited if there had been regular support actors to play with/against King in every episode.

Nevertheless, Jason King is one of the most memorable TV characters of that era, if not of all time, and the best episodes were very good indeed. Being forever identified as Jason King, and unfortunately caught up in a minor scandal, whether Peter Wyngarde could have continued to be (or wanted to be) a convincing leading man in subsequent years is debatable. He would have been excellent in lighter fare such as sitcoms and perhaps even as a Doctor Who. His relative obscurity is a loss to TV and movies.


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