|Index||3 reviews in total|
If you follow your espionage shows, you might find the premise of "Fortune
Hunter" a bit familiar - our hero (the late Mark Frankel) is a secret agent
turned recovery specialist who has an unseen partner; his aide at HQ (John
Robert Hoffman) sees what he sees via special equipment and gives him help
and encouragement. "Search" did this back in the 1970s with Hugh O'Brian
Doug McClure, but that didn't have any big success either.
Not that this show really deserved it, but it should at least have gotten to finish its season; the series took itself seriously enough for his missions to have some real danger, but never took itself totally seriously, making it ideal viewing in the Stephen J. Cannell/Glen A. Larson mode. "Fortune Hunter" isn't remotely in the league of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." or "24," but I liked it.
The prior review of FORTUNE HUNTER sighting SEARCH as a derivative
source for FORTUNE HUNTER is correct. However, FORTUNE HUNTER chose
unfortunately to have a geek at HQ in contact with the hero instead of
blond babe. But in SEARCH, Hugh O'Brian was merely adequate, Doug
McClure was personable, and Tony Franciosa was superb. Mark Frankel,
with his dead-on SEAN CONNERY as JAMES BOND accent and mannerisms as
well as good looks gave a higher level of performance than his
predecessors and the action-packed great production value program
should be compared favorably in a SEARCH goes 007 vein. THE MAN FROM
U.N.C.L.E. which is my all-time favorite, is a teamwork oriented
tongue-in-cheek spy show, while FORTUNE HUNTER has drier sense of humor
and is a "SOLO" (pardon-the-pun) AFFAIR.
In New York, FOX, Channel 5, showed only 4 or 5 Episodes, out of the 13 listed, BEFORE CANCELLATION! And intentionally SABOTAGED the TV Show's chances of success, by placing it in ever-changing time slots on Sunday around 6 P.M. Eastern Standard, when most audiences were busy eating dinner (NOT watching TV) or could NOT find the show since it always followed Sunday Afternoon FOOTBALL which always ran late; making FORTUNE HUNTER show up anytime after 6:10 P.M., even as late as 7:10!!! It would take a crystal ball to find the show's Start Time each week! And to make things worse, after the FOX execs prematurely and unfairly decided to cancel FORTUNE HUNTER, after only 4 episodes; they admitted that the ONLY reason for this early cancellation despite Critic's loving it; was since the production values were very high on the show and the show was shot on location; FOX was NOT going to shell-out that kind of money to keep an excellent spy/adventure show on the air!!!!!! So the cheapskates at FOX, buried a gem of a show; instead of giving it a primetime time slot and a multi-year run!
At this point I really believed that MARK FRANKEL would be the ideal choice as the new JAMES BOND on the big screen. Instead MGM/UA stuck with that peacock Pierce Brosnan, whom has been the worst BOND ever!
So 2 years later, FOX again hired the superb actor MARK FRANKEL to be in a TV Show called THE KINDRED-THE EMBRACED. Another brilliantly played role by MARK FRANKEL sans Scottish accent. Again FOX had a quality show, but ONLY showed 8 episodes before cancellation! And sadly not too long afterwards, MARK FRANKEL died in a motorcycle accident. FOX and MGM/UA never appreciated the actor they had (in FOX's case) or could have had as JAMES BOND redux (in MGM/UA's case) and a shining star met a premature and disappointing end.
Have to agree that this was a lost chance at a worthy spy TV show, the
like of which we haven't seen since The Man from UNCLE. What a fun show
I thought when it was first screened here in Oz. To later learn it had
been canceled merely confirmed my assessment of the lack of imagination
in US TV series these days. I suspect they are afraid to release it to
DVD because it may embarrass to see what a fan base it had. Oops! The
accountants pretending to know what is worthy TV fodder strike again.
I also concur that the series was very like Probe aka Search which also had a very brief tenure.The pilot of that series was recently released to DVD and I found it most entertaining and disappointed that the series was also not released. What astonishes me is that the concept is a great one, worthy of a successful series. I suspect, like Fortune Hunter, if Search had been given a chance to develop, it could have been and interesting and successful series. I do agree thought that the lead actors in Fortune Hunter did create greater interest and fun, than the earlier version, especially when the machinery had to be transplanted to Dial's apartment.
Great show. Please Fox release it to DVD.
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