Actor Steve Forrest is probably best remembered for his role as "Lt. 'Hondo' Harrelson," leader of the team in the classic mid-'70s cop drama S.W.A.T.
(he even had a cameo in the 2003 Sam Jackson film that was a remake of the series). But a decade before that, he starred in the British crime drama The Baron
, which was based on a series of books that author John Creasey wrote under the name of "Anthony Morton." Forrest's titular character in this ITV-produced program was John Mannering, who in the opening episode is revealed to be an antiques dealer from America who runs a shop in London.
After his shop is robbed by international thieves, Mannering works with Britain's Diplomatic Intelligence group to travel behind the Iron Curtain and solve the case. It works out so well that he stays on with Diplomatic Intelligence, and continues to help them. The series would end up being compared to other ITV-produced programs of the same era, The Saint
and Danger Man
...only with a crime theme rather than a spy theme. The show ran for 30 episodes, and co-starred Sue Lloyd (The Ipcress File, The Stud, Revenge of the Pink Panther
). Episodes were written by the likes of Terry Nation (Doctor Who, Blake's 7
), Dennis Spooner (Thunderbirds, Doctor Who
) and Brian Clemens (The Avengers
, and a relative of Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens).
Koch Vision is preparing an 8-disc DVD release of The Baron - The Complete Series
, coming to the USA market on March 10th
. Pricing hasn't been finalized yet, but is expected to roughly be in the $55-$75 range (as a list price). Video will be full-screen, and audio is listed as English - Dolby Surround. No word yet on extras, if any. But we do have a look at the front cover art from the box: