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Jason King (ITV Crime, Peter Wyngarde, Dennis Price)

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Jason King was a crime drama series spin off from Department S. When Peter Wyngarde appeared as one of a trio of investigators in that very groovy ITC Series in 1968 his character, flamboyant novelist Jason King was intended to be the least used character of the three. Such was King’s impact that he quickly became the focus and Wyngarde an unlikely sex symbol with his dodgy facial hair and even dodgier clothes. When Department S ended it was inevitable that King would get his own series, which he did of course…

Jason King hit the screens in 1971 and the format saw King traveling the world looking for inspiration for his books. Along the way managing to get involved in adventure and damsel in distress saving.

ITC (The Incorporated Television Company) had been founded by the legendary TV mogul Lew Grade to make programmes for his ATV network and ITV but also with an eye on the American market. His action adventure series, of which Jason King is one, have become TV classics. All shot on film and with big name actors the formats all tended to be pretty interchangeable, stock scenes were used across the series. In fact footage of a white jaguar plummeting off the top of a cliff can be seen in pretty much every production.

This is actually one of the things that makes the shows so attractive. They have a cohesiveness that means you know exactly what you are getting. Back lots made to look like European locales, rear projection driving scenes, up and coming names and a huge amount of brilliant fun.

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Jason King the series runs to 26 episodes. It features such great British names as Ingrid Pitt, Alfred Marks, Dennis Price, John Le Mesurier, Yootha Joyce, Michele Dotrice, Kate O’Mara, Isla Blair, Felicity Kendal, Anton Rodgers and Madeline Smith.

production details
UK / ITV Network – ITC-Scoton / 26×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 1971

Creators: Dennis Spooner, Monty Berman / Music: Laurie Johnson / Titles: Chambers + Partners / Producer: Monty Berman

cast
PETER WYNGARDE as Jason King
ANN SHARP as Nicola Harvester
DENNIS PRICE as Sir Brian
RONALD LACEY as Ryland

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EPISODE GUIDE
1. WANNA BUY A TELEVISION SERIES
2. A PAGE BEFORE DYING
3. BURIED IN THE COLD, COLD GROUND
4. DEADLY LINE IN DIGITS
5. VARIATIONS ON A THEME
6. AS EASY AS ABC
7. TO RUSSIA – WITH PANACHE
8. A RED, RED ROSE FOREVER
9. ALL THAT GLISTERS (Part 1)
10. ALL THAT GLISTERS (Part 2)
11. FLAMINGOES ONLY FLY ON TUESDAYS
12. TOKI
13. CONSTANCE MISSAL
14. UNEASY LIES THE HEAD
15. NADINE
16. A KISS FOR A BEAUTIFUL KILLER
17. IF IT’S GOT TO GO – IT’S GOT TO GO
18. THIN BAND OF AIR
19. IT’S TOO BAD ABOUT AUNTIE
20. STONES OF VENICE
21. A ROYAL FLUSH
22. EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
23. CHAPTER ONE: THE COMPANY I KEEP
24. ZENIA
25. AN AUTHOR IN SEARCH OF TWO CHARACTERS
26. THAT ISN’T ME, IT’S SOMEBODY ELSE


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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