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The Baron: The Complete Series

Steve Forrest , Sue Lloyd , Cyril Frankel , Don Chaffey    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:DVD
A couple of years ago I discovered a late night series called `The Baron', a British TV series, based on the book series by John Creasey, and produced by ITC Entertainment.

I didn't know what it was at first because the TV Week programme guide just mentioned the title-you don't get much for your money these days buying Australian TV guides to help you decide what to watch and getting information on the show-in any case I started to watch this particular episode and was surprised it starred Steve Forest as John Mannering, an antiques dealer and undercover agent working in an informal capacity for the head of the fictional British Diplomatic Intelligence, headed by Templeton-Green played by Colin Gordon and was made between 1965-66. (I seem to like the 60's stuff more these days than shows of today).

Low and behold I actually enjoyed it, and I began to watch more of `The Baron'.

Now I bought the DVD of the series complete and uncut as stated on the packaging, watching the series again without commercial interruption.

Steve Forrest is great as John Mannering and he fits the bill perfectly, while Sue Lloyd as Cordelia Winfield plays his female assistant sidekick; she took over from Paul Ferris who played David Marlowe, apparently to show the series to the American market the character of David Marlowe was dropped in favour of Cordelia (how pathetic...thank god now days America has no influence on how to present British TV to its audience-or any other country for that matter). I liked the David Marlowe character, and I believe there was room for him and Cordelia both on the show to give it scope and some depth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First 60's British Action Series in Colour Dec 10 2010
By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Baron: The Complete Series
DVD: Pristine condition for a set this old. No gliches. 8 discs in 1 1/2 " wide cardboard boxed set.

Story: Made by ITC (The Saint w/ Roger Moore and Secret Agent/Danger Man w/ Patrick McGoohan) Simialar adventures of a spy for MI5/art dealer. Good supporting cast -- look for Jeremy Brett before he became S. Holmes. The series gets kudos for being the first action series based on John Creasy's jet set hero, the Baron (nickname, not title) who breaks espionage rings and brings criminal to justice. I gave Danger Man 5 stars, the Saint 5 stars -- why only 4 for the Baron when it's similar and in colour. First, I own all 3 sets. Steve Forester (The Baron) lacks the class and suave sophistication of Roger Moore whether in The Persuaders or The Saint and the wit and presence of Patrick MacGoohan. The stories are similar, but Forester simply can't carry the show. He's good. Moore and MacGoohan are great!

Suggest you buy the series, The Saint and Danger Man/Secret Agent Man, then decide if you want this set. too. If you like the stories in the former you will like the action packed adventure stories of the baron. The 3 are similar except for the presence of the leading man.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the baron April 29 2009
Format:DVD
a serie of my youth that i watched in french at that time and i enjoyed
it very much it s a little bit like the saint with roger moore.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars action-packed British adventure/drama with a dashing American lead. . . Feb. 25 2010
By trebe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The Baron (1966-67), is an entertaining, action-packed series that delivers excitement and thrills, in much the same style as The Saint. The program was produced by Britain's Incorporated Television Company (ITC), whose credits at this time included The Saint, Danger Man, and supermarionation programs like The Thunderbirds, and Fireball XL5. What made The Baron unusual, was that it featured an American actor, Steve Forrest, as its star.

John Mannering, nicknamed `The Baron', was originally a creation of British mystery writer John Creasy. Mannering was British, but for television, ITC changed him to a Texas cattle 'baron', who owned antique shops in London, Paris, and Boston. The series ran for just one season, producing 30 episodes, and was the first ITC production featuring live actors, to be shot in color. Like The Saint, The Baron was also distributed in the US, but because of poor ratings, was not renewed for a second season.

This was unfortunate, as the tall and handsome Forrest clearly demonstrated that an American could perform as a lead in a British action series, with dashing coolness, comparable to Roger Moore. Forrest, is physically a little smaller than Moore, but with fiery blue eyes, a similar wardrobe, and slicked back hair, there is more than a passing resemblance between the two. Forrest has a serious, tough, attitude which differs from the mischievous charm that Roger Moore brought to Simon Templar. The Saint and The Baron, have an extremely similar look, feel, and sound, as Edwin Astley, who provided the music for Danger Man and The Saint, also did the same for The Baron. Long time partners Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman co-created The Baron. Their partnership split, with Baker continuing to work on The Saint, and Berman taking control of The Baron.

Being an antique dealer, proves to be a gateway to thrilling adventure, as Mannering becomes embroiled in a variety of intrigue, with no shortage of mystery, murder, greedy villains, and beautiful women. Mannering mainly moves in the upper echelons of society, and though based in England, also travels to exotic locations. Mannering operates with the help of his associate David Marlowe (Paul Feriss), who is later replaced by Cordelia Winfield (Sue Lloyd, The Ipcress File), a government agent.

Mannering blends in wherever he goes, and has a fair for physical action. His car, a Jensen CV8 Mark II, has the personalized license plate 'BAR1', and is equipped with a car phone, quite an exclusive accessory for 1966. The Baron is a more action oriented program, with a higher level of violence, and use of firearms (many with silencers!), than either The Saint or Danger Man. Dead bodies stack up like cordwood.

The series features some of Britain's best acting talent. Lois Maxwell, Sylvia Syms, Annette Andre, Jane Merrow, Yvonne Furneaux, Bernard Lee, Jeremy Brett, Mike Pratt, Joseph Furst, Anton Diffring, Edward Woodward, Vladek Sheybal, Kenneth J. Warren, Raymond Huntley, Sam Wannamaker, Walter Gotell, David Bauer, and John Orchard, are among the many familiar faces.

The stories usually concern crime, intrigue, or espionage, as John Mannering tangles with crooks, criminals, and agents of foreign governments. The tone of the program changes after Cordelia Winfield replaces David Marlowe as Mannering's sidekick, as her presence helps to soften Mannering's 'all business' attitude. John Mannering isn't one that chases the ladies much, and there is no romance Cordelia. She knows nothing about antiques, but soon becomes a competent aide. On the flip side, as the series progresses, although a government agent, she seems to become less capable physically, and frequently is captured or needs rescuing.

Under the supervision of Terry Nation, the quality of the writing is very good. The action is lively, set in a wide variety of places, and with a very high level of violence. The stories don't repeat themselves, but the series has a few amusing clichés, that seem to be favored by the writers. The biggest, is the ubiquitous use of silencers. Others include cars flying off cliffs, bodies dropping from buildings, corpses falling out of closets, Cordelia's fainting spells, car crashes, and people overhearing conversations at doorways.

Image quality is probably about as good as it gets for an ITC series of this era, although the colors are rather flat. There isn't much dirt or print damage, but there is some softness, strange color shifts (typical for ITC), and most things shot at night look pretty dreadful. Except for long shots, Forrest is rarely doubled, and does most of his own stunts and fights.

The Baron is a tough, solid, action series, that almost always packs a wallop. Steve Forest's performance as an American who never seems out of place, at any level of British society, is impressive and convincing. Unfortunately Forrest is not featured in any of the extras, however Sue Lloyd and others in the production team, provide commentary for three of the episodes. For straight ahead no nonsense action, The Baron is one of ITE's best, and this eight DVD set is definitely recommended to fans of 1960's crime dramas. Steve Forrest would later star in the police drama SWAT (1975).
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining "Saint-Like" Series Aug. 13 2010
By The Saint - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had never heard of this series so I didn't know what to expect when I bought it. I knew it was made by ITC which produced many of my favorite series.
I found the series to be fast-paced and interesting for the most part. The first 10 to 12 episodes are the best but they do tend to drag a little at the end of the series which may be why it only had 1 season.
I believe anyone who liked the Roger Moore "Saint" series from the sixties will also enjoy these.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just don't remember this series? June 5 2013
By Michael Desmond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The 60's / 70's was full of mystery series that were fun to watch, not gross and full of blood, violence and hatred. This short series was in the same vein as the Saint (Roger Moore), The Avengers (Diana Rigg need I say more) and The Persuaders (Tony Curtis).

Great European locations, plots easy and fun to follow. For the price you get 30 shows, plus all kinds of extras about the stars, directors and locations. Neat stuff and for the re-runs of summer 2013 we have something new to watch!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fast Paced Thriller By The Versatile Steve Forrest (1925-2013). May 29 2013
By GranO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Another powerhouse series from ITC, features antique dealer John Mannering, assisted by apprentices David and Cordelia, on the trail of artifacts and criminals. The platonic pairing of Mannering's The Baron, and Cordelia, is very well presented, although unlike Peel and Steed from The Avengers, there is no real sexual tension between them. Steve Forrest, who died this month at age 87, turns out a solid performance in this adaptation from the John Creasey novels.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like stepping back in time Aug. 9 2012
By dr myke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
i watched this tv series when it came out
years ago and i loved it. today it is dated
and it has been re-done a thousand times -
but these stories stand the test of time.
the cast is great. the stories are very good.
it is a great production and cleverly done....
and the settings are interesting and fun.
i am delighted i foudn it again and am
enjoying it. i cannot believe that it was so
reasonably priced. i will watch it over and over
again ............ and add it with pride to my
library.
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