Jason King (TV)
R2 - United Kingdom - Network
Review written by and copyright: Paul Lewis (18th July 2008).
The Show


Adventurer. Spy. Private investigator. Novelist. Ladykiller. Dandy. Egotist. Revolving around the flamboyant and fashionably-attired character of Jason King, this follow-up series to Department S (1969) is a much less serious and far more witty affair, aided in no small part by the ironic screen persona of Peter Wyngarde. Wyngarde plays King as a vain dandy, a chauvinist who is nonetheless entirely sympathetic and is frequently childishly self-centred. In the episode ‘The Constance Missal’, King is referred to as ‘a typical male chauvinist: arrogant, vain and pompous’; in many ways, this is a fair summing-up of King’s character, and this chauvinistic aspect of the character is the source of much humour within the series. In ‘A Thin Band of Air’, when finding the tyres of his car slashed by an unknown assailant King off-handedly dismisses his female photographer's declarations of women's lib and male-female equality: ‘You’ve been yapping all day about women’s liberation and the equality of the sexes […] The brace, the jack and the spare tyre and all the weapons you need to prove your equality are in the boot’. King's chauvinistic attitude is also undermined by the ways in which the character is frequently the victim of scheming femmes fatales: in ‘Nadine’ he is seduced by the titular character (played by Hammer horror icon Ingrid Pitt) and asserts that ‘Oh, my dear, you are neurotic, and neurotic women have always been fatal for me’.

The joy of watching these 26 episodes of Jason King lies in Wyngarde’s portrayal of King. King is an egotist (‘I am my most favourite subject’, he tells Hildegard Neil’s character in ‘Flamingoes Only Fly on Tuesdays’) who is nonetheless entirely sympathetic doe to the sense of innocent glee in Wyngarde’s performance: like Patrick Macnee’s performance as John Steed in The Avengers (1961-1969), Wyngarde plays King as an almost childlike figure, a man who manages to be both knowing and naïve and is frequently prone to bouts of buffoonery. King is a man who unwittingly wanders into sticky situations: in ‘Flamingoes Only Fly on Tuesdays’ King becomes embroiled in a case involving gun smuggling only when he unknowingly uses the codeword ‘flamingoes’, thus making himself the target of an investigation into weapons that are being smuggled into a South American country in order to be passed on to revolutionaries. (In the episode, the word ‘flamingoes’ is used as a codeword for illegal weapons.) Likewise, in ‘The Constance Missal’ King’s confidently chauvinistic attempt to ‘put straight’ the two female thieves who have stolen his manuscript is comically thwarted when one of the women breaks a chair with a karate chop.


Many of the episodes offer a knowing satire of the genre of exotic espionage and crime novels popularised in the early- to mid-Twentieth Century by authors such as Eric Ambler, David Dodge, Graham Greene and Ian Fleming. In fact, several episodes offer direct parodies of well-known plots. For example, ‘If It’s Got To Go – It’s Got To Go’ satirises Ian Fleming’s Bond novel Thunderball (and its subsequent film adaptation). Like James Bond in Thunderball, King spends time in a health clinic and discovers the place to be a hotbed of spies. However, whereas in Fleming’s novel Bond is capable of defeating the enemy agents with almost no help, Jason King finds himself drugged and in a position where his only chance of rescue is through the bravery and selflessness of his new secretary (Jennifer Harvey). The episode ‘Variations on a Theme’ likewise offers a pastiche of The Third Man: in a plot that mirrors Holly Martins’ (Joseph Cotton) movement to Vienna following the supposed death of his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles), King is drawn to Vienna following the receipt of a cryptic message that claims to be from Alan Keeble (Ralph Bates), a friend who King believed to be dead. Like Martins in The Third Man, King finds himself used as a tool by espionage agents on both sides and discovers that there is more to his former friend’s life in Vienna than King was led to believe.

The show is cleverly postmodern, both in its allusions to other novels and films and in its self-referentiality. King, the author of Mark Caine novels, is often confused with his fictional creation: this is an ongoing aspect of the series. In the episode entitled ‘Nadine’, Nadine tells King that ‘You change, Mark Caine has completely taken over […] The fantasy world becomes more real than the real one’; King’s response is to assert that ‘It’s only because the real world is much more improbable, much more like fiction’. Likewise, in ‘Flamingoes Only Fly on Tuesdays’ the character of Pelli (Hugh McDermott) asserts that ‘The worlds of Marc Caine and Jason King are extremely close together. I think you would run guns just to get the feel of them’. This aspect of the character of Jason King is usually taken as a direct nod towards Ian Fleming (see Chapman, 2002: 192), who some biographers tell us shared a similarly ambiguous relationship with his chief fictional creation, the character of James Bond (see Pearson, 2003; Cabell, 2008; MacIntyre, 2008).

‘Wanna Buy a Television Series?’ is the most self-reflexive (and the most innovative) episode within the series. The episode offers a satire of the market-driven medium of television, revolving around King’s attempts to outline a narrative for the pilot episode of the proposed Mark Caine-centred television series. Sitting in the office of the American network controller Harry Carmel (David Bauer), King narrates the plot of the episode he has written; shots of King speaking in Carmel’s office are intercut with fragments of the Mark Caine story he is telling. However, King’s plans are frustrated by the uncultured Carmel, who doesn’t see the need for the series to focus on Caine and tells King that ‘in television you have to, er, “punch” into the story’; King responds by saying ‘What about motivation and characterisation?’ Carmel declares ‘Who cares about characterisation? [….] Well, sure, in your novels you need it, but in television I’ve got all those other channels to worry about. One wrong move, and we’ve lost our audience’. Carmel wants King to introduce the villain immediately and make the major plot points more obvious, simplifying the narrative; King responds by saying ‘Nobody approves more of simplification, but over-simplification leads to utter confusion and static scenes. It’ll all be clear as the story progresses’. Carmel asserts: ‘Jason, you know that and I know that, but we’re intelligent people. I think we should give the viewers these facts again’. To this, King is visibly angered by Carmel’s lack of understanding of the narrative and his attempts to ‘dumb down’ the material, and King sarcastically responds by stating ‘Why not run the scene twice?’ Carmel also suggests that Mark Caine will need an assistant because the actor playing Mark Caine ‘will need some days off. A TV series is very rough on the lead actor, Jason’. Again, King’s response is laced with sarcasm: ‘Well, why not make it with puppets, or as a cartoon?’ Taking King’s comment at face value, Carmel declares ‘I wish I could. It would be a lot cheaper, and no temperaments’.


In light of some of the comments that have been made about Jason King, both in the newly-filmed documentary ('Wanna Watch a Television Series? Part Two - A Fish Out of Water') included in this DVD set and elsewhere, it’s difficult not to see this episode as a conduit for some of the cast and crew’s feelings about the series: in the documentary (contained on the seventh disc in the set), the interviewees discuss the problems encountered when trying to sell Jason King to American broadcasters and the attempts that were made to give King a regular sidekick. The documentary also focuses on the problems caused by the cost-cutting decision to shoot the series on 16mm. Until then, most of the ITC shows had been shot on 35mm film, but early in the development of Jason King a decision was made to use 16mm instead; this reduced costs, but according to the BFI’s TV consultant Dick Fibby it also made the series difficult to market to overseas broadcasters who were used to the more filmic qualities of ITC series like The Saint, The Champions and Danger Man, all of which were shot on 35mm.


In the accompanying documentary, both Burt Kwouk and Kate O’Mara state that the show is ‘dated’, with O’Mara declaring that the series has to be seen as ‘a period piece’. This is evident not just through the fashions but also through some of the attitudes and jokes within the series. As noted above, King’s chauvinistic attitude towards women is skewered throughout the series. For example, in ‘The Constance Missal’ King is engaged in a conversation with a young woman named Claudia (Geraldine Moffat). Claudia tells King that she is ‘an expert […] [at] [t]hought transference, prophecy, astral projection, hypnotic mental domination’. King grumbles, ‘I hope that’s the longest sentence I’ll ever hear you utter’. Disgruntled, Claudia states that ‘Jason, as far as you’re concerned, I’m good for only one thing’; to which King responds by declaring ‘That remains to be seen’. Only once does one of these jokes fall flat, when in ‘Flamingoes Only Fly on Tuesdays’ King declares that ‘Offhand, I can only think of four ways of persuading a woman: seduction, extortion, gentle deception and rape’. Such jokes are so anathemic to modern sensibilities that even in the most liberal household this line is likely to be met with an uncomfortable pause. However, as O’Mara suggests, more than many series of this period, Jason King is something of a time capsule and should be judged on its own terms.

In the documentary, the interviewees also discuss the ways in which Jason King deviated from the template set by Department S. Fibby suggests that in Department S King has ‘two relatively “straight” people to play off against, and a relatively “straight” and traditional world […] So he comes across as a fantastic, flamboyant character in a normal world’; on the other hand, in Jason King the world that King ‘inhabits becomes much more fantastical, and to compensate for that he becomes even more outrageous and “campy”’. This development in the character of King is evident throughout the series, from the costumes and outrageous bouffant wig that Wyngarde wears to the character’s behaviour. During production, Wyngarde was apparently concerned about the way in which the new series focused entirely on the character of King: interviewed in Robert Sellers’ book Cult TV: The Golden Age of ITC, he states that it ‘was a mistake’ to drop his co-stars in Department S ‘[b]ecause Jason King was an outrageous character. He was over the top in so many ways, so you don’t want to see a lot of him. And the great thing about Department S was that the others did all the groundwork, and then you were dying for Jason King to come on to get some light relief. But with Jason King the series, they got rid of those two, against my wishes’ (Sellers, 2006: 206).

This is an important comment, because much as I enjoyed revisiting Jason King via this DVD set, finding its brand of exotic escapism far more entertaining than I remembered it to be, the series is a definite step down from Department S. Despite some good use of location footage from around Europe, visually the series is much more ‘flat’ and cheap-looking thanks to the decision to use 16mm film: 16mm works with the kinds of low-key, naturalistic crime dramas that Euston Films pioneered during the 1970s (for example, The Sweeney, 1975-1979, Out, 1978, and Fox, 1980), but a flamboyantly escapist show such as Jason King really demands to be shot on glossy 35mm film. For most people, 16mm film signifies ‘realism’ thanks to its associations with newsreel footage. (However, as a counterpoint to this argument, on one of the audio commentaries contained on the Jason King DVD set released in Australia by Umbrella, Wyngarde suggests that he prefers the look of 16mm film for the series as it makes the show seem more fantastical and removed from reality.) Additionally, although Wyngarde is a delight in this role, without Department S’s Joey Fabiani and Rosemary Nichols to ‘ground’ the series Jason King can be quite tiring to watch for extended periods of time: King’s movement from the comic relief within Department S to the centrepiece of Jason King is handled effectively but placing such a flamboyant character at the centre stage of the drama means that this series lacks the dramatic weight that Department S possessed. In his book, Sellers declares that Jason King is ‘one of the weakest in the ITC canon’ (Sellers, 2006: 210). I would disagree with Sellers’ comment, as Wyngarde’s performance as King is more than enough reason to watch this series. Nevertheless, it’s not at the top tier of British fantasy/action series; but Wyngarde’s energetic and witty performance as Jason King (the man who, in ‘Uneasy Lies the Head’, asserts that ‘With criminals and with women there’s a time to move fast and a time to stay put’) means that there’s a huge amount of fun to be had from these episodes.

Video


As noted above, the series was shot on 16mm. Quality is more than acceptable, although some episodes look much better than others: the later episodes seem to look better than the earlier stories. Prior to production getting into full swing, Wyngarde and one of the regular directors, Cyril Frankel, travelled around Europe and shot footage in various locations for insertion into the episodes, and for some reason this location footage tends to look much more ragged than the in-studio footage. Although there’s nothing wrong with the presentation of this series, on the whole it looks less impressive than some DVD releases of other television shows that were shot on 16mm, including Network’s releases of The Sweeney and Out. However, this is a reflection of the materials that were provided to Network for use in this DVD release rather than the DVD transfer itself.

The series is presented in its original ratio of 4:3.

Audio

Sound is presented via a two-channel mono soundtrack. Dialogue is mostly clear but sometimes it’s bassy and very occasionally a line of dialogue is difficult to distinguish.

Unfortunately, there are no subtitles.

Extras

On every disc there is an image gallery containing extensive stills from the episodes contained on the disc.



The bulk of the contextual material is to be found on disc seven, which contains:
’Textless Opening and Closing Titles’ (1:31): the opening and closing titles sequences of the show, silent and without any text whatsoever. As the information on the DVD itself states, ‘[t]hese examples of textless material allowed foreign broadcasters to overlay their own captions’.

’Textless Material’ (1:17): this consists of the post-credits opening footage from two episodes (‘Nadine’ and ‘That Isn’t Me, It’s Somebody Else’), sans the captions bearing the episode title. Again, this material was intended for adaptation by foreign broadcasters.

’Commercial Break Bumper’ (0:08): the original ‘break bumper’ used as a segue into (and out from) ad breaks.

’Russell Harty Plus Peter Wyngarde’ (6:15): An interview with Wyngarde about his role in the stage version of The King and I. Wyngarde is interviewed alongside his co-star in the show, Sally Ann Howes. Howes and Wyngarde perform a musical number from the show. This footage is from a 1973 edition of the interview show Russell Harty Plus.

’Image Gallery With Music Suite’ (18:07): a series of stills from Jason King, accompanied by some of the music used in the series.

The ‘meatiest’ extra feature is a newly-produced documentary (38:14) about the series, titled ’Wanna Watch a Television Series? Chapter Two: A Fish Out of Water’. Narrated by Peter Bowles, the documentary follows on directly from the documentary contained in Network’s DVD release of Department S, ‘Wanna Watch a Television Series? Chapter One: Variations on a Theme’. There are extensive interviews with Wyngarde’s co-stars in Department S, Rosemary Nichols and Joey Fabiani, Leslie Darbon (one of the writers on Department S), Dick Fibby (TV consultant for the BFI), director Cyril Frankel, assistant director Ken Baker, actor Burt Kwouk and actress Kate O’Mara.

The interviewees discuss the failure of Department S in America, which is blamed for the lack of interest in delivering any further series of the show. The documentary focuses heavily on the appeal of the Jason King character, the relationship between the character of King and Peter Wyngarde, the ways in which the series deviates from the general characteristics of ITC’s shows (Kwouk claims that the character of King ‘came out of left-field’ in comparison with the rest of the ‘matinee idol’-style ‘ITC leading men’) and the technical circumstances surrounding the production, including the decision to shoot on 16mm film.

This documentary is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with anamorphic enhancement.

This disc also contains several DVD-ROM features, including a reproduction of the original ITC brochure (4 pages), ITC’s press info (16 pages) and ITC-produced synopses (54 pages) for all of the episodes within the series.

There is an easter egg on this disc too. To access it, start the documentary and then skip ahead to chapter 11. There, you will find 'Peter Wyngarde in "The Pink Prisoner"' (9:22), an interview with Wyngarde about his involvement in Patrick McGoohan’s 1967 series The Prisoner.

The eighth disc contains ’The Crossfire’ (75:39), an episode of ITV’s Sunday Night Drama strand from 1967. This serious drama focuses on the French-Algerian war and features Peter Wyngarde, Ian Hendry, Roger Delgado and Eric Portman. This is a fascinating little drama and is a brilliant addition to this DVD set, as it not only showcases Wyngarde’s ability as a dramatic actor but is also thought-provoking in its treatment of the issue of terrorism.

Overall

For fans of vintage British telly, I would give this set a strong recommendation. Thanks to the sheer pleasure to be had from the series and the inclusion of some great contextual material (in particular, the documentary), Network’s DVD release of this iconic early-1970s series is a solid purchase. This is a very welcome DVD release of a hugely entertaining series, and frankly revisiting Jason King via this DVD set I was surprised at how good the series is. As Jason King himself states in 'The Constance Missal', 'My script isn't a museum piece... yet'.

And, to quote the original ITC press information, ‘It’s a series to make the viewer forget the world’s worries!’

References
Cabell, Chris, 2008: Ian Fleming’s Secret War. Pen & Sword Military

Chapman, James, 2002: Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s. I. B. Tauris

MacIntyre, Ben, 2008: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond. Bloomsbury Publishing

Pearson, John, 2003: The Life of Ian Fleming: The Man Who Created James Bond. Aurum Press, Ltd (Revised)

Sellers, Robert, 2006: Cult TV: The Golden Age of ITC. Plexus



Episode Breakdown:
Disc One:

‘Nadine’ (49:25)
During a visit to the ballet, King is reminded by Nicola that he hasn’t completed his new novel even though he has been paid a very handsome advance. Nicola tells King that she plans to send him to Athens for inspiration. Meanwhile, in Athens Achille (Patrick Mower) constructs a ‘honey trap’ for King, hiring the beautiful Nadine (Ingrid Pitt) to act as bait. The plan is to use King’s celebrity as a decoy that will allow them to smuggle drugs across the border.

‘A Thin Band of Air’ (50:00)
During a promotional shoot at an abandoned fairground, King is targeted by a sniper. Returning home, King finds that his house has been broken into by Rene (T. P. McKenna), an old acquaintance of King’s. Rene tells King that a contract has been put on King’s head. The man who is trying to kill King is John Hewlett (John Hallam), who was sent to jail for seven years following a failed kidnapping in which the ransom money mysteriously disappeared. Hewlett believes that King knows where the missing ransom money is hidden, and King tries to find out what the only clue that he has to the case (the phrase ‘a thin band of air’) means.

‘A Deadly Line in Digits’ (49:54)
Whilst on a skiing holiday in St Moritz, King is approached by Her Majesty’s Government with a job, but King turns the offer down. Upon returning to England, King discovers that he owes £250,000 in unpaid tax and is railroaded into working for HM Government in solving a series of robberies that appear to be using information stored within Scotland Yard’s new computer. To catch the criminals, King disguises himself as a visiting Bulgarian and goes undercover to visit a convention of criminals in which ‘projects’ (i.e. criminal plans) are auctioned off.

‘Flamingoes Only Fly on Tuesdays’ (49:48)
In an unnamed foreign country, a journalist is interrogated in a jail cell by a government official named Pelli (Hugh McDermott). Pelli asks the man ‘And how are the flamingoes today?’ Pelli threatens to execute the journalist but escorts him out of the country instead. At the same time, King arrives at the airport and makes a flippant remark about flamingos; King is unaware of his use of the codeword ‘flamingoes’, but his comment attracts the attention of a security official. King is accused of running guns to help political rebels in the country; he is also implicated in the kidnapping of local policewoman Lyra (Hildegaard Neil) and must prove his innocence.

Disc Two:
'Chapter One: The Company I Keep' (49:57)
At a party in an isolated villa, a young woman working as an escort is discovered to have kept a record of some of the high-profile visitors. She is found dead in the grounds of the villa. Investigating the crime, the local police are led to the nightclub in which the young woman worked as a dancer. In the country for a hunting trip, King discovers that the crime (and its precise location) seems to parallel a situation in one of his Mark Caine novels. King visits the villa and becomes embroiled in the murder case.

'If It's Got To Go - It's Got To Go' (49:51)
King is persuaded by his new secretary (Jennifer Harvey) to spend some time in a health clinic, the ‘Klinik Wilstein’. However, it seems that the Klinik Wilstein is being used as a front for an espionage business that is headed by the clinic’s doctor (John Le Mesurier): captive enemy agents are taken there in order to be brainwashed. Whilst staying at the clinic, King is drugged; whilst in his drugged state, he witnesses a man being killed. However, his attempts to enlist help fail and it is down to King’s secretary to save the day.

'Variations on a Theme' (49:51)
In Vienna, an old friend of King’s, the double agent Alan Keeble (Ralph Bates), is apparently killed. King believes his friend to be dead, but when he receives a message which claims to be from Keeble he travels to Vienna to investigate the murder and is drawn into a web of intrigue that involves ghosts from his past. King is caught between a British agent (Julian Glover) and a beautiful Russian spy (Alexandra Bastedo), both of whom try to use King to lure Bates out of hiding.

'Buried in the Cold, Cold Ground' (49:45)
Driving through France, King picks up a hitchhiker, young literature student Felicity (Michele Dotrice). Felicity and King spot another hitchhiker, a man. Against his better judgement, King is persuaded by Felicity to offer the man a lift. The man, Lanz (Lewis Fiander), asks King to deliver a mysterious metal box to an address in Avignon. Lanz is being pursued by two criminals, Dacre (Frederick Jaeger) and Sandry (Gary Raymond), who are after the contents of the box and are willing to commit murder in order to get their hands on it.

Disc Three:
'As Easy as A.B.C.' (50:03)
Two gentlemen burglars, Charles and Edward (Nigel Green and Michael Bates), seem to be using King’s novels as a template for their crimes. Naturally, King falls under suspicion and is arrested for their crimes. Fortunately, King is released and with the help of Arlene (Yutte Stensgaard) he is determined to catch the real villains. Meanwhile, Charles and Edward have progressed to murder and plot to kill Jason King.

'A Kiss for a Beautiful Killer' (49:43)
In a South American country, King is abducted by associates of the cultural attaché Delphi Mercia (Kate O’Mara). However, King manages to escape. It seems that one of his novels has struck too close to home for the totalitarian regime’s comfort and the Minister of Culture (Patrick Westwood) and Colonel Cordoba (Clifford Evans) hope to get King to reveal the identity of the traitor that, they believe, provided King with the information that he used in his novel. King is arrested, but en route to prison he is freed by rebels and helps to stage a coup.

'A Page Before Dying' (50:18)
Seeking to transfer an agent named Gorini (Olaf Pooley) out of West Berlin, the British government decide to enlist King’s help as one of his novels ‘describes a perfect method for bringing a man from East Berlin into West Berlin’. However, the CIA are also interested in Gorini and so are the East German authorities. King is caught between the three groups of secret service agents and must find a way to get himself out of danger.

'It's Too Bad About Auntie' (50:10)
A young man terrorises his elderly, housebound aunt; later, the man breaks into another house and commits a murder. During the police investigation, it is revealed that the man has stolen a vacuum cleaner, and King seeks to understand this apparently motiveless crime and the relationship between the stolen vacuum cleaner and the elderly lady.

Disc Four:
'A Red, Red Rose For Ever' (49:50)
During a flight to Geneva, a hitman named Carson (Mike Pratt) suffers a mild stroke. King comes to Carson’s aid, unaware of the man’s criminal background, but Carson is rushed to hospital. Having been given Carson’s bouquet of red roses by an air hostess (Isla Blair), when he steps off the plane King is mistaken for the hitman and becomes embroiled in an assassination attempt.

'Uneasy Lies the Head' (49:29)
In Istanbul, a captured member of a drug trafficking operation is executed in his cell by a young man and woman who throw a hand grenade through a vent. King is approached by Ryland to take down the organisation, but when he refuses Ryland arranges an accident for King (which utilises the services of King’s new secretary, played by Juliet Harmer) and sends an imposter, Alfred Trim (Lance Percival), to Istanbul in King’s place.

'The Constance Missal' (50:29)
A pair of young women, Claudia (Geraldine Moffat) and Elaine (Janey Key), rob an old country house. Later, King is seen at a psychic gala with Claudia: he is unaware of her criminal tendencies. Upon returning from the gala King is hypnotised by Claudia, who steals King’s latest manuscript. Claudia and Elaine are plotting the theft of the Constance Missal, which is valued at £50,000, and using the stolen manuscript of King’s next novel as a bargaining tool they blackmail King into helping them.

'Wanna Buy a Television Series?' (49:50)
King is attempting to sell the rights to his Mark Caine novels to USTVC, who plan to make a television series that features the character of Mark Caine. King proposes a narrative for the opening episode but finds that he is constantly interrupted by the American network controller Harry Carmel (David Bauer), who wants to change King’s idea in order to make it more marketable in a television environment. King responds with increasing anger towards Carmel’s attempts to ‘dumb down’ the material.

Disc Five:
‘Toki’ (49:57)
Parisian gangster Jean le Grand (Kieron Moore) learns from his associate Olivier (David Buck) that a shipment of emeralds worth one million francs is due to arrive in Paris imminently. However, Olivier has eyes for le Grand’s ‘moll’ Toki (Felicity Kendal). Meanwhile, Jason King is in Paris and, in a café, bumps into Toki. King and Toki begin an affair, and le Grand plots to have King murdered.

‘To Russia… With Panache’ (50:24)
In Moscow, a delegation of three men appears to be incinerated within an experimental elevator. This bizarre crime baffles the Russian police, who abduct Jason King, bringing him to Moscow in a crate, and persuade him to investigate the crime. However, King is convinced that the delegates are not dead and that a plot has been constructed to steal the treasure that once belonged to the Czar.

‘All That Glisters…’ (Part One) (49:55)
‘All That Glisters…’ (Part Two) (49:33)
The fabled Cellini statue is stolen from the home of a Californian named Deshfield (Leslie French). Deshfield hires the adventurer John Mallen (Clinton Greyn) to retrieve the statue. In Paris, Mallen bumps into his old friend Jason King, who is in the city on a pleasure trip with Jonquil (Madeline Smith). However, when an attempt is made on Mallen’s life King becomes involved in the search for the statue.

Disc Six:
‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ (50:11)
In Hong Kong, Jason King finds that the adaptation of a Mark Caine novel into comic strip form has resulted in an eccentricity of translation.

‘A Royal Flush’ (50:07)
King discovers that his burgeoning romance with Princess Vania (Penelope Horner) is having an unexpected criminal outcome.

‘Zenia’ (49:56)
During a flight, King recognises an assassin. King selflessly risks his life in order to secure the future of the kidnapped daughter of the president of the country that King is visiting.

‘The Stones of Venice’ (49:13)
In Venice, King discovers that he is to be commended for his novel ‘The Stones of Venice’. However, King did not write ‘The Stones of Venice’, and the situation becomes complicated when an attempt is made on King’s life by two would-be assassins.

Disc Seven:
‘An Author in Search of Two Characters’ (49:57)
King accepts an offer to rewrite a film script. In exchange for his services, King is paid in cash. However, his money is stolen by two disguised villains.

‘That Isn’t Me, It’s Somebody Else’ (49:53)
Jason King finds himself proposed to by a female friend. Reluctant to enter into marriage with the woman, King goes into hiding. However, matters are complicated when King discovers that someone has been impersonating him.

For more information, please see the website of Network DVD.

The Show: Video: Audio: Extras: Overall: