I know that my mark is nostalgia-influenced, but I really can't mark down any of the 60's ITC escapist adventure series as they were such a fun part of my childhood, watching classic shows like The Avengers, The Saint, Randall & Hopkirk Deceased, The Champions, Man In A Suitcase, Department S, The Persuaders and this.
Yes, The Baron is a minor-league Simon Templar, a globe-trotting adventurer with an unlikely cover as an antiques dealer who invariably ends up in some foreign intrigue, yes, the production values are fairly low, with studio-bound sets and stock footage of international airports dropped in to futilely attempt to convince the audience the locations are authentic but it's all shot briskly and efficiently, routinely delivering 50 minutes of easily digestible thrills and spills before the stirring theme music comes around again to signal the end (almost every ITC show and certainly the ones I mentioned above all had memorable theme tunes).
Steve Forrest, brother of Dana Andrews, lacks his sibling's personality and charisma but otherwise makes for an acceptable, well-dressed, chisel-jawed leading man while Sue Lloyd provided the glamour, parading the fashions of the day with no little humour, although she invariably is reduced to playing the damsel in distress, no Emma Peel her.
The Baron is a somewhat derivative and fairly light entertainment and probably wouldn't appeal much to anyone who doesn't, like me, remember first watching it on a black and white TV as a child in the mid-60's. But that child was me and decades later, I still can't bring myself to criticise it too much for all its derivation and lack of originality.
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