The Sentimental Agent – The Complete Series (1963/Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Import/Website
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
PLEASE NOTE: This DVD set can only be operated
on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Two/2 PAL
format software and can be only be ordered from our friends at Network U.K. at
the website address provided at the end of the review. This set is only available on their site as
After Peter Gunn had been such a huge hit for
Craig Stevens, he moved from that hit to Man
Of The World in 1962, which did not last as long thanks to the same British
Actors strike that disrupted The Avengers to the point that Ian Hendry did not
return to that hit. Before Stevens’ British
series was cancelled, a spin-off called The
Sentimental Agent was launched in 1963 and it lasted only a half
season. However, it was as ambitious as
the other shows and was another ITC attempt to add to their growing portfolio
of hits like Danger Man and The Saint.
Thompson (in one of his last major roles) played Carlos Varela, a spy for the
Mercury organization, assisted by his secretary, Miss Suzy Carter (Clemence
Bettany) and his valet Chin (the legendary Burt Kwouk). This hour-long series produced 13 episodes that
are not as dated as you might think and a pleasure to watch, including:
All The Jazz
Never Play Cards With Strangers
May The Saints Preserve Us
Meet My Son, Harry
A Little Sweetness & Light
The Height Of Fashion
A Very Desirable Plot
10) Finishing School
11) The Scroll Of Islam
12) Not Quiet Fully Recovered
13) A Box Of Tricks
first on-screen role, Diana Rigg turns up as the daughter of a very important
man in Episode 9, which happens to be written by the man who would put her on
the international map forever, Avengers
mastermind Brain Clemens. The show is
more of a standard narrative and Rigg gives a very different kind of
performance in a more passive role, but it is very interesting just the same. Thompson missed a few of the last shows, but
it is uncertain as of this posting (give or take going on vacation) why.
Gates and Julian Bond are among the writers who penned teleplays, while the
ever reliable John Paddy Carstairs, Charles Frend and Harold French were among
the directors who handled the show’s pace well.
From its theme song by Ivor Slaney, Story Editing by Ian Stuart Black
(who also wrote on the show) and editing by the likes of John Glen, this is a
quality show worth rediscovering. If
this had gone on to be a hit, the quality would have been there to sustain a
long run. The shows can be dated in
their content more than expected, but the laidback aspect of the show will be
appealing to viewers and it definitely want to emulate the Orson Welles aspects
of the genre.
X 1 black and white image on all episodes was shot in 35mm film, usually by
Brendan J. Stafford and the show looks really good, even if the age of the
prints at times and some softness hold back what is a set of episode copies
with their share of great visual moments.
The prints look good enough for Blu-ray otherwise and the Dolby Digital
2.0 Mono is consistently good for its age.
Yes, it has flaws too, but is pretty good considering the time recorded.
include stills sections for each show on their respective DVD, a
behind-the-scenes/press still section on Disc One and, Burt Kwouk – With This Face
featurette where the actor discusses his great success on ITC shows on Disc
above, you can order this DVD import set exclusively from Network U.K.
- Nicholas Sheffo