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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > Espionage > British TV > The Sentimental Agent – The Complete Series (1963/Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Import/Web Exclusive)

The Sentimental Agent – The Complete Series (1963/Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Import/Website Exclusive)


Picture: 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 an exclusive.



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.


Carlos 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:


1)     All The Jazz

2)     The Beneficiary

3)     Express Delivery

4)     Never Play Cards With Strangers

5)     May The Saints Preserve Us

6)     Meet My Son, Harry

7)     A Little Sweetness & Light

8)     The Height Of Fashion

9)     A Very Desirable Plot

10)  Finishing School

11)  The Scroll Of Islam

12)  Not Quiet Fully Recovered

13)  A Box Of Tricks



In her 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.


Tudor 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.


The 1.33 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.


Extras 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 Four.



As noted above, you can order this DVD import set exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


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