Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Genres: Action & Adventure, Television, Mystery & Suspense
BEFORE AUSTIN POWERS SWUNG INTO ACTION, JASON KING SET THE STANDARD FOR THE HIP CRIME-FIGHTING INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOY! THE SUAVELY SOPHISTICATED FORMER SECRET AGENT TURNED NOVELIST (PETER WYNGARDE) PURSUES ADVENTURE IN THIS... more »
Ease yourself into absolute pleasure
J. M. Greer | Hexham, Northumberland United Kingdom | 06/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jason King was of the classic british ITC series which were popular round the world in the sixties and seventies. During that era there was an ethos within British television that broadcasters should be producing culturally parochial material which fulfilled a public service agenda- much like Hugo Chavez's current media policies in Venezuala. The results were depressing dramas about drunken parents on poor housing estates etc. Lew Grade the Director of ITC was having none of this and he brazenly set about making glossy productions with high production values, attractive actors and actresses and glamerous overseas locations (albeit with the use of stock footage). Lew Grade's aim was always to score a hit in the USA- the biggest tv market in the world. Ironically the USA was usually the country in which these shows were most poorly received.The Muppet Show, Danger Man (AKA Secret Agent), The Saint, The Prisoner and Space 1999 are familiar to many viewers who grew up in that era, but there many other ITC shows worth discovering.
Jason King is a writer who travels the world drinking Champagn, seducing pretty young women and genrally living a decadent lifesyle. The character was introduced in the earlier series Department S where his imagination was used by Interpol to help them solve bizarre crimes and strange unexplained events- much in the manner that the CIA now consult writers and filmakers to dream up potential scenarios which terrorists might use to undermine our security.
Jason was by far the most popular character in that show and when a follow up was planned the rest of the cast were dropped to focus on the life of the character himself. Peter Wyngarde was nervous about this beciuse he thought that his fabulously flamboyant and over the top character was best used in small doses. To an extent these fears were founded because Jason King lacks the pace and dynamism of the earlier show. What we are treated to is the full excesses of Wyngarde and the joys of his wit and screen presence. In one episode he is given a one-way ticket to London by two soviet agents who want him to leave Vienna straight away. King looks at the ticket and drolly remarks that he never travels economy class.
Wyngarde sports the most incredible 70's fashions much of it culled from his own wardrobe- in one episode he gets though 4 different caftans. What will surprise today's viewers is that nobody suspected that he might be gay despite his high camp manner and penchant for leather outfits. This was, however, a more innocent era. Peter Wyngarde is always a fantastic actor to watch and he brings his full charm and wit to this role.
Some episodes are played fairly seriously while others are played very much for laughs. I think it highly likely that Jason King was a major inspiration for Austin Powers.
If you like British shows,camp humour, decadent living and the 1970's then Jason King is for you- and full marks to Image for the groovy cover."
JASON KING RULES(sorta)!!!!!!!!
Morgan | Portland OR | 08/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
It is another of the 70's ITC imports from britain that I remember watching when I was a kid like "Randall and Hopkirk", a cop show with a ghost in it. However I like JASON KING much better. He's sort of like a swishy euro version of Hunter S. Thompson except that he drinks champagne all the time instead of doing drugs. He juggles his editors deadlines along with the machinations of MI-5 who cant seem to get along without him. The plots are quaint yet intricate, the sets cheap yet luxurious. There is alway witty banter from JASON KING that put me in mind of William Powell in the Thin Man series. It really makes me nostalgic for the Cold War when the West Was The Best! (Sigh). For a low budget BBC show they are actually pretty satircal and a little out of left field, such as the very first episode "Anyone wanna buy a T.V.Show?" where they go back and forth between JASON KING and the tv studio exec and then to the actual plot/episode/fantasy that they are proposing. There is also occasionally some randy bedroom humor that you never would have seen in the U.S.A during the same period. On the whole this show reminds me of the Dr.Who episodes from the early 70's. And of course Peter Wyngarde would have made a great Dr Who! But no matter what you think of the plots (Some are quite amusing) or the circa 1970 british chicks (birds) with their crooked teeth (some of them are amusing too.) Peter Wyngarde is very charming and idiosyncratic as Super cool, intellectual, every European language speakin, chain smokin, lavender cravat wearin and genuinely entertaining JASON KING. "If thats Department S on the phone tell them I'm away on manuevers with the Swiss Navy." JASON KING, YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!
The complete series finally available on DVD.
R. Marco | 12/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the complete 26 original TV episode of 1970s British television series, finally available in one collection. Previously available were only two episodes on DVD. The show is a bit outdated but the character has indubitably his charme and despite being sometime a bit over the line, Jason King is nevertheless an icon of the 70's. King's choiche of fashion, like his ties matching the shirts are still an absolute statement of style and refinement very seldom encountered today. The quality of the DVDs though is not at his best, no remastering appears to have been done to the original episodes and they look a bit grainy. Nevertheless plenty of episodes to enjoy this character and plenty of memory from the past for those who had seen the series in the seventies."
Jason King is Fab!
N. K. Comley | Pennsylvania, USA | 04/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so you have to have a sense of humor to enjoy these shows. They are dated and swing wildly between slap stick and bleak, confusing noir.
That said, they are a hoot. I get the feeling that Peter Wyngarde has a great sense of humor because he really seemed to have fun with the character. Theses shows are great fun to watch."