DVD Tuesday: The Baron, The Adventures of Champion

Tuesday is new DVD day in the United States, with more than a dozen releases hitting stores (both online and brick and mortar) during a typical week. Among today’s releases is The Baron: The Complete Series from Koch Vision. The series, an hour-long drama starring Steve Forrest and Sue Lloyd, was produced in the United Kingdom by ITC. ABC purchased thirteen color episodes in October of 1965 to keep in the wings until needed during mid-season 1966 [1].

A total of thirty episodes were produced and aired in the United Kingdom; ABC only showed the thirteen it ordered. The Baron premiered on ABC on Thursday, January 20th, 1966 at 10PM, replacing The Long, Hot Summer, which itself moved to Wednesdays at 10PM to replace Amos Burke – Secret Agent. Forrest starred as John Mannering, an antiques dealer involved in recovering stolen artwork. Sue Lloyd co-starred as Cordelia Winfield, his assistant. The show was based on a series of novels by John Creasey. In the novels, the Baron was British. In the television series, however, he was an expatriate from the United States.

According to The New York Times, Sue Lloyd’s character was given more screen time as the series progressed because ABC wanted to see more of her [2]. Critic Jack Gould wrote that The Baron “is formula TV, but it is formula TV professionally rendered in mounting execution” [3]. Clay Gowrawn was less impressed: “[W]hat was lacking in the opener was a decent plot with a spark of different, and dialog with some spirit and zest to it” [4].

When ABC released its 1966-1967 sechedule in late February, The Baron had been dropped, along with eighteen other shows [5]. Now, however, thanks to Koch Vision, you can see all thirty episodes of the series, with bonus features including interviews and audio commentaries, according to the Koch Vision website.

Also being released this week is The Adventures of Champion – Best of Season 1, with ten episodes of the 1955-1956 series, and Get Smart: Season Two. For a full list of today’s releases, check TVShowsOnDVD.com.

Works Cited: 1 Adams, Val. “N.B.C. Buys Films from Universal.” New York Times. 22 Oct. 1965: 87.
2 Gardner, Paul. “‘The Baron’ — Bonded in Britain.” New York Times. 6 Feb. 1966: X19.
3 Gould, Jack. “TV: ‘Baron,’ New Secret Agent, Here.” New York Times. 21 Jan. 1966: 48.
4 Gowran, Clay. “Newest Spy on TV is Bad as Old Ones.” Chicago Tribune. 21 Jan. 1966: A11.
5 Adams, Val. “A.B.C.’s Fall Schedule to Omit 19 Present Shows.” New York Times. 28 Feb. 1966: 53.


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