Jason King

1971 | United Kingdom

A spin-off from the popular ITC series Department S, Jason King starred Peter Wyngarde as the flamboyant playboy investigator and author of his own fictional detective Mark Caine. Forced into working for the government over tax evasion charges by Sir Brian (veteran British actor Dennis Price), and his assistant Ryland (Ronald Lacey), King set out on a series of adventures that were more down to earth than his Department S cases. However, it didn't stop him from enjoying an extravagant lifestyle which necessitated fast cars, foriegn travel and a bevvy of beautiful girls. His publisher, Nicola Harvester was played by Ann Sharp. 

Wyngarde wasn't overly keen on having a series all to himself and felt that the it was mistake to build the series around King minus the two agents (Joel Fabiani and Rosemary Nicols) from the original series. It seems as though he was not alone in his trepidation as ATV chief Lew Grade was reluctant to bankroll the series, which explains the two year gap between 'DS' and this series. But in the end Grade relented telling Wyngarde he was only getting the show because 'my wife likes you.' It seems as though Lady Grade wasn't the only woman who enjoyed Wyngarde's on-screen charm as the women of Australia voted Wyngarde as the man they most wanted to lose their virginity to-no really! Elsewhere the series was a huge hit, too and Jason King became a huge money spinner for ITC, although sadly not for Wyngarde who didn't recieve a penny in royalties and then got hopelessly typecast before being involved in a sex scandal that put paid to the image of any woman losing her virginity to him forever. 

Published on December 24th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

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