36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Not the classic that I remembered...:(,
This review is from: The Adventurer - The Complete Series [DVD]  (DVD)
Let me first say that I find all ITC action series at the very least "watchable" - There's always a sense of frivolous fun and non-threatening danger that harkens back to the old cliffhangers of the 1940's. My personal favourite is THE SAINT, but THE BARON, THE PERSUADERS and THE CHAMPIONS all give me fond memories of school holidays in the 1980's (Oh for the days of no onscreen graphics and only two commercial breaks per hour again!)
THE ADVENTURER used to do the same and I snapped up this set, but in the cold light of day I found the series rather souless,bland and ultimately disappointing. Even before watching the interviews in this set I thought the problem stemmed from Gene Barry - He often doesn't seem interested in what he's doing and the notion that this aging ham with a face like an old boot can attract some of the most gorgeous female stars of the era (Stephanie Beecham, Judy Geeson and Catherine Schell among others) and have placard-waving teenage groupies following him around beggers belief.
The poor quality 16mm filmstock used doesn't help either, making the series look cheap, tatty and rather grimy. Gerry Anderson's THE PROTECTORS was also shot on 16mm but the DVD boxset of that (far more enjoyable) series has been cleaned up superbly and looks great.
On the plus side we have BARRY MORSE as good as ever as "MISTER PARMINTER", and it's to the actors credit that, even though he himself wasn't too enamoured with the series, he made the character likeable and rounded. In fact, the best episodes (in my opinion) tend to be the few where GENE BARRY takes a back seat to leave BARRY MORSE, CATHERINE SCHELL and GARRICK HOGAN to carry the story along.
Then we have the behaviour of the "star" - Never a huge name, Gene Barry obviously saw THE ADVENTURER as a change to promote himself and get the treatment he thought he deserved, not seeming to care who he upset along the way. The treatment meted out to likeable & talented STUART DAMON was a disgrace (It's upsetting when Stuart recounts the negative effects this had on him and his career), and when even beautiful CATHERINE SCHELL was ousted the series suffered. Contrast this with ROGER MOORE in THE SAINT, an actor who by all accounts went out of his way to welcome guest stars, get to know the technicians and make the atmosphere of the shoot an enjoyable experience for all. Apparantly on THE ADVENTURER, Barry Morse had to direct some episodes as several of the scheduled directors wouldn't work with the lead!
Knowing this, it's difficult to watch Gene Barry pretending to get on with people and still enjoy the series as I once did, but there is some fun to be had here and the theme tune is as cool as ever (another John Barry masterpiece!). Ironic that many years later STUART DAMON is now going from strength to strength in the US series GENERAL HOSPITAL while Gene Barry has disappeared from sight... Karma?