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The Baron


Steve Forrest & Sue Lloyd star in The Baron

Monty Berman formed a company called Filmaker to make The Baron, based loosely on the characters created by the author John Creasey (writing as Anthony Morton). Terry Nation was recruited as story editor and Dennis Spooner the scriptwriter. The American actor Steve Forrest was cast as John Mannering (The Baron), while Sue Lloyd played Mannering's assistant Cordelia Winfield of the Special Branch Diplomatic Service (SBDS).

Paul Ferris had initially played David Marlowe, the manager of Mannering's London antiques shop, but this character was phased-out after only a few months into the production. Colin Gordon plays John Alexander Templeton-Green, Cordelia's boss at the SBDS. The Baron, made by Lew Grade's Incorporated Television Company (ITC) in 1966 was the first ITC production to be made in colour. The location filming for The Baron took place mainly in the Borehamwood area of Hertfordshire near the Elstree studios where the interior scenes were shot.

Although the character of John Mannering is based on John Creasey's original creation, in the television series John Mannering is a wealthy un-married Texan rancher. John Creasey's original character is British, married and a former jewel thief.

John Mannering, ostensibly an antiques dealer, operates covertly as an agent, in an informal capacity for John Alexander Templeton-Green (Head of the British Diplomatic Intelligence Service). Mannering receives his assignments from Templeton-Green and in recognition of his services, Mannering has Diplomatic Immunity wherever his travels take him.

Mannering's car is a silver Jensen CV-8 Mk II, 'BAR 1', whilst his assistant Cordelia drives a less immpresive Daf 33. In one episode Something For a Rainy Day, a white Jaguar is seen plummeting over a cliff; this scene apparently filmed especially for The Baron was deemed too expensive to be used only once and so this clip can be seen in other episodes and in other television series.

In Creasey's original books, Mannering is British and married. In his transformation to an unmarried Texan, the producers of the show decided that The Baron would be named after the cattle ranch once run by Mannering's grandfather. In John Creasey's original stories John Mannering is a former jewel-thief. Early in the series, Mannering is assisted by David Marlowe, but after pressure from the American networks the Marlowe character was dropped and replaced by Cordelia Winfield who appears in the first episode.

A total of 30 x 60 minute episodes of The Baron were produced, and the series was originally broadcast in the UK from September 28 1966 until April 1967. The show was also sold in the USA and elswhere. The theme tune for the series is by Edwin Astley.
 






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