The 1971 cult British TV series Jason King is coming to Region 1 DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment on May 1, 2007. The great Peter Wyngarde stars as the titular hero, spun off from the best of ITC's Avengers clones, Department S. Jason King is a big-haired fop who traverses Europe romancing beautiful women and sporting incredibly scary facial hair. He also gets roped into plenty of espionage adventures, though he tries his best to avoid them, preferring to focus on writing his trashy "Mark Caine" thrillers.
James Chapman aptly describes Jason King in his essential Saints & Avengers as "the most parodic of all the British adventure series, surpassing even The Avengers" and correctly calls the title character "the most absurdly camp hero in the history of television detectives." He goes on to observe that "although all popular culture is a product of and for its times, this truism is especially so in the case of Jason King. The excessively dandyish playboy hero belongs to that moment in the early 1970s when the cultural changes of the previous decade had reached their fullest expression, especially in respect of fashion and permissive sexuality." It would be impossible to separate Jason King from that frilly Seventies fashion, and Image is latching onto it, comparing King to Austin Powers in their copy.
I'm really floored by the news that Jason King is coming out in America, not only because it's relatively unknown here, but also because I would have expected its predessor, Department S, first. I can't believe we're getting Jason King before the Brits! Unfortunately, Image's DVD set is unlikely to contain the many extras found on Umbrella's Australian release.