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HUNTER (1)

hunter_tv_aus_h
 
Full Name: John Hunter
Codename: Hunter
Nationality: Australian
Organization: SCU3
Occupation Agent

Creator: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton
Time Span: 1967 - 1969

ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Hunter is an agent with SCU3.
       That acronym stands for "Special Clandestine Unit 3". Each of the SCU units around the country was given a number designation and in this case, the 3 stood for Melbourne. These small tight-knit groups were all part of a larger Australian organization known as COSMIC, the Commonwealth Office of Security & Military Intelligence Coordination.
       Since SCU3 was by its name a covert organization, it needs a cover story to explain the comings and goings of its personnel. It chose Independent Surveys which gave its field operatives good reason to be out and about snooping; they weren't spying - they were surveying.
       While SCU3 and its people were available for any sort of security mission that might be sent its way, its primary occupation was combating the nefarious activities of the Council for Unification of the Communist World, the CUCW. This group is constantly up to no good which means that SCU3 agents are always up to their eyes in trouble and danger.


       Hunter being one of the best agents that COSMIC has is rather appropriate since the position that Hunter fills is that of being a "Hunter" not just in job description but also in designation; i.e., he holds the position of "Hunter".
       For some time each of the televised adventures for this organization and more specifically this man stated:


       This man wears no uniform.
       He has no rank.
       His name is often not his own.
       The law offers him no special protection, no exemption.
       If necessary, his own country will deny his existence.
       He is part commando, part detective, part spy.
       He is ... Hunter.


       Hunter is a solidly build man able to handle himself in scrapes with fists and with weapons. A man in his early 40s, Hunter has a ruggedly handsome appearance and the demeanor of someone who has been in a crucible and come out hardened. He enjoys the company of the fairer sex but has learned the hard way that his is a solitary life.


KRAGG:
       Fighting tooth and nail against Hunter and COSMIC is chief CUCW agent, Kragg. This fellow was a fascinating individual who could be vicious without being vindictive, deadly without being demonic. He firmly believed in his cause and gave it everything he had, killing if it was absolutely necessary and being lessened for doing so.
       He is noteworthy not just for being a worthy opponent to Hunter but because roughly halfway through the adventures we have of Hunter, Kragg suffers a major loss of faith in his cause and decides the other side was more worthy of his devotion, switching from being an adversary to being an ally of Hunter.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:65
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1969
Network:Nine Network

REGULAR CAST
Tony WardJohn Hunter [ ep 1-57 ]
Gerard KennedyKragg [ ep 1-65 ]
Nigel LovellCharles Blake [ ]
Ronald MorseMr. Smith [ ep 1-32 ]
Fernande GlynEve Halliday [ ep 1-26 ]
Rod MullinarGil Martin [ ep 56-65 ]

     On Australian television in the mid-60s had a few regional networks and two major nationwide ones, Seven and Nine. As would be expected in any competition, if one network had something successful on it, the other wanted something similar to counter it.

     Crawford Productions had come up with a somewhat gritty and very popular crime drama called Homicide on the Seven Network. Its competitor wanted something to challenge it, at least in viewership, so it went to the same production house and asked, "What have you got?"
     What they came up with was Hunter. To make it even more exciting than its sister program, they upped the budget almost three-fold (from $7k per episode to $20k) which allowed them to shoot a lot of scenes not only outdoors but also away from the studio on location.


     Hunter was Australia's first television spy series and its star, Tony Ward, already popular in that country, became an even bigger hit. Also becoming a major crowd-pleaser in a big surprise to everyone was Gerard Kennedy who was brought on as the main bad guy opponent to Hunter, a fellow with the single name of Kragg.
     From what I read, Kragg's popularity was not because he was a bad guy per se but because he was a human being who fully believed in his cause and that cause made him do bad things. Kragg's role was enhanced over the first dozen episodes and he just kept getting more in demand. Eventually it was felt that to have him keep doing bad things would conflict with how much he was liked so they had him undergo a loss of faith in the goals of his employers and he switched sides, putting him on the side of the angels.


     In an odd twist, the rivalry between the two main actors, Ward and Kennedy, would eventually lead Ward to ask to be let go so he could devote more time to movies. He would get his wish when the writers had his character, John Hunter, captured behind the Iron Curtain and executed by firing squad!
     The last handful of episodes continued on with a new agent working with Kragg while keeping the name of the show the same.
     I read that the production company had by this time come up with a new vehicle they felt Kennedy was perfect for which would put him firmly in the starring role. Rather than kill off the Kragg character to let the actor move over, they just decided to bring an end to the show.


1 The Tolhurst File: Part 1
Episode 01-01, first aired 07/05/1967
Directors: Ian Jones, Ted Gregory
Writers: Terry Stapleton, Ian Jones

Following the increased activity of the CUCW, a new division of COSMIC is formed with the code name SCU3. A 'Hunter' agent (No. 5) is assigned to SCU3, and his first assignment is to investigate the mysterious suicide of scientist Dr. Brian Tolhurst, who was working on an anti-missile project. Following a lead that Tolhurst's car contains evidence of foul play, Hunter comes within seconds of death when CUCW agent Kragg plants a bomb and blows the car up.

2 The Tolhurst File: Part 2
Episode 01-02, first aired 07/12/1967
Directors: Ian Jones, Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter learns that Dr. Tolhurst had a secret association with showgirl Rosie Glow, and she now becomes the only lead in the investigation of Tolhurst's death. Hunter and Eve Halliday go undercover and follow Rosie to Surfer's Paradise. While scuba diving, an attempt is made to kill Rosie by Brisbane CUCW agent Jim Bettman, and Hunter combats a shark to save her life.

3 The Tolhurst File: Part 3
Episode 01-03, first aired 07/19/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Rosie Glow confesses that she helped CUCW agents fake divorce evidence against Dr. Tolhurst. Bettman plots Hunter's death in an aircraft accident, which Hunter thwarts by clinging to Bettman's parachute as he jumps from the plane, and Kragg makes an attempt to kill Rosie.

4 The Tolhurst File: Part 4
Episode 01-04, first aired 07/25/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

After Bettman attempts to kill Hunter in a plane crash, Hunter overpowers Bettman and takes him to Melbourne. Mrs. Tolhurst gives Hunter a letter that asked her late husband to visit Solomon, an opal dealer in Andamooka, South Australia. Solomon has been under suspicion for espionage work at the Woomera rocket base.

5 The Prometheus File: Part 1
Episode 01-05, first aired 08/01/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Mrs. Tolhurst and Eve are kidnapped and held aboard a yacht in the port of Melbourne by CUCW agents, who use a doll repair shop as a cover to retrieve microfilm hidden in the eyes of toy dolls. Hunter is tricked into visiting opal dealer Solomon at Andamooka, where an attempt is made to kill him in an abandoned mine.

6 The Prometheus File: Part 2
Episode 01-06, first aired 08/08/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter tries to prevent CUCW agents Kragg and Zhadov from sabotaging the Prometheus anti-missile weapon at the Woomera Rocket Range.

7 The Prometheus File: Part 3
Episode 01-07, first aired 08/15/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and U.S. astronaut Col. Benedict watch the successful firing of the Prometheus anti-missile weapon. Hunter is assigned to protect Benedict on his Australian goodwill tour; Kragg and Smith plot to kidnap the astronaut, who, on his return to the U.S., is to lead a four-man space probe, which the CUCW plan to sabotage.

8 The Benedict File: Part 1
Episode 01-08, first aired 08/22/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

After kidnapping Col. Benedict, the CUCW deceives a student group, the Australian Student Protest, into hiding him. Hunter traces Benedict to Melbourne's outer suburbs, and finds Kragg, disguised as a left-wing journalist, attempting to murder Benedict in a car accident

9 The Benedict File: Part 2
Episode 01-09, first aired 08/29/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter saves Colonel Benedict's life after Kragg has abandoned him in a van careering down a hillside. Hunter meets members of the Australian Student Protest whose lives are threatened because of CUCW reaction.

10 The Benedict File: Part 3
Episode 01-10, first aired 09/06/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg deceives Australian Student Protest member Jamie Porter into believing that Australian and U.S. security agents arranged the murder of his friend Kelly, and that he is next on the list. Porter, an excellent marksman, is taken to a hideaway, given a serum and mentally conditioned to carry out the death by sniping of Col. Benedict during a city street procession.

11 The Benedict File: Part 4
Episode 01-11, first aired 09/13/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Student Jamie Porter is drugged and goaded into assassinating Col. Benedict as he drives through Melbourne's streets in the Moomba procession. Hunter intercepts Porter on top of a building overlooking the corner of Swanston and Collins Streets.

12 The Singapore File: Part 1
Episode 01-12, first aired 09/20/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter, disguised as a Navy commander, and Eve go to Singapore, where a major disarmament conference is to be held between western powers and Russia. The CUCW intend to sabotage the conference by murdering Russian advance agent Gregori Loschenko and blaming British agents.

13 The Singapore File: Part 2
Episode 01-13, first aired 09/28/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Russian agents kidnap Eve, believing British and Australian agents kidnapped Loschenko. Hunter traces Loschenko to a sampan on Singapore Harbour, where he is held captive by the CUCW. The boat explodes with Loschenko drugged aboard it.

14 The Singapore File: Part 3
Episode 01-14, first aired 10/05/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg murders Andrea, a girl employed by the Russian Embassy, who had been giving information to the CUCW for sabotaging the peace conference. Hunter has his first face to face encounter with Kragg when they fight on an aircraft preparing for take-off.

15 The Vaughn Jackson File
Episode 01-15, first aired 10/11/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

An internationally wanted female agent, Lila Parnovsky, who has arrived from New York, and Melbourne gambler Vaughan Jackson are used by the CUCW. Jackson has incurred heavy gambling debts in Hong Kong and is now being bribed to supply information about SCU3. But he hopes to evade the issue, planning to elope with his girlfriend Penny.

16 The Cornucopia File
Episode 01-16, first aired 10/18/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones, David Lee
Writer: Howard Griffiths

Three scientists suffer fatal heart attacks after developing a strain of wheat ideal for growing in starvation areas of Asia. Hunter impersonates a scientist and foils a plan to poison the wheat shipments. Note: A nurse unwittingly intruded on filming when she came to the assistance of an actor who 'collapsed'. The sequence was retained in the episode.

17 The Martin Brenzer File
Episode 01-17, first aired 10/25/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, David Lee
Writer: Howard Griffiths

A Nazi war criminal who is a time bomb expert now runs a jeweller's shop in Sydney. He is traced by CUCW agents who force him to make bombs by threatening to expose him.

18 The Bob Kitchen File
Episode 01-18, first aired 11/01/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, David Lee
Writer: Howard Griffiths

A boy pie seller at the Melbourne Cricket Ground picks up a container planted by CUCW agents containing film of a missile project to be smuggled out of Australia.

19 The Vargon File
Episode 01-19, first aired 11/08/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, David Lee
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Vargon, international head of the CUCW, visits Australia posing as a film producer. Vargon rebukes Smith for poor espionage work, arranges the murder of an Australian security agent, and outlines plans to sabotage the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.

20 The Snowy Mountains File: Part 1
Episode 01-20, first aired 11/15/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Female double agent Dale Broderick, who is in the employ of the Snowy Mountains Authority, has been stealing information and handing it over to Kragg. The CUCW plans to blow up Eucumbene Dam in the Snowy Mountains to disrupt a zero-resistance cable carrying power to Queensland, which is part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.

21 The Snowy Mountains File: Part 2
Episode 01-21, first aired 11/22/1967
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg is about to detonate a thermo-nuclear device at Eucumbene Dam in the Snowy Mountains when Hunter confronts him. They argue philosophies as Hunter reasons with Kragg, who eventually relents but still manages to escape.

22 The Kauffman File
Episode 01-22, first aired 11/29/1967
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

East German agent Kauffman follows Otto Meittner, a German political organiser, to Australia to force him to defect. In the events that follow, Blake is wounded in a gun-fight, and Meittner's wife Lisa proves to be a double agent.

23 The Mirage File: Part 1
Episode 01-23, first aired 03/27/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter is assigned to protect RADAB, a top secret anti-radar device fitted to a Mirage fighter, which enables an aircraft to fly undetected by radar. One of the designers of the device has been murdered, and an attempt has been made on the life of British scientist Geoffrey Mills, the other co-designer. Hunter is assigned to protect Mills and his partner Dr. Alex Parry. CUCW agents kidnap Mirage test pilot Phil French, and, using a special drug, have planted post-hypnotic suggestions in his mind that could put RADAB into CUCW hands.

24 The Mirage File: Part 2
Episode 01-24, first aired 04/03/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

The CUCW steal a Mirage fighter test-fitted with a new anti-radar device by using a hypnotic drug on test pilot Phil French. French recovers, escapes from the CUCW hideout and contacts Blake, telling him the plane's location. Hunter and Blake suspect that the co-designer, Dr. Parry, is a fake, and at the airfield Blake finds a CUCW agent about to take off in the Mirage.

25 The Friend in Need File
Episode 01-25, first aired 03/20/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Jane Wilding and her brother Humphrey run a rehabilitation centre for ex-convicts, the Friend In Need Society, which is actually a recruiting post for CUCW agents. Hunter poses as convict Albert Charney to infiltrate the group and is met by Jane as he leaves prison. The CUCW recruit him to hold up a car carrying secret U.S. military documents, but before the hold-up Hunter's true identity is revealed because of a girl's treachery. Only quick action by Blake foils the robbery attempt.

26 The Hans Felburg File
Episode 01-26, first aired 04/10/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Ilsa Mahler, a young East German girl, escapes to Australia to join her fiancee Hans Felburg. Hans is a scientist, and both he and Ilsa are kidnapped by CUCW agents who hope to obtain from Hans details of his secret work on a special formula. Hunter and Eve Halliday believe Hans and Ilsa are being held on a German ship docked at Port Melbourne. With only 24 hours to find them, Eve is nearly killed at the docks and Hunter is involved in a spectacular fight at a racecourse where an East German agent is trampled to death as he attempts to cross the course during a horse race. Eve Halliday leaves COSMIC to take up a security position at Cape Kennedy, USA. Notes: Final episode with Fernande Glyn as Eve Halliday.

27 The Krystina File
Episode 01-27, first aired 04/17/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Krystina Barnovski, the prima ballerina of a Polish dance group, is given a toy koala by her Australian boyfriend Doug Moore just before her dance group leaves Poland for a tour of Australia. Krystina is unaware that her boyfriend is COSMIC's representative in Poland. But she soon finds out when he is killed by CUCW agents as he leaves her flat. The CUCW believe Krystina has brought secret microfilm to Australia, and Kragg arranges for her to be kidnapped at a party given to welcome the ballet company. When the CUCW realise she can't help them, Kragg is ordered to kill her and Hunter has a race against time to find her.

28 The Jackpot File
Episode 01-28, first aired 04/24/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg is told by CUCW agent Georgie Savage that the organisation's books are fiddled to make it financially successful for Smith. Attraction grows between Kragg and Georgie, as does Kragg's disillusionment with the Council.

29 Doves in the East
Episode 01-29, first aired 05/01/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, David Lee
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Philosopher Jan Lestrovic, founder of the CUCW, visits Australia to defect from communism. Kragg is shocked when he is assigned to assassinate Lestrovic, who was his former mentor and taught Kragg from boyhood the tactics and doctrine of the CUCW. As Kragg does everything he can to prevent the assassination, another agent shoots Lestrovic - Kragg is too late to save him, and Lestrovic dies by his side. Notes: Originally titled 'The Lestrovic File'.

30 The Kragg File
Episode 01-30, first aired 05/08/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Ian Jones
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

The CUCW consider Kragg a risk to their organisation and give orders for him to be killed. Aided by Georgie Savage, Kragg decides to avenge the death of Lestrovic and stop the CUCW by killing Smith and Vargon. However, Kragg is shot and critically wounded. Near death, he refuses to allow Georgie to take him to hospital, but agrees to give himself up to SCU3.

31 A Reason for Dying
Episode 01-31, first aired 05/15/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Andrew Swanson
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg is critically ill in hospital and is without the will to live. As doctors predict his death, Georgie, attempting to help him, is bashed to death by CUCW thug Quint. Her death gives Kragg new resolve, and restores his will to live. Blake wants Kragg to work for SCU3, but Hunter is opposed to the idea.

32 A Job for Kragg
Episode 01-32, first aired 05/22/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Andrew Swanson
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter is summoned to a country town where there is evidence that an agent has been selling secrets. The motive behind attempts to frame Kragg and involve Hunter in a suicide pact with a wealthy widow become clear when Vargon arrives on the scene.

33 The Comeback
Episode 01-33, first aired 05/29/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

COSMIC try to pinpoint a mysterious radio transmitter which is jamming vital naval communications. Their first lead comes when Herbert Winter, a security guard, is murdered at a large electronics factory. Hunter's investigations lead him to suspect that a group of extremists are attempting to spark off a nuclear war.

34 War Hawks
Episode 01-34, first aired 06/05/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

COSMIC try to pinpoint a mysterious radio transmitter which is jamming vital naval communications. Their first lead comes when Herbert Winter, a security guard, is murdered at a large electronics factory. Hunter's investigations lead him to suspect that a group of extremists are attempting to spark off a nuclear war.

35 The Chameleon
Episode 01-35, first aired 06/12/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Andrew Swanson
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter accuses an international VIP of being associated with a subversive organisation. Hunter's girlfriend Samantha is then kidnapped in an effort to make Hunter reveal his identity to enemy agents.

36 Breaking Point
Episode 01-36, first aired 06/19/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and Kragg work to encourage the defection of a foreign diplomat who has been active as an enemy agent. They uncover his strange double life with an Australian girl working at the embassy, which is threatening his marriage.

37 Operation Judas
Episode 01-37, first aired 06/26/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

A scheming, ruthless security agent's wife causes the death of two Australians attempting to rescue Parkhurst, a famous scientist being held prisoner on a Pacific atoll. Before identifying the traitors, Hunter and Kragg go to the island to rescue Parkhurst, but first they must get past the ruthless woman.

38 Soft Back
Episode 01-38, first aired 07/03/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

An unstable author with wife trouble pleads for a job with COSMIC. When he receives an alternative offer, Hunter and Kragg must work quickly to uncover a spy ring the wife works for, but they come across opposition from a man in a wheelchair and a karate strongman. The SCU3 unit moves to new headquarters.

39 Death Watch
Episode 01-39, first aired 07/10/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and Kragg have their hands full trying to prevent a group of fanatics from assassinating an African Head of State on a wheat buying mission in Australia.

40 The Late John Hunter
Episode 01-40, first aired 07/17/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

The secret police chief of an East European country plans the deaths of key Western agents, and when Hunter goes sky-diving he is surprised to find a strange pilot. Hunter's death is feigned while parachuting from the aircraft, and seven retailers of secret dossiers on international espionage agents read of his 'death' and use it to depose the East European police chief. So expertly is Hunter's death faked that when Kragg tries to track down the killer suspicion falls on Blake, as all clues seem to point to him as the guilty man.

41 Counterfeit
Episode 01-41, first aired 07/24/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

An American CIA agent is killed while tracking down a gang of international forgers. Hunter and Kragg investigate the local operations of a forging ring, and Julie Coleman goes undercover to win the confidence of one of the ring's couriers. They soon discover that the counterfeit money is part of a plot to destroy the security of Australia.

42 A Dark Reunion
Episode 01-42, first aired 07/31/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Andrew Swanson
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter is sent to Adelaide to investigate a girl working at the Woomera Rocket Range who has been giving out classified information to 'Napoleon', an enemy agent under cover as a fashion designer. Hunter works with Leigh Sullivan, with whom he had a romance in London nine years earlier. They broke up when Hunter found her with another man, but now he learns that all along she was an MI-5 agent, and the love affair is rekindled - but tragically ends with her murder.

43 The VC Bullet
Episode 01-43, first aired 08/07/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

A private detective, working for a murder victim's wife, kidnaps a girl who has lived in Vietnam because they believe she has important papers dealing with the South-East Asian political situation, and they want the papers at any cost.

44 The Visitor
Episode 01-44, first aired 08/14/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

A glamorous Lido showgirl is murdered aboard a luxury yacht moored at Williamstown, and the prime suspect is an international oil financier. Hunter and Kragg work together with Russian agents to find the killer.

45 Brain Storm
Episode 01-45, first aired 08/21/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

An indoctrination expert sets out to manipulate Kragg's mind. In a lonely and bizarre setting, Kragg is subjected to every technique of brainwashing in an attempt to make him betray Hunter.

46 The Executioner
Episode 01-46, first aired 08/28/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

An internationally famous concert singer, Martha Richter, makes a hazardous deal with a certain Mr. X to bring about her father's release from a top security prison behind the Iron Curtain. Her romantic and unrealistic action sets off a chain reaction that travels halfway around the world, and creates a dangerous situation in Australia where Hunter and Kragg have to protect her.

47 On the Rocks
Episode 01-47, first aired 08/04/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and Kragg infiltrate a mission for distressed seamen, which is in reality an agency for smuggling derelict politicians in and out of Australia.

48 The Scar
Episode 01-48, first aired 09/11/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Blake's daughter Cathy falls in love with Russian poet Josef Vortak, who is also an intelligence man. Vortak flies to Australia to meet her before they both go to live in the USSR. Russian operative Gregori Loschenko, with whom Hunter worked in Singapore, approaches Blake with a unique proposition designed to thwart any idea of Vortak's marriage to Cathy. Blake and Hunter are forced to consider co-operating with the Russian agent.

49 The Immovable Object
Episode 01-49, first aired 09/18/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Sabotage is feared when an explosion rocks a government munitions plant, and Hunter and Kragg are called in to investigate the disaster. Chief among the suspects is a scientist who is known to have communist sympathies, and who has a security clearance.

50 The Long Weekend
Episode 01-50, first aired 09/25/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

A lawyer with a distinguished Korean War record sets out on a bizarre mission to kill Kragg, who is on a bush picnic with a widow and her 10-year-old daughter.

51 Misfit
Episode 01-51, first aired 10/02/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Gambling debts and Sue, a girlfriend with expensive tastes working for his office, force SEATO man David Wilkinson to the brink of espionage. He photographs secret documents for agents who threaten to falsely identify him as their contact in SEATO. Hunter and Kragg have to work fast to stop him from destroying his life and his country.

52 Message from Hong Kong
Episode 01-52, first aired 10/09/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and Kragg fly to Hong Kong to exchange diplomatic prisoners with a hostile Asian power. When they return to Australia, the former prisoner, Bryant, renews an old love affair that leads him to become, on behalf of an Oriental country, a double agent. He also dupes a university professor in the secret employ of an Asian country.

53 The Lost One
Episode 01-53, first aired 10/16/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

In a dramatic moment, Kragg unwittingly performs a service for Australian security when he rescues an attractive Polish girl who was trying to commit suicide at The Gap in Sydney.

54 The Rising of the Moon
Episode 01-54, first aired 10/23/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Investigating the macabre death of a young student, Hunter and Kragg are plunged into a nightmare world of black magic and witchcraft as they both go undercover, Kragg assuming the role of a detective.

55 A Piece of String
Episode 01-55, first aired 10/30/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Hunter and Kragg help Shandy, a vagrant who tries to sell information to Australian security. Shandy's intentions were good, but now his life is threatened, and Kragg poses as an escaped murderer in order to protect him.

56 The Smaller They Are
Episode 01-56, first aired 11/06/1968
Director: Ted Gregory
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Tom Banner, a trusted clerk with an electronics firm for 12 years, plans to sell a secret document to please his young and discontented wife. He finds himself trapped in a world of espionage, with a disillusioned Australian agent as his only ally.

57 Misadventure
Episode 01-57, first aired 11/13/1968
Directors: Ted Gregory, Andrew Swanson
Writer: Howard Griffiths

On loan to British Intelligence, Hunter goes behind the Iron Curtain to investigate the defection of a communist leader. But things go wrong for British Intelligence and for Hunter - he is captured, placed on trial, and executed by a firing squad.

58 Crusader
Episode 01-58, first aired 11/27/1968
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When a VIP house caretaker is found dead, a hard-hitting, idealistic politician bent on justice and truth quarrels with the police about their suicide verdict. The politician becomes an embarrassment to COSMIC and a dangerous nuisance to a Saigon vice lord visiting Melbourne.

59 The Strangers
Episode 01-59, first aired 01/22/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When too many strangers arouse the curiosity of a country station master, COSMIC agents are launched into the investigation of an isolated homestead patrolled by powerful motorcycles, and where strangers are unwelcome.

60 Deep Water
Episode 01-60, first aired 01/29/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When Gil Martin is assigned to a visiting American campaigner suspected of subversion activity, Blake and Kragg clash, triggering a series of events which lead to Kragg being suspected of attempted murder.

61 Hole in the Net
Episode 01-61, first aired 02/05/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When Julie Coleman witnesses the murder of a holidaying fisherman in Western Australia, COSMIC begin to draw in a large net of strangers who are trying to learn the secrets of a maritime early warning system.

62 A Matter of Immunity
Episode 01-62, first aired 02/12/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

Kragg is installed as a staff driver after the murder of an Australian chauffeur in an embassy. Learning that one of the ambassador's two beautiful daughters is laying a lethal trap for him doesn't make Kragg's life any easier.

63 Neptune
Episode 01-63, first aired 02/19/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When a British scientist is mysteriously missing from an army establishment at Queenscliff, Kragg and Martin take undercover jobs in the area to solve his disappearance. The rather eccentric scientist has vital information relating to the top secret 'Project Neptune'.

64 Dead Man Talking
Episode 01-64, first aired 02/26/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

When a French spy commits suicide, Kragg and Martin try to discover his identity and locate his contacts in Australia. Kragg's girlfriend, East German girl Heidi Frankel, leads the COSMIC agents into a difficult and dangerous assignment.

65 The Send Off
Episode 01-65, first aired 03/05/1969
Director: unknown
Writers: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

COSMIC bosses have to choose between Kragg and Martin for the coveted 'Hunter' title, and with it an important and dangerous mission to Hong Kong. Kragg's experience is weighed against Martin's youth and polish, until a fatal flaw is discovered in one of them: A situation is 'set up' to see how Martin and Kragg react. Martin gets the 'Hunter' job, and Kragg leaves COSMIC and marries his girlfriend Heidi Frankel.

MY COMMENTS

     I am pretty consistent when it comes to spy television shows that I was not in a position to watch when they first ran; I want very much to be able to view them now. That is absolutely the case with Hunter. This is despite the fact that the one episode I have found online tended to drag a bit as it mired itself in melancholy.
     The snapshots I have seen online have made the show look exciting and interesting. It is a pity that the show has languished in near obscurity.
     I am especially intrigued by the idea of the main bad guy nemesis to the main character would change direction and become a colleague. I really wished I had the ability to watch the show or two leading up to the change and then the first couple afterwards.
     Oh, I might as well be honest and admit again like I did above - I want to be able to watch them all!

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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