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THE HUNTER

hunter_the_tv1952_th
 
Full Name: Bart Adams
Series Name: The Hunter
Codename: The Hunter
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Edward Montagne
Time Span: 1952 - 1955

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Bart Adams, the Hunter, is an agent with American Intelligence.
       Exactly what agency he works for is never specified but since his activities take him all over Europe, its reach is extensive and its primary concern is fighting the never-ending Cold War against communists. While he could be working for the CIA in those fairly early days of that organization, he could also be attached to Military Intelligence as it was said to be quite active in that first decade after the Second World War.
       Adams is a man who enjoys assuming disguises and he is quite good at it, allowing him to take the role of numerous people and professions and to blend in beautifully in all manner of situations. We could just as likely see him in a top hat and tails, dressed impeccably for a night at the opera, or see him in worn-out overalls and ascot cap moving with slow plodding steps after a long day at the factory or the wharfs.
       Since he dons these various personas all over the Eastern European area on many occasions, it is safe to assume that he is able to speak a good number of languages natively as he does not just look the part but also acts and talks as such.
       Adams is almost certainly single as he never shows any indication of someone waiting back home. He is in his early-to-mid 30s of average height and weight and looks. This "every-man" appearance certainly aids quite a bit in his disguises as there is nothing either good or bad that stands out about him. He is able to achieve frequently the goal of many undercover operatives - he is prosaic enough to be unnoticeable.
     As mentioned above, Adams roams about the communist nations of the Iron Curtain with great apparent ease. He will visit Romania, Albania, Hungary at least once, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia twice, and Germany and Poland three times. He will even find his way into Mother Russia at least once. He will also operate in England, France, Austria, Denmark, and Greece as well as a trip or two back to the States in the numerous recorded adventures we have of his.
     In all these places and times, the Hunter hunts alone. We never see him with any noticeable backup but it is quite apparent by the number of contacts that he has all over Europe that he has been a very busy operative and he is not at all adverse to calling upon them for a little help now and then.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:26
First Appearance:1952
Last Appearance:1955
Network:CBS

REGULAR CAST
Barry NelsonBart Adams [ 1 ]
Keith LarsenBart Adams [ 2 ]

     For the 1952 summer season on the CBS network, a temporary replacement was desired for the Man Against Crime series starring Ralph Bellamy. A small production company, Pathescope Studios, got the go-ahead for a limited run of 13 episodes for its new show, The Hunter, starring Barry Nelson.

     This 30-minute espionage drama series was put in the Wednesday 9:30 pm slot and ran for its full length, doing fair in the ratings at first then dropping a bit further along.
     Being a replacement, it was not surprising that CBS did not order new episodes when the summer ended. 
     The next year, 1953, the sponsor, R.J.Reynolds, which had paid for the first run, decided to give the show another go and ordered an additional 13 episodes. The star, Barry Nelson, was unavailable having already been booked on another show by then so the role of Bart Adams went to Keith Larsen.
     Here it gets a bit confusing (hopefully I have it correct). Though the sponsor had given the green light for the next batch, it had no network lined up to air them so the episodes were kept in the can.
     In 1954, R.J.Reynolds, which owned the show, sold the rights to the episodes that CBS had run during its summer season. NBC picked them up and ran them again during its summer 1954 season. Then NBC picked up the second season with Larsen and ran them in the normal Fall 1954 season, possibly as a filler until another series was ready. That series was The Bob Cummings Show and once that show replaced The Hunter, the latter was gone.
     The rights to the show were sold to a syndication company and started making the rounds in 1955 though apparently not a lot of takers were found.


1 The Grey People
Episode 1-01, first aired 07/03/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Chestley Ellis

On a mission behind the Iron Curtain, Adams travels to Warsaw to try to retrieve a diary that contains information that is important to Western governments. He is assisted by a group of poor Polish men and women traveling with him on a train.

2 Bucharest Express
Episode 1-02, first aired 07/10/1952
Director: Oscar Rudolph
Writer: Philip H. Reisman Jr.

Adams slips behind the Iron Curtain to neutralize a traitorous American who broadcasts anti-American propaganda on a Romanian radio station. His steps are dogged by a beautiful Communist counter-espionage agent who intends to thwart Adams' mission.

3 The Puzzle of Pier 90
Episode 1-03, first aired 07/16/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Jack Roche

Communist agents plan to kidnap an Austrian soil expert who is visiting New York City and replace her with an impostor.

4 Salzberg Festival
Episode 1-04, first aired 07/23/1952
Director: unknown
Writers: Peter Ordway, Robert Presnell

When the leader of Austria's anti-communists is assassinated, Adams offers to protect his successor.

5 Paris Incident
Episode 1-05, first aired 07/30/1952
Director: Oscar Rudolph
Writer: Henry Kane

Adams is called in when an important American economist is abducted by communist agents while visiting Paris. A pretty female reporter claims to know where the man is being held and offers to help.

6 Mad Money
Episode 1-06, first aired 08/06/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Chestley Ellis

[plot unknown]

7 Athens Incident
Episode 1-07, first aired 08/13/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Henry Kane

Adams journeys to Athens to attempt to ferret out a communist cell operating in the Greek city. He learns that one of its members is in a local hospital and might be willing to provide critical information before he dies.

8 Operation Ashes
Episode 1-08, first aired 08/20/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Hamilton Benz

Adams slips into East Berlin to rescue a female spy who possesses a valuable piece of microfilm before communist agents can capture her.

9 Time and Tide
Episode 1-09, first aired 08/27/1952
Director: unknown
Writers: Burton Benjamin , Denis Greene

Adams tries to rescue the Polish-born daughter-in-law of an American general from Communist agents behind the Iron Curtain.

10 The Man Who Dropped In
Episode 1-10, first aired 09/03/1952
Director: unknown
Writers: Peter Ordway, Robert Presnell

Adams investigates a former member of the Soviet Union's secret police who wishes to defect to the British in their sector of Berlin.

11 Rendezvous in Prague
Episode 1-11, first aired 09/10/1952
Director: Oscar Rudolph
Writer: Norman Ashton

Bart Adams finds a clue to the whereabouts of a Czech patriot, a portrait painter by trade, who is hiding in Prague. Traveling undercover, he tries to locate spirit her past the Iron Curtain before the Communist authorities can locate and execute her for treason.

12 Black and White Sheep
Episode 1-12, first aired 09/17/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Franz Schulz

While visiting Bulgaria, the sister of an American newspaper reporter regarded in the United States as a traitor tries to convince Adams that her brother has been framed. The Hunter decides to investigate and discover who is the real culprit.

13 The Ghost Goes East
Episode 1-13, first aired 09/24/1952
Director: unknown
Writer: Philip H. Reisman Jr.

Adams searches for a courier for an communist spy operating in the United States among the passengers on a Trans-Atlantic airplane flight. The stakes get higher when a murder is committed on-board the aircraft.

14 Party Politics
Episode 2-01, first aired 10/03/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams tries to assist a beautiful journalist get a story behind the Iron Curtain in Albania.

15 The General Spies At Dawn
Episode 2-02, first aired 10/10/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

A traitorous general arrives in Paris intent on turning valuable secret documents into ready cash. Bart Adams, aka "The Hunter", plans to become the proud owner of the documents, at no cost to himself, by adopting a series of elaborate disguises.

16 The Wooden Noose
Episode 2-03, first aired 10/17/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

While posing as the Romanian tennis team's masseur at a tournament held in Budapest, Adams tries to learn which competitor has valuable information to pass on to the West.

17 The Case ofthe Counterfeit M.P.C.'s
Episode 2-04, first aired 10/24/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams tries to thwart a Communist plot to print counterfeit American military script.

18 Sword Play
Episode 2-05, first aired 10/31/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams tries to combat a network of students who plan to reestablish the Hitler Youth at German universities to attack Americans and their friends throughout the country.

19 Borderline Case
Episode 2-06, first aired 11/14/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams wrangles an invitation to a German estate bordering Czechoslovakis to go hunting. Although his host thinks that "The Hunter" is after big game, Adams is actually searching for secret Communist documents hidden on the property.

20 The Hunter Is Back
Episode 2-07, first aired 11/21/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams sneaks behind the Iron Curtain and travels to Moscow to search for an American soldier, a prisoner captured during the Korean War, thought to be imprisoned in the Kremlin.

21 Czechmates
Episode 2-08, first aired 11/28/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

When a Czech patriot is abducted from West Berlin, Adams sneaks behind the Iron Curtain in order to rescue him.

22 Dead Pigeon
Episode 2-09, first aired 12/05/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams uncovers the Communists' plot to devastate New York City's Central Park with a radar-controlled explosives.

23 The Beetle Brigade
Episode 2-10, first aired 12/12/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams boards the Orient Express to trail the pretty leader of a Bulgarian youth farm unaware that the Soviet secret police are also on her trail.

24 Double Jeopardy
Episode 2-11, first aired 12/19/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

An impostor, actually a Soviet agent, poses as Adams in order to locate and eliminate a defecting communist spy.

25 Bamboo and Iron Curtains
Episode 2-12, first aired 12/26/1954
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Adams poses as a Polish news photographer in order to contact a Chinese metallurgist visiting Prague.

26 Panic in Copenhagen
Episode 2-13, first aired 01/02/1955
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

While vacationing in Copenhagen, Adams has a chance meeting with communist agents and decides to postpone his holiday to investigate their activities.

MY COMMENTS

     I think had I been an adult at the time of this series (I was just a week from being born when the first episode aired), I would likely have watched it but I think if I did, I would subconsciously be glad that the show only lasted 30 minutes.
     The couple of episodes I have been able to watch have had action in them but they have also had a lot of skulking and watching from the shadows. Granted this is far more realistic than a testosterone-laden he-man smashing into an enemy lair guns a-blazing, but it is also more yawn inducing without witty dialogue and suspense.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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