I'm a sucker for the 50s/early 60s half hour adventure series, HIGHWAY PATROL, RESCUE 8, WHIRLYBIRDS, SUPERMAN (obviously), even HARBOR COMMAND with Wendell Corey. But I think my favorite might be this one, which I just discovered Timeless Media has put out. From the release:
Soldiers of Fortune - The Complete Television Series - 5 DVD Box Set! 52 Episodes! Soldiers of Fortune follows the exploits of Tim Kelly and Toubo Smith, international adventurers who travel the world offering their services for hire. Each action packed show finds the pair embarked on exotic quests around the globe. From the diamond mines of Africa, to the pampas of South America, and the bazaars of the Middle East, wherever they go, trouble finds them ready for action! The ruggedly handsome John Russell brings a cool determination and worldly charm to the role of Tim Kelly, and versatile character actor Chick Chandler plays Toubo Smith with flair and good humor, no matter what scrapes the two get into. A Revue Studios Production shot in Hollywood, Soldiers of Fortune was one of the first TV dramas to incorporate location shots from around the world and also used more stuntmen than any other 30 minute series in the 50's. Several of these veteran stuntmen also acted in the show, including Boyd Stockman, Red Morgan and Paul Baxley. John Doucette, X. Brands and Michael Ansara were among the other great actors in supporting roles.
I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up episodes a few years ago. John Russell and Chick Chandler have great chemistry, and the handling of their characters seems fairly mature for the time (and a show likely aimed at the kids' market). Chandler, in particular, is pretty edgy. These are fun proto-Indy Jones adventures, often with a touch of noir-intrigue, plot twists, double crosses, femme fatales, cutthroats, exotic backlot locations. There are even occasional fantastic elements; a vanishing island, a Loch Ness type monster, giant lizards--all in that compact half hour these 50s series seem to do so effortlessly. Often down and out, it's fun to see the boys turn up as safari guides, sailors, mining troubleshooters, bodyguards, or just plain mercenaries.
Now I know this is Timeless Media, so it means they licensed this Revue show from NBC/Universal but not the elements, so the quality is anybody's guess (I'll report back after I've seen some). But the price is right (21.00--25.00 at the usual suspects) and I think it has to be better than the collector's market stuff, which is particularly dismal for this show.