I have been watching the 1955-56 version of The Count of Monte Cristo starring George (father of Mickey) Dolenz which was a 39 episode series about the exploits of one Edmund Dantes, the self proclaimed Count of Monte Cristo of the famous Dumas novel, which was one of the swashbuckler series produced by ITC in the early days of ITV.

Each episode was approx 25 minutes long and each one was self contained. Dolenz was the only person to appear in all 39 episodes (but the wonderfully named Nick Cravat was also in the majority of them) and he was the focus of the series and he did a pretty good job of it I would say playing the nicest, most trustworthy and definitely the richest man in Europe.

12 episodes were filmed in Hollywood before they moved over to the UK for the remaining 27 episodes but there wasn’t much discernible difference between them other than that American actors were used in the US filmed episodes and British actors were used in the UK filmed episodes (some of them more and than once. in not dissimilar roles).

Rounding out the cast in the American episodes were Fortunio Bonanova as Carlo and Henry Corden as Mario friend’s of the Count who joined in with the exploits of the episodes. In the UK episodes we had Robert Cawdron as Rico who basically replaced Carlo and Mario for the the rest of the series.

Personally I preferred Rico out of the three of them but that might be because I was used to him as he appeared in more episodes than the previous two put together and was a good foil for Dolenz.

The episodes took the Count all over the Mediterranean from Luxembourg to Andorra; Albania to Greece sometimes being bought there by various friends of friends of the count, or people who had heard of him to solve plots that would see innocent people sent to Madame Guillotine for crimes that they did not commit from smuggling, assassination attempts on kings and princes, power mad conspirators, etc

I thoroughly enjoyed this series and would recommend it to anyone despite the fact that is it almost seventy years old, and that the plots are pretty much the same once you have watched a few of them, but they are highly diverting half hours of classic television, and you can play a fun game of spot the well known actor if you are a fan of classic British television.