1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 1 (UK)
76 x 60 minute episodes
John Turner starred originally as private investigator Adam Knight. Knight advertised his services in the newspaper in a highly theatrical way: “Knight Errant ’59. Quests undertaken, dragons defeated, damsels rescued. Anything, anywhere, for anyone, so long as it helps. Fees according to means.”
Styling himself ‘a 20th Century Sir Lancelot’, Knight established the Knight Errant agency as a consultancy dedicated to helping anyone with any problem.
Knight was assisted by Liz Parrish, a former columnist for the Daily Clarion, and by Peter Parker (not Spiderman!) – an idealistic young novelist who worked as Knight’s leg-man and researcher in order to get experiences he could use in his novels.
The series (which premiered in 1959) was originally titled Knight Errant ’59 and after the first year John Turner left the series. It was explained that Adam Knight had gone to Canada.
The Knight Errant agency continued without him in a second series re-titled Knight Errant Limited. The agency was now headed by Stephen Drummond, an ex-publisher who was more interested in people than in books.
At this point, the agency took on several staffers who were obviously ‘characters’, and the overall quality of the series suffered.
The show was distinguished by off-beat plots and unusual characters with quirky motivations – very similar in flavour and spirit to The Avengers, which is hardly surprising as two of Knight Errant‘s principal scriptwriters (Philip Levene and Roger Marshall) later contributed scripts to The Avengers.
Honor Blackman, who starred as the leather-clad Cathy Gale in The Avengers, got some early experience as a guest star on Knight Errant.