1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 4 (UK/USA)
77 x 30 minute episodes
The series bore next to no resemblance to Graham Greene’s original book or, indeed, to Carol Reed’s 1949 movie version of it, starring Orson Welles.
Instead, this version resurrected dark and treacherous black marketeer Harry Lime (Michael Rennie) from the sewers of post-war Vienna and turned him into a suave amateur sleuth.
He also happened to be a millionaire now, with his fortune made from an entirely proper import-export business. Specialising in works of art, his companies included Harry Lime Ltd in London and its equivalent, Harry Lime Inc in New York.
The Third Man featured Jonathan Harris (who would later star in Lost In Space) as Lime’s factotum and Rupert Davies (later Maigret) as his contact at Scotland Yard.
The series was an unusual joint British-American production, with approximately half the episodes filmed in England under the auspices of the BBC, and the other half in Hollywood by National Telefilm Associates.
Michael Rennie died in June 1971 in Harrogate Yorkshire, aged 62.