McGill wasn't a super hero, he was a man who sometimes had more integrity than those who employed him. He was loyal and would refuse higher cash offers made to him taking only what he'd previously agreed on by whoever had hired him. He was a loner, an enigma and this aided in keeping the series and the characterisation alive and intriguing. The shows could have downbeat endings which was something virtually unheard of back then. Further realistic aspects - he wasn't furnished with a luxury car, exotic locations, grand hotels or a dolly bird on each arm. It was Richard Bradford's astonishing performance in the lead role which was its finest and strongest selling point.
"His name's McGill, with a big M and a big G!"
Richard Bradford trained at the Actors Studio in New York, and although made a few off Broadway and Television appearances, it was his feature film debut under Arthur Penn's direction in 'The Chase' (although his first big screen non speaking role was in 'Something Wild' 1961) which brought him to Lord Lew Grade's attention. He was immediately signed up to play McGill - the chain smoking, suitcase carrying tough guy who would take on even the most dangerous assignments for $500's a week ...plus expenses!
A suitcase is his most important possession. It contains the essentials of everyday living. And McGill may find himself anywhere, anytime. That?s the sort of existence he leads?the existence that provides Richard Bradford with an impelling and unusual starring characterisation for his first television series, ?MAN IN A SUITCASE.?
McGill is no ordinary hero.
He is a discredited American Intelligence agent?unjustly discredited through no fault of his own. His career has been shattered, his reputation ruined, by reason of international intrigue quite beyond his control.
Forced to begin life again, McGill has chosen to continue to use the skills he developed through his years of undercover work. He is a lone wolf, earning his living the dangerous way. Risking his life is part of his business. He doesn?t seek adventure, but the jobs he undertakes bring him face to face with unexpected perils. They entail courage. They call for skill. They need the know-how he has gained in his career in the espionage jungle?know-how applied in fresh spheres. There is nothing of the stereotyped hero about McGill. He is no Robin Hood, no knight on a white charger, but a man earning a living in the only way he knows how, and the world he moves in is tough.
You can?t help liking him, though he doesn?t ask to be liked. Standing alone, as he does, he has the strength and dignity which are also part of the human condition. He can be arrogant and rude, but he believes that what he is doing has something worthwhile about it. He is intolerant of inequality and injustice, and he has a basic honesty.
Because of his past, he is vulnerable. There is no protection he can claim. He is cheated of his money, betrayed by his clients, resented or persecuted by the authorities. It?s hard for him to trust anyone after being deliberately sacrificed by the men he himself trusted, men he believed to be his friends.
He is, on his own admission, a bounty hunter. He works for money. If it involves the world of espionage he knows so well, then so much the better?but espionage, as such, is no longer his business. There is no limit to the cases he can and will, undertake. They range the whole compass of human frailties, intrigues and problems. And they cover the world. He travels with nothing but a suitcase, a change of clothing and a gun.
He is as likely to be saving a wrecked marriage as saving a threatened man?s life. McGill is the sort of man who is called when someone is in trouble, real trouble, or wants something done which only McGill could manage.
The idea for the series was suggested by two of Britain?s leading writers, Richard Harris and Dennis Spooner, and the executive script consultant is Stanley R. Greenberg, award-winning American dramatist. The producer is Sidney Cole, and the associate producer is Barry Delmaine. Produced at Pinewood Studios, ?Man in a Suitcase? is distributed throughout the world by ITC.
Above video features scenes from 'The Sitting Pigeon'
MAN IN A SUITCASE THEME (CLIP)
VOCAL VERSION OF MIAS THEME
You hum it and I'll play!
THE ACTOR'S STUDIO, N.Y.
UK FILM POSTER - 'THE CHASE'
RICHARD (DAMON FULLER) ADMINISTERS A BEATING TO BRANDO (SHERIFF CALDER) IN 'THE CHASE'
LORD LEW GRADE
PINEWOOD STUDIOS, ENGLAND WHERE MOST OF THE INTERIOR SCENES FOR THE SERIES WERE FILMED
RICHARD AS McGILL - PUBLICITY SHOT 1
RICHARD AS McGill - PUBLICITY SHOT 2
RICHARD AS McGill - PUBLICITY SHOT 3
RICHARD AS McGill - PUBLICITY SHOT 4
McGill's Hillman Imps
During the series McGill drove a variety of vehicles but favoured his Hillman Imps. The most popular one being a lime green Imp registration FHP 198C. Others he used included a red Imp - FPX 672C, a grey Imp - 109 GXH, a white Singer Chamois - JML 272B and a grey Ford Zodiac EJU 444C. (Images below)
"Gotta get my suitcase and my car... they're all I own"