|The Secret Service|
|Directors||Alan Perry |
|Music Director||Barry Gray|
|Special Effects||Derek Meddings|
|Original Air Date||21st September 1969|
The Secret Service was a unique blend of live action and Supermarionation originally shown on three ITV regions in 1969 - ATV, Granada & Southern. Unfortunately, no more than thirteen instalments were ever produced before Lewis Grade cancelled it. The reason Grade gave was his conviction that Americans would not be able to understand the strange gobbledygook language which Father Unwin spoke, called "Unwinese," a trademark of the comedy of comedian Stanley Unwin, the lead voice actor--a claim which missed the point entirely! For Gerry Anderson, one of the two chief producers of the programme, was one of Unwin's fans and had wanted to incorporate Unwinese into one of his productions; he argued that it could be explained as "jargon" code, which is spoken rather than written. Alas for American viewers, Grade refused to accept this. Thus The Secret Service was never syndicated to the United States.
Set in present day (1969) Britain and working for B.I.S.H.O.P., or British Intelligence Service Headquarters's "Operation Priest," Father Stanley Unwin and his gardener Matthew Harding led a double life. In reality they were both secret agents and they made quite a team. Using a unique device called the Minimiser, Father Unwin could reduce Matthew down to one-third normal size, and he could then be transported around in a special case.
Father Unwin drove around in a yellow vintage 1917 Model T Ford named "Gabriel," with Matthew in tow. With his reduced stature, Matthew could enter aeroplanes, tanks and cars without being seen.
Cast and Crew
Characters Created by
Music Composed and Directed by
Vocal Title Music by
The Mike Sammes Singers
Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
Supervising Visual Effects
Senior Visual Effects Director
Visual Effects Designer
Visual Effects Unit
Supervising Sound Editor
Anvil Films Limited
- The Secret Service was the final Gerry Anderson programme to use the Supermarionation brand, although a few years later, he did try unsuccessfully to revive the genre in the pilot The Investigator. It was also the only Anderson production to combine super-marionation with live action and the only Anderson programme situated in what was then the present day.
- Because Agent Paul Blake (voice of UFO cast member Keith Alexander) was represented by the Captain Scarlet super-marionation puppet using browner, less black-coloured hair and eye-glasses, "fanon," or fan-fiction canon, has equated him with Captain Scarlet's grandfather on his (Captain Scarlet's) mother's side, and thus Captain Scarlet's mother with Paul Blake's daughter as both characters share the same name of Paul.
- Production of The Secret Service took place concurrently with that of UFO, and Unwin's antique car actually appears in an episode of UFO.
- Main article: References or Tributes
|About Supermarionation:||What is it? | Who makes it? | The marionettes | the legacy|
|The Series:||Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons | Joe 90 | The Secret Service | The Investigator|
|The Films:||Thunderbirds Are Go | Thunderbird 6|
|Other Uses:||Calling Elvis|
|Imitators and tributes:||Paul starr | Team America World Police | Interster | X-Bomber (Star Fleet) | Superthunderstingcar | Thunderbirds F.A.B. | Misc. Parodies and references|
|Preceding series:||The Secret Service||Following series:|