Tales of derring do and spy shenigans around the turn of the twentieth century were the order of the day in Virgin of the Secret Service. Captain Robert Virgin was a staunch defender of British honour and a member of the British secret service. His cases took him all over the world, from trouble on the Afghan Border (in first episode Dark Deeds on the North West Frontier) to the Far East. Virgin’s superior was Colonel Shaw-Camberly and his faithful aide de camp/batman was Doublett. Meanwhile he was assisted on some of his cases by his fiesty fiancee Mrs Virginia Cortez.
ITC is a name synonymous with glossy action adventure series, many of which, The Prisoner, Man in a Suitcase, Jason King etc, still have a substantial audience today, one of the few shows that has all but been forgotten is the derring-do-tastic Virgin of the Secret Service. The show was unusually shot in black and white at a time when all the other ITC shows were very much big budget colour productions. It has its tongue very firmly in its cheek. It’s also a veritable riot of wobbly sets and the type of scenery chewing acting that makes Brian Blessed look subdued but deliberately played that way.
Guest stars included the likes of Gabrielle Drake, Desmond Llewellyn, Rodney Bewes, Georgina Hale, Edward Brayshaw and Paul Darrow.
“Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought that an unchaperoned female would drop from the skies into the company of 800 rough, tough, lusty fighting men”…
UK / ITV – ATV – ITC / 13×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 March – 18 June 1968 / black and white
Creator: Ted Willis / Script Editor: Nicholas Palmer / Fight Arranger: Peter Diamond / Theme Music: Larry Adler / Producer: Josephine Douglas
CLINTON GREYN as Captain Robert Virgin
VERONICA STRONG as Mrs Cortez
JOHN CATER as Doublett
ALEXANDER DORE as Karl Von Brauner
NOEL COLEMAN as Col. Shaw-Camberley
PETER SWANNICK as Klaus Striebeck