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Virgin of the Secret Service (ITV Drama, Clinton Greyn)



Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina

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 (Clinton Greyn) 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 (Noel Coleman) and his faithful aide de camp/batman was Doublett (John Cater). Meanwhile he was assisted on some of his cases by the fiesty Mrs Virginia Cortez (Veronica Strong). Mrs Cortez is fully emancipated and works as a photographer, a well connected one too. She discovers lots of intriguing snippets of information when diplomats, statesmen and even royalty visit her studio. Meanwhile Virgin’s batman Doublett is also an expert lock picker and part time escapologist. Virgin quite often found himself doing battle against the evil Karl Von Brauner (Alexander Dore)

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.

classic quote
“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”…

Cast: 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

Creator: Ted Willis / Script Editor: Nicholas Palmer / Fight Arranger: Peter Diamond / Theme Music: Larry Adler / Producer: Josephine Douglas

UK / ITV – ATV – ITC / 13×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 March – 18 June 1968 / black and white