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Department S (ITV 1969-1970, Peter Wyngarde, Rosemary Nichols)

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Department S, a secret wing of Interpol and based in Paris, featured a trio of agents, each with their own special skills, tackling the kind of cases that leave most people baffled. Created by Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner and filmed concurrently with that other ITC classic Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Department S starred Peter Wyngarde as novelist Jason King who would use his literary brain to try and crack the case, then there was the American Joel Fabiani as the straightish Stewart Sullivan and thirdly there was Rosemary Nichols as computer expert Annabelle Hurst.

All three answered to the African Sir Curtis Seretse (played by Dennis Alaba Peters) but their cases took them all over the world (although due to budget constraints most of these locations look suspiciously like ITC’s favourite pre-filmed backdrops).

In a somewhat similar format to The Champions the cases that Department S undertook were generally of the fantastic variety such as episode one’s Six Days where a plane and its passengers disappear for six days but have no memory of it and The Pied Piper of Hambledown where an entire village goes missing.

Peter Wyngarde as Jason King fairly eats up the screen whenever he appears, so popular was he in fact that he soon gained a spin-off show – the self titled Jason King.

In broadcast terms there was a substantial gap of several months between episodes 8 and 9.

Cast: Peter Wyngarde as Jason King; Rosemary Nicols as Annabelle Hurst; Joel Fabiani as Stewart Sullivan; Dennis Alaba Peters as Sir Curtis Seretse

Creators: Monty Berman, Dennis Spooner  / Executive Story Consultant: Dennis Spooner  / Titles: Chambers and Partners  / Music: Edwin Astley  / Producer: Monty Berman

UK / ITV – ATV – ITC / 28×50 minute episodes / 9 March 1969 – 4 March 1970