Wednesday 19 June 2013

Book of the Month (really a DVD)

Things are quiet chez Joppy at the moment, holidays and outdoor projects taking precedence. However, I have just taken delivery of a recent DVD issue which may be of interest to those of you with FLW interests.

                                                     Virgin of the Secret Service
Some of you of a certain age and with long memories may remember this series from the 1960s, but here is a reminder. The box holds 4 discs containing the complete series of 13 episodes. I have only watched the first so far so the comments are based on that.

The series is set in the early 1900s (pictures of Edward V11 on barrack walls) in the early days of the Secret Service under the guidance of Colonel Shaw-Camberley, and Captain Robert Virgin (Clinton Greyn) is the pseudonymous hero, aided by his batman Doublett (John Cater) and an attractive lady 'journalist/spy' Mrs Cortez (Veronica Strong). Their antagonist throughout the series is the wily free-lance villain Karl Von Brauner (Alexander Dore).Their adventures take them from the North West Frontier to Russia, Brazil, India, Egypt and other places, safeguarding frontiers, protecting secrets and thwarting assasinations.

The episodes are in black and white, though there are colour photos on the jacket, so perhaps the later episodes are colour. Don't expect modern 'Spooks' style programming. The photography is decidedly dodgy and the acting is very OTT and 'hammy', Carry on up the Khyber is a masterpiece in comparison. The dialogue is long-winded and static appearing to be very much tongue-in-cheek with fighting sequences being very staged. I think the writers saw this as a comic show rather than drama.

Having said all that, I think all aficiondos of FLW would enjoy the series, and it could produce some scenarios (exploding sweetmeats delivered to the British commanding officer) or character possibilities (the colonel who thought a game of polo more important than the safety of the frontier).

My copy came from Simply Home Entertainment - - at £34.99


  1. What a great find. I love stuff like this. Movies that are actually believable and make sense. A breath of fresh air instead of all the dribble we seem to find on the television these days! Definitely has the making of a F.L.W. scenario ... Jeff

  2. I wouldn't exactly say "believable" but I really enjoyed the cliché characters. The episode I watched had honest upright Englishmen, devious Germans, power mad Russians planning to invade India etc. Definitely not PC for this modern age.