Secret Army (1977–1979)

TV Series   |    |  Drama, History, War

Episode Guide
Secret Army (1977) Poster

During World War II, a Belgian resistance movement called Lifeline, based in Brussels, organises the return of Allied airmen who have been shot down by the Luftwaffe to the United Kingdom.

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  • Angela Richards and Werther van der Sarren in Secret Army (1977)
  • Ron Pember and Angela Richards in Secret Army (1977)
  • Clifford Rose and Hazel McBride in Secret Army (1977)
  • Paul Shelley in Secret Army (1977)
  • Bernard Hepton and Angela Richards in Secret Army (1977)
  • Secret Army (1977)

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Cast & Crew

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Gerard Glaister

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

30 August 2000 | chris.orton
Superb classic BBC Drama
After seeing Secret Army recently for the first time on UK Drama, I was blown away by it's brilliance. I had read lots about it, but never realised that the show was as impressive as it is.

The characters are all very well drawn and the series views World War II from many angles. We don't only get to see the heroic and valiant efforts of the allies and resistance - the Germans, the Belgian police and ordinary citizens of the Low Countries are all represented, and more than anything else the series shows that the war affected different people in vastly differing ways. Nothing is black and white. Albert, our hero in the series, is a flawed hero: he can be greedy, dominating and possessive (Albert is a far cry from Hepton's role as a Nazi Commandant in Colditz, some years earlier). Major Brandt of the Luftwaffe is a German but not like Kessler, a Nazi. Brandt is simply a member of the armed forces who is only doing his job. Secret Army can be commended for not presenting the heroes and "villains" as mere stereotypes. Special mention must also go to Clifford Rose who play the head of the Gestapo in Belgium, Ludwig Kessler - the inspiration for Herr Flick in the spoof series Allo Allo. Rose is magnificent as Kessler and the character is written as a man who is completely and utterly devoted to the Fatherland and the Fuhrer.

Secret Army, along with other greats like Colditz and I, Claudius is an example of the great drama serials that the BBC no longer produce. These days we seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of police and hospital drama serials. Secret Army was transmitted at prime-time on BBC1 when it was first shown: how many period dramas do we ever see on our screens these days? At very best we get a Jane Austin type adaptation, and that would only ever be broadcast on a Sunday night.

Why don't the BBC take the chance to make something as daring as Secret Army? I'm sure that a viewing public tired of the same old shows would thank them for it.

I hope that UK Drama will show the spin-off series Kessler now!

Critic Reviews

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Plot Summary


Drama | History | War

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