Spy Television

Spy Television

Spy Television

Spy Television

Synopsis

For half a century, television spies have been trained professionals, reluctant heroes, housewives, businessmen, criminals, and comedians. They have by turns been glamorous, campy, reflective, sexy, and aloof. This is the first book-length treatment of one of TV's oldest and most fascinating genres. Britton's comprehensive guide provides readers, from casual viewers to die-hard fans, with behind-the-scenes stories to this notable segment of television entertainment.

Excerpt

In the 1960s, American popular culture depended more on “begats” than any book in the Old Testament. On the television screen, one success inevitably begat another. If a fair-haired young Dr. Kildare captured viewers, so would a dark-haired Ben Casey. If a beautiful blonde housewife turned the world on with her twitch in Bewitched, so too could a blonde girlfriend in I Dream of Jeannie. We were asked to Make Room for Daddy because Father Knows Best. The ghoulish humor of The Addams Family begat The Munsters. The cornpone jokes of The Beverly Hillbillies begat Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. The World War II action of Combat begat The Rat Patrol, Hogan's Heroes, and McHale's Navy. Private eyes operated on the coast (77 Sunset Strip), on tropical islands (Hawaiian Eye), and underwater (Sea Hunt). The science fiction of The Twilight Zone begat The Outer Limits begat The Invaders begat Star Trek. The most pervasive genre of the era was the Western, Gunsmoke begetting Wagon Train, Wyatt Earp, Maverick, Bonanza, and a host of others. And all of these programs aired on only three networks.

Into this American mix came a double-edged British sword. After the Beatles landed at New York's LaGuardia Airport in February 1964, they begat the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, Petula Clark, and seemingly any British Islander who could play an instrument or carry a tune. Suddenly, even the Americans wanted to speak with British accents. Neither could Broadway escape the British Invasion when Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison graced the stages of Camelot and My Fair Lady.

The other side of the British sword came in 1962 with the release of Dr. No, the first of the most successful film series in motion picture history. Although James Bond was a product of the 1950s, his first appearance in print being Casino Royale in 1953, the Bond of Ian Fleming's books and Sean

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