Home Television Drama Man in Room 17, The

Man in Room 17, The

1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 6 (UK)
26 x 55 minute episodes

A brilliantly inventive weekly espionage series from Granada featuring a couple of master sleuths who work for the Intelligence Service and operate from the seclusion of Room 17, the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research, situated somewhere in Whitehall.


The unit was set up to study the criminal mind and handle cases that had baffled the police and security services.

Veteran WW II agent Oldenshaw (Richard Vernon) had a mind trained to devour information like a computer and had risen to prominence during the planning of D-Day.

He was partnered, initially, with criminologist Dimmock (Michael Aldridge), who was replaced by the unusually named Imlac Defraits (Denholm Elliott) in series two when Dimmock left to do research on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Defraits was an old Etonian and son of a British Ambassador in South America who had served as an officer in the Hussars before coming to the Room via the Home Office.


Answerable only to the Prime Minister, the men in Room 17 pulled the strings that made the undercover world dance, solving all manner of crimes with one unique difference – they never left the confines of their office, working out the problems of the case from their desks.

Portly, easily-flustered Sir Geoffrey (Willoughby Goddard) was their ineffectual liaison to the higher-ups in the government.

A 1967 sequel series was called The Fellows.

Edwin Oldenshaw 
Richard Vernon
Ian Dimmock

Michael Aldridge 
Imlac Defraits 
Denholm Elliott 
Sir Geoffrey Norton 

Willoughby Goddard 

Michael Gover
Tracey Peverill 

Amber Kammer


Tell The Truth | Hello Lazarus | Years Of Glory | Confidential Report | The Millions of Muzafariyah | The Seat Of Power | Safe Conduct | A Minor Operation | Find The Lady | The Bequest | Up Against A Brock Wall | Out For A Duck | Black Anniversary | How To Rob A Bank – And Get Away With It | Vendetta | The Black Witch | First Steal Six Eggs | The Catacombs | Where There’s A Will | The Fissile Missile Makers | Goddess Of Love | Undue Influence | Lady Luck’s No Gentleman | The Standard | Saints Are Safer Dead | Never Fall Down