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.
A 1967 sequel series was called The Fellows.
Sir Geoffrey Norton
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