1 9 6 1 – 1 9 6 2 (UK)
Best remembered for its hit theme tune, Sucu Sucu (which became a top ten hit in 1961 for composer Laurie Johnson), Top Secret – from Associated-Rediffusion – starred William Franklyn as Peter Dallas, a tough but likeable British intelligence agent based in Argentina.
Given a year’s secondment, he found himself working for local businessman Miguel Garetta (Patrick Cargill) – who also had secret service connections – in a fight against crime and subversion.
Delving into matters which the local everyday law-enforcers could not touch, Dallas worked undercover to undermine crooks and spies throughout South America and was joined on his assignments by Mike (Alan Rothwell), Garetta’s young nephew.
To bring beautiful backgrounds to the ITV screen, a film unit headed by director Ian Fordyce went out to Argentina. They spent eight weeks in the most exciting locations they could visit, starting in Buenos Aires.
The show made a star out of Franklyn (later the Schweppes “Shh! You know who!” man), while Patrick Cargill moved on from this serious role to specialise in farces and sitcoms like Father Dear Father.
Alan Rothwell is better remembered as David Barlow in Coronation Street.