1 9 8 1 (UK)
5 x 30 minute episodes
Falconleigh is a prestigious British school, run by the Icarus Foundation, which offers scholarships for gifted children.
Working-class teenager Martin Smith (Barry Angel) is one of these brilliant minds and is soon rescued from a Northern comprehensive school and channelling his brilliance at Falconleigh – one of many similar schools for gifted children that the Icarus Foundation runs around the world.
He shortly finds himself being hypnotised, drugged and subjected to psychological manipulation. Key among the perpetrators are the calmly sinister headmaster John Doll (Philip Locke) and the mysterious Nobel Prize winner Edward Froelich (John Malcolm) who lurks behind the scenes at Falconleigh – despite being presumed dead since World War II.
Meanwhile, Britain’s defence systems are being sabotaged and naval intelligence officer Commander Andy Rutherford (Jack Galloway) witnesses a chain of test missile launches being blown out of the sky with childlike ease by persons unknown.
Unable to identify the source of this aggression, Rutherford finds himself suspended by his boss, Sir Hugh Francis (Peter Cellier).
Luckily, Rutherford happens to be pals with ex-Falconleigh pupil, Frank Broadhurst (Gorden Kaye), who knows a thing or two about the type of advanced laser techniques required to bring down a missile.
The story ends surprisingly undramatically given the build-up, with Martin’s decision to use his gift to “to use science to make men free”.
Most of the location filming for Codename Icarus was around Andover, Hampshire, and at Dunsford Airfield near Cambridge.
Commander Andy Rutherford
Sir Hugh Francis