Before Bond, before Maxwell Smart and Mrs. Emma Peel, we’’ve enjoyed a wide variety of TV Spies. From 1951’’s Dangerous Assignment to today’’s Burn Notice, we’’ve watched cloak-and-dagger adventures from popular successes like Alias and Mission: Impossible to thoughtful mini-series like The Sandbaggers to cartoons and even live animals in shows like Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. Our TV secret agents have worn masks and capes (Adventures of Zorro), fought in the historical past (Hogan’s Heroes, Jack of All Trades), been as stylish as Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., or have been as frumpy as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
No one knows more about the wide vista of these undercover operatives than Dr. Wesley Britton, author of the highly-acclaimed 2004 history of the genre, Spy Television. Now, Britton has compiled the first indispensable reference book on television espionage unveiling the secrets behind our beloved favorites, the nuggets we might have missed, and the programs that disappeared without a trace after their short original runs. Britton provides the behind-the-scenes creative process for TV spies drawn from both extensive research and his interviews with many participants. He uncovers the reasons why some dramas were either unforgettable hits or regrettable misses.
But The Encyclopedia of TV Spies is more than a historical overview—. Britton offers analysis of the elements that made key shows innovative and trend-setting and why some of the best productions ever made never jelled with the networks or audiences.
And, like a “Special Edition” DVD, The Encyclopedia of TV Spies also includes extra features including articles on tie-in novels and how to collect TV spy music.
In short, no entertainment library is complete without The Encyclopedia of TV Spies, and no fan of television should be without it. Every reader should expect to discover surprises and suggestions for their own viewing, and will find themselves seeking out the best dramas and comedies available on DVD or online.