In this series, inspired by real events during World War II, the kind, intelligent and worrisome Albert Foiret runs both a café, which is the only notable public house in a small Belgian ... See full summary »

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3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   Unknown  
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Albert Foiret (43 episodes, 1977-1979)
Angela Richards ...
 Monique Duchamps (41 episodes, 1977-1979)
...
 Sturmbannführer Ludwig Kessler (38 episodes, 1977-1979)
Juliet Hammond ...
 Natalie Chantrens (37 episodes, 1977-1979)
Ron Pember ...
 Alain Muny (28 episodes, 1977-1979)
...
 Dr. Pascal Keldermans (23 episodes, 1977-1979)
...
 Major Erwin Brandt (22 episodes, 1977-1978)
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Storyline

In this series, inspired by real events during World War II, the kind, intelligent and worrisome Albert Foiret runs both a café, which is the only notable public house in a small Belgian town, where locals therefore naturally mix with the Nazi occupation forces, and a just as publicity-shy (even his bed-ridden wife knows nothing) network of the Belgian resistance, devoted to the evacuation of shot-down Allied pilots to Britain. He and his secret 'army' (including some of his staff and the Brussels Dr. Pascal Keldermans), taking orders by illegal radio from London, constantly risk their lives -and if caught by the professionally torturing Gestapo, possibly everyone else's- to find the pilots, hide, nurse and prepare them for the long, dangerous journey out of the Reich under the Nazis' noses, a never ending cat-and-mouse game against specialized German hunters, run by the gentleman Luftwaffe (Air Force)- Major Erwin Brandt and the ruthless Nazi 'secret state police' run by the cunning,... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

world war two | escape | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

7 September 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El ejército secreto  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(42 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gerald Glaister pitched the series to the Controller of BBC1 when he shared a lift with him at the BBC Headquarters. By the time the lift reached the Controller's floor, Glaister had himself a deal. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in 'Allo 'Allo! (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Secret Army is a Masterpiece.
22 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This brilliant series from the 70's is repeated on UKTV

It is set in the Second World War but is far from the stereotypical wartime drama.The heroes are flawed and the Germans shown in a more realistic light.The Kessler character could be seen by some as a trajectory,but can people who order mass murder at the drop of a hat be portrayed sympathetically?Both the Luftwaffe officers are shown to be ordinary people stuck in an extraordinary situation,and the contempt that Brandt has for his Gestapo superior is cleverly and subtlety done.

This can only enhance or understanding of the psychology of the war. The plot revolves around "Lifeline" which is an evasion line for downed airmen run by Lisa who is scarred by the death of her parents and wants to defeat the Nazis.She is portrayed as ruthless and willing to take hard decisions for the greater good.An especially dark episode ends with the Candide owner,Albert,giving up two allied airmen to certain death in order to protect the line.

This is brilliant,well thought out drama and very thought provoking.We can all look at the German people and say it couldn't happen here,or at the Occupied Countries and say we would have been in the Resistance.But Nazi domination was based on simple everyday slights to minorities that in themselves didn't seem OTT but produced an atmosphere of fear and the opportunity for ruthless or inadequate people to do their worst whilst people looked the other way or said "It's not my problem".Exactly the type of thing that allows (present tense) Sinn Fein/IRA to keep Nationalist areas under control.

Six million don't die because the Nazi Elite thought it was a good idea.You have to make people complicit and feel big or at best make it so they are ambivalent to the fate of others or just plain scared.

This drama is for me the best thing broadcast by the BBC ever.Dark,atmospheric,Pinteresque spring to mind.

There is a myth that telly was better in the 70's.It wasn't.It was mostly terrible but with the odd absolute gem such as this.I fear these programmes would not be made today due to ratings which is the King.


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