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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Details

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Release Date:

7 September 1977 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El ejército secreto  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(42 episodes)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sequel series "Kessler" ran for 6 episodes. See more »

Connections

Followed by Kessler (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb classic BBC Drama
30 August 2000 | by (Durham, UK) – See all my reviews

After seeing Secret Army recently for the first time on UK Drama, I was blown away by it's brilliance. I had read lots about it, but never realised that the show was as impressive as it is.

The characters are all very well drawn and the series views World War II from many angles. We don't only get to see the heroic and valiant efforts of the allies and resistance - the Germans, the Belgian police and ordinary citizens of the Low Countries are all represented, and more than anything else the series shows that the war affected different people in vastly differing ways. Nothing is black and white. Albert, our hero in the series, is a flawed hero: he can be greedy, dominating and possessive (Albert is a far cry from Hepton's role as a Nazi Commandant in Colditz, some years earlier). Major Brandt of the Luftwaffe is a German but not like Kessler, a Nazi. Brandt is simply a member of the armed forces who is only doing his job. Secret Army can be commended for not presenting the heroes and "villains" as mere stereotypes. Special mention must also go to Clifford Rose who play the head of the Gestapo in Belgium, Ludwig Kessler - the inspiration for Herr Flick in the spoof series Allo Allo. Rose is magnificent as Kessler and the character is written as a man who is completely and utterly devoted to the Fatherland and the Fuhrer.

Secret Army, along with other greats like Colditz and I, Claudius is an example of the great drama serials that the BBC no longer produce. These days we seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of police and hospital drama serials. Secret Army was transmitted at prime-time on BBC1 when it was first shown: how many period dramas do we ever see on our screens these days? At very best we get a Jane Austin type adaptation, and that would only ever be broadcast on a Sunday night.

Why don't the BBC take the chance to make something as daring as Secret Army? I'm sure that a viewing public tired of the same old shows would thank them for it.

I hope that UK Drama will show the spin-off series Kessler now!


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