During World War II, a Belgian resistance movement called Lifeline, based in Brussels, organises the return of Allied airmen who have been shot down by the Luftwaffe to the United Kingdom.

Creator:

Gerard Glaister
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3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977  
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

During World War II, Albert Foiret runs both a café in Brussels, where locals mix with the Nazi occupation forces, and a network of the Belgian resistance called Lifeline, devoted to the evacuation of downed Allied pilots to Britain. He and his secret 'army' constantly risk their own lives and those of many others to find the pilots, hide, nurse and prepare them for the long, dangerous journey out of the Reich under the Nazis' noses. It is a never ending cat-and-mouse game against specialized German hunters, the gentlemanly Luftwaffe officer Major Erwin Brandt and the ruthless Gestapo officer Sturmbannfuhrer Ludwig Kessler, whose devotion to Hitler's cause is boundless. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El ejército secreto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(42 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 43rd and final episode, "What Did You Do in the War Daddy", was never aired. It was supposedly set in the present day but because the BBC were unhappy with the old age make-up, it was never broadcast. The sequel series "Kessler" featured a lot of "The Secret Army" cast in its first episode to act as a bridge between the two. 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 dermotrathboneSee 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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