This was an excellent series with a total of ten shows, released in 1984 and aired by PBS in the U.S. in the late 80s. They only ran the shows one time. Too bad! It was the last series written by George Markstein of Danger Man/Secret Agent fame. The situation is of a very small department under the indirect control of an unnamed English female prime minister (hmmmm, who could that be?). This department tackles Mission Impossible-style tasks that cannot be carried out by official means, but they do it with a staff of three (Mr. Palfrey, his secretary and his side-kick) and no high-tech gizmos or budget. How do they do it? Their "dirty tricks" are way more tricky than dirty. Both their subjects and their audience are taken on a ride, often with a surprise ending. My favorite episode was "Return to Sender" (I think that's the name, anyway) about a Russian double-agent who has decided he wants to return home. Mr. Palfrey assignment is to stop by any means necessary. Just when you think you're going to witness the agent's demise, Mr. Palfrey's mastery of psychology saves the day. I don't know how you're ever going to see the series, as repeated requests to the BBC to re-release it have gone nowhere, but if you get a chance, don't pass it up. - January 2005 Six years later: the DVD set is finally available from Acorn media. Well worth the purchase!
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