Retro TV: Department S

Department SI am not quite sure what it is about old television shows (particularly British though I am also a big fan of some Quinn Martin productions, such as “The Invaders,” “Barnaby Jones” and “The Streets Of San Francisco,” as well as shows like “The Night Stalker,” Hawaii Five-O,” among others) that make them so appealing.

Perhaps part of my rekindling of the embers of the past has to do with the fact that I don’t watch too much television; partially because I haven’t gone digital, and partially because I don’t think a lot of it is worth watching.

I discovered, or should I say rediscovered, “Department S” when in a wave of nostalgia I was on YouTube searching for theme music from shows like “Baretta,” and the aforementioned “Barnaby Jones.”

Department S is a branch of Interpol (I assume that this is the case because in one episode Stuart Sullivan (Joel Fabiani) flashed an Interpol card one episode) that solves cases that others either have given up on, or can’t.

Though the most interesting thing about the show, beside the awesome theme music, is Peter Wyngarde, who played Jason King.  King was a novelist that, as far as I can tell, wasn’t actually part of Interpol, yet somehow he’s given a lot of leeway to pursue clues and take action in the name of the department.

His performance is also very, very fey, despite being quite the ladies man.

Another interesting point is that the heard of “Department S” happens to be a black man, Sir Dennis Serete (Dennis Alaba Peters).

Pretty progressive for a series from the Sixties.

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