Alan Keeling continues to bring us TV programmes from the early days of broadcasting, the majority of which have, over the years, been erased from our memory. This week's helping takes us into the world of underground police work, which has always been a popular subject with telly viewers.
"For those Bugle readers who used to work in a Black Country factory back in the early sixties, perhaps you remember whistling a very popular tune at the time, or arriving on a Monday morning to a whistling crescendo from fellow workers on the shop floor. You knew exactly which TV programme they had been watching the night before, because in 1961 ABC were screening hour long episodes of Ghost Squad on a weekend, with its famous and very catchy theme tune, both written and performed by Philip Green.
Season one of the Ghost Squad series included 13 hour-long black and white episodes produced by the Rank Organisation for I.T.C. It starred American actor Michael Quinn as Ghost Squad member Nick Craig, with the head of the operation, Sir Arthur Wilson, played by Sir Donald Wolfit, and his secretary Helen Winters played by Angela Browne. Operating from somewhere in London the Ghost Squad was an underground, special police unit designed to infiltrate and corrupt the inner sanctum of the criminal underworld, both at home in Britain and overseas. Even in those early days of TV, producers weren't averse to killing off their main characters, and this ignominy befell Nick Craig in episode 13 when he was killed in an explosion during an undercover operation."