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DEPARTMENT S

thunderbirds_annual_1971
 
Full Name: Jason King, Stewart Sullivan, and Annabelle Hurst
Series Name: Department S
Nationality: British
Organization: Organization
Occupation Agency

Creator: Monty Berman , Dennis Spooner
Time Span: 1969 - 1970

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Department S is a sub-organization of Interpol.
       The agency has its offices in Paris rather than the main headquarters in Lyon. It is run by Sir Curtis Seretse, an African man whose experience seems extensive and his contacts and his reach even greater. It falls to Department S to handle the cases that other agencies or departments, inside its parent Interpol or in the various national police forces of the member countries, cannot handle. This invariably turns out to be polite talk for the odd, bizarre, strange, and uncanny. Even more to the point, Department S is who to call to handle the "unsolvable".
       Exactly how many agents report to Seretse is unknown but the action inside the recorded adventures are handled by a highly skilled trio.

Stewart Sullivan is an American, formerly with the F.B.I. and now a Department S operative who answers to Seretse directly. The relationship he has with his boss is respectful but close enough for him to be very at ease around him. Then again, Sullivan is self-assured enough to be comfortable around anyone. He is good looking, apparently in his mid-30s, quite capable with his brain, fists, and his aim.

Annabelle Hurst is a computer expert and data analyst who seems far more at home with reams of data sheets and computer printouts than she is with other humans. She is not standoffish per se and she has the requisite amount of people skills but it is obvious her safe zone is inside the number-crunching.

Jason King would like to think others thought of him as the idea man which he certainly does himself. That bit of self-congratulation is brought on by the fact that he truly does come up with the ideas and he is commonly dead on, much to the amusement of Sullivan and the annoyance of Hurst. King is in his early 40s and looks every bit his age as, despite being in good enough shape to take care of himself, usually, he is seldom seen without a drink in his hand (bourbon, if you have it). He is the epitome of style, extremely well dressed with his long hair always coiffured properly. He is also quite well off due to his impressive success with his adventure novels about Mark Caine. He will at times use ideas from the Caine novels to help with a mission and witll invariably use ideas from a mission in future Caine tales.


Interesting lines:
Jason King, The Six Days, to Annabelle, "One of the cankers of science is its incestuous obsession with itself; science for science sake."

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:28
First Appearance:1969
Last Appearance:1970
Network:ITV

REGULAR CAST
Peter WyngardeJason King [ 1 ]
Joel FabianiStewart Sullivan [ 1 ]
Rosemary NicolsAnnabelle Hurst [ 1 ]
Dennis Alaba PetersSir Curtis Seretse [ 1 ]
1 Six Days
Episode 1-01, first aired 03/09/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Gerald Kelsey

"When an aircraft goes missing for six days and the crew members have no recollection of events, Department S investigates."

2 The Trojan Tanker
Episode 1-02, first aired 03/16/1969
Director: Ray Austin
Writer: Philip Broadley

"A crashed tanker has had a room built inside, which contains an unconscious girl. She disappears before help arrives."

3 A Cellar Full of Silence
Episode 1-03, first aired 03/23/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Terry Nation

"Department S is called in after four dead men are found in a cellar, wearing fancy dress."

4 The Pied Piper of Hambledown
Episode 1-04, first aired 03/30/1969
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Writer: Donald James

"When an entire village disappears overnight except for one girl, Department S is called in."

5 One of Our Aircraft Is Empty
Episode 1-05, first aired 04/06/1969
Director: Paul Dickson
Writer: Tony Williamson

"An airliner lands at Heathrow but the crew and passengers are missing. (Made back-to-back with "Six Days")."

6 The Man in the Elegant Room
Episode 1-06, first aired 04/13/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Terry Nation

"When a dead girl and a demented man are found in a room constructed inside a disused factory, Department S investigates."

7 Handicap Dead
Episode 1-07, first aired 04/20/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Philip Broadley

"When a tournament golfer is found dead on a nearby beach, Sullivan investigates."

8 A Ticket to Nowhere
Episode 1-08, first aired 04/27/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Tony Williamson

"A disappearing scientist and the death of a financier are linked, but Jason and Stewart keep forgetting about the case, to the despair of Annabelle."

9 Black Out
Episode 1-09, first aired 09/17/1969
Director: Ray Austin
Writer: Philip Broadley

"A chef and food critic is found unconscious in the Mexican desert and cannot recall the last three days. Is there a connection to the American space programme?"

10 Double Death of Charlie Crippen
Episode 1-10, first aired 09/24/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Leslie Darbon

"An assassination attempt leaves only a dummy as the victim. Department S has to discover who the real target is."

11 Who Plays the Dummy
Episode 1-11, first aired 10/01/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Tony Williamson

"When a car crashes and the sole occupant is a dummy in the driving seat, Department S follows the trail to an imminent attack on NATO senior officers."

12 The Treasure of the Costa del Sol
Episode 1-12, first aired 10/08/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Philip Broadley

"Two dead fisherman, and a haul of plastic fish containing $100,000, lead to a painter and engraver."

13 The Man Who Got a New Face
Episode 1-13, first aired 10/15/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Philip Broadley

"Department S investigates when a man is found dead with a clown's mask glued to his face, and the trail leads to a vicious vendetta."

14 Les Fleurs du Mal
Episode 1-14, first aired 10/22/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Philip Broadley

"Three plastic flowers contain a coded message that will lead to the proceeds of a bank robbery, but there are interested parties ready to kill for the flowers."

15 The Shift That Never Was
Episode 1-15, first aired 10/25/1969
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Donald James

"With one exception, every member of staff of a chemical factory takes a day off. The one man who went to work is murdered. The trail leads to a beauty parlour and a nuclear power station."

16 The Man from X
Episode 1-16, first aired 11/05/1969
Director: Gil Taylor
Writer: Tony Williamson

"A man clad in a spacesuit staggers in a London street, unable to remove the jammed helmet, he suffocates. Department S investigates, the only clue is the man has slight radiation burns and had been in a vacuum."

17 Dead Men Die Twice
Episode 1-17, first aired 11/12/1969
Director: Ray Austin
Writer: Philip Broadley

"Department S finds that a 'dead man' can die twice when a man is murdered twice three years after his double had been murdered."

18 The Perfect Operation
Episode 1-18, first aired 11/26/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Leslie Darbon

"A surgeon performing a delicate brain operation on a senior British civil servant is forcibly removed, another surgeon enters and completes the operation, saving the man's life. Department S investigates the only surgeon capable of doing the operation, but he is Russian and too old."

19 The Duplicated Man
Episode 1-19, first aired 12/03/1969
Director: Paul Dickson
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

"A double agent is killed, but is he really dead after he has spent ten years cultivating a second identity to escape from his masters? Department S investigates, closely followed by enemy agents."

20 The Mysterious Man in the Flying Machine
Episode 1-20, first aired 12/10/1969
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Philip Broadley

"A man is found murdered in a mock-up aircraft in a warehouse. The team wonder why anybody should go to so much trouble. A message left scrawled on their car is the only clue."

21 Death on Reflection
Episode 1-21, first aired 12/17/1969
Director: Ray Austin
Writer: Philip Broadley

"Sir Curtis Seretse, head of Department S, is astonished to see a mirror sell at auction for four times its value, when the buyer is murdered, he asks the team to investigate."

22 Last Train to Redbridge
Episode 1-22, first aired 01/14/1970
Director: John Gilling
Writer: Gerald Kelsey

"Multiple murders on a tube train lead Department S to criminal speculators attempting to tap the hot line between the US President and the UK Prime Minister."

23 A Small War of Nerves
Episode 1-23, first aired 01/21/1970
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

"A fanatical scientist who has developed a deadly nerve gas threatens to wipe out London unless governments take notice and agree to live in peace."

24 The Bones of Byrom Blain
Episode 1-24, first aired 01/28/1970
Director: Paul Dickson
Writer: Tony Williamson

"A chauffeur arrives at his destination only to discover his passenger has disappeared, leaving only his skeleton behind. Department S investigates and discovers the chauffeur's skeleton, the same fate awaits Sir Curtis Seretse and Jason King."

25 pencer Bodily is 60 Years Old
Episode 1-25, first aired 02/11/1970
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

"Spencer Bodily is dead, he looks 20 but must be at least 60, and there is no record he ever existed. The body disappears, and Department S suspects there could be more cases of 'eternal youth'."

26 The Ghost of Mary Burnham
Episode 1-26, first aired 02/18/1970
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Harry W. Junkin

"John Burnham is tormented by the ghost of his wife shortly after she is shot and killed. He is a brilliant economist and someone is trying to unbalance him to prevent him taking an important job. Department S has to find out why before he is driven insane."

27 A Fish Out of Water
Episode 1-27, first aired 02/25/1970
Director: Cyril Frankel
Writer: Philip Broadley

"When an Interpol agent is found dead, Jason King is sent to take over his mission to crack an international drug ring. Jason realises he has been identified and his life is in danger. Stewart and Annabelle are sent to back him up."

28 The Soup of the Day
Episode 1-28, first aired 03/04/1970
Director: Leslie Norman
Writer: Leslie Darbon

"When a crate of soup is stolen from a bonded warehouse, Department S suspects smuggling, but when the team locates the stolen soup cans, all are intact and contain only soup. Is it a case of double-cross?"

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1970
Last Appearance:1970

1 The Silent Men The Silent Men
Published by City Magazines Ltd.

Copyright: 1970

Two "top-level" scientists from the Eastern Bloc have decided to defect and are quartered in an estate outside Istanbul awaiting transport to London. Department S is tasked with helping the transit and are there when the site is attacked.

MY COMMENTS

       I have read some not so flattering comments, written in the last 10 years, about Department S and I have to wonder if they were watching the same series I was. Maybe my tolerance is lower. Maybe they need theirs to drop down some. This is a fun series and it so deserved to have a book or three written about it. Mind you, the character I enjoyed the most was Jason King and he did get two for himself but I would have like some for the trio.
       The plots are fun. The action often enough to not get boring. The dialogue easy and good. The witticisms by King worth the price of admission. It is just a shame there was only the one season.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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