||1960 - 1978
ABOUT THE SERIES
Tim Frazer is an agent with an unnamed British Intelligence agency.
An engineer by training and by trade, Frazer was educated at a moderate English public school. He was mediocre in most subjects with the except of languages and metal works so he made his profession that of engineer for a company assigned to the Middle East. A bequeath of a small machine-tool business near London brought him back. A chance meeting with a glib speaking Harry Denston resulted in Frazer having a partner and for a few years business was good. Then the free-spending of his partner brought the shop into receivership and Frazer was back working for others again.
Months after the company went under, Frazer received a mysterious call from his old partner who excitedly told him their troubles were over if Frazer would just join him in a seaside village for an important meeting. Reluctant to take the time but anxious to get back some of what was owed him, Frazer agreed. And thus was his introduction into the shadowy world of Intelligence.
Francis Durbridge was a very successful radio and television writer and producer, having already struck success with a popular private detected named Paul Temple. He had added to the success by penning a series of novels based on the radio plays. His success gave him the opportunity to try other ideas, one of which was that of a everyman character getting involved in the spy business, more specifically, catching spies. Though the agency for which the character would eventually work was never mentioned, it was patterned after MI-5. There is little doubt that part of the reasoning for a spy versus detective show had to do with the success of a rival network's Danger Man series.
In November of 1960, The World Of Tim Frazer made its television debut. Starring veteran British actor, Jack Hedley. The stories were told in serial form lasting 1/2 hour each on BBC1, the primary British channel at the time. Each assignment lasted six episodes, making a total of 18 shows in all, a record for serial programming up to that time.
Due to his heavy work load, Durbridge was unable to provide all the writing for this series like he had for the Temple show and others he had produced so he brought in two television writers, Clive Exton and Barry Thomas, to help but it was still Durbridge who set the tone and direction. Just as he had with the other shows, Durbridge found the time to novelize the stories into book form, creating the three-book series mentioned here.
The first two books came out originally shortly after the series went off the air. The third and final one, however, has a copyright date of 1978 making it unclear whether it came out with the others or more than a decade later.
Of note is the fact that the television series proved quite popular all across Europe, especially in Germany, making it a wonder that it didn't continue beyond the initially planned 18 episodes.
|Number of Episodes:||18|
5/9/2013 11:23:09 PM
I agree with your comment that a few years later, and Frazer would have slipped by unnoticed, but his everyman character was just right for that period - you only have to look at late fifties/early sixties Brit crime movies,TV and books to see that it was the film version of Bond that changed things, rather than the print version. But back to Frazer - I like these because they are so matter-of-fact - Durbridge was a brisk writer whose work was all in that vein, and although some of the later novelisations were apparently ghosted, and were a bit rough around the edges, the earlier prose that was down to Durbridge alone is excellent of its type. His mysteries are very good, and if you like the down to earth pre-LeCarre spy, the these hit the spot.
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