Sunday, February 8, 2009




If you're a fan of Burn Notice, Chuck, or 24, then you've joined the millions of viewers who've loved the adventures of classic secret agents for over 55 years. In over 200 programs, TV spies have been cultural trend-setters from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to The Six Million Dollar Man. They've been espionage blended with science-fiction,gritty and realistic, docu-dramas, mini-series, comic spoofs for adults and entertainment for the very young. And, as Wes Britton demonstrates in his new Encyclopedia of TV Spies, the genre is full of nuggets and rarities even the most devoted spy-watcher may have missed.

On March 1, 2009, Bear Manor Media will release The Encyclopedia of TV Spies, and they promise a treasure-trove of surprises. What do you know about The Piglet Files, Doomwatch, The Sandbaggers? Has your DVD diet included Passport to Danger, Man in a Suitcase, Sleepers? That's what The Encyclopedia of TV Spies is all about-the icons of TV past, the obscure, the neglected classics, and the misfires. If you're a spy buff or a fan of TV history, this is one that belongs on your bookshelf!

Before Bond, before Maxwell Smart and Mrs. Emma Peel, we’'ve enjoyed a wide variety of TV Spies. From 1951’'s Dangerous Assignment to today'’s Burn Notice, we'’ve watched cloak-and-dagger adventures from popular successes like Alias and Mission: Impossible to thoughtful mini-series like The Sandbaggers to cartoons and even live animals in shows like Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. Our TV secret agents have worn masks and capes (Adventures of Zorro), fought in the historical past (Hogan’s Heroes, Jack of All Trades), been as stylish as Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., or have been as frumpy as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

No one knows more about the wide vista of these undercover operatives than Dr. Wesley Britton, author of the highly-acclaimed 2004 history of the genre, Spy Television. Now, Britton has compiled the first indispensable reference book on television espionage unveiling the secrets behind our beloved favorites, the nuggets we might have missed, and the programs that disappeared without a trace after their short original runs. Britton provides the behind-the-scenes creative process for TV spies drawn from both extensive research and his interviews with many participants. He uncovers the reasons why some dramas were either unforgettable hits or regrettable misses.

But The Encyclopedia of TV Spies is more than a historical overview—. Britton offers analysis of the elements that made key shows innovative and trend-setting and why some of the best productions ever made never jelled with the networks or audiences. And, like a “Special Edition” DVD, The Encyclopedia of TV Spies also includes extra features including articles on tie-in novels and how to collect TV spy music.

In short, no entertainment library is complete without The Encyclopedia of TV Spies, and no fan of television should be without it. Every reader should expect to discover surprises and suggestions for their own viewing, and will find themselves seeking out the best dramas and comedies available on DVD or online.


"This is an invaluable reference book for anyone interested in the history of television, and that of spies on the small screen . . . They're all here: contemporary spies, Western spies, war time spies, cold war spies, serious ones, funny ones, mysterious ones. . . You get the background on over 200 shows, the creators, the stars, the characters, with behind the scenes intrigue as well as that which was put on the screen. A triumph in research. A must read. More so, a must own."

Marc Cushman, author of I Spy: A History and Episode Guide to the Groundbreaking Television Series

". . . this exhaustive directory covers television programs from 1951 to 2008, and it is a delightful stroll down memory lane . . . The Encyclopedia is rich with photographs, and each entry contains a concise but thorough synopsis, marvelously describing the show and tipping the hat to directors, producers, and actors. Dr. Britton clearly demonstrates his extensive knowledge of television espionage, packaging it in a way that is informative and, at the same time, very fun to read."

Bill Raetz, author of the World Espionage Bureau novels including The Lie Detector, Surveillance, and Romanian Skylark

" . . . Britton's book is a long overdue and desperately needed reference work that should be a part of any serious TV library. It covers every conceivable aspect of the TV espionage genre and will satisfy both the curiosity of fans and the scholarly needs of researchers."

Lee Goldberg, executive producer, Diagnosis: Murder, author of the Monk tie-in novels

"Covering the past six decades, with entries set out in alphabetical order, followers of all these secret missions and undercover operations will be surprised to find just how many television spies they did not know about . . . The contents are well set out, there are appendices and lists with all the dates and descriptions provided . . . this book is an entertaining and easy read."

Roger Langley, author of Patrick McGoohan: Danger Man or Prisoner?

"Finally an authoritative reference source for information on the spy stories that have graced and disgraced the small screen since the earliest days of television . . . Highly recommended for spy-fiction fans everywhere."

T.H.E. Hill, author of Voices Under Berlin

" . . . I learnt something new about many shows I've spent years watching, and learnt of plenty of new shows I should spend many years watching. This is truly a stunning collection of research covering every aspect of spies on television."

Ian Dickerson, Honorary Secretary, The Saint Club


Bear Manor Media is now accepting pre-orders for Wes Britton's The Encyclopedia of TV Spies!

Publication date: March 1, 2009
Format: softcover
Pages: 497
ISBN: 1-59393-325-8
Price: $29.95


Wesley Britton

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