From the early 1960s, in which television spies were used essentially as anti-Communist propaganda, through the subsequent years that both built upon and parodied this model, and finally to today's gadget-laden world of murky motives and complex global politics, spy television has served as much more than mere escapism. From the beginning, television spies opened doors for new kinds of heroes. Women quickly took center stage alongside men, and minority leads in spy programs paved the way for other kinds of roles on the small screen. For half a century, television spies have been trained professionals, reluctant heroes, housewives, businessmen, criminals, and comedians. They have by turns been glamorous, campy, reflective, sexy, and aloof. This is the first book-length treatment of one of TV's oldest and most fascinating genres. Topics include: How both popular and obscure spy shows came to the screen Why they succeeded or failed Analyses of series both famous and obscure A dissection of the ways in which fact and fiction have routinely been blurred in the genre Wesley Britton's comprehensive guide provides readers, from casual viewers to die-hard fans, with behind-the-scenes stories to this notable segment of television entertainment.
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