Click here to return to the main site.

Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

The Secret Service
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Barry Gray
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILCD1681 (CD), SILED1681 (download)
Release Date: 29 July 2022

The Secret Service was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson final puppet show… and also the least seen. The 1969 series was cancelled after just 13 episodes and failed to get a network transmission in the UK. And it’s easy to see why the show was largely ignored – it’s mainly very poor.

The concept of a vicar who’s a spy who can shrink people and objects with a bible-ensconced bit of tech is odd enough but when the puppet vicar is voiced by Stanley Unwin it all starts to spiral off in some very peculiar directions. Add in some ill-advised live action inserts and it becomes an unholy mess. The scripts are slow, there’s very little action and even fewer amazing craft or explosions – all the ingredients that made the Andersons’ show great are missing. Except one…

The score is once again written by the highly talented Barry Gray but even he seems to have been feeling disinterested as most of the material he wrote for the show – title track aside – is very by numbers.

Barry thought The Secret Service theme tune was amongst his best work and it’s enjoyable – if you like that sort of thing. However, pretty much everything else on this CD could have been culled from other Supermarionation shows. ‘Robbery at Healey Automation’ sounds like one of the less memorable cues from Captain Scarlet while ‘Calling Father Unwin’ has Stingray written through it in big letters.

Meanwhile, ‘Sabotage’ starts off like something from Thunderbirds before segueing into a version of The Secret Service theme, only to return to a very familiar lift from the adventures of International Rescue. And the only thing missing from ‘Ambush’ is the Spectrum drum beat…

The result is an album that sounds very familiar but not very compelling – all the ingredients are there but there’s nothing fresh or new to be heard, title track aside. I want to love the music – because I love the work of Barry Gray – but it’s not happening this time.

Sorry, Barry, but your work for The Secret Service is little more than a footnote to your otherwise illustrious career.


Anthony Clark

Buy this item online