Further Anderson-related Articles

While most of the Andersonsí 60s series were totally studio-bound by necessity, the move towards increased realism with Joe 90 and The Secret Service allowed the producers to stretch their legs and get out for a bit of location filming. The improved standard of effects shots in these later series made the blending of real locations and effects sequences virtually indistinguishable.

Fortunately, the film crew didnít travel far, so most of the best-known locations seen in The Secret Service are within a reasonable radius and can be covered in a day. There are also a few UFO and Joe 90 locations to be seen in the same area if youíre feeling up to it, but you might want to save the Central London locations such as Centrepoint Tower and Horseguards Parade for another day (and donít bother looking for General Hendersonís office from UFO round the back of St Paulís Cathedral because it was knocked down a while ago...probably on Strakerís recommendation).

The main location featured in The Secret Service is the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden Valley, just north of High Wycombe, which doubled for Unwinís parish church. It was only seen in the credits and some static establishing shots, none of the stories were actually set there; the only action the church sees these days is the occasional wedding. Itís a very picturesque spot, and worth a look around before charging off to the next location. If youíre feeling energetic you can take a walk up the hill on the opposite side of the road to find where the opening longshot in the titles was filmed from.

Foxlea Manor, Dorneywood Road, Burnham was used for the exterior shots of Unwinís Vicarage - a bit inconvenient for Father Stan as itís actually several miles away from the church. The window where Unwin peeps from behind the curtains in the opening titles is central in the picture. This property appeared to be occupied when we visited and we didnít have the nerve to go further than the front gate for a quick photo. Note the 'foxy' weather vane too.

Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham Road, Slough is hardly the most architecturally significant building, even in Slough, but it is worth dropping in as it featured in the School for Spies episode when Father Unwin visited the injured Brother Gregory. While youíre in Slough, you may as well drop in on Sovrin Plastics on the Slough Trading Estate, formerly the Century 21 studios and also seen in A Case for The Bishop as the offices of Healey Automation. Centrepoint Tower, New Oxford Street featured in the series as the HQ of British Intelligence. At the time of filming, it had recently been completed and probably looked very futuristic; nowadays itís just another 60s monstrosity. Horseguards Parade, SW1 was featured as the headquarters of B.I.S.H.O.P. and will no doubt be swarming with tourists whenever you visit.

Richard Farrell