Synopsis by Hal Erickson
American TV viewers who have laughed at the British comedy series 'Allo 'Allo may not be aware that this popular sitcom was designed as a spoof for the far more serious (but no less popular) BBC2 dramatic series Secret Army. Set during WWII, the earlier program concentrated on the covert activities of Lifeline, a Belgian resistance group which helped downed British pilots escape from the Nazis. The man in charge of Lifeline was Albert Foiret (Bernard Hepton), who used his humble roadside restaurant as both the headquarters for his organization and a "safe harbor" for the unlucky Britons. Throughout the series, the men and women of Lifeline were doggedly pursued by a variety of frustrated German officers, notably sadistic S.S. man Ludwig Kessler (Clifford Rose). Real-life WWII veteran Captain W. Randle served as the series' technical advisor. Forty-two 50-minute episodes of Secret Army were seen from September 7, 1977 to December 15, 1979. A 43rd episode was not telecast during the series proper, but served as the pilot for the short-lived spin-off Kessler.